Acne isn’t just an external issue.

For most of my teenage life I was plagued by acne, everyday I’d get up and look at my skin to see if I had any new spots, it was all I ever thought about.

It started after a bullying incident at the age of 12, spots popped up almost overnight and puberty was also kicking in. I tried to cure it with numerous skin creams, facials, antibiotics and even the contraceptive pill but sadly none of them addressed the true root cause and I just began to add layers and layers of toxicity. Aged 17, I temporarily suppressed my acne with Roaccutane (a strong acne drug) and thought I’d turned my back on acne for good.

Unfortunately in my early twenties, after I took a job in London working for a boss who bullied me, my acne came back with a vengeance. This time I calmed it with some herbal products and it improved a lot once I left that particular job. I started a new career and thankfully the boss and company I worked for were great and I didn’t suffer with any bullying again but my acne would still flare up here and there. I decided I wanted to sort out the acne for good but felt reluctant to try Roaccutane again as it had made me feel very low and left me with much drier and more sensitive skin. By chance I came across homeopathy after a few web searches and booked myself an appointment.

The homeopath asked me lots of questions, namely about when my acne had started but also about my character and even my family history. I went home with an envelope of small white pills and some drops and that’s where my journey into homeopathy began. The results were not overnight but within a couple of months I noticed a huge change in many of my symptoms, some of which I hadn’t really considered until the homeopath asked me about them! We did a lot of work on healing the bullying trauma that had worn away my self-confidence and trust and slowly but surely I felt stronger and more resilient and my skin began to match the changes that were happening internally too.

Sometimes a skin complaint has its roots in an emotional upset, this emotional upset can knock your hormonal system off balance and you start to get symptoms that seem unrelated to how you’re feeling at the time but could well be linked. Because skin is our largest organ, often our body dumps issues out onto the skin to avoid damage to internal organs, that’s why skin can be the longest organ to heal so try not to expect to see skin changes straight away. 

Other possible causes of acne.

Hormonal imbalance: Quite often women develop acne after taking or stopping the contraceptive pill or the acne is linked to the menstrual cycle. One theory is that acne sufferers produce more androgens pre-menstrually (think hormones like testosterone) which produces more sebum production leading to acne. Some women may have a diagnosis of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), which can also lead to symptoms of acne thanks to excess androgen production or heightened sensitivity to normal levels of androgens. Stress or high oestrogen levels can also cause many of these hormonal imbalances.

Problems in the gut: A gut flora imbalance can lead to excess inflammation which could trigger or lead to acne breakouts. Homeopathy can help readdress this imbalance, especially if you’re suffering with symptoms of bloating, gas, diarrhea or constipation. It might also be worth considering a course of probiotics and practicing eating a wider variety of colourful fruits and vegetables too as these all help build good bacteria in the gut.

Environmental triggers: Our modern lifestyle means we are in contact with many endocrine disrupting chemicals from pesticides, synthetic fragrances, cosmetics, toiletries, plastics, medications like antibiotics and the pill, smoking, all these could be disrupting your hormones and leading to acne. Try to limit the chemicals you come into contact with and change up what you put in your mouth and on your skin keeping it as natural as possible.

Be mindful of what you eat: Some say diet isn’t related to acne but many studies would say otherwise! Increase your fruit and vegetable consumption to ideally 8 portions a day. Increase your Omega 3’s by eating more seeds, oily fish and nuts like walnuts. Reduce your consumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates like pasta, bread and cake to help keep your blood sugar balance in check.

If you’re not sure you’re getting everything from your diet, consider a good quality daily multi-vitamin, I like brands such as Biocare, Cytoplan and Higher Nature, you can contact me for a 10% discount.

Stress: Never underestimate how much stress can have an impact! Take time out of your day to consciously de-stress, you could practice meditation, go to bed a bit earlier, do a gentle workout like yoga, spend time in nature, have a good laugh with a friend or watch something funny to get the endorphins going. In my practice I use homeobotanical blends (organic herbs from New Zealand) like BeCalm, Emotion and Zest to help calm the nervous system and in turn support you emotionally and physically.

Feed your skin: If your skin is oily it can sound counterintuitive to recommend facial oils but often our skin produces more oil the more we try to strip it away! Acne prone skin is often very sensitive and needs nourishment from the outside as well as in, harsh cleansers and acne products can often exacerbate the problem. I love Neal’s Yard for their beautiful facial oils that you can browse here.

Homeopathy: Homeopathy works to tackle to root cause of your acne, remedies are prescribed on an individual basis dependent on the symptoms you present. There are remedies specific to different types of acne and homeopathy can help detox you from things like the contraceptive pill if this is to blame for your acne break outs.

If you, or someone you know is suffering with acne or another skin complaint, please pass them my way and perhaps I can help. I offer a free discovery call so you can ask me any questions that you like and see if we might like to work together.

I look forward to hearing from you, Claire x

Claire Zarb

Claire Zarb


t: +44 (0)7582 269569
s: c.zarb

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