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Alternative Healing

Essential Oils May Help Heal Acne

Do you suffer from acne, but don’t want to use prescription or over the counter medications that may cause side effects or use harmful ingredients? Essential oils may provide some help, according to Dr. Patrick B. Massey, medical director for complementary and alternative medicine for the Alexian Brothers Health System, who recently wrote an article on the topic at DailyHerald.com.

There are a number of medical studies exploring the use of essential oils on skin conditions, especially acne, and while prescription and some over the counter medications are effective, they often have side effects and may contain preservatives, stabilizers and other synthetic compounds that may not be safe for long-term use, Massey explained.

Essential oils, on the other hand, are derived from plants and many have well-documented medicinal properties. In a 2012 study published in the medical journal Alternative Medicine Review, a double-blind placebo-controlled study showed the essential oil copaiba (South American tree) was significantly better than a placebo in reducing acne, Massey stated.

Another 2012 medical study showed essential oils from orange and sweet basil were also very effective, demonstrating “the inhibition of bacterial growth.” And tea tree oil has also been studied for acne, showing “a significant antibacterial activity especially for the acne-causing bacteria Propionibacterium acnes,” Massey noted.

For more on Massey, visit his Web site, www.alt-med.org.

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