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Can Supplements Help Treat Acne? Dr Mayou talks to Refinery29

Can Supplements Help Treat Acne? Dr Mayou talks to Refinery29

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Consultant Dermatologist Dr Susan Mayou shares her expert opinion with Refinery29 on herbal supplements and the treatment of acne.

There is a consistent trend for people wanting to seek natural remedies for a more holistic way of treating and healing a multitude of skin conditions. It is becoming increasingly common for people to supplement their conventional treatment with dietary supplementation and to explore alternative solutions and changes in diet. People are wary of taking medication such as antibiotics or hormones on an extended or long term basis as they are worried about side effects, so will often explore natural treatment options in the first instance. It is also common for people to want to complement conventional medicine with natural remedies in an attempt to optimise their results.

With information about supplements, diet, medication and health readily available, people are much more informed and do a lot of research before seeking the advice of a medical specialist. Being proactive is very positive but Dr Mayou explains that there is a lot of misinformation in the public domain about quick fixes to cure acne and people should be very mindful when considering supplementation. There is no robust science to justify claims that taking supplements such as fatty acids, zinc or vitamin A can successfully treat or manage acne. It is true that they may help or be complimentary, but big clinical trials haven’t been conducted to back up these claims. It is also a mistake to think that taking Vitamin A as a supplement will do the same thing as prescription tablets. Retinol and tretinoin are also derivatives of vitamin A and when applied topically on the skin can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and address acne, by a different mechanism than taking them orally.

A good skincare regime is also imperative for helping manage acne, Dr Mayou shares her top acne skincare tips:

  • Cleansing the skin to remove makeup, dirt and bacteria is very important – be mindful of the ingredients used in these cleansers!
  • For oily skin, use specially formulated products for oily skin
  • For skin that is prone to blackheads, use exfoliators to help reduce this
  • If you have spotty but dry skin, use non-comedogenic products and moisturiser for acne-prone skin
  • For skin that is oily, you won’t need a heavy moisturiser (if any at all)
  • If you have inflammatory acne, don’t exfoliate the skin as this will exacerbate the condition

Acne has the ability to affect mood, self-esteem, confidence and quality of life so it’s important to get professional advice by a dermatologist to adopt the best treatment strategy tailored to individual needs.

Acne requires a management strategy; everybody is different, has different requirements and will respond differently to treatments or treatment combinations. There is no “one size fits all” but dermatologists are experts in treating acne, they have a vast understanding and the medication has undergone extensive testing for efficacy.


Read the full article at Refinery29.

For a consultation with Dr Susan Mayou call 0203 993 7918.