Nearly 85% of people will struggle with some form of acne at some point in their life. Although this blog post highlights the reasons we chose a natural approach for my teenage daughter, these reasons can hold true for anyone. My daughter’s skin really started to flare up at age twelve, and it went from being ‘normal’ teenage acne to inflamed acne very quickly.
After much discussion and visits to our family doctor, we decided together that we would try a more natural approach to healing her skin. I searched out natural acne sources and came across the Natural Acne Clinic. In addition to being treated with the Face Reality System and coaching with the Clinic, we also implemented some of our own dietary changes that will be discussed in another post. These are the top 10 reasons I share with other parents facing the same health issue with their teenage daughters.
- Like all diseases, acne treatment requires an approach that also works to improve internal health. This is a hard lesson to learn as an adult – imagine the gift you are giving your daughter if she can learn this as a young woman. Young, author of The pH Miracle diet explains that if there is too much acid in the blood to be disposed through the lungs or kidneys, it gets deposited into organs or stored in fatty tissue, where it can develop into what we commonly hear as “polyps” “blemishes”, “cysts”, “growths”, “bumps”, etc. Therefore, in order to treat acne, one must also treat an overload of acid within the body, by learning how to alkalize the body, its organs and tissues. This lends itself to introducing green smoothies, juices and deep breathing exercises to your daughter. All which will help her manage stress, cope with life and benefit her in more ways than just having clearer skin.
- Empower your daughter to learn the benefits of holistic health from a young age. A natural approach to health and healing can be learned at any age, however the younger you learn this the easier it is to be a healthy, happy adult. Dealing with acne is as much of an emotional issue as it is a physical one. If you can teach your daughter the areas in her life where she is soaring, then the acne may seem like one small piece of her world (even though it can seem like the only one). A holistic approach to wellness will encourage and empower her that she has control of her situation and that all her choices will impact her life – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
- Getting your daughter to eat more fruits and vegetables lends its way to improved lifelong habits. It is human nature to be more motivated for change when it comes down to our health. Whether we want to look better, feel better or have more energy we all have our own reasons for changing behaviour and improving eating habits. This can be a delicate subject for a mother and her teenage daughter, however there are ways to go about doing this in a way that won’t harm her self-image.
- Maintain a low risk for cervical cancer. I recall my daughter’s reaction in the Doctor’s office when he suggested the birth control pill as an option – “But Mom isn’t that for people who have sex?! Mom, I’m not having sex…ever!!!!!” I want my daughter to feel good about herself and have self-confidence but not at the expense of what I went through myself as a survivor of cervical cancer. She is already at risk of cervical cancer because of my diagnosis, but an extended period of time on birth control also places her at an even higher risk. Although the risk may return to normal once she is off the birth control – studies have shown not until ten years later!
- I want to keep my daughter alive, happy and free from bowel disease. A quick google search will help you weigh the cons of the drug known as Accutane (aka Roaccutane, isotretinoin, Claravis, Sotret and Amnesteem). I discovered a report conducted by Julia Green (2002) of Harvard Law School entitled “Babies, Blemishes and FDA: A history of Accutane Regulation in the USA” to be very informative. Accutane was first discovered in the 1960’s as a potential cure for skin cancer, however it was quickly abandoned as a potential treatment when its teratogenic effects were confirmed. Edward Lammer, a medical geneticist and FDA consultant describes Accutane risk as “…there is no other medication that poses an absolute risk anything remotely close to this, even medications used to treat cancer during pregnancy.” Even though Accutane was originally and still should be prescribed as a “last resort” to treating acne, we were offered it as a solution on our first visit to our family doctor. After initial research on the topic I discovered that the original drugmaker, Roche, has had 13 lawsuits from users that developed inflammatory bowel diseases as a result of the drug. In addition, the side effects of depression and suicidal thoughts were not highlighted by our family doctor when we consulted with him.
- Use it as an opportunity to teach your daughter boundaries. How far will you go for the sake of beauty? Will you sacrifice your liver health for possibly not having acne again? Will you sacrifice the life of any future child for the sake of not having acne? Young girls and women are bombarded with messages about not being good enough – they need thicker hair, less wrinkles, perfect skin, better jeans, more Instagram likes, and the list goes on. Young girls are growing up in a supercharged environment to be more beautiful in order to be popular and be “liked”. The more opportunities I take to instill healthy, body positive empowering boundaries and values with her, the more positive a relationship she will create with her own body.
- All things that matter in life take time to nourish. There is no quick fix for anything in life. There are perceived quick fixes, but learning to nurture something (like your own body), is a gift. If I can give my daughter that gift of life I feel I am doing a great job as a mother. If you take time to brush your teeth, comb your hair, clean your room, make a smoothie or whatever it is, then the effects are bountiful.
- A Pill is not necessarily the only option. I want my daughter to learn to make informed decisions. She is entering adolescence where she is going to question authority, assert her opinion and figure out who she is. I want to equip her with these tools early on, so that even when it comes to medical advice she knows there are other options to try. If at the young age of twelve she learns she can take a pill to make a problem go away, how will this extend into her adulthood? I imagine it can lead to an overuse of medications for all ailments without understanding she has options.
- Choices are empowering. I always say to my children they have a choice. There cannot be anybody that forces you to be unhappy, or to hurt their little brother or even to follow their peers in a bad situation. I want all my children to feel empowered by the choices they make. As a young woman, she has the ability to be a part of the decision making process dealing with her skin and her body. It is her body – not mine.
- Remain open to things not working out. In an ideal world all acne could be cured to the exact precision that each person desires for themselves. However, I realize and have discussed with my daughter that it may not be perfect like what she’s sees in a magazine or on a website. Maybe she is comparing herself to friends that took Accutane and her skin looks so different than theirs. I remind her that is the beauty of being YOU. You are different and do not have the same skin as everyone else, so your approach will be different, and learning to be happy with yourself is the biggest success of an treatment program.