August 27, 2008

The Secret to Great Skin May Be at the Health Food Store


Q: Skin problems seem to run in my family. I have severe rosacea, my husband has a new scar on his face, and my daughter has acne and warts! What are some "Suzy Secrets" to help clear the skin? -- D.V., Tulsa

A: Suzy Secrets? That's funny. OK, then, just between you and me, this is what to do.

Rosacea: Avoiding alcohol, direct sunlight, and spicy foods will help, but stress is the biggie. Because inflammatory chemicals need to be reduced, doctors often prescribe prednisone packs or steroid creams. Before I took steroids, I would buy probiotics, a digestive enzyme supplement and a digestive acid (like betaine hydrochloride) and take this with each meal. If you feel heartburn, stop the digestive acid supplement. I'd also take a B-complex and drink fenugreek tea daily. A day wouldn't go by without me consuming a superfood like chlorella or spirulina (sold online or at health food stores).

Scars: Some people rub raw garlic cloves on their scars (or their pimples), which helps fight bacteria and reduce scars. I would take 4mg astaxanthin or 400 IU vitamin E by mouth each day. Some people rub vitamin E oil on the skin. Drink orange juice daily and keep an aloe vera plant handy, rubbing it on your skin.

Acne: Kids with lots of acne breakouts may be low in zinc, or in vitamin A. They may also have high levels of processed junk foods, trans fats and sugar! Tea tree oil, sold in health food stores, can be applied to the zits. Naturopathica makes an all-natural, organic Moss Extract Blemish Remover, which contains Kaolin clay, calendula and other flower extracts to dry out blemishes, kill bacteria and remove redness (

Warts: Eat better and take immune-building supplements. Some people paint clear nail polish or apply duct tape to the warts in order to starve them of oxygen. Conventional treatments include Wartner or Dr. Scholl's Freeze Away.

Originally published by SUZY COHEN Dear Pharmacist.

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