The treatment of acne by the administration of salves or ointment does not serve any purpose. They only suppress the action of the sebaceous glands temporarily. In nature cure, the main emphasis is on diet and certain water applications.
To begin with, the patient should resort to an all-fruit diet for about a week. This regimen should consist of three meals a day, consisting of fresh juicy fruits, such as apples, pears, grapes, grapefruits, pineapples and peaches. Citrus fruits, bananas, dried, stewed or tinned fruits should not be taken.
Unsweetened lemon or plain water, either hot or cold, should be drunk and nothing else. During this period, a warm water enema should be taken daily to cleanse the bowels and all other measures adopted to eradicate constipation.
After a week of the all-fruit diet, the patient can gradually adopt a well-balanced diet with a predominantly alkaline base. Emphasis should be on raw foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, sprouted seeds, raw nuts and whole grain cereals, particularly millet and brown rice.
Further, short periods on the all-fruit diet for three days or so may be necessary at monthly intervals till the skin’s condition improves.
Strict attention to diet is essential for recovery. Starchy, protein and fatty foods should be restricted. Meat, sugar, strong tea or coffee, condiments, pickles, refined and processed foods should all be avoided, as also soft drinks, candies, ice cream and products made with sugar and white flour.
The following diet should serve as a guideline:
1. Breakfast: Fresh fruits, and milk. For a change, dried fruits may be added occasionally.
2. Lunch: Steamed vegetables, whole grain bread or chappatis with butter and curd or butter-milk.
3. Dinner: A large bowl of raw vegetable salad and sprouts, such as alfalfa seeds or mung beans, with prunes or other dried fruit as dessert.
Two vitamins, namely, niacin and vitamin A, have been used successfully to treat acne. The vitamin therapy, comprising of niacin 100 mg. three times daily and vitamin A in large doses upto 50,000 units per day, should not exceed one month. Vitamin E is also vitally important for preventing scarring from acne and in removing old scars.
For focal treatment, hot fomentation should be applied to open up the pores and squeeze out the waste matter. Then rinse with cold water. Sun and air baths, by exposing the whole body to sun and air, are highly beneficial. Washing the affected area with lemon juice has also proved helpful.
Healing packs made of grated cucumbers, oatmeal cooked in milk and cooked, creamed carrots, used externally, have been found effective. Packs should be applied and kept on for half an hour and then washed off with cold water. A hot Epsom salt bath twice a week will be highly beneficial in all cases of acne.
This bath is prepared by adding three lbs. of Epsom salt to 60 litres of water having a temperature of about 100°F. The patient should remain in the bath from 25 to 35 minutes till he perspires freely. After the bath, the patient should cool off gradually.