Acne Alternative Treatments

The term 'alternative acne treatment' is used to describe any treatment for acne which is not recognised or accepted by the medical community. The consensus among doctors is that certain acne alternative treatments are effective, but still cannot be accepted as medical treatments for acne because the mechanism by which they work isn't fully understood. At the other end of the spectrum, there are a number of acne alternative treatments which are entirely ineffective as a treatment for acne, and may indeed be harmful to both the health and the wealth of the user.

What are Alternative Treatments?

Acne alternative treatments are methods of treating acne which are not accepted or recognised by the medical establishment. Such a definition of alternative treatments is subjective, fluid and influenced by cultural factors. Let's leave acne aside for a moment and instead consider acupuncture, one of the most widely practiced alternative therapies, which is used both to provide pain relief and to treat a wide range of conditions. Acupuncture originates in China and is an accepted form of treatment in eastern medicine, whereas in most western cultures acupuncture is still regarded as an alternative form of treatment. It is possible to carry out invasive surgical procedures using acupuncture as the only form of pain management. No western doctor who had seen open heart surgery carried out without the use of conventional anaesthesia could deny that acupuncture is an effective method of pain relief. However, in western medicine it usually requires that doctors also understand how a treatment achieves its effects before the treatment is accepted medically.

Alternative Treatments for Acne

Many doctors take the view that there is no reason for acne sufferers to use alternative acne treatments, since there are a number of effective medical treatments for acne which have been tested clinically and evaluated in terms both of efficacy and safety. Sometimes acne sufferers choose to use acne alternative treatments because they don't understand the difference between medical and alternative treatments for acne, assuming that all medical treatments for acne involve medication of some sort. In fact, most of the criteria used by acne sufferers when choosing acne treatments can be satisfied equally well by medically recognised acne treatments as by acne alternative treatments. For example, two medically accepted acne treatments, UV irradiation and a restriction acne diet, require no acne medication and so are classed as natural acne treatments.

Opting for an Alternative Acne Treatment

I take the view that it is entirely reasonable for acne sufferers to make their own decisions regarding acne treatment. Alternative acne treatments are a viable treatment option, but should be approached with an extra degree of caution and scepticism. Acne alternative treatments are a viable treatment option, but must be selected with care There is rarely any reliable clinical data as to the efficacy or safety of alternative treatments for acne, but there is great incentive for the people promoting alternative treatments to oversell the product's virtues and gloss over any safety issues. It's bad enough to spend money on an acne product which doesn't work, but it's a real disaster if you suffer long-term damage as a result of using an alternative treatment for acne. When considering acne alternative treatments, make sure you have access to all the available information on the treatment, understand what the treatment involves and remember the old adage that ‘something that seems too good to be true, probably is too good to be true’.