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What does your pharmacist recommend?

Have you ever noticed an ad for a medicine that uses the phrase #1 recommended by Physicians/Pharmacists/Dentist etc.? or 4 out of 5 dentist recommend …  Have you ever wondered if the information on the ad was true?  As a pharmacist, there are many items that I recommend almost daily that have never been on any of these lists.  As a matter of fact, I don’t know if I have ever recommended any of the products that are advertised as #1 recommended by pharmacists.

One of the most common recommendations I make is for the treatment of acne.  I make recommendations for standard acne for the teenager, hormonal acne for the adult thirty something, and acne rosacea for the over 40 crowd.  No matter what category you are in, I have five recommendations for you to consider making part of your routine.

  1. Wash your face.  This seems simple enough but make sure after washing you rinse with cold water.  The cold water will help close your pores.  Warm, moist skin can leave your pores open which allows dirt and other impurities to clog your pores back up.
  2. Did you know that your skin is connected to your stomach?  Well I would not have believed it myself until a pharmacist friend of mine discussed this topic at a seminar I attended.  One of the main problems with skin conditions may be related to lactose sensitivity.  I have suggested to many patients with acne and other conditions like eczema to cut out all dairy for 2 weeks and see if that alone makes a difference.
  3.  Related to the previous point is to supplement with probiotics.  I am a big fan of probiotics.  This is an easy way to help clean up the “gut”.  Cleaning up the gastrointestinal tract will decrease inflammation and help you absorb more of the nutrients from the foods you eat.
  4. Start taking Zinc Monomethionine or Zinc Picolinate.  Either of these can block an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase.  This enzyme blocks the conversion of Testosterone to DHT or Dihydrotestosterone.  Higher DHT levels can cause acne and male pattern baldness.
  5. Supplement with Vitamin B complex.  Your skin needs Vitamin B, all of them.
    B1 – Thiamin – an antioxidant that helps control free radicals.  Thiamine can eliminate toxins from the body.  Detoxifying the body can lead to smoother, acne free skin.
    B2 – Riboflavin – This is the vitamin that can change your urine color to Tennessee Vol orange.  A true Tennessee fan bleeds orange, but not too many are able to pee orange.  Riboflavin is necessary for stress reduction and we all know that stress can lead to acne.
    B3 – Nicotinamide – Taken by mouth and used on the skin in a gel (we can formulate this for you) Nicotinamide can reduce inflammation, redness, and swelling associated with acne.
    B6 – Pyridoxine – This vitamin can help with hormone balance.  Hormones that are unbalanced can play a major roll in acne outbreaks.
    B9 – Folic Acid – This vitamin helps in the regeneration of skin cells.  Regenerating skin cells is one of the ways that commercial prescription creams treat acne.These are some of my recommendations.  I would love to hear what works for you.  Please share in the comments section below.