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How Effective Is Echinacea for Acne?

Preventing acne through a regular skin care routine is often easier than treating it once it occurs.
Echinacea extract is taken to strengthen the immune system.
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  • Written By: Micah MacBride
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 14 December 2014
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When acne causes pimples to break out across the face or body, the afflicted individual usually wants them to go away. This can lead acne sufferers to try the many products on the market that advertise themselves as effective treatments, including echinacea. While this natural herb has some properties that can help clear acne by boosting the body's immune system, it is generally not as effective as other, prescription drugs, like antibotics.

Echinacea has been used throughout history as an herbal treatment for ailments ranging from wounds to scarlet fever. Modern studies of the herb have shown that its healing properties come from its ability to bolster immune system activity and act as an anti-viral agent. Echinacea is no longer used as a primary treatment in areas where modern antibiotics and other specialized drugs are available, but its medicinal properties can offer some benefits to those want to use echinacea for acne.

The pimples that characterize acne are caused when sebaceous glands in the skin produce too much of an oily substance called sebum, which can clog pores. Dirt, dead skin cells, and bacteria can build up in these clogged pores. The bacteria trapped inside, including a strain known as Propionibacterium acnes, trigger an inflammatory reaction from the surrounding skin, and this is what causes pimples.

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Research has shown that an echinacea-based product can help to kill acne-causing bacteria and counteract inflammation. By eliminating these two facets of acne, an herbal remedy can effectively treat the underlying causes of pimples. Taking echinacea for acne can consequently help the body accelerate its natural process for getting rid of pimples, prevent future outbreaks, and help keep skin healthy and unblemished.

Using echinacea for acne can help the body fight its underlying causes, but the herb is typically not as effective as prescription medications, which are designed to kill bacteria. These medicines — usually antibiotics — are formulated to include an active ingredient that is more potent and therefore acts quickly. Many of these drugs are designed as ointments for application directly onto blemishes. This type of application concentrates on the pimples, whereas echinacea taken as a tea or herbal tablet must work throughout the body and may be less effective.

Those who like to follow a more natural or homeopathic regimen when treating health issues may find using echinacea for acne to be the preferred method for dealing with pimples, however. Health food stores or online outlets that sell natural remedies usually offer products designed to use the herb for a variety of health and beauty issues. Users may wish to consult a doctor or a naturopath to determine proper dosage when using echinacea for acne.

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Discuss this Article

SarahGen
Post 3

Echinacea did absolutely nothing for my acne. I did not see any improvement. Moreover, I was down with the flu soon after I started taking echinacea so I don't think it's very effective at strengthening the immune system either.

There are much better acne treatments out there like saw palmetto or beta carotene supplements. Or topical treatments like evening primrose oil and calendula.

bear78
Post 2

@fBoyle-- Echinacea fights all types of infections because it strengthens the immune system. It can also be used topically on acne spots and boils to treat them.

Echinacea might not resolve acne for everyone but I still believe that it's a beneficial herb to take. It can be used along with other more common acne treatments to improve results.

So don't expect miracles with this herb but I'm sure it will benefit your overall health, which will help your body fight the acne.

fBoyle
Post 1
If echinacea is an anti-viral, how does it help with acne that is a bacterial problem?

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