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Disease Overview

Overview of Acne

I. Physiological Considerations

Acne is described as an inflammatory disease of the sebaceous glands but more particularly as a chronic inflammatory disease of the sebaceous glands, occurring most frequently on the face, back, and chest. The basic physiological malfunction occurring in the body which gives rise to acne is an imbalance of the eliminating systems of the body, although there are several mechanisms that can play a part in the production of this imbalance. When the eliminations become unbalanced – these being principally through the liver and the kidneys – then the superficial circulation carries a plethora of drosses and metabolic end products which should have been eliminated through the channels of the intestinal tract. This in turn brings about a clogging and a disturbance of the superficial capillary and small lymphatic vessels with subsequent inflammation occurring in the sebaceous glands of the skin.

Some factors causing the eliminative imbalance are incoordination between the deep and superficial circulation, improper diet during the period of menarche (beginning of menses), nervous tensions and suppressions of fears, and glandular reactions and the gradual building of difficulties related to the glands and circulation. Circulatory incoordination is frequently brought about by back injuries, even of a mild nature, which could bring about disturbance of those cerebrospinal centers located in the ganglia of the autonomic nervous system which control the coordination of the deep and the superficial circulations. The deep circulation goes to the organs and functioning portions of the internal part of the body while the superficial circulation supplies the extremities and the peripheral body structures.

In case [78], an injury to the seventh, eighth and ninth dorsals was the primary factor. Perspiration, induced by excitement, originated with the irritation in the dorsal centers. With this irritation any overexcitement makes an extreme call for full circulation (rather than the normal) thus directing too much blood to the superficial circulation. The capillaries and small lymphatics become too full, as it were, producing the excessive perspiration. Inactive eliminations bring impurities to the superficial circulation and thus produce odors which were described as being “obnoxious” and happening in those places where the lymphatic circulation reaches the surface of the body easily. A heavy meal under stress, in this particular case, puts the food in the position of not having adequate blood supply to bring the digestive forces into full action. This brings the external blood in toward the central portions of the body and in this manner causes congestion, especially through those lacteals involved. This produces in turn a reflex which brings about a disturbed elimination with consequent constipation. A capillary uptake of the contents of the large bowel results, and in this manner a loading of the vascular system with substances which should have passed out through the intestines takes place. The skin then attempts to eliminate excessively and this produces the inflammation as a gradual process of time and circumstance. On occasion there may be a thinning of the walls of the intestine which only promotes and intensifies the process.

II. Rationale of Therapy

In approaching therapy, we should remember that the body has a capability of normal function:

Thus, we would administer those activities which would bring a normal reaction through these portions, stimulating them to an activity from the body itself, rather than the body becoming dependent upon supplies that are robbing portions of the system to produce activity in other portions, or the system receiving elements or chemical reactions being supplied without arousing the activity of the system itself for a more normal condition. (1968-3)

Therapy in the case of acne should be directed at bringing about five principal results:

  1. A purification of the vibration of the body forces, which would include a restoration to normal of the thin wall in the intestine.
  2. A correction of the cerebrospinal centers and their vibrations, bringing them back to normal. This would also bring about a coordination of the superficial and deep circulatory systems which is frequently disturbed in acne.
  3. A cleansing of the glands of the elimination system such as the liver, kidney, etc.; a balance of these organs and a correction of constipation and difficulties of the lower bowel.
  4. A diet in accord with the needs of the circulatory and the elimination systems.
  5. Local therapy to aid the skin.

III. Suggested Therapeutic Regimen

  1. Acting, in a sense, to purify the vibrations of the body forces and to bring about a change for the better, the following prescription should be followed and all of it used prior to further treatment (aside from diet and local therapy):
    • Sulphur, 1 tablespoon
    • Rochelle salts, 1 tablespoon Cream of tartar, 1 tablespoon
    • Mix these very thoroughly. Then take a level teaspoonful of this mixture each morning, either in water or dry, before any meal is taken.
  2. In order to bring the cerebrospinal control centers, the autonomic, and the sympathetic ganglia to their proper condition, osteopathic therapy should be instituted after the salts have been used but should be given only following a short-wave diathermic treatment to the back for a period of approximately 15 minutes over the upper dorsal area. The combination of these two treatments should be used twice a week for a period of seven weeks, then should be left off for one week, then another cycle should be started using the salts again followed by the physiotherapy and manipulation just described. A third course could be utilized later.
  3. A balancing of the glands of the emunctory system – the eliminative organs – could be brought about after the original therapy with the salts has ended. Coca-Cola is suggested as a purifying or clarifying substance for the kidney and bladder. This would be taken more as a medicine than as a soft drink and with water (not carbonated). Various methods of relieving constipation should be utilized – powdered yeast or yeast cake taken daily for ten days and then left off a week would be one such suggested therapy.

The following local treatment and diet may be given to patients. In addition, a combination of oils was suggested in the readings which could be massaged into the skin, perhaps alternating with a medicated cream or lotion: camphorated oil two parts, witch hazel one part, Nujol one part.

Other substances used to bring about a purification of body forces are seen in cases [528] and [78]. Use of these would be up to the judgment of the physician administering the therapy. Atomidine likewise can be used to bring about a glandular balance. These two readings are part of the Circulating File on acne.

Should we not attempt to awaken the inner forces to God’s presence? “For, all healing comes from the one source. And whether there is the application of foods, exercise, medicine, or even the knife, it is to bring the consciousness of the forces within the body that aid in reproducing themselves-the awareness of creative or God forces.” (2696-1)


Local Treatment:  

  1. Wash with prescribed soap twice a day. Rinse off thoroughly and dry. Apply a thin film of medicated cream or lotion.
  2. Picking acne lesions is not recommended. Instead take an ice cube, wrap it in a cloth, and freeze the lesion with a corner of the cube for several minutes, two or three times a day. This works best on lesions which have just appeared.


  1. Take a yeast cake or a packet of dry yeast and blend into eight ounces of tomato or V-8 juice. (You may use other juices if you wish.) A dash of lime juice and Worcestershire sauce adds a little tang in the V-8 mix. Take once a day for 10 days. Then stop for a week and repeat.
  2. Obtain some Coca-Cola syrup from a soda fountain. Take one teaspoonful in a glass of plain water once or twice a day.
  3. No chocolate, sugars, ice cream, pastries, pie, or candy.
  4. No carbonated drinks, including diet drinks. No beer or ale.
  5. No pork or ham. Crisp bacon allowed, however.
  6. Limit starches to one per meal: bread, rice, potato, spaghetti, corn, etc. No white bread should be eaten.
  7. No fried foods. This includes Fritos and potato chips.
  8. Vegetables are good for you. Have plenty of salads, vegetable soup, cooked vegetables. Salad dressing is all right.
  9. Fruits are fine in season except raw apples, strawberries, and bananas.
  10. Meats: Especially recommended are lamb, fish, fowl. Lean beef is all right.
  11. Milk (skim), eggs, and cheese are allowed.

Note: The preceding overview was written by William A. McGarey, M.D. and is excerpted from the Physician’s Reference Notebook, Copyright © 1968 by the Edgar Cayce Foundation, Virginia Beach, VA.

Note: As this information is not intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment, your use of this database of information indicates that you are aware of our recommendation that you consult with a professional healthcare provider before taking any action.