top of page

Acne, depression and homeopathy

Updated: Oct 15, 2023

Acne and its effect on depression

There is a clear link between gut health, hormonal fluctuation and acne. There is also clear evidence that Homeopathy can help.

Research from the National Library of Medicine 2011 states “Over 70 years have passed since dermatologists John H. Stokes and Donald M. Pillsbury first proposed a gastrointestinal mechanism for the overlap between depression, anxiety and skin conditions such as acne. Stokes and Pillsbury hypothesized that emotional states might alter the normal intestinal microflora, increase intestinal permeability and contribute to systemic inflammation. Among the remedies advocated by Stokes and Pillsbury were Lactobacillus acidophilus cultures. Many aspects of this gut-brain-skin unifying theory have recently been validated. The ability of the gut microbiota and oral probiotics to influence systemic inflammation, oxidative stress, glycemic control, tissue lipid content and even mood itself, may have important implications in acne. 1.

Combined with Homeopathic Medicine, dietary modifications and probiotics we have a powerful combination in tackling this distressing condition. 2.

What is Acne?

Pimples, Pustules, Cysts, Blackheads, Whiteheads naturally occur from time to time on the skin. We have bacteria on our skin which usually isn’t a problem for our immune system to deal with but when our body produces too much oily sebum, our hormones are out of balance or our immune system is weak, this can lead to pores getting clogged up and inflammation setting in. Once a hair follicle is infected, hard painful lumps can result as the mix of dead skin cells and sebum become trapped.

What is the conventional medical approach?


Most commonly Antibiotics are given in order to eliminate the two main bacteria which cause acne Staphylococcus Aureus and Propionibacterium Acnes. Antibiotics do not address the reason the acne appears! Antibiotics often need to be given in repeated doses and eventually become ineffective. We are heading into a major problem with antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria which I’m sure we all know. Antibiotics are life saving medicines and should be reserved for critical situations for the good of everyone in society. They don’t give long term relief in acne nor do they do our gut any favours at all. If you want to know more have a look at this research paper on Strep and antibiotic use. 3.


Accutane is a form of vitamin A. It reduces the amount of oil released by oil glands in your skin, and is used to treat severe nodular acne that has not responded to antibiotics. Accutane in just a single dose can cause severe birth defects or death of a baby. Do not consider using it if there is a chance you may be pregnant!

The most commonly reported side effects are sun sensitivity and dryness, dry skin, dry nostrils, dry mouth and dry eyes, but above all, dry lips. Less common effects include skin itching or irritation and temporary hair thinning. Some people, usually children, develop back and joint pain while taking Accutane. This drug can cause more serious effects, including increased pressure on the brain and liver damage.

Why do we resort to such medications?

It is understandable that anyone suffering from severe acnes will try absolutely anything that might help – even if it is going to have an adverse affect on the body as a whole. How we look is so important in society today and I remember myself so well that feeling of getting up every morning as a teenager and feeling my face for lumps and bumps. Thinking that even if I only had one spot, that this was all that people would notice. I became that spot, if there were multiple spots I would feel like hiding in a dark cupboard until they had gone. I wish I had known about homeopathy then!

What can I do to help?

As a Homeopath I have a well tested plan in place to support my patients through acne. Individualized treatment is crucial and follow-up essential because this isn’t something we can expect to resolve in one or two appointments.

Here’s my plan:

Prior to each appointment I ask for photos taken in natural light of the worst affected areas. This is so that I can monitor progress.

I ask detailed questions about the exact nature of the skin condition: location, type of spots / cysts, is there pain, how long does healing usually take, do the pustules bleed, how long do they take to come to a head, what is your skin type - naturally oily skins are more prone.

I also ask young women about their menstrual cycle in depth, are periods regular, irregular, painful, heavy, clotty etc.

Finally, I ask the most important question of all. How is your mood affected? How we feel plays a large part in the selection of the correct remedy. I am also acutely aware of the profound effects a skin problem can have emotionally. I have seen many young people who have completely lost their self confidence because of it. This matters!

Each question is graded 0-5 so that I can assess your progress – this is important because it is easy to lose sight of improvements and so good for boosting morale to be able to look back.

This all takes time and commitment. It is a step by step process. It is made easier by my professional guidance and the success of Homeopathic prescribing for acne is backed up by studies like this one where out of a trial of 400 cases, 387 (96.75%) cases showed significant improvements within 6 months of treatment including cure in many cases, within 3 months using homeopathy alone. 2.

Why can’t I home-prescribe?

Of course you can home-prescribe! However the best treatment for acne is constitutional because it takes into account all the characteristics of the young person and it is particularly advised if they have already taken medication. It is also really difficult to identify emotional states if you are trying to help a family member or focusing on yourself.

Homeopathy for acne, some of the best indicated remedies.

While you think about coming to book a free 15 minute chat as an excellent investment, and, if you are used to prescribing homeopathy at home, please have a look at the short list below but do bear in mind that there are hundreds of remedies that I might consider in order to find the best fit for you.

Hepar Sulph – Suppurative acne in puberty which bleeds, prickly pain

Kali Brom – bluish-red pimples, itching, deep pustular acne that scars

Natrum Mur – small boils, affects hair follicules, greasy, oily skin, comedones

Nux Vomica – tendency to boils, skin red & blotchy, burning, prickling, itching

Pulsatilla – acne at puberty, pus is thick, yellow, profuse

Sepia – yellowish brown or purple spots, delicate skin

Silica – unhealthy skin, every injury suppurates, deep pustular acne that scars, slow to heal, itching, burning, also acne rosacea

Sulphur – good for acne on the back, itching, burning, worse at night

Thuja – skin very sensitive to touch, brown spots which itch & burn violently

A short course of the correct remedy will either bring obvious results - if you find the correct one, or, you may want to talk to a professional homeopath to help you. Acne can be so distressing and embarrassing so please allow me to help.


1. Acne vulgaris, probiotic and the gut-brain axis

2. Improvement of acne after treatment with Homeopathy

3. Strep and antibiotics

138 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All