The search for an acne cure can take us to some pretty strange places. Mayo masks, black light therapy, and a host of other kooky remedies all have had their moment in the spotlight recently through social media.
It seems there is always some new weird remedy somewhere out there, waiting to either become a holy grail or awful fail. One treatment that has been scientifically proven to work but has yet to gain traction is saw palmetto.
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What Is Saw Palmetto?
Saw palmetto extract is derived from the ripe fruit of a plant that carries the same name, the saw palmetto palm tree. A leafy plant with saw like leaves, the saw palmetto is native to the southeastern US and is quite the intimidating sight.
It looks a bit more like a weapon than a healthy plant that just might take out your breakouts. It may seem odd but saw palmetto fruit extract can have an incredibly positive impact on your overall skin health!
What Saw Palmetto Is Used for?
Before beginning treatment, it is important to understand what exactly causes acne. There are thousands of articles explaining the indepth truth of those annoying little blemishes but, in short, the most common cause is hormonal imbalances.
Teens experience rapid fire hormonal changes as they go through puberty; this can throw off their skin’s protective lipid layer and allow bacteria to enter their pores, which become clogged by oil overproduction.
In adults, it is common for testosterone to be overly abundant, causing inflammation of the sebaceous glands of the face, which become blocked and create a bacterial breeding ground.
Saw Palmetto Benefits for Skin
Saw palmetto can help clear up your skin in a myriad of ways. For starters, it is rich in a chemical known as polysaccharide. Polysaccharide is a natural immune system booster.
When our immune system is functioning at its best, we are less likely to break out because our bodies can respond to bacterial invaders quickly and take them out before they can prevent any damage.
Additionally, polysaccharide is a natural anti-inflammatory agent, which means that it helps to reduce redness and swelling. Both of these are common symptoms of acne flaring and can be quite uncomfortable.
Treating them quickly can not only make the breakout more bearable, but also help to reduce the duration of the breakout and help prevent scarring.
Clogged pores often play a massive role in the prevalence and spreading of breakouts. When your body produces too much oil, that oil can become impacted into your pores, where it traps dead skin and bacteria.
The bacteria then breeds and spreads, creating a pimple that, when poked or prodded, is more than happy to share its bacterial infection with other spots on your face.
How does Saw Palmetto work?
Saw palmetto can help to draw out that hardened oil and clear out your pores, freeing the bacteria and allowing you to effectively remove all of the infection.
This will helps to avoid spreading it to other places on your face (which is typically done through other methods like squeezing or popping the bumps).
Saw Palmetto Side-Effects
There are some risks associated with using saw palmetto. Since it is a relatively unknown medication, saw palmetto has not been as extensively tested as some other more mainstream treatment options.
Due to this, scientists do not know exactly what side effects are potentially possible, which puts those who utilize the extract at a higher risk of a more serious or unexpected allergic reaction.
We also do not know much about the long term effects of its usage and if it poses any risk potential if used for a prolonged period of time.
Due to this, we do not know what potential side effects exist for topical saw palmetto usage.
In oral or internal applications, saw palmetto has been known to increase the risk of heavy bleeding, cause a decrease in sex drive, create gastrointestinal distress, cause headaches, reduce the patient’s appetite, cause chest pain, or cause fatigue.
Most of these are rather uncommon and almost none have been reported in topical usage patients. As the drug undergoes more testing, a complete list of potential side effects will be released.
Saw Palmetto Safe Dosage
The best way to prevent a reaction is to only use medical grade saw palmetto extract that includes topical dosage information. Typically, you would aim for 200 to 250 milligrams per dosage.
Always research any brand you are considering and look at reviews from customers to check in on their experiences before purchasing your extract.
Saw palmetto is a great way to attempt to treat your acne naturally. So many companies create acne creams, lotions, and potions that are full of sketchy ingredients and filler liquids.
With natural treatment plans you know exactly what you are applying to your skin and in what dosage.
Does Saw Palmetto Really Work? Is it Effective?
Saw palmetto has been used in several cultures for generations to treat skin ailments and has recently started gaining traction as a potentially viable treatment method.
Which means more tests will be conducted to provide more conclusive information on the effectiveness of saw palmetto in skin care applications.