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June 2002 Ageless herbal newsletter

Underneath is the main part of the newsletter that was sent out (excluding special offers or promotional items). You can access all previous newsletters and also subscribe to the free newsletter.
roaccutane accutane acne problem skin clearing up side effects vitamin a suicide liver damageon this page
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Roaccutane / Accutane

This month's newsletter we have decided to dedicate to Roaccutane (also known as Accutane) - the miracle drug so often prescribed for skin problems, since we have had thousands of queries regarding this product.

The magic bullet so often held out to teenagers (and older people) with skin problems and acne is the controversial medication called Roaccutane (Accutane in the USA).

Although it is a product developed by Roche Pharmaceuticals to help clear up deep cystic acne, it has become the vogue to prescribe the medication, since some prescribe it as a cure-all, and secondly it is a great boon for the cash-flow of pharmacies and dispensing doctors, as the cost of the medication can run into the thousands of rands per month.

Efficiency of Roaccutane / Accutane Roaccutane Accutane Side Effects Efficiency clearing up acne vitamin A

Although the efficiency of the medication for severe (with the emphasis on severe) recalcitrant nodular acne is not disputed, it does have some unwanted side effects, which according to the product insert include the following

Side effects of Roaccutane / Accutane Roaccutane Accutane Side Effects Efficiency clearing up acne vitamin A

Apart from these, some other side effects have also been reported by people using Roaccutane:

  • Dry skin

  • Eczema

  • Photosensitivity

  • Sweating

  • Nail dystrophy

  • Lethargy

  • Back pain

  • Epilepsy

  • Headaches

  • Skin fragility

  • Liver dysfunction

  • Nosebleeds

  • Dry mouth and nose

  • Sore, cracked and sensitive lips

  • Conjunctivitis

  • Blurred vision

  • Nausea

  • Irritability

  • Decreased concentration

The above lists would be enough to scare off most people, yet people that suffer the agony of acne not clearing up would go to any lengths to find a cure.

healing cream helps acne zits

And although Roaccutane does help with severe recalcitrant acne, the manufacturer states very clearly that they do not fully understand why the active ingredient - a synthetic stereoisomer of all-trans retinoic acid - helps with the condition.

This statement alone leaves a feeling of quiet discomfort, since the learned researchers of Hoffman-La-Roche should after all these years (was first formulated in 1971) have been able to find out why this schedule 5 medication does what it is suppose to do.

People of all ages get acne, but it is more prevalent in Caucasian people between 12 and 24 but can extend into their 30s and 40s.

Before people with acne consulted a dermatologist, they normally tried a variety of topical (applied to the skin) over the counter medications which could include a variety of active ingredients from benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid to sulfur - and these preparations are normally sufficient to sort out the problem.

Some of these over the counter medications can also cause side effects such as skin irritation, redness etc and care should also be exercised when using them.

Prescription topical medication is also used which would include antibiotics, adapalene and azeleic acid and tretinoin .

Oral prescription medication for acne would include a selection of antibiotics such as tetracycline, minocycline, doxycycline etc. For women, a low dose estrogen pill may also be prescribed - such as a birth control pill.

Although there are various ideas on the effect of diet and acne, nutrition does play a part. Some medical people are still divided about the inclusion of supplemental zinc and acne, yet there are published research documents that show very positive effects on acne when dietary zinc was added to the patient's diet.

The old idea of chocolates, greasy foods and cool drinks in relation to acne has no conclusive proof, yet it is still best to try and limit these items when having problems with your skin and to follow a well balanced diet, which would include a fair helping of fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as salads, and enough dietary fiber and water.

Guidelines for dealing with an acne skin Roaccutane Accutane Side Effects Efficiency clearing up acne vitamin A

People suffering from acne must keep a few simple things in mind:

  • If you are suffering from severe cystic acne - see a dermatologist.

  • Use a good facial wash that will assist in keeping your skin clean, and rather stay away from harsh soaps and scrubs, since although you may feel that the stronger the soap the better the result, it is really the opposite that is true.

  • Do not pick, squeeze or pinch the blemishes - you could cause scars.

  • If you shave - do so carefully and make sure that you soften the beard properly with warm water and a mild soap before using your shaving foam - it causes less stress when shaving since the beard is softer.

  • Do not suntan - although it may temporarily hide the redness and blemishes, sun tanning can have a negative influence on some skin medication (topical and oral) and can cause permanent damage and premature ageing.

  • Choose your skincare range with care - the skincare range should be formulated for problem skin, and should not excessively dry the skin. People suffering from acne have the mistaken idea that the more drying a product, the better the result in clearing up the acne. This is not true - you still need moisturizing and protection - so keep away from oily or greasy products.

  • Keep make-up to a minimum. Although most people would like to hide acne under layers of base and foundation, it is the worst thing that you can do.

  • A regular visit to a beauty salon (for both women and men) should also be considered where a trained therapist would be able to gently tend to the skin, and use products formulated to assist in clearing up skin problems.

In closing, let us just state that we think that Roaccutane (Accutane) can be a most helpful drug to assist with problematic acne, but that the prescribing of this potent drug, must be done with great care, and only to people who really need it.

Previous newsletters

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Articles of interest

Ageless herbal product range

Our Ageless herbal product range

Skin care

  • Healing cream
    • To assist in wound healing while soothing skin complaints – such as eczema and psoriasis, acne and piles and moisturizing and protecting the skin. This product has shown its effectiveness over a wide range of problems and judging from sales over more than a decade – it is the trusted healing cream to help with all mishaps, allergic reactions, irritated, burning, itchy and uncomfortable skin conditions.
  • Face wash
    • This face wash will properly clean your face and remove all impurities and environmental pollutants, without drying the skin. It contains eight herbal extracts to help promote a clear, vital and healthy complexion and a younger looking skin.
  • Moisturizing day cream
    • This day cream is formulated to help fight the signs of aging on various fronts. It helps to reduce free radical damage which, if left unchecked, leads to premature aging. The herbal extracts help to promote cell rejuvenation and regeneration and provide moisture and hydration to the skin.
  • Nourishing night cream
    • This nourishing night cream penetrates the skin extremely well and does not make the skin feel oily. It contains a host of herbal extracts to help in the fight against premature aging and has added vitamin E as well. Apart from the moisturizing effect and the anti-aging properties it also softens and smoothes the skin.
  • Eye gel
    • An effective refreshing eye gel to help reduce puffiness and dark rings around the eyes, while fighting wrinkles and lines. This is a very clever combination of herbal extracts and the base formula has its roots in a clinically proven formula.
  • Mud face mask
    • With this skin treatment product we combined a special selection of herbs in a base of thermal mud with oligoelements. This recommended weekly treatment will boost circulation to the skin, help to fight wrinkles and lines, improve firmness while at the same time improving suppleness and elasticity of the skin.


Hair care

  • Shampoo with rosemary extract + 7 other herbals
    • Our shampoo is in a class of its own – and granted – it is far more expensive than cheap supermarket shampoos, but no other shampoo has the active ingredients we have in our shampoo. The rosemary will boost the health of the hair and scalp, while the other seven herbal extracts will help strengthen the hair and make it shine, increase the volume and make it manageable.
  • Rosemary hair treatment conditioner
    • We have found that this hair conditioner should really be used as a conditioning treatment. This then removes the need to condition the hair every time you wash – and can be used once a month. It is a superb hair tonic and helps in the control of sebum secretion of the scalp. Although not formulated for dandruff – the ingredients will assist with this as well, while supporting the health of the scalp.


Specialized herbal gels and lotions

  • Hand and body lotion
    • When formulating this hand and body lotion we created a rich nourishing, protecting and reviving lotion, which will not leave the skin oily or tacky, but will create a well moisturized, hydrated and supple skin. After applying this lotion it will quickly be absorbed by the skin, leaving it silky soft, smooth and well moisturized.
  • Stretch mark gel
    • Although nothing can remove already formed stretch marks (only surgery can do that) – thousands of satisfied clients confirm that this gel improves the appearance of old stretch marks. The gel will help in PREVENTING stretch marks (a 92% success rate) and is used with great success by expectant mothers and body builders who may form marks when bulking-up. The formula of this gel is based on clinical studies done in France, to which we added other herbal extracts.
  • Cellulite gel
    • Fighting cellulite is easy with this herbal cellulite gel. It contains a patented extract of Bayberry (Myriceline) and nine other plant extracts and essential oils. The gel will help to get rid of cellulite (which has been clinically proven) and will also help to prevent cellulite from forming. So now it is easy to get your soft body contours back again.


Herbal supplements

  • Apple cider vinegar (liquid) with Centella asiatica
    • The health benefits of apple cider vinegar are combined with the therapeutic properties of Centella asiatica. This old folk remedy is still used with great effect by thousands of people daily.
  • Digest capsules
    • If your digestive system is under-par and you struggle with constipation or you simply need to boost the health of your digestive system then this capsule is for you. Fenugreek is a general digestive tonic and psyllium is a magical bulking agent that will help proper bowel movements, without using a laxative.
  • Detox capsules
    • Our modern day lifestyle exposes us to many unwanted additive and our diet also places stress on the body. To help the body get rid of toxins and waste materials naturally we combined fennel, basil, celery and parsley to help the body remove these toxins. It peps-up your metabolism and helps the bladder, kidneys and liver to do their work more effectively.
  • Urinary and bladder health capsules
    • Using an all natural approach, our capsules will help the discomfort and burning urine sensation of urinary tract infection and help clear up foul smelling urine. We combined cranberry, dandelion, uva ursi and vitamin C in a single capsule to effectively fight bladder infections and to stop the burning sensation when urinating.
  • Tri- Mushroom blend capsules
    • If you need an immune system boost then have a look at our combination of maitake, reishi and shiitake mushrooms. These mushrooms have showed to be a great help in boosting the immune system – and form a good nutritional supplement support for HIV/Aids patients and people receiving chemotherapy. Any person with even a slightly compromised immune system may benefit from this supplement.
  • Olive leaf extract capsules
    • This natural detoxifier helps with a variety of ailments and people with chronic fatigue syndrome, infections, glandular fever (Epstein Barr), and even candida and herpes have found it of value. Olive leaf extract helps to fight bacteria, viruses, retroviruses, and protozoa and yeast strains. Apart from fighting all of these problems it also helps to improve kidney function and fights free radicals.
  • Sexual supplement (previously known as Vuka Nkuzi)
    • Men normally don’t admit when they have a declining libido although it is a most common problem. We combine in this supplement seven different natural ingredients to boost sexual health – without any side effects often experienced with such medication. After more than a decade, and thousands of regular Vuka Nkuzi clients we still offer this well priced supplement to boost the libido.


Other products

  • Jojoba oil
    • This liquid golden ester not only moisturizes and penetrates the skin but also helps to fight wrinkles and lines while promoting a clear and unblemished skin. Jojoba does not clog the pores but helps to restore skin elasticity and smoothness. It will leave the skin supple and velvety soft without any oiliness and can be used neat on the skin.
  • Almond oil
    • This light and deeply moisturizing oil has a softening effect on the skin and can be used on the face and body. Almond oil has excellent emollient properties and helps to balance water and moisture loss in the skin. It can be used neat on the skin and also makes an excellent massage base.

Herbal information

Herbal encyclopedia

Different uses of medicinal herbs

Explanation of the therapeutic properties of herbs

List of ailments and herbs that may be useful

Information on individual herbs

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