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Switching From Adobe Creative Suite to Alternatives

Adobe shocked many in May 2013 when they moved from selling retail box software to their ‘Creative Cloud’ monthly subscription model costing £46 per month for individuals – that’s over £550 per year. Currently CS6 sells for around £1200, so that’s equivalent to buying the software every two years. Many people will skip several releases if there are no tangible benefits, or simply because of the cost. So what alternatives are there?

Adobe products cover a wide variety of disciplines – web design, image and video editing, design and layout and DVD authoring to name but a few. The best way to break this down is to look at like-for-like replacements. There are some products that will be difficult to replace; for example, if you use Dreamweaver’s templates to design a single file that maintains the look and feel across a website then moving to an alternative HTML editor will be problematic.

Let’s take a look at the key products:

Alternatives to Adobe PhotoShop

For many years PhotoShop has been the leading image editing package, but there are plenty of free or paid for alternatives. Corel has several in its portfolio to meet most needs. Paintshop Pro, at around £50 is the entry level. Painter takes it up a notch, and also supports PhotoShop files, but at £219 starts to get pricey. The CorelDraw Suite includes Corel PhotoPAINT, which is an incredibly powerful alternative. It has all of the main features that you’ll generally use, along with a plethora of of filters. The Smart Carver allows you to easily remove unwanted areas from photos and also adjust the photo’s aspect ratio. As a complete package the CorelDraw Suite offers a formidable arsenal of tools, but at £479 it’s not cheap either. Corel’s Painter takes things up a notch, with native Photoshop file support and excellent brush control, so if you are serious about ‘digital painting’ rather than just basic image manipulation then this with consideration. At the time of writing Corel and bundling Painter as a free inclusion with CorelDraw suite – normally it’d set you back £275 alone.

Corel PaintShop Pro is their third image editing solution at a more pocket-friendly £60. It doesn’t have the steep learning curve of the previous packages, so would be suitable for beginners and intermediates alike. It comes with all of the usual filters that you’re likely to want, such as Artistic, Film Styles, Black & White and Landscape. A range of ‘makeover tools’ allow for easy removal of blemishes, wrinkes and red-eye, and photo restoration tools such as scratch removal, cloning and fade correction cover just about all of the correction tools that day to day users are likely to want.

Outside of the Corel fold there are still several options. The open source GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) has a rather unorthodox interface for many, but its well supported and of course free. Paint.net is another free alternative and prides itself on performing well, even on lower spec computers, and has an interface not disimillar to Photoshop.

Alternatives to Adobe Premiere Pro

Adobe’s flagship video editing package has ruled the roost on PCs for some time. Apple users have been loyal to Final Cut Pro, but version X was too dumbed down for many, causing a mass exodus to alternative products. Sony Vegas did very well out of that! Vegas is Sony’s higher end product, costing around £400, however their entry level product, Movie Studio retails for around £60. I wanted to get as like for like comparison as I could for the most reasonable price. After lengthy comparisons I took a look at Corel VideoStudio X6 Ultimate. In addition to the now standard features of titling and motion tracking it now includes a plethora of new features, such as support for Ultra high Definition 4k footage editing, a very powerful titling system including the renowned Boris Graffiti system, and the ability to produce content for Blu-ray, DVD and the latest range of smartphones and tablets. It’s more socially aware too, with the ability to upload to Facebook or YouTube. You can even create stop motion photography by linking in a DSLR camera. Using the software was pretty intuitive, and Corel has produced a library of videos on all major tutorials for those that don’t want to wade through a manual. The Ultimate version retails at £80 inc VAT, with the Pro version (minus a few features) at £60 – for the extra £20 I’d got Ultimate personally… Pinnacle Studio is another suite worth considering, which retails for around $60. There is an Open Source video editing tool – VideoLAN’s VLMC. VLMC was not actually available at the time of writing, but the screenshots suggest a basic timeline-based editor that should meet the needs of editing those holiday or mobile videos.

Alternatives to Adobe Illustrator

Illustrator is Adobe’s vector based DTP software. Certainly in publishing circles it’s seen as the de facto standard, but there are several viable alternatives. Starting again with Corel is the CorelDraw Suite. If you were looking to replace both Photoshop and Illustrator then Corel ticks both of those boxes with PhotoPAINT and CorelDraw. The shipped DVD comes with an expansive library of additional tools, templates, cliparts, images and fonts. Having used both Illustrator and CorelDraw I can say that my preference has generally been with the latter. The interface is intuitive, the boundaries are blurred between DTP and image manipulation (as there’s a number of image tweaks and filters that you can apply from within CorelDraw). Moving on to the free and lower cost route, Inkscape is Open Source and available for both Windows and Mac which covers most of the features that you’d want, such as opacity and gradient controls. Serif DrawPlus, Skencil and Xara Xtreme are three others worth consideration.

Alternatives to Adobe InDesign

Adobe InDesign is a desktop publishing program that can be used to create various types of content – brochures, magazines, e-books, posters etc. The lines are a little blurred between InDesign and Illustrator for many, as either can be used for certain tasks. As such, several of the products listed above could be suitable, so make a note of your specific requirements and research each alternative to ensure it meets your needs. If you have a subscription to Office 365 or have purchased one of the higher end Office packages then Microsoft Publisher is also a suitable alternative. Quark Express is another old favourite for many, although pricey at around £800. On the Open Source side you can try Scribus.

Alternatives to Adobe Dreamweaver

For me this is a tricky one. I’ve used Dreamweaver since version 3, when it was a Macromedia product. It’s a strong, solid product that is hard to match. The biggest problem is that if you’ve written a number of sites using Dreamweaver then you will undoubtedly have built the site using Dreamweaver’s templating system. That means moving to an alternative product would require you to rework all of your templates and then apply the new templates to all pages. This could be difficult, even impossible across a live site. Also, if you use other Adobe products such as Flash or ColdFusion then Dreamweaver is the ideal enabler for these products. But if you are just looking for a good HTML editor then there are plenty of free alternatives to Dreamweaver. Microsoft surprisingly have a free product, called Expression Web. Another great product is Kompozer, which is open source. SeaMonkey is more of a suite of applications (including web browser, mail, IRC, HTML editor and developer tools. None of these will resolve the issue of templates, but for standard HTML and CSS editing they should suffice.

Alternatives to Adobe Flash

The alternative you select for Flash will depend very much on what you currently use Flash for. If you are using it simply to play movies online, then YouTube will do a better job – it provides multiple sizes, will play on any device (including iPads/iPhones/iPods) and you don’t even have to host it. For most other web requirements HTML5 is replacing Flash, however if you are not an accomplished HTML/CSS programmer then you are going to have a very steep learning curve. I use Flash now only to maintain some demo CD frontends – Flash has the capability to create an executable, which works well on a CD. The closest thing to emulate Flash is Microsoft Silverlight, but this is nowhere near as well supported and again would require a steep learning curve. For many, Flash is a dying product. Apple famously went to war with Adobe over Flash by disallowing it from run on their iOS-powered devices, which effectively enforced a mass exodus of developers. Nobody wants to develop for a dying product.

Alternatives to Adobe Fireworks

Adobe stopped developing Fireworks in May 2013. To be honest, I never saw the appeal of it, given that I’d also used PhotoShop which could do pretty much the same thing. Fireworks did have the ability to slice and dice an image into web friendly files, but in the age of CSS this is less relevant than before. Therefore I suggest you consider one of the PhotoShop alternatives mentioned earlier, as they’ll do much the same as Fireworks did.

Alternatives to Adobe After Effects

After Effects is a video edting suite that allows you to apply special effects such as green screening, animations, text overlays and much more. It enjoys tight integration with Adobe Premiere, which again will make it difficult for power users to migrate. But it can be done! Blender is a free and well respected open source alternative. Blender’s key features include video editing, 3D modeling, texturing, UV unwrapping, particle simulation, fluid and smoke simulation, animating, and compositing. Eyeon Software’s Fusion is a paid-for solution in use by many Holywood studios, so has the credentials to back it up. Unfortunately I could not find pricing information on their website.

Alternatives to Adobe Audition

Audition is a sound editing and mixing application. The application you choose to replace Audition will depend very much on your requirements. If you only need to edit a single file, perhaps apply some filters or noise reductions, then this will widen your suitable application list considerably. If you want to mix multiple tracks or need more advanced capabilities there are still options out there, but you’ll need to be a little more selective. On the Mac the most well-known product is GarageBand. The open source fraternity is abundent with options; Audacity, LMSS, Ardour and Traverso DAW are all free and capable tools.

Alternatives to Adobe Encore

Encore is Adobe’s DVD authoring suite. It’s a very capable tool, and allows you to make DVDs with subtitles, chapters, scene selection, multi-lingual and multi sound channels, to name but a few features. I’ve never been a major fan of Encore, finding it buggy and slow, taking literally hours to render a disc. Microsoft has one of the best free alternatives, with Windows DVD maker – a part of Windows Live Essentials. It has a simple interface, but within literally a couple of minutes you can drag in a movie, select a theme and start burning – depending on the speed of your PC you can have a high quality disc burnt within 15-30 minutes. The one big caveat is that it’s not available for Windows 8. Corel’s Video Studio Ultimate Suite again covers the main functions of creating menus and subtitles, so if you’re replacing Premiere it’s a no-brainer to select it to replace Encore as well. The Nero suite of applications also allows you to create DVDs, and has a host of other video and audio applications besides, so it’s worth considering. Pinnacle Studio, mentioned earlier, also has the ability to author DVDs, although their website is unclear how much control you have over the process. Sony Vegas Platinum includes both DVD and Blu-Ray authoring, with full menu creation and control. Other notable products include ManDVD, DVD Flick, Ashampoo Burning Studio.

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Stop! My Kid Can’t Eat That: Food Allergies In Children

In the middle of the night in Atlanta, I got a frantic call from my daughter in Chicago. “Daddy, I’m so sorry to wake you, but Michael just ate a little piece of cashew and now his face is swollen and he’s breaking out in a rash all over his body.” Once I realized that her voice wasn’t just part of some bad dream, I gave my doctor’s orders: “Give him Benadryl and take him to the emergency room immediately!”

As a board-certified allergist for 25 years, I recognized that my grandson was having a potentially serious allergic reaction and that his symptoms could get worse-much worse. Fortunately, by the time they arrived at the hospital, the swelling had subsided and his hives had resolved.

Even though my grandson’s diagnosis was easy to make, food allergies can be one of the most frustrating and complex allergy issues facing physicians, patients, and families. If you consider the unlimited number of foods and additives we consume today, the variable time between ingestion and allergic reaction, and the varied and often-subtle symptoms, it seems miraculous when an allergy-triggering food is actually identified.

Food Allergies In Children: A Disturbing Trend

Ask anyone who raised children 25 years ago if they ever heard of food allergies back then, and the likely answer will be no. Yet today, who doesn’t know a child-if not several kids-who have severe food allergies? Pediatricians and allergists are observing first-hand that food allergies in infants and children have increased to epidemic proportions over the last few decades. Studies have shown that in the under-18 age group, the prevalence of reported food allergies increased 18% between 1997 and 2007. Approximately 4% of Americans are estimated to have food allergies. That’s more than 12 million individuals. The prevalence of food allergies is even higher-6% to 8%-in infants and young children under three years old.

Any type of food can trigger an outbreak, yet the “Big 8” account for more than 90% of all cases: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat. Sesame is quickly becoming another common cause of allergies, especially in those with Mediterranean diets. The good news is that the incidence of documented food allergies decreases with age, probably due to the development of tolerance in children allergic to milk, wheat, soy, and eggs. Of the 2.5% of children allergic to milk, approximately 80% will “outgrow” their allergy by age five. Kids with peanut or tree nut allergies aren’t as lucky: Recent studies have shown that only about 10% to 20% of children will lose their allergy as they age.

Pediatric Food Allergies: Instantaneous Outbreak Of the two main types of allergies, the “immediate hypersensitivity reaction” gets the most hype, probably because you can see the symptoms (whether it’s hives or swelling) right away. The other kind is aptly named “delayed hypersensitivity reaction.” Otherwise known as IgE-mediated, the immediate allergic reaction is the best understood and the most easily diagnosed. Yet it can also be the most serious. When the proteins in an allergenic food come in contact with an IgE antibody (located in the skin, gut, and airways, or in the blood), a cascade of cellular events occurs resulting in the release of histamine and a multitude of other chemical mediators. The rapid release of the histamine and other chemicals is what causes the allergic reaction. The outbreak, which generally occurs within minutes of ingestion, can be relatively mild or severe. Moderate symptoms might include a rash, generalized itching and redness of the skin, facial or eyelid swelling, abdominal cramping, vomiting and/or diarrhea. These can be treated with a quick-acting antihistamine and tend to run their course over a few minutes to hours. The most severe reaction is called anaphylaxis, which can occur instantaneously or a few minutes after ingestion. As a general rule, the quicker the onset of symptoms, the more serious the reaction is likely to be. Symptoms of anaphylaxis might include those mentioned above, but can also rapidly progress to breathing difficulties and chest tightness (due to bronchial constriction and swelling of the airways), a drop in blood pressure leading to shock-and even death. Epinephrine (also known as adrenalin), which is available for self-injection in the form of an Epipen and other auto-injectors, must be given immediately and repeated if necessary. Foods that commonly cause severe reactions include peanuts, tree nuts, fish, sesame seeds, milk, and eggs. The most serious reaction I ever witnessed resulted from the ingestion of a single pine nut. That tiny seed (it’s not really a nut) transformed a healthy teenager into a critically ill patient within a matter of minutes. Fortunately, the patient recovered, but anaphylaxis can be fatal if not treated immediately and aggressively. If your child has ever had an immediate allergic reaction to a food, you should consult with a board-certified allergist. To identify or confirm the symptom-triggering food, the allergist will likely give a few tests, either through the skin or blood. From there, you and your allergist can come up with a plan to eliminate the food from your child’s diet and discuss prevention and management of future reactions.

Delayed Allergic Reactions: Subtle Yet Elusive

While less dangerous in terms of one’s immediate health, the “delayed allergic reaction” can be much more difficult to diagnose and treat. As the name implies, it can take hours or even days after ingestion for the symptoms to show up, making it harder to establish a cause-and- effect relationship. The typical symptoms can involve several organ systems and may be quite subtle in their presentation. In addition to the classic allergy symptoms (think nasal congestion, a runny nose, and a rash), delayed reactions may also present with very vague and nonspecific symptoms, such as frequent headaches, recurrent or chronic abdominal pain, fatigue and lethargy, irritability, dark circles under the eyes, leg pains, and recurrent ear or sinus infections.

Part of the difficulty in diagnosing these food reactions is that there’s no reliable allergy test that can accurately identify or predict a delayed outbreak. Skin testing and blood tests aren’t helpful because they only measure the IgE antibody, which is responsible for immediate reactions. Research has not yet identified the antibody or antibodies responsible for delayed reactions, although there has been considerable interest and research in the possible role of the IgG antibody. Blood tests to measure this antibody are available, but its reliability as a predictor of delayed allergy has not yet been established.

So how can you figure out if your child’s symptoms are the result of something he or she is eating? The best method we have right now is to eliminate the suspected food (or drink) from your kid’s diet for four weeks. If you notice a significant improvement in symptoms, you’re ready for the challenge phase: Serve the food in question for several days straight. If the symptoms start recurring, you can be relatively sure that a cause-and-effect relationship has been established. Even after avoiding the food culprit, it can still take a few weeks for symptoms to completely disappear, so be patient.

By far, milk and other dairy products are the most common cause of this type of reaction. Over the years, many teenagers have walked into my office with their parents complaining about stomach discomfort and profound tiredness. By the time they’ve come to see me, they’ve usually been through various tests and have seen multiple physicians, including gastroenterologists, and have often been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome. After hearing about their saga and symptoms-and seeing the dark circles under their eyes and their pale, sallow complexion-I can usually tell that it’s a dairy allergy. Fortunately, many responded dramatically to a few weeks off of milk. They couldn’t believe that the innocent act of drinking milk and eating dairy products could make them feel so ill-and that avoiding these products could restore their good health and vitality in such a short time.

Food Allergy Cross-Reactivity

If you’re like me, you may have a food allergy that’s directly connected to your sensitivity to tree and weed pollens. Called “oral allergy syndrome,” this condition shows up when there’s a cross-reactivity between tree or weed pollens and corresponding foods that share a common allergen. For example, because ragweed pollen and foods in the gourd family share a common allergen, people allergic to ragweed may exhibit symptoms after ingesting foods such as melons (watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew), zucchini, cucumber, and bananas. Because I’m allergic to ragweed pollen, I cannot eat melons or ripe bananas without developing intense itching in my throat. If you’re sensitive to birch tree pollen, you may react to apples, pears, and apricots. Celery may be a problem for those allergic to mugwort pollen.

The typical symptoms, which are generally mild and transitory, are itching of the throat, mouth, and tongue. That aggravating throat itch often compels sufferers to rub their tongue against the soft palate, making a characteristic “clucking” sound. The vast majority of patients experience symptoms within five minutes of ingestion. Depending on the time of year, the presentation can be affected by the particular pollen season. The upside of this condition, which is the most common food-related allergy in adults, is that symptoms are only caused by the ingestion of raw or uncooked fruits or vegetables. The heating process that occurs during cooking breaks down the allergic protein, so you can eat boiled, baked, fried, or roasted fruits and veggies without triggering symptoms.

Allergies In Infants

Because of their age, newborns and infants can be especially sensitive to food allergies. Symptoms may include colic, irritability, excessive spitting and vomiting, rashes (including eczema or hives), nasal symptoms (such as congestion and runny nose), coughing or wheezing, and other gastrointestinal symptoms (diarrhea, bloody stools, or constipation). There can also be poor weight gain. Allergies in infants up to age one are almost always caused by food-most commonly cow’s milk. Yet a baby doesn’t have to drink milk straight for symptoms to break out: The proteins in cow’s milk can enter the baby’s system through some commercial formulas, as well as by passing through the mother’s milk during nursing. A small percentage of milk-allergic babies are also allergic to soy.

In recent years, researchers have devoted themselves to understanding the disturbing rise of food allergies, especially in infants and kids. What they have discovered is leading allergists and physicians to dramatically revise recommendations on how and when we introduce foods to infants. For many decades, the time-honored and well-established approach was to delay the introduction of highly allergenic foods into the infant’s diet to prevent the emergence of food allergies. For example, solid foods are generally not recommended until six months of age, cow’s milk until one year, eggs until two years, and peanuts, tree nuts, and fish until three years. There is also a widely accepted notion that breast feeding alone for the first six months of life will minimize or delay the onset of food allergies and other allergic diseases (including asthma), as well as atopic dermatitis or eczema.

The latest medical evidence, however, is debunking these age-old theories. Indeed, the recommendation to delay the introduction of foods to infants as a means of preventing food allergies may be the wrong approach altogether. Recent studies have revealed very credible scientific evidence to suggest that the common practice of delaying the introduction of cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts, and other foods may increase the child’s risk of developing food allergies. And, even more importantly, there is evidence to suggest that the early introduction of allergenic foods may actually prevent the development of the allergy to that food. As an example, a recent study demonstrated that children in England were ten times more likely to be allergic to peanuts than children in Israel. One very strong hypothesis to explain this finding is the fact that Israeli infants are introduced to peanuts, generally through Bamba (a Peanut flavored snack that is used as a teething food), at about six months of age. On the other hand, children in England are generally not introduced to peanuts in any form until approximately three years of age. This study is just one of many that strongly suggest that an early introduction to certain foods can help babies build desensitization, thereby decreasing the risk of developing a food allergy.

Managing Severe Allergies

Historically, the treatment of serious food allergies has consisted of avoiding exposure and ingestion of the allergenic food, and making antihistamines and epinephrine immediately available. Total abstinence is indeed difficult and often impossible, as evidenced by the large number of accidental ingestions and allergic reactions that have resulted in emergency room visits. Even with strict avoidance measures, the potential for sudden and life-threatening outbreaks can lead to extreme anxiety in both the child-and the parent.

Fortunately, medical research has now proven that orally-administered immunotherapy can result in a significant degree of desensitization, or tolerance, to a given food in most allergic patients. This form of therapy, however, is associated with a significant amount of risk and should only be performed under the watchful eye of a board-certified allergist experienced in oral tolerance induction. Presently in the United States, this form of desensitization is being performed at a few highly-acclaimed medical centers.

An Allergy-Free Future

With all the time and money being put into food allergy research, there is excitement in the medical field about the possibility of new breakthroughs in the near future-both in prevention and treatment. I, for one, am optimistic that a safe and effective treatment is close at hand.

Robert M. Cohen, M.D. is the creator and CEO of [http://www.TheOnlineAllergist.com], a site dedicated to providing online tools to better educate allergic and asthmatic individuals and to provide resources to better manage these conditions from the perspective of practicing allergists.

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The Many Benefits of Aerobics Cardio Exercises

Exercise is always good. However, not many people realize the many benefits of aerobics cardio exercises. It’s more advantageous than anaerobic or flexibility exercises but that’s not the only reason why more people choose go with this. The main obvious reason happens to because it can be really enjoyable. However, if you really want to be specific and know the many benefits of an aerobic/cardio exercise, then read on.

Weight Management

Lots of people know that aerobics and other cardiovascular exercises help you to maintain your weight. It raises your metabolic rate while helping you to burn calories. Your metabolic activity can still be heightened even after you spent hours of aerobic/cardiovascular exercises. It can reduce your overall body fat (particularly in the waist), while at the same time decreasing your blood pressure. Another reason why it’s good for weight management is that it reduces your hunger pangs. It suppresses the need to eat a lot by increasing your leptin levels. Leptin is a protein hormone that helps you to regulate your energy intake and expenditure (which includes appetite and metabolism).

Disease Prevention

Aerobics cardio exercises are known to reduce the risk of many chronic diseases. Due to lowered blood pressure, reduced LDL cholesterol, improved HDL cholesterol, you can worry less about developing diabetes (type 2), osteoporosis, heart disease (which includes coronary artery disease, and coronary heart disease angina), and even cancer. The fact that an aerobic/cardio workout reduces your body weight, contributes to the fact that you’re less likely to develop these types of illnesses. Aside from that, your bone density will also significantly improve if you do some aerobic/cardio exercises. It also lessens the risk of insulin sensitivity by helping you to manage your blood glucose levels. The reduced workload in your pancreas helps to combat metabolic syndrome, apart from helping to protect you from adult-onset diabetes and insulin sensitivity. With regular exercise, you can be assured of stopping the wild fluctuations of your blood sugar flow.

Other Benefits

Aerobics cardio exercises also have other benefits other than the major ones that are mentioned above. Below is a list.

* An aerobic/cardio exercise helps you to reduce chronic pain because of your body’s release of natural painkillers called endorphins.
* Aerobic/cardio exercises helps to enhance your immune system and fight off colds, flu, and other infections.
* It makes your body more alert and significantly increases your IQ as well.
* It makes your body heal a lot faster.
* It enhances your mobility, agility, and overall strength.
* It improves your muscle health by stimulating the growth of capillaries in them for better oxygen delivery.
* Aerobic exercises improve your balance and coordination. This is particularly helpful for those who are just recovering from a recent injury or surgery.
* It basically reduces your overall stress. Lower stress means better sleeping patterns, minimal anxiety, and no depression.

Aerobics cardio exercises are certainly very beneficial. There are probably more benefits that are not mentioned in this article, but you can be assured that the ones listed here are the most significant. To play it safe, always consult your doctor before you attempt an exercise that might strain your body.

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Acupuncture and Moxibustion Treatments – Healing Power and Its Wide Range

Acupuncture and Moxibustion is a medical treatment that has been practiced for thousands of years in China and other Asian countries as well as now around the world. It is used as a means of treating and preventing disease. Acupuncture treatment involves the insertion of fine, sterile needles into specific sites (acupuncture points) along the body’s meridians to clear energy blockages and encourage the normal flow of energy (Qi) through the individual.

The general theory of acupuncture is based on the premise that there are patterns of energy flow (Qi) through the body that are essential for health. Disruptions of this flow are believed to be responsible for disease. Acupuncture corrects imbalances of flow at identifiable points close to the skin. Today, acupuncture is an effective, natural and increasingly popular form of health care that is used by people whole over the world.

Acupuncture needles are so fine that there is no discomfort when they are inserted but a slight tingle (known as needle sensation) may be experienced. The needles are usually left in for approximately twenty minutes to more; during this time there may be a heaviness of the limbs and a feeling of relaxation. The Doctor / practitioner may also stimulate the acupuncture points using other methods, such as moxibustion (a traditional technique that involves the burning of mugwort, a small, spongy herb used to facilitate healing), cupping and electro-stimulation etc. in order to re-establish the flow of qi.

Since Acupuncture and moxibustion Medicine promotes the body’s natural healing ability, many conditions can be treated. It is also a comprehensive system of preventative health care and maintenance. The effectiveness of acupuncture is well-documented. Throughout its long history, acupuncture has established a solid reputation as an excellent alternative for health care that actually works, and is very effective to treat some diseases, where other methods of treatment could not achieve good result or failed.

An Acupuncture medicine doctor should possess adequate knowledge and experience for providing proper treatment to his/her patients. To avoid the unwanted complications in Acupuncture treatment please avoid taking treatment by quack / fake Acupuncturist. There are many around us without proper qualifications. Because inadequate knowledge and experience may lead to serious medical problems.

The World Health Organization recognizes Acupuncture as a viable means of treatment for a wide range of conditions. In an official report, Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials, the WHO has listed the following symptoms, diseases and conditions that have been shown through controlled trials to be treated effectively by acupuncture:

low back pain, neck pain, sciatica, tennis elbow, knee pain, periarthritis of the shoulder, sprains, facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders), headache, dental pain, tempromandibular (TMJ) dysfunction, rheumatoid arthritis, induction of labor, correction of malposition of fetus (breech presentation), morning sickness, nausea and vomiting, postoperative pain, stroke, essential hypertension, primary hypotension, renal colic, leucopenia, adverse reactions to radiation or chemotherapy, allergic rhinitis, including hay fever, biliary colic, depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke), acute bacillary dysentery, primary dysmenorrhea, acute epigastralgia, peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis.

In the field of acupuncture some good clinical researches have been completed, and there has also been some follow-up assessment of many of the conditions that have been treated by Acupuncture Doctors. Some diseases are more successfully treated by acupuncture and Moxibustion where other methods of treatment could not achieve good result or failed. Though this method of treatment has already been started in our country but due to quite less number of medically qualified acupuncture doctors available in our country and lack of proper perception about the application of this method in some specific diseases, the patients are depriving from the advantages of Acupuncture & Moxibustion treatment.

So, I have made an attempt to provide little information about the effects of Acupuncture and Moxibustion in few diseases. Many of the facts and figures quoted in the following sections are the results of my own experience and clinical trials carried out in China and others countries.

Diseases of the Muscles, Bones and Joints:
The muscles, bones and joints are usually called collectively the musculo-skeletal system. When disease or damage occurs to this system it nearly always results in pain, and most people use words such as rheumatism or arthritis to describe this type of pain.

There are three main types of damage that occur to the musculo-skeletal system; the first is a sudden injury or sprain which might be a domestic injury, or might be incurred during a sporting activity or in a car accident. This usually causes local pain and bruising lasting for a few days, or even a few weeks or more. The other main group is arthritis and this can be divided into two important types, Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Sprains: Sudden injury or sprains usually respond well to acupuncture. The pain resulting from a sprained shoulder, ankle etc will often continue for some days or weeks after the initial injury. Once a clear diagnosis has been made acupuncture can usually be used to relieve this type of pain.

The experience of a many of Acupuncture doctors, shows that, of the people treated for differing acutely painful conditions, about 70 percent obtain swift and significant pain relief. If a fracture of the bone is present then the pain relief gained from acupuncture is less effective than if the injury is due to a strain or tear of the muscles, tendons or ligaments. The main advantage of treating these acute pains with acupuncture is that chronic pain can be avoided. A sudden shoulder injury may produce pain and immobility for many months, sometimes years, but if acupuncture is used when the pain occurs then it seems that chronic pain may be avoided.

Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis and the rheumatic pains that result from this type of joint damage are quite a common problem. People frequently complain that their arthritic knee pain is worse in cold or damp weather and this demonstrates quite clearly the origin of the concept of pathogens in traditional medicine. The pathogen in osteoarthritis is almost always cold or damp and therefore these pains should be treated by moxibustion.

A great deal of research work has been done to investigate the effects of acupuncture on the pain caused by osteoarthritis. Clinical trials have been completed on knee, hip, elbow, neck and lower back pain, and the information from these trials shows that significant pain relief can be achieved in about 70 per cent of those who receive acupuncture. Some work suggests that only 50 per cent of people benefit from acupuncture while other trials show 95 per cent of the patients benefiting. Acupuncture also has a ‘magical quality’ that drugs do not have, so it is difficult to sort out the effects of the ‘magic’ as compared to the real effects of acupuncture. In spite of these problems, acupuncture is a safe and effective form of treatment for osteoarthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: The effects of acupuncture on rheumatoid arthritis are not so clear cut. During the early, acute, inflammatory stage of rheumatoid arthritis there is some evidence to suggest that Acupuncture might worsen the pain (though which usually may subside gradually) and therefore many acupuncturists do not treat acute rheumatoid arthritis. After some months the acute inflammatory stage subsides and the residual joint destruction may then lead to the development of a secondary osteoarthritis. This type of pain is amenable to acupuncture and responds in the same way as other osteoarthritic aches and pains. Chronic pain, due to disease of the musculo-skeletal system, is frequently amenable to acupuncture treatment. The published research shows that pain which has been present for many years can respond as well as pain that has been present for only a few months; therefore, from the available information, it is fair to say that acupuncture is ‘always worth a try’ in this type of condition.

Headaches: Headaches can be due to a multitude of factors; arthritis of the neck, dental problems, psychological problems, sinusitis, stress and tension, and head injury are a few of the many causes. Headaches are a common complaint and a notoriously difficult one to treat effectively, and they can be the cause of a considerable amount of distress and marital disharmony. Acupuncture treatment has been used to treat a wide variety of headaches, particularly migrainous headaches, and the results obtained have been very encouraging. The published work suggests that between 65-95 per cent of all headache sufferers obtain significant and long lasting pain relief from acupuncture treatment. Migraines seem to respond as well as, if not better than, other types of headache. Acupuncture therapy for headaches may cause the headaches to vanish completely, or occur with a markedly decreased intensity and/or frequency. The pain relief resulting from acupuncture treatment can sometimes be maintained for some years and re-treatment is usually required less frequently for headaches.

Diseases of the Nervous System:

Strokes: A stroke is caused by a disturbance of the blood supply to the brain. The blood vessels that normally supply blood to the brain can be compromised by becoming blocked or bleeding. This result in a deficient blood supply to the brain tissue and these events can be precipitated by a variety of factors such as raised blood pressure, hardening of the arteries and severe head injury. The brain is divided into many different functional areas, one area controlling speech, while another dominates the sensations of touch and pain. The functional impairment that occurs with a stroke depends on the area of the brain that is damaged; if the speech area is damaged by a lack of blood supply then the patient may be unable to speak properly. In China, acupuncture is the standard treatment for strokes. In the Western countries, the mainstays of stroke treatment are speech therapy, physiotherapy and occupational therapy, but the Chinese feel that these methods have less to offer than acupuncture medicine. Both scalp and body acupuncture are techniques that can be used to aid recovery from a stroke. The research work suggests that acupuncture increases the blood supply to the brain, and for some unexplained reason this seems to improve functional ability and acts as a stimulus to recovery after a stroke.

Clinical trials completed by the Chinese doctor’s state that some effect can be gained from acupuncture in about 80 per cent of strokes. The success rate claimed is very high but to some extent this success rate is mirrored by the experience of a variety of doctors in the West. Western medicine often has little to offer the stroke patient and therefore acupuncture therapy is always worth considering. Ideally strokes should be treated within six months of the damage occurring. The Chinese doctors also treat their patients for long periods and a stroke patient may receive one hundred or two hundred acupuncture treatment sessions before being declared a success or a failure.

The Neuralgias (Nerve Pain): Trigeminal neuralgia usually presents with severe unilateral facial pain. Its cause is unclear but the painful facial spasms are often precipitated by cold or wind. The Chinese acupuncturist claim to be able to gain improvement, with acupuncture, in about 70 per cent of cases of trigeminal neuralgia. Judging by the experience of Western acupuncturists this success rate represents a rather high figure, although acupuncture can undoubtedly have a beneficial effect on this type of pain.

Postherpetic neuralgia is the pain that occurs after an attack of shingles. Shingles is a viral infection of the nerves, and the nerves affected by shingles can occasionally continue to cause severe pain after the shingles has cleared. It seems that of those patients with established postherpetic neuralgia, about 40 per cent gain some degree of long term benefit from acupuncture treatment. There are a vast number of aches and pains that are often described as neuralgic. Many of these occur as facial pain and most of them cause severe discomfort. It is always worthwhile to attempt to alleviate these pains by using acupuncture treatment.

Anxiety, Depression, Insomnia and Other Nervous Disorders: It is difficult to be objective about the treatment of disorders such as anxiety, Insomnia and depression, as the problems themselves are difficult to assess objectively, and therefore no good clear figures are available about their treatment with acupuncture. In spite of this, many acupuncture doctors, including the Chinese, treat a wide range of ‘mental disorders’ and insomnia (sleep problem) with acupuncture. Many people have stated that acupuncture is clearly effective in helping symptoms such as insomnia and bed-wetting, and can also create a feeling of general well-being. The Chinese doctors have completed trials on some of the more clearly defined and serious mental diseases, such as schizophrenia. In a trial involving over 400 patients they claim a 54 per cent cure rate for this disease, with a further 30 per cent showing ‘significant improvement’. However, from a variety of excellent research papers it is clear that acupuncture can influence quite radically many areas of the central nervous system, as well as neurotransmitters and others brain functions also. Therefore this therapy has a great role in brain related problems or neuro-developmental dysfunction.

Nerve Paralysis: Paralysis can also be treated by a variety of acupuncture techniques. The acupuncture must be continued for a long period. Sometimes daily for six months and the results from some of the Chinese research works are very encouraging. Chinese doctors claim that some 50-60 per cent of patients are likely to gain significant return of function if treated with acupuncture.
Facial paralysis (Bell’s palsy) is a disease of sudden onset that causes one side of the face to lose muscular power; the cause of this is unknown. Acupuncture and moxibustion can be used to treat this and the research claim a 75 per cent complete recovery rate but, again, this disease allows a significant percentage of spontaneous recovery. The Chinese research also claim that a further 20 per cent gain benefit from acupuncture, although not complete recovery. Even allowing for the known level of spontaneous resolution in facial paralysis it does seem that acupuncture has something extra to offer.

Parkinson’s disease, Epilepsy, nerve deafness etc: Acupuncture has been claimed to be effective in Parkinson’s disease, Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, nerve deafness, and a large variety of other problems. According to some studies, Parkinson’s disease may be accompanied by an imbalance of energy along one or more meridians. The muscle stiffness, soreness, imbalance etc. of Parkinson’s may be alleviated by a series of treatments. It is always wise to remember that acupuncture is a harmless technique and can sometimes give excellent results in above casese where other medical methods have failed.

Autism /ASD, Cerebral Palsy etc: Acupuncture along with herbal therapy have been found highly effective for treating children with brain dysfunction, resulting in improvement in the patient’s overall functional abilities. Excellent results are being achieved through simultaneous application of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine in the cases of ASD / Autism and Cerebral Palsy in different countries of the world. There are several research papers, articles etc. that has been published all over the world about the efficacy of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicines in this context. In my clinical practice I am also getting very effective result by applying integration of Acupuncture and Herbal treatment. I noticed that, formulated Herbal Medicine along with acupuncture session gives much result other than only Acupuncture treatment or only Herbal Medicine. Like other diseases, I treated several patients. Some of them improved tremendously just after few days of treatment.

ADD and ADHD: Acupuncture can help the patient to manage the Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), and may provide some relief which will help the patient to gain greater benefit from the therapies available to him or her, and can help with the side effects of those therapies. Taking advantage of everything the medical knowledge of both hemispheres has to offer is a great way to ensure the most effective treatment for this disruptive, often limiting and painful condition. Acupuncture can be an excellent complementary therapy for the treatment of ADD and ADHD. In some cases Acupuncture works as a magic bullet for the treatment of ADD and ADHD. A research showed that, Acupuncture treatment has a good effect on infantile attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, its total effective rate was higher and the changes in abnormal electroencephalogram and the curative effect were better.

Diseases of the Digestive System:
IBS: An increasing number of studies have been conducted on treating IBS, with promising results. These studies have documented that Chinese medicine can effectively treat IBS in a safe and drug-free way.

Indigestion: Exact figures for success rates are not available, but the ‘clinical impression’ that arises from a number of acupuncture doctors indicates that about 60 per cent of patients gain some long-term relief of their symptoms with acupuncture.

Diseases of the Respiratory System:

Asthma: Acupuncture causes the contracted muscular walls to dilate; the mechanism of this is unknown, but there is good Western research data to support this claim. A recent Chinese clinical trial on asthma showed that some 70 percent of asthmatics gained a ‘very good effect’ from acupuncture and moxibustion. The acupuncture treatment was able to decrease the frequency and intensity of asthmatic attacks over a period of a year or more. This result is encouraging as it shows that acupuncture and moxibustion can affect the response of the body to the environmental stimuli causing asthmatic attacks. Our clinical experience also supports this efficacy of Acupuncture and Moxibustion medicine.

Bronchitis: Acupuncture cannot rebuild lung tissue, but by opening up the breathing tubes it can allow the remaining lung tissue to function efficiently. The mechanism of acupuncture in bronchitis is probably much the same as in asthma, allowing more air to enter the lungs. Recent Chinese research works has shown that about 50 per cent of bronchitis ‘benefit’ from acupuncture. The treatment must be repeated regularly if the effect is to be maintained for long period. On the other hand acupuncture treatment also help to control the infection effectively in bronchitis.

Diseases of the Heart and Blood Vessels:
In China it is a common and acceptable form of treatment for some of these problems. A variety of experiments carried out in the western countries give clear support to the idea that acupuncture does have an effect on the circulatory system.

Angina: Using sophisticated measuring equipment the Chinese researchers have completed a variety of trials to assess the effects of acupuncture on the heart, and they have shown a marked increase in the functional ability and efficiency of the heart muscles after acupuncture. This is further supported by clinical work, which shows that some 80 per cent of patients with angina have improved after acupuncture. When acupuncture is used to treat angina a course of treatments is given, and then followed by booster treatments.

The Correction of Abnormal Heart Rhythms: Heart diseases can frequently cause an abnormal rhythm to the heart beat; this may manifest itself as palpitations, an irregular heart beat, or dropped beats. Acupuncture can correct a small number of these arrhythmias. In established atrial fibrillation (irregular heart beats), acupuncture affects a small percentage of cases, some 1.5 per cent, although in recently acquired arrhythmias, acupuncture can be effective in up to 70 per cent of cases.

The Use of Acupuncture in Addiction and Obesity:
A large number of Western countries acupuncturists are using a variety of acupuncture techniques to treat obesity, smoking and hard drug addiction. There is some excellent physiological and clinical evidence to support the use of acupuncture method in these areas. The withdrawal symptoms experienced by people giving up smoking, or drugs, can be alleviated by raising the levels of endorphins in the nervous system. Some people believe that the desire to eat is also mediated by the endorphin level in the brain. It is clear that endorphin levels throughout the nervous system can be increased by Acupuncture. The techniques used to achieve an increase in endorphin levels center around the use of ear acupuncture. It must be stressed that acupuncture cannot replace willpower. It can only help the withdrawal symptoms, or hunger pains, experienced by those already motivated and committed to solving their particular problem.

Obesity: Acupuncture seems to relieve the problem of hunger usually created by dieting. Many people who receive acupuncture to help with weight loss also go on a diet at the same time. It is difficult to assess exactly which factors are responsible for weight loss, the acupuncture or the diet, or both in combination. Most acupuncturists claim that 40-50 per cent of their patients experience some significant weight loss during treatment.

Hard Drug Addiction: Some excellent research work has been done in this field, especially in Hong Kong. It is clear that acupuncture can help to solve the severe withdrawal symptoms experienced by those coming off hard drugs like heroin.

Smoking:
Acupuncture treatment helps about 40 per cent of people to give up smoking over a period of about six months. Again, it is essential to be well motivated before embarking on a course of treatment. Acupuncture does seem to decrease the desire to smoke and also to alleviate the withdrawal symptoms produced by abstinence from tobacco.

Reduce the Discomforts and Side Effects of Chemo/Radiotherapy for Cancer:
The effect of acupuncture on chemotherapy-induced nausea, vomiting etc. has been studied over the past 20 years, and clinical evidence gathered to date has been favorable. Current practice guidelines recommend acupuncture as a complementary therapy for uncontrolled nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy.

The Use of Acupuncture in Obstetrics:
In China the major use of acupuncture in obstetrics is to provide analgesia (pain relief) during Caesarean section, and to correct foetal malpositions, such as breech (breech means when the baby is ‘bottom first’ rather than ‘head first’).

Fertility and Gynecologic Problems:
Women who are having problems with conception, premenstrual symptoms or menopausal issues will often see positive results with Acupuncture medicine. It may be possible to reduce or eliminate the need for Western pharmaceuticals. If drugs or hormones must be used, side effects may be reduced. For women who are experiencing disorders of conception, my own experience suggests that acupuncture and Herbal medicine is more effective and much less unpleasant and dangerous than hormonal treatments or in vitro fertilization procedures.

Foetal Malposition:
The correction of foetal malposition is achieved by applying moxibustion to an acupuncture point. In about 60 percent of women the foetus turns naturally prior to the thirty-fourth week of pregnancy; this can be increased to 90 per cent with the aid of moxibustion. After the thirty-fourth week, when natural version is less likely, the Chinese claim that 80 per cent of foetal malpositions will be corrected permanently by this procedure. Once corrected, the malposition does not recur, provided moxibustion is applied daily. There seems to be no available physiological basis with which to explain this finding.

Anaesthesia for Labour and Delivery:
Acupuncture anaesthesia is widely used for caesarean sections in China. A report recently published, discusses the results of 1,000 cases managed in this manner. The Chinese Acupuncturist claim a 98 per cent success rate in the abolition of pain, a quicker recovery rate from the operation, less blood loss, and the obvious advantage of the mother being able to see the baby at, or soon after, birth. This report finds acupuncture a superior form of analgesia compared to other forms of pain relief (general or epidural anaesthesia) for caesarean section. Acupuncture can also be used to provide pain relief in normal obstetric deliveries. Adequate assessment of this form of obstetric analgesia has not yet been published, although the experience of a wide variety of acupuncturists in the western world would indicate that it is a useful and effective procedure.

Acupuncture Anaesthesia:
Acupuncture anaesthesia is widely used in China and it has been used in a wide variety of operations, from minor procedures to open heart surgery or brain operations. It is undoubtedly an effective form of pain relief in the majority of people, but there is always a small percentage who fail to gain adequate analgesia from acupuncture. In general, acupuncture allows for a safer operation, with less likelihood of complications, and a swifter post-operative recovery. (Excerpted from Acupuncture: It’s Place in Western Medical Science, George T. Lewith M.A., M.R.C.G.P., M.R.C.P. )

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Acne Treatment Solutions – A Comprehensive Review

Acne plagues thousands of people around the world. From teenagers to adults on the wrong side of middle age, it is a skin disorder that is extremely common as well as very unpleasant. It is painful, distressing, and often leaves scars even after it is treated.

There are hundreds of skin-care products that claim to treat acne. Finding the right treatment for you is almost like finding a needle in a haystack. To make things a little easier for you, here is a comprehensive review of five of the best acne treatment solutions as per popular ratings.

The reviews are accurate, based on substantiate research, and are aimed at helping you make a healthy and informed choice. The five products being reviewed here are Murad Acne Complex, Proactive Acne Solutions, Clinique Acne Solutions, Clear Skin Max and Exposed Skin Care.

Murad Acne Complex

The Murad Acne Complex consists of a three-step process, which consists of a Clarifying Cleanser, an Exfoliating Acne Treatment Gel, and lastly a Skin Perfecting Moisturizer. It was developed by Howard Murad and has been a popular product for treating acne breakouts.

The product has yielded mixed reviews from viewer ratings and is different from most other acne treatment products in the sense that it does not contain benzoyl peroxide, which is a leading ingredient used in most acne treatments.

The product claims to remove all signs of acne in just 4 weeks. While this is not exactly accurate, results are often visible within the second month, depending on the severity of the condition.

Pros

While the purging period does see some aggravation of the condition, the product pulls through and actually gives visible results. The moisturizer smells pleasant and does not stick. The Pore Cleansing mask that the treatment comes with is quite helpful and has a lot of positive reviews.

It uses a lot of natural extracts such as bitter orange oil, tea tree extracts, camellia leaf extract, menthol along with known acne fighters such as salicylic acid that help in curing acne without causing much damage to the skin. Spot sulfur treatment that it includes has also given positive results among a large number of users.

Cons

The purging period is extremely painful and itchy. The acne increases considerably before it is healed, if at all. Moreover, the product does not work for all skin types, and the moisturizer is not enough to help soothe the roughness and pain. Reviews have revealed that the system leaves the skin oily and shinier and that acne takes a lot of time to heal, especially if it is in its moderate or severe phase.

Verdict

The Murad Acne Complex might or might not work for you. It has mixed user ratings and though it can be helpful for minor to moderate acne, it has reportedly shown less impressive results for severe cases of acne. However it might work if you have oily skin.

Proactive Acne Solution

Proactive Acne Solutions is an extremely popular, three-step acne treatment system that consist of cleansing, toning and acne repairing. A new product that Proactive recently added to its acne treatment list is a Refining Mask.

The product was first manufactured in 1988 by Guthy-Renker, and has been a popular treatment since. According to the instructions, only a dime sized amount of cleaner, a cotton ball of toner and a pea sized amount of repairing treatment is to be used twice daily for the system to work.

Pros

The system covers blackheads, pimples, whiteheads and cures immediate acne breakouts. It reduces the visibility of pores and leaves the skin fragrant. It works well for some and leaves skin soft and supple, if the instructions are followed exactly as given.

The Refining Mask is very useful for drying up pimples since it consists of sulfur as an active ingredient, which is known to effectively kill acne causing surface bacteria. A Tea tree Moisturizer is also available as part of the kit and should definitely be used along with the system which is known to leave skin soft and dry.

Cons

The products are extremely harsh and may not yield good results, even aggravate the condition sometimes. The treatment causes excessive drying of the skin, and skin peeling has also been reported, though the exact cause of the peeling could not be determined.

Proactive is expensive, and often does not yield positive results, sometimes even after 8 weeks of regular usage. It is also not recommended for dry to normal skin at all since it completely dries out the skin and leaves it reddened and irritated.

Verdict

All in all, even though Proactive might work for some, most users have reported negative results, with no improvement in the condition whatsoever. Despite this, it continues to be a popular product. You can try it for the sheer popularity of the product.

Clinique Acne Solutions

Clinique is a well known brand and has allergy tested and medically approved skin care products that are very effective in treating skin problems. Clinique Acne Solutions Skin Care Treatment uses gentle exfoliation and cleansing to unclog the clogged pores of your skin to reduce the dirt build up which causes acne. It is gentle on the skin, and does not contain any oily or smelly substances that could affect the skin negatively.

Pros

It uses salicylic acid as its main ingredient for acne treatment, which is popular for its anti-acne properties. The system consists of a cleanser, a gentle exfoliator and a lotion, which contains benzoyl peroxide.

It clears acne by reducing oil secretion and improves the complexion with repeated use. The supplementary skin care products that Clinique offers are helpful in reducing blemishes and scars left by acne. “Even Better” is one such product that specializes in treating acne.

The company also has spot treatment products that zap away almost all the pimples in the shortest possible time. The product claims to remove acne in 6 weeks, and leave skin softer and clearer.

Cons

6 weeks is a longer period than that is promised by most acne treatment solutions. Most treatments claim to yield results within the first month of usage. There is no clear list of all anti acne ingredients used in this product since no official description or list is provided.

It is good for curing sudden breakouts but does not hold out well in the long run. Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are both not enough to treat acne in its core and there are no other primary anti acne agents, natural or otherwise in the system.

Verdict

The product sells on its brand name however does not live up to expectations. The product website does not give any detailed description of the anti-acne treatment, or about the ingredients that are used for making it.

There are variety of other products in the market that might offer better results at lower prices and are all-natural. While Clinique works to remove a pimple here and a zit there, it fails to target the core problem of acne break outs. It can be used as an effective immediate spot treatment solution though.

Clear Skin Max

A relatively new member of the anti acne treatment family, Clear Skin Max is still proving its mettle in the skin care industry. Till now it has had some very positive reviews due to its new and all natural approach towards fighting acne.

Clear Skin Max was designed as an alternative for those who did not want to subject their already damaged skin to further chemical damage. It uses natural ingredients that help in reducing inflammation, acne, and irritation without causing any side effects or without excessive drying of the skin.

Pros

Since the skin is naturally sensitive and acne inflicted skin gets further damaged with chemical treatment, products with natural ingredients are always a plus. Clear Skin Max uses anti-acne tea tree oils to control acne which have been reported to show immediate results in reducing inflammation.

Chamomile oil and bladder wrack are also used to treat acne without causing any harm to the skin. Not only does the product treat acne but it also leaves skin softer. Better still, it does not contain any harsh chemicals that cause drying of the skin.

Chamomile oil is effective in reducing scars and blemishes left by acne and since it is also an anti-bacterial agent, it also prevents acne naturally by fighting bacteria. Another plus point of the system is that it contains bladder wrack which is known not only for its anti-acne properties but also because it restores elasticity to the skin, helping the skin remain youthful and smooth.

It also uses natural products like hyaluronic acid, which is a known youth restorative, jojoba oil and others that maintains the moisture levels of the skin. These natural extracts not only fight acne but also strengthen the skin from inside and thus prevent breakouts, apart from clearing the skin of acne and its scars.

Cons

The ingredients are not used in high quantities in the product, which sometimes may not be enough to treat acne. Severe acne might not be easily treated with natural ingredients, since they require stronger ingredients that directly aim at reducing acne.

Even though the 6-step system is designed to fight and destroy acne right from its roots, it will really take a long time to heal for those who suffer from severe cases of acne. The negative aspect of this point again depends on how patient the user is even though the product yields guaranteed results.

Verdict

Clear Skin Max is a complete product that not only helps fight acne but also helps to protect and strengthen the skin. It is great for mild to moderate acne as well as adult acne and has been reported to have minimal side effects. It uses natural ingredients that have no reported side effects and the product enjoys great reviews by most users.

Exposed Skin Care Acne Treatment

This acne treatment system consists of 6 different products, a facial cleanser, that cleanses and exfoliates the skin, a clearing tonic that claims to delve deep inside the clogged skin pores and opens them up so that the dirt and grime can escape.

Then there is the Acne treatment Serum, which is the main repairing product that consists of benzoyl peroxide, a well-known anti acne element. A Clear Pore serum also comes with the system and is to be used at night; it works nocturnally to unclog your pores and clear skin. The last two products consist of a Clarifying mask which is to be used twice a week at most, and a Microderm scrub, that has anti oxidants for deep pore exfoliation.

Pros

It uses Azelaic acid, a known anti bacterial component as its primary ingredient, which clears acne by killing bacteria which is the main cause of acne. It also contains a 3.5% concentration of benzoyl acid, which is a popular ingredient in several anti-acne treatments.

It deeply exfoliates skin to keep out all the unwanted oil and dirt from the pores. This enhances your skin and helps to keep it free from acne.

Cons

Azelaic acid has many known side effects such as skin irritation, and unwanted hair growth. Many users have reported an increase in the quantity of facial hair after repeated use of products containing high concentrations of azelaic acid.

Also, the product lists tea tree oil as one of the leading ingredients, which can only be considered as a subsidiary product since it only aids treatment without playing any substantial role in the actual process.

The 3.5% benzoyl peroxide concentration is not enough to fight acne, the standard requirement being 5% to 8% concentration. Severe cases of acne cannot be treated well with this range of products.

Moreover the customer service is reportedly unresponsive, thus you might face a problem if you choose to pursue the money back guarantee at all.

Verdict

In conclusion, it can be said that this is a good product to use for those with mild acne but it does not work well for treating severe acne. Moreover many other products are available in the market that uses natural ingredients. Organic products are always a better option. This is another product that can be used to treat mild acne.

However keep in mind that treating acne requires not just medication but also a healthy lifestyle. Proper diet, nutrition, exercise, sleep, hydration and hygiene are extremely important for a clear and healthy skin.

Medications can only work when coupled with a healthy lifestyle. So if you are plagued with acne, first, change your lifestyle, and then clear your acne with the help of the perfect product for you, which you can pick with the help of these reviews.