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#1 Rossignol

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Posted 21 September 2004 - 05:30 AM

A Guide to dietary and holistic supplements that may help Acne

Diclaimer: Please note that Acne.org does not endorse any of the following supplements, and this thread is not recommending that you take all of the following supplements. Instead, it aims to provide a brief synopsis of each of the most common supplements you will hear discussed in this forum. The list is not exhaustive. Before taking high-dose supplements it is a good idea to consult a doctor or nutritionist.

The following are the most common supplements recommended to help with acne.

Zinc: Zinc is present throughout the body tissues and functions in more enzymatically controlled reactions than any other mineral. Amongst other things, it helps to keep skin healthy, helps wound healing and is essential for reproductive health and normal growth and development. It is important for boosting the immune system, and has some antioxidant capacities, helping to destroy surplus free radicals.
There is some evidence to suggest that acne can be aggravated by a deficiency of zinc. This is commonly shown by white marks on the nails. Zinc levels may be affected by smoking and alcohol. It is found in greatest quantities in meat and dairy produce, but is also found in high levels in whole-grains and pulses.
It’s absorption may be hindered by eating foods high in phylates, oxylates and tannins (such as spinach), and calcium and iron can also interfere with absorption.
Excess zinc (50mg plus per day) can hinder copper absorption, so if supplementing zinc it is a wise move to supplement around 2mg copper in addition. Vitamin B6 and selenium should also be supplemented if you are supplementing zinc long-term.
Zinc supplements need to be taken with food to avoid nausea. They should also be taken at different times of the day to high-fibre foods. Very high doses (150mg+/day) may produce copper-induced anaemia and reduced HDL cholesterol levels.
There are many different forms of zinc; the two best-absorbed forms are ‘zinc monomethionine’ and ‘chelated zinc glutonate’. Dosage that may have an effect on acne ranges from 15mg/day to 50mg/day. Some studies claim to have found zinc to be as effective at dosage of 50mg/day for dealing with acne as taking tetracycline antibiotics.

Vitamin A: Vitamin A comes in two natural forms: retinal – found in animal products such as eggs and butter; and beta-carotene – an orange pigment found in carrots, sweet potatoes and dark leafy vegetables which is converted to Vitamin A in the liver when needed.
Accutane is a synthetic derivative of retinol. This suggests that high-dose supplementation of vitamin A may have a similar effect on acne. This, however, does not appear to be the case. Vitamin A supplementation may help with acne, but it is unlikely to have the same effect as its synthetic cousin.
Vitamin A, though, like accutane, can become toxic at high levels, potentially causing damage to the liver. It is dangerous for pregantn women, as it can cause birth defects.
Vitamin A supplements can be taken as capsules, tablets or in liquid form. It will be better absorbed if taken with food containing some fat, as it is a fat-soluble vitamin. Generally, an optimum range for supplementation that may help with acne is 5,000 –10,000 IU per day, with a maximum safety level of 25,000 IU, supervised by your practitioner. Women during childbearing years should only take a maximum of 8,000 IU unless discussed with a phjysician.

Vitamin C – An important antioxidant vitamin, Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) has a protective role for the body, helping to maintain a healthy immune system. It helps the healing of wounds and skin eruptions, and helps in the absorption of key minerals.
An excess of the vitamin can produce a laxative effect, and high intakes have been reported to increase likelihood of kidney stones in susceptible individuals. However, this has not been substantiated, and the website www.cforyourself.com advocates taking vitamin C doses of 14g per day for optimum immune function.
Dosage that is usually recommended for acne sufferers is much lower, and is typically 1-2 grams per day (in capsule form). Many different forms are available. It is preferable to take ‘Ester-C’ as this is the most easily absorbed form. Supplements containing bioflavonoids and/or rosehip extracts also help vitamin C to be more easily absorbed.
Vitamin C is found in highest quantities in Rosehips, Guava, Chilli peppers and blackcurrants.

Vitamin B5 – Pantothenic acid, as this is more commonly known, has been purported to boost energy levels, improve immune response and increase ability to withstand stress. It has also been seen as the supplement, other than accutane, which will produce the most effective results on acne.
In supplemental form, it is found as calcium pantothenate, and up to 500mg daily can be used for immune problems. There are no toxic reactions known to occur with this kind of dosage, although at the higher levels recommended in some areas of the message boards, there can be certain negative side effects due to the ‘mega-dose’ nature of the supplementation. It can also work out to be extremely expensive, as the B5 method means you need to take huge amounts of the vitamin.
A safer method of supplementation, which has shown some good results in nutritional studies, is to take 25mg, four times daily.

B Complex- The B vitamins are a group of water-soluble vitamins which work together in the body. As they cannot be stored, it is important that an adequeate intake is maintained on a regular basis. It is preferable to take all the vitamins in one capsule rather than one, as they tend to work synergistically. The vitamins usually included are Vitamin B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), Biotin, Folic acid and vitamin B12
Recommended dosage for helping with acne is 50-100mg per day.

Milk Thistle (silybum marianum) – This contains the compound silymarin and has been used for hundreds of years as a treatment for liver disorders. Research seems to back up this claim and modern herbalists use milk thistle to help in cases of jaundice, hepatitis and to protect the liver when it may be under stress. It is available in tincture and capsule form, or as powdered milk thistle, which is less potent. It is thought to help with acne in cases where the liver may be congested or not functioning properly. It is sometimes recommended to take milk thistle after a course of accutane, as it helps to cleanse the liver, which may have been damaged by the accutane treatment.

Chinese Bitters – again, a liver cleansing concoction, produced by www.sensiblehealth.com The liquid tincture contains Chinese Gentian, which can be effective in killing off worms and parasites as well as cleansing the liver; and bupleurum, which helps the liver to digest fats. Chinese bitters are also often recommended after a course of accutane, as they can supposedly help cleanse the liver of the negative after-effects of the drug. It is unlikely that Chinese Bitters can get rid of acne alone, but they can be effective in cleansing the system and promoting internal health. Dosage is relatively small – 1 teaspoon per day, on an empty stomach.

Tejaswini – These are Ayurvedic Skincare capsules composed of herbs used to treat acne in Ayurvedic (Hindu) medicine for thousands of years. Supposedly, they work by removing impurities from the blood, increasing blood circulation and acting as a liver stimulant. By detoxifying the liver and cleansing the bloodstream, Tejaswini reportedly increases resistance to skin infections.
The 12 herbs contained are: parpatake, which increases circulation, vasaka, which is anti-infective, Kantakar, which is anti-allergic, helping to prevent rashes, Bibhitaki, haritaki and Amalaki, which work together to prevent constipation; katuki, which is a liver and bowel corrective, Musta, which helps balance internal bacteria, Nima, which is anti-fungal and anti-bacterial, Guduchi, which is an immuno-modulator; bhunimba, a liver stimulant, and Patola, a traditional Ayurvedic skin remedy.
Typical dosage of Tejaswini is 2 capsules daily for 3 months. For more severe acne, 6 capsules spread throughout the day is recommended. This could work out quite expensive.
Tejaswini is available from www.victoriahealth.com

Propolis – Often referred to as a natural antibiotic, propolis is a sticky material from the buds and bark of poplar and fir trees which is collected by bees to sterilise the outside of their hive. Propolis supposedly prevents bacteria from multiplying in an organism, so can strengthen our immune system. It also maintains and enhances beneficial bacteria. Because of its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, it is used to treat acne, at dosage of 500-1000mg/ day. It is available in lozenge, tablet and liquid form.

Beta-Carotene – as mentioned, this is the orange-pigment which is found in fruits and vegetables, and which can be converted in the body to vitamin A. It is, however, a nutrient in its own right, and has been linked with a low risk of certain cancers, as well as being a powerful antioxidant. Beta-carotene is not toxic, although intake of over 30mg per day can results in skin turning an orange hue. There is some evidence that high doses of beta-carotene supplements may increase the risk of cancer in smokers, and it is better to obtain beta-carotene naturally. A good way of doing this is to juice 1-4 carrots daily. In juice form, close to 100% of the beta-carotene can be absorbed, as opposed to around 10% in raw carrots.

Acidophilis/ Probiotics – These supplements contain the ‘friendly’ gut bacteria, including lactobacillus acidophils and lactobacillus bifidus. They help maintain a healthy colon and there is some evidence that they can help acne sufferers. They are particularly essential for acne-sufferers who have taken long courses of antibiotics.
Typical dosage is 1-2 capsules daily, which usually include 2- 4 billion organisms. The capsules should be refrigerated to increase efficacy.

Pre-biotics are food components called oligosaccharides, which stimulate the growth of friendly bacteria by providing a source of food for these organisms. Around 5-10g is a normal dose per day for 1-2 weeks after antibiotics have been taken.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid – this is an antioxidant compound which helps to neutralise free radicals in both the water soluble and fat soluble compartments in the cell wall. It has been reported to help stabilise blood sugar levels, thereby possibly stabilising the production of androgens- hormones which can cause acne. Dr Perricone also states that ALA can be beneficial in helping the healing of scars, although many members on the scar board feel this to be erroneous.
The most beneficial form to take is R-ALA as this is the natural form, and best-absorbed. Typical dosage ranges from 30mg to 500 mg per day.

Echinacea – This is well known as an immune stimulant, but it is also effective in moving the fluid known as Lymph, which runs parallel to the bloodstream and carries toxins out of the body. Unless you exercise, lymph will not move enough, therefore Echinacea, taken in liquid or capsule form for 2-3 weeks, can prove effective in cleansing the system.

Burdock Root – another liver-cleansing herb, Burdock root is usually taken in dosage of 80mg upwards to help with acne. It is often combined with Echinacea.

Aloe Vera – Used medicinally since ancient times, aloe vera contains the active ingredient mucopolysaccharide, which may help a range of conditions, including infections, inflammation and skin complaints. It also helps improve bowel function and cleanses the liver. Fresh aloe vera juice can be taken as a (bitter) drink – at dosage of around 1-2 tablespoons daily. Aloe vera supplements should not be taken during pregnancy. It can also be applied topically to help with skin eruptions and wound healing.

Evening Primrose Oil – This is one of the richest sources of the omega-6 fatty acid gamma-linoleic acid, which the body needs for production of prostaglandins, which control many vital processes. GLA is thought to be anti-inflammatory, and also helps balance hormones. Although the body can produce its own GLA from the essential fatty acid linoleic acid, this conversion process may nhot be efficient. Theraputic dose of evening primrose oil is 1000-3000 mg per day. (1000 mg EPO yields around 100mg GLA). There are no known side effects.
Other sources of GLA include Starflower oil and Borage oil, both of which are also available in supplement form.

Royal Jelly – This is the sole food fed to the Queen bee by the worker bees. Because the Queen bee lives much longer than the workers (3-5 years as opposed to 6-8 weeks) it is thought that her consumption of royal jelly is the reason. Although there is little evidence to substantiate claims for royal jelly in human consumption, it does contain a wide range of key nutrients, as well as the fatty acid ‘I hydroxydelta 2 decenoic acid’, which is found in no other food.
Researchers have discovered an antibiotic compound contained in Royal Jelly which is a quarter as effective as penicillin but without the side effects. There is some evidence to suggest that royal jelly halts the growth of bacteria which cause acne. It comes in liquid and capsules, or in Royal Jelly paste.

Blue-Green Algae – Often seen as a miracle superfood, Blue Green Algae is usually found in liquid form. It can also be available as a powder, capsule or tablet. It contains virtually every nutrient available to humans – vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, live enzymes, protein, and is the best food source of beta-carotene, B vitamins and chlorophyll. Algae supposedly helps mental and sexual function, and can strengthen immunity levels.
There is little research to suggest it can help with acne, although it can reportedly help with general well-being and may supply the nutrients that some acne-sufferers can be deficient in.

Red Clover – Another herbal supplement reported to be effective in reducing severity of acne. It is usually available in health-stores in powder or tablet form.

Agnus castus – available in tincture form, Agnus Castus is a homeopathic remedy that can help regulate hormones. It is normally taken 1-2 times daily for 1-2 months.

Garlic -reputed to have an antibiotic and anti-fungal effect due to the compound allicin, found in garlic and to a lesser extent, onions. It is best to use raw garlic cloves, but if you find this too hard to stomach, garlic is avaliable in capsule form, although the active compounds may not be as effective in this form. The recommended dosage is the equivalent of two garlic cloves daily.




As mentioned, this thread only aims to provide a brief guide to the main properties of the most commonly used supplements to help with acne. For a much more informative look at supplementation and the ways in which vitamins and minerals work in helping your skin, please read this excellent thread by SweetJade: http://www.acne.org/...showtopic=30721

Please feel free to add information you have about any other supplements, or add comments about the supplements mentioned.

*Sources used:
McKeith, Dr Gillian, You Are What You Eat, (Penguin, 2004)
Mortimore, Denise, Vitamins and Minerals – a Practical Approach to a Healthy Diet and Safe Supplentation, (Grafton, 2001)
Wills, Judith, The Food Bible (Quadrille, 1998)

I will add links for each of the supplements as soon as I get the chance!

#2 Rossignol

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Posted 21 December 2004 - 02:48 PM

Dear All,

It has come to our notice that some of the members of this forum seem to be taking large amounts of vitamin, mineral and holistic supplements which may be having detrimental effects if such 'mega-doses' are sustained.

Please read the following information when considering supplementation:


'supplements can be self-prescribed and taken in small regular amounts as a form of health insurance or to treat minor health problems. Supplements in larger amounts for nutritional support of sever pathological conditions have been found to be theraputic either on their own or with conventional medical treatments, but these larger doses should always be taken under the supervision of a nutritional therapist or a physician.
Supplemental vitamins and minerals often contain several times the normal levels, except for toxic ones, including vitamins A and D. Where there is no established safe level, supplements will always contain levels of micronutrients that are very unlikely to cause harm when taken at the manufacturer's dosage. So long as you follow the manufacturer's dosage instructions and ensure that you have no condition that is contraindicated for that supplement, then you are likely to have no problems.
If you have any pre-existing conditions, see your practitioner or physician before taking supplements. Always read the instructions carefully on supplement labels before you take them.'

(source: Mortimore, Denise: 'The Complete Illustrated Guide to Vitamins and Minerals - a Practical approach to a Healthy diet and Safe Supplementation' (Harpercollins, 2001))

We recommend that you consult a qualified health practitioner, doctor, nutritionist or homeopath before embarking upon any course of supplementation, and would emphasise the added importance of seeking advice if the supplementation exceeds the normal dosage guidelines provided by the manufacturer.

Please also consult your pharmacist or health practitioner if you are already taking any medications before you take supplements or perform certain health treatments such as flushing or fasting.


Thanks,

Acne.org staff.

#3 jjcallumx789

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 11:39 AM

DONT FEEL BAD ABOUT ACNE... theres a fun side to everything and this should start clearing that acne off your face.. it's nothing to purchase it's just a regime i invented that works.

Find out about the Evening primrose oil and vitamin B5, B6 connection to beautiful skin... and also ofcouse the BP and SA and TTO connection.

http://www.acne.org/...showtopic=52726

Take a read at this and post if it makes you smile or giggle. EDITED BY MODERATOR

#4 javier

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 11:26 PM

kombucha??

#5 R.S.

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 08:41 AM

Kombucha falls under the section of probiotics. I think kefir will help out better in that department, though they both do taste good.

#6 Xiomara

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Posted 31 March 2006 - 09:49 AM

How much of Milk Thistle do you have to take?

I have that at home, but i'm not sure if i'm taking enough mgs.

#7 skinhealer

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 11:07 PM

The list above is great! But I think that fish oil omega's are important too! Getting an EFA blend with Lecithin along with antioxidants is going to help balance your hormones. The combination of these help create what is known as prostiglandins. One of the functions of prostiglandin hormones is to help your white blood cells recognize and fight bacteria. I actually learned this through reading a book about kids' nutrition called "Super Immunity" eusa_angel.gif

#8 Xiomara

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 07:41 PM

What's the purpose for fish oil caps?

#9 nutrovitasub

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 04:46 AM

Bupleurum Liver Cleanse :

One of the most important activities of the liver is to continually eliminate impurities and waste matter from our systems. The Chinese herb bupleurum has a unique reputation for deeply cleansing this overburdened organ. Planetary Formulas Bupleurum Liver Cleanse combines this Chinese classic with renowned herbs from three continents, to facilitate deep internal cleansing.

For Bupleurum Liver Cleanse Products :
Bupleurum Liver Cleanse

For More Information Nutrovita

#10 Legend

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 09:14 AM

QUOTE(Xiomara @ Apr 4 2006, 08:41 PM) View Post

What's the purpose for fish oil caps?


They are high in omega 3 fats. But what makes them different from plant sources like Flax is that it has some already in the DHA form. DHA has some very good health benefits for brain development. It is believed to be part of what makes breast feeding healthier for babies.

While we can make DHA from other omega 3 fats, our bodies tend to be inefficient at it.

#11 Rache

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 10:32 PM

What if you have Zinc deffincys..does this mean that taking (50mgs) of Zinc can make your skin worse?..



#12 jinx0

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 07:25 PM

I was wondering what brand of the supplements are the best. I know that supplements aren't regulated, so the efficacy differs with each brand.
What brands would ya'll recommend?

#13 YourCaptain

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Posted 17 December 2006 - 07:06 PM

There is a product called Akne-Zyme, available at any Vitamin Shoppe store or online, that contains alot of these ingredients. A friend of mine claims this completely resolved his acne, while I have been taking it for about 9 weeks and have noticed only mild, if any, help.

However, he says he had "Back acne" while mine exists only on my face. This may be important somehow.

Regardless, this over-the-counter product is 15$, requires no prescription, and contains these ingredients in every 2 capsules:

10000 IU Vitamin A
200 mg vitamin c
10 mg niacin
8mg vitamin b6
3 mcg vitamin b12
10 mg Pantothenic acid
11mg calcium
72mg magnesium
30mg zinc
105mg Potassium
200mg sulfur (sublimed)
66.7mg Bromelain
25mg thymus extract
20mg RNA
10mg Burdock root extract

Few random notes:
Copper is found in most tap waters today (from the piping), so many people believe that supplementing copper in your diet is irrelevant as many people probably already get a good dose.
I did not know you can get RNA in supplements but it's on the bottle.
I would like to see someone else's opinion on this product if anyone has tried it. If nothing else, it should promote good skin health.
Many of the ingredients listed here are toxic in overdose amounts, and contain 200% or more of your RDV. In addition, the friend who told me about this product stopped taking this supplement after 3 weeks because it was making him vomit (suggesting overdosage). It may be that he was taking 2 capsules at the same time, while I take 1 capsule in the morning and 1 at night. I've been taking it for 9 weeks and have no problems. This product has been known to cause gas, so do not take that as a bad sign. Take vomiting as a bad sign=P
Regardless, be observant of feelings in your gut, and as always, document findings on the forum.
-YC

#14 threecoves

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 09:45 PM

An interesting post. Many of these suppliments are related to my research which connects both Naturalpath and Traditional Chinese Medicine to create a comprehensive understanding of the cause and treatment of acne. View my on going research on my blog to learn and get some hopefully helpful tips.

Ambitiously Inquisitive - Natural Acne Research



#15 acne_battle

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 11:47 AM

QUOTE(Xiomara @ Apr 4 2006, 07:41 PM) View Post
What's the purpose for fish oil caps?


Fish is very healthy for you but some people dont like to eat fish. I dont really like any seafood myself. I guess taking the capsules in gel form replaces eating actual fish.

#16 the_se7en

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 12:24 AM

Has anyone seen improvements from just taking these supplements and not facial treatments? Any results?

#17 gcleanth

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 08:16 PM

I found this blog entry which talks about diet as a "cure" for acne. I don't know about a cure but it definitely helped alot!

http://www.myacnerev...to-curing-acne/

#18 Why me??

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 07:47 AM

QUOTE(Rossignol @ Sep 21 2004, 07:30 PM) View Post
<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>Zinc:</span> Zinc is present throughout the body tissues and functions in more enzymatically controlled reactions than any other mineral. Amongst other things, it helps to keep skin healthy, helps wound healing and is essential for reproductive health and normal growth and development. It is important for boosting the immune system, and has some antioxidant capacities, helping to destroy surplus free radicals.
There is some evidence to suggest that acne can be aggravated by a deficiency of zinc. This is commonly shown by white marks on the nails. Zinc levels may be affected by smoking and alcohol. It is found in greatest quantities in meat and dairy produce, but is also found in high levels in whole-grains and pulses.
It’s absorption may be hindered by eating foods high in phylates, oxylates and tannins (such as spinach), and calcium and iron can also interfere with absorption.
Excess zinc (50mg plus per day) can hinder copper absorption, so if supplementing zinc it is a wise move to supplement around 2mg copper in addition. Vitamin B6 and selenium should also be supplemented if you are supplementing zinc long-term.
Zinc supplements need to be taken with food to avoid nausea. They should also be taken at different times of the day to high-fibre foods. Very high doses (150mg+/day) may produce copper-induced anaemia and reduced HDL cholesterol levels.
There are many different forms of zinc; the two best-absorbed forms are ‘zinc monomethionine’ and ‘chelated zinc glutonate’. Dosage that may have an effect on acne ranges from 15mg/day to 50mg/day. Some studies claim to have found zinc to be as effective at dosage of 50mg/day for dealing with acne as taking tetracycline antibiotics.


When you say white marks on the finger nails, do you mean those crescent-shaped white spots on the base (near the root) of the nails?


#19 femme25

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 09:35 AM

QUOTE
When you say white marks on the finger nails, do you mean those crescent-shaped white spots on the base (near the root) of the nails?

No, those crescent shaped spots on your nails are completely normal. They are referring to little white spots on the bed of the nail itself, sort of looks like little white knicks in the pink part. I have some but cant figure out how to transfer images on my comp yet so I cant show you an example off hand, but those moon-shaped things on your cuticle is normal.

#20 Why me??

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 03:01 AM

QUOTE(j dub @ Feb 22 2007, 11:35 PM) View Post
QUOTE
When you say white marks on the finger nails, do you mean those crescent-shaped white spots on the base (near the root) of the nails?

No, those crescent shaped spots on your nails are completely normal. They are referring to little white spots on the bed of the nail itself, sort of looks like little white knicks in the pink part. I have some but cant figure out how to transfer images on my comp yet so I cant show you an example off hand, but those moon-shaped things on your cuticle is normal.

I know what you mean. Thanks.