What Causes Acne?
Acne vulgaris is more commonly known as acne and is a common skin condition marked by non-inflammatory follicular papules, inflammatory papules, pustules and nodules in more severe forms. Acne most commonly affects areas of skin that contain dense sebaceous follicles including; the face, upper portion of the chest and back. Other names which refer to acne are pimples, spots, blemishes or zits.
As a result of follicles being blocked by oils, dirt, keratin and sebum, acne develops. Whiteheads result from the pores of skin being blocked with sebum and dead skin cells and due to resulting bacteria which causes inflammation and infection. The reasons why a person develops acne and others do not is not fully understood, some experts feel it is a result of hereditary, hormones, dietary habits, stress, halogen exposure, chemical exposure or use of amphetamines or other drugs.
How to Treat Acne Naturally
While there many traditional adult acne treatments, some people cannot tolerate the medications or treatments and need to seek alternatives to alleviate the condition. Such natural or home remedies for acne include the following:
- Aloe Vera: Ayurveda (traditional Indian medicine) practices mention treating acne with a combination of aloe vera, neem, turmeric and papaya. It is believed a combination of the herbs contains anti-inflammatory properties and can alleviate symptoms of acne.
- Calendula: (marigold) used in a suspension is an excellent anti-inflammatory for a variety of skin conditions including acne.
- Heat: it is believed that applying heat to the skin can kill the bacteria that causes acne and can aid in healing as well.
- Tea Tree Oil: when dissolved in a carrier of 5% strength, can kill bacteria without excessively drying out the skin.
- Zinc supplements: when administered orally zinc supplements have been proven to be effective in relieving the inflammation associated with acne.
- Detoxification: a method commonly used by alternative medical practitioners, the process is intended to remove toxins from the environment, medications, diet, food and cosmetics out of the body.
- Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5): experts believe high doses of the vitamin can be successful in treating acne inflammation.
- Chick pea paste: practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine recommend washing the face with a mixture made of chick peas (one teaspoon of chick pea flour mixed with water) and pat dry with a clean towel.
- Almond powder paste and goats milk patted onto the face and left for a period of 5-10 minutes and rinsed, can alleviate the inflammation associated with acne.
- A mask made from turmeric and sandalwood cream applied to the face and gently rinsed with tepid water can also reduce redness and inflammation of acne.
- Adding a brewer’s yeast table after every meal has shown promise in some people seeking a natural acne treatment. The supplement contains chromium which is an essential mineral that aids in processing sugar. Homeopathic practitioners recommend 2 tablespoons per day to help heal acne and prevent spreading or worsening of the condition.
- Vitamin A: helps reduce sebum levels and is an important vitamin for maintaining healthy skin. When treating acne a dose of 10-15,000 I.U. and 400 I.U. of vitamin D is recommended daily. In severe cases of acne the dosage should be increased to 25,000 I.U., but only under medical supervision.
- Apple cider vinegar or lemon juice: the skin can be cleaned using either apple cider vinegar or lemon juice dabbed onto a cotton ball. The acid in the liquids will help flush the pores and acts like an astringent removing excess oil, normalizing the pH of skin and killing bacteria. Another method to use is by steaming the face over a pan of boiled water removed from the stove and then using the lemon juice on a cotton ball to remove dirt and oil buildup. After the lemon juice has dried, apply apple cider vinegar to the skin to close the pores, this method can be done up to three times per week until desired results are achieved.
- Beans: some homeopathic healers recommend using a concoction made from beans. The recipe requires boiling green beans for 10 minutes, adding 3 tablespoons of dried chamomile to the tea, steeping until cool and pouring the mixture into a bottle. Use the liquid to cleanse the face up to three times per week until acne clears up.
- Molkosan: the product is a bi-product of cheese manufacturing and derived from whey. Add a tablespoon to water and drink with meals, the liquid aids in digestion and regulates the metabolism. It is also recommended to soak a cloth or cotton balls in a Molkosan overnight and apply it to affected areas for antiseptic purposes.
- Witch hazel: witch hazel is an excellent all natural astringent and can be used as a facial wash for those suffering from acne. Witch hazel will deeply penetrate into the pores of the skin and help unclog oil and sebum deposits and kill bacteria, thus helps in reducing inflammation and spreading associated with acne.
When dealing with acne and traditional medications and methods fail, there are several ways to treat the condition naturally with at-home remedies. It is very important to remember to never pick or dig at acne with the fingertips or other objects, doing so can cause the lesion to rupture and increases the risk of developing an infection or spreading the condition to other areas and result in deep, permanent scarring. With regular face washing, a healthy diet and the right treatment methods, most cases of acne will clear up without the help of a dermatologist or other medical professional.