Acne is one of the common skin conditions affecting several individuals round the world. It is affecting around 85% of people at some time in their life. Most often, it is observed affecting teenage boys and girls.
Conventional and some types of treatments for acne are quite expensive and may cause side-effects, such as dryness, redness, and irritation of the affected area. This may lead to a loss of confidence and cause embarrassment in facing the crowd in most of the acne patients.
Acne – How it Happens?
Acne occurs when the skin pores get clogged with oil and dead skin debris. In simple words, each skin pore is connected to the sebaceous gland. This gland in the skin produces sebum which is an oily substance. Sometimes, extra sebum is deposited in these pores causing some bacterial growth, mainly Propionibacterium acnes or P. acnes. Inflammation normally develops deep inside the hair follicles or pores and produces cystic-like lumps just beneath the surface of the skin. Acne may also occur due to excessive activity of a type of Androgen hormones.
White blood cells in the blood, also called leucocyte, attack P. acnes causing skin inflammation, and, thus, lead to acne.
Symptoms of Acne:
Common symptoms of acne are listed below.
- Small red tender bumps
- Pimples (pustules) which are papules with pus at their tips
- Large solid and painful lumps which develop beneath the skin surface (nodules)
- Painful, pus-filled lumps beneath the surface of the skin (cystic lesions)
Usually, acne occurs on the face, forehead, shoulders, chest, and the upper back because these areas of skin have the most oil or sebaceous glands as compared to other parts.
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Risk Factors which Triggers Acne:
- Age group – Mostly, it affects in the teen ages.
- Hormonal changes in the body.
- Family and hereditary
- Applying greasy or oily applications.
- Friction or pressure from objects, such as telephone, cell phones, helmets, tight collars, and backpacks.
Factors that Worsen Acne:
- Hormones: Mainly androgens, normally, which increase during the puberty period in both boys and girls can worsen acne.
- Drugs: Likely to contain corticosteroids, testosterone, & lithium.
- The Diet that includes:
- Skimmed milk
- Carbohydrate-rich food: Bread, bagels, & chips.
- Chocolate – not for all cases.
- Stress and Anxiety
11 Home Remedies for Acne:
Here are some easy yet effective home remedies for acne.
- Apply apple cider vinegar:
Apple cider vinegar is made by the fermentation of apple cider or with the unfiltered juice of pressed up apples. Organic acids are the main content of apple cider vinegar. The use of apple cider vinegar also helps in preventing scarring. It should be used in small amounts, as a larger dose may cause skin burns. It should be used in 1:3 parts of water and apply with a cotton ball on the affected area for 5-20 seconds twice daily.
- Have Zinc supplements:
Zinc (Zn) is essential for cellular growth, the production of hormones, body metabolism, and good immunity of an individual. For acne and maintaining good health 40 mg per day is the recommended dose of zine supplements which you should have with the guidance of the physician.
- Honey and cinnamon mask application:
Honey and cinnamon are excellent sources of antioxidants, which are found to be more effective than benzoyl peroxide and retinoids. Make a paste of both honey and cinnamon in 2: 1 proportion, apply it on your clean face for 10-15 minutes and wash your face later with water.
- Treatment with Diluted Tea Tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia):
Tea tree oil has the power to fight against bacteria and prevent skin inflammation. The oil is very strong, so it needs to be diluted before applying to your skin. Mix tea tree oil with water in 1:9 proportion, apply the mixture on the affected area with a cotton swab and moisturize your skin if needed. Apply diluted tea tree oil 1 or 2 times every day.
- Have Green tea:
Green tea works as an antioxidant and is highly beneficial for the good health of your skin. Steep green tea bags in a cup of boiled water for 3 to 4 minutes, let the mixture cool and apply the liquid on your affected skin by using cotton balls. Apply the remedial liquid once or twice daily.
- Applying Witch-hazel:
Witch-hazel is extracted from bark and leaves of hamamelis virginiana, which has anti-bacterial/inflammatory properties. Mix 1 teaspoon of hazel bark in 1 cup of water for about 30 minutes and let it boil on the stove. Let it sit for an additional 10 minutes. Stain and seal container containing the liquid. Apply the remedial liquid on your skin with a cotton ball 1-2 times daily.
- Use Aloe Vera:
Aloe Vera is highly beneficial for skin health. It is a clear gel, and you can apply it to acne for better results. Apply it on your skin 1-2 times every day.
- Take Omega-3 fatty acid (fish oil) supplements:
The intake of omega-3 fatty acids will reduce acne. So, have omega-3 fatty acid supplements.
- Exfoliate regularly by using a scrub and washing face.
- Follow a diet with low glycemic load
Following a diet with low glycemic load helps reduce acne. So, include foods, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and minimally processed grains, in your diet. Reduce the intake of dairy products.
- Exercise regularly and be stress-free.
Homeopathic Remedies for Acne:
Homeopathy plays a key role in the treatment of acne/pimples in the teenage boys and girls as well as individuals of any age groups. Here are some effective homeopathic remedies for acne.
Few of the remedies with indication are mentioned below:
- Pulsatilla: Pulsatilla is quite effective in treating acne that gets worse after eating fatty food and those that get aggravated by warmth and heat. It is recommended to the acne patients, who are around the puberty age. Pulsatilla is also effective in treating acne outbreaks during the menses.
- Silicea: Silicea is effectual for treating deep-seated acne. It is ideal for treating a person with low immunity and tend to experience fatigue and nervousness.
- Sulphur Iodatum: This homeopathic remedy is recommended for treating acne occurring on forehead and back and which get aggravated by heat.
- Calcarea Carb: Calcarea Carb is recommended for an acne patient with frequent skin eruptions and pimples. This homeopathic remedy is effective in treating acne remaining with scars on the skin.
- Hepar Sulph: Hepar Sulph is best suitable for treating pustular acne which gets aggravated by the cold weather.
All these things explained in detail may help you in preventing or treating acne. If your acne is more intense, it is advisable to approach a physician for further treatment procedures. So, if you suffer from acne any time, count on homeopathy without a second thought and get your acne treated effectively and safely.
- Written by Dr. Vinay Ram. C, Associate doctor to Dr. Rajesh Shah