Acne is an inflammatory skin disorder which is very common in teenagers. Outbreaks of pimples, blackheads, whiteheads and cyst occur on the face and sometimes on chest and back. Acne can be caused due to surge of hormones during puberty which stimulates oil-producing glands in the skin and makes them prone towards blockage and infection. Acne tends to clear up over time, but the pimples may leave scars. Factors such as stress, changes in weather, and using certain cosmetics trigger attacks of acne.
- Change in hormone levels
- Excess production of oil
- Hair follicles clogged due to oil and dead skin cells
- Bacteria- Cutibacterium acnes
- Wearing greasy makeup or using oily cosmetics
- Taking certain medications such as steroids, lithium
- Heredity factors also contribute
Factors that can make acne worse:
- Squeezing or picking pimples
- Scrubbing your skin too hard
- High humidity
- Too much of washing
- Certain foods such as chips, chocolates
- Sugary products, white flour products
- Greasy foods
- Harsh soaps or chemicals
- Acne mainly appears on face, neck, chest, back and shoulders, where there is large number of functional oil glands.
- Acne can take the following forms:
- Papules: Small red tender spots
- Pustules: Pus-filled pimples
- Nodules: Large, solid, painful lumps beneath the surface of the skin
- Cysts: Painful, pus-filled lumps beneath the surface of the skin. These boil-like infections can cause scars.
- Comedones: Blackheads and white heads
Home Remedies for Acne
- Orange peel: The orange peel is valuable in the treatment of acne. Grind orange peel with some water to make paste and apply on affected areas. Orange peel is rich in vitamin C and calcium which makes them extremely beneficial to the skin. Also, orange peels work as a natural bleach and can help lighten blemishes.
To make powdered orange peel, spread the cleaned organic orange peels on a tray and place them in an area that receives plenty of sunlight for two days. Cover them with a net or thin cloth for protection against dirt and insects. Use blender, food processor, or mortar and pestle to make powder.
- Lemon and Cinnamon: Mix one teaspoon lemon juice in one teaspoon finely-ground cinnamon powder and apply on affected areas frequently. Research shows that cinnamon could fight human pathogens. This proves its benefits as an antibacterial agent and its ability to fight inflammatory conditions caused by acne. Lemon will aid in lightening acne scars.
- Chickpea flour: Mix one teaspoon of chickpea flour with enough water to make paste, and use this mixture to wash your face. OR Make a mask by mixing two teaspoonful gram flour with one spoon of yogurt and a pinch of turmeric powder . Gram flour works miraculously in treating acne, as it controls the excess oil production.
- Almond: Mix almond powder with a little water, and apply the paste to your face. Let it dry and then rinse it off.
- Tea tree oil: Apply a drop of 5% tea tree solution by using cotton ball on the affected area before bed for a few nights in a row. Tea tree oil has antimicrobial activity which destroys the skin-dwelling bacteria that is involved in the development of acne. (A 5 % tea tree oil solution can be made by mixing 5 parts tea tree oil to 95 parts water.)
- Honey and cinnamon: Make a paste by mixing half teaspoon honey with one teaspoon cinnamon powder. Apply this paste on the pimples before sleeping and wash it off the next morning with warm water. When done daily for two weeks, it removes all pimples from the root. It acts as antibacterial and helps disinfect and speed up the healing process of acne.
- Sandalwood: Make a paste by mixing one tablespoon sandalwood powder, pinch of turmeric powder with rosewater. Apply this paste on face and wash your face after 15-20 minutes. Sandalwood has antimicrobial properties. This cooling face pack is excellent for acne prone skin.
- Cumin seeds: Grind some black cumin seeds with some vinegar to make a smooth paste and apply on affected parts.
- Calendula(Marigold): Use a cold cream containing calendula. Calendula is valued for its anti-inflammatory, astringent, antifungal, and wound healing properties.
- Peppermint essential oil: Apply a couple of drops of peppermint essential oil to a piece of cotton wool and quickly run water over it to dilute it slightly. Dab on the acne site. Peppermint essential oil has a antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties.
- Coriander: Mix a teaspoon of coriander juice with a pinch of turmeric powder and apply this mixture to the face after thoroughly washing it, every night before retiring.
- Cucumber: The healing packs made of grated cucumber, oatmeal cooked in milk, creamed carrots used externally have been found to be effective.
- Potato: Apply the juice of raw potatoes for clearing skin blemishes. This cleansing results from high content of potassium, sulphur, phosphorus and chlorine in the potato. Its alkaline property also functions as a potent acne breakout fighter. It also help tighten the skin’s pores and therefore reduce excess sebum.
- Aloe vera: Drink half a cup of aloe vera juice twice a day. Aloe vera juice is a naturally soothing drink with excellent healing properties. Also, you can apply aloe vera gel topically on acne. It provides great relief from red, itchy acne and acne scars by soothing the damaged skin.
- Zinc: It should be taken in therapeutic doses of 50mg three times a day. Zinc has shown dramatic results in some cases. After noticeable improvement it can be gradually reduced. Also, zinc in lotions and creams may reduce acne breakouts.
Do’s for Acne
- Emphasis on raw foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, sprouted seeds, raw nuts and whole grain cereals, especially millet and brown rice.
- Take fresh juicy fruits such as apples, grapes, pineapple peaches, pears and grapefruit.
- Take a diet rich in vitamin A and E. Eat raw almonds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds which are a good source of skin-healthy vitamin E and essential fatty acids.
- Eat meat products once a day only and also make sure that they are organic, and are free of hormone and antibiotic.
- Drink eight to ten glasses of pure water daily. Water flushes out the toxins, which could cause a variety of skin conditions.
- Gently wash affected areas twice a day with lukewarm water and a non-oily, perfume-free, mild soap.
- Keep your hair off your face.
- Keep your colon clean.
- Do aerobic exercise. Also, do facial exercise to help relax the muscles of the face and increases the blood supply.
- Manage stress, practice deep breathing and relaxation exercise.
Don’ts for Acne
- Don’t squeeze pimples which can cause infection or scarring.
- Avoid certain products such as facial scrubs, astringents and masks, because they can irritate skin and worsen acne.
- Try not to rub or touch your face absentmindedly while you are absorbed in something such as watching TV or reading book.
- Avoid food that has heating or warming properties, such as hot chili peppers, beef, and lamb. Also stay away from fatty, deep-fried, and greasy food since they create more heat.
- Restrict starchy and sugary food. Simple carbohydrates and sugar encourage oil production and feed bacteria and yeast.
- Avoid soft drinks, candies, ice-cream, strong tea or coffee, condiments, pickles, refined and processed foods.
- Avoid oil-based cosmetics and creams and opt for noncomedogenic products.
- Avoid using harsh cleansing and exfoliating products that can aggravate the problem by encouraging the skin produce more oil.
- Avoid frequent looking in the mirror and feeling bad about the acne.
- Acne has no improvement and is spreading and is red and weepy after using self-help remedies for two month.
- Hair growing on face and having irregular menstrual periods.
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