As we all know, acne is a common skin disorder that afflicts adolescents and some adults. It is usually a result of male hormone increases, regardless of gender. Dead cells and oil get caught in pores, which creates blackheads. Blackheads become inflamed and infected, creating pimples and acne blemishes. About 96% of teenagers are affected by acne. Typically it attacks the face, but it can be present on the back, chest, shoulders, and anywhere else the skin has a thick density of oil follicles. Acne has been characterized by a combination of whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, red scaly areas, and scarring. Most think acne will decrease in severity and duration, and may even disappear, as the sufferer leaves teenage years behind. But some in their thirties, forties, and beyond are still plagued with breakouts. Severe forms of acne can have a devastating affect on people, destroying their self-confidence. It may affect them for years.
Treatments are numerous and come as both home remedies and prescriptions. As always, it is always best to look first for simple lifestyle changes that can reduce or eliminate breakouts. If these changes don’t work, then it is time to move on to natural and herbal remedies before looking at over-the-counter products and prescriptions.
We all have areas that need improvement in the way we live. Making little changes to your lifestyle may lessen your breakouts. Here are a few things to try:
- Eat a healthy diet – Eliminate white, refined sugars and flours, red dye, processed foods, and caffeine. Eat plenty of low-carb organic veggies, fresh meat, vitamins A and D, and zinc. Eliminate sodas and soft drinks.
- Exercise regularly – Get 30 to 60 minutes at least three times a week. Start out slow and build up strength and stamina.
- Don’t sleep on your face – Try sleeping on your side or back, and you’re your pillowcase at least weekly.
- Get plenty of sleep – 8 hours nightly is recommended.
- Wash hands often – Not only can you reduce breakouts, but you can also reduce your number of colds and other illnesses.
- Manage stress – Being under constant turmoil can cause physical illness as well as making you vulnerable to breakouts.
- Use the remedy that works best and use it religiously.
- Tea tree oil – This contains antifungal and anti-bacterial properties that have been proven effective in the fight against acne. The leaves have been used to cure athlete’s foot, bad breath, and body odor. Apply to blemishes with cotton ball. If your skin is sensitive, mix the tea tree oil with water or aloe vera gel (one tablespoon of tea tree oil to nine tablespoons of water or aloe vera gel). Make a mask with tea tree oil and a green, hypoallergenic clay powder – use one to three drops of tea tree oil in the clay powder and then add water little by little until it forms a paste. Spread on face once or twice weekly.
- Honey mask – This can be useful in fading acne scars. It may take a few weeks for noticeable results. Use a spatula to spread an even layer of honey all over your clean face. Let it dry 20 minutes, then rinse off with warm water. Your face will look healthier and feel softer after the first treatment. Use this mask once or twice weekly.
- Witch hazel – Applied to breakouts with a cotton ball, witch hazel can reduce inflammation without disrupting the pH balance of your skin. It may be used two times daily. Try it in an inconspicuous area first to check for allergic reactions before applying to your face.
- Apple cider vinegar – Applied to skin with a cotton ball, it can detoxify the skin surface, add alpha-hydroxy acids, and can help break down excess oil build-up. It can also be drunk to receive its benefits. Test on a small, inconspicuous area of your skin first to see if you are allergic before using internally or externally. Mix one part vinegar to eight parts water before using – it is too strong for use full strength.
- Aloe vera – While it will not cure acne, aloe vera is extremely effective for healing acne wounds and reducing its scars. There are several ways you can use aloe in your fight against acne. Cleanse your face and other affected areas routinely morning and evening with aloe vera products, apply aloe vera gel heavily to affected areas, use an aloe vera-based cream or lotion to add moisture to affected areas, or apply aloe vera gel nightly as a mask. If you use the gel as a mask, spread it on evenly and generously at bedtime and leave it on overnight. Wash off with warm water in the morning.
- Baking soda – For facial cleansing, mix with a small amount of water until it reaches the consistency of toothpaste. Scrub your face using circular motions with fingers for one to two minutes, then rinse with warm water and pat dry. To make a mask, mix as for facial cleanser. Apply to your face in an even layer and let dry thirty minutes. Rinse face with warm water afterwards. For skin toner mix one tablespoon of baking soda with water in a spray bottle. Shake vigorously and spray evenly on face, the let it dry (there’s no need to rinse it off). Before using any of the mixtures on your face, put a small amount on the skin of your forearm and let it remain at least twelve hours to check for an allergy to baking soda.
- Garlic – Garlic is more effective when eaten raw then when applied to the skin. Garlic will reduce inflammation and heal infection. Cooking it first reduces its healing qualities. Eat three to five cloves daily or rub fresh garlic cloves on acne patches.
- Mix honey and ground cinnamon together, then apply to breakouts and cover with a band-aid. Change daily.
- Mix minty toothpaste with aloe vera gel and a face cleanser (like Clean and Clear) in equal amounts. Apply to pimples and blackheads three times daily. Breakouts should be gone in two days. Test this treatment on an inconspicuous area, as some find their skin irritated by toothpaste.
- Mix ½ cup oatmeal with one tablespoon of lime juice. Apply to face and let dry for twenty to thirty minutes. Wash face with warm water.
- Mix ½ cup instant oats, one tablespoon of milk, and one tablespoon of vanilla. Apply to face and let dry for twenty to thirty minutes. Wash face with warm water.
If one of these doesn’t work for you, you may need to seek your health care provider for another treatment or prescription.
As always, speak to your healthcare provider before making any changes to your diet or treatment plans.
May you find a good treatment here! Have a rosy complexion.
©2011 Off the Grid News