Acne is a common skin condition that can affect individuals of any age group, although it is more commonly noticed among teenagers and young adults. Acne develops when the follicle that carries dead skin to the skin surface becomes clogged. While acne in most cases is inflammatory, it can also develop as non-inflammatory acne. It manifests itself as tiny pimples, papules, nodules, or cysts, as per the increasing nature of its severity. Typically, acne begins to show in the years following puberty, as this is when there are considerable hormonal changes that take place in the body. Acne is also common among women due to monthly hormonal changes. Acne affects those areas of the skin that have the most number of sebaceous follicles. Thus, it is primarily visible on the face, chest, back, upper arms, and shoulders. Typically, acne wanes off after the inflammation as the clogged pores subside, and acne outbreaks lessen once we get into our early twenties, as this is when the hormonal levels balance themselves out. In rare cases, however, medical investigation and follow up is required for treating acne of a more stubborn nature. Additionally, since each individual is physiologically different, it is possible that the acne may continue late into your thirties and forties. While acne in itself does not pose any serious health risks, it could lead to scarring. Acne scars can, at times, be exceedingly stubborn, and may never really go away. Acne also has psychological implications as the acne and its scars are generally regarded as unappealing, leading to lowered self-esteem issues in teenagers and young adults.

Remedies for Acne

Intensive research is been done in the field of dermatology to comprehend the nature, causes, and treatment for acne. Topical application of certain medications, use of certain home remedies, and changes incorporated into one’s lifestyle help to decrease the intensity and subsequent outbreaks of acne. Most people opt for various types of face washes and creams to deal with acne, and there are various products available in the market that promise acne-free skin. However, it should be kept in mind that these products do not completely eradicate the acne. Face washes that contain salicylic acid help to drain the sebum from the clogged pores. Topical creams or gels can also be applied to dry or peel off a layer of skin or to restrict sebum formation. Certain antibiotic creams can also be used to reduce the growth of acne causing bacteria. While some of these products can be bought over-the-counter, others may require the prescription of a qualified physician or dermatologist.

Apart from the conventional treatment, many people choose various home remedies to deal with acne. Natural and herbal remedies are becoming increasingly popular as these usually pose less risk of side effects, particularly for sensitive skin. Some of the commonly used herbal or home remedies for acne are as follows:

  • Evidence suggests that aloe vera may be effective in treating minor skin infections, burns, cuts, as well as sebaceous cysts, pimples, and acne. These therapeutic effects can be attributed to the polysaccharides, anthraquinones, mannans, and lectins that are found in aloe vera. Applying aloe vera gel on the face and other acne-affected areas may thus be helpful.
  • Honey is also another remedial option that can be used for acne treatment. Honey prevents the skin from becoming too oily, as an oily skin allows for more bacteria to thrive. At the same time, it helps maintain the moisture content of the skin. You can apply honey (mixed with yogurt) directly to your face or opt for honey-based face washes.
  • A homemade face wash that contains diluted apple cider vinegar is also effective for clearing up acne. Apple cider vinegar is believed to help restrict bacterial activity on account of its antiseptic properties.
  • Natural home remedies for acne include the use of face packs containing fenugreek paste or cucumber. Lemon juice diluted with mint and applied on the skin keeps infection at bay. Yogurt is also effective as it prevents the skin from getting too oily and supplies ample probiotics and nutrients to the skin.
  • For prevention and management of acne, a lifestyle change is also beneficial. Try to exercise regularly so that the pores on your skin remain open and clear. It also helps to get sufficient rest and to avoid sleeping on your face, especially if you are prone to acne. A healthy diet is also a requisite to keep acne at bay. Lastly, engaging in stress-relieving activities helps lower stress levels, decreasing the intensity of acne.

    Various acne remedies at home can be used quite easily, and the results seen are often positive, with minimal side-effects. However, it is always best to consult a dietician or dermatologist before opting for any home treatment, as overuse or contraindications with other medications and treatments are possible. It is also best if you consult a physician if the redness and pain associated with acne takes a turn for the worse and does not subside.

    Symptoms of Acne

    Acne symptoms include the presence of different types of pimples and cysts on the affected area of the skin. A pimple appears when the blocked pore begins to drain, so what is visible is usually the latter stage of acne. Some of the different physical indications of acne are as follows:

    • Acne can manifest itself as enlarged hair follicles filled with sebum, which are referred to as comedones. Blackheads are comedones that pop out of the skin surface, and white heads are comedones that have not pushed their way through the surface of your skin.
    • Papules are pink tender bumps on the skin and pustules are red at the bottom but filled with pus, owing to bacterial infection.
    • Nodules are the large and painful, solid pimples that are deep seated in the skin, while cysts are the deep and painful pimples that are filled with pus and can develop scars in future.
    • A doctor can easily diagnose acne during a physical examination. He/she may look into its stage, depending on the exhibition as comedones or nodules or cysts. The extended side-effects of acne are the scars that they leave behind. This may call for a long course of medical or cosmetic treatment. It is advisable to take precautions against any kind of skin irritation, so that the acne just fades off without leaving behind any scars.

    Causes of Acne

    Acne causes are many, and research is still being conducted in this arena. However, some of the common and established causes of acne are as follows:

    • Many factors have been found to be contributive to acne development. In girls and women, the timeline during the menstrual cycle shows an increase in acne on the skin.
    • Hormonal changes at the onset of puberty or during pregnancy can also cause the pores on the skin to get clogged up.
    • A sudden start or stop in the use of birth control medication can also result in acne showing up on the skin.
    • Heredity and the use of greasy cosmetics also results in the appearance of acne.
    • Although a common myth exists that chocolates and oily food contribute to acne, this has not been scientifically proved yet.
    • Teenagers and young adolescents show an increased manifestation of acne as the hormonal changes during puberty add to the sebum build-up, leading to more inflamed pores.
    • Lifestyle changes, especially being subject to a lot of stress, can also result in acne developing on the skin.

    Diet for Acne

    The relationship between certain foods and the production of acne has not been scientifically established yet. However, a diet plan for acne would include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and a sufficient intake of clean water. Almost all fruits and vegetables contain a good deal of vital minerals and vitamins. These help in keeping the skin clear as they provide the body with the necessary nutrients. In particular, vitamin A and B-complex vitamins are known to be beneficial for the skin.

    Good sources of vitamin A include carrots, dark leafy vegetables, cantaloupe, red pepper, cayenne, dried apricots and herbs, as well as liver. For vitamin B, you can opt for dark leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, chicory, collard greens, and Swiss chard, as well as legumes, egg yolks, whole-grain cereals, berries, and yeast. Keep in mind that too much of anything is also bad for health; a well-balanced diet plan is key. Also, if you’re opting for vitamin supplements, then consulting a doctor is a must.

    Suggestions for Acne

    Adequate skin care is a requisite to keep acne development in check.

    • Washing should be done gently and not more than twice or thrice a day, as frequent and strong washes irritate the skin further and this results in increased production of sebum. Pinching or pricking of the pimples also irritates the skin further and may result in scars that are difficult to get rid of.
    • Although sunlight can help in drying the skin surface and making the acne look lighter, too much exposure of the skin to the harmful ultra violet rays of the sun does more harm than good.
    • Shampooing your hair, especially if your hair type is oily, goes a long way in curbing the development of acne. This is because excessive oil in the skin is a breeding ground for bacteria that cause acne formation.

    If you’re going through puberty, it is best to live through this phase with a deep sense of optimism rather than allowing depressing thoughts to take over. In almost all cases, acne is just a phase that you will soon outgrow. If you’re an adult with acne problems, seek medical treatment and/or opt for home and natural remedies.

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    76 Acne remedies suggested by our users
    Braggs Unfiltered Organice Apple Cider Vinegar
    suggested by Shadow on Sunday, April 12, 2009

    I took Braggs Organic Unfiltered With the Mother Apple Cider Vinegar daily for one month and it stopped my acne tremendously. I am not one of those that had one or two zits and considered that acne. I have had noticeable acne. I took a shot in the morning straight (sometimes followed by a glass of water). Then I'd take another shot of the apple cider vinegar in the afternoon. Not only did it clear my face with in a month, it also gave me a pick me up during the day when I felt tired.

    Cayene pepper
    suggested by Alida on Wednesday, January 14, 2009

    Add a small teaspoonfull of cayene pepper to a small amount of water. Drink extra water afterwards. Once a day atleast.

    simple acne cure
    suggested by [unspecified] on Tuesday, January 13, 2009

    Simply apply egg yolk to affected area and let dry for 10 minutes. I use a childs large paintbrush to apply. Do this everyday for 7 days, then only as often as needed.

    Homemade remedy for black color in neck
    suggested by priya on Thursday, June 12, 2008

    Take one or two tablespoon Chickpea powder with rosewater or Orange juice, just 2 or 3 drops, mix it properly to form a paste, apply it daily over the neck and back too. I have received very good results, because my back and neck had turned to black due to my hormone problem. When I start applying the above method, my neck color and back is fine.

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