You Don’t Have to Live With Zits: Modern Treatments for Acne Today
Acne is a common, skin condition that is unsightly though non-contagious. Affecting adolescents, it used to be something an individual just had to live with, hoping it would resolve with adulthood; however, that no longer is the case. These days there are a number of treatments for this condition.
According to the Acne Resource Center, acne is the most common skin disorder in the United States. It usually occurs in the late teens or early 20s, although menopausal women may sometimes develop acne too.
So what exactly is acne and what causes it? Basically, there are three types of acne. Whiteheads and blackheads form on or just below the surface of the skin and pimples form above the skin’s surface. They can be caused by a hair follicle that becomes blocked by dead skin, makeup or dirt. If the blockage is not removed, bacteria will grow and the skin will swell into a pimple. Acne does have a hormonal component, which means it can be affected by your diet, particularly if you eat a lot of processed food or food rich in refined sugars.
Over-the-Counter Cures For Acne
If you are a sufferer and you are wondering how to get rid of acne, you have a number of over-the-counter options. If you’ve had a sudden outbreak or flare-up of acne, your biggest concern will probably be how quickly you can regain control. Acne treatments such as Proactive®, Murad® and Exposed® contain a combination of natural extracts and synthetic active ingredients. Look for synthetic ingredients like salicylic acid to unclog pores, benzoyl peroxide to kill acne bacteria and sulfur to reduce oiliness. Look for natural extracts such as aloe vera to soothe soreness, gotu kola to promote skin healing and passion flower to reduce inflammation. You will usually see results from this type of over-the-counter acne treatment within 24 to 48 hours. If you have suffered a severe case of acne and it has left behind blemishes on your skin, you may be in need of acne scarring remedy.
Holistic Treatments for Acne
If you want to take a complementary approach, there are several herbs that can help cure acne.
Topical ointments made from the herb arnica may be used to treat acne. Arnica has antiseptic properties and may stop the buildup of bacteria in the pores which in turn could prevent acne. Arnica also has anti-inflammatory properties, which means it can reduce the redness and swelling associated with acne. Arnica cream has antiseptic properties that help control the build-up of acne bacteria. It also helps to reduce swelling and inflammation and to sooth soreness or itchy skin. Choose a cream which contains 20 to 25 percent of arnica for the best results.
Taking a daily zinc supplement may help to reduce the inflammation caused by acne and to heal the skin without scarring. The suggested dose is between 30 and 50mg of zinc per day. Taking 50mg of vitamin B6 every day can also help to regulate the hormones.
Tamanu oil has anti-inflammatory properties, and it helps to promote new cell growth and healing. This may make it beneficial for the treatment of acne as it may reduce redness and swelling and help the skin heal quickly without pitting and scarring. You should consult your doctor before using Tamanu oil.
Honey is beneficial for the skin in general and may be particularly helpful for acne. A honey facial mask can help clear acne, remove blemishes and prevent flare-ups. This is due to honey’s antibiotic and antibacterial properties. It also moisturizes the skin and keeps it smooth.
Rosehip – rosehip oil is rich in vitamin A, which helps to balance the skin’s natural oils and may help reduce the occurrence of acne. Rosehip also contains lipoic acid, a powerful antioxidant that destroys free radicals in the skin, helping it to retain its youthful elasticity and to kill acne-causing bacteria.
Dandelion – dandelion is a cleansing liver tonic and may help to cleanse your body of impurities which may increase the risk of acne. After toxins have been released, dandelion helps to restore the natural, healthy functioning of the liver. It can also help to balance the hormones. Dandelion is available as tincture tea or capsules.
Remember to take care of your skin externally and with a healthy diet. If you do develop pimples, don’t be tempted to scratch or squeeze them.
Libby Spencer has suffered from acne ever since she hit 13. Now in her late 20’s Libby feels that she can finally head out of the door feeling confident with her appearance. She writes about the latest innovations and what she has learned.