Acne Scars & Tomatoes
Acne scars can occur on a person's face, chest, neck, shoulders or elsewhere. While most are not permanent, they can take up to a year to fade. People can visit dermatologists and undergo treatments such as microdermabrasion, purchase products at the drugstore or use home remedies to hasten the fading process. One common household staple--the tomato--can be used when people opt to use home remedies.
Acne scars are unsightly and can affect a person's life. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, a person should seek to treat scars if he frequently wishes to be rid of them; feels the scars limit opportunities for getting job promotions, doing well at school or dating; feels less self-confident than prior to having scars; feels depressed; or limits social activity because he feels self-conscious about the scars. Home remedies may be the answer for some folks due to cost. Insurance will not cover professional treatment for acne scars, and such treatment almost always requires multiple treatment sessions, the academy advises.
Tomatoes are rich in vitamin A, which can help speed skin turnover when applied topically. Indeed, a popular acne treatment, tretinoin, is a derivative of vitamin A. It's more commonly known as Retin-A, according to the Mayo Cinic. It works partly by keeping pores in skin clear and partly by irritating the skin, causing a more rapid rate of skin cell turnover. People usually see improvement after three to four weeks of treatment with tretinoin. Tomatoes also have several antioxidants that help to rejuvenate skin, according to HowToGetRidOfStuff.com. Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K, and also contain vitamin E and several B vitamins, according to Nutrition Data.
Using a tomato to combat acne scars can be as simple as slicing up a tomato and placing it over the scarred area daily. You may also mash up the pulp and place it on the face or other area you are treating. Keep the tomato on your face for up to an hour before washing it off with warm water, recommends Nature's Natural Healing. You also may create a facial mask with tomatoes and other ingredients. For example, blend tomatoes and cucumbers together for use on the skin. Treatments to diminish acne scars typically are not quick fixes and must be done over several months, advises the American Academy of Dermatology. Tomatoes also may be eaten, of course, to promote skin health because they are antioxidant- and nutrient-rich.
Family history plays a large role in determining who ends up with acne scars. Having severe acne is a factor as well, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Picking at pimples can lead to scars, and so can other factors that impair the skin's ability to heal. These include stress, lifestyle habits such as poor hygiene, and a poor diet that does not provide nutrients essential to skin health.
It is wise to either avoid the sun or wear sunscreen after treating your skin with vitamin A products because it makes your skin more prone to burn, advises the Mayo Clinic. Skin also is more prone to be dry and irritated, especially within the first three weeks of treatment. A person treating the skin with vitamin A also should avoid using any medicine on the treated area within an hour of treatment, and should avoid acne products that have peeling agents like salicylic acid, sulfur, benzyl peroxide or resorcinol, as well as skin products that are drying or abrasive, according to the clinic.
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