Best Over the Counter, Natural Acne Treatments
Acne is a common skin condition that typically causes breakouts in the form of pimples, blackheads and whiteheads. Acne develops when the sebaceous or oil glands become overzealous and produce too much sebum. Sebum is a substance that keeps hair and skin moisturized. Some 80 percent of teenagers suffer from some degree of acne, according to InteliHealth. Though acne is unpreventable, many natural products may help keep blemishes at bay.
Burdock has been used for hundreds of years as an herbal diuretic, to help rid the bloodstream of toxins and even as a cancer treatment.
Burdock is also applied topically to treat acne, eczema and other skin conditions, notes the University of Maryland Medical Center, or UMMC. However, little evidence exists to support burdock as a natural acne remedy. Always talk to your doctor about using herbs for medicinal purposes.
Guggul may help treat skin diseases including acne. The University of Maryland Medical Center says research suggests that taking oral guggul supplements may be as effective as the prescription oral acne medication tetracycline. Ask your health care provider about using herbal remedies to treat blemishes.
Tea Tree Oil
The topical application of tea tree oil may work as well, though more slowly, as acne medications that contain benzoyl peroxide, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Tea tree oil may cause an allergic reaction. People with the skin condition rosacea should not use tea tree oil because it may worsen symptoms. Ask your dermatologist about using tea tree oil to treat acne.
Glycolic acid is a natural acid found in sugar cane. When applied to the skin it helps clear away dead skin cells and unblock pores. Glycolic acid may cause stinging and redness when applied to the skin.
The topical application of zinc and taking oral zinc supplements may both help treat acne.
When zinc is applied to the skin in combination with the topical antibiotic erythromycin, it may be especially effective in the treatment of acne, according to the University of Michigan Health System. You can also add zinc to creams and lotions to minimize breakouts.
Check with your doctor about using zinc to treat acne. Zinc may interact with tetracycline.
Topical niacin, or vitamin B3, is being studied as a possible acne treatment, according to the UMMC. Foods rich in vitamin B3 include salmon, tuna, beef liver, peanuts and sunflower seeds.
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