Oatmeal's Effect on Acne
Acne affects the face, shoulders, neck, chest and upper back of teenagers and adults, resulting in redness, irritation and blemishes. Since hormones play a role in the development of acne, teenagers are more prone to developing the condition than adults. However, many women continue to experience severe breakouts along with their monthly cycles and during pregnancy. Not only can acne cause emotional distress, it can be painful to the touch and lead to secondary infections. In cases of severe acne, permanent scarring may occur.
Acne causes the development of whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules, nodules and cysts. Whiteheads, also called pimples or zits, are small white, puss-filled bumps on the skin. Blackheads remain unclosed and appear as black dots in the pores of the skin. Papules and pustules are red, sore bumps. Nodules, buried deep beneath the surface of the skin, feel like hard, painful lumps. Cysts cause boil-like infections.
The causes of acne include excessive oil production, irregular shedding of skin cells and bacteria, according to MayoClinic.com. All of these factors plug or block pores, resulting in acne blemishes.
Treatment options seek to reduce oil levels in the skin, cleanse bacteria, soothe inflamed skin and exfoliate dead skin cells. Many treatment options exist including over-the-counter medications, prescription medications and home remedies. Oatmeal has long been used as a home skin treatment for irritated skin, dry skin and acne.
Long used as a home remedy for numerous skin conditions, oatmeal may provide numerous benefits for the skin. Although not clinically proven, the benefits have been touted and passed from person to person. Oatmeal, a naturally absorbent grain, absorbs excess oil when applied to the skin. The texture of oatmeal also removes dead skin cells or exfoliates the skin. Oatmeal may soothe sore and irritated skin, alleviating some of the pain and redness associated with acne.
To make a homemade oatmeal mask, combine ¾ cup oatmeal with ½ cup water and cook it like you normally would to eat. Allow to cool, and add ¼ cup honey. Stir the mixture until well blended. Apply to the face. Wait 10 to 20 minutes before washing your skin with a mild facial cleanser to remove the mask.
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