Vinegar & Face Acne
If you have stubborn acne on your face, you may have tried various over-the-counter and prescription medications with, possibly, little to show for your efforts. Some Internet sites tout home remedies for acne, such as vinegar, and you may be tempted to try vinegar for your acne. However, there's no real medical evidence showing that drinking vinegar or applying it directly to your skin can treat your acne.
Teenagers suffer disproportionately from acne on their faces and elsewhere on their bodies because their maturing hormones trigger their skin to produce excess oil for lubrication, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Excess oil can combine with cellular debris and dirt at the skin's surface to irritate and clog your hair follicles. Once plugged, these follicles serve as breeding grounds for acne-promoting bacteria, causing pimples. In theory, vinegar might kill that acne-promoting bacteria.
Vinegar can be made from a variety of different organic materials, including apples, grapes, wood and grains such as corn and wheat, according to Drugs.com. To use vinegar to treat your acne, some Internet sites advise applying it directly to your pimples as a disinfectant, while others advocate drinking it every day. However, there's no firm medical evidence to show either approach works to cure pimples.
If you take vinegar internally as a health supplement in an effort to curb your face acne, most naturopathic physicians recommend using apple cider vinegar, according to Columbia University. Apple cider vinegar, taken this way, may actually help you digest your foods more effectively due to its high acidity levels, and this may, in turn, help you absorb more nutrients and improve your health in general. But there's no medical evidence that it can help clear your face of acne.
It's also possible to apply vinegar directly to your pimples as a topical remedy. If you choose to try this, you should dilute the vinegar, or you'll risk severe skin irritation or even burning. Used in this fashion, vinegar may kill some of the acne-causing bacteria on your face. However, there have been no medical studies to verify vinegar's anti-bacterial properties in acne treatment.
It may seem discouraging to those looking for a cheap, easy home acne remedy, but tried-and-true over-the-counter acne treatments containing benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid work best when it comes to treating your face acne, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. If your acne fails to respond to those, you may need stronger prescription antibiotics, which you can obtain through your dermatologist.
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