What Helps to Fight Acne?
The root cause of acne is over-active sebaceous glands. When they produce too much oil, which is normally used to hydrate the skin, the pores become blocked with a mix of this oil, dead skin cells and dirt. The blocked pores soon become inflamed and either develop into pimples or blackheads, notes Medical News Today. Hormonal imbalances are thought to be the catalyst for over-active sebaceous glands, not a poor diet and lifestyle, as many people think.
"Reader's Digest: 1001 Home Remedies" recommends the use of ice cubes or aspirin to reduce inflammation of swelling pimples. Granny Med notes that aloe vera is a great natural remedy for acne which will help prevent free radicals from damaging the skin.
Remedies containing tea tree oil, honey and lemon all have beneficial qualities that cleanse the pores of bacteria, reduce inflammation and promote healing.
Over the Counter
Over-the-counter products may be recommended to you by your doctor. Mayo Clinic notes that products containing benzoyl peroxide -- a member of the peroxide family -- and salicylic acid -- a beta hydroxy acid -- can be effective treatments. Benzoyl peroxide will cleanse deep into the pores and remove bacteria while salicylic acid helps remove oils and dead skin cells from the surface, which can cause future pimples.
Natural remedies have little medical research evidence to back up their claims of effectiveness. Having said this, MayoClinic.com notes that aloe vera does show promise for many conditions. DermNetNZ says the New Zealand natural honey Manuka may also help acne.
Over-the-counter products like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid have more support as successful treatments for acne. The three-step process of salicylic acid cleanser, benzoyl peroxide wash and a moisturizer.
Topically applying home remedies to the skin can cause mild irritation, particularly in the case of lemon juice, which increases photo-sensitivity.
Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid can cause dry skin. Medline Plus suggests that sensitive skin types might just use one or the other treatment rather than a combination.
Consult your doctor before beginning any treatment for acne.
For more severe cases of acne or if acne does not clear from other methods, a doctor may prescribe Accutane. A vitamin A derivative and normally taken in pill form for a period of 15 to 20 weeks. Accutane is a powerful medicine that can cause severe side effects, such as birth defects.
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