Home Remedies and Acne Treatments
Acne affects people of both genders, of all races and nearly any age. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, about 60 million Americans have active acne. The AAD reports that approximately 30 percent of those 60 million will use over-the-counter acne products to treat their acne. However, there are a few home remedies that may be worth trying out first.
Before you can begin to treat your acne, it's imperative that you understand what type of acne you suffer from and how products work differently depending upon the active ingredient used. If you have blackheads or whiteheads, salicylic acid helps eliminate those types of acne, according to the Mayo Clinic. If your acne is caused by bacteria and clogged pores, the Mayo Clinic states benzoyl peroxide is most effective for that type of acne. For those who suffer from excess dead skin cells, the Mayo Clinic recommends using alpha hydroxy acids to reduce the amount of dead skin cells.
Acne is not caused by poor hygiene, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. The AAFP states that many patients try to remove acne by scrubbing it away and that scrubbing only causes skin irritation which makes acne worse. The AAFP advises to use a gentle washing technique to avoid irritation. Another common myth, according to the AAFP, is that poor diet causes acne. There is no evidence that links acne to chocolate or pizza. The AAFP also advises acne sufferers to never use alcohol-based astringents as this only causes the skin to dry out and become damaged.
Lifestyle and Home Remedies
Use a gentle cleanser, one that does not contain micro-beads or any type of scrubbing agents. The Mayo Clinic recommends beginning with the lowest dosage available for the particular active ingredient you are using before venturing into stronger acne washes to see how your skin will react. The Mayo Clinic also advises avoiding heavy foundations, sunscreens or other greasy cosmetics. Heavy and greasy products only clog pores. Instead, use oil-free and noncomedogenic products that will not cause your pores to become clogged.
Skin Care Basics
Blemishes should be carefully treated and handled. The Mayo Clinic and the American Academy of Family Physicians strongly advise against picking, squeezing or popping blemishes. This only causes the acne to become aggravated and worsen skin irritation. If your acne needs to be removed, the AAFP advises seeking care from your dermatologist to extract acne in a sterile environment. The Mayo Clinic and AAFP recommend washing twice per day, preferably in the morning and evening with a mild cleanser.
Lavender oil is also used to treat acne, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. The UMMC reports that herbalists extract essential oils from the lavender plant to treat acne. You can grow lavender right in your own backyard and do this yourself. You may want to consult your physician or dermatologist prior to using this remedy at home by yourself to make sure this will be an effective treatment. The UMMC reports that lavender may help reduce dry, scaly skin lesions.
Using cleansers or active ingredients that are too strong for your acne and skin type may make your acne worse by irritating your condition. Should you find yourself in a situation with peeling or flaky skin, the Mayo Clinic advises to discontinue use of the product and wait until the irritation dissipates before trying a new product.
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