What is Acne Vulgaris?
A health article about Acne Vulgaris fromYour Health Online the A to Z directory of dealing with Health Problems & nutritional Self Care Strategies
There are many different types of blemishes that you can get on your face. They are all generally called acne but when it comes to treatment, it is important to know exactly what is going on with your skin.
The most common type of acne is Acne Vulgaris which literally means 'common acne.' This type of acne can cause blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, nodules and cysts.
Acne vulgaris is a common facial rash occurring in adolescence and rarely in early and mid-adult life. The cause is multifactorial but the blockage of pilosebaceous units with surrounding inflammation is the main pathological process and this can occur because of a number of different factors.
There are many factors that contribute to acne. Keratin is a protein that is produced by the skin cells, and too much of it can form clumps that block oil ducts. When this happens, bacteria can form, causing a pimple.
Some dermatologists believe that people with frequent outbreaks may produce a drier oil than normal, which makes them susceptible to getting clogged pores.
If you are experiencing a problem with Acne Vulgaris, there are many treatment options available that could clear your skin right up, including a wide range of natural home remedies listed below.
Signs & Symptoms
Acne is characterized by the presence of comedones or blackheads, pimples, small superficial sebaceous cysts and scars. There are over half a dozen forms of acne. All of them are concerned with sebaceous glands or the glands connected with hair follicles.
Acne presents in areas rich in sebaceous glands such as the face, back and sternal area. The three cardinal features are:
• open comedones (blackheads)
• closed comedones (whiteheads)
• inflammatory papules
The skin may be very greasy (seborrhoea). Rupture of the inflamed lesions may lead to deep-seated dermal inflammation and nodulocystic lesions, which are more likely to cause facial scarring.
A premenstrual exacerbation of acne is sometimes noticed. There is a tendency for spontaneous improvement over a number of years but acne can persist unabated into adult life.
Types of Acne Vulgaris
The most common form of acne is blackheads. The areas chiefly affected are the forehead, temples, cheeks, and chin, the chest and back. In rare cases, almost the entire body may be covered with black heads with extensive scarring.
This occurs when the plugged hair follicle stays beneath the surface of the skin, and appears on the skin as a small whiteish bump.
An open comedo, or blackhead, occurs when the plug enlarges and pushes through the surface of the skin. Its dark appearance is not due to dirt, but rather to a build up of the dark pigment of the skin called melanin. Blackheads are also a type of inflammatory Acne Vulgaris.
The mildest form of inflammatory acne is a papule, a small, firm, pink bump appearing on the surface of the skin. These bumps can be tender to the touch, and are often considered an intermediary step between non-inflammatory and inflammatory acne.
Pustules are like papules in that they are small, round lesions. Unlike papules, pustules are clearly inflamed and visibly contain pus. They may appear red at the base with a yellowish or whiteish center. Pustules do not generally contain a great deal of bacteria, but are inflamed due to chemical irritation from sebum components.
Facial acne is occasionally seen in infants and is sometimes cystic. It is thought to be due to the influence of maternal androgens and resolves spontaneously.
Acne may occur secondary to corticosteroid therapy or Cushing's syndrome. Comedones and cysts are rare in this variant but involvement of the back and shoulders (rather than the face) is common. Clinically the rash often appears as a pustular folliculitis.
This is an industrial disease seen in workers who have prolonged contact with oils or other hydrocarbons and is common on the legs and other exposure sites.
This is a rare variant seen most commonly in young male adolescents. Severe necrotic and crusted acne lesions appear, associated with malaise, pyrexia, arthralgia and bone pain (due to sterile bone cysts). It requires urgent treatment with oral prednisolone (30-40 mg daily) and analgesics followed by a course of oral isotretinoin.
Follicular occlusion triad
This is a rare disorder most commonly seen in black Africans. It is characterized by the presence of severe nodulocystic acne, dissecting cellulitis of the scalp and hidradenitis suppurativa.
It has been suggested that this is caused by a problem of follicular occlusion rather than having an infective aetiology.
Nodular or cystic acne is usually very painful. Nodules are inflamed pus-filled lesions lodged deep within the skin. They develop when the contents of a comedo has spilled into the surrounding skin and immune system responds, producing pus. The most severe form of this type of Acne may persist for weeks or even months, eventually hardening into a cyst. Both nodules and cysts often leave deep scars.
Acne conglobata, a rare form of inflammatory acne, forms primarily on the back, buttocks, and chest. It is characterized by pustules and nodules, and severe bacterial infection may ensue.
Acne cosmetica is a relatively mild form of acne caused from topical cosmetic products. It is characterized by small pink bumps, and local inflammation on the cheek, chin, and forehead. It may develop over the course of a few weeks or months, but usually does not cause scarring. Since it can persist indefinitely, it is important to find out which topical products are causing the problem and eliminate their use.
Who is prone to Acne Vulgaris?
All of us are prone to getting zits at some stage of our lives, especially during puberty. There are many people who are prone through all stages of their lives to get Acne Vulgaris.
At the onslaught of puberty, many teens suffer from various radical changes - physical, physiological, emotional.. you name it! Of course, one of the most apparent transformations is that of the physical changes.
Aside from the males developing more muscles and moustache and females developing their breasts and hips, there's this one change that commonly annoys an enormous portion of the adolescent population. Acne vulgaris!
Acne vulgaris is also known as acne or pimples in more common terms. Overproduction of oil that suddenly happens to teenagers and sensitivity to dirt are the precursor to this menacing skin disorder.
But those two or their combination are not the only cause of breakouts. Many other factors could trigger acne. Genes, weather conditions and certain substances from food may set off the invasion or just the presence of acne.
Ridicule for having a pockmarked complexion is often one of the leading causes of low self-esteem among adolescents. What's worse is that this lack of confidence may be brought until one reaches his maturity.
The body is experiencing many changes at this time and hormonal activity is at its peak. Some teens experience only a mild outbreak while in other acne can be severe and chronic and requires the attention of a dermatologist
Unfortunately this is also the time that adolescents are developing their own personality and acne, especially in its severe form can hinder this as it can cause social embarrassment, shyness and a general drop in self –esteem. Parents and guardians are advised to keep channels of communication open with their children and help them seek professional advice from a dermatologist.
Adolescent women also often experience Acne Vulgaris during their menstrual cycle, again due to hormonal activity. Women can also get acne as a reaction to the cosmetics they use. Teenage boys are more likely to have severe and persistent acne problems.
It is not uncommon for people in their thirties and forties to experience acne problems. As with teenagers, here too hormones are the offenders. Androgens, the male hormones that are responsible for teen acne are to blame for adult acne.
Acne can even be seen in post menopausal women, when the body reduces the production of estrogen, which stimulates the androgen to over produce sebum from the sebaceous glands.
Acne in babies is a common problem and usually begins after the baby is a few weeks old. It is probably triggered by the maternal hormones, which cross over to the baby through the placenta in the final moments of the pregnancy.
Among other positive effects, like maturing the lungs, these hormones stimulate the oil glands on the skin, eventually giving rise to baby acne. Baby acne does not require any treatment except gentle cleansing with water and maybe a mild soap.
Causes Of Acne: Do You Know Factors Responsible For Acne Vulgaris?
Acne is usually a result of over stimulated hormonal activity which cases the oil producing glands, or the sebaceous glands to produce more oil than necessary.
This oil, whose purpose is to keep the skin moist, then combines with the dead skin cells, which are constantly being shed by the upper layer of our skin, to block the skin pores. Blocked or clogged skin pores, which are visible in the form of blackheads or whiteheads, can become inflamed and form lesions which we commonly call zits.
This especially occurs during puberty, although in women, it can also happen during menstruation, pregnancy and menopause, and after adolescence as well. In the case of the latter it is classified as adult acne.
The elevated hormone levels cause the sebaceous glands present under the hair shaft to produce more oil or sebum. Sebum is generally released to lubricate and protect the skin. However, when this excessive sebum combines with the dead skin cells, it clogs the skin pores and instigates acne
Dead skin cells
During puberty the cells that line the hair follicles tend to be shed off more rapidly, hence creating an accumulation of dead skin cells. Normally this accumulation of cells would drain out with the sebum. However, in acne-prone skin, the sebum and these dead skin cells stick together and plug the pore of the skin. These plugs clog the pores and trap the bacteria inside, which is allowed to proliferate freely. It ends up forming a comedone – a whitehead or a blackhead, which is the beginning of acne.
Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) is a kind of skin bacteria that has been associated with acne. When the sebum and dead skin cells plug the skin pore, it creates a perfect environment for this bacterium to multiply unchecked. This trapped mixture of sebum, dead cells and bacteria leaks into the adjoining tissues and is responsible for the inflammation, redness and the pus.
When the contents of a comedo has spilled into the surrounding skin and immune system responds, producing pus. This is one of the very important reasons you should never squeeze or pop a pimple, as you are spreading the infected pus all over the rest of your face when you do so!!
Contact with chlorine compounds
An exposure to high levels of chlorine compounds, especially chlorinated dioxins can also cause acne. This is a severe form of acne and is termed Chloracne.
Reactions to some drugs and medications can also trigger off acne. For instance, it is now believed that although stress is not directly responsible for acne, but medications taken to treat chronic stress can set off an acne attack. Medications containing halogens like iodides, chlorides and bromides; lithium, barbiturates and androgens have all been linked to acne. Anabolic steroids, which are basically steroid hormones that promote cell growth and division and are taken for body building purposes, can also cause acne.
Acne is mostly caused by overly active sebaceous glands in the skin.
These glands secrete an oily substance, called sebum, which lubricates the skin and roots of hair. The over activity of these glands is triggered by a sex hormone, called testosterone, present in both men and women (but more in men than women). Sebum is produced in excessive amount by sebaceous glands in acne patients.
The dead skin cells lining the hair follicles are not discarded effectively. Hence the follicles are clogged up and sebum builds up in follicles. The result is the formation of blackheads and whiteheads. Acne may stop at this stage.
In some people it gets more serious when Propionibacterium acne (a type of bacteria) starts growing in the clogged follicles containing sebum. These bacteria use sebum as food and produce harmful chemicals in the skin that cause redness and spots. In more severe cases, cysts develop beneath the skin surface, which upon rupturing spread the infection to nearby tissues. The result is scarring of the skin.
It is also been observed that in the United States around 17 million people are suffering from acne problem. The rise in acne problem has made people conscious of its treatment, and if you too are looking for it, you must first understand the causes of zits.
Few hormones, which are responsible in turning a kid into an adult, cause acne and you would be surprised to know that males suffer from it more than the females. This is because, these hormones occur more in case of males. So, if you are a teenager, the wish to get rid of the acne must be pretty high on your list. For, the problem is quite natural at this age.
Similarly, the link between diet and acne is also well known. Earlier doctors were of the belief that a person’s diet has no relationship with the acne problem but gradually they have started believing that for few people, certain type of food is not good, like chocolate, cola drinks etc. In some cases they result in the formation of pimples. So, it is advisable that you keep a check on your diet and avoid foods that you do not respond to well.
Acne and Zits can also be caused due to excessive intake of coffee. It is, thus, better if you reduce your caffeine intake because it has been found responsible for zits no matter whether it is caffeinated or decaffeinated.
Smoking is another reason. According to a study in 2001, people who smoke are 62% more prone to zits problems in comparison to those who don’t smoke. So, quit smoking now.
If even after giving up all these zits inducing factors, the problem persists and you find it difficult to cope with it, you might visit a doctor and seek his advice.
When To Seek Medical Attention For Your Acne Vulgaris:
Mild cases of acne can usually be self treated with over-the-counter medications but more severe cases should be treated by a dermatologist. The doctor can prescribe oral medications as well as topical ointments for use on the skin.
Acne can cause physical as well as emotional suffering and can lead to permanent scarring if not properly treated. When acne is not responding to over-the-counter medications you should consult with a dermatologist for treatment.
It is a good idea to prepare for your first consultation by writing down as much information about your acne as possible. The doctor will want to know the background -- how long you have had acne, what form it takes (blackheads, whiteheads, lesions etc.) and what you have done to treat it. You may also be asked if your parents or siblings had acne and how severe it was for them.
Since the acne treatment may include oral medications you should be prepared to tell the doctor if you are allergic to certain medicines. Girls may be asked to describe their menstrual period and boys may need to say how often they shave.
Always be informed about your condition and get the information you require. Write down questions as you think of them so that you can ask your doctor at your next consultation. Common questions include:
What kind of treatment is best for me?
How soon will I start to see results?
How long will the treatment last?
Are there any side effects?
How should I care for my skin?
Can I use makeup?
How can I prevent acne scars?
In some cases, the doctor will also physically remove Blackheads or Whiteheads and lance and drain pus filled nodules. The dermatologist uses surgical instruments which have been sterilized, so these procedures should never be attempted at home.
The best way to solve the acne problem is to work from the inside out. Acne treatment products come in both internal and external acne treatment forms. These can be
creams, gels, lotions and some prescribed acne treatment
If your acne case is severe and prolonged, it may be a good
idea to see a doctor. They then can prescribe the best solution in terms of acne treatment problems.
Since the acne is outside, we naturally assume that is the
place to begin. Logically, however, we should be looking
for the source, which is often within our bodies.
That is when acne antibiotic treatment comes in to play. Although they seem to make acne disappear, there are some
side effects you should be aware of before you use them.
Clearly though those are the older types of acne antibiotic treatment products. These days, you can get acne antibiotic
treatment products that are made using homeopathic methods,
making them relatively safer.
Even if you find the latest, safest treatment method, it is
still critical that you adhere to the instructions. Taking more than the recommended dose will only poison your system. There is no need to overdo it because you want to
get rid of acne faster.
While many mild forms of acne can be treated by over-the-counter products, more severe types may require medical attention. It is important to properly care for Acne Vulgaris and take the necessary steps to treat and prevent it, but it is also important to know when your Acne Vulgaris requires you to see a dermatologist.
The decision to see a doctor about your pimples takes into account several things, among them, how you feel about your acne and how it’s affecting you, and the medical facts surrounding your acne condition. There are several reasons why it may be a good idea to see a doctor about your Acne Vulgaris.
For one thing, severe acne may leave permanent scars, and medical treatment may help reduce scarring. Acne Scars come in different types, and appear on some people while others do not have them. The type of acne you have, and your skin type, both play an important role in how your acne scars are treated. The best way to prevent acne scars is to prevent acne in the first place, so you should find what works for you and stick to it.
In men, scars on the face and neck may make shaving difficult. Shaving can irritate scars, especially larger, more prominent ones, and can further irritate the skin.
If you have cystic acne, a more severe type of acne, painful cysts may need to be drained by a physician. This type of acne usually requires medical attention because of its severity. It can also last for months and cause a good deal of discomfort to sufferers.
Acne can also have negative psychological effects on people. It can cause them to become anxious or depressed, because they are constantly worried about their appearance. They may also fear how others see them, and feel there is no cure for this condition.
This happens in adults because many feel their acne should have cleared up after adolescence, or shouldn’t have occurred during adulthood. They are often afraid to place themselves in social situations where they might feel inferior, and often shy away from events. A physician can help treat the physical effects, ass well as the psychological ones.
Another reason to see a doctor is that teens who suffer from acne early on can usually expect it to worsen as they get older, and even continue on into adulthood. This can also mean more severe types of acne have formed, and by seeking medical attention, scarring can be prevented earlier on in the course of the condition.
Even if you aren’t sure, it can be a good idea to seek medical attention for your acne. Even if prescription medications aren’t necessary, a doctor can help you find a treatment that works best for you, and you will be on your way to recovery.
Prevention of Acne Vulgaris:
Using a deep pore cleanser can prevent whiteheads from ever forming. It could also help to gently dislodge existing spots over time.
A skin care program is the combination of skin care products and a routine that will be most beneficial to the skin. You will first need to consider your diet and type of life-style since these two factors play an important role in the health of a person's skin.
These days we seem to be living in the fast-food age and the condition of your skin is often neglected. You still can't beat the old fruit and vegetable diet when it comes to good health and a good complexion.
Remember to feed and nourish your skin by eating the proper foods. Give your skin a drink too. Those eight glasses of water a day your mom always told you to be sure to drink are essential to maintaining your skin's elasticity and suppleness, say experts.
And don't count coffee or any of the caffeinated sodas as part of the eight glasses because caffeine is dehydrating. The water you choose can be sparkling water, mineral or straight from the tap. Another suggestion is that you keep a liter-size bottle close at hand, or simply drink a glass or two with your meals, and a few in between.
One acne myth is that you can’t wear makeup or shave if you want to have clear skin. If you have acne, it is okay to use products that are noncomedogenic or nonacnegenic, which means they won’t clog pores and cause breakouts.
Some concealers now have benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid in them which will actually help to fight acne. So it is vitally important to read the labels on your cosmetics and only purchase the ones that help your skin stay clear and healthy.
Different treatment methods are used for relieving acne symptoms. These mainly include prescription medication, including both oral and topical medicines and home treatment. The most commonly used medication for treating zits is Benzoyl peroxide.
If it fails to bring relief, other oral and topical medicines are tried. Topical treatments include the use of azelaic acid (sold by the name Skinoren), retinoids (Adapalene, etc.), and antibiotic lotions. Azelaic acid is an alternative chemical for benzoyl peroxide but it does not cause the skin to sore like benzoyl peroxide.
Retinoids are medicines based on Vitamin A. They are rubbed into the affected area once or twice daily. Antibiotic lotions control the acne-causing bacteria.
Resorcinol, salicylic acid and sulphur all work by breaking down Blackheads and whiteheads. It can take 1 to 2 months for results to show, so a little patience is required with these OTC products. Severe acne will need other solutions.
Mild acne conditions are usually best treated by topical ointments. More severe cases may be treated in a variety of ways including oral antibiotics, ointments, and physical treatments such as chemical peels and drainage.
Physical treatments must be conducted by a dermatologist. Although popping pimples is a form of physical treatment, it is ill-advised. It can cause acne-causing bacteria to spread and may lead to scarring.
Physical treatments done under controlled conditions (i.e. in a doctor's office) minimize risk while providing the best outcome.
The top layer of skin can be removed either chemically or with abrasion. Chemical peels are usually done with salicylic acid or glycolic acid.
These work by destroying a microscopic layer of skin cells to unclog pores and remove the build-up of dead cells. The same effect can be achieved by using an abrasive cloth or liquid scrub.
Glycolic acid treatments can be done every two to four weeks over a period of about six months, but salicylic acid treatments are milder and are often included in over-the-counter medications. They can be used on a daily basis.
Comedones (Blackheads and Whiteheads) can be removed by a dermatologist using sterile instruments. An anesthetic cream is used in the immediate area and then the comedones are extracted using a pen-like instrument which opens the top to allow removal of the plugged skin cells and sebum.
The procedure is usually followed by an application of antibiotic cream. It is important not to try this at home -- squeezing or picking at pimples can lead to infection and permanent scarring.
Severe acne can sometimes cause cysts to form under the skin. These cysts can be painful and disfiguring. Smaller cysts can be treated with cortisone injections which flatten the lesion in a day or two. Larger cysts may need to be drained and surgically removed.
Drainage can help relieve the pain associated with cysts and also reduce the chance of scarring. It is performed in the dermatologist's office with sterile instruments. It is important not to try to drain cysts by yourself because of the risk of infection which could lead to permanent scarring.
Light therapy is sometimes used to combat the acnes bacteria that cause acne. It is particularly useful in treating hard-to-reach areas but may have a short-term effect because it does not do anything about the production of sebum or the accumulation of dead skin cells.
Laser therapy is useful for treating the scars caused by acne. It can be used for both surface-level scarring as well as deep tissue scarring caused by serious acne conditions.
Research is currently being conducted on the use of lasers for acne treatment. Several approaches are being examined – burning away the follicle sac which produces the hair; burning away the gland which produces sebum; and forming oxygen in the bacteria to kill them. It is not yet known if laser acne treatment can cause permanent damage to the skin.
Oral Acne Medication Options
Oral treatment may be in the form of antibiotic tablets, some types of contraceptives (for women), or oral retinoids (like Roaccutane). However, Roaccutane should not be used by pregnant women. Consult a physician to find out more about both prescription medications and over the counter drugs to prevent any serious side effects.
Oral Antibiotic Acne Medication. This type of medication should always be mediated by consulting a physician. Various acne medication antibiotics that may be taken by mouth are supported by researches.
Assorted antibiotics that act as acne medication are intended for moderate, severe to persistent types of acne. It is very important that a doctor is asked first on which antibiotics for acne medication is right for you.
CortiscosteroidsVery severe acne may be prescribed with this acne medication antibiotic. This potent antibiotic is usually taken in a short span of time only. They have metabolic effects that make them inappropriate for long-term use.
Oral TetracyclineThis antibiotic is one of the most popular oral acne medications. Moderate to severe acne may be treated with an initial dose of 500 to 1000 mg per day in a decreasing dosage as skin condition improvement is noted.
This antibiotic is not for the pregnant women since it can cause skeletal defects to fetus. Children with age of under 8 years are also not advised to be given this medication.
Oral Minocycline and Doxycycline These acne medications in the form of antibiotics are only derived from tetracycline. Research evidences tell that these acne medications are more effective than tetracycline. Doxycycline is reported to induce sunlight sensitivity. Both are advised not to be taken by pregnant women.
Oral Erythromycin This antibiotic that serve as an acne medication may be taken as an alternative to tetracycline since it is safer for pregnant women and young children.
This acne medication antibiotic is said to revolutionize acne treatment due to its potent effect in dealing with severe and treatment-resistant acne
Reports has it that isotretinoin is very effective in treating all forms of acne. But it should be noted that many side affects are also attributed to isotretinoin. This includes severe birth defects to a fetus, dryness of the skin and mucous membranes.
Therefore, pregnant women, breastfeeding women or those who are planning to become pregnant must not take isotretinoin as a form of acne medication.
One of the most popular ingredients in acne treatments is benzoyl peroxide. It is found in gels and ointments and works by combating the bacteria which causes pimples.
It is also useful for removing dead skin cells that accumulate on the surface of the skin. It is these dead skin cells which combine with sebum to create blackheads and whiteheads.
Benzoyl peroxide has been proven to be safe and effective in combating lesions. It can be used after acne has cleared up to keep the skin free from acne causing bacteria.
The only side effect associated with this ingredient is dry skin, and this can be avoided by decreasing the frequency that it is applied on the skin. It can also bleach hair and clothing, so care must be taken when applying it.
Another popular ingredient in acne medications is salicylic acid. This prevents acne by clearing up dead skin cells which are accumulating too quickly and clogging the pores. Products which contain salicylic acid should continue to be used after the skin has cleared up to prevent future outbreaks of acne. The only side effects associated with salicylic acid are dry, irritated skin.
Other ingredients you may see in acne medications include resorcinol and sulphur. Resorcinol causes the top layer of skin to peel -- including the dead skin cells which clog the pores. It is often combined with sulphur. It is not known how sulphur affects acne conditions, but it has been used effectively for more than 50 years.
Sulphur is often combined with other ingredients besides resorcinol like salicylate acid and benzoyl peroxide. It is not usually used by itself because of its strong, unpleasant odor.
Of all these ingredients used for combating acne, benzoyl peroxide is probably the most versatile. It can be used in cleansing liquids or bars, as well as lotion, cream, and gels which are applied directly on the skin. The cleansing products are usually used once or twice a day, while the creams and lotions can be used as needed.
They should be applied on the skin around the acne as well as the pimples themselves for most effectiveness. You must avoid getting benzoyl peroxide in the eyes, mouth or nose as it will cause irritation or inflammation.
Self Care strategies for Living with Acne Vulgaris
If you have serious levels of acne, it can become an embarrassing and burdensome problem requiring medical assistance and prescriptions for drugs or over the counter medications. And if you have been prescribed medication for your acne, you should continue to use them as directed.
However, as an acne preventative and simple home therapy, the following natural remedies are less time consuming, less costly, and have no side effects compared to use of prescription drugs. It only requires a little more patience because the routine has to be followed diligently to get rid of the problem once and for all. A natural remedy for simple acne vulgaris may at times be just as effective as medication.
Often a spotty complexion denotes a diet high in sugar or saturated fats found in fried foods, refined or processed foods. Conversely, a diet low in fat may lack essential fatty acids, and can also affect the appearance of the skin.
Breakouts can reveal toxin buildup, resulting from constipation, kidney or lymphatic problems. Other triggers include a polluted, dry environment, and seasonal climate changes.
Skin needs to be cleansed, fed and nurtured. Externally, the skin benefits from a simple skin care regimen:
Cleansing with a mild, slightly acidic and all natural soap. Other kinds of soaps can cause redness, soreness, irritation or tightness because of the harsh chemicals, colorants detergents and fragrances they are made with. Avoid any products which contain ingredients which may irritate or dry out the skin. Most often culpable ingredients are petroleum derived, synthetic or animal based.
Tone with an alcohol-free, all natural toner, since alcohol is drying to the skin and will cause the oil glands to produce more sebum. Toner also helps reduce the bacterial population on the skin, decreasing the number of bacteria which will migrate into the pores.
Moisturize with a petroleum free cream. Petroleum is comedogenic and can clog pores unnecessarily. Creams which contain natural waxes such as beeswax do not have a comedogenic effect on the pores. At night, massage a facial oil into the skin as this helps increase circulation to the surface of the skin and suppresses the oil glands from producing excess oil.
Makeup should be strictly avoided when one is suffering from acne. Makeup clogs the pores of the skin and makes the condition worse. Liquid foundations and powder tend to coagulate on the surface of the skin and stops it breathing properly, becoming absorbed into the skin’s oil and causing more blackheads and acne.
Acne bumps should never be squeezed as acne and the pus is infectious and it may spread and become worse on your face. Squeezing your acne may also lead to permanent acne scars on your skin, which leaves your skin looking ugly and pitted.
Keep your Hair away from your face. Avoid having your fall on the acne-affected area. Hair should be kept tied up to avoid contact with acne. Fringes should be avoided as they also help increase the oiliness of the forehead area which is usually already prone to be oily in the classic T shape area of chin, nose and forehead.
Pillow covers should be washed on daily basis to avoid the germ to spread. This is a particularly easy and effective way to stop re-infecting your skin with bacteria, and stops smearing oil and makeup from the previous day all over your skin every night. Even when your acne has cleared up, you should always change your pillow at least once a week for good facial skin hygiene maintenance.
Also use a minimum amount of soaps and laundry detergent in your pillow washing, as you may also be experiencing a bad reaction from too much soap chemical residue on the pillow fabric, causing a semi-allergic reaction in your skin.
Here are a few natural remedies to help deal with your acne.
There is still no scientific basis nor findings yet that
discusses how toothpaste can actually lessen, if not cure,
the spread of acne. But it is still one of the most widely used home remedy by people.
It might be a result of trial and
discovery that made the toothpaste serve not only to clean the
teeth but also as an unusual acne home remedy. To use it, just
apply it directly to your zits before sleeping. This is
believed to help control the swelling overnight. Just make sure
that it is not the gel but the paste.
To cleanse your face you can prepare a salt solution (salt added to
warm water) and wash your face with it twice everyday. This
will remove the excess oil in your face, the main cause of
pimples. You actually have an option to add vinegar to it.
Apply it directly on the affected area and leave for 15-20
Lemon or Lime juice mixed with rose water Just apply it on your face and leave it for 15-20 minutes then rinse with warm water. A continuous application of
this for 15 days is believed to give you amazing results.
A mixture of nutmeg powder with unboiled milk when applied on the affected area regularly also helps to cure acne. Cinnamon powder mixes with honey is equally effective in curing acne.
Juice made of Papaya (paw paw)
applied on the affected area is another great option.
A paste made of ripe tomatoes is also an effective
You can try methi (fenugreek) leaves made to a paste and
applied to stay in your face for 10-15 minutes.
Two cloves of
crushed garlic applied twice a day is another choice, just bear
with the strong smell of this acne home remedy.
A combination of
witch hazel, tea tree and sweet fennel essential oils put into
water can also give satisfactory results. Just always stir or
shake it before applying to the swellings twice or thrice a
day. Use cotton wool everytime you put it on and don’t re-use the, dispose of them immediately..
Aloe Vera Juice is also
proven to be great as a zits home remedy. Just make a juice
out of it and apply it twice a day for the fast healing of your
Cucumber will never be out of the list for beauty
regimen. Apply slices or a paste of it as a mask and leave it for 30
minutes. This refreshes and tones the skin, closing the pores again after cleaning.
Tea Tree Oil- Often referred to as an all-natural alternative to BP, tea tree oil is a powerful antibacterial agent that makes for an effective acne spot treatment. Some users have found tea tree oil to be less abrasive to their skin compared with BP, while still just as effective at stopping acne. Tea tree oil has a powerful smell that turns some users off, but it absorbs quickly into the skin, and personally I don’t mind the scent at all. It may be a good idea to stick to applying this one only before bed if it bothers you.
Green Tea Cream - A lesser known spot treatment compared with the other two, green tea cream has been shown in a number of tests to again produce results similar to BP in combating acne. Green tea is one of the best herbal antioxidants out there, and using green tea extract (usually at concentrations of about 3%) in topical form, has been shown to have powerful antibacterial properties. Of course, actually drinking green tea is a good idea to supplement your clear skin diet, but the topical form is best when it comes to the fast results needed by a spot treatment.
Licorice root extract is a natural acne treatment that, like many natural treatments, has its roots in Asia. The use of licorice root to treat various medical conditions has actually gone on for thousands of years. It is mainly helpful for the treatment of skin care problems and stomach irritation.
The primary benefit of licorice root is found in its anti-inflammatory properties. Both used via topical application and taken orally, licorice root can sooth skin blemishes such as acne, helping to reduce swelling, redness and irritation. It also inhibits the growth of viruses and bacteria such as p. acnes. It is now becoming a common side ingredient in natural skin care lotions and peels.
The oral use of licorice root is effective for combating inflammation both on your skin and elsewhere. Its is even used when dealing stomach ulcers. In more serious cases, as much as 4.8 grams of licorice root extract may be consumed per day. For most cases of acne the recommended doses are lower though. Three 300 mg tablets per day is a more common dosage when dealing with supplements.
One should be cautious when taking licorice root extract, as licorice can become toxic in large doses and has several side effects, including serious ones such as paralysis. While the use of licorice root is common, it’s best to use it only as directed, and you should quit immediately and see a doctor if you experience any unwanted effects.
As an acne treatment,baking soda is most commonly used as either a facial mask or an exfoliant. Baking soda works by neutralizing your skin’s pH levels, killing local bacteria, and drying and dislodging the plugs of bacteria and dead cells that get stuck in your pores. While baking soda will not prevent future acne, it can help with the elimination of current blemishes, and thus is also helpful when applied as a spot treatment.
To be effective, baking soda should first be made into a paste. You don’t want to apply the dry powder itself directly to your skin. For best results, gradually mix warm water into baking soda until you have an even paste. You can then gently apply this paste to your face, letting it sit for not more than 15 minutes before washing it off. The length of time can very and the drying effect of baking soda may irritate those with sensitive skin, so start with just a few minutes if you think this may be a concern for you.
Unfortunately, some sources promote the other use of baking soda - as an exfoliant, rather than a mask or spot treatment. This method is both less effective and potentially harmful to your skin. Baking soda granules are so small that they can do damage to your pores if rubbed in forcefully. These fine particles can tear at your pores’ openings, leaving them potentially damaged and swollen. Also, just as it’s important not to leave the mask on too long to avoid over-drying your skin, baking soda particles can easily be left lodged in your pores if you massage them in with too much force, causing irritation to your skin later.
Baking soda isn’t a miracle cure for acne, but as a topical treatment it is more effective than many name-brand creams and gels. As long as you use it carefully and don’t nuke your skin with overuse, it can be a helpful aid for those who need a quick topical fix.
As baking soda is drying, consider following it with a gentle moisturizer during the winter months. It’s not a smart treatment to use right before you go outside.
Diet change strategies:
Apart from all these home remedies, a healthy lifestyle should also be followed, with proper balance of food, exercise and sleep.
All forms of acne have their origin in wrong feeding habits, such as irregular hours of eating, improper food, excess of starches and sugar, excess of fatty foods.
Chronic constipation is another major cause of acne. If the bowels do not move properly, waste matter is not eliminated as quickly as it should be and the bloodstream becomes surcharged with toxic matter.
The extra efforts of the skin to eliminate excess waste result in acne and other forms of skin disease. Yet another important cause of acne is a devitalised condition of the skin resulting from unhygienic living habits.
Other causes of the disorder are excessive use of tea, coffee, alcohol or tobacco,
strenuous studies and sedentary habits which lead to indigestion and general
To start with, your daily consumption of water should be a minimum of eight to ten glasses every day. This helps us to detoxify our system and kill harmful bacteria that cause acne.
Too much oily food also leads to acne, so fried and spicy food should be strictly avoided.
Including chromium in your diet also helps to cure acne. There should be a combination of right nutritional balance and proper skin care.
Ensure you have a healthy liver that functions well to cleanse our blood of the dirt from excess hormones. And with our blood clean, consequently, our skin's condition will improve.
Aloe Vera Juice For Acne Vulgaris
Aloe Vera has been around for centuries and is obviously nothing new. However what used to be thought as just a cure for sunburn and cuts is now being used for acne. If you read back into history Queen Cleopatra touted the use of aloe vera as her most important beauty secret but for some reason it seemed to get lost in the shuffle of new acne treatments that are much more costly and invasive. Now though aloe vera is shown to make an excellent zits treatment once again.
Many people often use aloe vera for clear skin by the use of skin care products that contain this powerful source. But it doesn’t necessarily have to come from the plant or in facial washes. Aloe Vera juice is now just as popular and quite frankly deserves a place in your refrigerator as well. Whole leaf Aloe Vera Juice contains many vitamins and minerals that you need for not only healthy and clear skin, but for a healthy body.
Containing calcium chromium, copper, potassium, iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc, sodium, folic acid, niacin, as well as Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C and E - aloe vera juice is perfect for your acne treatment. This is a long list of vital vitamins and nutrients that are the exact ingredients that you would include in a natural skin product, but yet you can simply just drink it to get everything you need in one 8oz glass.
Aloe vera juice detoxifies your body by helping with the digestion and elimination of waste as well as the killing of bacteria that brings on the acne and acne breakouts. By getting rid of the harmful toxins you have much clearer skin that will lessen blemishes, general acne as well as other skin problems. Aloe vera juice does this by enhancing the production of fibroblasts which are the tiny cells that are responsible for collagen formation. As we know collagen gives the skin it’s “body” which takes away wrinkles and fine lines. It is also a natural anti-flammatory that can work to reduce the inflammation that causes breakouts and acne.
The vitamins and amino acids, which are the proteins that you need for healthy clear skin and a healthy body, that are found in aloe vera work well to renew your skin with healthy cells. It is almost like taking a natural vitamin supplement that is already working to help with your acne, but it just gives you more of what you need.
You can use this in conjunction with vitamins or alone to clear your skin up and help reduce the acne that you have. Acne is never fun to have, and the easiest way to clear it up is through the use of natural products such as essential vitamins and minerals.
Vitamin & Nutrient Associations for healthy clear skin
While no vitamin ALONE will cure acne, there are some vitamins that play very KEY roles in hormonal balance that is so important for acne sufferers.
Most people are lacking in the vitamins that are important for your body to function efficiently. Only around 15 percent of Americans eat the recommended three to five servings of vegetables every day. Did you know that your skin is the largest organ of your body? It above all else requires proper nutrition to function well and act as the first line of defense against infectious diseases and microbes.
Your body needs complete nutrition to promote healthy skin and to prevent acne. There are a number of vitamins and minerals that are powerful antioxidants capable of flushing out free radicals and toxins from your body.
A healthy liver functions well to cleanse our blood of the dirt from excess hormones. And with our blood clean, consequently, our skin's condition will improve. That's the herbs way of accomplishing the natural acne treatment process. Some even have antibacterial effects and promote immunity, both of which are important in keeping your pores clean of clogging toxins and in healing the damaged skin tissue.
You may find benefit from reading our information on detoxification
It is important to also ensure you also have ‘outer nutrition’ to support your skin healt. Perhaps using this natural skin care program is the most important tip we can give you about maintaining a healthy and clear skin, once you have established a healthy nutrition routine!
We wish you well in your search for solutions to this problem and your movement towards better health in all areas.
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Experts have said that when treating a person for acne, the only way to obtain results from effective treatments is through various healthy lifestyle changes.
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With new research, new products and new skin protection advice popping up all the time, it is hard to figure out the best things to do to improve and protect your skin.
A skin care program is the combination of skin care products and a routine that will be most beneficial to the skin. You will first need to consider your diet and type of life-style since these two factors play an important role in the health of a person's skin.
Whiteheads, also known as closed comedones, are follicles that are filled with the same as blackheads, but have only a microscopic opening to the skin surface. Since the air cannot reach the follicle, the material is not oxidized, and remains white.
There are many different types of blemishes that you can get on your face. They are all generally called Acne but when it comes to treatment, it is important to know exactly what is going on with your skin.
An open comedo, or blackhead, occurs when the plug enlarges and pushes through the surface of the skin. Its dark appearance is not due to dirt, but rather to a build up of the dark pigment of the skin called melanin. Blackheads are also a type of inflammatory acne.
Most people with mild or moderate acne will recover from the condition without serious scarring. In cases of severe acne, however, scarring is almost inevitable. But don't give up hope -- new acne treatments can minimize scarring and existing scars can be removed with a variety of techniques.
People experience different types of scarring from acne, and every person is left with different facial topography. Therefore, acne scar treatment must be addressed on a case by case basis. No single treatment is right for everyone. You and your dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon will have to decide what is right for your type of acne scarring.
Anti-Aging Skin Care. Aside from being our body's largest organ that protects us against various infections and illnesses, our skin is also the best indicator of aging. Since the skin plays an important role in our overall well being, it is a must that we take care of it the best possible way we can.
Indeed, developing healthy habits can help you develop an effective anti-aging regimen that can help slow down the aging process. Experts advise that people should—as much as possible—treat their aging skin the natural way
These skin spots are sometimes called Liver Spots and are flat brown spots that can appear anywhere on the body’s skin as it ages.
Most spots appear on the face, neck, and hands.
These brown spots in themselves are harmless, but they can be a sign of more serious underlying problems. They are the result of a buildup of wastes known as lipofuscin accumulation, a Byproduct of free radical damage in skin cells.
Below here are examples of Health Success Results as well as a collection of herbal remedy recipes to try out for your own home based acne therapy:
Share *YOUR* remedy & health success story!
We are on a world-wide mission to source and tell our readers about as many as possible of the natural remedies & self care strategies available, so please help us to grow and improve our health information on this subject.
If you have a proven home remedy or natural treatment or have a great Health Success story, we would love to share it with our readers.
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Natural Home Remedy Recipes for healthy skin
Cucumber Mask For Oily Skin
Number Of Applications : 1
Preparation/Application Time : 0:30
1 egg white
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried mint flakes
-Puree all ingredients in blender.
-Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
-Apply mixture to face.
-Leave on 15 minutes.
-Rinse with hot water, then cool water.
Fruit Salad Body Mask
Number Of Applications : 1
Preparation/Application Time : 1:45
2 slices pineapple -- rind removed
1/2 medium honeydew melon -- rind removed
1 dozen green grapes
1 medium banana -- peeled
1 medium pear -- cored
1 medium kiwi fruit – peeled
-Puree all ingredients in food processor. Mixture will be slightly lumpy.
-Refrigerate for 1 hour.
-Smooth onto body and/or face, leaving on for half an hour.
-Rinse of with tepid water.
NOTES : Softens and exfoliates the skin, leaving you feeling cool and clean.
Honey & Lemon Face Scrub
Number Of Applications : 1
Preparation/Application Time : 0:10
1 medium lemon -- juice of
2 Tablespoons finely ground almonds
1 Tablespoon honey
-Combine all ingredients.
-Massage mixture into face and neck.
-Leave on for 5 minutes.
-Rinse off with warm water.
Nourishing Almond Oil Mask
Number Of Applications : 1
Preparation/Application Time : 0:20
1 teaspoon almond oil
1 splash half and half
-Combine all ingredients.
-Smooth onto face and neck.
-Leave on for 15 minutes.
-Rinse with cool water.
Peach Tightening Mask
Number Of Applications : 1
Preparation/Application Time : 0:35
1 ripe peach -- peeled and pitted
1 egg white
-Whip peach and egg white together in a blender until smooth.
-Gently pat mixture over face.
-Leave on for 30 minutes.
-Rinse off with cool water.
Strawberry Drawing Mask
Number Of Applications : 1
Preparation/Application Time : 0:35
1/2 cup ripe strawberries
1/4 cup cornstarch
-Mash strawberries and cornstarch together to make a paste.
-Apply to face, avoiding the delicate area around eyes.
-Leave on for 30 minutes.
-Rinse off with cool water.
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