Acne vulgaris usually known as Acne is one of the most common skin disorders affecting more than 85% of teenagers. It generally starts at puberty and resolves gradually as the person reaches their 20s. But some people suffer it till their forties and fifties.
Acne may present with inflammatory and non-inflammatory lesions mainly on the cheek, forehead, chin, neck, and chest. In severe conditions, it can also spread to the upper arms, trunk, and upper back. It is a chronic infection of the sebaceous gland and is self-limiting.
Causes of Acne
So what causes acne?
Acne is caused by the action of hormones on sebaceous glands and hair follicles. The sebaceous glands present beneath the skin produces an oily substance called sebum. The sebum carries naturally occurring dead skin cells through the hair follicle to the surface of the skin. This keeps your skin lubricated and soft.
However, sometimes one or more factors hinder this lubrication process by clogging your skin pores. This leads to the development of acne. The pores of your skin may be clogged due to
- production of too much oil by the follicles
- the build-up of dead skin cells in the pores
- bacteria build up in the clogged pore
All these problems contribute to the growth of acne. The bacteria Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) present in skin cells is responsible for the infection of acne. The clogged pore provides a perfect environment for this skin bacterium to multiply, as a result of which the skin inflames producing the visible lesion.
Several other factors that cause Acne are:
- Genetic factors
- Hormonal changes during menstrual cycles and puberty. This occurs in 70% of female patients.
- Stress and Anger
- Exposure to excess sunlight
- Chronic constipation
- Excess sweating
- Medicines that contain halogens (iodides, chlorides, bromides), lithium, steroids, and chemicals such as dioxins
- Endocrine disorders like polycystic ovarian syndrome and Cushing’s syndrome
Home Remedies for Acne
Treatment of acne should be started as early as possible to minimize the risk of scarring and adverse psychological effects. The treatment is aimed at healing the existing lesions, stopping new lesions from forming, and preventing scarring.
Luckily, there are several home remedies that you can do every day to make sure your skin is less prone to flare-ups. Here are 18 easy home remedies for taking control of your acne starting today.
- Mix 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and 2 teaspoons of rose water. Apply this mixture on the affected areas with a cotton ball and leave it for 1 hour. Continue doing this for about 15-20 days or till the lesion persists.
- Mix an equal amount of orange juice and lemon juice. Apply this extract on affected areas with cotton balls. Wash it off after 20 minutes.
- Scrub your face with a mixture of 2 tablespoons white sugar and 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Make sure to wet your affected area before scrubbing.
- Mix 2 teaspoon turmeric powder with 1 tablespoon mint juice and make a paste. Apply the mixture to the affected area and keep on for half an hour. After half an hour wash the area with lukewarm water. You can use raw turmeric paste instead of turmeric powder which is more beneficial and chemicals free.
- Combine 2 tablespoon honey and 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder together to make a paste. After cleansing your face apply this paste before going to bed. Wash it the next morning.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of dry yeast with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Apply the mixture to your face and keep it on until it dries off. Then wash it with lukewarm water.
- Make an Avocado paste with water and use it as a face wash. Gently rub it on your face for 5 minutes and then wash it off with water.
- The use of fresh garlic is much easier. Just take out its peel and rub it on your face. Acne disappears without scars when you do this several times a day.
- Apply a paste of ripe tomatoes on acne and keep it for an hour and then wash it with cold water.
- Combine a half teaspoon of sandalwood powder and ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder with milk especially goat’s milk to make a paste. Apply this mixture to your face. Your face will look yellow for some days, but this formula is quite effective in curing acne.
- Fenugreek is another useful home remedy for acne. Make a paste of a handful of fenugreek leaves and apply it to an infected area every night before going to bed. Wash it off next in the morning. It also prevents blackheads.
- Orange peel is a very effective remedy for acne. Pound it well with water on a piece of stone and apply it to the affected area. Leave it until dries off. Then wash it with water.
- Grated cucumber applied to your affected area for 15-20 minutes is effective. It is one of the best tonics for the skin of your face. Regular use of cucumber prevents acne and blackheads.
- Make a paste of roasted and powdered pomegranate peel with fresh lemon juice. Apply the paste to the affected area and leave until it dries off. Then wash with water.
- A mixture of 2-3 teaspoon tea with some basil leaves is another effective home remedy for acne. Make a decoction by cooking the ingredients in boiling water for about 10-20 minutes. Then cool it down and apply on the affected areas with a cotton ball.
- As for raw potatoes, peel them and rub their flat surface on your face.
- Make a paste of 1 teaspoon of chickpea flour with water and apply it to the affected area. Rinse with water after it dries off.
- Rub some melon on the skin at bedtime, and leave it on overnight. It also makes the skin soft.
These natural home remedies from fruits and vegetables can help cure your acne problems at the same time can glow your skin.
Other Measures for Acne
- Keep your colon clean to remove toxins from the body. Take 1-2 tablespoon of amla juice (Indian gooseberry) or 1-2 fresh amla daily. Regular intake of amla not only keeps the colon clean but also helps glow your skin.
- Drink half a cup of pure aloe vera juice twice daily
- Apply hot fomentation locally to open up the pores and to bring out the dirt. Then rinse the affected area with cold water.
- A hot Epsom salt bath twice a week is beneficial in mild to severe cases of acne.
- Take the sun and air bath by exposing the whole body to the sun and air as often as possible.
Factors That Worsen Acne
Some factors that worsen acne include:
- Wrong eating habits such as irregular hours of eating, excessive intake of sugar, junk foods, dairy products, and chocolates
- Use of tight-fitting wear like shoulder pads, headbands backpacks, and underwire brassieres
- Use of oil-based cosmetics, moisturizers, sunscreens, hair gels, and facial massage
- Consumption of oral contraceptives
- Acne worsen in current smokers
But regardless of popular myth, diet, lack of exercise, lack of hygiene, greasy hair hanging over the face, and masturbation do not have any effect on aggravation of acne.
Acne is not life-threatening but it has lifelong psychosocial effects. A person with acne and acne scar often suffer from constant worry and depression. Treatment of acne is a long-term affair and sometimes conventional drugs can cause irritation and dryness. Luckily there are several highly effective natural home remedies that you can use daily and most people have a good outcome after treatment. However, each home remedies listed in this article may not work for everyone, but they just might be worth a try. Yet, if your acne is severe, then consult with a dermatologist for the proper treatment.
- The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies, Vasant Lad
- Natural Home Remedies for Common Ailments; H.K Bakhru
- Home Remedies; Vikas Khatri