A blockage of the oil glands present at the base of the hair follicles causes the formulation of pimples. Hormonal imbalances cause the over-production of oil secretions by the sebaceous glands that plug the openings, that lie at the base of the hair follicle. Over secretion coupled with dirt, dust, and grime from the environment helps micro-organisms to breed and makes it worse. When the openings are large, these clogs at the base of the hair follicle take the form of blackheads.
Acne occurs largely in adolescence. It starts during puberty between the ages of ten and thirteen. Teenage acne lasts for about ten years and is worse in people with oily skin.
Causes of Acne
Acne is mostly caused by four factors – oil production, dead skin cells, clogged pores, and bacteria. When the body produces an excess amount of sebum and dead skin cells, they can clog up the pores, and when these pores get infected with bacteria, the result is infection. Factors that can worsen acne are hormonal changes, certain medications, a diet high in carbohydrate-rich foods, and stress. What we are told now is that greasy food, bad hygiene, or cosmetics do not lead to acne.
Natural Cures and Home Remedies to Treat Acne
A good diet and sleep with regular exercise are very important. Drink lots of water (at least 8 glasses a day) and fresh fruit juices. The best course of action is to eat a well-balanced diet in which junk food and rich desserts like ice creams are eliminated. Dermatologists believe that pimples will disappear if you have a low-fat diet (less cheese, butter, whole milk). You should decrease the intake of food with a high glycemic index, and take more anti-inflammatory food like omega-3s.
Vitamin A is said to strengthen the protective tissue of the skin and prevent acne. Foods rich in Vitamin A like carrots help to get the required amount of Vitamin A.
Haritaki Health Benefits for the Skin
The antibacterial and antioxidative nature of haritaki promotes skin and hair health. It also has skin-friendly nutrients like vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, and iron. It helps treat skin infections like acne, pimples, rashes, and boils. Application of haritaki paste on the affected area can heal wounds fast and cure acne, and pimples and can also prevent further breakouts. The astringent properties of haritaki effectively reduce pores. It inhibits melanin production, reduces wrinkles and pigmentation.
How to make Haritaki Powder and Face pack for flawless skin
A diet rich in zinc is also said to help cure acne. A zinc-rich enzyme converts Vitamin A into a form that our bodies can use and it also has an anti-inflammatory effect. Zinc is found in high protein diets and also in peanuts and legumes. Vitamin C is excellent for healing acne lesions. Acne that accompanies menstruation can be cured with Vitamin B6 (found in eggs, milk, red meat, beans, and nuts) taken before and during the periods.
Manuka honey has been lately touted as an acne remedy because of its antibacterial and wound healing properties. Hydrogen peroxide is a component of honey. It gives most honey its antibiotic quality. Another antibacterial component in manuka honey is methylglyoxal (MG). MG is thought to give manuka honey some of its antibacterial power. The higher the concentration of MG, the stronger the antibiotic effect. Just applying manuka honey on the skin helps with the problem of acne.
Acupuncture is another remedy that is advocated for treating acne. Acupuncture tries to cure acne by treating the triggers that cause acne, rather than the acne itself. If the acne is caused by stress or a particular time of the month, acupuncture may help. But it is not really a conventional acne treatment.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is a fragrant essential oil from the tea tree. It is an effective acne remedy, as it has antifungal and antimicrobial properties. Even though it is good for killing bacteria, it may irritate the skin, hence it is advisable to dilute it along with aloe vera or honey, which are also antibacterial. Tea tree oil should only be applied topically.
We all know that aloe vera is a very effective sunburn remedy. It is also very effective in fighting inflammations. The gel contains anti-inflammatory compounds like aloesin that are responsible for its appeasing effect on the skin. You can use the gel directly on the skin to treat acne.
Sulfur is one of the minerals that help you have clear skin. Sulfur is an inhibitor of the growth of P. acnes bacterium as it has antimicrobial properties. Sulfur has the tendency to suppress the acne-causing bacteria and unclog the pores. Garlic is one natural food that is rich in sulfur. You can crush a clove of garlic and mix it with a little bit of water and apply it to the face. Wash it after ten minutes.
Green Tea Extract
We know that green tea is good for our body, but apparently, it is good for the skin too. Cold green tea compress helps reduce inflammation and oil production. It is also known to reduce breakouts. Dip a thin washcloth in chilled green tea, wring it out, press it gently on the affected areas for a few minutes. Repeat this 4-5 times per session.
Other Acne Remedies
According to the mayo clinic website, in addition to tea tree oil and zinc, azelaic acid and alpha hydroxy acid are very effective in acne treatment. The two acids are natural acids found in whole grain cereals and citrus fruits respectively. Alpha hydroxy acid helps remove dead skin cells and unclog pores. The side effects include, “increased sensitivity to the sun, redness, mild stinging and skin irritation.” Another ingredient that the site recommends is Brewer’s yeast. “A specific strain of brewer’s yeast called CBS 5926 seems to helps decrease acne.”
Simple Home Remedies For Acne From the Kitchen Shelves
Herbs act as a detoxifying agent, as they work on the internal condition of the body. Results are not immediate but they help improve over a period of time without side effects.
- Do not pick or squeeze your blackheads or pimples.
- Keep the skin very clean. Wash skin well with mild soap and warm water, followed by a rinse with cold water.
- Washing the skin with buttermilk and then rinsing with warm water maintains the PH balance of the skin.
- This is a traditional home remedy for acne. Pound orange peel and apply on face and wash after 10 minutes. Lemon juice applied regularly also helps.
- Holy Basil leaf and neem leaves, when applied, heals the pus filled pimples.
- A tsp each of lightly roasted mustard seeds, dried orange peel powder and Buchanania latifolia (charoli in Hindi) should be ground together with a little water and applied on the face. Wash off with warm water after it dries. This is an effective home remedy for acne.
- Mix a tsp of oatmeal with enough fresh yogurt to make a paste. Add a pinch of turmeric and apply on face. Wash it after the paste dries.
- Finely ground cinnamon powder mixed with lemon juice has an antiseptic and astringent effect.
- Fresh fenugreek leaves paste should be applied in the night and washed off in the morning. It is said to be cooling and soothing.
- Fresh garlic paste applied on the acne helps heal it. This is because the garlic paste gives anti microbial protection to the lesion. Garlic may cause a little burning so, it is advisable to try it on a single pimple first.
- To remove blackheads take 1/3 cup of pureed tomato. Add fine oatmeal and a tsp of honey and make a paste. Apply as a thick mask. Leave it for 10 – 15 minutes and wash off with warm water. This cleanses and clears blocked pores.
- For those who are prone to blackheads and acne, this works as an excellent home remedy and preventive measure. Take the pulp of an over ripe papaya, mash it and apply ot on the face. Leave for 10-15 minutes and wash with lukewarm water. Dry the skin and then massage a few drops of coconut oil or sesame seed oil into the skin. Leave it on for an hour and then wash with warm water. Do not use soap. The oil acts as a emollient and prevents the scarring of healed lesion and helps maintain the elasticity of skin tissues.