Even if acne and pimples are a common skin problem that occurs mostly in the teenage years for most people, some may still suffer from the occasional spot later in life.
Nothing is more irritating than to wake to an angry volcano-size spot and can stay for several days. So, many acne sufferers turn to a dermatologist and rely on their methods and prescriptions when it comes to curing acne. The prescribed treatments often include the use of antibiotics and drying agents to kill the acne-causing bacteria and decrease oil production on the skin. Conventional acne treatments can be costly and often have unwanted side effects such as dryness, redness, and irritation, or even worse, only deals with the symptoms but doesn’t treat the root cause of acne.
Acne is a chronic skin disorder that brings about whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples to appear on any body parts such as the face, neck, shoulders, chest, back, and upper arms. Acne starts when oil and dead skin cells clog the pores in the skin.
The skin regularly sheds dead cells so it can naturally breathe and rejuvenate. Some of these dead skin cells leave the body through tiny pores. Each pore is connected to a sebaceous gland that produces an oily substance called sebum. This sebum plays an important role as it acts as our skin’s natural moisturiser.
However, when too much sebum is produced, this and the dead skin cells start to clog the pores, which prevents the oil to get to the surface of the skin. The build-up of sebum beneath the skin begins to push out your skin and so makes a bump or a pimple. This is an ideal breeding ground for acne bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes, or short P. acnes. To fight the infection, white blood cells of the body attack P. acnes, causing skin inflammation and acne.
Acne can come in many sizes and colors. Depending on its type, it can also cause a different level of pain: whiteheads, papules, blackheads, pustules, nodules, and cysts.
In both teenage and adult acne, the main cause is a combination of hormonal changes, diet, genetics, lifestyle, and stress.
Hormones are the chemical messengers in the body and control most of the major functions of the body. They have a lot to do with your skin conditions and health, along with several other changes in the body. During the hormonal changes in the body, acne can flare up. This can be at the start of puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, or any other reason.
It isn’t yet fully understood, how your diet influences acne. Some foods may help prevent acne, while others like foods high in sugar or processed foods can aggravate acne.
Your environment could also be a factor for acne. The more polluted the environment, the more you are exposed to particles and grease that can clog your pores. Other factors can be humidity, sun, hot and cold weather that stress your skin, causing acne or breakouts.
Your genes play even a bigger role than the environment: If your parents had acne, then you probably will get acne too.
Stress is one of the major factors to cause acne. You are stressed, your body releases hormones that can increase the secretion of sebum which in turn increases the skin inflammation making your acne condition even worse. On top of it, stress can slow down the wound healing process leading to a slow down of the repair of acne lesions.
Tips To Treat Acne Naturally
Double Cleanse Before Bed
Make sure to double cleanse before you call it a day. After a full day of wearing makeup and perhaps being in a polluted environment, cleansing helps you avoid accumulating particles and oils overnight that can trigger acne breakouts. Remember to also cleanse your face after a sweaty workout.
Keep Your Hands Off Your Zits
Do not in any way touch, rub, squeeze, or even scratch your pimples. Not only could you spread acne to more areas, but you can also cause scarring.
In the same line as not touching your zits, you’ll also want to keep your hair off your face. As your hair also contains oil, it will contribute to your acne. So you’ll want to wash your hair every day as well as after each workout.
To decrease dead skin cells building up and then clogging your pores, include an exfoliation step into your skincare. You’ll want to exfoliate once or twice a week. Opt for a chemical exfoliator as you don’t want to tug and rub your skin. Should you have sensitive skin, you may want to look at a gentle exfoliator like azelaic acid.
Apply Honey And Cinnamon Mask
A powerful home remedy to treat acne is a honey and cinnamon mask. You can follow the instructions on how to make the mask.
Eat Fresh Fruits And Vegetables
As mentioned above, your diet plays a role in acne breakouts. You may want to consider eating more fruits and vegetables and limit sugar, refined carbs, and dairy products. Even if you won’t see immediate results with your diet, it will improve your overall health.
All types of exercise decrease stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. If your goal is to have clear skin, find a type of exercise you love and exercise regularly. Even low regular low intensity workouts can lower the levels of stress hormones, thereby reducing overall inflammation in your body and thus preventing acne. On top, exercise helps to reduce stress and anxiety which is also beneficial in preventing acne.
As stress is such a major factor in acne breakouts, you may want to look into meditation and yoga practice. For on the spot stress reduction, take deep breaths, and count to 10. You also want to get into the habit of sleeping enough.
When you apply these tips, you should be seeing improvements in about four weeks. If you don’t only want to treat the symptoms but the root cause of your acne condition, you need a wholistic approach for an overall healthy and clear skin.
Once your skin has cleared, you probably want to treat your acne scars.
Share your experience with us in the comments below. Also, feel free to share your tips and what worked for you.