Acne treatment research and product development has been steadily increasing in the last 20 years. New acne products are developed every day, some which work and some that do not. It may be surprising to know that many acne products and remedies that you buy retail are nothing more than a mixture of ingredients you could otherwise find separately, at a much lower cost.This article discusses acne symptoms, acne treatments and acne home remedies.
Acne can appear anywhere on the skin, but usually forms on the face or torso (chest and back). Acne can also be found on the legs, arms and scalp. Acne usually forms as a small pimple or comedone - it is a small roundish elevation in the skin, sometimes red in color, and sometimes with a white 'head'. The size and amount of acne pimples is categorized into different classes. Acne Vulgaris, the most common of all acne types, consists of a group of pimples (5-500) that all occur around the same areas. Acne vulgaris is what many teens suffer from when they go through puberty. When acne is not treated, or when the skin facilitates acne growth, individual acne pimples can ‘join’ together, virtually amalgamating the inflammation and infection below the skin’s surface, forming large, misshapen lesions. This is called cystic acne, and if left untreated, may require surgery for removal.
Acne Treatments - Retail
Shopping online or in a store, you’ll find hundreds of acne products. Some proclaim to cure acne in days, while other more trusted skin care products use a ‘system’ where routine use of exfoliates, anti-oxidants and anti-bacterial scrubs are used. Examples include ProActiv, ZenMed and Murad Acne Treatment. Some acne products use other methods for acne removal, such as the Zeno Zapper, uses heat technology to burn away the inflammation under the skin. All of these product's efficacy vary in degrees, but dermatologists agree that acne treatment starts with regular light cleansing routines, proper diet and skin care.
Natural Acne Treatment Remedies
Probably the healthiest and easiest way to get rid of acne is using natural acne remedies at home. Home remedy treatment acne consists of three basic steps, all of which are used in a routine basis daily. Results for mild acne can be as quick as 1 week, or a couple of months for extreme acne. The best part of natural acne treatment is if the routine is kept up, your acne will most likely never return. Here are the three basic steps, which are explained in detail further down:
·Regular light cleansing
·Skin treatment (astringents and mild soaps)
Regular cleansing simply means cleaning your face (or affected area) with warm water, three times a day. A mild soap with no perfumes or additives is best to use. The most common mistake people make when treating acne is the tendency to ‘scrub’ the affected area, which often inflames the area and makes the acne situation worse. GENTLY cleanse your skin with a clean cloth by dabbing the areas and then rinsing with clean water.
Skin treatment with astringents and antioxidants is easier than it first seems. Some natural astringents (to kill the p. acnes bacteria) are rosewater and lemon juice. Use a 1/5 ratio with water, and gently dab the affected areas with the mixture. If your skin is a dry type, rinse the area with clean water after about 1 minute. If your skin is oily, leave the astringent on for 5 minutes.
Proper diet does not necessarily mean cutting out fatty foods (although that would be great for your health!). For the treatment of acne, foods that contain natural antioxidants will help the skin rid itself of free radicals, allowing it to heal faster. Some foods that contain natural anti-oxidants are:
· Beta carotene: carrots, cantaloupe, spinach, sweet potatoes, squash and collard greens
· Lutein: spinach and collard greens
· Vitamin E: soybean oil, sunflower oil, wheat germ oil
· Vitamin C: various fruits and vegetables including oranges, apples, onions, red peppers and many others
· Lycopene: watermelons, grapefruit, apricots, oranges, guava and papaya
Things to Avoid
While implementing a regular cleansing routine, there are a few things you can avoid to help your acne treatment program. Below is a short list:
· Excess Sun: Avoid the sun between 10am and 2pm where the rays have the most UV and free radicals.
· Smoking: Studies have shown that smoking can dry your skin, cause skin cancer and create more free radicals – smoking also slows the blood to the skin, thereby restricting the skins much needed nutrients that arrives from the circulatory system. If you stop smoking, you will improve your skin strength, smoothness and overall health
· Skin Contact: Avoid touching your skin throughout the day. Also, avoid allowing your hair to be in contact with affected areas to reduce excess oils. If you have back acne, avoid heavy backpacks and other items that have prolonged contact with the skin.