Acne vulgaris or common acne can affect people from the age of 10 to well past 40. Acne is the result of oil building up in the pores of the skin. If the cells near the surface of the skin get blocked, oil can build up attracting bacteria and resulting in some type of inflammation. If the build up is near the surface the result is a pustule, if it builds up deeper in the pore, the result is a pimple or papule.If the oil breaks through the surface the result is a whitehead, if it oxidizes the result is a blackhead. This type of outbreak can occur anywhere but are most common on the face, back and chest.
Over time, with increased severity, this can form acne scars once the blackheads burst. Most people search for a natural acne treatment that protects the skin while addressing the condition before getting to this point.
Causes of Acne
Acne occurs from a multitude of causes, in puberty hormone levels begin to increase creating a cavalcade of opportunities for acne to develop. The sebum oil can over produce in these circumstances which then stimulates the bacteria that normally exists on the face with no problem. But when the oil is over producing the bacteria multiplies quickly and creates the perfect environment for the development of acne.
Heredity may have little to do with the appearance of acne. Except in the cases of severe acne, it is rare for the children to have similar pattern of acne to their parents. Nearly everyone has some form of acne at some point in their lives.
Dirt also has little to do with the development of acne. Blackheads are oxidized oil, even though they may have a dirt like appearance, they have nothing to do with hygiene. Sweat, often thought to cause acne, is also not responsible. Over washing of the skin to avoid the build up of sweat or dirt; can actually back fire, as over washing can dry and irritate the skin.
It has long been believed that the food choices, especially of teens can be the cause of acne. Chocolate, greasy French fries and pizza are often targeted as the instigators of the acne breakouts. There is little medical evidence that these foods lead to acne. A healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables is much better for overall health, but will have little impact on acne.
Stress is also a frequent target for the cause of acne. But again there is little evidence that this is a direct link to acne.
Pregnancy can cause both positive and negative effects on acne, in some cases pregnancy may clear up existing acne; in other cases it may cause outbreaks of acne.
Medication can create skin problems including the outbreak of acne. Steroids are a good example of medication that is known to increase acne outbreaks. Lithium has also been known to increase acne in some patients.
Natural Acne Treatment
Often products claim to cure acne, but it is more likely that acne will return at some point in time. There are thousands of acne products and acne medications on the market. The basis of all good natural acne remedies is one of three basics:
1. unclog pores
2. reduce or minimize oil
3. kill the bacteria
Wash skin twice a day with a mild cleanser. Over washing can lead to dry or irritated skin. Exfoliating scrubs and masks can be great to improve the skin quality, remove the outer skin layer and open pores. For acne treatment many chose glycolic or alpha hydroxyl acids can gently exfoliate the skin. Oatmeal makes a great natural treatment for acne.
Reducing oil can be done with astringents or by exfoliating with glycolic or alpha hydroxyl acids. Killing bacteria can be done with antibacterial cleansers or topical agents designed for the elimination of bacteria. Lemon juice and apple cider vinegar are natural antibacterial remedies for acne. Aloe vera makes a great natural treatment for acne; it cools the inflammation and irritation from acne and acts as a natural antibacterial gel.