The truth about acne

Acne is a common inflammatory skin condition that causes spots and pimples. The onset of acne usually begins at the start of puberty and will vary in severity, mild cases being only a few spots on the face, neck, back, and chest, which most teenagers will get from time to time, to more severe cases that can cause pain, discomfort and scarring.

What Causes Acne?

Acne is closely linked to hormone changes or imbalances, this is why the condition is more common in puberty, however, acne can flare up at any time. Oil-producing glands, called sebaceous glands, can produce excess oil, at the same time dead skin cells over the pores are not shed properly, causing follicles to clog up. The build-up of oil cause blackheads and whiteheads on the skin. The bacterium, known as Propionibacterium acnes, lives on everyone’s skin, usually causing no problem at all.

However, with acne sufferers, the accumulation of oil creates the perfect conditions for bacteria to multiply. This then results in inflamed skin with spots and pustules.

Women are more likely to suffer from adult acne than men, this can be due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, menstrual cycles and some medical conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome. Other triggers can include cosmetics, some medications, smoking, and wearing items that place a lot of pressure on the skin, like headbands.

There are over the counter topical treatments which contain benzoyl peroxide that can help with mild acne. If acne is moderate or severe, a doctor may prescribe topical retinoids, antibiotics, azelaic acid, and for women, the combined oral contraceptive pill.

Natural Remedies for Acne

There are some remedies that help with acne, which are natural and gentle on your skin.

  • Mud – Face masks made from mud from the Dead Sea have been used for many centuries because of its high mineral content. Mud is very beneficial to acne prone skin, as it naturally absorbs oil and cleans pores. Mud is gentle on skin and will help prevent further outbreaks.
  • Tea Tree Oil – This essential oil has been used for centuries because of its natural antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Tea tree is quite potent, so you only need a few drops. If using essential oils always dilute it first so use it with a carrier oil, or add it to your facial cream. Tea tree can be found in most chemists and health food shops.
  • Manuka Honey – Honey is a wonderful natural treatment for various skin conditions and has been used for thousands of years in beauty and medicine. Honey contains lots of antioxidants and has antibacterial properties and was used for healing wounds. It can be applied directly to the skin to soothe and soften, it will also help with spots and blemishes.
  • Garlic – A member of the onion family and used for centuries for medicinal purposes, garlic is a great natural treatment for acne.

Healthline say, “Garlic has antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiseptic properties from allicin. Allicin helps to kill the bacteria causing acne. It also helps to reduce swelling and inflammation, and improve blood circulation. These beneficial effects allow the skin to receive more nutrients. Garlic also has thiosulfinates, which can act as an antimicrobial. Many believe that with regular use, it clears the skin.”

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