If you have acne, know that you are not alone. Acne is a common skin problem that occurs when oils and dead cells clog the pores of the skin. It usually appears on the face, torso, back, shoulders, and nose. Acne can be caused by many factors: heredity, hormones, and the production of sebum. There are several solutions that you can use to cure your acne quickly and naturally. Learn how to take good care of your skin, improve your diet, and try herbal treatments.
Part 1 of 4: Take care of your skin
Step 1. Determine what kind of acne you have
There are different treatments depending on the severity of your situation. Most cases of acne are moderate, but severe acne with deep nodules or cysts can cause inflammation and scarring. This acne should be examined immediately by a doctor. Here are the characteristics of common acne.
- White pimples (closed comedones): These appear when dirt and excess oil (called sebum) get stuck under the skin's surface and form a white pimple.
- Black pimples (open comedones): they appear when the pores open, which causes dirt and sebum to move to the surface of the skin. The black coloring comes from the oxidation of melanin, a pigment in sebum, in contact with air.
- Pimples (pustules): These are acne lesions that form when excess dirt and oil get stuck under the skin, causing inflammation, irritation, swelling, and redness often accompanied by pus. Pus is a thick, yellowish liquid made up of leukocytes (white blood cells) and dead bacteria, usually produced in response to inflammation or infection of the tissue.
- Nodules: These are large, hard, swollen pimples that appear deep in the skin.
- Cysts are painful pus-filled pimples that form deep in the skin and can leave scars.
Step 2. Stop smoking
Smoking can cause a disorder called smoker's acne in which the body does not have an inflammatory response as quickly as it does with normal acne to heal the skin. Smokers are also four times more likely to have acne after adolescence, especially women between the ages of 25 and 50. Cigarette smoke can also cause skin irritation in people with sensitive skin.
Smoking is known to cause other skin problems like wrinkles and premature aging. This happens because smoking causes the creation of free radicals, which prevents the normal production of collagen and breaks down proteins in the skin
Step 3. Avoid touching your face
Dirt and bacteria on your hands can clog your pores and make acne worse if you touch your face all the time. If your skin looks irritated from acne, use a daily mild facial cleanser to remove excess dirt and soothe the skin.
Do not pierce the pimples or you may cause scarring. In addition, you could spread the bacteria even more if you pierce a pimple
Step 4. Choose the right cleaning product
Use a mild cleanser without soap and sodium laureth sulfate. Sodium Laureth Sulfate is a detergent and foaming agent that can cause irritation. Many soap-free cleansers do not contain harmful chemicals, use natural ingredients, and are available at most drugstores.
Harmful soaps and scrubbing can irritate your skin and make acne worse
Step 5. Wash regularly
Wash your skin using your fingertips once in the morning and once in the evening. Remember to rinse your skin well with warm water after washing it. Limit cleanings to twice a day and after sweating.
Sweating can irritate the skin. Wash your skin as soon as possible after you sweat
Step 6. Use the right skin care products
Apply an oil-free moisturizer if your skin is dry or itchy. It is also good to use an astringent if you have oily skin, but even then you should only apply it to the oily areas of the skin. If you want to use an exfoliating product, ask your dermatologist for advice on a treatment that's right for your skin type.
People with non-inflammatory acne, for example with white pimples or black pimples that do not cause redness, can use gentle exfoliators available at drugstores. People with dry, sensitive skin should only exfoliate their skin once or twice a week, while people with oily, thick skin should do so once a day
Part 2 of 4: Improve Your Diet
Step 1. Eat a balanced diet
Avoid meats that contain hormones and similar substances that could disrupt your own hormones, which could lead to acne. Instead, eat plenty of fiber as well as fresh vegetables and fruits. Foods high in vitamins A, C, E, and zinc can help reduce the severity of acne through the anti-inflammatory properties of their nutrients. Here are some good sources of vitamins:
- red peppers;
- amaranth leaves;
- turnip greens;
- sweet potatoes;
- the grapefruits;
Step 2. Take zinc
Studies have shown that taking oral zinc can help treat acne. Zinc is an important minor mineral salt that has antioxidant properties. This helps protect the body's cells from damage caused by bacteria and viruses. Slightly below normal zinc levels are very common, but by taking multivitamins and eating a balanced diet, you should get the amount of zinc you need. Although you can take it as a supplement, here are some ideas for natural products that contain it:
- oysters, shrimps, crabs and seafood;
- red meats;
- sunflower seeds;
- the mushrooms;
- cooked green vegetables;
- you will also find zinc to be easily absorbed in the form of zinc picolinate, zinc acetate, zinc glycerate and zinc monomethionine. If zinc sulfate irritates your stomach, you can try another form, such as zinc citrate.
Step 3. Take more vitamin A
According to some studies, severe acne can lead to low vitamin A levels. Vitamin A is an anti-inflammatory substance that balances hormones and can help reduce sebum production. You can increase your vitamin A intake by following a healthy diet and avoiding bad fats like margarine, hydrogenated oils, and processed foods.
Vitamin A is mostly found in carrots, green leafy vegetables, and yellow or orange fruits. If you are taking it as a supplement, it is recommended that you take between 10,000 and 25,000 IU per day. Too high a dose of vitamin A can cause toxic side effects, including birth defects, so be careful about how much you eat
Step 4. Consume more vitamin C
Vitamin C can improve the speed of healing. This happens in part because it helps the formation of collagen, an important protein used to repair skin tissue, blood vessels, and wounds. You can take 2 to 3 doses of vitamin C per day, for a total of 500 mg per day. You can also add foods rich in vitamin C to your daily diet. Here are some ingredients that naturally contain vitamin C:
- green and red peppers;
- citrus fruits such as oranges, pomelos, grapefruits, limes and unconcentrated citrus juices;
- spinach, broccoli and Brussels sprouts;
- strawberries and raspberries;
Step 5. Drink green tea
The consumption of green tea is not directly related to the prevention of acne. However, it contains many antioxidants that show anti-aging effects and protect the skin. It can help your skin look fresher and more youthful. To make green tea, steep 2 to 3 g of green tea leaves in a cup of hot water (80 to 85 degrees C) for 3 to 5 minutes. You can drink green tea two to three times a day.
Green tea may also have anti-inflammatory effects that reduce the risk of cancer. Some research has shown that green tea is most useful in protecting the skin from harmful UV rays
Part 3 of 4: using herbal remedies
Step 1. Use tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is often used topically for problems like acne, wounds, infections, and skin lesions. To treat acne, use tea tree oil diluted between 5 and 15%. Put between 2 and 3 drops on a cotton ball and pat it on your acne.
Never ingest tea tree oil. You should also avoid exposing it to the air for too long. Oxidized tea tree oil is more likely to cause allergic reactions than fresh tea tree oil
Step 2. Use jojoba oil
Apply 5-6 drops of jojoba oil to a cotton ball and pat your acne with it. Jojoba oil is extracted from the seed of the jojoba fruit. This oil is similar to the sebum produced by your skin, but it won't clog your pores or cause excess.
Jojoba oil will keep your skin hydrated. Usually it doesn't cause irritation, but talk to your dermatologist before using it if you have sensitive skin
Step 3. Use juniper oil
Juniper oil is a natural antiseptic astringent product. You can use it to clean your face and tone the skin, as well as unclog clogged pores and treat acne, dermatitis and rash. Apply 1 to 2 drops of this oil on a cotton ball after washing your face.
Do not use too much, as this may cause irritation or make the situation worse
Step 4. Apply aloe vera gel
Liberally apply aloe vera gel to your skin. You will find it in most pharmacies. Aloe vera is a succulent plant that has antibacterial properties that are effective in treating acne and reducing inflammation. It prevents bacteria from infecting wounds left by acne and speeds healing.
Some people might be allergic to aloe vera. If you notice the redness developing, stop using it and talk to your doctor
Step 5. Use sea salt
Look for a lotion or cream made with sea salt that contains less than 1% sodium chloride. Apply up to 6 times a day, 5 minutes each time. Studies have shown that sea salt has anti-inflammatory, anti-aging and UV-protective properties. You can also use sea salt in a face mask to reduce your stress. Look for sea salt or sea salt products at most drugstores and specialty stores.
People with mild or moderate acne can safely use sea salt products. People with dry or sensitive skin, as well as those with moderate or severe acne should consult a dermatologist before starting. use a treatment with sea salt, as this may cause dryness and irritation
Part 4 of 4: Seek professional advice
Step 1. Talk to your doctor
You should see improvement after a few weeks of treatment, but some types of acne don't go away with basic treatment. If you don't see any improvement, talk to your doctor who can help you find a treatment that's right for you.
- Tell your doctor what treatments you have used.
- It is possible to see improvement after a week, especially if you only have a few pimples. However, with basic treatments, it takes 4-8 weeks to see a difference.
Step 2. Talk to a dermatologist
Dermatologists can diagnose skin problems and often offer targeted approaches to treating acne. Among the surgical options, it is possible to have recourse to the removal of white and black pimples or cryosurgery, a low temperature technique in which steroids are injected into acne lesions. Dermabrasion is a type of surgery that removes scars from the skin's surface and reduces the depth of acne scars.
If you have already tried all possible remedies without any results, don't be afraid to ask for help
Step 3. Talk to the doctor about prescription drugs
Your doctor can help you find the best oral or cream treatment. For acne found just under the skin, a cream may be a good option. For severe acne, medication in the form of pills may be necessary. The best option for you depends on the causes of acne.
- For spot treatment, your doctor may prescribe a cream containing benzoyl peroxide, an antibiotic, a retinoid, and maybe even salicylic acid.
- If the acne is caused by bacteria or inflammation, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic to treat the root of the problem.
- If none of this works, as a last resort you can use isotretinoin therapy. There are, however, side effects, so you should only use this treatment if acne has a very serious negative influence on your life.
Step 4. Consider hormone therapy
A high level of androgen (a hormone), especially in women, can cause excessive production of sebum which causes acne. Sebum also contains fatty acids that encourage the growth of bacteria that cause acne.
- Puberty, pregnancy, amenorrhea, and changes in medications can cause hormones to change abnormally.
- The best way to tell if your acne is caused by a hormonal change is to discuss it with your dermatologist.
Step 5. Consider a chemical peel
Your dermatologist can perform this procedure easily in their office. It will remove the top layers of the skin to make it look nicer and treat acne. It also helps reduce the marks left by previous acne attacks.
Your dermatologist will explain to you how to take care of your skin before the peel and after the procedure. You certainly won't be able to put on makeup immediately after the procedure, and you won't have to expose yourself to direct sunlight until your skin has healed
Step 6. Consider light therapy
Both laser and light therapy are popular alternatives for treating acne. Light therapy uses light on swollen acne lesions, severe lumpy acne, and cystic acne.
Studies have shown that light therapy is an effective treatment for many people. Speak with your doctor to see which option is best suited to your personal needs
Step 7. Ask the doctor how to eliminate it
Sometimes the doctor can help you get rid of the acne by drying it out, for example with cryotherapy or with injections. This can help you get clearer skin faster and can prevent scarring, but not everyone.
It is likely that your doctor will recommend one of these procedures only if no other treatment works
Step 8. Call 911 if you have an allergic reaction
Over-the-counter and prescription products have mild side effects, such as irritation, itching, and redness of the skin. It is normal to see these reactions, but if you have an allergy there can be some very serious side effects. Pay special attention to the following symptoms:
- you have difficulty breathing;
- your face, eyes, tongue, or lips swell;
- your throat is tied;
- you feel weak.
- Dermatologists recommend washing your hair regularly if it is oily. Sebum can run down your forehead and cause pimples to form.
- A dose of 30 mg of zinc 3 times a day is recommended for patients with acne. Once acne is under control, continue to take between 10 and 30 mg per day.
- Do not apply too much pressure when applying the cream all around the eyes so as not to put too much pressure on the sensitive skin.
- Don't put on makeup right after washing your skin, as it can clog your pores. Use oil-free makeup products on your skin and hair.
- Since vitamin E and zinc are needed to make vitamin A, you should add them to your diet as well. The recommended dose of vitamin E when taking vitamin A is 400 to 800 IU.
- Zinc can lower the level of copper in your blood if you take it for several months, so doctors recommend that you also take a 2 mg copper supplement along with the zinc.
- Do not use iodized sea salt or products that contain iodine, as this can cause irritation, whether ingested or applied to the skin, which will make acne worse.
- You should not take large doses of zinc for more than a few days unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Talk to your doctor before taking any zinc supplements.
- If you don't notice any improvement in your skin condition after 8 weeks, see a dermatologist.