Our skin has tiny pores that are often clogged with oil, pollution and bacteria, and when this happens, the sebum produced underneath our skin gets trapped beneath along with accumulated dead skin. This then gets inflamed due to the bacteria and takes the form of pimples and acne. Often thought to be only a problem for teenagers, it can affect anyone at any age.
What is acne and possible causes
Not all bumps on your skin are acne:
- Clogged pores lead to whiteheads first
- Whiteheads then oxidise into blackheads together with accumulated surface dirt
- Small red bumps are called papules
- Papules with pus at their tip are called pimples
- Large solid, painful bumps are called nodules; usually with dead accumulated skin beneath
- Painful, pus-filled lumps are called cystic acne
There are various causes, with the main reason being trapped oils and dead skin. Excess oil or excess sebum can also make skin oily that may lead to pimples, while hormonal changes during puberty also do make the skin oilier and therefore, teens tend to have acne or pimple outbreaks. Certain medications such as birth control pills affect the hormones and just like teens, causes the skin condition to be oilier than ideal.
Caring for acne at home
Acne can be controlled with some simple self-care steps:
- Keep your skin clean, use a mild medicated cleanser at least twice a day
- Keep your hair clean, use an anti-dandruff shampoo and keep the hair away from your forehead
- Don’t squeeze or pick pimples. The bacteria can spread.
- Don’t touch your face and avoid makeup
6 home remedies to try
Besides store-bought acne creams, you might want to also try some natural products to treat acne at home.
Apple cider vinegar
Vinegar is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, which will help with reducing the redness and swelling of the acne while killing the bacteria and thus, preventing the acne or pimple from becoming larger.
How to use it?
- Mix one part of vinegar with 3-4 parts of water
- Dip a cotton pad into the solution and apply it over the affected area
- Wash immediately if the skin burns otherwise, let it sit for a minute, rinse with cold water and pat dry
- Repeat this 1-2 times a day
Honey and Cinnamon
Both ingredients are great sources of antioxidants and have remarkable antibacterial properties. Honey is also very soothing for the skin and provides ample hydration without making the skin too oily.
How to use it?
- Mix two tablespoons of honey with a teaspoon of cinnamon, mix to make a mask
- Apply it all over your face for 10-15 minutes, wash immediately if itches or burns
- Rinse your face and pat dry
Many people use baking soda to cure acne problems. The sodium bicarbonate in it can help soothe irritated skin and reduce redness. The primary thing behind its effectiveness is its alkaline properties since our skin tends to get acidic during a pimple attack, the baking soda can counteract the situation and calms the skin immediately.
How to use it?
- Mix a tablespoon of it in your regular shampoo and wash your hair as usual
- Mix a pinch of the soda with your of cleanser while washing your face
- A blob of toothpaste with a little baking soda can calm that zit right away
This beneficial herb contains tannins, which have antibacterial properties. It works fantastic for treating a range of problems such as dandruff, burns, bruises and insect bites as well. It is very much safe for the sensitive acne-prone skin and can help to bring relief quickly.
How to use it?
- Mix 3-4 drops of the undiluted oil in a cup of water
- Apply it with a cotton pad on the affected skin, discontinue if hurts
The clear gel from the aloe vera leaves is added to multiple skincare products as it naturally contains salicylic acid and sulphur. Salicylic acid is known to treat acne while reducing scarring while sulphur aids the healing process. It is safe to be used for any skin type. Simply apply the gel onto the affected area, let it dry and then wash it off. Repeat this twice a day.
It seems a bit off to add more oil into your body considering how acne is kind of caused by oily skin. However, fish oil is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which has multiple health benefits and amazing anti-inflammatory properties. Regular intake of 250-500 mg per day can visibly reduce the acne and scarring gradually. You can even pinch a capsule and apply the oil directly to soothe the irritated skin.
We hope that you experience better skin and get rid of your acne woes with the above tips but in the case of severe irritation, do consult a dermatologist.
Photos: Pixabay and Unsplash