Acne, we all know at least one friend or colleague who suffers or suffered from it and when you talk to them about it they are mostly unhappy, distressed and even furious that they have it. So why do we get acne and what we can do to cure and prevent ourselves from getting acne in the first place.
This is what we will focus on, in this article. To make you aware of the causes and preventive measures you can take to prevent yourself from this aggravating condition and if you already suffer from it, then the treatment options available.
What are the causes behind someone getting acne?
Our skin is made up of pores which comes in contact with many things in everyday life, such as dirt, skin oils, hair oils, sweat, dead skin cells. What happens is if we don’t regularly clean our face, our skin which is made up of tiny pores which get blocked. When this happens everyday, our skin counteracts this blocking of pores with dirt and dead skin cells, by forming pimples or zit. This is our skin’s natural reaction to clean itself from the inside.
If you continue to ignore the cleaning of your skin pores everyday, our skin can in some people, develop this condition we call acne. Certain unhealthy foods are also linked to causing acne such as foods high in carbs, sugar or starch, like white rice, white bread, pasta, sweetened beverages, desserts, ice creams etc, as they increase blood sugar level, which in turn increase release of even more insulin in our blood. Higher levels of insulin has been linked to cause oil glands to secrete more oil, which furthers the risk of getting acne.
There’s also some cases when genetics, too much stress, hormonal changes and even skin infections which can lead to someone getting acne.
What are some of the common symptoms of acne?
A person can suffer from acne not only on their face but anywhere else on the body too. Though, people mostly get acne on their face, neck, shoulders.
Our body develops pimples both black and white, which are commonly referred as blackheads and whiteheads respectively. Blackheads appear on our skin’s outer surface as opposed to whiteheads which are just formed under the other layer of our skin.
While these two pimples are the very common, people suffering from acne also can suffer from more pustules or red pimples and cysts that can also be painful in a more extreme condition.
What treatment options are available to get rid of acne?
There are many medical and even home remedies available to treat acne. These can be tried either individually or together. While you should always get in touch with a skin specialist or an M.D. specializing in treating skin disorders, everyone can try their hand at the home remedies.
There are both topical medications and pills available to treat the symptoms of acne, clearing of our skin pores and even deter our oil glands to produce excess oil. These when undertaken with other preventive measures to avoid acne, which we will discuss in the next section can definitely help in controlling or even getting rid of acne altogether.
Topical medication include certain gels/lotions, conditioners or creams which can be applied directly on our skin, after washing our face thoroughly with clean water and a natural face wash. These anointment often contain either salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide or both, which help reduce the secretion of oil by oil glands.
Oral medication can be very helpful as acne treatment, as pills which are taken are assimilated by our body and it’s positive effects can be rendered all over. This can be very helpful if you suffer from acne over multiple body parts such as chest, shoulders etc. There exists antibiotic treatments like tetracycline, which resists bacteria and infections and fights acne more effectively. These are usually paired with topical medication to make the treatment even more effective at fighting acne.
There also exists a type of drug known as Isotretinoin, which is used to treat extreme conditions of acne. It usually comes with a string of side-effects though so is only used in extreme cases when other form of treatment is not effective. This drug control less oil formation by oil glands by reducing the size of these glands. It also helps in our skin cells and pores to function normally, so they can continue getting rid of excess oil and other dirt that’s accumulated inside pores.
There also exist certain skin procedures, which are generally prescribed for people suffering from severe acne. These procedures can be highly effective in controlling the growth of acne or even getting rid of it for sometime or even permanently is some cases but the other thing to keep in mind is that these are expensive form of treatment and can also cause scars on the skin. Common forms of skin procedures used to treat acne are:
Manual removal or drainage of cysts filled with dirt, pus and dead skin so as to reduce the pain and spread of acne. Antibiotics are also used in this procedure to control the growth of bacteria and cysts again after treatment.
Laser treatment of acne is also available, though it’s expensive. This form of treatment involves use of laser lights to curb the spread of acne and kill the bacteria and dead skin cells.
Home remedies for acne:
People these days have come to realize how safe and effective treating our ailments with naturally available substances can be when used correctly. Acne can also be effectively treated with the home remedies which we discuss below:
1) Aloe vera: This natural wonder is a very effective solution against acne, as it has many anti-bacterial properties. Also effective at treating hair fall problems, aloe vera works against acne and helps clean up clogged pores. We can use it’s gel available in markets or can also use the stem if you it’s available in your or your friend’s garden. Simple crush the stem so that yields it’s juicy component which can be applied on skin.
2) Mint: Mint like aloe vera has healing properties for skin ailments. It keeps skin temperature in check and also controls the oil glands to secrete oil in limited quantity. It also has anti-bacterial properties which help in curbing the growth of bad bacteria inside the acne.
3) Apple cider vinegar: This has also proven to be quite helpful in treating acne, as it’s rich in lactic acid and succinic acid, which helps in reducing skin inflammation of acne infested skin. Also it has anti-bacterial properties.
4) Tea tree oil: You’ll find tea tree oil being used an ingredient in many natural face washes. That’s because it has many healthy properties beneficial to normal functioning of our skin like it’s antiseptic and antibacterial. One should use this oil is limited quantities or use in diluted quantity as it’s very potent even in small quantities.
5) Green tea: Green tea not only has many health benefits of drinking green tea. When it comes to acne, green tea leaves in powdered from when applied as face mask has proven to be a good remedy in controlling growth of acne.
6) Lemon and orange peels and juice: Both of these citrus fruits are high in Vitamin C and also have antibacterial properties. Their juice can be applied on a clean skin after washing it thoroughly. Both help in reducing acne by cleaning of skin pores and limiting secretion of oil by skin’s oil glands.
7) Witch hazel: This is procured from bark and leaves of a shrub. It has both antibacterial and also anti-inflammation properties. It’s used in treatment of many other skin problems such as eczema, insect bites, dandruff etc.
What are the various preventive measures to avoid acne?
There are many preventive measures we can implement in our daily lives, both in terms of how we treat our skin and also what we eat and drink. Such measures not only help us in in keeping our skin in optimal health but also makes sure that the oil glands secrete oil in limited amount as per the requirement. Also these measure help, our skin keep itself clean by cleaning it’s pores effectively.
1) Don’t apply heavy makeup on hot summer months: Makeup blocks the skin pores which prevents their normal functioning and as a result the oil, dirt and sweat can accumulate inside the pores causing higher risk of getting acne.
2) Avoid too much oil on your hair: Hair oils should be used in limited quantity as they can quite easily flow over and cover your skin pores on your face and neck, causing trouble with their blocking.
3) Don’t touch your face regularly with your hands: Hands come in contact with dirt and bacteria very often everyday, and as such we should avoid dabbing all that gunk on our face by touching it constantly.
4) Make your to wash pillows or blankets regularly: Make it a habit and wash them once a week or so, so that the oil and sweat accumulated on the pillow, bed sheets or blankets gets cleaned otherwise all that gunk can find it’s way easily on your face and cause blocking of skin pores.
5) Wear cotton clothes in summer and loose fitting ones: Cotton can help in absorption of sweat and then evaporation, while polyester or other chemical compound clothes don’t function that way. So the sweat keeps accumulating on our skin pores and is not evaporated.
6) Regularly cleanse and exfoliate your skin with natural cleansers: This is highly recommended at least twice a day, to clean your skin and it’s pores of accumulated gunk.
7) Consume enough water or fresh fruit juices, especially in summers to properly hydrate your body and skin. Water is quite vital to normal functioning of our body’s organs and also our skin. Apart from it’s usual role of hydrating the body, it also helps in cleansing of our body and skin of harmful wastes
8) Eat fruits and vegetables which are healthy for our skin such as carrots, spinach, tomatoes, lemons, oranges, whole wheat bread, berries which are high in vitamins A & E, zinc and many antioxidants.
Many people don’t know that skin is the largest organ present in our body. It’s truly plays a vital role of not only protecting our internal organs, flesh, bones and other internal components with a protective layering, but also works on controlling our body’s temperature and eliminating waste through its pores.
We should treat it with utmost care by cleaning it everyday by taking a bath and using healthy face cleansers. If we take care in following healthy eating and lifestyle practices then we can surely keep acne at bay.