Pimples, zits, blackheads or lesion- whatever you call it, acne remains to be the most terrifying and annoying problem faced by almost every individual in life irrespective of his/her age, race or gender. Characterized by redness, irritation and rashes, acne occurs due to internal and external changes in one’s body and typically affects the skin of face, neck, chest, back and even upper arms (rarely and only in case of teenagers). People believe that acne is the result of high fat fast foods, dirt and infrequent washing of face, which is not at all true. Although these things can worsen this skin problem but main trigger remains to be the hormones and internal changes inside one’s body. That is why acne is one of the biggest nightmares for teenagers who are usually affected by this as they cross their age of puberty. The big problem with acne is not just unpleasant pimples or papules but the scars they leave behind, when treated. In some cases, severe inflammation is also seen.
Generally acne is a common painless skin disease but if left untreated, its severity increases and it can lead to harshness, redness and even pain. It can not only affect a person physically but emotionally and mentally. It can have huge impact on one’s social life and self-confidence. People, with severe acne, feel neglected and thus have low self-esteem. Fortunately, there are several treatments available for eliminating this irritating, ugly skin condition. Also one can try out home remedies and self care methods to treat and avoid acne without any side effects. If you are suffering from any type of acne- lesions, blackheads, white heads, maculae, pustules, papules, nodules or cysts- then take the advice of your dermatologist and find a suitable solution.
Causes of acne
There are various factors that trigger acne. Actually, it occurs when pores over the surface of the skin, which open to hair follicle, are clogged due to excess release of oil from the oil glands. These glands, known as sebaceous glands, help in maintaining a soft, healthy texture of the skin and removes dead cells, and dirt. The blocked pores create a bacteria-thriving environment leading to the formation of plug. Depending upon the top of the plug, depth and open plug, one can have different types of acne. Some of the common triggers of acne are:
- Hormones: hormonal changes are major cause of acne and this is the reason why it is most prominent among teenagers and adolescents. Even during menstruation and pregnancy, the changes inside a female body can trigger acne. These changes tend to produce more oil by the glands and thus create suitable environment for the bacteria to thrive.
- Heredity: if you have a family history with acne, then you are more vulnerable to getting it.
- Medication: Acne can also occur as a side effect of certain medications like vitamins tabs etc. o doubt vitamins are essential for the body but excess of everything is bad. Excessive intake of Vitamin B1, B12 and B6 can cause acne.
Other factor that can cause this skin problem are unhealthy lifestyle, diet, stress, pollution and oil base make up. If your skin is oily then the combination of oil and dirt could turn the situation from bad to worse.
Treatment for acne depends on its severity and skin type. Your dermatologists will first study these two factors before moving ahead with the cure. Some of the products and treatments used for acne are resorcinol, benzoyl peroxide, Retin-A, Azelaic acid etc. You are also given antibiotic and anti-bacterial medications for curbing bacterial growth. If the acne is severe and cause extreme inflammation and redness, then laser or light therapy can also be used.
Home Remedies of acne
Some of the home remedies you can try for acne are as follows:
- Make a paste of soaked almonds and apply it over the affected region till it dries. Wash it using cold water. This will help in cleaning off excess oil and dirt from the skin.
- Use clay pack for soothing and rejuvenating your skin. Mix clay in rose water or cold water and apply it over your face regularly. Your pimples will soon vanish and you will get a clear skin. You can also use dry lemon or orange peel, in powdered form, to make a face pack for acne.
- If you have scars on your face or neck after the treatment of acne, then clear the area using coconut water on daily bases. This will help in lightening the scars and give you a shinning skin.
- If you have a Neem tree in your locality, collect its bark and make its powder. Now use this powder as a paste and apply over the affected area daily. Neem has medicinal properties and kills bacteria that trigger acne.
- Mix honey and lemon or tomato juice to form a paste and apply it for 15 minutes over the affected area. This will dry out acne and clear away the scars.
- If you want your pimple to vanish overnight, then apply toothpaste over it before going to sleep. Sounds crazy but it actually works!
Once your acne is cleared, it is important to prevent this unpleasant, ugly skin problem from coming back. This can be done by following some of the tips given below.
- Wash your face regularly, especially when you come from outside, using a mild, medication soap or face wash. Be gentle while doing so and do not rub your skin.
- Use OTC lotion which has benzoyl peroxide that has anti bacterial ability and kills bacteria, thus eliminating acne and its symptoms.
- Don’t touch your pimples or burst them. Popping of pimples could lead to redness ad leave ugly scares behind.
- Use mild scrubs to scrub your skin and remove excess oil and dirt.
- Before you apply any lotion or cream, keep your hands clean.
- If you wear makeup, then clean it before going to bed. This will not only keep it clean but will make it breathe while you sleep. Don’t use oil based makeup, instead go for gel base products.
- Eat fresh green vegetables and fruits and adopt a healthy lifestyle.
- Drinks lots of water to keep your skin hydrated and remove dead cells and waste.
- Visit your dermatologists to monitor your skin health. Avoid using anything that irritates your skin and don’t do experiments with skin products without prior consultation with your specialist.