Acne, a common skin condition affecting individuals of all ages, often raises questions about treatments and natural solutions.
This comprehensive guide addresses the causes, treatments, and preventive measures to manage acne effectively.
Learn how to manage and prevent acne effectively. Explore its causes, treatments, and natural remedies for clear, healthy skin.
Acne manifests as pimples and cysts, resulting from infected follicles due to excess sebum production.
Adolescents are frequently impacted, but adults can also suffer, impacting self-esteem significantly.
What causes acne?
Acne, characterized by blemishes, stems from a blend of elements.
Hormonal shifts, particularly during puberty, can overstimulate oil glands, leading to excessive sebum production.
This, combined with dead skin cells, clogs pores, fostering bacteria growth.
Bacterial overgrowth sparks inflammation, resulting in redness and discomfort.
Genetics play a role; if parents had acne, chances increase for their children.
Environmental aspects like pollution can worsen acne.
Clearing acne: myths and facts
It is a mistake to think that these skin problems are due to poor hygiene.
Washes do not treat or prevent acne, they only cleanse the skin by removing excess sebum and dead cells.
Using the wrong products while harming the affected areas only worsens the condition and further irritates the skin.
Washing your face twice a day with just mild soap is sufficient because acne is caused by multiple biological factors.
Managing stress-induced acne
Stress is blamed for all ills because it has many physiological effects on the body, including an alteration of hormones that can generate an acne tendency.
But here, it’s more acne that causes stress than the other way around!
If properly handled, stress is of little consequence.
Usually, acne starts during puberty and goes away around your twenties.
Sometimes it persists into adulthood.
This type of acne results in a more severe form affecting the face and body, most commonly affecting men, although the woman is also victim to the rhythm of her menstrual cycle.
Different reasons are mentioned:
– Hormonal changes in women – from ovarian cyst to pregnancy
– Stopping the contraceptive pill
– Comedogenic cosmetics
Dispelling acne and diet misconceptions
Acne is not caused by diet in any way.
So a strict diet will not help treat this condition.
And although some believe that it is aggravated by certain foods like nuts, peanuts, chocolate … no scientific study shows such an effect.
Sun exposure and acne: A balanced perspective
Some believe that sun exposure heals the lesions by the action of ultraviolet rays.
Again, no scientific study has confirmed this effect.
Note that some treatments increase the skin’s sensitivity to UV, which is called photosensitivity.
Tailored acne treatment strategies
There is no rule when it comes to handling because everyone is different.
If you do not get encouraging results with the care you apply, do not hesitate to consult a dermatologist.
Selecting the right hygiene products for acne
Go for anti-acne soap, non-comedogenic toiletries, skincare, and makeup.
These products are formulated to be allergy-free.
The CeraVe (ad) range is very interesting for all acne treatments.
Note that some treatments can cause irritation and make the skin dry and the concomitant use of certain toiletries can worsen this effect.
It is, therefore, preferable to ask your dermatologist or pharmacist to choose an adequate range.
As for makeup, it is better to give preference to powders.
All creams and foundations are irritating and comedogenic.
The importance of patience in acne treatment
It’s best not to touch it.
Squeezing lesions only spread the infection by pushing it deep.
In the end, you are most likely to increase inflammation and leave a scar.
Addressing acne scars: Prevention and treatment
The only possible prevention of scars is to get rid of acne.
Dermatologists use various methods to treat scars such as chemical peels, dermabrasion, laser abrasion.
But these treatments can only be given if the disease is permanently cured.
Maximizing acne treatment efficacy: Dos and don’ts
– How long should an acne treatment last?
The time depends mainly on the products used but translates into weeks or months and not days.
Dermatologists often prescribe treatments for 4 to 8 weeks to judge their effectiveness.
It is important to note this important delay so as not to stop treatment too quickly thinking that it is not working.
– Is applying more medicine make acne heal faster?
No, on the contrary.
Too much of a drug can increase inflammation of the skin, cause redness, or further clog the follicles, which will lengthen the duration of treatment.
– My acne is getting better. Can I stop the treatment?
Only your dermatologist can tell you when to stop treatment.
Stopping it too early can lead to a resurgence of the disease a few weeks later.
Does the timing of the treatment matter?
Again, ask your dermatologist.
If, for example, an antibiotic has been prescribed, you will need to take it morning, noon, and night, or just once a day depending on the molecule.
Some antibiotics should not be taken on an empty stomach.
For topical treatment, you should strictly follow your doctor’s recommendations.
– I forgot to take my treatment, what should I do?
Most patients set up habits so that they do not forget to take the treatment. But if you forget what to do?
In any case, if you have skipped one day especially do not take a double dose the next day.
Tailoring acne care for dark skin
No, the treatments are the same for everyone.
On the other hand, some creams can cause white spots on dark skin.
Note that dark or black skin is much less hydrated than light skin and that applications of benzoyl peroxide often used to treat skin acne cause localized discolorations.
Teenage acne vs. adult-onset acne: Key differences
Acne is primarily a disease affecting the sebaceous follicles and it applies to all age groups.
Nonetheless, it is prudent to look for a possible underlying cause that can trigger acne in adulthood.
We talk about acne vulgaris or acne that develops due to an overproduction of sebum and multiplication of cells in the sebaceous follicle which end up creating a comedo.
Typically, this acne appears during growth and development between the ages of 12 and 20.
Acne that appears at age 35-40 is either a resurgence of hormonal acne after dormancy – preferably during pregnancy – or a sudden onset never experienced younger.
Acne in adulthood is more difficult to cure when hormonal causes are ruled out.
Indeed, the acne of the 40 years without hormonal cause must be investigated.
Certain drugs can trigger it such as steroids, and anti-epileptics…
Note that some acne-like lesions can be another skin condition like folliculitis or eczema that requires other treatment.
Diet’s influence on sebum production: the truth
Diet plays no particular role in this disease.
As much as it can have a real influence on other skin diseases, in the case of acne, it does not intervene at all.
Acne related to eating is a myth.
In contrast, the triggers are:
– hereditary factors
– an increase in male hormones
– emotional stress
– components of cosmetic and environmental products
No particular food shows any virtue in treating or curing this problem.
There is no explanation.
All that is known is that the sebaceous glands that produce sebum fully develop during puberty.
Exploring the science of skin redness
The redness is a result of the body’s inflammatory response.
Inflammation is a sign that your immune system is working to fight infection.
If my skin is red, will I have scars?
But even if no permanent scars remain, the effects of the immune response leave the skin reddened for several months, sometimes over a year.
Free radicals and skin health: The basics
Free radicals are the direct products of the body’s oxidation.
Of course, we need free radicals because they are also life processes.
But the excessive accumulation of these free radicals causes health problems and especially damage to the skin.
Antioxidants help prevent the proliferation of free radicals and thus preserve healthy skin.
Go for trace elements like zinc, copper, selenium; omega 3, and polyphenols
Acne, natural treatments
– Skin cleansing
To prevent or relieve acne, you need to nourish and cleanse your skin.
To avoid the risk of allergy, choose mild, neutral herbal products and use them twice a day.
There are many specific products available to reduce acne breakouts.
– Acne essential oil
A neutral lotion made from tea tree essential oil or echinacea can slow it down or even stop it.
Reminder: excessive washing will not help reduce it, quite the contrary.
Stick to two sessions per day!
– Moisturizers and cosmetics
Just like with soap and cleansing gel, choose moisturizing solutions and cosmetics appropriate for your skin type.
Avoid anything that is too fatty or oily and all products containing isocetyl stearate, isopropyl isostearate, isopropyl palmitate, isopropyl myristate, parabens, and sodium chloride which cause acne.
Makeup is also a trigger for acne breakouts in adults.
Remember not to overdo it to avoid irritation to the skin and allow it to breathe.
The art of herbal remedies for acne
Herbs can be very helpful in the treatment and prevention of acne.
Chamomile, lavender, juniper, bergamot, dandelion, and burdock can help flush out toxins and improve skin conditions.
Echinacea has anti-inflammatory properties which help reduce swelling.
Red clover can also be interesting for its estrogenic action.
– Best floral water for acne
Witch hazel (ad) has excellent astringent properties to deeply cleanse the skin.
Effective home remedies for acne relief
In association with conventional herbs and preparations, there are recipes that you can make yourself at home to treat acne-prone skin:
You can make a poultice and apply it to the inflamed area for 20 to 30 minutes before rinsing thoroughly.
The best combinations are:
– Ginger and Milk
– Honey and cinnamon (leave on overnight and rinse with lukewarm water in the morning)
– Ground orange peel and water
– Vinegar and salt
– Turmeric and vinegar
– Lemon juice and cinnamon
– Ground sesame seeds and water (very effective against inflammation)
2- Natural topical treatments
To fight redness and inflammation:
– place fresh garlic at regular intervals on the lesions
– use pure papaya juice to reduce swelling
– apply mint juice to stop the inflammation.
– drink wheatgrass juice for prevention and cure
Enhancing acne management with supplements
These are the essential vitamins for acne prevention and scar reduction.
– Zinc cure – 50 mg twice a day.
If you use zinc picolinate (ad) known for its better absorption, reduce the dose to 50mg once a day
– Vitamin A – 2500 UI per day for 2 months.
Be careful, too much vitamin A can be toxic to the liver.
Take advice from your physician before any supplementation.
– Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide) – 4% minimum Niacinamide gel
Make two applications per day.
5% Niacinamide (ad)
– Vitamin B6 – 100mg per day
B6 vitamin (ad) is very effective when acne is related to the menstrual cycle.
– Vitamin C – 1,000 mg 3 times a day.
Reduce this dosage if diarrhea occurs or choose liposomal vitamin c (ad).
– Vitamin E – 600 IU per day
– Pantothenic acid or vitamin B5 – 500gr 3 times a day
Scientific research shows that a combination of pantothenic acid (ad) taken orally and a cream containing 20% applied 6 to 8 times a day provides excellent results.
– Odorless garlic pills
In case of severe acne, take 5 to 10 odorless garlic capsules (ad) per day until improvement then gradually reduce over 3 weeks to reach 4 capsules per day
– Evening Primrose Oil
Take 2 evening primrose soft gels (ad) per day
Acne and homeopathy: A holistic approach
– Silica 6CH is associated with Hepar Sulfur 6CH
Take 3 granules of Silica 6CH morning and noon
Take 3 granules of Hepar Sulfur 6CH at night and at bedtime – dissolve under the tongue
The best natural acne treatments have the advantage of improving the immune system so that it activates the defense mechanisms against the invading bacteria.
Cleansing your skin with natural solutions is real prevention.
Drinking lots of water keeps the skin healthy while flushing out toxins.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I treat acne when I’m pregnant?
Drugs for acne are most often antibiotics, retinoids, antimicrobials…
During pregnancy, it is important to avoid certain substances
– Do not take any vitamin either orally or topically
– Ban antibiotics from the tetracycline family (doxycycline…)
– Avoid any hormonal treatment – estrogen or anti-androgen
Do face masks help for acne?
They can help if they contain anti-acne ingredients like clay, and charcoal… which help nourish and purify the skin.
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) are also recommended because they have an exfoliating action while preventing scars.
Should I stop wearing makeup if I have acne?
If you think some of your products are irritating your skin, try a few weeks without makeup and see the results.
Some makeup products tend to clog the pores, which is very damaging to the skin.
There are also lines of makeup incorporating anti-acne ingredients.
Will razor cause acne?
An electric razor does not shave as close as a manual razor, which is why it helps in the prevention of acne.
If you prefer a manual razor, choose a razor with a single blade.
You should know that a 2 or 3 blades razor drives the follicle and extracts it from the epidermis
Accumulation of hair products, improperly rinsed hair wash, or wearing a hat can lead to scalp acne.
Using an anti-dandruff shampoo with tea tree essential oil can overcome this.
Also beware of hairspray, gels, and other hair care products that can come in contact with the face and spread chemicals.