Acne is a very common condition that affects a lot of people and of all ages.
Many questions come up frequently about treatments or natural remedies, I will try to answer them simply in the hope of giving you concrete help.
Acne is a common skin condition that results in rashes in the form of pimples and cysts.
It is the consequence of an infection of the follicles due to an excess of sebum.
Acne mainly affects adolescents although it can also affect adults and has a heavy impact on self-esteem.
What is acne?
This skin condition occurs mainly during adolescence.
Growth hormones cause the sebaceous glands to run away and thus increase the production of sebum.
These so-called androgenic hormones are male hormones that are also found in women in smaller quantities.
The sebaceous glands are found in the follicle of each hair.
During puberty, the skin cells surrounding these follicles spread more quickly.
For people who develop acne, they become united and then faced with more abundant sebum, eventually clogging the follicles.
Meanwhile, a quite harmless bacteria called P. acne or Propionibacterium acnes is growing in the follicles.
It produces irritants that trigger inflammation.
How to cleanse acne skin?
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.
Can stress cause acne breakouts?
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!
In fact, if properly handled, stress is of little consequence.
As a teenager, I had no acne…
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
Acne, what foods to avoid?
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 effect.
Does the sun get rid of acne?
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.
How to treat acne?
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.
Acne, which hygiene products to use?
Go for anti-acne soap, non-comedogenic toiletries, skin care and makeup.
These products are formulated to be allergy-free.
The CeraVe 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.
Squeezing a pimple
It’s best not to touch it.
Squeezing lesions only spreads the infection by pushing it deep. In the end, you are most likely to increase inflammation and leave a scar.
How to remove an acne scar?
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.
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 over a period of 4 to 8 weeks to judge their effectiveness.
It is important to note this important delay so as not to stop a 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 really 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.
Antibiotic acne treatment
Some patients describe black or brown spots after topical treatment with an antibiotic.
Although it is impossible to state here that this is indeed a side effect of the prescribed substances, these marks fall within the category of effects generated by antibiotics.
Notably, the minocycline induces pigmentations of the type:
– black or brown marks forming in acne scars or inflamed areas
– stains that can extend to the whole body
– brownish pigmentation of feet and calves
These effects go away when treatment is stopped.
What is the difference between retinoids and vitamin A?
Vitamin A is beneficial for health and especially for eyesight. It has a great impact on the skin.
Vitamin A deficiency can lead to blindness commonly associated with very dry, scaly skin.
High doses of vitamin A are not recommended for treating acne.
The maximum recommended dose is 5,000 IU / day.
On the other hand, the retinoid creams (Roaccutane-type) prescribed also have side effects such as redness, dander, dry skin, itching and burning.
It’s up to you to discuss this with your dermatologist.
Are there specific acne treatments 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 causes localized discolorations.
Difference between adolescent acne and adult acne?
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 a 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, anti-epileptics…
Note that some acne-like lesions can be another skin condition like folliculitis or eczema that require other treatment.
Can diet influence sebum production?
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.
Why does acne appear during puberty?
There really is no explanation.
All that is known is that the sebaceous glands that produce sebum fully develop during puberty.
What is the cause of redness?
The redness is a result of the body’s inflammatory response.
Inflammation is a sign that your immune system is working to fight an 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.
What are free radicals?
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 stereate, 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.
– Hands up!
While it’s hard to resist, squeezing pimples will only make the situation worse.
In fact, you will only cause small sores that can become infected.
You should know that a pimple evolves in one to four weeks but will eventually go away on its own.
Herbs 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 condition .
Echinacea has anti-inflammatory properties which helps reduce swelling.
Red clover can also be interesting for its estrogenic action.
– Best floral water for acne
Witch hazel has excellent astringent properties to deeply cleanse the skin.
Acne Natural Treatment
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
3- Acne natural supplements
These are the essential vitamins for acne prevention and scar reduction.
- A zinc cure – 50 mg twice a day.
If you use zinc picolinate 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.
- Vitamin B6 – 100mg per day
Very effective in cases where acne is related to the menstrual cycle.
- Vitamin C – 1,000 mg 3 times a day.
Reduce this dosage if diarrhea occurs.
- 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 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 capsules per day until improvement then gradually reduce over 3 weeks to reach 4 capsules per day
- Evening Primrose Oil – 2 capsules per day
Drugs for acne are most often antibiotics, retinoids, antimicrobials... They can help if they contain anti acne ingredients like clay, charcoal... which help nourish and purify the skin. If you think some of your products are irritating your skin, try a few weeks without makeup and see the results. Electric razor does not shave as close as a manual razor, which is why it helps in the prevention of acne. Accumulation of hair products, improperly rinsed hair wash or wearing a hat can lead to scalp acne.
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
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) are also recommended because they have an exfoliating action while preventing scars.
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.
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
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.
Drugs for acne are most often antibiotics, retinoids, antimicrobials...
They can help if they contain anti acne ingredients like clay, charcoal... which help nourish and purify the skin.
If you think some of your products are irritating your skin, try a few weeks without makeup and see the results.
Electric razor does not shave as close as a manual razor, which is why it helps in the prevention of acne.
Accumulation of hair products, improperly rinsed hair wash or wearing a hat can lead to scalp acne.
Acne and homeopathy
– Silica 6CH 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 a real prevention.
Drinking lots of water keeps the skin healthy while flushing out toxins.
How about you? What are your acne tips?
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