A New Look at Natural Acne Treatments
There's a confusing array of product claims and treatment
methods for acne in the marketplace. This make it difficult for acne sufferers to
determine their best course of action.
The fact is that there are
several forms of acne, including cystic acne and the common acne
vulgaris. So treatments also depend upon the type of acne you are suffering from.
While the medical community
does not have a cure for severe acne, there are a variety of
products that will subdue moderate cases of acne and provide the
sufferer with clear skin once again. Among these effective
products are natural acne treatments that provide viable
alternatives to the use of antibiotic medicines and ointments.
Natural remedies are derived from plants that have been used for
generations because of their medicinal properties. Herbal remedies can be effective natural
acne treatments. The
prestigious National Institutes of Health certainly thinks so. It recently formed the
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Health to
evaluate the efficacy of herbal remedies by funding controlled
Antibiotics are frequently prescribed for acne because there is
a known bacterial component to cases of acne.
For natural remedies to acne, one can turn
to plants such as the herb
Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolio) which has a known antibacterial
property. Echinacea is the hardy purple coneflower that is a staple of
roadside plantings and home gardens.
Soap made from Echinacea and other herbal
ingredients can be used as an antibiotic facial cleanser to help
fight and clear acne. This type of soap is also used for eczema,
psoriasis, and acne rosacea.
How does Echinacea work? Studies show that
Echinacea helps the body provide the proper enzymes at the
cellular level to protect cells against invasion by bacteria.
This ability to aid in wound healing is beneficial, not
only for acne, but also for insect bites and burns.
A more exotic and slightly more expensive
herbal acne treatment is tea tree oil. There are over 300
species of tea tree, but only one species (Melaleuca
Alteronifolia) found in New South Wales, Australia is known to
have antibacterial properties.
Tea tree oil is derived from the
leaves of the tree and is four to five times stronger than
household disinfectants in killing bacteria. At the same time,
tea tree oil is gentle to the skin. Tea tree oil is effective in
killing the bacteria even in pus and will cause the body to
eliminate pus from inside a pimple.
Tea tree oil also acts as a
mild local anesthetic which reduces discomfort and also helps to
eliminate the red irritation from the skin, improving appearance
and reducing acne social problems.
Tea tree oil is readily
available from herbal suppliers and is simply applied to the
affected area with a Q-tip. Tea tree oil should be used sparingly.
Witch hazel is not just a brand name, but an actual herb
(Hamamelis virginiana) that is still recommended as a topical
natural acne remedy. Its astringent properties help contract soft tissues,
pimples and pores. Extracts from its bark and leaves
are used in aftershave lotions and lotions for treating bruises and insect bites.
When using these topical
acne treatments it is important to be gentle. While it seems to
make sense to attempt a vigorous scrub away of the offending
acne, both medical doctors and herbalists recommend a gentle
face washing with even just the fingers as the best approach.
Scrubbing too hard dries the skin and causes it to produce more
oils that are implicated in causing acne. Don't
over-wash either - specialists recommend washing the face just
twice a day.
Another approach to natural acne treatment is to take herbal dietary supplements.
(Arctium lappa) has long been used to treat boils and abscesses
and is an acne treatment. One reported characteristic of
burdock root is that it will remove problem-causing agents from
the bloodstream. Eliminating toxic elements from the
body helps your body to heal faster.
When used as an acne
treatment, herbalists recommend that topical burdock root be
applied as well as taking a supplement that contains burdock.
Burdock is often combined with dandelion root (Taraxacum
officinale) and golden seal root (Hydrastis Canadensis). Golden
seal root was once used to prevent pitting of the skin caused by
smallpox. Herbalists also recommend red clover (Trifolium
pratense). All of these herbs are thought to improve the condition of the
skin. Be sure to take these supplements only in the
dosage indicated by the manufacturer or your herbalist.
Diet plays an important role in overall health and the maintenance
of healthy skin. A balanced diet that is rich in vegetables and
fruits provides the necessary vitamins and minerals to support
A diet containing lots of vitamin A may lower sebum
production. This is important because excessive sebum is one of the contributing causes
of acne. The various B vitamins, especially vitamin B-6, can be
beneficial as it is needed for proper metabolism of various hormones in the body.
promoted as a cure for acne, but there seem to be as many studies
against zinc supplements as there are ones that promote zinc as
an acne treatment. These vitamins are available as supplements
but again, more isn't always better; follow label dosing
There is plenty of confusion surrounding diet and acne
outbreaks. Chocolate and fried foods have long been blamed for
acne, but there is no evidence to support this. However, the link
between acne and dairy products is being subjected to scientific
A study published in the medical journal of Dermatology in
early 2005, found a link between teen acne and consumption of
dairy products. For those whose acne is aggravated by dairy
consumption, eliminating dairy products promotes clear skin.
Another misconception is that acne is caused by dirt clogging your
pores. Thinking that dirt is a cause of acne prompts
sufferers to over-wash the face and further aggravate
their acne condition. Wearing make-up doesn't cause acne either;
look for modern cosmetics that are non-comedogenic (won't clog
pores), oil-free (water-based) and hypoallergenic (no added
Acne isn't just a teen-age condition. Adults suffer from acne
as well. Natural acne remedies and improving the quality of your diet (think organic)
have provided relief from
acne symptoms for people of all ages.
About the Author: Scott Harker is the publisher of several websites including:
Sherlock Holmes Pastiches,
Harvest The Sun | Renewable Energy,
How To Do Card Tricks, and
On The Hook | Fishing Supplies.
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