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home>>beauty & fashion>>skin care>>acne information 3>>Getting Rid Of Acne: Chemical And Homemade Remedies

Getting Rid Of Acne: Chemical And Homemade Remedies

by: Dipasree Samanta

Basics of acne treatment

a) Topical agents- Acne can be treated effectively with topical agents, although the response sometimes is very slow.

b) Cosmetics- Abstain from cosmetics causing skin irritation. Use water-based and non-comedogenic cosmetics. Avoid greasy ointments and vegetable oils, parabens, lanolin, glycol, alcohol, petroleum oils and oleic acid in cosmetics.

c) Oils- Oils, like coconut oil, jojoba oil, lavender oil (soothes and heals scars) and tea tree oil (fights infection due to its antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties) are good for acne.

c) Diet- Avoid fried, greasy and sweet foods and foods with iodine (fish and iodized salt). Include extra doses of vitamin A in your diet after consulting a dietician.

d) Cleansing and exfoliating- Develop a regular habit of skin cleansing. Remove all your make-up at bedtime. Exfoliate with a gentle scrub 3-4 times per week.

e) Hydration- Drink 8-10 glasses of water throughout the day. Increase intake of water rich fruits and vegetables like cucumber, melon etc. Water flushes out toxins from the body and opens up blocked pores.

f) Humidity- Avoid excessive humid conditions like saunas or cooking in a poorly ventilated kitchen.

g) Picking- Do not pick the pimples and blackheads.

h) Stress- Beat stress. Try the relaxation and deep breathing techniques of yoga.

i) Sun- Avoid unnecessary sun exposure. Use proper protection like a sunscreen.

j) Exercise- Exercise to relieve stress and improve blood circulation to fight acne-causing bacteria more efficiently.

Treatment of different types of acne:

A) Mild acne:

Topical agents like gels and lotions are best for mild acne. For convincing improvement, it might take several weeks of continuous use. Suitable topical agents might be-

a) Benzoyl peroxide (cream, lotion or gel)- Due to excess oil secretion, the pores are clogged and become nests for bacteria which is responsible for inflammation and swelling. This medication eradicates the bacteria and removes dead cells from the skins surface.

b) Retinoic acid- This is a very mild topical agent and in some cases might take as long as over a month to show results. At first it aggravates the acne and then slowly treats it by removing the dead cells.

c) Sulfur- This medication helps to heal blemishes.

d) Salicylic acid- This medication cleans up the pores, removes dirt and oil and is specially effective for treatment of blackheads.

e) Azelaic acid- (non-toxic and very mild) Due to its antibacterial properties, this medicine attacks the bacteria that causes acne, reduces inflammation with its free radicals and restores the skins structure. It also removes persistent dark spots left behind by acne.

B) Moderate acne:

In addition to the above-mentioned medicines, this type of acne needs some oral antibiotics which are-

a) Ibuprofen- This medicine is non-steroidal and fights inflammation.

b) Isotretinoin- This drug, derived from vitamin A, is very effective in fighting persistent or relapsing acne and scars made by acne. It markedly reduces sebum production, kills acne-producing bacteria and combats inflammation. If sole use of topical agents fail, then this medication can be used in combination.

c) Spironolactone- This medicine, an anti-androgen, has a direct effect on the sebaceous gland reducing sebum production and comedone formation. It is generally prescribed for females.

d) Tetracycline- This antibiotic kills acne bacteria and is quite effective for cystic acne but not for blackheads.

e) Doxycycline- This antibiotic is used for killing acne bacteria. It is generally more effective than tetracycline.

C) Severe acne:

Individuals with severe acne need help from a dermatologist and also oral medications. It takes quite a long time to determine whether it is moderate or severe acne. Accordingly determining the treatment method is also delayed.

First, oral isotretinoin is tried with the patient. If no positive result is shown within the next few weeks, then high dosage of oral antibiotics or anti-androgens (in case of females) can be used for long term, sometimes a year to treat this kind of acne.

Some other treatment options include:

1. Expression of comedones by diathermy.

2. Brief exposure to sunlight. The anti-inflammatory properties of the ultra violet rays of the sun might help.

3. Extreme cases of acne nodules can be treated by intra-lesional steroid injections.

4. Phototherapy with blue and red light reduces inflammation.

5. Hormone treatment has been known to reduce acne.

6. The freezing treatment (cryotherapy) is useful to check spread of surface skin lesions by using cryogens like carbon dioxide snow or liquid nitrogen. This technique also checks future eruptions.

7. Skin resurfacing techniques like dermabrasion can help in evening of facial scars and lesions.

8. Certain affordable home remedies with lasting effects have proved to be quite effective in treating acne.

a) Sandalwood powder- Add a few drops of water to half a tablespoon of the powder. Apply all over the face. Avoid eye area. Let dry. Rinse. This fights acne and blemishes.

b) Almond meal and lemon rind- Make a facial scrub with 2 tablespoon almond meal, 1 tablespoon ground lemon rind and 3-4 tablespoon milk. Gently scrub your face and get rid of excess oil.

c) Clay mask- Mix 2 tablespoons of green clay with 2 drops of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of yogurt and 2 drops of lavender oil. Make a paste with water. Apply all over the face. Avoid eye area. Let dry. Rinse. Clay mask gives maximum benefit to the oily skin for its deep cleansing properties.

d) Cedarwood and sandalwood oil- Mix 2-3 drops of these two oils and gently massage over the face area. The combination of these two oils has a soothing effect, is an excellent skin conditioner for oily skin and treats acne and eczema.

e) Face mask- Take the white part from an egg. With it, mix 2 tablespoon clay/kaolin, 1 tablespoon oats, 1 tablespoon cornflower and enough rose water to make a paste. Add lavender oil and/or juniper berry oil. Mix well. Apply all over the face. Avoid eye area. Let dry. Rinse. Enjoy your soft, oil-free skin.

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About The Author
Dipasree Samanta
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The information of this page is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for your dermatologist's advice or treatment. For further details, please read our disclaimer.

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