Acne- What to do if you cannot visit your dermatologist

Acne is a common condition affecting about 80% of people with age 11-30. In fact, acne can happen at any age.1,2 It may come and go on its way, but it can leave skin scars and lead to low self-confidence, frustration, refusing to socialize, and low self-esteem3.

Acne affects 3 in 4 people aged 11 to 30 years.4

It can be due to genetic factors, menstrual cycle, anxiety and stress, hot and humid climates, oil-based makeup, and squeezing pimples.4 Here, are some things which can be done — and what should not2.

  1. Don't pop or pinch pimples — can make it redder and more swollen and can cause scars.
  2. Don't scrub the skin too hard — it irritates the skin.
  3. Don't use greasy makeup or oily hair products — block oil ducts and make acne worse.
  4. Learn how to handle stress —stress and anxiety can cause pimples.5

Some of the tips or remedies for acne which can be tried out at home are —

  • Apply apple cider vinegar

It contains several organic acids that can kill P. acnes and help dry up the excess oil that causes acne. How to use it —

  • Mix 1 part apple cider vinegar and 3 parts water (use more water for sensitive skin).
  • After cleansing, gently apply the mixture using a cotton ball to the skin.
  • Wait for 5–20 seconds, rinse with water and pat dry.
  • Repeat this process 1–2 times per day, as needed.

Note: Can cause burns and irritation. It should be used in small amounts and diluted with water.

Make a Honey and Cinnamon Mask

Honey and cinnamon have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties which may be beneficial for acne-prone skin. How to make a honey and cinnamon mask—

  • Mix 2 tablespoons honey and 1 teaspoon cinnamon to form a paste.
  • Apply the face mask after cleansing and leave it on for 10–15 minutes.
  • Rinse the mask off thoroughly and pat dry the face.

Spot Treat With Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has potent anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which reduce acne after applying to the skin. How to use it —

  • Mix 1 part tea tree oil with 9 parts of water.
  • Apply it to affected areas with a cotton swab and apply a moisturizer if desired.
  • Repeat this process 1–2 times per day, as needed.

Note: Tea tree oil is very potent, so always dilute it before applying it to your skin.1

Apply Green Tea to the Skin

Green tea is high in antioxidants that help fight bacteria and reduce inflammation that has been shown to reduce acne significantly. Studies have reported that applying a 2–3% green tea extract can significantly reduce sebum production and pimples in those with acne. How to use it —

  • Steep green tea in boiling water for 3–4 minutes and allow the tea to cool.
  • Apply it to the skin with a cotton ball or pour into a spray bottle to spritz on.
  • Rinse it with water after drying then pat dry it.
  • Remaining tea leaves can also be added to honey and make a mask.1

Apply Turmeric mixture:

Turmeric is considered as an effective home remedy for acne. How to use it —

  • Mix ¼ tsp of turmeric powder to 2 tsp of coconut oil and apply the mixture on face.
  • Wait for 15 minutes. Then wash with cool water.

Apply Tomatoes to the skin:

Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants and vitamins (A and C). How to use it —

  • Slice a small tomato in half and rub the opened half to the skin where acne is present.
  • Massage the juice on the skin for a few seconds and rinse the face with warm water.
  • Apply twice a day for good results.3

Apply Witch Hazel

Witch hazel has been shown to fight bacteria, reduce inflammation and help heal the skin. It is used to treat a broad range of skin conditions, like eczema, burns, acne, etc. How to use it —

  • Soak 1 tablespoon of witch hazel in 1 cup water for 30 minutes, boil it, and reduce it to a simmer and cook, covered, for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the mixture from heat and wait for 10 minutes.
  • Strain and store the liquid in a sealed container.
  • Apply using a cotton ball 1–2 times per day to clean skin or as desired.1

Fuller's earth:

Fuller's earth or Multani mitti is good for greasy and acne-prone skin as it absorbs excess oil and unclogs the pores. Mud pack can be made with mix equal parts of fuller's earth in rose or sandalwood powder and applied. Then, wash up it after dried. It can be repeated once a week.3

Moisturize With Aloe Vera

Aloe vera gel contains salicylic acid and sulfur, which are widely used for acne treatment. It can be applied directly to clean skin as a moisturizer and repeat 1–2 times per day, or as desired. 1, 6

Exfoliate Regularly

Exfoliation removes the top layer of dead skin cells, which can be done mechanically by using a brush or scrub to physically remove the cells, improving acne. How to make scrub—

  • Mix equal parts sugar (or salt) and coconut oil.
  • Use this mixture for scrubbing and rinse well.
  • Exfoliate as often as desired up to once daily.1

Drink plenty of water throughout the day:

Water flushes toxins out of the body and improves circulation. Drinking more water is helpful in the compact against acne.3

Reduce Stress

Hormones released during stress can make acne worse. Acne can be improved by reducing stress. It can be reduced by —

  • Getting more sleep
  • Engage in physical activity
  • Practice yoga
  • Meditate
  • Take deep breaths

Exercise Regularly

Exercise promotes blood circulation, which helps nourish the skin cells and prevent acne. Studies have reported that it can decrease stress and anxiety, which contribute to acne. It is recommended to exercise (walking, running, lifting weights, etc.) for 30 minutes 3–5 times/week.1

Conclusion:

Acne is a common problem with many causes. Acne can be stubborn, but one does not need to accept it as usual. There are many ways to successfully manage acne, clear skin, and lower the chances of permanent scarring or discoloration. Though it may not work for everyone, they just might be worth a try.

References:

  1. 13 Powerful Home Remedies for Acne, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/13-acne-remedies, last access on 2nd November 2020.
  2. Managing Severe Acne: Do's and Don'ts, https://www.healthline.com/health/severe-acne/what-to-do-and-avoid, last access on 2nd November 2020.
  3. Ravisankar P, Koushik OS, Himaja V, Ramesh J, Pragnaet P, Acne-Causes And Amazing Remedial Measures For Acne, Indo American Journal of Pharm Research.2015:5(07).
  4. What you need to know about acne, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/107146, last access on 2nd November 2020.
  5. Acne ̶ how to treat and control it, American Academy of Pediatrics, https://www.stonybrookmedicine.edu/sites/default/files/40105134.pdf, last access 2nd November 2020.
  6. Surjushe A, Vasani R, Saple DG, Aloe Vera: A Short Review. Indian J Dermatol. 2008; 53(4): 163–166.

Leave a comment