- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Acne Home Treatment That Works
Acne can be a frustrating and annoying problem, and can really zap your self-esteem. Sometimes, for severe cases of acne, the best way to resolve the problem is to see a dermatologist and even take medication.
But many milder cases of acne can be cleared up considerably with a healthy lifestyle and at home acne treatment. So, lets take a look at acne home treatment, as well as how to treat acne scars that might be left over once the acne has gone away.
The First Step is a Healthy Diet
The conventional wisdom for a long time has been that diet doesn't matter when it comes to acne. But recent research suggests that that thinking might be incorrect. Most dermatologists will still say that acne is not affected by diet, and the study that suggests otherwise, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, is very preliminary. More research definitely needs to be done.
But if you are battling a case of acne -- or even just an annoying pimple here and there --changing your diet could be worth a shot.
The suggested diet in the study involves eating foods that are lower on the glycemic index. In general that means avoiding sugary, fatty sweets such as doughnuts and sticking to a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains.
In addition to changing your diet, you might want to make other lifestyle changes that will contribute to improved overall health, including implementing a moderate exercise program, such as daily walking.
For more information on acne and diet, check out this article.
Then Take Your Vitamins
Some vitamins are thought to improve the skin and clear acne.
For example, adequate dietary vitamin A -- making absolutely sure that you don't get too much vitamin A in your diet -- is important for good skin, according to SkinCarePhysicians.com. Sometime topical retinoids -- compounds related to vitamin A -- are used to treat acne, but their use should be monitored by a dermatologist.
Also, some studies suggest that low doses of zinc -- about 30 mg -- could help clear the skin of acne.
The vitamin B5 also has been touted as a "cure" for acne, but the study that is often cited to support its use has been criticized as bring flawed.
Consider Other Supplements
Some people with acne have also had success using evening primrose oil. Here are some reviews at acne.org from acne sufferers who tried evening primrose oil. Studies need to be done, but it is thought to help acne because it contains an essential fatty acid called gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). Here is some information about evening primrose oil, dosage and side effects, from the National Institutes of Health.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center primer on acne, natural home treatments for acne that have been found in studies to possibly be effective include 5 percent topical tea tree oil gel, which was found in a study to improve acne and have fewer side effects than benzoyl peroxide. And another was the herb guggul, which must be used with caution and cannot be used by pregnant or nursing women or people with a family history of hormone related cancers; however guggul worked very well in one study and its results were similar to the extremely strong drug accutane. If you are considering taking guggul, be sure to consult your doctor first to make sure it is appropriate for you and will not interact with any medications you are taking.
Take Good Care of Your Skin
In addition to diet and supplements, acne sufferers need to take good care of their skin. This means washing a few times a day -- but not constantly -- with a mild cleanser and making sure to use an oil-free moisturizer labeled as non-comedogenic so the skin gets moisturized without clogging pores.
You can also try making some natural scrubs and masques at home using natural products you probably have in your refrigerator. You can make an excellent, cheap gentle scrub by mixing oats with warm water to form a paste. If you have an aloe plant, a mixture of aloe and crushed cucumber makes and excellent skin-soothing masque. So does pure local honey.
The downside to natural scrubs and masques is that they are messy, but they work well and you have the peace of mind of knowing that you're not putting any harmful chemicals on your face.
Don't Expect Results Overnight
If you keep up the good health habits and acne home treatment described above, your skin might begin to clear up, but it could take weeks or months. The important thing is not to give up and, if one remedy doesn't work after you have given it a chance, try another.
Once your acne is cleared up, then you can begin an acne scars home treatment to try to restore your skin to its best condition.
Photo credit -- shawncampbell, Flickr