Acne! Natural and technological treatments for Acne
What is Acne?
Acne (acne vulgaris) is a skin infection typically caused by a bacterial attack on a clogged pore. Pores become clogged when the oil produced in them solidifies or is combined with dead skin-cells, dust, dirt, and other fine contaminants.
Once the pore is clogged the bacteria (constantly present in the air) will have a chance to work in peace. Before long you will have a blackhead, whitehead, or pustule.
Diet has to a large extent been excluded from the list of suspects in acne problem. But other factors do appear to be true.
There is a reason why adolescence is a trying time for acne sufferers. This is a time of human growth when hormone levels are at their highest. The hormones in turn ramp up the production of oils in the sebaceous glands which in turn makes the clogging and infection more likely.
Since hormone levels fluctuate on a near monthly basis for both men and women the conditions above apply in adult-hood.
Stress has been linked to acne because stress reduced immune response which in turn may cause a bacterial infection to take off when it was formerly in check.
Killing the Bacteria
The only true 'how to cure acne' is in killing the bacteria.
Because bacteria is the trigger for acne it's important to kill it, but this is your face (or body) we are talking about so you sure don't want to use;
- Acidic preparations (which can burn the skin, consult a dermatologist or physician)
- Alcohol (which dries the skin, consult a physician or dermatologist)
- Vitamin A preparations, unless prescribed by a dermatologist or physician
- Chemical solutions (adverse reactions, unless prescribed by a physician or dermatologist)
Some of the most effective treatments can be found in your fruit basket, pantry, or refrigerator. These are;
- Honey, organic
- Banana, whole
- Avocado, whole
- Egg white
Other effective treatments can be found at the local drugstore (or chemist) in the first aid / home remedy section of the store. These are;
- Teatree oil
Bacteria are also susceptible to heat and heat generating light.
Benefits of Natural Acne Treatments
Natural acne treatments like the ones above are special in that they will not burn the skin, are easy to prepare, easy to apply, and easy to remove. They also have the added benefit of not only killing the bacteria, but making the skin softer, more supple, cleaner, and in some cases firmer.
Once again the ingredients and benefits.
- Honey; a natural antibiotic. Should not be used on babies.
- Banana; a natural antibiotic and skin firmer.
- Avocado; a natural antibiotic and skin firmer. Similar to banana.
- Oatmeal; a natural skin soother and firmer
- Yogurt: a natural skin smoother and firmer
Honey and banana (and to a lesser degree avocado) are possibly the most remarkable of the ingredients above since they perform a number of functions on the skin. They not only kill bacteria they are good for the skin, do not remove essential oils, and help unclog pores.
The drugstore remedy perform two functions. Bactericide and cleaner. The two mentioned above and their benefits;
- Witch-hazel; a mild drying agent and bactericide.
- Teatree oil; a strong bactericide and skin soother
Please note that both Witch-hazel and tea-tree oil can be irritating to some people so the mask remedies recommended below can be made without them.
Tea-tree oil in particular, if applied too close to the eyes, can cause irritation resulting in burning sensations and watery eyes. The active ingredient in tea-tree oil, terpinen-4-ol, is a terpenoid.
If you think about it a moment you'll realize the word "terpenoid" sounds something like turpentine. If you've ever smelled turpintine you'll immediately understand why tea-tree oil smells something like it.
Turpentine has also been found to be a natural antibiotic, but I don't recommend using it as acne treatment.
Natural Antibacterial treatment recipes
Banana/Honey Mask: Assemble the following food items, combine well, and apply to the face or affected area.
- 1 ripe banana mashed
- 1 teaspoon witch-hazel (optional)
- 1 teaspoon teatree oil (optional)
- 2 teaspoons dark organic honey
- 1 egg white
The egg-white will not only sooth the skin, but acts as a binder for the other ingredients.
If you are sensitive to witch-hazel and/or teatree oil exclude these items.
Mix well and apply immediately to the face or affected area. Let sit for ten to fifteen minutes and then rinse off with cold or cool water. Pat (do not rub) dry.
The effectiveness of this preparation may be reduced without the witch-hazel and or teatree oil, but because both banana and organic honey are antibacterial it should still be effective.
You can substitute one whole avocado for the banana.
Oatmeal Yogurt Mask:
- 2 teaspoons ground, uncooked oatmeal
- 1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt
- 1 teaspoon teatree oil (optional)
- 1 teaspoon dark organic honey
You may use a clean coffee grinder, food processor, or blender to grind the oatmeal. It should be a bit finer than cornmeal, but not as fine as wheat flour.
Mix together all ingredients and apply to face and neck. The oatmeal acts as a mild abrasive so apply with gentle circular strokes for one or two minutes. Let the mask sit on your face for ten minutes and then rinse with lukewarm water, end with a cold water splash. Pat, do not rub, dry.
Lately lasers have been incorporated into the dermatologists arsenal of skin treatment technologies. Currently laser light is used to treat discoloration, remove tattoos, and as a skin peel.
It also serves as an acne treatment. The laser heats the bacteria and kills it.
Lasers are entirely too expensive for home use (unless you are the likes of Warren Buffet or Bill Gates) so a cheaper alternative is desirable.
The ThermaCleartmis such a device; it is clinically proven and FDA approved.
The ThermaClear his held against the affected area. The working end of this device is about the diameter of a dime. When the activation button is pressed a timed burst of light is produced which creates the heat required to kill the bacteria without damaging the surrounding skin. Using a device like this just as a pimple is forming will usually stop it before a pustule forms.
Another device is called Zenotm. Unlike ThermaClear Zeno uses heat alone to treat pimples. The heat element of the Zeno must be replaced after a certain number of uses. This number is inscribed on the element. The Zeno is also FDA approved and clinically proven.