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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Posting Date: 15 November 2010
Acne Problems?

Do zits give you fits?  Chances are, yes.  Acne is the most common skin problem affecting to some degree three out of every four teenagers.  And an imperfect complexion is not limited to this age group; many 20 and 30 year olds also suffer with this condition.  The problem is an expensive one, with millions of dollars spent each year on over-the-counter preparations as well as on prescription drugs.  For many, the acne process consists of nothing more than an occa­sional pimple or blemish on the face, back or chest.  A few are less fortunate and develop extensive, persistent eruptions eventuating in permanent pits and scars.  The psychological effects may be devastating.
There are several different types of acne lesions. These include comedones (whiteheads and blackheads), papules, pustules, cysts, and scars. Comedones are of two varieties: open and closed. A closed comedone, called a whitehead, arises when a pore becomes clogged with oil and the sebum creates a tiny white covering over the entrance. When the opening remains unobstructed, the oil is oxidized by the air and turns black. This open type of comedone is called a blackhead.
A papule is a solid, elevated lesion of the skin. Papules range in hue from flesh-colored to bright red. Red papules are those pimples still undergoing inflammation.A pustule is a pimple filled with fluid, or pus. This substance is composed of dead cells and bacteria. When a pustule becomes larger and deeper, it is then termed a cyst. Tender, inflamed red pustules and cysts may result in scars, which is why these two types represent the most severe forms of acne.Acne - Cystic
Acne is a skin disease caused by the clogging of pores and an inflammation of the sebaceous glands and hair follicles which are on the face, neck, shoulders, back and chest. These glands produce too much oil, or sebum, become plugged and end up becoming whiteheads, pimples or blackheads. This sebum mixes with dead cells on the surface of the skin clogging the pores and causing blackheads and whiteheads. Bacteria around the hair follicles enter the skin if the whitehead ruptures causing a pimple. Squeezing the pimples can cause pitting and scars on the skin.

While we think acne is just a teenage problem, it is not uncommon for adults. Surprisingly, more adults have acne than teenagers. Acne affects more than 50% of adults between 25 and 49, compared to 25% of teenagers.

One form of acne is caused by a condition known as "skin hypoglycemia" or "skin diabetes." This means that the skin, which is an organ, is intolerant to sugars. 

Home Remedies Treatment For Acne
Aloe Use aloe vera juice or gel to counteract infection and promote healing. Use the ointment on pimples and sores. For acne scars, using aloe vera juice morning and night for as long as necessary (perhaps six months or longer) will help reduce the scars and improve skin complexion and color. It is drying, so if you have dry skin, use an aloe-based moisturizer. The pulp of the aloe vera plant is an excellent skin cleanser. Break off a portion and rub the pulp directly on the skin.
Apple cider vinegar/lemon juice Clean your skin and apply either lemon juice or apple cider vinegar with a cotton ball. The acid in these kitchen remedies helps flush out the pores and keeps the skin looking beautiful. Vinegar acts as an astringent and helps remove excess oil, kills bacteria, and normalizes the skin's pH. This remedy should work quickly.
• Another method using apple cider vinegar is to "steam clean" the face by putting it over a pan of boiling water with a towel over your head to trap the steam. This will loosen the dirt and oil. Then apply the vinegar with a cotton ball to remove the dirt and oil buildup. Repeat twice, then dab more vinegar on the pores to close them. Use this method once a week.
Basil For acne that hasn't responded to other remedies, brew 2-3 teaspoons of dried basil leaves in 1 cup of boiling water for 20 minutes; let cool; apply to affected area with a cotton ball.
Beans Make a tea by boiling a handful of green beans in a quart of water for 10 minutes; add 3 tablespoons of dried chamomile flowers to the tea, cover and steep until cool; strain and bottle. Use as a face wash at least three times daily.
Carrot Juice The essential oils in carrot juice will aid digestion and help stop acne.
Charcoal To aid digestion, take 3 tablets of activated charcoal three times daily.
Colloidal Silver Cleanse the skin morning and night with colloidal silver. You should start to see improvements within a week. Colloidal silver is a natural antibiotic that has safely been used for a century.
Cucumber Liquify a peeled cucumber in a blender and apply the juice to the acne. Another variation of this remedy is to drink four or five cups of cucumber juice daily for a week. This is said to purify the blood and lymphatic system, resulting in a clearer skin.
Egg whites Clean your skin thoroughly and apply egg white with a cotton swab. Let it sit for several hours or overnight. The egg white is an astringent.
Fels-Naptha The use of Fels-Naptha soap has been reported with good results for those with oily skins. It contains mineral spirits and other ingredients that work well on skin problems.
Garlic Rub your acne with raw garlic several times a day.
Grapefruit seed extract This extract is a powerful all-around antimicrobial product and is an excellent disinfectant. Make a solution of 4-40 drops in four ounces of water and apply to the affected areas with a cotton ball two or three times a day.
Lemon juice Apply fresh lemon juice to the affected area with a cotton ball or Q-tip before bed. Wash off in the morning.
Molasses Take 2 teaspoons of molasses with one teaspoon of sulphur once or twice daily to cleanse the blood. Skin eruptions may increase initially, but they are an indication that the blood is being cleansed.
Molkosan, a product derived from concentrated whey, the bi-product of cheese manufacture, has been used effectively against many forms of skin problems, especially acne. Add a teaspoon or tablespoon to a glass of water and take with meals. It aids in digestion and regulates metabolism. Soak an absorbant cotton pad or cloth in Molkosan and attach it to the affected areas and leave on overnight. Molkosan is an excellent antiseptic.
Neem oil Neem (Azadirachta indica) is valued in Ayurvedic medicine for its varied healing properties due to its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral capabilities. A cousin of mahogany, neem is a tropical evergreen tree native to India and Myanmar. Over 60 medicinal uses have been documented for neem so far - such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, cold sores, dandruff, athlete's foot, ulcers, ringworm, and gingivitis, to name a few. For acne, apply a 2% neem oil-based cream to the affected area and take 2 neem leaf capsules daily to speed the healing. Neem oil may also be used by mixing 1 tablespoon of neem oil with 1/2 cup of a carrier oil such as almond or olive, and applying to the affected area with a Q-tip or cotton ball. If you have sensitive skin or if irritation occurs, dilute the neem with more of the carrier oil.
Oatmeal As for measles and other skin irritations, people have used oatmeal to conquer acne. Apply some cooled, cooked oatmeal to the whole face for fifteen minutes, then wash off. Oatmeal is an astringent and seems to draw oil and impurities out of the skin, keeping it clean and blemish-free. This method may take a week or two, but should have good results.
Oil of oregano Put a few drops in a glass of water and dab on the acne using a cotton ball. Oil of oregano is a very strong disinfectant, so if you start to get redness on your skin, stop using it for a few days then use a more diluted solution.
Sugar Wash your face and make a poultice of white sugar with a small amount of water; dab on the affected area. Sugar has an antibacterial effect.
Sun Ultraviolet radiation from the sun or a sunlamp will help kill bacteria on the skin and dry up excess oil.
Witch hazel In the morning wash your face with a gentle cleanser. If you have oily skin, rub a cottonball saturated with witch hazel over your entire face. It is an astringent and will help dry the skin and shrink the pimples. Next, spread a thin coat of a 2% salicylic acid product (found in drugstores) over your whole face. Its deep penetrating action will help unclog oil-clogged pores. Repeat the cleansing and witch hazel steps, then dab 2.5% benzoyl peroxide over the entire face to kill bacteria.


Amaranth Make a tea from amaranth seeds and use as a face wash. To make the tea bring 3 cups of water to a rolling boil, add 2 teaspoons of seeds, cover and simmer for five minutes; remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon of leaves (if available) and steep for 30 minutes.
Basil To treat affected area, obtain a basil-based oil from your health food store and apply it as directed. Another way is to get the actual herb and make an infusion. To make an infusion, put two to four teaspoons of dried basil leaves in a cup of boiling water, steep for 10 to 20 minutes, cool, and apply to the acne.
Burdock The herb burdock (Arctium lappa), is effective in treating acne and is the most important herb for treating all forms of chronic skin problems. To make the tea, bring 1 quart of water to a boil, reduce to simmer, add 4 teaspoons of cut, dried root; cover and let simmer for 7 minutes, then remove from heat and let steep for 2 more hours. Use as a skin wash.
Calendula can be made into tinctures, lotions and creams. Look for products containing this herb. Make a tea of calendula and wash your face.
Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium) It has antibiotic properties and helps stimulate the immune system. Take one of the following three times daily: tea from dried root (2-4 grams); tincture (6-12 ml or 1.5-3 teaspoon); fluid extract (1-2 ml or 0.25-0.5 teaspoon); solid powder of 8-12% alkaloid content (250-500 mg.).
Tea There are several other herbs that can be made into a tea and taken internally or used as a wash. Besides aloe and burdock, calendula, chickweed, dandelion, red clover, white oak bark, yellow dock, cayenne, echinacea, ginseng, redmond clay, sarsaparilla, and valarian may be used.
Tea tree oil derived from the leaves of the native Australian Melaleuca alternifolia tree contains antiseptic compounds that are a very effective skin disinfectant. Depending on severity, use 5-15% solutions twice daily. It is as effective as 5% benzoyl peroxide and is less drying, although it may take a little longer to work.