Acne is a challenging condition often affecting face in an age, when one is most sensitive about appearances, the youth. It is a condition resulting from inflammation of sebaceous glands, usually with infections and leads to pustules. It is important to be aware of the condition and take necessary precautions to prevent it in the first place.
Acne: The Inflammation of Sebaceous Glands
ACNE VULGARIS or ACNE, which is also known as PIMPLES, SPOTS or ZITS, is a skin condition, more common in adolescence, in which there is inflammation of PILOSEBACEOUS GLAND - the structure consisting of sebaceous gland and its associated hair follicle. It may or may not include a collection of pus - PUSTULE. It is usually inflammatory, but it can also manifest as a milder form.
In most people, acne diminishes over time, with age and tends to disappear in twenties. However, in some individuals, acne may continue up to thirties and even later. It is a benign condition, yet can lead to severe stress and anxiety in today's world. It is one of those problems for which there is a constant search of a solution that does not require you to take an appointment from your physician.
Home Remedies for Acne
The kind of different suggestions you could receive for dealing with your Acne problem can be mind boggling. From oranges - to toothpaste - to some exotic herbal remedies - to vinegar - there is probably everything that someone or the other must have tried at some point of time to get rid of those ugly spots on her face, and in probability, if suggested to you, even you would be willing to try them all one by one.
Actually, those who suggested these somewhat strange experiments are not at fault. Most of them have positive impact. However, it would be preferable if you understand the basics of how they work, and know the limitations of their efficacy, and thereby, are able to minimize the anxiety associated with such experimentation.
Understanding How These Remedies Work
It is more useful to understand what happens when these remedies are used, but allow me to begin by saying that acne are the result of certain physiological phenomenon in our body, which are best tackled by minimizing complications like infections, while adding to the resistance levels of the body, and its overall health.
(i) HYGIENE BY DIFFERENT MEANS LIKE TOOTHPASTEW & VINEGAR - The first and the most effective remedy is hygiene. There is a saying that "soap, water and common sense are the best antiseptics", and the so these are the most effective in case of acne as well. Infections are the single biggest complication of acne, and if one can keep the skin and surface clean by regularly washing it with a soap that your skin tolerates, half the battle is won. Many of the home remedies, like applying toothpaste or vinegar, do little more than creating an antiseptic environment which can also be created by simply maintaining the cleanliness.
(ii) DON'T TOUCH YOUR FACE - Touching your face too frequently is usually the most effective way of transplanting infectious agents on your face, and avoiding it may be the single most effective remedy to prevent it.
(iii) REMOVE DEAD SKIN - An effective remedy is removal of dead skin. The outer surface of skin consists of epithelium, wherein the outer cells keep dying and new cells keep replacing them. These dead cells often get accumulated around the sebaceous glands, and block their outlet, thereby making their secretion collect and rise on the skin. Removing the dead skin regularly can prevent this from happening, and this is how many of the popular remedies used in face masking for acne help.
(iv) USING DEAD SKIN BY EGG, ORANGE, MILK - Whenever you cover your face with any home remedy like egg, orange mesh, dough, milk or any other material, once it dries, it gets attached to the dead cells, and when it is removed or washed, it takes a lot of those cells with it, thereby reducing the chance of duct blockage on the skin. However, this needs to be done frequently, weekly or so, to be effective.
(v) ANTI-OXIDANTS - Next in the list are the anti-oxidants. These are substances which prevent oxidation of fats, and prevent cell death. If the cells of epithelium or outer skin do not die frequently, the chance of dead skin leading to blockage of ducts, as well as becoming a base for infective agents also reduces. So anti-oxidants help by increasing skin cell longevity. Examples of anti-oxidants which are also very helpful are Vitamin-E, Vitamin-A and Vitamin-C, all of which are very effective if your usual diet is deficient in them. Foods that contain them in abundance include red fruits, citrus fruits, and carrots.
(vi) TURMERIC - Turmeric can be used by local application on the face, as well as by using it in food.
(vii) DRINK LOTS OF WATER - Hydration of body also prevents premature death of skin cells and is helpful. So drinking lots of water may not be a bad idea. Avoiding extremes of temperatures will help in the same way.
A Word of Caution
Lastly, there are medical conditions that can mimic acne or complicate it, so my suggestion would be to take medical advice if you feel things are deteriorating. Home remedies are most useful to prevent the problem and keep it under check, but cannot substitute for expert advice, so beware from over indulging in self treatment.