Acne Causes and Remedies

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Blusen.com Staff "Blausen Gallery 2014"

What causes acne?

Acne is brought on by a number of causes. These can include an excess of dead skin thata clogs pores, excessive oil production, and trapped bacteria, which leads to infection and inflammation. Genetics may also contribute to the risk for developing acne.

Other factors have been found to make acne worse. An in crease in hormones in the bloodstream tends to create an excess in sebum production. Certain medications such as corticosteroids and lithium have been known to affect acne development. Diet has long been suspected of making acne worse; chocolate, refined carbohydrates and in some cases dairy, have been implicated. Excessive amounts of sugar create system-wide inflammation. Excess sun exposure can make acne worse by increasing the amount of sweat on the skin. Finally, stress can trigger an acne flare-up.

Acne Remedies

Gentle cleansing is effective in removing excess oil and sweat from the skin. You can use cleansing oils, if they are formulated to be light and mildly astrigent, as well.

Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are well-known treatments for acne flareups. Oil-free moisturizers and toners that restore the skin’s acid mantle can help to prevent further breakouts.

Never squeeze blemishes. This can cause any underlying infection to spread, and it can lead to scarring.

Natural Acne Remedies

If you are searching for natural acne remedies, tea tree gels consisting of a 5% concentration of tea tree oil can be as effective as a 5% benzoyl peroxide solution. Tea tree oil is an essential oil that is distilled from a tree native to Australia. It has antibacterial and antiviral properties and it is astrigent, which can help dry up blemishes. In fact, it should be in everyone’s medicine cabinet. If the essential oil is too drying when applied directly to skin, it can be diluted with a carrier oil like jojoba or grapeseed oil.

Lotions and creams containing alpha hydroxy acids can help the skin shed dead cells, thereby minimizing clogged pores. Azelaic acid, found in whole grain cereals, contains anti-bacterial properties. A 20% solution has been found to be effective. An example is Aziderm cream, available online. Creams containing zinc can help to reduce breakouts, and aloe vera gels (50%) can help soothe inflammation. An example is Ole Henriksen’s Vitamin Plus Mattifying Cream, available at Sephora and online.

Eating more omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish, purslane, and fish oil supplements) can contribute to lower levels of inflammation throughout the body. Maintaining recommended levels of Vitamins A and E, as well as eating antioxidant-rich foods like colorful (organic) vegetables and berries, help the skin to heal and reduces oxidative stress to the skin. Vitamin E capsules can be opened and applied directly to skin, as well.

What’s important to remember is that acne is a common ailment, even in adulthood, but there are many things that you can do to help minimize its effects. You may wish to experiment until you find the remedies that work best for you.

References:

  • http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/acne#1
  • http://www.naturalnews.com/027237_acne_dairy.html
  • https://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/Acne/
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Natural treatments for eczema

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Woman with eczema scratching herself

Are there natural treatments for eczema?

What is eczema?

It is known that approximately 30 million people in the U.S. suffer from eczema, a skin condition characterized by scaly, red, itchy patches on many parts of the body. Our skin is the largest organ in the human body, so it’s safe to say that those who suffer from this condition can be pretty uncomfortable.

Natural treatments vs drug treatments

Eczema is thought to result from inflammation, can be triggered by a number of things, such as dry skin, additives in soaps and detergents, lotions and creams, pollen and other allergens, and excessive sweating. Many prefer to seek natural treatments for this troublesome skin condition, as common drug treatments can include powerful steroids and/or antibiotics. These drugs, while effective, have many potentially harmful side effects. Some individuals may find relief from some of the following remedies:
– Anything that relieves stress; this can include yoga, meditation, deep breathing, aromatherapy, and Ayurveda.
– Avoiding products containing added perfumes, dyes, harsh detergents or other synthetics. Many of these can cause irritation, especially in persons with sensitive skin.
– Using products containing healing oils of castor, sunflower, shea, pumpkin seed, lavender, tea tree, neem, and other pure essential oils. Plant-based oils contain beneficial fatty acids that sooth dry skin, and essential oils like lavender and tea tree are naturally antibacterial.
– Including more Vitamin E in the diet. Vitamin E is found to have antioxidant and immune-enhancing properties, and can be found in foods like nuts and seeds. Vitamin E can also be applied topically if desired.

Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of this skin condition should, of course, seek the advice of a qualified dermatologist. This post is by no means intended to substitute for medical advice.

References: https://medlineplus.gov/eczema.html
http://www.livestrong.com/article/496789-vitamin-e-for-eczema/

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