Acne and its Natural Treatment Options
Skin is the colossal organ of the human body. It is vital to protect our inner organs, such as bones and muscles. It holds all our body parts together. Our skin reflects us, and usually, people make the first decision about us based on our skin. Teenage acne can be embarrassing and painful. Acne rate is notably higher among women than men among all age groups . According to the American Academy of Dermatologists, approximately 40 to 50 million Americans are suffering from acne problems at any given time . Acne most commonly occurs on the face, chest, neck, shoulders, and back.
What is meant by acne?
Acne starts in the adolescent or pubertal years when hormones like androgen start increasing in the human body. Androgen hormone starts manufacturing an oily substance known as sebum. The sebum mixes with the dead skin cells and blocks the hair follicles . This accumulation of skin cells, hair, and oil cluster together produces pressure that bursts up and makes skin inflamed. Then a bacteria known as P. acnes or Propionibacterium acnes gets involved here, making skin even sorer.
Causes of Teenage Acne:
The leading causes of teenage acne are the following:
- Excess oil production .
- Increase production of androgen hormone in an excess
- Hair follicles are accumulated by dead skin cells or oil .
Some other factors:
The rise of androgen during puberty enlarges the sebaceous gland to produce more sebum . Changes in the hormones during pregnancy also sometimes increase sebum production.
- Some Medication:
It includes drugs consisting of testosterone, corticosteroids, or lithium.
Research shows that too much stress can also cause acne .
Many existing studies show that many dietary factors such as high carbohydrates foods, including bread, chips, and skim milk, can also create worse acne. In addition, a study published in 2013 shows that taking too many dairy products and high glycemic foods are also linked to acne .
Types of Acne:
Acne is divided into two categories based on the inflammation they are causing surrounding the skin.
Non-Inflammatory acne usually does not cause any inflammation, and they are non-painful. Whiteheads and blackheads are an example of non-inflammatory acne.
Inflammatory acne is severe than non-inflammatory acne. Most of the time, it produces many complications like pitting or scarring. Papules, nodulocystic lesions, and pustules (pimples) are common examples of inflammatory acne .
Acne Treatments for Teens
- Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Aloe Vera is also a great moisturizer for dry skin due to its hydrating properties.
An experimental research published in 2014 studied the effects of Aloe Vera gel on acne treatments. Participants included individuals suffering from mild to severe acne. Then, they provided them Aloe Vera gel with tretinoin cream for about eight weeks. All participants declared that they got an outstanding improvement in both non-inflammatory and inflammatory acne compared to those who only used tretinoin cream .
How should you use it for your skin health?
- Use cotton or any clean, soft cloth to clean the acne sores gently.
- Take a bowl and mix the aloe Vera gel and tretinoin cream in it (keep the quantity of Aloe Vera gel at least 10 percent in this mixture).
- Start applying it and use it for at least ten weeks.
- Green Tea
Green tea consists of a high amount of catechins (polyphenol antioxidants). Unfortunately, most of the people who face acne have too much sebum (natural body oils) and less required antioxidants.
Antioxidants are essential for our body because they help break down waste products and harmful chemicals that can damage our body’s healthy cells. Taking green tea helps clear waste and debris from the body that is usually built up in open acne lesions. Taking green tea is also a natural tip for healthy skin.
Green tea consists of such compounds that also help:
- minimize P. acnes
- minimize inflammation
- minimize sebum production within the skin
How should you use it?
- You can drink green tea to treat acne or apply its extract to your skin.
Results from an acne study suggested that using polyphenol green tea extract for eight weeks continuously reduced 79 to 89 % of blackheads and whiteheads .
Rosmarinus officinalis or Rosemary extract consists of such compounds and chemicals that have antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties.
A study published in 2013 on human cells and mice models found that rosemary extract can help reduce inflammation from the P. acnes bacteria (a bacteria that cause acne) .
Echinacea purpurea is also known as purple coneflower. Echinacea may strengthen the immune system and can minimize inflammation. It also protects from infections such as flu and colds. As of now, there is not enough research supporting the use of echinacea in acne treatment, you may still use it for its antiinflammatory properties.
How you should use it?
- You can use such cream that contains Echinacea to those parts where you have acne. Or you can also take any Echinacea supplement.
- Pure bee venom
Pure bee venom has antibacterial characteristics. A study published in 2013 found that using pure bee venom may destroy the P. acnes bacteria. People who continuously use cosmetics with pure venom for about two weeks saw an improvement with their acne .
- Jojoba oil
Jojoba oil is a naturally occurring waxy substance that is produced from the seeds of the jojoba shrub.
Jojoba oil has the waxy substance that helps renovate damaged skin; it also helps speed up wound healing, including the acne wound.
Jojoba oil constitutes compounds that can help reduce swelling and redness around whiteheads, and other swelled lesions.
A study published in 2012, describes the making of clay facial masks that consists of jojoba oil. They provided that to a group of people and asked them to apply those masks 2 to 3 times a week and continue this process for about 6 weeks. After six weeks, people reported about 54 percent recovery in their acne sores .
How you should use it?
- You can mix jojoba oil with the cream, gel, or clay facial mask and then apply it to your acne.
- Or you can put a few drops of jojoba oil in the cotton pad. Then rub this cotton pad gently on your acne sores.
- Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is a naturally occurring anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent, which means it can kill P. acne bacteria that make acne. It also has the anti-inflammatory property that helps reduce the redness and swelling of pimples.
Lifestyle modification for acne treatment
While using natural remedies, you need to adopt some lifestyle modifications for your acne treatment and your overall skin health. So let’s take a look at some ways to get rid of teenage pimples naturally.
- Do not touch acne
- Stay hydrated
- Choose a correct cleanser
- Reduce stress
- Use oil-free skincare
When should you go to the doctor?
You should go to your doctor if your acne sores are:
- often infected
- very painful
- not showing any improvement with home remedies
- deep under your skin
- making you emotional distress
- Covering your large skin area.
Using these home remedies can work as an acne treatment for teens. Though not all above mentioned natural remedies will work for everyone, however, you may have to use the trial & error way to identify what’s the best acne treatment that will work for you. But you must talk with your doctor if your acne is intense and painful.
 Zouboulis, Christos C., and Markus Böhm. “Neuroendocrine regulation of sebocytes–a pathogenetic link between stress and acne.” Experimental dermatology 13 (2004): 31-35.
Let me know if you’d like to book a session to learn more about supplements and herbal formulas that may help you with your skin health. You can call me at (416) 684-5514. You may also book an appointment on the following page: click here.