Acne – Causes, Treatments and Prevention


Acne Causes | Home Remedies | Treatment | Prevention

Acne, also known as acne vulgaris, is a common skin condition that causes pimples and painful bumps on the skin. When skin pores get clogged with dead skin cells and oil, it prompts acne (1). Each pore is linked to the sebaceous gland that produces an oily substance called sebum. This substance can plug pores, which causes the growth of bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes or P. acnes. When white blood cells attack P. acnes, it leads to skin inflammation and acne.

Pimples can appear anywhere but mostly on the face, forehead, shoulders, back, and chest (2). Several causes, including genetics, hormones, humidity, stress, and using oily beauty products, influence acne development. Moreover, acne occurs mostly in adolescents or teenagers.

Causes of Acne

Many factors may cause acne, including:

  • Clogged pores
  • Excess oil (sebum) production
  • Stress
  • Genetics
  • Hormonal changes
  • Diet, like food containing a high amount of sugar content and excessive oil or milk products, can worsen acne 
  • Pollution and weather conditions, especially high humidity
  • Certain medications like Steroids 
  • Alcohol consumption and smoking 
  • Using oily or greasy skincare products
  • Dandruff can cause acne on the forehead
  • Insomnia
  • Fluctuating hormone levels
  • Picking at acne sores
  • Inadequate water intake

Natural Home Remedies for Acne/Pimples

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar consists of citric acid, which helps to kill the acne-causing bacteria P. acnes. Lactic acid present in apple cider vinegar aids in improving the appearance of scars. It is used as one of the simple and effective home remedies to treat pimples. Applying it on the skin may cause irritation or burns, so use it carefully.

  • Mix 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar with 3 tbsp of water in a bowl.
  • Take a cotton ball and dip it in the mixture and apply directly on the pimples.
  • Leave it for 15-20 seconds, rinse it off with water, and pat dry.
  • Apply moisturizer every time after rinse.

Repeat it 1-2 times per day for better results.

2. Tea Tree Oil                            

Tea tree oil helps to reduce acne because of its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. 

  • Mix 1 tsp of tea tree oil with 8-9 tsp of water.
  • Apply this mixture to the affected areas by using a cotton ball.
  • Wash it off with water and apply a moisturizer if needed.

Do this process 1-2 times per day.

3. Cinnamon and Honey Mask

Cinnamon comprises anti-microbial properties, while honey acts as a natural anti-biotic. They have the power to battle bacteria and decrease inflammation, which is an effective home remedy to treat pimples. 

  • Mix 1 tsp of cinnamon and 2 tbsp of honey to make a smooth paste.
  • Apply it as a mask to your face and leave it on for 10-15 minutes.
  • Rinse the mask off with water and pat dry.

Try this remedy twice a week for great results.

4. Green Tea

Green tea help reduce acne as it is rich in antioxidants. Also, the polyphenols found in green tea fights bacteria and decrease inflammation, which are two main factors that may cause acne. 

  • Put green tea in water and let it boil for 5 minutes.
  • Let it cool.
  • Apply the tea to your skin with a cotton ball and allow it to dry.
  • Wash it off with water and pat your skin dry.

Repeat it 2-3 times a week for better results.

5. Papaya

It is an excellent source of the papain enzyme, which helps to cure inflammation and stop bacteria growth in the skin. Papaya, either raw or ripe, provides amazing effects on pimples.

  • Take a cup of papaya and mash it to make a paste.
  • Apply this paste on your face and leave it for 10-15 minutes.
  • Rinse your face off with warm water and apply a moisturizer if needed.

For getting a pimple-free face, do it once regularly.

6. Aloe Vera Gel

It is a simple and effective home remedy to treat pimples. Aloe vera is a tropical plant, and its gel helps treat rashes, pimples, burns, and other skin conditions. Aloe vera gel comprises salicylic acid and sulfur that can help to battle against inflammation, heal wounds, and treat burns.

  • Scrape the gel from the aloe vera plant with a spoon.
  • Apply the fresh aloe gel directly to your skin as a moisturizer.
  • Leave it on your skin until the gel dries well.
  • Wash your face.

You can use it 2-3 times per day.

7. Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil is extracted from the seeds of the jojoba shrub. This waxy substance helps to repair damaged skin and speed up wound healing. Some other compounds in this oil reduce skin inflammation, such as redness, swelling, and inflamed lesions. 

  • Take a cotton pad and place a few drops of jojoba oil.
  • Rub it over acne and massage gently for a minute or two.
  • Leave it on overnight and wash it off the next day.

Repeat it 1-2 times a week.

8. Lemon Juice

Lemon acts as an astringent. It naturally comprises vitamin C and citric acid that may assist with reducing redness and blemishes. Moreover, it can reduce excess oil in the skin and decrease inflammation due to its high pH levels. The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties of yogurt help to prevent acne.

  • Add 2-3 tbsp of lemon juice with yogurt to form a paste.
  • Apply it directly on the acne and leave it on for 10-15 minutes.
  • Rinse it off with chill water and apply moisturizer.

Try this remedy until the acne soothes.

9. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil consists of nourishing fatty acids that help to regenerate your skin with glowing effects. It is one of the best natural home remedies to treat acne.

  • Apply coconut oil daily during bath.
  • Otherwise, take a few drops of oil and apply gently on your face in a circular movement.

Repeat any number of times a day.

Alternative Treatments for Acne/Pimples

Consult your doctor before taking these treatments because they may not be suitable for everyone (3, 4).

  • Laser Treatment – Nowadays, it is used to treat moderate to severe acne. It is a safe and effective method for clearing acne. 
  • Salicylic Acid – Salicylic acid comes from a type of drug known as salicylates. It treats acne without damaging your skin. When applying this acid to the skin, it exfoliates dead cells and calms the inflammation.  
  • Benzoyl Peroxide – Use creams that contain benzoyl peroxide as it is the common ingredient in creams used to treat acne. Consult your doctor before using these products because a high amount of benzoyl peroxide can make your skin dry and aggravate your condition. 
  • Microdermabrasion – Microdermabrasion is a popular non-surgical treatment. It is an effective and safe procedure for treating mild to severe acne. This peeling procedure involves exfoliation of the affected area by scraping the skin and removing it.
  • Tretinoin – It is a type of trans-retinoic acid used to treat pimples and acne during the initial stages. Applying this cream to your skin helps to unclog the pores and boost the growth of new cells.
  • Sulfur – It is an anti-bacterial agent that helps to reduce the acne-causing bacteria. Sulfur dries the pimple and reduces the inflammation. It doesn’t dehydrate your skin and is not as harsh as benzoyl peroxide.

Prevention Tips 

  • Wash your face more than twice daily using mild cleansers to remove excess oil, dirt, and sweat.
  • Moisturizing your skin is essential to prevent pimples. Use non-comedogenic moisturizers to prevent drying of skin after every wash.
  • Choose the appropriate skincare products for your skin type as it helps to avoid pimples.
  • Try to limit your makeup products because it can aggravate your condition. 
  • Check your hair care products because it contains oils and chemicals that may clog the pores, thereby causing pimples and acne the skin.
  • Avoid touching your face as the germs from your hand will be transferred to your skin. Hence, don’t scratch or squeeze the pimple.
  • Reduce stress as it makes the pimple worsen.
  • Avoid certain types of food, as a high glycemic diet may cause acne.
  • Consume a lot of water to keep your skin hydrated and moisturized.

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