Acne can be a very embarrassing skin condition and there are many medications available to fight it. Some patients don’t like to take medication and look for a more natural approach to getting rid of the excess oil that is produced by their skin and the bacteria that clogs pores. Here are some natural acne treatment options.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Considered to be a wonder drug by many, Apple cider vinegar is a very good option for getting toxins out of the skin. It is full of alpha-hydroxy acids that dissolve excessive oils that can cause acne. Apple cider vinegar may be applied to the skin, but it should be diluted with water at a strength of one tablespoon of vinegar to eight tablespoons of water. Adding one crushed tablet of aspirin to the vinegar solution will make the solution more effective because it works to dry up current acne.
Some patients drink this vinegar, but its taste is not very appealing. Drinking one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar each day is enough to help stop the production of excess oil in the skin.
Tea Tree Oil
In a study conducted by the Department of Dermatology at Australia’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, tea tree oil was found to be just as effective as benzyl peroxide at fighting acne, and most of the patients using tea tree oil experienced fewerless side effects than those using benzyl peroxide. Tea tree oil works a little bit slower than benzyl peroxide, but it is gentler to the skin and just as effective for acne treatment at a strength of 5%.
Tea tree oil has anti-microbial properties and has been shown to kill bacteria. It has been used for centuries to fight many skin ailments and is effective at killing Propionibacterium acnes, which is bacteria in the skin that causes acne. Tea tree oil can be found in many lotions, soaps, and other products for the skin. The pure oil should be diluted to a strength of 5% so that it is effective against acne without causing itching or skin irritation.
There are many vitamins that are beneficial to the skin and help reduce the occurrence and appearance of acne. Vitamins that help acne include B5, commonly known as pantothenic acid. This acid is effective in the regulation of fat metabolism in the body, so high doses of B5 help the skin to produce less oils. A study conducted by Dr. Lit-Hung Leung in China showed that patients who take a large dose of vitamin B5 daily produce less oil in their skin within a few days. This treatment may take up to six months to be effective in patients with severe acne.
Vitamin A aids the body in regulating sebum production and is considered the most important vitamin for healthy skin. Very large doses of vitamin A have been shown to be effective against severe acne, but should not be taken unless directed by a doctor because vitamin a is considered toxic at high levels. Supplements may be taken, but it is best to get this vitamin from food sources such as:
Animal sources– Fish and animal liver are great sources of vitamin A.
Fruits– Apricot, pumpkin, watermelon, and cantaloupe all contain high amounts of this vitamin.
Vegetables– Vitamin A is found in green leafy vegetables, spinach, sweet potatoes, carrots, and other vegetables.
Vitamin C is another vitamin that has been shown to help clear the skin. Vitamin C helps to remove toxins from the body and strengthen the immune system. It also fights bacteria on the skin and throughout the body. Because it is water soluble, taking large doses of vitamin C is not necessarily harmful to the body, but it may cause discomfort in the patient’s stomach. This vitamin can be applied topically, but may cause irritation if an excessive amount is applied. Following the package directions is essential.
Zinc deficiency is a common cause of acne as well as other health problems. It has many functions in the body including synthesizing protein and protecting the body from free radicals. Zinc is only an effective treatment for acne for the people that have are deficient and is not helpful for treating acne in patients who don’t have this deficiency.
It is important to remember that not all acne treatments work for every person, so it may take a few different treatments to find a combination of supplements that work in each patient’s body. Sometimes a treatment that has worked for a patient in the past will stop being effective for treating their acne and something else must be used. Anyone who is taking supplements for the first time should talk to their doctor to be sure that the supplements don’t create harmful interactions with the medications they are already taking. Vitamins and supplements may cause allergic reactions and should be taken in small doses at first to make sure they are tolerated well by the body.