What is acne | Types | Sign and Symptoms | Causes | Natural Treatment & Home Remedies
What is acne ?
Acne is the most common chronic skin disease. It is closely related to the disturbance in hormones experienced at puberty. It occurs when the hair follicles are blocked with dead skin cells or oil. It often causes whiteheads, blackheads or pimples, and usually appears on the face, forehead, chest, upper back and shoulders.
Nearly 8 out 10 young people suffer from some degree of acne between the ages of 12 and 24. The majority of patients recover between the ages of 20 and 30 years. But it is still common in men over 30 years, where on the other hand in women it rarely lasts beyond the early 30’s. Acne causes a great deal of embarrassment at an age when people tend to be sensitive about their physical appearances.
- Non-inflammatory acne
It is usually characterized by whiteheads and blackheads, but not cysts/nodules. They normally do not cause swelling.
- Inflammatory acne
It is usually caused by small infections due to P. Acnes bacteria. Pimples that are red and swollen are referred as inflammatory acne.
- Cystic acne (also called nodulocystic acne)
It is an intense form of acne that results in large, inflamed cysts and nodules that appear on the skin.
- Acne Fulminans
It is a severe form of inflammatory acne that usually affects adolescent males on jaw, chest and back.
- Acne Mechanica
It is triggered by excess pressure, heat, and friction. Often affects athletes, causing small bumps and some inflamed lesions.
The symptoms of acne vary in severity of the condition of your skin. It is characterized by the presence of blackheads , whiteheads, small superficial cyst or scars.
There are over half a dozen forms of acne and all of them are concerned with the glands connected with hair follicles.
Acne symptoms will depend on the specific type of acne someone has and the underlying cause of the skin irritation/inflammation. The most common symptoms that acne causes include :
Blackheads, or small black dots on the skin, usually around the nose, forehead or chin. These are also called “comedones” and result from debris getting trapped inside of a follicle.
Whiteheads, which can form when pus builds under the skin and forms a “head”. These result from follicles getting clogged with sebum and dead skin cells.
Papules and pustules (the technical name for pimples) which cause small or medium sized bumps on the skin that are round, red and don’t always have a visible “head”. These are caused by “moderate” types of acne and are not as severe as cysts or nodules.
Cysts or nodules, which are severe pimples that are infected and painful. They can form within deeper layers of the skin, become very swollen or tender, and take longer to heal then papules and pustules.
Dark spots on the skin (hyperpigmentation).
Scars, most often left behind from nodules or cysts, especially if they have been “popped” or picked.
The causes of acne are as followings :
- Wrong eating habits :
All forms of acne have their origin in wrong eating habits, such as irregular hours of eating excess of starches and sugar, improper food , excess of fatty foods.
- Constipation :
Chronic constipation is another major cause of acne. If the bowels do not move quickly the waste matter is not eliminated as quickly as it should be. Hence the blood stream becomes surcharge with toxic matter. The extra effort of the skin to eliminate excess waste results in acne.
- Unhygienic living habits :
Other important cause of acne is a devitalised condition of your skin, which is a result of unhygienic living habits.
- Excessive use of the following
Excessive use of tea , coffee, alcohol or tobacco causes acne. Strenuous studies, masturbation and sedentary habits leads to indigestion and general debility causing acne.
The treatment of acne by any kind of ointment or medicine does not serve any purpose. They only suppress the action of glands temporarily. One may get rid of acne permanently and that too naturally.
Keep in mind the following :
- One may resort for an all fruit diet for about a week. Avoid citrus fruits, dried fruits and even canned ones. During this period, warm water must be taken daily.
- After a week of fruit diet, opt for balanced diet full of raw food, such as fruits, vegetables , sprouts, raw nuts, whole grain cereals , brown rice . etc.
- Avoid eating starchy protein, fatty foods. Also meat, sugar , strong tea, coffee, pickles, soft drinks, candies, ice cream and all sort of processed foods must be strictly avoided.
- Hot fermentation is also helpful in reducing the acne. It open up the pores and squeeze out the waste from skin.
Fuller’s earth also known as multani mitti is good for greasy and acne-prone skin as it absorbs excess oil (without over-drying your skin) and unclogs the pores.
It helps improve your complexion too. You can find it at Indian grocery stores.
Mix equal proportions of Fuller’s earth (multani mitti), rose water, and sandalwood powder. You can add more rose water to get a better consistency of the paste.
Apply this mud pack to your face.
Wash after it dries up.
Repeat the process once a week.
The acidic property of lemons can be very useful in treating acne. Lemon will clean out dirt that has accumulated in the pores and will harden the sebum. You can use it on your skin daily but if it is too drying then use it every two or three days.
Rub a slice of lemon on the affected area and leave it for a few hours before rinsing your face with water.
You can also mix lemon juice with rose water in equal amounts and use the solution to wash the affected area thoroughly.
Tea Tree Oil
Another popular natural treatment for acne is tea tree oil. Tea tree oil acts like an antiseptic and disinfects the pores.
In addition, it helps kill the bacteria that cause acne. Just apply one drop of tree tea oil to the affected area three times a day.
If the application of undiluted tea tree oil causes skin irritation, redness, or over drying then use tea tree oil diluted in water or mix it with aloe vera gel and then apply.
Orange is very valuable in treatment of acne. The peel pounded well with water an applied on the affected area will be very helpful in reducing acne. It should applied daily for better results.
The juice of raw potatoes have also proved to be very useful in cleaning skin blemishes. Grate the potato and seperate the juice with the help of a clean cloth. You may apply the juice directly on your face or you can even preserve it in the form of ice cube and use it later.