Acne isn’t just a problem for teenagers. Many people continue to battle acne in their adult years and are also negatively affected by the remnants of acne scars that remain in their skin.
At Dermatology Center of Northwest Houston, experienced dermatologist Lisa Hitchins, MD, PA, offers several in-office treatments for chronic acne that clear and smooth your skin. Dr. Hitchins can also provide you with resources you can use at home to reduce the frequency of acne flare-ups.
In addition to prescription and over-the-counter anti-acne medications, she may suggest home remedies you can use to safely clean your skin and prevent acne breakouts. Many natural ingredients you may already have in your pantry are shown to effectively fight acne without damaging your skin.
The root causes of acne breakouts
The sebaceous glands in your skin produce oil that can clog the opening of the hair follicles on your skin. When you have small openings clogged with oil, it leads to whiteheads – white or flesh-colored bumps on the skin. If the openings are large, it forms dark spots known as blackheads.
Without treatment, both whiteheads and blackheads can become inflamed and filled with pus. The resulting bumps can become painful and leave behind scars, especially if you scratch them open.
There are several factors that work together to trigger an acne outbreak. Typically, your heredity and your hormones are primary contributors to chronic acne. The male hormone testosterone, which is found in both boys and girls, is usually high during puberty and can lead to acne breakouts.
Other contributing factors to acne include:
- Oily skin
- Excess stress
- Hormonal birth control
- Overgrowth of bacteria in pores
To keep chronic acne under control, you need to practice good skin hygiene and keep your skin protected from the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. In addition to acne control medications and cleansers, you can also use several natural ingredients found around your home to restore your skin health including:
Aloe vera is a plant that produces a clear gel in its leaves. This gel contains sulfur and salicylic acid that can fight inflammation, moisturize skin, and promote healing of wounds.
You can remove the gel directly from the plant leaves and apply to your face one or two times a day.
Drinking green tea is good for your general health, as it contains high amounts of antioxidants. Green tea placed directly on your skin can also clear bacteria and reduce inflammation associated with acne.
After steeping a green tea bag in hot water for several minutes, allow the liquid to cool before spritzing or dabbing it on your skin. Let the tea dry before rinsing your skin thoroughly and gently patting it dry.
Witch hazel is an extract of the witch hazel shrub that contains tannins. Tannins has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that control acne breakouts and prevent scarring.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is effective at fighting bacteria. This vinegar contains many acids, including succinic acid that reduces inflammation and prevents acne scars.
You can dab apple cider vinegar diluted with water directly on your skin to prevent acne. If you have existing acne scars, the lactic acid in the vinegar can also improve their appearance.
Cinnamon and honey face mask
Cinnamon and honey both contain antioxidants and have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Make a simple face mask by mixing two tablespoons of honey and one teaspoon of cinnamon to create a paste you can apply to your face. Allow the mask to set for up to 15 minutes before rinsing your skin thoroughly with lukewarm water.
Staying proactive about acne
Using the medications and natural ingredients to fight acne is a good first step to protecting your long-term skin health.
Dr. Hitchins also offers several in-office dermatology services to enhance your skin’s smoothness and appearance after an acne breakout. Services like microneedling and microdermabrasion stimulate your body’s natural collagen production to minimize acne scars and give you back your vibrant, healthy-looking skin.
If you’re suffering from painful, embarrassing acne, schedule a skin evaluation with Dr. Hitchins by calling Dermatology Center of Northwest Houston or by requesting an appointment online today.