Causes of Acne & Acne Treatments

Many of us struggle with issues with our skin. Whether it be cellulite, psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, break outs, dry skin, oily skin, and/or acne, most people have at least one thing they would ideally want to change about the skin they are in. Sometimes, however, our quest for flawless skin takes us on a road of exacerbating the initial problem with methods that may be too harsh or just simply have adverse effects, without us realizing until it is seemingly too late. Although some skin conditions are of course more serious than others, the focus of this article will be on acne, which is actually the most common skin problem for men and women. Below we discuss the common types of acne, its causes, as well as effective acne treatments that will help you get flawless skin without any unpleasant scars.

Causes of Acne & Acne Treatments

While acne itself is more common in boys going through puberty, it still significantly can affect women in or out of the initially puberty stages. While there are three different types of acne, including acne vulgaris, acne conglobata, and acne rosacea, and they are categorized by the labels superficial and cystic, with acne vulgaris being the in the former category and considered to be the least severe form, and acne conglobata in the latter category and considered to be the most serious version. While they have many differences between them, including the severity involved, they tend to be able to share the common characteristic, which are lesions that occur mostly on the facial region, but can also include outbreaks on the back, chest and/or shoulders. This can be accompanied by redness and inflammation.

See also: The Most Effective Acne Treatments That Really Work

DIY Facials To Remove Acne Spots

While for many men and women, or boys and girls, acne may seem to erupt in their lives out of nowhere, it is important to remember that there is usually always a root cause behind most conditions, and skin issues are not exempt to this. When, for example, a woman experiences acne, she may of course, and reasonably, have a strong urge to get rid of it, or at the very least, cover it up. She could go to the doctor, get a prescription for medication, buy expensive skin products that are meant to dry out her skin to reduce the oily appearance, and also buy an expensive concealer to cover it up until she is able to permanently get rid of it. However, these are simply band age solutions to a bigger problem. Instead, she should aim to find out the root causes of her acne, as something, whether it be in her diet, lifestyle changes, hormonal imbalances, toxins, deficiencies, have set the acne off, and until that “x’ factor is discovered, she cannot actually successfully or permanently get rid of her acne.

The very common treatments and ‘solutions’ for acne are as follows:

1. Being prescribed broad-spectrum antibiotics, which can of course have adverse effects on your body as a whole, including an overgrowth of yeast, which, ironically, can make acne worse.

2. Acne specific medications, which tend to include benzoyl peroxide as an ingredient. Most of these “treatments’ however, severely dry out the skin to the point of inflammation as well as cause the peeling of the skin. They can also be very harsh on our livers and carry many dangerous side-effects.

3. Topical treatments that are still in use include some options that essentially are meant to ‘correct’ acne by chemically burning your skin. While it may reduce the appearance of the initial problem, consider the cost you are paying with the overall health of your skin.

4. Finally, another common option tried by most people at some point in their lives, whether it be for pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, or for legitimate acne, is the basic idea of trying to “pop the zits’. This is literally when you use two (ideally clean) fingertips to squeeze a pimple and by extension ’empty it out’, removing any build-up that was inside. While there are ways to do this to softened skin (humidity, warm water, steam, etc.) for issues like blackheads, people often are too harsh on their skin, especially in the case of acne, and end up creating scars that remain, even when the acne eventually clears up.

So if most conventional acne treatments have various side-effects, why not opt to actually discover why your acne is actually forming, and until it can be fixed, use topical treatments that aim to reduce the redness, inflammation, and pimples, without damaging your skin?

One of the many common nutritional deficiencies that can result in acne on our skin is the mineral zinc. Zinc is a key mineral in terms of healthy skin, and achieving regular levels of zinc should become the general goal when trying to alleviate acne. Zinc helps metabolize testosterone, so if the acne is hormone based, it can still help in this regard as well. It also works with vitamin A and speeds up wound healing processes as well as controlling inflammation, so just a little bit of zinc can go a long way!

Vitamin E, also known for its skin-health properties, is another important nutrient needed for the proper functioning of vitamin A for the purposes stated above. Vitamin E also works with the mineral selenium that can prevent the inflammation of acne and together, both can diminish the appearance of acne. Vitamin E is also a good option for those who have been tempted and tried to ‘pop’ their acne and are left with some scars. It can be used topically and is used in the treatment of scars, burns, as well as stretch marks to reduce their appearance.

Diet is also key in treating acne, and it is important to support the health of the entire body by eliminating or at the very least significantly reducing refined sugars from the diet, as well as avoid foods that contain trans-fatty acids.

In terms of topical acne treatment, while it is not wise to use oily or greasy moisturizers or cleansers, it should still not be the goal to completely dry out the skin either with many commercial treatments. Instead, one option could be the use of tea tree oil, which is a powerful antiseptic, antifungal, and disinfectant, without being too harsh or irritating.

The overall goal should be to find out the specific reason the acne has occurred rather than opt for quick fixes that do more damage, and based on that, move on to acne treatment options that do not have dangerous side-effects, that will in the long-run promote your overall health as well!

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Written by Lena Tachdjian
Lena is a nutritionist, who loves cooking, discovering new spices and recipes, traveling, and documenting it all. Follow her on Facebook