An acne breakout can happen to anyone and even though it’s most common among teenagers, it can affect people of all ages. Statistics show that around 50 million people in the US suffer from acne, men and women alike.
Acne is most usually a result of a hormonal imbalance. When your glands start producing more oil than usually the pores become clogged and bacteria start to fester, letting pimples and acne grow.
Pimples can be different in depth and form and vary from whiteheads, blackheads, nodules and cysts. We’ve long believed that the best way to eliminate these skin imperfections is to apply some topical remedies that include benzoyl peroxide, take antibiotics such as tetracycline, or oral drugs with vitamin A like isotretinoin. And then there are some natural alternatives, mineral and vitamin supplements which are supposed to improve the condition. But are they really effective and which ones are the best? Here’s a short review on a couple of natural remedies and their efficiency.
Vitamin A could resolve your acne problem but only if you use it the right way. Clinicians at the University of Michigan say that oral vitamin A supplements don’t have the same effect as topical vitamin A. On the contrary, they may even have a counter-effect and they advise against oral supplementation of vitamin A.
Since vitamin A is fat-soluble it accumulates in your body and an intake of more than 10000 IU can have a toxic effect. This is especially the case in pregnant women so if you’re planning a pregnancy or are already pregnant consult with your doctor before starting any therapy.
But a topical application of vitamin A can be effective against acne. The majority of topical creams and ointments alter this vitamin into a retinoid which can be safely applied on the skin. The Mayo Clinic reports that retinoids are among the most effective treatments for acne because they heal and regenerate your skin and leave behind a healthy and fresh skin.
Among the most popular retinoid brands are Tazorac (tazarotene) abd Differin (adapalene). They’re only available on prescription.
Retinoids are not recommended to pregnant women and they may weaken your skin’s UV protection so stay away from the sun if you’re applying them.
This mineral is known to be effective against acne. It can be used orally or topically.
According to recent study review, zinc decreases the oil production in the skin and protects you from inflammation and bacterial infections. Only a small amount of zinc is necessary, the RDI according to the Office of Dietary Supplements is 8-11mg for adults. Some evidence suggests that a dose of 30mg is safe and can be effective against acne breakouts. Anything higher than that can have detrimental effects on your overall health. Excessive intake can lead to copper deficiency and may be harmful.
Topical application of zinc can also be beneficial, there are lotions that have zinc in their ingredient list. According to s a study, topical application of 1,2% zinc acetate and 4% erythromycin can be effective in clearing up your acne breakout.
Myth and truths
We mentioned that vitamin A and zinc can be beneficial as a treatment against acne but what about vitamin E? You’ve probably heard a lot about how vitamin E can resolve a number of skin issues but the truth is that there’s not enough scientific evidence to support this claim. One recent study revealed that people with acne problems were deficient in vitamins E and A and zinc, so there may be something to it. It certainly wouldn’t hurt if you take your daily recommended intake of 15mg of vitamin E.
And what about tea tree oil? One study revealed that it can also have a positive effect on acne. 30 subjects with acne used tea tree oil gel for the duration of 45 days, and another group of 30 people used a placebo. The subjects that used the tea tree oil noticed significant improvements.
Tea tree oil is an excellent alternative for the good, old benzoyl peroxide, which is one of the most commonly used anti-acne ingredients in all commercially available creams and lotions. Their effects are similar, they both decrease the oil production and eliminate the bacteria. You can purchase both of them over the counter however, have in mind that tea tree oil has fewer known side-effects such as skin peeling, burning and itching.
Article and image source: https://www.healthline.com