Alternative name : Pimples
The bane of adolescence, the ‘wonder years’, is a very common skin disorder called acne. Acne is common in adolescence,when raging hormones stimulates the sebaceous glands and they become more active. But hormonal imbalances can also trigger acne well after a women passes through puberty.
Acne Causes and Symptoms
A blockage of the oil glands present at the base of the hair follicles causes the formation of pustules, normally referred to as pimples. Practically all teenagers suffer from a pimple or two, and some from acne, in a mild or severe form. It does not spare either sex, though in boys it often appears in a more vicious form. Acne is a consequence of a juggling of pre-puberty and puberty sex hormones. Once these settle down, the acne disappears or limits itself to an odd pimple appearing during the pre-menstrual phase. This hormonal imbalance causes over-production of oily secretions by the sebaceous glands that lie at the base of the hair follicle.
Under normal conditions, the secretion is just enough to keep the skin healthy. But, over-secretion coupled with dirt, dust and grime from the environment makes an ideal breeding ground for microorganisms. When a bunch of pustules rupture and coalesce, the base hardens, and nodules form. If these are now scratched, as teenagers so often do to try and quickly get rid of them, re infection occurs, healing is delayed, and fibrosis and scarring take place. Some drugs also predispose or actually cause acne, e.g. steroids, anti-epileptics, tranquillisers and immuno-suppressives.
Home Remedies To Cure Acne
Strict cleanliness is the keyword as far as acne is concerned. Wash the skin well with soap and warm water, followed by a rinse with cold water. Pat dry and ensure that the skin is clean, devoid of any creams or make-up.
2. Herbal Face Pack
Avoid using harsh medicated scrubs, skin-peelers or cleansing agents. Better still, use a herbal cleansing-cum-soothing face pack that will soften and cleanse the skin without abrading it.
Washing the skin with fresh buttermilk, and then rinsing it well with warm water maintains the pH balance of the skin, thereby making it a difficult proposition for bacteria to thrive.
A jambul seed, dipped in water and rubbed on a smooth-surfaced stone or chopping board, will yield a thin paste. Apply this selectively only on the pimples. Let it dry. Wash it off with warm water.
5. Gram Flour
A face pack made with either gram flour or lentil powder and half a teaspoonful of turmeric can be used on alternate days. If you are sensitive to gram flour, replace with lentil powder.
6. Mustard Seeds
Take a teaspoonful each of lightly roasted mustard seeds, dried orange peel powder and buchanania letifolia. Grind these together with a little water and apply on the face. Let the pack dry. Wash it off with warm water.
Scars left by healed pimples or acne lesions can be got rid off by using a pack made up of a tablespoonful of lentils, ground with a teaspoonful of milk, with a pinch of camphor added, and a few drops of hot, fresh ghee. Mix well and apply. When it dries, gently rub it off and wash with warm water.
Fresh garlic paste applied on individual pimples gives anti microbial protection to the lesion and helps it to heal. However, it may cause a little burning as its sulphur-containing volatile oils are very pungent. Its bactericidal effects are more potent than carbolic acid. Use initially on a single pimple, as in some cases the irritation caused may be too much to bear.
9. Orange Peel
Dried orange peel, moistened and gently rubbed over the skin stimulates circulation and acts as a very gentle scrub to get rid of dried scabs.
10. Onion Seeds
Grind a teaspoonful of dried onion seeds with a little milk. Add half a teaspoonful of fresh lime juice and apply it on the pimples. Leave overnight. Wash it off in the morning.
11. Fuller’s earth
Take one-third of a cup of finely powdered Fuller’s earth, and add a tablespoonful of fresh potato juice to it. This makes a good deep-cleansing mask. Wash it off with warm water and then splash cold water on the face.
12. Neem Leaves
Make a paste of neem leaves with turmeric powder. Apply on affected area. Wash it off after 20-30 minutes with lukewarm water.
Take one-third of a cup of pureed tomatoes. Add fine oatmeal and a teaspoonful of honey to make a paste. Apply this as a thick mask. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes and wash it off with warm water. This cleanses and clears blocked pores.