Adult onset acne is a challenging skin condition that baffles even dermatologists thanks to its complexity and range of clinical expressions. In this guide, we will discuss some of the most effective natural treatments for adult onset acne.
Causes of adult onset acne
Both men and women tend to suffer from adult onset acne though, in males, acne occurs more at the onset of puberty. Male hormones such as testosterone stimulate the cells lining the sebaceous glands to trigger excess production of sebum (in both men and women acne sufferers). This causes blockade in the skin channels or pores subsequently leading to pimple formation. Additionally, there is also overgrowth of P.Acnes bacterium which further release enzymes causing inflammation and redness of pimples. According to naturopaths, another major cause of adult onset acne are lower levels of 5-alpha reductase. This causes testosterone to convert into DHT or dihydrotestosterone which leads to interstitial toxemia and acne flare ups.
Natural treatment of adult acne
Naturopaths focus on correcting (decreasing) sebaceous gland activity and also the population of P.acnes bacterium. Majority of conventional practitioners on the other hand, focus on symptomatic treatment only, often prescribing antibiotics. These, as per herbalists and naturopaths, encourage growth of candida or yeast which worsens acne.
Ancient Indian medical science or Ayurveda also believes that acne is a result of excess pitta (acids and phlegm) in the body. Ayurvedic practitioners therefore believe in treating this root cause and not just the symptoms because, as per them, excess toxins and pitta could later manifest in form of other, more serious illnesses.
Here are some herbal or Ayurvedic remedies for treating adult onset acne:
- Amaranth (Amaranthus hypochondriacus Linn)- Amaranth or Rajgira is an excellent astringent. The seeds and leaves of the plants have been used since ancient times to treat various skin conditions including acne and eczema.
- Arnica– Arnica Montana Linn is a plant native to southern Russia and parts of Europe. It is a popular homeopathic remedy that is known to speed up healing. Even cosmetic surgeons prescribe Arnica to patients, weeks before their reconstructive or cosmetic surgeries, for faster healing. Arnica has antimicrobial, anti-edema and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Asparagus– This herb perennial to Europe, Asia and Americas is known for its inulin, Beta-sitosterol and steroidal glycosides. Extracts from the asparagus shoots are used as cleansers for treating facial acne lesions.
- Calendula– Calendula is another important remedy for adult onset acne natural treatment. It is rich in essential oils and flavonoids that speed up healing.
- Jojoba – Jojoba belongs to the family Buxaceae. It is a desert shrub native to parts of Mexico, California and Arizona. The colorless and odorless essential oil extracted from the seeds of Jojoba is used in various cosmetic applications. It has special value in management of acne and psoriasis.(Home remedy- Add few drops of essential oil of Jojoba to your cleanser).
- Lavender– Lavender belongs to family of Lamiaceae. These flowers and plants have been used medicinally since ages by herbalists from all over the world. Essential oil extracted from Lavender flowers and seeds contain over 150 compounds that include limonene, camphor and beta ocimene. All these are known for their soothing and healing properties. (Home remedy-add a few drops of lavender oil to bath water for healing face and body acne).
- Rose– Extracts of Rosaceae can be used in the form of rose water for preventing blackheads and acne flare-ups. Gentle enough for daily skin care, rose contains hundreds of compounds like pentagalloyl, geraniol, rugosal etc. (Home remedy-Put handful of dried rose petals in boiling water. Cover and steep overnight. Drink the water or use externally as face wash or toner prevent and treat adult acne).
- Tea Tree oil– Tea tree oil is one of the most effective natural remedies for adult onset acne. Melaleuca Alternifolia is a plant native to Australia and the leaves are used for extracting essential oils. The herbal remedy was used by Aboriginal people for gargling to prevent cough and sore throat. Tea tree essential oil has been studied extensively and is today, known for its antimicrobial (anti fungal and anti bacterial) properties. It is an excellent remedy for various skin diseases including dandruff, ringworm, acne, scabies, etc.
- Turmeric– Curcumin found in turmeric is excellent anti inflammatory compound. Turmeric powder is used extensively by women in Asia for treating various skin disorders. (Home remedy– Add a bit of turmeric powder to your face pack for preventing and treating adult onset acne.)
- Walnut– Walnut husks contain tannins, flavonoids and naphthalene derivatives which make them an excellent application in face washes to treat a variety of skin issues including acne vulgaris. (Home remedy– Boil walnut husks in enough water for over an hour until half the liquid remains. Strain the solution and store them in jars. Use on acne affected areas of the skin.)
Treatment of adult acne requires careful consideration and most cases need an integrated approach for positive results. That being said; natural treatment for adult acne is devoid of side effects and it is due to this fact that more and more patients are choosing it over other synthetic medicines for treating adult onset acne.