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Most dermatologists will advise preventive measures at the first signs of serious acne infestations, and maintaining these at every stage of treatment to prevent reoccurrence. Such measures include scrupulous skin and internal hygiene and elimination of certain foods. The correlation between foodstuffs like milk products and fat-saturated items is yet to be scientifically established.
Regularly cleaning acne-beset skin with a good quality deep cleansing lotion can be nothing but beneficial. It will make even the best acne treatments more effective. However, contrary to popular belief, astringents do more harm than good – though they do remove excessive superficial oils, they cause the very closing of pores that may have lead to the acne in the first place.
Home remedies for acne abound, but the term needs clear definition. An effective home remedy for anything can and should transcend messy poultices whipped up from exotic vegetables in the kitchen blender. There is no limit to inventiveness on this one – people have used potatoes, basil, garlic, vinegar, lemon/lime juice and even toothpaste. They claim various levels of success.
There are certain domestic therapies that have proved very effective in controlling acne. Tea tree oil appears to be among nature's best acne treatments. However, it must be borne in mind that tea tree oil causes the secretion of extra sebum, and washing the skin scrupulously after its use is important.
There appears to be medical evidence that clove oil and fenugreek are of some actual benefit in controlling acne. Aloe vera gel seems to have benefits, too. However, these substances can have side effects – always consult a dermatologist before using them. Homeopathy employs naturally occurring compounds like caledula, kali brichomicum and hepar sulfuricum as well as graphites, silicea and sulphur to treat acne. Other options include the use of rose hip oil to reduce acne blemishes (especially where excessive sun exposure or increased photosensitivity due to medical treatment is involved). As a rule, dermatologists do not consider herbal acne treatment to be of long-lasting benefit, though it may provide temporary and symptomatic relief. Some patients find facial masks that combine apple and honey, French clay and bay leaves. Green tea has anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties and seems to curb excessive hormonal activity, too. One can ingest green tea extract orally or apply it directly to the infected skin. Ginger/milk, honey/cinnamon and turmeric/vinegar combination poultices also appear to be useful in treating acne.
The natural approach to acne treatment focuses on improved liver function and capacity. This eliminates many toxins that can make the problem of acne worse. In treating acne naturally, it is also important to modify one's lifestyle. A sufficient water intake, regular exercise and sleep will contribute to faster and longer-lasting results.