What Is Acne?
Acne is an inflammatory disease of the skin characterized by pimples on the face, neck, back and chest. In severe cases, pimples are cystic and can lead to scarring.
What Are the Causes of Acne?
There are several contributors to this condition. One of the most common causes of acne is a change in hormones. During puberty this manifests as an increase in testosterone. In adulthood, there could be a number of catalysts for hormonal changes including birth controls pills, prescription medications and stress. Other causes of acne include diets high in sugar and processed foods, pimple-causing ingredients in mainstream beauty products as well as hidden causes such as touching your face too much or using a cell phone.
Factors That Can Make You More Prone to Acne Scars
While its widely known that scratching or popping cystic pimples can lead to scarring, genetics also play a role. If you have a blood relative who has developed scarring from acne then your chances of scarring are significantly greater. Another factor that leads to scarring is the amount of time that your skin is exposed to inflammatory acne. The longer a person experiences this inflammatory skin condition, the greater the chances of scarring.
The Anatomy of an Acne Scar
Moderate to severe acne breakouts have the tendency to penetrate the skin deeply, which causes the skin and tissue beneath it to become damaged. In the aftermath of an acne breakout, your body creates collagen in order to heal and support your skins’ regeneration. Scarring results when your body produces either too little or too much collagen. If your body produces too little collagen, indented or depressed scars will form. On the flip side, if your body produces too much collagen, raised scars will appear.
How Can You Prevent Scarring?
While you can’t always prevent your skin from breaking out, there are several ways in which you can limit the possibility of scarring. First and foremost, don’t pick and squeeze. That is easier said and done, but we can guarantee that the less you pick, the less likely you’ll end up with scars. Second, care for affected areas by adopting a natural skin care routine. Use a gentle, all-natural cleanser (organic is best) twice per day to help cleanse away dirt and excess oils. Follow up with a toner, which will help restore your skin’s ph balance and top off with a light moisturizer. In addition, try to avoid anything touching your skin throughout the day (your hands, cell phone, etc). And finally, stay out of the sun, which can slow the healing process and cause scars to darken.
Treating Existing Scars Topically
There are some great natural remedies for treating scars topically. Here are a few:
1. Baking Soda: Baking soda is an excellent and gentle exfoliating treatment and is often repackaged and sold as a microdermabrasion treatment in fine department stores. For a DIY treatment, simply mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 2 teaspoons of water and rub it directly onto the affected area. This will help slough off dead skin cells and stimulate collagen production, which will contribute to the regeneration of healthy skin.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar: ACV makes a powerful natural toner and also stimulates blood flow, which helps skin cells heal and regenerate faster.
3. Honey: Honey helps moisturize the skin and has been found to be effective in treating acne scars. For a moisturizing face mask mix 2 teaspoons of honey with a little bit of mashed avocado. Apply to your face and leave on for 15-20 minutes.
4. Natural Scar Cream: Avoid scar creams that contain chemicals or traces of steroids (which can both make matters worse in the long run) and instead opt for an organic product. This can be a tough one because quite often natural and organic products don’t preform as well in the short-term as their chemical-laden counterparts. Luckily, CELSUS (that’s us;) makes an organic scar cream that has been shown to be highly effective in significantly reducing the appearance of acne scars. To treat, simply dab CELSUS scar cream on affected areas 3-4 times per day.
Preventing and Treating Acne from the Inside-out
Diet and exercise play an important role in creating and maintaining clear, glowing skin. Ditch the white sugar and processed foods and load up on vitamins, minerals and antioxidants (think lots of fresh, organic fruits and veggies). Opt for organic foods as much as possible and avoid ingredients that you can’t pronounce. This strategy will help you avoid toxins and keep your insides clean---remember your outside is a reflection of your inside, so if your inside is healthy and clean then your outside will surely reap the benefits. In addition to healthy foods, drink plenty of purified water and fresh green juices, both of which help flush excess toxins and hydrate your skin. As far as exercise goes, aim to “sweat it out” 3-4 times per week. Exercise increases heart rate and causes you to perspire. This helps purge toxins through your skin and limits the possibility of your oil glands getting clogged and creating a breakout.