A hormonal disorder, acne is a classic skin condition that is very common in teenagers.
Although this dermatosis is generally benign, it is perceived as a nightmare especially by teenagers (80 to 90% consider so), and it seems that males are more impacted than females.
On a day to day basis, chronic acne is sometimes painful and when it builds up pus, it becomes truly burdensome for the person afflicted!
What can be done? Can black spots be eradicated thanks to the virtues of plants?
Acne, here is what you need to know…
Definition of acne:
According to its etymological root, the word « acne », comes from ancient Greek ακμή (akmế), which means “tip“, “top”.
Mistakenly translated into “acne” (by Aestius), the word was nonetheless used to designate the granularity of the skin and black spots.
Symptoms and affected body areas
A skin disease that results in a surge of black spots, red pimples and cysts, acne generally spreads over the face and thorax.
However, some persons develop this dermatosis in a more severe form, when it appears in the neck, on the back and even scalp.
Source and cause of the issue
Acne results form reactions taking place in the sebaceous glands. These glands, located under the skin, produce sebum.
If produced in excess, sebum will start obstructing the shaft where the sebaceous glands release it, and this makes the skin oily and prone to acne. This obstruction provides an environment where bacteria proliferate, which generates skin inflammation or appearance of black spots.
Several factors contribute to acne surges.
- Puberty and hormone surges: during adolescence (8-13 years of age), psychological and especially physical changes are compounded by the increase in sexual hormones. Puberty is thus when the sebaceous glands produce most sebum, which bacteria feed off.
- Hormonal changes in women. 2 to 7 days before menstruation, certain women are prone to acne surges. Others, under the influence of contraceptives (containing proestrogens that can increase acne like lynestrenol, norgestrel, norgestrienone, gestodene, norethisterone, levonorgestrel, desogestrel …) are often prone to developing a type of more severe acne. Conversely, other women suffer from acne when they stop taking contraception pills.
Also, it may happen that menopause or pregnancy lead to acne for women.
- Adrenal gland dysfunction or ovary disorders.
In certain extremely rare cases, this may provoke acne in women.
Natural and effective solutions against acne
Can acne problems be treated with plants?
Here are a few answers…
Although 10% to 20% of children in the teenage age group consult a physician for acne-related issues, note that conventional medicine either offers localized treatments that are sometimes less effective, or general treatments which often have worrying side effects.
Whereas treating thanks to plants induces a (natural) activity directly to the organs involved, stimulating the liver and kidney functions without endangering them. Wouldn’t it be better to go for natural yet effective solutions?
Which plants have medicinal properties acknowledged to treat acne?
A quick overview…
- Tea tree – native to Australia, the health benefits of this tree have been proven to quell acne surges since it contains a substance (terpinen-4) that acts as an antimicrobial agent on infections, thus reducing inflammation.
Its antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-infectious properties dry pimples out.
- Aloe vera – this plant is an anti-inflammatory that stimulates the body’s immune system and accelerates the wound-healing process for infected sites.
Read also: health benefits and therapeutic value of Aloe vera
- Nettle – completely natural treatment for oily skin, nettle leaves set forth anti-inflammatory agents (vitamine B, minerals, zinc, trace elements) to fight against acne-prone surges.
- Lady’s mantle – since its activity is identical to that of progesterone, the “woman’s herb” speeds wound-healing. It is very often recommended to treat acne.
- Dandelion – 100% natural and free, this plant with potassium-rich leaves has a strong purgative effect on the liver.
It is effective to cleanse the blood of all its toxins caused by infections. These toxins are responsible for chronic acne pimples.
It hence treats acne and inhibits appearance of pimples and black spots.
- Tomato – with high protein, vitamin A and B, antioxidant and lycopene contents, tomato is an all-in-one anti-acne package.
Its anti-inflammatory, anti-infectious and antitoxin properties clean and heal the skin.
This ingredient purifies pores that are obstructed with impurities, and then tightens them so that they stay clean durably.
Natural, very affordable and with no side effects whatsoever, tomato is often advised to make your skin glow.
- Lemon – thanks to its natural properties (ascorbic acid) that support wound-healing, lemon juice is very effective to fight against bacteria that cause acne.
Take note though: it must be used carefully so as to avoid hypersensitivity which might lead to skin lesions caused by sunlight.
How to prepare each of these plants to treat your acne issues
Tea tree usually is used in the form of essential oil
- Apply tea tree essential oil on the skin.
Aloe vera grows easily and is also available in supermarkets
- If you’ve got potted Aloe vera, cut a leaf at the base, open it lengthwise, and press the halves to extract the gel.
- Apply on skin daily.
- Note: Once cut, Aloe vera leaves can keep for about two weeks in the refrigerator.
Stinging nettle is a common weed in temperate climates
- Once the nettle infusion is ready, dip clean compresses in it and apply to the acne-prone portions of the body. There are also capsules prepared from nettle leaf that are ingested during relevant diets.
Lady’s mantle is recommended either in the form of:
- Fluid extracts: 1 tea spoon a day is enough.
- Infusion: Infuse 4 teaspoons during a ¼ hour in a cup of hot water. Drink 2 cups a day.
- Mother tincture: 50 drops ingested in the morning and in the evening.
- Decoction followed by infusion: Boil ⅓ oz (10 g) of the plant for 20 minutes in ¼ quart (liter) water. Let steep for 10 minutes. Drink 1 cup.
- Discover lady’s mantle
Dandelion is recommended either as:
- Infusion: Let it steep in hot water for half an hour. Drink 2 or 3 cups daily.
- Home-made lotion: drizzle 4 handfuls of flowers in 1 quart (1 liter) boiling water. Let steep for half an hour.
Filter and keep the dandelion juice.
This homemade lotion is to be used twice a day to clean your face.
- Dandelion root infusion with burdock: a decoction of dandelion and burdock roots every day for 4 weeks is recommended for acne-prone skin.
- Mask: in boiling water, toss a few dandelion flowers and let them steep for 30 minutes.
When cooled, spread them on your face.
Keep them there for ¼ hour. Rinse.
Renew 2 times a week.
These few lines present plants that have acknowledged beneficial properties in the treatment of acne, but of course, there are more!