Acne is a very common and often embarrassing skin condition that affects people of all ages. The presence of acne is characterized by blackheads, whiteheads and inflamed pimples, often referred to as "zits." In addition to adhering to basic self-care practices such as washing your face with a gentle, hypoallergenic cleanser and avoiding touching or picking at zits, there are home remedies that can treat inflamed acne while avoiding harsher treatments that may further irritate the skin.
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Because zits represent skin that is inflamed and irritated, it is important to wash the area with a gentle cleanser such a hypoallergenic facial soap. Avoid harsh treatments such as exfoliating scrubs and chemical astringents, as they may further irritate the skin.
Balance Skin's pH Levels
Follow the facial cleansing with a diluted mixture of one part apple cider vinegar and three to four parts water. Apple cider is a natural way to balance the acidity, or pH level, of skin and serves to absorb excessive oils.
Apply the mixture to the inflamed area and leave it for approximately 10 minutes before gently rinsing with vinegar. Repeat this treatment two to three times per day. In the case of an extremely inflamed or painful zit, the apple cider mixture can be left on overnight and rinsed in the morning.
Apple cider also has the effect of killing bacteria that may be contributing to the inflammation. Tea tree oil is another natural bacteria killer that can be used in conjunction with the apple cider mixture for further treatment. Apply a dab of tea tree oil, available at most pharmacies, to the inflamed zit with a cotton swab before bedtime. Rinse the area the following morning.
Because inflamed zits are often the result of excess oil on the skin, drying out the area as efficiently as possible can yield desirable results. Dab a small amount of toothpaste, eye drops or egg white directly on the area with a cotton swab and leave on overnight. All three of these items serve the same purpose, but it may take several tries for you to determine which works best for you.
If you have multiple inflamed zits, a natural face mask can be used to treat a larger area. Apply egg whites to your face and leave on for approximately 15 minutes before removing with a clean, damp wash cloth. In addition to removing excess oil, egg whites contain vitamin A, which provides essential nutrients for healthy skin.
Systemic Inflammation Treatment
Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen can be used as a more systemic method for treating painful inflamed zits. Follow the dosing instructions on the label for your age.