Severe acne can be defined as a form of acne such as nodules or cysts, or as large areas of skin covered in many acne forms. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, there are four key components involved in acne: excess oil, clogged pores, bacteria and inflammation. There are natural ways to address these components to clear up severe acne. If nodules and cysts do not show improvement or clear, it is highly recommended you seek medical treatment.
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Wash with a Mild Soap
Wash acne-prone skin no more than twice per day with a mild soap to rid skin of excess oils and help unclog pores. Though you might naturally assume washing more will help, overwashing can actually irritate the skin, causing more acne. Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D., owner of DrWeil.com, recommends an all-natural glycerin soap. Use only your fingers to wash the soap on your face. Avoid scrubbers, washcloths or anything that could rub and irritate the skin. Pat, don't rub, the skin dry with a clean towel after washing.
Apply Tea Tree Oil
After you wash and dry acne-prone skin, apply tea tree oil over the affected areas. The Mayo Clinic reports that tea tree oil has been proven to be just as effective as its chemical counterpart, benzoyl peroxide, in products containing 5 percent tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is an anti-bacterial treatment that will work to kill the bacteria causing the acne.
Getting the proper nutrition is an important step to help clear up acne. According to The Vitamin & Nutrition Center, a deficiency in vitamins A, B2, B3, B6 and zinc can cause acne. Vitamin B5 can help to reduce stress, and stress can cause acne. Increasing your daily intake of fruits and vegetables can help bring more nutrition to the skin. The Mayo Clinic recommends taking zinc supplements as a natural treatment of acne for its immune boosting and anti-inflammatory properties.
Avoid Certain Foods
According to Food Allergy Solutions, it has been determined that food allergies are the number one cause of severe acne. Milk is the most common allergy. According to a study reported in the February 2005 Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, which involved 47,000 participants, dairy plays a role in acne breakouts. Keep a detailed log of what you eat and when breakouts occur, but be aware that breakouts can take 24 hours to show. Having a doctor perform an ELISA Food Allergy Panel is the fastest way to determine any allergies.