If you are one of the nearly 50 million Americans who suffer from acne, then you have probably tried just about every cure that you could think of.
Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, therefore treatments and cures are advertised everywhere. But, they don’t all work and some might cause more harm than good.
Some home remedies, such as the use of apple cider vinegar are becoming increasingly popular. But, the main question is – do they actually work?
What is Acne?
Acne is a chronic inflammatory skin condition, which usually begins in puberty but can still occur at any stage of life.
It is characterized by pimples, blackheads, whiteheads and deeper lumps – cysts or nodules – occurring on various parts of the body, such as your face, chest, back, neck or other areas.
Causes of Acne
Acne can be brought on by many different factors. Overactive oil glands can be one cause of acne. The oil glands can produce too much oil, then combine with the skin cells and begin plugging the pores.
A plugged pore can cause the bacteria on the skin to multiple, which leads to skin lesions or pimples.
However, other factors can also cause acne and/or intensify it. These other contributing factors include: genetics, hormones, menstruation, emotional stress or some medications.
Aside from these, food can also be a factor in acne breakouts. Eating sweets or high glycemic foods has also been linked to acne.
Long Term Effects of Acne
Acne can have both a social and psychological effect on those who suffer from it, making treatment an even bigger concern.
Acne can put a damper on your self-esteem. Severe acne can make you embarrassed to show your full face due to redness and pimples. Some might grow their hair out longer to avoid their entire face being seen or some might try to hide behind an excessive amount of make-up.
If the acne is severe enough, or embarrassing enough to the effected individual, it could lead to even worse results, such as depression and withdraw from social activities.
Another long-term effect of acne is scarring and the permanent damage it can do to your skin.
Acne scars are a common side effect and come in many different forms. The most common type of acne scar is caused by tissue loss. These scars come in various forms such as: soft acne scars, ice-pick acne scars, depressed fibrotic acne scars, atrophic macules and follicular macular atrophy.
Overall, acne leaves behind scars in two different ways: the acne scars are caused by increased tissue formations, or the acne scars are caused by tissue loss.
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
When you hear apple cider vinegar, most people automatically think of their kitchen and the vinegar’s cooking purposes. While apple cider vinegar is great for food preservation, many people argue that it also has many health benefits.
Some of the health issues that people attribute apple cider vinegar to aiding in are heart health, weight loss, sinus congestion, sore throat, acid reflux, skin irritation, warts and more.
Apple cider vinegar is traditionally made through a long, slow fermentation process. The nature of this process leaves the apple cider vinegar rich in bioactive components such as acetic acid, gallic acid, caffeir acid, epicatechin and catechin, amongst others.
The fermentation process also gives the vinegar a more potent antioxidant, antimicrobial and other beneficial properties.
How Can You Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Treat Acne?
It is suggested by many that applying apple cider vinegar to your acne could be a great home remedy for that troublesome skin irritation. So, just what do you do with it?
For the DIY method, mix together equal parts apple cider vinegar and water, shake well before each use and then apply to the affected area with a cotton ball.
Isn’t Apple Cider Vinegar Too Harsh for the Skin?
The short answer is yes. Your skin is a very sensitive organism, and everyone’s skin reacts differently to different agents. Therefore, you should always take precautions when using something new on your skin.
Apple cider vinegar does have some acidic properties, which can be harmful to the skin by burning it. To take extra precautions when using apple cider vinegar, and avoid burning your skin, dilute the vinegar significantly with water to see how you react.
Is Apple Cider Vinegar Effective in Treating Acne?
It depends. Like most home remedies, the results will vary from person to person. The apple cider vinegar can help kill the bacteria that causes the acne, as well as reduce the redness and inflammation associated with the acne. However, this is not always the case and it might not cure it completely.
While apple cider vinegar does prove to be a great home remedy for some, the results will vary. It is not a guaranteed acne cure, but many people do see positive results. While apple cider vinegar can be a cure to acne, the downfall is that it does not provide a controlled treatment like you would find in an acne wash or medicine.
But, due to its acidic properties, it is very important to take precautionary measures and dilute the vinegar prior to applying it to your affected area. Apple cider vinegar can help reduce redness and irritation and kill the bacteria which causes acne. These factors combined could cure your acne, but it isn’t guaranteed.
Other benefits of apple cider vinegar are that it helps clean out the clogged pores, it aids in regulating the sebum oil production which aids in the prevention of clogged pores and it also promotes top-layer exfoliation of the skin.
But, just like any other skin product, your skin will have to adjust to the new treatment. So, if you give this a try and you feel like it worked slightly the first time, try it a few more times and continue to monitor your results.
Remember, your skin is very sensitive and a negative reaction could be dangerous and painful. It is important to remember to dilute the apple cider vinegar and to appropriately monitor your results, ensuring that you do not notice any adverse reactions to the new treatment.