Having phrases like “long term” and “skin condition” in the same sentence is quite disturbing. But, unfortunately, these are the two keywords associated with acne. Most people who have battled acne for long with little or no progress usually refer to it as a nightmare. And this nightmare leaves visible features for all to see. Some obvious features of acne-infested skin include blackheads, pimples, oily skin, scarring, and whiteheads. Acne does more harm than the acknowledged impact on the patient’s good looks. Sometimes, it also influences the personality, possibly triggering reduced self-esteem, timidity, and in some cases, anxiety.
What is an Acne Bump?
Acne, scientifically known as Acne vulgaris, is a skin condition that results from skin clogging triggered by dead skin cells and oil. The primary skin areas affected are the face, back, and upper part of the chest. These skin areas have a higher concentration of oil glands (1).
Causes of Acne
Anyone may be affected by acne as the human skin has oily glands, and the skin cells are bound to weaken and be renewed naturally. However, the following factors may trigger the further appearance of acne bumps on the skin.
1. Genetics: Described as a major factor (about 80% of the cases) in provoking acne.
2. Excessive smoking of cigarettes.
3. Poor hygiene.
4. Poor diet and feeding habits.
5. The excessive growth of a bacterium called Cutibacterium acnes (bacteria naturally present in healthy adolescents and adults).
6. Excessive production of sebum (a fatty acid unique to the human skin).
10 Easy and Effective Ways To Get Rid Of Acne Bumps
Some easy practices may significantly rid your face of acne bumps and leave you with a smooth skin appearance. Here are 10 easy and effective practices to get rid of acne bumps.
1. Leave the Acne Bumps Alone
This is the golden rule of getting rid of acne bumps. However, you may have to resist the urge to use your fingers to get rid of acne bumps. This touching and pressing may yield few hours of immediate satisfaction but leaves you with a bigger and long-term disadvantage. When you pierce an acne bump with your fingers, the sebum may flow out and infect other parts of the skin. Dirt in the fingers may also lead to further infections.
2. Always Keep Your Face Clean
This is a healthy routine that should be followed meticulously. To shed dead skin cells and soothe inflammation, it is advised that you use a face wash that contains salicylic acid (an acid with high exfoliating properties that help to keep the pores clean) (2). You may also include a routine exercise to get rid of oil in the skin in this context.
3. Avoid High Glycemic Load Diets
Glycemic index measures how quickly a given food increases your blood sugar level. Eating foods with a high glycemic index may increase the blood sugar content to unhealthy levels, and this may cause a spike in the sebum production of your skin. Such foods include white bread, cake, sugary cereals, and sugary soft drinks. Instead, opt for legumes, nuts, vegetables, and fruits, with low glycemic index levels.
4. Treat with Tea Tree Oil
A blend made of tea tree oil and drops of coconut oil has adequate antibacterial content to rid the skin of acne. Tea tree oil is extracted from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia (a tea tree that is native to Australia). It is a very potent cure for acne.
Directions for Use
- Mix a drop of undiluted tea tree oil with 4 drops of coconut oil or 9 drops of water.
- Use a cotton swab to apply the mixture to the affected areas of your skin.
- Leave to dry, then rinse off after 10-15 minutes.
- You may repeat the process twice daily.
5. Apply Lemon Juice and Aloe Vera Mask
You may rub a slice of lemon fruit on your face to deal with bump-causing bacteria. Furthermore, the use of lemon juice to fight acne may be more productive when mixed with aloe vera gel. Aloe vera gel functions in the treatment of abrasions, burns, rashes, and other skin conditions. Aloe vera contains sulfur and salicylic acid, which are both proven treatments for acne. A mask made of lemon juice and aloe vera will eliminate excess sebum on the face, kill causative bacteria, and soothe skin inflammation.
Directions for Use
- Use a spoon to scoop the aloe vera gel from the plant.
- Mix 4 teaspoons of the gel with two teaspoons of lemon juice.
- Apply the mixture to your clean skin using a cotton ball.
- Repeat the process twice daily.
6. Treat with Neem Leaves
The bark, seed, root, flower, and leaves of the neem plant (a medicinal tree native to India) are highly potent. In addition, the neem plant has antibacterial and blood purifying properties, and research has proven that the leaves are a potent acne treatment (3).
Directions for Use
- Blend fresh neem leaves to get a green paste. If you can’t find the leaves, use neem powder purchased from a reliable source.
- If you are using neem powder, mix 4 teaspoons of it with 3 teaspoons of water to make a paste.
- Use a cotton swab to apply the paste to the parts of your skin with acne bumps.
- Rinse it off with cold water after 15-20 minutes
7. Treat with Sandalwood Paste
The east Indian endemic sandalwood tree is arguably one of the most valuable trees with a unique yellow color and strong aroma. Sandalwood paste is a proven cure for acne and functions mostly by drying the bumps out while soothing the skin.
Directions for Use
- Mix one teaspoon of sandalwood powder with one teaspoon of water to make a paste.
- Use a cotton ball to apply the paste to your skin.
- Rinse it off with cold water after 15-20 minutes.
8. Apply Aspirin Topically
Aspirin is readily available and may be purchased over the counter at local pharmacy stores.
Directions for Use
- Crush aspirin into a fine powder and add a few drops of water to make a fine paste.
- Apply the paste to your skin with a cotton ball (advisably, after bathing at night).
- Leave it on till the next morning, then rinse it off with warm water.
- Repeat this process for 2-4 days, and the bump will fall off.
9. Benzoyl Peroxide Treatment
This is a chemical compound abbreviated as (BZO)2. When used in acne treatment, it functions by reducing excessive skin sebum production. It also readily dries up the acne bumps and helps the skin to peel off dead cells. (BZO)2 ointment with 2.5% concentration is ideal for use and offers long-lasting results in acne treatment. You may find this ointment in local pharmacy stores; however, you are advised to consult your dermatologist before use (4).
10. Regular Exfoliation
Exfoliation is the removal of the top layer of dead skin cells. Regular exfoliation of the skin will remove the dead cells that clog pores. When this is achieved, acne may not have a conducive environment to grow. Skin exfoliation can be done using dermatologically approved chemicals, mechanical tools (body brushes, exfoliating brushes, exfoliating towels, and scrubs), as well as face masks. The face masks may include fruit salad masks, rice flour and green tea masks, yogurt and sugar masks, milk, oatmeal masks, etc.
It’s important to note that mechanical exfoliation should be carried out carefully as it may further irritate the skin (5).
Tips to Improve Overall Skin Appearance
To keep the skin healthy, there’s the need to always take proper care of the skin by embracing practices that enhance skin health and avoid those that could adversely affect it.
1. Improve Your Eating Habit
The benefits of feeding the body right are innumerable, and the problems of not feeding right are just as innumerable. Eating adequate portions of fruits and vegetables, taking healthy meals, and drinking enough water are key activities that should be actively implemented daily. These activities may keep skin hydrated and improve skin appearance.
2. Reduce Sun Exposure
To the best of your effort, always protect your skin from blistering sun rays. Excessive skin exposure to the sun may trigger age spots & wrinkles and increase the risk of almost every skin condition. In addition, you can protect your skin by avoiding direct sun exposure, wearing protective clothing like hats, and using sunglasses to protect the eyes.
3. Treat Your Skin Kindly
Some of the seemingly cool activities infused into your daily routine, which you carry out in the bathroom or dressing room, maybe unhealthy to the skin. For example, activities such as constantly bathing with hot water, carelessly shaving body hair off the skin, using random soaps, etc., may adversely affect the skin. A more safe practice will be the use of warm water instead of a very hot one, less use of medicated soap, proper lubrication of the skin before shaving, and constant moisturization of the skin.
4. Reduce Smoking Habit
The urge to puff smoke in and out may not be an easy one to overcome; however, a drastic reduction may improve your skin appearance. Smoking decreases blood flow to the skin by narrowing the blood vessels in the epidermis. This, in turn, makes the skin pale and very vulnerable to skin conditions.
Also Read – Hydrating Avocado Hair Masks
5. Reduce Stress and Have Adequate Sleep
It is recommended that you get at least 6-8 hours of sleep daily. Getting enough rest will keep your mind and body fit and give your skin immunity for acne and other skin problems (6).
Irrespective of your age and skin color, having acne bumps on the face is undesirable. The good news is that these acne bumps can be gotten rid of, no matter how long you have had them. Aside from genetics, there are lifestyle factors that may trigger acne breakout on your skin. Such factors include excessive smoking habits, poor eating habits, and poor hygiene. There are also easy and effective ways to get rid of acne bumps. Such as the use of lemon, aloe vera, sandalwood paste, neem leaves, etc. However, the golden rule is, “leave the acne bumps and resist the urge to touch the acne-infested skin areas.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I get rid of acne bumps overnight?
Getting rid of bumps is a gradual process that may take weeks to achieve. However, some remedies that yield fast results include the topical application of tea tree oil, aloe vera, crushed aspirin, and honey.
Does toothpaste work on acne?
Although this speculation is widespread, it is wrong. Do not use toothpaste to treat acne bumps. While it is true that some ingredients found in toothpaste can shrink acne bumps, applying ‘tooth’ paste to the skin may trigger further intense reactions.
What are the foods to avoid while treating acne?
Some foods may help regulate your skin’s sebum production, while others may increase its production and jeopardize your efforts to get rid of acne. Fish, fruits, and vegetables are good for treating acne, while fatty foods and dairy products should be avoided.
- “Slideshow: Acne Visual Dictionary” – webmd.com
- “Can Salicylic Acid Help Treat Acne?” – healthline.com
- “Therapeutics Role of Azadirachta indica (Neem) and Their Active Constituents in Diseases Prevention and Treatment” – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “13 Powerful Home Remedies for Acne” – healthline.com
- “HOW TO SAFELY EXFOLIATE AT HOME” – aad.org
- “Skincare: 5 tips for healthy skin” – mayoclinic.org