Acne is the bane of a teenager's existence, and it's not a whole lot of fun for adults either. It may seem like a minor problem compared to other, more potentially dangerous skin conditions, but acne should still be taken seriously. It can hamper your self-confidence and affect the way that you interact with the world. That's probably why there are so many "tried and true" home remedies out there – people often don't see it as serious enough to bother a doctor with, yet at the same time, they're desperate to get rid of it. The problem is, many common home remedies simply don't work and some cause more problems than they solve. Take a look at a few home remedies that you should definitely steer clear of.
Rubbing alcohol seems like a logical way to try to get rid of acne. You're probably aware that it's a drying agent, so why wouldn't it dry out those pesky pimples? And to an extent, it will. However, the problem is that it works a little too well. Alcohol is simply too harsh to be applied to your skin – especially your delicate facial skin – on a regular basis.
While it removes the oils from your skin, the alcohol will also irritate your skin. The result will be a possibly painful inflammation, and even more redness than you had originally. And it won't stop the pimples from coming back.
At first glance, tanning does look like an easy way to get rid of your zits. All you have to do is relax at the beach, and the sun does the rest of the work. You'll notice shortly after a day outdoors that the heat has dried the acne and your skin looks considerably clearer.
Unfortunately, these results are short-lived. Within a few days the acne will return, and it will often return with a vengeance, harder to get rid of than ever before. Like alcohol, the sun is just too harsh to be an effective skin treatment. Plus, overexposure to the sun comes with its own dangers, like melanoma. It's not worth risking skin cancer just to have clear skin for a few days.
Coconut oil is enjoying a surge in popularity, and is touted as a remedy for everything from split ends to gingivitis, so it's no surprise that it's sometimes recommended as an acne treatment as well. There are elements in coconut oil that could be useful against acne – it's an antibacterial agent, so it can help fight the bacteria that causes acne. It also contains an anti-inflammatory agent, lauric acid, that could help bring some of the swelling down.
The problem is that coconut oil is also full of fats and grease. It's very likely to clog your pores, so even if it helps get rid of a few pimples, you'll probably create twice as many in the process. It's best to keep grease far away from your face, especially if you're prone to acne.
If you have acne that isn't responding to gentle face washing or reputable over-the-counter acne treatments, chances are that what you really need is a visit to the dermatologist. A doctor who specializes in skin conditions can come up with a safe treatment plan that really works for your acne issues.