What Causes Red Spots on Skin?
There are as many reasons for developing spots as there are home remedies to help get rid of them, but the main cause of pimples, zits, black or whiteheads, or whatever you call them is due to the body producing excessive oil, and bacteria.
At the base of each hair follicle, however invisible the hair is, there’s a gland called the sebaceous gland. This secretes sebum, an oil that keeps the skin hydrated. If there is an excess of oil being produced, the pore, which the oil emerges from, can get blocked. Bacteria can then populate the pore, causing an infection, which leads to a spot forming, usually surrounded by a painful inflamed area.
Oil production increase for many reasons:
- Diet – A diet that contains a lot of dairy, saturated or trans fats can lead to excess production of oil. If your diet includes highly processed food or sugars it can affect also sebum levels.
- Hormones – The sebaceous gland is particularly affected by the amount and type of hormones in our bodies. If our body is flooded by hormones brought on by puberty, pregnancy, or menstruation, for example, sebum can be produced as a result.
- Stress – If you are going through a stressful, anxiety-inducing time, the outcome can be the eruption of spots.
- Medications – Certain medications can cause spots, especially if they alter the body’s hormone balance.
- Genetics – Genetic issues, such as a poor immune system, can make you more prone to developing spots. But there’s still plenty you can do to rid yourself of them.
Spots can be exacerbated and spread by picking, squeezing or scratching at them, so no matter how tempting, it’s important to refrain from doing this.
Natural Remedies for Spots
Apple cider vinegar is well known for its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. It contains succinic and lactic acids which have been proven to reduce any potential scarring caused by spots. Dab a little cider vinegar on each spot, but dilute with water if your skin is particularly sensitive. Leave it on for a 10-20 seconds before rinsing, and repeat twice a day until the spots clear.
2. Tea Tree Oil
For many years people have been successfully using tea tree to reduce inflammation and kill bacteria. It must be diluted with water before using as it can cause the skin to become dry and sensitive – only a couple of drops are needed in a large cup of water. Dab it onto the spots a couple of times a day and you should see an improvement within a few days.
Known for its cooling and soothing properties, aloe vera gel is an excellent moisturizer, so is good to use in conjunction with apple cider vinegar or tea tree oil. It can help greatly with the heat and pain associated with spots, and should be applied after treating the spots.
Zinc is needed for hormone production, an efficient immune system and cell growth, but it’s also an effective remedy for spots. Many people suffering from spots have been found to have a zinc deficiency, which can be rectified by taking a zinc supplement. In tests, nearly 50% of subjects saw an 80-100% reduction of spots after two months of taking zinc capsules.
How to Get Rid of Spots
Most general guidelines for getting rid of spots and preventing them from reappearing have to do with your lifestyle and skincare routine. Here are some tips of good habits to adopt (or bad habits to break) if you want to have clear skin.
Tip #1 – Do Not Pick at Your Skin
Yes, we’ve all heard it – when you get a spot or a pimple, do not pick at it! If you squeeze a pimple or pick at any spots on your face, you are introducing bacteria from your hands to the clogged pore, which will result in a longer healing period and a higher likelihood of scarring.
Tip #2 – Apply Heat to Your Skin
What is meant by heat, in this case, is steaming your face or applying a warm compress to your skin. The reason this works to get rid of spots is because heat soothes your skin and opens the pores, therefore bringing all the dirt from the pores to the surface. Sometimes, when your pimples or acne are painful or swollen, you can also use a cold compress to soothe the irritation.
Tip #3 – Never Compromise on Your Skincare Routine
It’s very important to remember to wash your face regularly. Your oil glands produce sebum (a natural oil that keeps the skin elastic and healthy) all the time. In order to keep your pores from clogging with dirt and sebum, make sure you clean your face every day.