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Natural acne treatment: What's most effective?

Some natural treatments may be helpful in reducing acne inflammation and breakouts:

Topical treatments

  • Tea tree oil. Gels containing at least 5 percent tea tree oil may be as effective as lotions containing 5 percent benzoyl peroxide, although tea tree oil might work more slowly. Possible side effects include minor itching, burning, redness and dryness. Tea tree oil should be used only topically.
  • Bovine cartilage. Creams containing 5 percent bovine cartilage, applied to the affected skin twice a day, may be effective in reducing acne.

Oral treatments

  • Zinc. The mineral zinc plays a role in wound healing and reduces inflammation, which may help improve acne. It may cause a metallic taste, bloating and diarrhea.
  • Brewer's yeast. A specific strain of brewer's yeast, called Hansen CBS, seems to help decrease acne when taken orally. It may cause gas (flatulence).

Talk with your doctor about the pros and cons of specific treatments before you try them.

Last updated: November 1st, 2017

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