Putting home remedies for acne to the test

The Acne and Rosacea Society of Canada has created a tool for clinicians and patients to determine the effectiveness and safety of home remedy techniques for treating acne.

The “Home Remedies for Acne Evidence List” currently includes 22 common acne home remedies that have undergone scientific investigation to answer three questions: What evidence is there? Does the remedy work? Can the remedy cause harm?

The list provides a link to search details with relevant articles.

“Acne can be an extremely frustrating condition,” said Dr. Jason Rivers, a Vancouver dermatologist and president of the society, in a press release. “Pimples appear overnight before a big week at high school or simply never seem to go away. People become desperate and will try anything in the hopes of getting clear skin.

“Some want to go the natural route with home remedies to avoid chemicals and drugs. Others believe ‘natural’ means little chance of a skin reaction,” he added.

“Just because an ingredient is natural does not mean it will not irritate the skin,” he cautioned. “Our purpose is simply to show what evidence currently exists for these treatments and if there is a possibility the skin can be harmed. The findings show some of the home remedies are scientifically proven to work while there isn’t any evidence to date for others. Some of these remedies may cause skin irritation which in turn can worsen acne.”

The public is invited to submit suggestions of home remedies for acne for the list via email to info@acneaction.ca. The most popular submissions will be investigated and added to the list on an ongoing basis.

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