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Home Remedies Versus Professional Dermatological Treatments: An Insight

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Although do-it-yourself (DIY) treatments and home remedies might seem like a good idea at first, one should always contact a dermatologist for safer results.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Sandhya Narayanan Kutty

Published At January 25, 2024
Reviewed AtJanuary 25, 2024

Introduction

To pursue flawless, healthy skin, one must often explore various skincare options. While home remedies and DIY (do-it-yourself) treatments may seem appealing and affordable, it is crucial to consider the expertise and benefits that dermatologists can provide. Dermatologists are doctors who specialize in finding and treating skin problems. They can provide a higher level of care and expertise than home remedies. This article examines why consulting a dermatologist for skin treatments is a superior choice to relying solely on home remedies.

What Are Some Common Home Remedies for Skin Problems?

With the rise of social media and viral videos, DIY approaches to dermatological treatments have become increasingly popular. However, it is essential to exercise caution when considering these home remedies, as they may pose potential dangers and risks. Some of them are discussed below.

Toothpaste for Acne: A Dubious Choice

One of the most widely discussed DIY acne treatments is the use of toothpaste. Some proponents argue that toothpaste containing antibiotics, like Resorcinol, can help combat acne-causing bacteria. However, dermatologists believe numerous prescription and over-the-counter acne products are available that would be more effective and less messy than toothpaste. While toothpaste might have some antibacterial properties, it is not formulated specifically for treating acne, and its potential benefits do not outweigh the drawbacks of applying toothpaste to the skin.

Apple Cider Vinegar: A Smelly Solution?

Apple cider vinegar has grown in popularity as a face wash, acne treatment, and toenail and foot fungus treatment. Although vinegar does contain acetic acid, which is also found in some over-the-counter acne medicines, it is not the best choice because it has a bad smell, and there is no scientific evidence that it works best for these uses. However, dermatologists recommend using over-the-counter acne-fighting products with ingredients like salicylic acid and azelaic acid instead.

Raw Eggs for Acne: A Messy Alternative

Another DIY treatment that has garnered attention is the use of raw egg yolks or egg whites for acne. While eggs contain Vitamin A, essential for healthy skin, numerous over-the-counter and prescription products are specifically formulated for treating acne. These products offer more reliable and convenient alternatives to sleeping with egg yolk or egg white on the skin and sheets.

Aspirin Face Masks: A Stretch Too Far

Some individuals grind up Aspirin and mix it with moisturizer to create homemade face masks. The fact is that Aspirin is an acid, and using it in an improper concentration could lead to burning, itching, or other adverse reactions. While Aspirin can be used orally for certain dermatological conditions, it is best to leave the formulation and application of aspirin-based treatments to medical professionals.

Green Tea: An Uncertain Remedy

Green tea has been praised for its many health benefits, including its possible impact on skin health. While it has been studied extensively for its anti-cancer properties, its use in skincare is a complementary and integrative medicine. While there is potential for green tea to have a positive influence on the skin, the lack of standardized usage guidelines makes it challenging to determine the optimal way to incorporate green tea into a skincare routine. Instead, skin experts recommend using commercially available products with proven efficacy and safety profiles.

Honey: A Sweet Solution for Wound Care

Honey has long been used for wound care due to its antibacterial properties. It should be used, nevertheless, under the supervision of a healthcare provider. While honey can be effective for specific types of wounds when used in conjunction with other medications, it is essential to obtain a proper diagnosis and follow a prescribed treatment plan. Self-administered honey treatments may delay the diagnosis of underlying conditions, such as skin cancer, and should be avoided in favor of professional medical care.

Oatmeal: A Tried and Tested Approach for Eczema

Oatmeal has been a staple in skincare products for decades, particularly in the treatment of eczema. Colloidal oatmeal, specifically ground into a fine powder, has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties. The concentration and fineness of the oatmeal are essential factors in its efficacy, which can vary significantly when prepared at home. Instead, individuals should opt for commercially available oatmeal-based products that have undergone rigorous testing.

Water For Skin: The Need for Hydration

The healing powers of water make it useful for soothing skin problems like ulcers, poison ivy, and sunburn. A cool water soak can provide relief for hot and itchy skin, while saltwater soaks can help dry up blisters. Additionally, the soak and smear technique, involving soaking the skin in water followed by the application of an ointment, has proven effective for conditions like eczema and psoriasis.

Can Home Remedies Treat All Skin Problems?

The answer is no! There is a difference between the results that one can get while using home remedies and the results they get while getting professional dermatological treatment. For example, wrinkles cannot be addressed as effectively as dermatological treatment can. Home remedies might work, but they can take a longer period, and the results may not be significant. However, professional dermatological treatments like HIFU (high-frequency ultrasound), fillers, derma rollers, etc. can give long-lasting and prominent results.

Similarly, other skin issues like facial hair removal or scar removal can also be effectively addressed with professional treatments like chemical peels and lasers, while natural remedies cannot.

Conclusion

While DIY skincare remedies may seem appealing and cost-effective, it is important to consider the expertise and personalized care that dermatologists can provide. Dermatologists undergo extensive training and possess in-depth knowledge of various skin conditions, ensuring accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment plans. Home remedies may offer temporary relief, but dermatological treatments focus on achieving long-term results and promoting overall skin health. It is crucial to consult a dermatologist for persistent or severe skin concerns, as their expertise and treatment options can address specific conditions effectively. By choosing professional dermatological care, individuals can maintain a continuous, healthy glow in their skin and avoid potential risks associated with DIY treatments.

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Dr. Sandhya Narayanan Kutty
Dr. Sandhya Narayanan Kutty

Venereology

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