Acne can happen all over the body, but most people experience break outs on their faces, backs or necks. Some of these pimples are both unsightly and painful, and may be a great source of distress for those that suffer from them frequently. Make-up can work wonders for coverage, for women, but the best option is to eliminate the unwanted spots as soon as possible. As each individual is different some remedies work better than others. Many people have found that Vicks Vapor Rub, even though made for respiratory problems, works well to help heal their pimples.
What causes Acne?
The two main causes of acne are: hormonal changes and the build-up of oil (sebum) and dead cells in the hair follicle. Whenever a pore gets clogged, a plug is formed below the skin in which bacteria can thrive. This results in the swelling of the area that grows into a pimple. The irritation is only visible on the skin as the plug starts to break down.
Type of Acne
Although the cause of the acne remains the same, there are several types of pimples. These include:
Whiteheads – Pimples that remain under the skin’s surface.
Blackheads – These pimples rise to the skin’s surface and appear black.
Papules – Small, tender pink bumps.
Pustules – Pimples that are red at the bottom, and have pus on their tip.
Nodules – Large, painful, solid pimples located deep in the skin.
Cysts – These are the type of pimples that can cause scars. They are located deep within the skin, filled with pus and can be extremely painful.
Vicks Vapor Rub and Acne
Some people with acne have confessed that they see Vicks Vapor Rub as a ‘miracle cure.’ The product may work this well because many of the ingredients it contains are natural oils, used in other acne products. Some of the benefits of using Vicks are:
- It works well with to alleviate the pain and swelling associated with cysts.
- It works quickly, significantly reducing a pimple overnight, or in a few days.
- It is cheaper than most acne treatments.
How to Apply Vicks to a Pimple
Vicks is very quick and easy to apply. The area on, and surrounding, the pimple should be cleaned thoroughly before application. A small amount of the rub, just enough to cover the spot, should be applied using a cotton swab. The Vicks can be left on for a few hours, or overnight.
The Ingredients in Vicks Vapor Rub and Why They Work for Acne
Vicks Vapor Rub is a combination of natural ingredients held together by a binding agent (petroleum jelly). These include:
Eucalyptus is a natural antibacterial, and helps to get rid of the bacteria causing the infection below the surface of the skin. Pure eucalyptus may be too harsh to apply directly on the skin. In the diluted quantity found in Vicks, however, it can be extremely helpful.
Camphor is a waxy, white substance that’s often used to suppress coughs. It can also be used to treat skin irritations and fungal infections by itself. Camphor should never be used on broken skin, due to its potential toxicity. This ingredient also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the swelling of the cysts.
3. Cedar Leaf Oil
Often used as a treatment for rashes, cedar leaf oil is also good for the treatment of acne. This is because it regulates the skin’s sebum production, helping to control over-production. Cedar leaf oil can also be toxic, and must never be applied on broken skin.
Derived from mint plants, menthol has anti-inflammatory properties and is also a natural pain killer. It is often used as a home remedy for coughs, colds, skin irritations and sunburns. The properties in menthol aid in the skin’s absorption of the other ingredients.
5. Nutmeg Oil
Nutmeg oil is extracted by steam distillation of the ground seeds of the nutmeg. It is both an anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory, and is one of the active ingredients in Vicks. It is beneficial in the treatment of acne because it helps to improve the overall look of the skin, clears up the pimple and can reduce scars.
Derived from breaking down several different plants, thymol is poisonous to microscopic organisms. It is also popular as a natural antiseptic, and has a low toxicity risk in humans.
7. Turpentine Oil
Turpentine oil is safe for use on the skin in small doses, it is also commonly used for topical pain relief.
8. Petroleum Jelly
The only ingredient in Vicks Vapor Rub that is not good for skin on its own, petroleum jelly’s use on the face is not recommended because it clogs the pores. Using it is also associated with premature ageing, because it stops the skin from breathing. This does not prevent the other helpful ingredients in the vapour rub from working, however, but should be kept in mind. The petroleum jelly in the product is the main reason why it is only recommended to use a small amount applied directly to the pimple.
Side Effects of Using Vicks Vapor Rub as an Acne Treatment
Although not many side effects have been reported with the product’s use, it should never be applied to broken skin because some of the ingredients can be toxic. Do not apply Vicks to pimples that have been squeezed.