Although acne is most often associated with facial blemishes, arms are particularly vulnerable to this common skin problem. Causes for arm acne, such as excess oil, clogged pores and bacteria buildup, are similar to facial acne. However, additional triggers, including tight clothing, sweaty clothes and long hair can also contribute to the condition. While there is little or no scientific research or clinical analysis to support claims of the efficacy of folk medicine for the treatment of arm acne, after you consult with a dermatologist, home remedies may warrant a try.
Comfrey, a common plant in the wild, accelerates healing of wounds and cuts. Called knitbone by Native Americans, the plant has a reputation for healing bruises, scars, acne, boils and broken bones, according to the book "Indian Herbalogy of North America." As a folk remedy for acne on the arms, comfrey works as an astringent, helping to dry up pus-filled lesions. In addition, it contains allantoin, a cell proliferant that aids in repairing damaged skin tissue, and rosemaric acid, an anti-inflammatory agent.
Make a poultice with fresh or dried comfrey leaves. Crumble the leaves into small pieces and simmer them in a small amount of water for two minutes. Apply the hot poultice directly on your arm acne twice a day. Do not use it on broken skin, and be advised that clinical analysis of the herb for the use of acne is not complete.
Calendula, otherwise known as the marigold, has a reputation as one of the most versatile herbs in alternative medicine. Particularly celebrated for its efficacy as a blemish blocker, calendula's orange flower petals yield valuable results when used as an anti-inflammatory agent for red and swollen pimples. Although further research is needed, the petals' antiseptic and potent healing powers may also aid in preventing infection and accelerating skin tissue repair, according to the book "DK Natural Health Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine."
To make a cream, purchase emulsifying wax and glycerin at a health food store. Melt 150 g of the wax in a double boiler. Add 70 g glycerine, 80 ml water and 30 g dried calendula petals. Stir, and simmer for three hours. Strain the mixture through a muslim cloth. Stir constantly until it cools and sets. Using a small knife, place the set cream into a dark glass jar, and refrigerate. Apply the cream directly on your arm acne twice a day. Consult your doctor before using calendula cream and any other home remedy for acne.
Look no further than your bathroom cabinet for a simple, handy tool for alleviating acne. White toothpaste inhibits inflammation and tends to dry pimples. Dab a small amount on your affected areas, and allow it to dry for 30 minutes. Rinse off with warm water. AcneHome.com recommends using a low-fluoride toothpaste for best results. Do not use on excessively dry skin.
- "Indian Herbalog of North America"; Alma R. Hutchens; 1991
- "DK Natural Health Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine"; Andrew Chevalier; 2000
- "Healing Remedies"; C. Norman Shealy, M.D.; 2002
Susan DeFeo has been a professional writer since 1997. She served as a community events columnist for New Jersey's "Cape May County Herald" for more than a decade and currently covers the family and pet beat for CBS Philadelphia. Her health, fitness, beauty and travel articles have appeared in various online publications. DeFeo studied visual communications at SUNY Farmingdale.