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If you think that skin problems belong in your teenage years, you couldn’t be more wrong. There are thousands of skin conditions that affect adults and it’s not just the occasional pimple or blackhead. Warts, skin tags, and other similar skin problems can take months, even years, to go away – and a small percentage are even permanent and require surgical removal. But don’t fear! Common skin disorders can be treated with organic remedies found right in our very homes.
Here is our “ultimate guide” to natural / home remedies for skin conditions – complete with tons of tips and links to the scientific research!
Warts And Skin Tags
For the most part, warts are pretty benign or harmless. You may be unaware of this but warts are caused by a virus, specifically viruses belonging to the Human Papillomavirus family. You can become infected by HPV through a small cut or lesion, allowing the virus to invade the skin. The virus causes skin cells to multiply (quite similar to how tumors form actually – a scary thought considering that there are studies that link HPV to certain forms of cancer), forming a wart – basically an excess of skin cells. 
Another common skin condition is a skin tag. You may often mistake a skin tag for a wart because of their similar appearance but they are very different. Unlike warts which are caused by the proliferation of cells because of HPV, skin tags are benign or harmless. The etiology or cause of skin tags is still unknown, but they typically occur in places where skin rubs up against something (skin or clothes), like the neck, eyelids, and axillae. They are also associated with conditions like diabetes, abnormal lipid profiles, and obesity. 
Warts and skin tags can sometimes take a few months before they disappear (even longer if you have problems with immunity, since warts are viral in nature) but there are several organic methods you can use to speed up their removals. Take note – none of these are an overnight miracle. Don’t expect to use them and find out that your warts have disappeared the next morning.
#1: Apple Cider Vinegar – Vinegar (chemical name: acetic acid) has been historically used to manage a variety of conditions because of its potent anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. There have been several studies that have shown vinegar’s ability to fight warts after topical application. A studies on variations of acetic acid including trichloroacetic acid have revealed that it can treat genital warts. Apple cider vinegar has risen in popularity in the recent years and can be a good way to get rid of that bothersome wart. Soak a piece of cotton or gauze in ACV, bind it with plaster or duct tape, and leave it on while you sleep and remove it in the morning. 
ACV works just as well on skin tags as they do on warts. It is a great natural alternative to cosmetic surgery or procedures, which is the typical treatment for skin tags. Apply a little bit of ACV onto a piece of cotton and wipe it on your skin tag after you take a shower or bath. You may feel a slight sting at first but you will notice your skin tag shriveling up until they fall off.
#2: Garlic – Garlic is an excellent way to prevent heart disease, able to reduce blood pressure and fight plaque formation. Recent students have also shown how its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory abilities can also manage warts. A study in 2014 revealed how lipid garlic extract was able to treat recalcitrant common warts without recurrence. A similar study was published earlier in 2004 that showed how garlic could heal corns and warts. Apply raw garlic to the wart or skin tag before bed and clean it thoroughly the next morning to get rid of the garlic smell. 
#3: Duct Tape – You read that one right! Duct tape has been used for years on warts and skin tags on children as a way to dissuade them from picking at and wounding themselves. However, recent students have found how duct has actually been able to completely get rid of a wart or at least help reduce its size. An experiment conducted from 2004 to 2005 used duct tape on adults with warts for seven consecutive days, with an evening of rest on the seventh day, for two months. Duct tape was able to either resolve the wart completely, reduce its size, or prevent recurrence by six months of treatment. 
#4: Bananas – In traditional medicine, all parts of the banana plant have strong medicinal abilities – from the leaves to the roots. However, the most accessible part of the plant is the fruit and its peel has been suggested to be an effective treatment for warts. One of the earliest studies on banana peels and warts was published in the 1980s, showing how application of a banana peel to the affected area once a day (replacing the old peel with a new one after cleansing the area) for two weeks or more was able to resolve the wart completely and prevent recurrence. This can also work well for skin tags. 
#5: Raw Honey – While studies that directly link wart and skin tag removal and honey are hard to find, several do shed light on how honey is one of the best way to manage skin conditions like open wounds. It is an excellent anti-bacterial substance, making it a better alternative for antibiotic creams and emollients sold by millions of pharmacies all over the world. Honey also are strong anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce wart and skin tag size, on top of providing a sealed, moist-environment that draws fluid out and deprives it of oxygen (which will help reduce the size). This is similar to how duct tape works. Take a little bit honey, some gauze, and a bandage and apply it to your wart and skin tag overnight or for 24 hours. 
#6: Tea Tree Oil – Tea tree oil is a great antibacterial agent, popularly used as a skin care ingredient to fight acne. A study that focused on hand warts in pediatric patient found that the topic application of tea tree oil was able to resolve warts within 12 days, with complete healing of the affected area (“re-epithelization”). You can find tea tree oil in most supermarkets and beauty supply stores. A few drops on the wart or skin tag after every bath or shower will do wonders. 
#7: Castor Oil And Baking Soda – While this method still requires further research to prove its effectiveness, there are people swearing by this method to get rid of unsightly warts and skin tags. Mix baking soda with a little bit of castor oil to make a fine paste and apply it to the wart or skin tag. Cover with a bandage and replace throughout the day as necessary.
Acne is most often associated with the period of puberty in our teenage years. While there are many ways to get rid of acne, one of the hardest things to manage is the aftermath – also known as dark spots, which become even darker when exposed to dangerous UV radiation. Scars, sun spots, and dark spots are left behind can be very difficult to remove – as well expensive. But don’t fret! Here are several natural remedies to get rid of dark pigmentation.
#1: Aloe Vera – The soothing properties of aloe vera makes it quite popular in the management of a variety of skin conditions such as sunburn, rashes, and insect bites. A study published in 2002 found that aloesin, a component of aloe vera, is able to reduce hyperpigmentation darkened by the UV radiation from the sun’s rays. This can be attributed to aloesin’s ability to inhibit melanin formation (overproduction of which causes dark spot formation). 
#2: Lemons – Lemons are citrus fruits whose high acid content allows them to lighten the skin and get rid of dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Because of this, it has become a very popular skin care ingredient, especially for lightening and whitening products. Because lemon juice is quite acidic, you can mix it with a little bit of water before placing it on a cotton ball and dabbing it onto the affected area. Use it every day after a bath or shower for the best results! 
#3: Sandalwood – Historically, the use of Sandalwood in skin lightening has been around for hundreds of years. It is an active ingredient in several skin care products today that claim to lighten or whiten skin. You can mix sandalwood powder with rose water and lemon juice to make a face mask/pack. Apply the paste to clean skin and allow it to dry, then wash off completely with water. Do this two to three times as needed. You can mix and match the ingredients in your mask to give it a personal touch. Another option is to use sandalwood oil (again mixed with other ingredients of your choice) and use it as an overnight moisturizer. 
#4: Horseradish – Horseradish works in a similar vein to lemon juice, but it stronger and requires more caution. If you find lemon juice too weak a solution to treat your dark spots, you can opt to use horseradish mixed with ACV and honey. Clean your face thoroughly and apply this mixture to the dark spot before bed, and clean thoroughly again in the morning.
#5: Onions – Using onions in skin care is always a bit of a shock but a study published in 2006 found that a gel with onion as a main ingredient was able to reduce hyperpigmentation as well as scarring after tattoo removal. Juice an onion or put it through a food processor and apply the juice to the dark spot. Similar to garlic, apply onion juice before bed and wash it off in the morning to get rid of the smell. 
Moles are created by a cluster of pigmented cells called melanocytes. Unless your mole is abnormally shaped or is growing exponentially, it is most likely harmless. Warning signs of a potentially cancerous mole include color changes, change in size, texture, or shape, itchiness, bleeding, and unusual discharge. If you have these symptoms, get to your doctor asap because time is truly of the essence with this one.
Adults typically have anywhere between 10 and 40 moles, and these can be annoying or embarrassing to some. The following remedies have been studied extensively for the effectiveness on skin tags and warts but research on how they can remove moles is still far and few in between. However, a lot of people have been reporting good results for apple cider vinegar, garlic, and castor oil for the removal of moles. For more info on this check out our report about ACV and mole removal. 
Pimples, Whiteheads and Blackheads
While these natural methods are safe and effective way to manage skin problems, prevention is still the best way to keep your skin healthy. Clogged pores are usually the source of problems like pimples, whiteheads, and blackheads. Most cases of acne are caused by the build-up of sebum inside the pores which in turn clog our pores. These clogged pores act as a beacon for bacteria, which can even lead to skin infections if left unmanaged. Take note of these bonus tips in order to keep your skin healthy and glowing!
#1: Steaming – You may associate “steaming” with cooking food but it’s basically another term for facial sauna. Instead of heading to the sauna room to let your body sweat out its toxins, you can apply steam directly to your face to open up your pores and unclog them. You just need a hot water, a bowl or a small pot, and a towel and you’re good to go! Place hot water in a bowl (hot enough to produce steam), lean over it, and place a towel over your head and the bowl to make a small tent. Do this after you’ve cleaned your face thoroughly. You can even add lemon, tea tree oil, and other essences to the water to give your steam bath a boost. Don’t forget to moisturize afterwards!
#2: Exfoliating – Exfoliating your face two to three times a week is usually recommended for normal skin. It helps get rid of dry and dead skill cells, as well as getting rid of dirt and other impurities. You can opt for natural exfoliators like sugar and rice, mixed with a little bit of honey and lemon for great way to exfoliate your skin. You can switch up honey with an oil of your choice, like olive or coconut, and lemon for any essence you want (you can even use ACV!). If you use rice instead of sugar, make sure to grind it with a food processor or a mortar and pestle. Another way to exfoliate is to use a facial brush with a little bit of cleanser. If you don’t have a facial brush, even a clean toothbrush would do. Again, exfoliating can dry out your skin so don’t forget to moisturize afterwards.
#3: Shaving – You read that right! Shaving is also another way to take care of your skin. Different beauty-centric sites have published articles on how shaving is a great way to exfoliate your skin aside from getting rid of unwanted hair. A close shave takes off the top layer of dead skin cells, promoting cell growth and replacement. Just exercise caution when shaving areas with acne or growths, you might cause damage to the delicate skin on your face.
#4: Clean Clothing And Bedding. Often overlooked. Get into the habit of changing your pillowcase a lot more often. See also our report on a super way to clean pillows. Also, if you are prone to back pimples, try changing your shirt more often – even twice per day.
Further tips to investigate: #5: Dry Brushing #6. Coconut Oil
 Sterling, J., Jones, S., & Hudson, P. (2001). Guidelines for the management of cutaneous warts. http://www.bad.org.uk/library-media%5Cdocuments%5CWarts_2001.pdf
 National Cancer Institute. HPV and Cancer. http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/infectious-agents/hpv-fact-sheet
 Wali, V. & Wali, V. (2016). Assessment of Various Biochemical Parameters and BMI in Patients with Skin Tags. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4740583/
 National Health Service. Skin tags. http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/skin-tags/Pages/Introduction.aspx
 Taner, Z., et. al. (2007). Therapeutic value of trichloroacetic acid in the treatment of isolated genital warts on the external female genitalia. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17694970
 Conzuelo-Quijada, A., Rodriguez-Cuevas, S. & Labastida-Almendaro, S. (2003). Treatment of large lower genital tract condylomata acuminata with local excision plus topical acetic acid. A preliminary study. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12953324
 Varshney, R. & Budoff, M. (2016). Garlic and Heart Disease. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26764327
 Kenawy, S., et. al. (2014). Evaluation of TNF-α serum level in patients with recalcitrant multiple common warts, treated by lipid garlic extract. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24910383
 Dehghani, F., et. al. (2004). Healing effect of garlic extract on warts and corns. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-4632.2004.02348.x/abstract
 Wenner, R., et. al. (2007). Duct tape for the treatment of common warts in adults: a double-blind randomized controlled trial. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17372095
 Warszawer-Schvaroz, L. (1981). TREATMENT OF PLANTAR WARTS WITH BANANA SKIN. http://journals.lww.com/plasreconsurg/Citation/1981/12000/Treatment_of_Plantar_Warts_With_Banana_Skin.35.aspx
 Solidum, J. (2011). Characterization of saba peels. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.675.1694&rep=rep1&type=pdf
 Kumar, K., et. al. (2012). Traditional and Medicinal Uses of Banana. http://crawl.prod.proquest.com.s3.amazonaws.com/fpcache/047c9e3316a0c55beac06dcd5be42616.pdf
 Oryan, A., Alemzadeh, E. & Moshiri, A. (2016). Biological properties and therapeutic activities of honey in wound healing: A narrative review and meta-analysis. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26852154
 Molan, P. (2006). Using honey in wound care. http://researchcommons.waikato.ac.nz/bitstream/handle/10289/2030/?sequence=1
 Millar, B. & Moore, J. (2008). Successful topical treatment of hand warts in a paediatric patient with tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18940708
 Choi, S., et. al. (2002). Aloesin inhibits hyperpigmentation induced by UV radiation. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12372097
 Smit, N., Vicanova, J. & Pavel, S. (2009). The Hunt for Natural Skin Whitening Agents. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2801997/
 Majmudar, G. & Zhao, W. (2006). US Patent 20060216254 A1. https://www.google.com/patents/US20060216254
 Lewis, K., et. al. (2012). The Historical and Cultural Influences of Skin Bleaching in Tanzania. http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-94-007-4608-4_2
 Ho, W., et. al. (2006). Use of onion extract, heparin, allantoin gel in prevention of scarring in chinese patients having laser removal of tattoos: a prospective randomized controlled trial.
 National Cancer Institute. Common Moles, Dysplastic Nevi, and Risk of Melanoma. http://www.cancer.gov/types/skin/moles-fact-sheet
Image photo credits:
Image 1 © Elecbullet – Wikipedia (PD);
image 2 © Ellywa – Wikipedia (PD);
image 3 © Jmarchn – Wikipedia – lic. under CC-BY-SA-3.0;
image 4 © Invertzoo – Wikipedia – lic. under CC-BY-SA-4.0;
image 5 © de:User:Raimar – Wikipedia (PD);
image 6 © Делфина – Wikipedia – lic. under CC-BY-SA-4.0
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