I discovered I had the perfect storm of skin problems going on the back of my neck this weekend.
Frankly, it freaked me out. It was…pretty bad. I mean, bad enough that even though I have a photo so I could see how bad it was, I really don’t want to show you bad. I had a horsefly bite (at least one), an allergic reaction, what was probably sun poisoning from my heat allergy, and at least one major pimple. I felt like I was 15 again-my back has been this bad in the past, but much closer to puberty.
In part because while I know enough about natural healthcare to know that sometimes you really should just go to the hospital and have things looked at, I also had a feeling I could start treatment at home. And the results? It’s still not perfectly cleared up but it’s definitely on its way there-much faster than if I left it alone.
All of these items are things you probably have already, or at least some of them. As with all skincare items, make sure to spot test first and check for sensitivity. Also, if you believe you have an infection issue or are not seeing improvement in the long term you may want to see a specialist to make sure you know what you’re working with.
I’ve got these ranked in price from highest to lowest. I’ve also marked where they fell in my process.
1. Lavender Oil
Tea tree oil is the best bet for skin issues-but it can be pricey. It also tends to be fairly harsh to the skin and a lot of people need to have it diluted before use. Lavender oil on the other hand tends to be slightly cheaper/the same price, and is gentle enough that a lot of people can tolerate it being applied straight. Lavender oil has a lot of the same effects as tea tree oil, helping with clearing up infections. I also like the way it smells better than tea tree oil.
I used this second in my routine.
Honey is actually really, really effective on skin issues. Just avoid thin mucus membranes-and be aware that especially for women, there are certain parts of the body that you don’t want to be adding a lot of sugar to. Be careful with use on children as well; children under a certain age should not consume honey.
Honey contains a lot of antimicrobial agents that aid and speed up healing of skin issues-and potentially not just minor skin problems. I was reading an article recently suggesting that Australian scientists are looking at honey because it’s effective against even MRSA and other antibiotic resistant strains of Staph without increasing resistance. Honey also helps to reintroduce moisture back into the skin.
This was my first step.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is great for skin problems-I use it in my hair a lot to calm down my scalp. It helps to dry out pimples, cut down on oil production, and re-balances the pH of the skin. However, it can be drying and also sting if you have an open wound anywhere the vinegar touches (as in, don’t shave before you use it in your hair). Unpasteurized is best, but I have to admit that I’ve just been using normal off the shelf vinegar from Wegmans.
Dilute with some water before using so you don’t dry out the surrounding skin too much.
This is my last and repeated step.
Steps For Care
This is the pattern that I’ve been using.
1. I cleaned the area carefully with a conventional astringent.
2. I applied a thin layer of honey to the enter back of my neck, just using clean fingers.
3. Before I went to bed on the first night, I applied a good amount of lavender oil directly to the entire area. I tried both my fingers and a cotton ball, and found that clean fingers was easier to make sure I got the right area of my neck since I couldn’t see the outbreak. If you have someone to help you, you may want to have them apply it for you with a cotton ball or cleansing cloth.
4. The next morning I diluted some vinegar with regular drinking water in a mason jar. Using clean fingers again (though if you want a cotton ball would be fine) I applied the vinegar several times to the site. Be aware this can be drying so you may want to follow with a light moisturizer.
5. I’ve kept the jar in the fridge, applying a little bit of vinegar every day before I go to work with clean hands. Again, you may be more comfortable applying with a cotton ball.
Over three nights I have the outbreak down to where I’m confident it’s healing-and healing much faster than I think it would be otherwise.