Acne Remedies What is Acne? Acne is a common skin condition. Acne lesions can appear as whiteheads, blackheads, small pink bumps called papules, or pimples (pus-filled red lesions). More severe forms can result in firm, painful nodules and cysts and may lead to scarring. Acne most often occurs on the face but can also develop on the shoulders, back, chest, legs, and buttocks. Acne Remedies Here are some home remedies and natural treatments for acne. Tea Tree Oil Tea tree oil is a popular home remedy for acne. It is an essential oil that is diluted and applied topically to acne lesions. How is tea tree oil believed to work? Tea tree oil contains a constituent called terpinen-4-ol that's thought to be responsible for most of tea tree oil's anti-bacterial activity. Because tea tree oil can kill bacteria, applying topical tea tree oil to acne lesions is believed to kill Propionibacterium acnes, the skin-dwelling bacteria involved in causing acne. Read more about tea tree oil and acne: Tea Tree Oil for Acne? and learn more about Tea Tree Oil Zinc Zinc is another popular home remedy for acne. A couple of research studies have found that zinc is somewhat effective. While it was more effective than a placebo, antibiotic medication was still more effective. In light of this, it may not be the best option when scarring is a possibility. Side effects of zinc include digestive upset and a metallic taste in the mouth. At high doses, zinc may lead to copper deficiency, weakened immune function, anemia, and heart problems. There is some concern that higher doses may reduce levels of HDL ("good") chholesterol. Zinc may also interfere with the absorption of magnesium and iron from food and supplements. It can interfere with the absorption of tetracycline and fluoroquinolone antibiotics and penicillamine. There is also some concern that a particular diuretic, amiloride, can reduce zinc excretion and lead to a toxic build-up in the body.