Acne - those horrid pimples, zits, blackheads and spots. We all get them, usually during our teens but in some cases later in life. Acne is unpleasant both for us and for those around us.

If you're a teenager then to be honest nothing is likely to totally cure your acne other than time. For most of us it's part of the process of growing up. However whatever age you are there might be ways that you can help to alleviate and minimise the symptoms.

The first thing to do is, of course, to visit your doctor. Remember that what looks like acne might actually be the symptoms of something else.

What Is Acne?

Acne is a skin condition associated with trapped oil and bacteria. There's no single "cause" of acne, all sorts of things such as hormones and stress can contribute. Acne can occur at any time of life, even as an adult, but is especially common in teenagers.

There's some doubt as to the connection between fatty foods and acne, however many people have claimed that a high fat diet can aggravate the condition.

Acne Treatments and Remedies

If you have serious acne then the first thing you should do is see your doctor for advice. There are a number of powerful "over the counter" medicines available to buy from the pharmacist that can often help to reduce symptoms. Your doctor can prescribe even more powerful and more effective pharmaceutical products.

In terms of DIY home treatment for acne, diet is usually considered the best first step for general skincare. It's unlikely to be a solution on its own but might help to reduce the severity of your symptoms. The usual advice is all stuff you've heard before, but it's worth repeating: Avoid fatty and greasy foods along with processed food and refined sugars. Eat more natural whole foods including fresh fruit and veg. Even if bad diet isn't the cause of your acne - and there are numerous possible causes - some people believe it can make the symptoms worse.

Drinking water is particularly important, not just for acne treatment but for skin and general health. Most nutritionists say that you should try to drink between six and eight glasses of water a day. That's pure water, nothing added.

Be aware that it is possible to drink too much water, so use common sense and take care. Water poisoning (hyperhydration) can be a serious and dangerous condition.

What about natural herbal remedies? Garlic has a long standing reputation in folklore as being an effective against acne. Can it really help? Is Garlic a Natural Acne Cure?