ss_blog_claim=87d912d47e189099ba8e6a359c2c2486 Lilyruths "This and that friendly cottage": Acne- Old folks remedies

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July 8, 2008

Acne- Old folks remedies

As you wipe the steam off your bathroom mirror, you find yourself face-to-face with a huge pink dot on the end of your nose. This is not a good way to begin the week.

You give the mirror another wipe with your hand, then get up on your toes and lean over the sink to get a better look. It's there all right. But what's this? When you move your chin up to get a better view, you happen to glimpse a couple of whiteheads sprouting under your bottom lip.

You don't like this at all. You place one knee up on the sink and press your face close to the mirror, and there, in the gully between your nose and cheek, you find a lone blackhead staring back at you.

Stunned, you stumble back from the mirror. Sitting on the edge of the bathtub, you place your newly blemished face in your hands. Your thoughts drift back eons to a time of pimples and proms. Rocking back and forth, you wonder: What's going on here?

The answer is simple enough: You have acne. Acne may be the scourge of the adolescent years, but it can follow some people into middle age and beyond. "Women can have flare-ups at 25 or 35 years old and even older. In fact, my mother was still breaking out when she was 62," says dermatologist James E. Fulton, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., founder of the Acne Research Institute in Newport Beach, California.

Acne is really a catchall term for a variety of symptoms such as pimples, whiteheads, and blackheads, says Peter E. Pochi, M.D., professor of dermatology at Boston University School of Medicine. "It's a condition where the pores of the skin become clogged and the person gets inflamed and noninflamed lesions."

So what's the cause of all the clogging?

"Chocolate doesn't cause acne," says Dr. Fulton. "Dirty hair or skin doesn't cause it. Sex, either too much of it or a lack of it, doesn't cause it either."

So what does? Heredity—at least for the most part.

"Acne is genetic; it tends to run in families," says Dr. Fulton. "It is an inherited defect of your pores."



Accutane to the Rescue
A huge pimple on the end of a nose can seem like a serious problem to the person connected to that nose. It may even seem serious to the people who find themselves staring at it when they talk to him. But acne can get much more serious than a simple blemish.

Acne is classified in four grades, the first being a mild bout with a few whiteheads and blackheads. The fourth and most serious grade consists of many whiteheads, blackheads, pustules, nodules, and cysts. Grade four acne is often accompanied by severe inflammation that becomes red or purple. And it's a sign that you should see a dermatologist.

Severe acne can result in permanent scarring if it isn't treated properly, says Peter E. Pochi, M.D. "The prescription drug Accutane will take care of severe acne very well."

If both of your parents had acne, three out of four of your brothers and sisters will get it, too. But if your sister is pimple-free while your face is a war zone, be aware that other factors can aggravate an acne outbreak. "Stress, sun exposure, seasonal changes, and climate can precipitate an acne attack," says Dr. Fulton. Certain types of makeup and taking birth control pills can also cause a breakout.

"Working women are especially vulnerable," adds Dr. Fulton. "They're prone to lots of stress, plus they tend to wear makeup a lot."

So here's some blemish-free advice, keeping in mind those who need it the most.

Change your makeup. In adult women, makeup is the major factor in acne outbreaks. "Oil-based makeup is the problem," says Dr. Fulton. "The pigments in foundation makeups, rouges, cleansing creams, or night moisturizers aren't the problem, and neither is the water in the products. It's just the oil. The oil is usually a derivative of fatty acids that are more potent than your own fatty acids. Use a non-oil-based makeup if you are prone to acne."

Read the labels. Cosmetic products that contain lanolins, isopropyl myristate, sodium lauryl sulfate, laureth-4, and D & C red dyes should also be avoided. Like oil, these ingredients are too rich for the skin.

Rinse that rouge. "Wash your makeup off thoroughly every night," says Dr. Fulton. "Use a mild soap twice a day and make sure you rinse the soap entirely off your face. Rinsing six or seven times with fresh water should do it."

Fishing for a Cause?
It may sound fishy, but if you are prone to acne, there is at least one doctor who believes that seafood and other foods containing iodine could bring on an attack.

"Iodine is a factor in some people who are prone to acne," says James E. Fulton, Jr., M.D., Ph.D. " Iodine enters the body and mixes into the bloodstream, with the excess excreted through the oil glands. As it is excreted, it irritates the pores and brings on an acne flare-up."

If you've been fishing around for a clue to the cause of your acne, here's a table of some foods and beverages and the amount, in parts per million, of iodides that they contain.

Dr. Fulton does not currently know at what level the iodides could bring on an acne attack, but he warns that "excessive long-term ingestion can induce acne attacks."

Food/Beverage Iodides (ppm)
Dairy Products
Cheddar cheese spread 27
Butter 26
Homogenized Milk 11
Sour cream 7
Cottage cheese 5
Yogurt 3
Drinking water (U.S. average) 8
Meat and Poultry
Beef liver 325
Turkey 132
Chicken 67
Hamburger 44
Tortilla chips 80
Wheat germ 46
Potato chips 40
Pretzels 15
White bread 8
Coca-Cola 3
Sugar 2
Iodized 54
Seasoned 40
Kelp 1,020
Squid 39
Crab 33
Sole 24
Clams 20
Shrimp 17
Lobster 9
Oysters 8
Asparagus 169
Broccoli 90
Onions (white) 82
Corn 45
Brussels sprouts 23
Potato 9
Green beans 7

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Acne Skin Care said...

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