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Author Topic: Dermatology - what are spots and pimples? How can they be cured?  (Read 8343 times)

Offline nature boy

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Why do pimples remain still uncurable?
« Last Edit: 04/01/2007 11:26:48 by chris »


 

Offline chris

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Spots and pimples are infected hair follicles. At the base of a hair follicle is a gland which secretes an oily substance which oozes out with the hair and helps it to repel water and keep you dry (it was more effective when we had more hair on our bodies).

The secretions from these glands are influenced by circulating hormones, especially testosterone, which increases production and makes the overlying skin much more greasy. As a result the hair follicle may become clogged with secretions, producing blackheads, and the low-oxygen environment within the blocked pore becomes a haven for anaerobic bacteria, such as the propionibacteria.

The result is inflammation, the in-migration of phagocytic leucocytes (polymorphs), and a red, sore pus-filled pore with an attractive yellow top, also known as a zit.

Most of the time spots resolve spontaneously, and without complications, over a matter of days. But in some individuals the inflammation is severe and can damage the underlying skin structure, causing scarring and pitting. We don't know why some people are more susceptible to this than others, but perhaps their skin provides a more attractive home for spot-provoking bacteria, or perhaps they produce more oily secretions than other individuals. What we absolutely know for sure is that chocolate is definitely NOT linked to spots. A study in medical students failed to find any connection between spot rates and chocolate consumption, so eat with impunity!

Can we get rid of spots? Yes. Simple outbreaks respond well to skin creams containing desquamative (skin-stripping) chemicals such as benzoyl peroxide, but more serious and persistent spot problems usually require antibiotics. These include topical (skin-applied) antibiotics, such as Dalacin, and systemic (oral) drug treatments. In this latter case, the tetracycline-family (oxytetracycline, minocycline) are often used to good effect.

Rarely, for severe acne, vitamin A (retinoid) preparations are used. These can be very effective, but they are teratogenic (so cannot be used if there is a chance of pregnancy), and they may have mood-altering effects. For the most part soap and water, some clearasil and occasionally a dose of antibiotics are sufficient to keep things under control during the teenage years when fluctuating hormone levels cause problems.

Lastly, should you squeeze a spot? It's tempting isn't it, but the bottom line is that you probably shouldn't, because more often than not this results in the infection being pushed deeper into the skin increasing the damage, the time it takes to heal, and the general unsightliness of the "lesion".

Incidentally, a town council have recently installed special lighting around a town trouble spot frequented by teenagers. The lights contain increased red wavelengths of light designed to highlight spots and acne. The aim is to shame spotty youths into submission and deter them from congregating there. In reality I think someone will smash the lights pretty quickly, but the principle is similar to the use of blue-dominated lights in toilets to prevent drug addicts from shooting up.

Chris
« Last Edit: 04/01/2007 12:19:05 by chris »
 

Offline Gaia

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... but the principle is similar to the use of blue-dominated lights in toilets to prevent drug addicts from shooting up.

Chris

Eh??? Please can you explain this Chris.
 

Offline neilep

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... but the principle is similar to the use of blue-dominated lights in toilets to prevent drug addicts from shooting up.

Chris

Eh??? Please can you explain this Chris.


Me knows...me knows !!!!...me me me me me me me me !!....It's because through the skin the vein is blue and if there is a blue light it makes the vein difficult to see !!....

Sheesh !!.....well.....you are a girlie ...so I suppose we can forgive you !!....put the kettle on !!...good girl !!
 

Offline Karen W.

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Well Chalk one up for you Neil... I did not know that either.. LOL
 

Offline DrN

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why are boys more likely to know that one than girls?

(I didn't know that either!)
 

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