Stay healthy. Stay beautiful….one health tip at a time.

Posts tagged ‘bacteria’

Know Your Acne Treatments

Is your face a showcase of red bumps and glistening spots? Do you hate words like pimples, zits, whiteheads and blackheads and they are on your face? If you do, you’re not alone.  Acne is a very common skin disorder and 40 to 50 million Americans have to deal with this problem everyday. If you’re a teenager, the chances of having them increase manifold.  In fact, 80% of teenagers have them and yes, you can blame the increase of Androgen hormone production at this volatile time of life.  But if you think age is a determining factor–not quite–acne can strike at any age.

Medically, acne is not a huge threat.  It’s not a disease but a case of clogged pore that manifest itself in acne. When sebum, produced in the sebaceous glands found under the skin is trapped inside pores because of dead cells or overproduction of sebum, bacteria grow and acne shows up.  Not a welcome guest, definitely.

If acne is not a medical threat, why do we hate them so much?  If you ever have one, you will know the emotional stress it causes–yes, even one can do the trick. Especially when it shows up at the most prominent of places–like on the nose or smack in the middle of the cheek. You want a magic wand to wish it away.  Maybe, that’s asking too much.  However, there are over-the-counter acne treatments that you can turn to for some relief.

Not all anti-acne treatments are the same.  Look for these active ingredients:

  • Salicyclic acid : Unclog pores
  • Benzoyl peroxide:  Kills bacteria
  • Glycolic acid:  renews skin
  • Sulfur : Dries sebum
  • Azelaic acid:  normalizes skin

Since these different ingredients perform different tasks, it’s advisable to buy one with a combination of these ingredients.

Another word of advice, look for inclusion of natural extracts as these help to heal acne without the harsh effects. Look for:

  • Green Tea:  regulates skin sebum
  • Tea Tree Oil:  reduces inflammation
  • Allotoin:   stimulates healthy tissue
  • Licorice root:  even out skin tone
  • Olive Leaf:  kills acne bacteria
  • Vitamin A, C and E: provides good nutrients for the skin

If you’re worried about the amount of chemicals used, try home remedies.  Read “Banish Acne Angst With Simple Tricks.

If acne festers and turns nasty with plus, consult a dermatologist. Severe acne can leave scars.

Neti Pot, Anyone?

A watering can for your nose?  Eeeks! Whoever came up the idea must be drunk or highly tormented.  Maybe, highly tormented with dripping nostrils, watery eyes and sneezing?  There is no relief and even prescription drugs cannot fully address the problem. In desperation, the water can idea was born, perhaps?

So, it was, someone came up with the idea of a Neti pot to ease nasal complications.  You can thank the Indians for this ingenious invention.  The word Neti actually comes from traditional medical term, jala neti, which means nasal cleansing.

If you’re an allergy or sinus sufferer, you may be acquainted with the Neti pot.  It works like a watering can, looks like a cross between Aladdin’s lamp and a teapot and many holistic practitioners may recommend you try one.

Neti pots works as a vessel by which you irrigate your nasal passages and in the process flush out the allergens that are causing all the classic symptoms of allergy.  Allergens in the forms of pollen, mold, pet dander, even smoke can irritate the mast cells lining the nasal passages and cause them to produce antihistamines to protect the body. Naturally, you want to get rid of these allergens and prevent them from triggering the release of antihistamines.  That where the Neti pot comes in–use it to flush out allergens, bacteria and mucous.

How do you use it?  The steps are simple and once you get used to it, it’s as easy and natural as brushing your teeth.  Here’s how:

Using a Neti Pot is Easy

Using a Neti Pot is Easy

1.  Use a quarter to half a teaspoon of noniodized salt to 8 ounces of warn water.  Mix them thoroughly in the Neti pot.

2.  Stand over a sink, incline your head at 45 degrees and put spout in one nostril and allow the water to drain through the other nostril.

3.  Repeat with the other nostril.

4.  Gently blow to clear nasal passages completely.

Use Neti pots about twice a day during allergy season, especially in the morning and after spending time outdoors.  An Italian study published in the International Archives of Allergy found that nasal flushing is a mild and effective way of treating seasonal allergies and can markedly reduce the use of antihistamines.

You can purchase a Neti pot from most health and drug stores and online.  They are relatively inexpensive and maybe a viable option to treating allergies without taking medication.