Beauty and truth are often misrepresented by the press and Hollywood, surprised? Attached are pictures of Elizabeth Taylor playing the role of Cleopatra and then a coin minted by her showing what she looked like. Notice the blochy bumpy cheeks (they are red), the big nose swollen and bumpy. She had a common skin disease. Do you know the name. Since she decapitated young women with soft smooth silky faces, they started painting their cheeks red with iron oxides. The beginning of blush…. Iron oxides crushed into a powder is called rouge. Iron oxides are otherwise know by what common name? I taught the answers to a group of medical students in Florida.
The universe is not just or we just get what we deserve. Acne can ruin the life of anyone rich or poor. The poor believe if they were only rich, the problem could be solved. The rich know better.
The solution does not lie with the economic resources but rather the democratic training of the physicians. Modern medicine assumes that we are all a variant on 7 billion identical twins. I am sure if you take a quick look at your bratty younger brother, you are positive that even close relative bear no resemblance to you in appearance, personality, or intellect.
This equality assumption is required in the testing of medical procedures, medicines, treatments, and devices. The academic community and the governments require that everything work for this theoretical 7 billion people with an error of only 5% two tailed; this assumption means 700,000,000 people don’t fit! Until about 1990’s, research for new treatments etc was tweaked for the individuals; now individualization is essentially forbidden. These restrictions are in part based on government health care cost containment.
Physicians are also trained as clinicians not as scientists. So although they do learn the science, they are no longer trained to think through the science for an individual to make a treatment work. Now we have also returned to the 1930’s where science has become so political that the interpretation of data is spun so that it fits into accepted theories. True science requires that the theories are based on the data.
Most doctors who see wealthy patients spend most of the day seeing patients on insurance and have been trained in cost containment. So democratically applied treatments are given to all comers rich and poor.
Boring facts; but it means that the doctor you see is likely to be untrained and unaware of treatment options or how to individualize treatments. You want perfect smooth skin; and you have the money to pay for it. The state of science and technology is such that one can potentially control acne to the point that no one knows you are prone to it and any traces of disaster have been long removed. So lets proudly bring back the mirror and enjoy it.
The computer geeks (yich) say it correctly: “Garbage in Garbage out!”
Whether you are rich or poor , if you don’t take good care of your body don’t expect it to be healthy. So, you must learn what it takes for you (not your cousin Ellen) to be healthy. Healthy does not mean the absence of a cold or cancer, healthy means your body is at its optimum functioning ability. Simply: NO acne - Acne is a form of diseased skin, Yes > 90% of teenagers will get acne. One, it should be trivial. But more importantly, who ever supposed that teenagers inherently live healthy life styles. Four thousand years of human experience concludes that the goal of a teenager is to avoid all that is healthy at all expenses. A few days ago, a teenager with scarring cystic acne on his face chest and back told me that he ate a low fat high fibre diet, drank plenty of water , exercised and had a healthy life style. I told him in over 30 years I have yet to see that true. He then admitted although he did not eat potato chips, he smoked, hung out with friends who smoke but only when they party which is 1-5 times /week. Yes, 99% of thousands of patients I have seen with scarring cystic acne smoke or live with smokers, or play with smokers. Unless you flunked geometry (by the way it is a logic system not some stupid proofs about what is obvious), “smoking is associated with severe acne” is not the same as “all smokers will get acne”.
The oils in acne are cholesterol and triglycerides. (Yep that stuff the old people are told to avoid) Many people with severe acne will already be showing signs of clogged blood vessels associated with diets too high in fats and meats. On the other hand, Miss Eye Em Perfect who is the vegetarian will likely get into a mess as well without some meats, fish oils, and animal based foods people can become malnourished and yep – get acne. There are ways to determine how much is right for you. The default always is that if your body is not healthy – you may be “doing” something wrong based on your genetics. There a people who just don’t have the proper genes to be healthy, but most of us do have a good set of genes (not Jeans, Susan). Some of the changes are easy; some may be life shattering such as avoiding everyone who smokes, eating healthy when everyone around you eats worse than a pig.
Summer: the sun’s radiation may dry up acne: but it makes more over a 6-8 week period. Since the 1800’s , acne aestivalis has been recognized as acne in people who get too much sun.
Then there are goodies like: water, hair products, skin products, toothpaste, makeup.
There are legitimate (even if not covered by insurance) blood tests, computer analysis which actually determine the nutritional status of people. These are not the alternative medicine tests but actual tests used for decades by government organizations when testing about industrial or environmental poisonings. Unfortunately, the existence of these tests are not known to most physicians who practice routine medicine/dermatology. They are not typically listed in the general laboratory manuals,
Typically, people try taking supplements: but if one takes too much of one supplement, it may cause another supplement not only not to work but may also lead to the loss of that nutrient despite it being supplemented. Too much makeup used to hide acne just makes someone look like they have a lot of makeup and too much acne.
Before the dark ages (no please no history)… Don’t get histrionic! Medicine assumed that people were different: some naturally warmer and greasier than others; some pale, cool , and dull. All kinds of combinations. Oh really, there are people who are red greasy and as boring dull as possible. These combinations need to be considered when diagnosing and treating any disease even acne. The ancient goal was to look for the ideal middle and take the person to that side of their natural self. The coolest hot girl ever.
Next time more…
Healthy lifestyle during an unhealthy vacation! What is the secret to having both of these? You’ve all read magazine articles by medical experts declaring a new solution. Each time, each article says the same thing so by now you can probably write the article.
When on vacation be sure to eat a healthy diet, drink plenty of water, minimize the alcohol, don’t smoke (anything), use plenty of sunscreen and wear protective hat and clothing, blah, blah, blah.
If you find this advice interesting and educations, especially if you search for these articles in a magazine , then you must be in a dentist’s office and picking which is the worst option: leave, stay, or read this insanity.
So let’s first understand what is happening. The word Holiday comes from Holy Day. If you are on a Holy Day, and spending the time in a religious facility praying, you probably already are behaving. If you are on a holiday that means you are pretending to have a grand purpose but in fact are just avoiding work, or home, or school. If you are on vacation , then you have truly accomplished your goal of creating a void and emptiness, a purposelessness of a period of time. Clearly then , to be on vacation while at the same time behaving in a healthy manner is an oxymoron.
So let us rephrase the statement . “Dear Doctor: I am about to go on vacation and I want to have the most fun, yet have no consequences, please prescribe either the magic pill to achieve this or give me some realistic goals. Please remember, I am going to eat the most unhealthy but most tasty foods, drink wines, beers, shots, mixed drinks but rarely any water, I may not smoke but…., as far as sunscreen , I left it at home (if you believe I own any) and I have checked out every boutique and none sell sunscreen. About that protective clothing…. Have you been at the Riviera in the last 50 years? “
That’s the question but to truly phrase it: “ Doctor, I will do nothing I know you will advise me to do and everything you will advise me not to do, now fix me.”
I could suggest you prepare for your vacation by spending a few weeks prior getting into good health habits. But, of course, you will respond that if I had the energy to get into good health habits I wouldn’t need a vacation.
One solution is to promise to take winter vacations only in Buffalo NY. Plan 2 weeks, but realize it will take 3-4 more days for the snows to stop long enough for the plane to land and then another 2 weeks for one to takeoff. Don’t think about driving out of there, the lake effect snows are so dense that you won’t know what direction you’re going and will wind up back in town. When you finally do make it out, you will be so happy to be home, you will live a healthy life style, rather than go back to Buffalo again. This is not my idea, Mark Twain already explained that this is what happened to Adam and Eve.
Another solution: When packing, try to remember that there are cleansers and shampoos and makeup that you use that don’t harm you. The hotel may not know what works best for you. So, if having the wrong shampoo or cleanser or skin product can cause havoc at home so much the same on vacation. Pack what your skin likes. To avoid a sunburn, do bring a fun- to- apply moisturizer with sunscreen and have someone assure you are fully covered and frequently. This is the sunscreen massage. You might even think about buying makeup with sunscreen. You’ll need the makeup anyway. Moreover, if you see your getting too much sun but don’t want to cover up, go shopping! There must be something everyone in the group needs to buy, to hurry to the boutiques, try on everything , compare one boutique to another when you are done, the sun will have set and it’s time to go party.
So you don’t over drink, you can bribe the bartender (in private) to replace every fifth drink (not every fifth of bourbon) with a glass or two of Perrier® with a twist of lime served as if it were a mixed drink. Remember : shellfish may promote diabetes, whereas white fresh fish prevents it. So, if that chocolate mousse killer cake (which you remembered to reserve for desert before the meal) is your goal then have cod for dinner. When it is all over , you will need to walk back to the hotel. Stay at a romantic out of the way elegant local hotel and forget which street it is on. Then spend about an hour walking back and forth until you find it. That should give you the exercise you missed by lying on the beach and not swimming.
Most importantly, before you leave for the vacation remember to schedule a visit to the dermatologist and the spa immediately upon your return. Now you can spend the next few months pampering yourself by repairing the damage.
This plan may work for a few years, but once you have a family, remember, don’t give your teenage and young adults this advice, they might take it.
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