Symptoms: Acne is a skin disease affecting the sebaceous gland (glands which produce an oily secretion). These glands are especially large upon the nose where there openings from pits that are clearly visible. There appears to be an individual predisposition to the disease and is dependent on the development of the sebaceous glands which takes place at the ages of fourteen and twenty. The condition is often associated with dyspepsia, and lack of fresh air and exercise. In women it tends to become worse during menstruation.
The eruption itself consists of little black spots which indicate the mouth of small sebaceous ducts chocked with dust or dirt, from which a long, wormy looking fatty mass can be squeezed; hard pimples generally showing one of these blackheads on the top; little pustules surrounded by a slight degree of inflammation, which gradually grow, burst and then heal; and hard lumps, sometimes half in inch in diameter which last for weeks or months, slowly suppurate and leave a permanent scar.
Acne is the bane of the beauty-conscious female and a boon for the drug manufactures. Millions of people find employment in the production of lotions, creams and drugs claiming to cure acne. Such remedies cannot cure acne, of course, but are bought at great expense. The only thing that they do is to suppress the action of the sebaceous glands temporarily. Blemishes left by the removal of the black heads can only be hidden under a coat of make-up, which tends to worsen the condition of the skin.
Treatment: Even allopathic which believes in antidotes recognizes that the tendency towards acne is the result of dyspepsia and constipation which must be treated before there can be any hope of dealing with acne. The surest cure is to improve the diet which must not contain any sugar or fat as it tends to increase acidity and hence dyspepsia and constipation. Hygiene of the whole body must be looked after properly and a lot of fresh air and exercise taken to reactivate the pores to expel the poisons from the body through profuse sweating.
The best method of dealing with acne is dietary: include fruits and vegetables in your diet. Take plenty of exercise and lots of water so that your bladder ejects the morbid matter through its activity. Seasonal fruits and raw vegetables like cucumber, tomatoes, carrot, spinach and cabbage should be your mainstay. If this dietary regimen is continued for some months, acne would vanish.
Steaming your face can help. Take boiling water in a basin and hold your face over it so that the steam opens the pores. After about 15 minutes of this treatment, wipe the face and wash it in cold water. Dip a swap of cotton in fresh juice of lime and rub it on your face gently. Let the juice dry on the face and then wash it after some time. It will not only remove the dirt that might have gone into your pores but would also give it a glow of freshness.