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It's Your Skin

Live Well & Be Happy In It

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Ask Alison About Your Skin

Posted on 17 June, 2013 at 12:15
Skin Care is like exercise. In order to be fit and healthy you must EXERCISE healthy habits that your skin in particular responds to positively. All of us have skin yet all of our skin is different. Heredity, general health, environment, personal behaviors (smoking, drinking, exercise or sports), sleep patterns and how we handle stress all influence the state of our skin at any time. 

The good news is that factors that effect our skin, short of hereditary factors, can be controlled. 
In this BLOG, I will help you answer questions that may clear up mysteries about your skin, hair, nails and other appearance concerns. So ask away and let's see how many people will be benefitted by your questions.

To start: The reason you may search and search for the right answer and not find it anywhere is because you may not know what is reasonable to expect. It's much like looking at a Super Model on the cover of a magazine and wanting her ready for the beach body, or lustrous hair or perfect skin. First, we know that if it were possible, it wouldn't happen overnight and we even realize that, for instance, if we want "their" hair style, it's dependent on whether our and their hair has the same natural characteristics. These are the things we need to explore to be HAPPY with ourselves. What is the best YOU can expect of the wonderful gifts that you have to work with? 
As the song says, Everything is beautiful in its own way. 

Now, let's find YOURS! 

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Reply LS
14:30 on 24 June, 2013 
What is the best way to handle cystic acne? I woke up this morning with a painful cyst in the bikini area.
Reply Alison O'Neil
16:06 on 24 June, 2013 
Dear Tamie,

Thank you for asking this question. First off, Arbonne and Nerium have become very popular as both are sold in the multi-level marketing model. Your friend (who works for the company) tells you about it, you buy it and then you become a sales person under the person you bought it from, if you choose. Since not everyone wants to be a sales person and build their own "network", most of these companies also offer the option of buying the products only. Beware of the monthly charge deal and be sure to use the cancellation policy when you find the products are NOT what you want. Taking advantage of our lack of awareness is a clever way to make more money for the company. It's working for a lot of people as this form of business has become popular during the recent recession. Many novices are becoming erudite (professionals through a little marketing knowledge) through the marketing materials these companies offer.That's a LOT different than seeing a licensed Esthetician or dermatologist. Note however that many professionals are opting in on this marketing modality as a way to boost their own business but, usually based on their own professional evaluation.

As for the efficacy of these products my evaluation of them is based on what people have told me and my own experience as the accessible information provided regarding the actual product is more marketing than science. I don't mean that there is not science in the creation only that the science is dumbed down for sales purposes and very effectively. And this is the information made available. You have to be a sleuth or undercover agent to talk to most of the actual scientists who have created the products.

Of course, HOW these products work is unique to their ingredients. How well they live up to their claims is based on much more as the ACTIVE ingredients may be minimal in relationship to the vehicle ingredients. The "vehicle" is the body of the product that the "active" ingredient is carried in. For example, in the case of Nerium AD, the "active ingredient is the Oleander. The entire promise of the products effect is based in the "unusual benefits of the "poison" in the Oleander leaves." I can only theorize, since only marketing information is available that the actual benefit is from modern science and ingredients that act like an invisible mesh that indiscriminently coats the skin and changes the appearance superficially. With this particular product it seems there is an accumulative effect. The test of how it is really changing the structure of your skin is to STOP using it and notice how quickly your skin returns to the state it was in before you began to use the product. This is how people become dependent on products and companies GROW! It's all good as long as it is working for everyone.

When wondering if a product will do what it says, honestly, the best test is the change you see in your own skin when you use the product. The secret to ANY products efficacy is whether it is the correct product for your skin and whether you use it as directed or more importantly- the way you need to use it.

There are more scientific answers to your questions but, in general products that are found in the "cosmetic" arena are beneficial when applied daily and offer no long term solution to problematic skin. In other words, they are not something to place more HOPE in than their HYPE that they will "fix" the part that's broken more than temporarily. Bottom line is you have to USE products to see the difference they MAY provide.
Reply Alison O"Neil
16:19 on 24 June, 2013 
LS says...
What is the best way to handle cystic acne? I woke up this morning with a painful cyst in the bikini area.


Ouch! I am sorry that has occurred as the cysts that develop in the bikini (groin) area are particularly uncomfortable. This particular infection occurs in the hair follicle most often and can be related to ingrown hairs.If the area is being rubbed by underwear or tights or crossing your legs this can add to the discomfort you are experiencing. Over time laser treatment to remove the hair or reduce the density of the hair shaft will help tremendously in preventing future outbreaks.
Although the quickest and most effective treatment is called incision and drainage followed by an small injection that calms the skin, here are a couple of suggestions for immediate relief;

1) If it is JUST STARTING to form ***COLD compresses (15 - 45 minutes) followed by a topical cortisone cream and an oral anti-inflammatory (like Aleve or Advil) may alleviate the inflammation which is going to cause the cyst to fully develop.
2) If it has developed and you can see a "center" then Warm compresses will draw out and soften the top of the cyst.
Also, take an anti-inflammatory to help relieve the inflammation.
3) When and if it opens and drains, use a topical anti-biotic ointment to protect it from superficial infection.

Try ***Domeboro Soaks to relieve the inflammation. It's simple and inexpensive and you will find that in the drug store.

3) If it does not resolve, make an appointment to get it resolved medically. If it is on-going and merits stronger care, a dermatologist may also prescribe a stronger topical steroid and an oral anti-biotic.

Another important part of healing is to think positive thoughts about yourself and see the area being clear and the inflammation flattened.
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