Acne Vulgaris — When the Hormones debut


acne-2“It is easy to display a wound, the proud scars of combat. It is hard to show a pimple”
― Leonard CohenThe Favorite Game

The worst thing that can happen to girl, India, is being dark when you have near white skinned mother, now to that add, straight hair, if that’s not enough a flawless complexion. Yahoo, as a teenager I used to think that the Lord singled me out for torture. Of course my valiant fellow sufferer was my brother Ramachandra. How we hated the diagnosis, Acne Vulgaris!!

My other brother teasing me no end,  “Oh! Akka you don’t need make up, those red and yellow eruptions on your face make you colourful enough.”

There were times he would tease me, by calling me, ”moon face” because I had crater size pimple scars.

Then there were those philosophical inputs… if you are upset about an ugly input on the end of your nose, you might try to feel better by keeping your pimple in perspective. You might compare your pimple situation to that of someone who was being eaten by a bear and when you looked in the mirror at your ugly pimple, you could say to yourself, ”well, at least I’m not being eaten by a bear.”

Anyway,  it was not just pimples on my face, there were itchy, scratch, feeling on the back and there were small nodules. I thought it some kind of an allergy and my mother did not think much it. however when I did drape a sari, the blouse revealed huge eruptions.  That’s when we went to Dr.Paremeshwar (He now practises in Shimoga.) the diagnosis was back/Truncal acne.

Of course acne vulgaris, is a common skin condition that is characterized by an area of seborrhoea, , papules and nodules. These occur on the face, chest, back and upper arm. 61% of the acne vulgaris is estimated to occur on the chest and back. This is essentially because of the activity of the oil glands.  Eruptions occur wherever the oil glands are maximum.

Treatment of acne is various, from home remedies, like quit coffee, and face packs there are a range of them. I don’t remember the foul smelling allopathic medications I tried. But one home remedy that did work for me was – a dry powder made of masoor, chana moong. This powder is mixed with milk cream and applied on the face.


Of course talks about purifying the blood, with neem both for external and internal use. Neem is also used in general urticaria, controlling the eruption itch due to pox’s like chicken pox or allergy rashes. The concept of skin eruptions in Ayurveda is due to increase of Pitta, and Neem is Pittashamak, or destroyer of Pitta.

Aleovera is another all time favourite of the Ayurveda doctors.

Godakashta—or Jestamaddu is another cure.

Tea tree oil  is another great extract for skin eruptions.

Actually a paste made of rose petals, jeshtamaddu, multani mitti if applied externally keeps the skin healthy.

Handling the pimple scars tend to be an issue, particularly when they are on the back, though laser treatment is used these days. Particularly  if there is pigmentation due to the scar.

A combination of clindamyhcin and benzoyl peroxide or retinoic acid derivatives is often prescribed. In cases were resistance has been developed systemic antibiotics are used. Benzoyl peroxide soaps are used for bathing and salicylic acid peel is done in an interval of 15 days.

Precautions And Preventions

Prevention of pimples may not entirely be possible. However it can be reduced with care. As soon as the first signs of pimple appears, using anti-pimple creams like retinol, and benzyl peroxide creams , or neem face wash and cream along with regular use of safi, can reduce the intensity of breakouts and subsequent scaring.

If sever dandruff, or seborrhoea is causing the pimple then they have to be treated too.   Application of ice or aleovera gel post laser treatment is important. Regular application of sunscreen is a must.

acneAcne scars are called Atrophia Maculosa Varioliformis Cutis in medical terminology. These form due to excessive deposition of collagen or scar tissue in order to heal. This can treated with scar revision treatments like lasers.

Just in case you thought acne was a prepubertal problem it is also has a pre-menopausal presence

The sad truth of life — “With time we will all stop fighting pimples and start fighting wrinkles.”
― Moffat MachinguraHow I Kissed Heartbreak Goodbye

Written with inputs from Dr.Archana Gaonkar.

On being healthy or sick.


feverA healthy child does make happy home…. An infected child makes a cranky mom and a seriously sick child  leaves everyone stunned.

This what I have learnt through my almost 50yrs of life, and whatever I have learnt is right through growing up in the hospital corridors of KMC-Manipal, I grew up there I studied there and I still go there for my annual retreat. I mean our every concept of health is wonked.

Health is defined as complete physical mental and social well being and not merely absence of disease or infirmity.

Even if this feels like common sense to us, it is the accepted definition by WHO. A sick child calls for rescheduling our routines, staying awake the nights cooking different meal schedule. Setting alarms to medicine schedule, coaxing a reluctant child be it 4 or 40 yrs old,(ask my mother she has just nursed me through a sickness ) it means controlling the urge the spank.

Until fairly recently every family had a cornucopia of favourite home remedies, plants and household items that could be prepared to treat minor medical emergencies or to prevent a common ailment becoming something much more serious. Most households had some with a little understanding of home cures and when knowledge fell short or more serious illness took hold the family physician or village healer would be called in for a consultation and a treatment would be agreed upon. those days we took personal responsibilities for our health, we took steps to prevent illness and were more of our bodies and changes in them. When illness did strike we had the personal means to remedy it. more often than not, the treatment would be found in the garder or the larder. Somewhere in the middle of the twentieth century the outlook began to change. Modern medicine with its miracles and marvellous marketing lead to greater dependency on physicians and to increasingly stretched healthcare systems. The growth of pharmaceutical industry has meant that there are indeed cures  for most symptoms and we have become accustomed to putting our health in the hands of someone else, and to purchase products that makes us feel good. somewhere along the line we began to believe that technology was in some way superior to natural and so we are unwilling to give our body a chance.

at the highest levels of the medical cartel, vaccines are top priority probably because they cause a weakening of the immune system. I guess this is kind of hard to accept but is true. The medical cartel at the highest level is not out help people it is out to harm them to weaken them to kill them. Since it systematically obstruct the body from creating its policing system. Jon Rappoport the ex-vaccine researcher had confessed that he had this conversation with a high official in an African nation. The official told Jon that he was aware of this and WHO was the front of these depopulation interests.—this may or may not be true but this is a thought process.

Keeping kids healthy across the geographic and social expanses is varied, while urban health is life style related, obesity is an epidemic in urban area, while in rural areas we are still dealing with water borne diseases.

health for allEmotional health issues,  addiction and suicidal tendencies are teenage issues both urban and rural while their manifestations are different. and the impact of the family is variable. The urban collage educated parents tend go into denials  or kid-gloving while the rural parents also go into denial which manifests as aggression or they are totally clueless how to handle things.

To ensure the child stays healthy, we have to accept a certain amount of sickness, we should be able to provide an environment that allows the child to develop physical, emotional and social competencies.  Proper diet, that is based on the local crops season and kind of life style. Adequate exercise, becomes very necessary.

The Truth behind the HerbaLife® Scheme



Please do go through this

Originally posted on jennywattfitness:


I’m sure many of you reading this have heard of the Herbalife® craze that has received snowballing attention in the UK since last year. For those of you that haven’t, Herbalife® International is a multi-level marketing company that sells nutrition and weight management products. These products come in the form of supplementation, snack bars and shakes.

It’s a Scheme

The food supplements sold by Herbalife® are proposed to contain ingredients that aid in weight loss through an increase in metabolism and suppression of appetite, whereby some products claim to increase the body’s fat burning potential through lipolysis and fatty acid oxidation.

But how many of you actually know what is in these supplements and what “herbal” ingredients can promote weight-loss? I’m guessing those people chowing down on one of their many meal replacement shakes don’t have the slightest. Herbalife® is yet another marketing scandal that has been invented to brainwash gullible members of the…

View original 3,261 more words

blistering beards.. and moustaches too..


movember 2My classmate Rajesh always told us, a man with a beard was always a little suspect anyway.  One could not say one wore a beard because he liked it, for people didn’t like it when you tell the truth. So one had to say that he had a scar/pimple so shaving was not possible. While Rajesh’s girl friend Minnie reckoned that kissing a man with a beard is a lot like going to a picnic, one didn’t mind going through the little bush to get there!  since rest of us a romantic life a s flat as notebook on a table, we could only look at her with disdain.

Men seem to sport facial hair like statement, as an accessory to them being the Alfa male. But when it is unkempt,  it not so appealing it  I sorely tempted call the person “Joe Gross”

But this Joe Gross who walked into the medicine OPD that day, did have a legitimate issue, he had an infected pimple with ingrown hair! This much more common than what we imagine. 2014 Movember  we had actually been to schools to create an awareness about shaving hygiene,  pimples, and ingrown hair.

Ingrown hair arises when hair growns under the skin instead of out of it, it causes discomfort and in many cases infection. These could also develop into cysts.  Improper shaving technique is the number one cause of ingrown hair. The mayo clinic says it’s important to use lubricating shave gel a sharp single-blade razor and to shave in the direction of the hair growth. A blunt blade can cause ingrowth of hair.

If one does have a beard, then regularly trimming would give a groomed look, but more importantly  one should make sure that one is rinsing down to the skin each day in the shower. After shower it is necessary to put some essential oils into the beard like tea tree oil,  this would keep both the follicle and the skin healthy.

Ingrown hair cyst is known as pilonidal cyst and is a frustrating problem, it manifests a small solitary cystic area, and contains clear fluid, if it turns turbulent or yellow it indicates presence of infection. In very severe cases it can spread causing multiple access.

Though people advise exfoliation, the best thing to do is to keep the follicle clean and let the cyst dry on its own. There are people who recommend exfoliating masks, well I would not recommend it unless one is really adept at handling it.

Regular exfoliation of skin, and use of acne cream if one has the tendency to break into pimples would be the best way to handle it.

If the cyst does not dry in 4-5 days I would recommend consulting the skin specialist. It definitely makes more sense than plucking the hair follicle at home and complicating the issue.

All the same it is not devoid of home remedies, one can use hot water fermentation, or steaming also helps. The heat allows the boil to rise up and form a point of rupture then cleaning the area with antiseptic works fine.

shavingIn addition to improper shaving, trauma, scar tissue also cause ingrown hair.

Another major cause of ingrown hair is piling of dead skin blocking  the skin pores. This does not allow the hair follicle to emerge out of the pore.

Itching is the most common symptom of ingrown hair, or a potential cyst. The are becomes tender to touch and then erupts into a boil. Acne whiteheads are all fall out of ingrown hair.

Think about this—  winning is like shaving, you do it everyday or you wind up looking like a bum, moreover tradition wears a snowy beard, romance is always young.

This post is a part of #WillYouShave activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette

On a full stomach


akshaya patraAkshaya patra.

On a full stomach but what about nutrition have done a healthy food check?

Gore mashtru, is a retired school teacher who has taught in rural Karnataka. He used to notice in the sub-urban school where largely migrant worker’s children came, Monday’s the kids would be very unruly, and by Tuesday they would calm down.  Initially he thought it was the children’s reluctance to attend school.

That dealing with the lack of food over the week-end was more the issue.

So when the local rotary club wanted to sponsor mid meal the school requested that they give a glass of milk and upma/avalakki for breakfast. Since the children went to the temple for lunch.

The visionary headmaster of Nittur School in Udupi came up with this plan to keep the kids off the roads, and to ensure some nutrient intake. The plan was simple school would be over and the kids could play games in the premises. There was also a school garden where the kids worked. Planted seeds and nurtured the garden.

The lunch prepared at the school also involved the school kids by turns. The fare was simple and wholesome, that is “red rice ganji” the water content in this is more and that takes care of the water imbalance created by the coastal heat. Along with it, they would make chutney with coconut and dry roasted urad dhal and added grated vegetables grown in the school garden. This menu was created in consultation with the Ayurveda College so that the nutritional and the water balance needs of the children are met.

In addition to keeping the cost down, the food was clean, wholesome and healthy. It also followed the healthy eating eating habits as laid down by Ayurveda.

When someone wants to sponsor lunch they do not change the menu, the only request they have is if the money donated is more than what is required they would use it for another day’s meal.

When the government came up with its mid-meals they started insisting that they would send the rice. They would insist on using vegetables like carrots, cauliflower or beans which were expensive and rather pathetic. The rice the kids received was of poor quality. While earlier the rice was donated by the villagers who would take trouble.

Finally the school opted out of the government scheme so that they could ensure the health of their kids.

If you thought poor nutrition was a socioeconomic issue then you are sadly mistaken. Children of all socioeconomic levels are at risk for poor nutrition. In some cases there was lack of money to buy food, in other cases, the food consumed is more than enough but the diet is high in fat, sugar and sodium rendering susceptible to obesity, heart disease, and other chronic illnesses.  With increasing number of working parents, kids are left to fend for their own eating or unlike the lower socio-economic class that will eat a cold lunch these kids tend to eat pre-cooked or semi-cooked food.

Nutrition does affect the children’s ability to learn. Recently controlled research has been conducted to study this.

Inadequate nutrition during the prenatal period could result in low birth weight. These kids are more likely than other infants to have hearing, vision or learning problems. They would then require special education services.

In preschooler nutritional problems can give rise to shortened attention span, irritability, fatigue and difficulty with concentration. This in turn results in anaemic children, with lower vocabulary, reading and other parameters the ASFSA 1989 survey shows that children with least protein intake in their diets ten exhibit lower achievement scores.

In the middle-income and upper middle income groups, children are often sent to school with no breakfast other than a glass of milk. Usually around 7am. The child gets to have his breakfast only at around 10.30 the lunch break being about 20mnts, through which the child has to eat, relieve himself/herself and socialize. So eating becomes less of a priority.  Then a tedious travel back, tuitions, extra-curricular activities, eventually the child gets home and has an early dinner at around 8pm which means the stomach is empty for the next more than twelve hours.

This creates an imbalance in digestion resulting in nutritional lack.

Eliminating classroom hunger—If feasible, let the government send in its midday meal funds to the school then

  • Consulting the Ayurveda doctors, not allopath or food and nutrition jokers, create a simple menu plan.—season and local locavoria being the criteria.
  • If feasible after the assembly and Morning Prayer have a twenty minute break for a mid-morning snack. The children can be given a choice of either carrying their own snack or eating at school on a subsidized price. An ideal time would between 8-8.30
  • If there is morning breakfast break then lunch break can be given at 12.30 for half an hour again the kids can be given an option of carrying their own lunch or opting for a subsidized school lunch. Though the school lunch should be encouraged. Since usually meal time is when the social bonding occurs.
  • It is better to avoid non-vegetarian so that the cost stays low, and the quality control is better.
  • Children contribute to growing vegetables — this has to be done by turns. this will bring children closer to nature, take care of emotional unrest and give a sense of achievement. It allows practical application of biology.
  • Avoid, potatoes and deep fried food which is not really healthy for the system.
  • Children of higher classes should be involved in sourcing the vendors and placing purchase orders, again gives the child a sense of responsibility and learns hands on in dealing with budgeting and finance.
  • Donors and the mid meal schemes are all deposited in an account, allowing the school to source other requirements. Local Rotary clubs and other community service clubs may like to volunteer in kind.
  • Children also are made to serve food by turns.
  • Washing up of their plates would also be the responsibility of individual child.

Maybe I am naive or too idealistic.  I don’t know but kitchen, food and warmth are great ways to learn.

I am going to #BlogToFeedAChild with Akshaya Patra and BlogAdda.


Crohn’s disease.


crohn's diseaseCrohn’s disease.

This month is Crohn’s disease awareness month.

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory disease of the intestine particularly of the colon and the ileum associated with ulcers and fistulae.

The most common areas to be affected are the last part of the small intestine and the colon.

There is no proven CAUSE of Crohn’s disease though theories are many.  Looking at the possible causes may help to understand the disease and symptoms and allow us to reach a diagnosis.

Immune System has been linked to many inflammatory bowel diseases including the Crohn’s disease. The immune system or the body system that fights the invaders for some reason reacts inappropriately. Instead of defending the body from the invaders it begins to work on the helpful microbes, this over time leads to chronic inflammation, ulcers and other injuries to the intestines.

10% -20% if the people with inflammatory bowel disorders including Crohn”s disease tend show a genetic predilection. It is also seen more commonly in ethnic groups, like the Jews. Scientist have identified a Gene associated with the Crohn’s disease this is the gene that determines the reaction to certain to microbes. When this gene gets mutated then the reactions of the immune system get altered. This mutation h has been identified in people with Crohn’s disease.

Certain environmental factors are known to trigger the Crohn’s disease. Like:

  • Food ingested.—could be irritant or an allergic trigger
  • Microbes like bacteria or viruses
  • Cigarettes or smoke inhalation.

These factors could either by directly triggering the immune response, which cannot be stopped, or they may speed the manifestation of the symptoms by damaging the lining of the intestines.

The Signs and Symptoms like all diseases range from mild to severe. The development is usually gradual though in rare cases it has known to be acute. These signs and symptoms may include;

  • Diarrhoea—it could be accompanied with intensified intestinal cramps
  • Fever and fatigue – this is usually low grade and due infection or inflammation. The individual also tends to have low energy levels and fatigue.
  • Abdominal pain and cramp, due to ulceration and inflammation. This could vary from slight discomfort to nausea and vomiting.
  • Blood in the stool is quite common, sometimes it is visible and sometimes it is not.
  • Chronic mouth sores, or canker sores are also associated.
  • Reduced appetite and weight loss due to cramps is seen. There is also an altered ability to digest and absorb food.
  • Perianal disease— that is formation of a tunnel into the skin may there this is called a fistula; there could be pain or drainage from this area.
  • When the condition is severe it may be accompanied by
    • Inflammation of skin, eyes and joints
    • Inflammation of liver or bile ducts
    • Delayed growth or sexual development in children

When Does Consult A Doctor?

It is time to see the doctor if there is a persistent change in the bowel habits or if the following signs are seen

  • Abdominal pain
  • Blood in the stools
  • Ongoing bouts of diarrhoea that does not respond to over the counter drugs.
  • Unexplained fever lasting for more than a day or two.
  • Unexplained weight loss.

Controlling Crohn’s disease:

Since the factors involved in causing the disease is very complex it would be best to consult your doctor and work a treatment plan. In addition to Allopathic, Ayurveda and Homeopathy also provide some excellent options, which are extremely supportive in handling the disorder.

A Minister for Yoga,


Originally posted on Parwatisingari's Weblog:

We now have an AYUSH ministry.

It seems to draw a lot of flack. Asia Pacific called the minister in charge as the minister for Yoga.  Of course the “Intelligentsia” the post residents of urban India find that embarrassing whatever. 

The excerpt from Asia-Pacific is as follows “The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appointed a yoga minister in a major revamp of his government after storming to power in May in a bid to promote the ancient practise.”  The article goes ahead focusing on Yoga, which is of course therapeutic it also sends a message of something being outdated.  But the focus of AYUSH is not just yoga, yoga is part of it, the focus of AYUSH is

 Ayurveda-Yoga-Unani- Siddha- Homeopathy.

Of course naturopathy is also part of it. The article also presents itself as right-wing venture.  But all of you who call yourself intelligent-educated-secular-progressive think beyond what Asia-Pacific…

View original 222 more words