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( Originally Published Mid 1800s )
Out damned spot! out, I say? - Macbeth.
Blackheads are a form of acne indicated by little black specks on the skin, chiefly about the nose, forehead, and chin. Each speck marks an obstructed outlet of the sebaceous glands, and if pressure is made on either side, something having the appearance of a small white worm may be pressed out. Upon careful ex this so-called worm proves to be a mass of amination hardened sebaceous matter, which has assumed this shape by being pressed through the small outlet of the follicle. The black speck, giving to this little cylinder of fat the appearance of a head, is, shocking as it is, simply an accumulation of dirt. The technical term for one of these little masses is comedo. When examined under a microscope, they are frequontly found t0 contain a whole family of parasites-male, female, and their numerous progeny.
Obviously there is but one way of getting rid of blackheads, and that is by forcing them out of the clogged pore. They cannot be drawn back whence they came, and in pressing them out before the skin is properly softened and prepared for their ejection, the patient must be very careful not to rupture the delicate tissue, causing either an ugly little scar or, more likely, an enlargement of the opening which immediately fills up again, each time increasing in size and becoming more malignant in appearance.
Blackheads may not only be removed without leaving any scar, but once rid of them the patient need never again be troubled with them, if the advice here given be carefully followed.
For two or three weeks, until the skin is thoroughly softened, apply one of the creams or skin foods, formulas for which may be found in these pages. Make this application at night, after washing the face well with a pure hygienic soap and hot water. Be sure to rinse the soap well out of the face and dry the skin thoroughly before applying the cream or skin food.
At the end of two or three weeks of this treatment, the blackhead may be forced out by pressure of the two thumbs. If a moderate pressure will not eject it, make no more heroic attempt, but try the green-soap treatment, which rarely, if ever, fails.
Green soap may be purchased at any drug store, and, by the by, is not green. It is about the consistency of a custard.
Before using the green soap, bathe the face in warm water as hot as can be pleasantly borne. Then wring out cloths in hot water and lay over the face, renewing them frequently. Continue this operation for fifteen or twenty minutes. Anoint the face with the green soap. Rub it well into the pores for five or six minutes. Rinse the soap from the face with hot water, using the camel's-hair face-scrubbing brush so as to remove all the soap and as many of the blackheads as will come. Dry the face and anoint it with a skin food or cream. Continue this treatment every night until the blackheads have disappeared.
TREATMENT FOR OBSTINATE BLACKHEADS
Occasionally very obdurate blackheads will require pressure, but usually the green soap will remove them without more heroic treatment.
Where the blackheads appear on the back, and also upon the breasts, the same treatment is required. Soap and water and friction, combined with an emollient, mean death to blackheads. Apart also from the mere cleanliness derived from the friction of the brush, it has the most important effect of so stimulating the circulation that the obstructed glands are opened, their stagnating contents broken up, dissolved, and carried off.
NEW REMEDY FOR BLACKHEADS
Doctor Hebra, of Vienna, a world-renowned dermatologist, advises the following for curing blackheads :
Bathe the face at night with the following lotion: Rose water, pure alcohol and glycerine, 10 grains each, pulverized borax,5 grains.
After five minutes, apply this mixture :Pure alcohol, 80 grains ; green soap, 40 grains. Wash off in the morning.
Acne appears under various forms and names. In confluent acne, the pimples appear in groups, suppurating and running together. A course of sulphur baths is recommended. Friction and frequent bathing are advised, and as soon as possible the camel's-hair face brush.
In acne indurata, the pimples appear to be under the skin. The same treatment should be followed.
The use of a camel's-hair face-scrubbing brush cannot be too strongly recommended. It removes from the face the dust and foreign matter that has collected there during the day, and it penetrates and dislodges from the pores of the skin any secretions that may have become clogged there.
I do not believe any one can keep the face clean, except by the aid of a brush. A pure soap will not hurt the most delicate skin. On the contrary, it is a necessary detergent, and the women who have the most beautiful complexions in the worldnotably English women-are those who have scrubbed their faces with soap and water from childhood.
Its use should not be restricted to women. As a matter of fact, the male epidermis differs in no respect from the female, except possibly that it is tougher. Both are equally benefited by the use of the face-scrubbing brush. Your stalwart six-footer may not long for the pink and white cheeks of the dainty sixteen year-old girl, yet he will surely appreciate the exquisite feeling of cleanliness and freshness which follows the scrubbing process. I have also been informed that the use of the brush is an excellent means of softening the beard before shaving.
Acne molluscum usually appears on the forehead and about the nose. It has the aspect of tiny seed pearls imbedded in the skin, and is due to the obstruction of the sebaceous glands, which, unable to rid themselves of their contents, become distended, and hardened.
TREATMENT FOR ACNE MOLLUSCUM
Open each seed acne with the point of a fine cambric needle. The hardened mass must be pressed or pricked out. The empty sack of the gland should then be bathed with a little toilet vinegar and water, or with a very weak solution of carbolic acid and water.