Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Scrubbing Won't Clear Up Teen-Ager's Acne

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Scrubbing Won't Clear Up Teen-Ager's Acne

Article excerpt

Q. My teen-age son has a mild case of acne, but to him it is overwhelming. He washes with strong cleansers and uses a variety of acne medicines. Can you recommend something that will clear up his skin once and for all so that he doesn't scrub so much? His face is bright red after all the washing and I don't think that is good.

A. You're right, mom! Acne is not caused by dirt, so vigorous washing won't help. It may even make things worse.

If over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide (Benzac, Clearasil Acne Treatment, Oxy 5, etc.) doesn't do the job, your son should see a dermatologist. Retin-A (tretinoin) and/or antibiotics can work wonders.

Q. My fiance went to Florida on business back in December. He brought back a column you wrote about a woman with an allergy to latex. You suggested her husband use lambskin condoms.

That may be appropriate advice for her, but you didn't mention that lambskin condoms don't provide a barrier against the AIDS virus. Other people reading your column may switch from latex to lambskin without realizing that risk. In these dangerous times, you ought to include that information in future columns.

A. You are absolutely correct. The husband who wrote to us was concerned about pregnancy prevention. As a monogamous couple, he and his wife are not at high risk of AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

The pores in natural lambskin are too small to allow sperm to slip through. They are large enough, however, to admit bacteria and viruses. People should not rely upon them to protect against herpes, AIDS, syphilis or gonorrhea.

Another alternative that has recently become available is the Avanti polyurethane condom (from Schmid Laboratories). People with latex allergy may find this a welcome addition. It is thinner than conventional latex condoms and therefore may provide increased sensitivity, but effectiveness against STDs remains to be established. …

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