Teenagers with acne should like this concept: a nano-bomb, containing a coconut oil compound, that directly attacks the bacteria that cause acne. The new smart delivery system developed by a researcher at UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering could be a boon to the more than 60 million people who suffer with this skin condition. More than 85 percent of people between the ages of 12 and 24 suffer from acne, and 25 percent of them will experience permanent scars ranging from mild to severe. An estimated 60 million Americans have active acne and 20 percent of all adults suffer with the condition.Yet only 11 percent of acne sufferers seek help from a physician, according to some sources. About 40 percent choose to do nothing, 20 percent go to a skin care center, and 30 percent use over-the-counter medications. One reason for the lack of enthusiasm about current treatments may be that they are associated with side effects, including burning and redness, and frequently they are not effective. The nano-bombs containing the coconut oil compound, called lauric acid, may offer a solution, according to Dissaya Pornpattananangkul, who developed the smart delivery system. The treatment involves gold nanoparticles that are bound to the surface of lauric-acid filled nano-bombs. The gold serves several purposes: it prevents the nano-bombs from fusing together, and it helps the bombs zero in on the bacteria (Propionibacterium acnes) that cause acne.When the nano-bombs reach their target, the gold
nanoparticles fall away, which allows the lauric acid to fuse with the bacterial membranes and kill the bacteria. “Precisely controlled nano-scale delivery of drugs that are applied topically to the skin could significantly improve the treatment of skin bacterial infections,” notes UC San Diego NanoEngineering professor Liangfang Zhang. Not only is this treatment more targeted, it also minimizes or avoids side effects.Nanotechnology is a rapidly growing field that is opening doors for new treatment options in the medical arena. The coconut oil nano-bombs that target acne is an exciting innovation and one that will hopefully be tested on human subjects in the near future. Natural treatments for Acne; Acne in severe forms need medical attention, but in its mild form and at the beginning, acne can be treated effectively by natural herbs and following natures way in our daily routine. These herbs, which help even in removing blemishes, are not from any exotic plants or some rare species. These are very common natural products and oils found in our day to day life. Spices play a major role in keeping the skin, digestive system and immune system healthy. But one should know how to use them, and use them moderately. A little bit of spices in food help digestion, but excessively spicy food may upset digestion. Spices in raw form can be used in getting rid of acne and blemishes left it. Fruits and vegetables are excellent in skin care if applied directly on
the skin also. This happens due to the presence of minerals, essential oils and natural antioxidants in fruits and vegetables. One very useful spice in treating acne is turmeric. Taken both internally and applied directly on affected skin, it helps a lot due to its antiseptic properties. Taken internally, particularly with warm milk, it helps our immune system and is generally used in India to get rid of colds, and applied as warm poultice in treating inflamed skin due to sprain and strain. In the treatment of acne, turmeric is useful in drying out acne and removing blemishes. To use it on acne, make a creamy paste of turmeric with coconut oil (or sesame oil). You can either warm this paste in a tea spoon and then apply, or dab it just like that on the acne. Cover the acne and surrounding area completely with this paste. Use this paste at least 20 minutes before going to bed so that it dries before your face contacts the pillow. Leave it overnight and you would be surprised to find in the morning the difference in the size of acne. Even acne produced by hormonal changes in women responds to this turmeric treatment greatly. It takes hardly 2-3 days for acne to vanish completely, without leaving a hint of ever having been on the skin spot. This is the greatest advantage of turmeric treatment. It not only dries out the acne, it stops any blemish formation or making skin flaky or dry. It also is useful in having a glowing complexion if applied
everyday on the whole face before taking a bath, even for 5-10 minutes. This “face mask” is routinely used by South Indian women and their clear, smooth skin is an indicator of its effectiveness. Acne and Antioxidants; Molecules of free oxygen, known as free radicals, float in our body with unpaired electrons seeking to balance themselves by “stealing” electrons from healthy cells. This process can kill healthy cells and damage tissue. It is called ‘oxidation’ and results in aging in humans and rotting in plants. The process of oxidation causes the skin to lose elasticity and develop wrinkles, thins hair, weakens muscles, impairs hearing and eyesight, decreases immunity, and increases degenerative diseases. Antioxidants stop this process and maintain the health of our bodies. These antioxidants are abundant in natural foods (grapes, blueberries, pomegranates especially) and man-made antioxidants are also available over the counter. The main antioxidants include vitamins and minerals that neutralize free radicals. Some of the well-known antioxidants are Vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin B, vitamin A, and the minerals zinc and selenium. All these antioxidants help in the prevention and treatment of acne, preventing the free radicals from harming the skin and immune system, which helps in acne flare-ups. Antioxidants serve as a skin barrier to prevent free radicals from penetrating the living dermal layer. The highest
concentration of antioxidants in the body is found in the outermost layer of skin, the epidermis. As we age, the concentration of antioxidants in the epidermis starts decreasing considerably. This is one reason that skin starts showing signs of damage.To keep the immune system and other systems healthy and to avoid damage by free radicals, antioxidants can be taken orally. While it is good for the overall functioning of the body, skin does not benefit much from it, as only about 1% of ingested antioxidants reach the skin.Topical application of antioxidants can produce an effective barrier against free radicals. Each topical application of antioxidants will have a life of up to four days. The topical application of antioxidants neutralizes free radicals and prevents UV destruction of cells. A drawback of topically applied antioxidants is they become depleted with decreasing concentration, so daily application is needed to keep their level maximized. Fruits and vegetables are a rich source of antioxidants that can be part of our diet and provide digestible antioxidants. The pulp of these fruits and vegetables can also be applied on the skin to work as topical antioxidants and keep skin healthy. Oils rich in Vitamin E, such as Olive oil, Coconut oil, and Sesame oil are good for topical use on skin. sources: Acne Resource Center University of California, San Diego
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