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Dermatologist says popping a pimple in the facial 'danger zone' could kill you


(NaturalNews) You may have heard the advice not to pop pimples, but the risk may be even greater than scarring. According to dermatologist Vishal Madan from Salford, England, popping a pimple in a certain area of your face could cause potentially fatal brain infections.

Madan calls the area in question the "danger triangle," which stretches from the bridge of the nose through the eyes and down to the corners of the mouth and the upper lip. Blood vessels in this area carry blood into the brain, Maden warns.

"Now, if there is an infection in this area that is not treated properly or quickly, this infection can cause thrombosis or clot of blood, or an infection or abscess in the brain, or even meningitis," he said.

Immune system gone haywire

Acne is the one of the most common inflammatory skin conditions, occurring in more than 80 percent of teenagers at some point and also affecting people later in life. Traditionally, scientists have explained acne as a buildup up dead skin cells in the follicles of the sebaceous glands, which excrete an oily skin and hair lubricant. The commonness of the problem in adolescents was thought to be fueled primarily by changes in levels of sex hormones.

But new research has shown that acne is much more complex than previously believed. Where older sources categorized acne as either inflammatory (large, red, pus-filled pimples) or non-inflammatory (whiteheads and blackheads), studies have shown that inflammation is actually a key to the process that produces all pimples and acne. In fact, inflammation-producing immune cells surround all acne-affected hair follicles significantly before any pimple becomes visible.

Research has also shown that acne is caused, in part, by an exaggerated response from the innate immune system to the presence of the bacteria Proprionibacterium acnes. This appears to be an overly zealous response by a part of the immune system designed to protect the skin from being penetrated by bacteria. This idea was supported by a recent paper in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, which found that sebaceous glands also express an inflammatory immune compound.

Change your diet instead

So what's so bad about popping a pimple? Madan admits that the chance of a brain infection is actually quite slim -- but the chance of scarring is fairly high. Both of these side effects are caused by the same basic process: when you pop a pimple, you eject oil, bacteria and inflammatory chemicals onto the surrounding skin. This can cause wider infections and scarring.

"I see patients on a daily basis who've got acne, pimples, and I see the scarring and the first thing I ask is: 'do you touch your spots, or squeeze them?'" Madan said. "And invariably most people do."

Most pimples will subside on their own within about a week. Severe acne, however, may require the attention of a health professional.

Rather than popping pimples, consider addressing the conditions that create them by changing your lifestyle habits. The good news is that chocolate and greasy foods don't actually cause acne -- but an overall bad diet can contribute to the problem. So to reduce the risk or severity of acne, detox your body by eating a balanced diet low in sugar that includes nuts, legumes, fruits, vegetables, fish and red meat. Some research suggests that frequent milk consumption may increase acne risk, but results are mixed. Experts recommend keeping a food diary to figure out which foods exacerbate your own symptoms.

Dirty skin also does not cause acne, but intense scrubbing or cleansing can actually irritate the skin and make acne worse. Cosmetics that contain irritating chemicals, cleansers or moisturizers can also add to the problem.





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