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How you'll beat the blemishes; Doctor Yvonne Casey offers complementary advice and opinions on health matters.

IT can be upsetting to have any form of skin blemish. And more so, of course, if the problem is on your face.

We communicate largely through our facial expressions, so the face is the focal point of attention.

Blemishes create embarrassment and distress. They make us more self-conscious and we desperately try to cover them up.

Boils and abscesses on the more exposed areas of the body are difficult to disguise.

The neck and upper back are the commoner regions to be affected, but boils and abscesses also are prone to appear in and around the armpits and the groin.

Not only are they uncomfortable, but they can be painful - even the slight irritation of clothes against the skin over the affected areas can be a problem.

And just when the problem seems to be under control, it can flare up again.

So how do we get rid of them once they surface, and what can be done to prevent their return?

Well, let's look at diet, because certain foods can encourage boils and abscesses to develop.

As far as possible, avoid fatty foods and, in particular, cut out all forms of pork - that is, ham, gammon, bacon, pork sausages and chops.

Keep the diet as healthy and as wholesome as you can, avoiding refined foods, such as white bread and its products, as well as white rice and white sugar.

Include plenty of garlic, fresh fruit and fresh vegetables. In addition, eat lots of foodstuffs rich in vitamin A - these consist of carrots (and carrot juice), parsley, spinach, savoy cabbage and turnips.

Fruits which have the richest sources of the vitamin are apricots and dates. Vitamin A is especially high in fish such as cod, halibut, salmon and shark, and in cod liver oil.

Often boils and abscesses signal an underlying problem with the immune system.

So, it's sensible to ensure that it is functioning adequately and not suppressed.

Echinacea is the most effective remedy because it boosts the immune system and acts as anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anti-viral and anti- bacterial.

Taken internally, echinacea reduces the severity of symptoms and the duration of infections. It can be taken over a long spell to increase the resistance to further infections. Take 15 drops twice daily in a little water before meals.

If taken long-term, break the treatment after two months for one week and then continue at the same dosage for another two months.

Echinaforce can be taken together with Petasan, an excellent remedy for boils and abscesses. Acting as a cell-renewal agent, it is taken at a dose of 10 drops in a little water twice daily after meals.

There are lots of homoeopathic remedies to help with this condition, and you should consult a qualified practitioner to find the most appropriate.

Here are some of the most commonly prescribed remedies:

Belladonna - Use where the lesion is hot, throbbing and worse from touch and pressure.

Hepar sulp - Helps with an inflamed and very sensitive, septic lesion that's worse for pressure.

Lachesis - For large, bluish abscesses aggravated by heat and sensitive to the touch.

Merc sol - Helps with offensive discharge, heat aggravation and sweating, especially at night.

Silica - For more septic lesions. Helps abscesses to discharge.

Sulphur - For recurring spots and septic lesions, often associated with skin eruptions with heat and burning, aggravated by heat.

So, you can see there are a number of options available to help deal with the problem of boils and abscesses.

It just isn't the case that we simply have to learn to live with them. It pays to take a little time to care for your skin.
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Casey, Dr Yvonne
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 25, 2000
Previous Article:SURGERY Dr Gareth Smith is our Seven Days medical man who is here each week to help keep you in the best of health.
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