The Center Voice

The Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Greater Fort Lauderdale, Inc.

February, 2000 (volume 7, number 2)



I always like simple solutions. Give me something I can do without a lot of fancy-dancy hoopla or expense and I am a happy camper. Unfortunately, there are usually very few simple things in our world today, especially in medicine. From modern pharmaceuticals to computerization, medicine, like everything else around us has become anything but simple.

Facial acne is not simple. It is a perplexing problem that afflicts most of us to one degree or another starting in puberty. For most it is just a temporary cosmetic nuisance during our high school years. For others it is a physically and psychologically disfiguring blight which can have affects lasting the better part of a lifetime. It is, therefore, not surprising that we have dozens of treatments available to address this problem. Between over-the-counter remedies, to prescription medications and plastic surgery, the complexity of these treatments escalates to match the suffering one experiences.

Now I am not going to try to outline all the treatment options for those with facial acne. Instead, I am going to offer a simple solution which may solve part or all of this problem. Along with dietary and hormonal aspects, one of the key factors in treating this type of acne is to keep you face clean. It is not surprising that most over-the-counter acne medications are made for this purpose. These medications are usually quite helpful, as dirty skin will only aggravate the situation. For many people suffering milder forms of this disease, skin cleansing is all that is required to effectively treat it. Thus, we probably all spent, at one point or another in our lives, countless hours in front of a mirror scrubbing and rubbing our faces clean (and sometimes raw).

Since skin cleansing is good for treating facial acne, putting dirt on your face will probably worsen the condition. If you have (or have had) facial acne, imagine taking a dirty rag and rubbing it all around your face for six to eight hours a day. Well, that's what most of us do when we sleep as most people change their pillowcases once a week. Between these changes, we lay our heads on our pillows every night and, while sleeping for six to eight hours, we all perspire and most of us drool (oh, come on ... admit). Night after night we add more sweat and saliva to the potion until, finally, wash day comes around and we change that filthy rag.

So, let me offer this simple solution to facial acne. If you suffer from it, along with the other treatments you pursue, place a clean pillowcase on your pillow every day. This simple move can go a long way to helping you achieve a clearer complexion. Also, if you do not now have facial acne but are prone to developing it, changing your pillow case every day may play a significant role in preventing it from recurring. While this may not put the acne medication manufacturers out of business, clean pillowcases may go a long way to putting an acne-free appearance on your face.