Acne Magic Quick Tip #2: Warm Tea Bags

Admittedly, despite the inexplicable popularity of my first “magic potion”  tip, I was not intending on writing a lot of posts about beauty and facial care.  But here’s another quick zit fix, the efficacy of which I can attest to personally.  And the idea actually came from a tip a nurse gave me when my daughter got a flu vaccination.

She said that if the injection site got red and swelled, I could use a warm tea bag on it to take out some of the redness and inflammation.  So I got to wondering, would it do the same for those pesky (and very painful) subcutaneous pimples I sometimes get, (ones I refer to as underground zits.)

Turns out, it does.  Take a tea bag and run it under hot water, as warm as is comfortable, and then press the bag to the blemish.  (Hold it there with a paper towel to catch any tea that drips out.)  Within minutes, you will notice a difference in the size and redness of the pimple.  This is especially helpful when I’ve picked and squeezed at the damn thing, trying to get it to come to a head, but only accomplished making it bigger, redder, and more sore.

I’m not a dermatologist by any stretch, but I think it works for several reasons. Firstly, heat will open your pores and likely start to draw the blemish out.  Normally, to reduce swelling, an ice cube would probably be a safer bet, but I believe the tea has a sort of drawing salve effect, and the benefits of tea are well documented.  I have used this trick several times, and I don’t know if my blemishes necessarily heal any faster, but I definitely notice the short term effects of a reduction in size and redness.  At any rate, it’s cheap and easy, as most of you probably keep tea bags in your kitchen anyway.

Tea can also be used topically, as a tincture or a poultice, for cuts, burns, baggy eyes, or as an astringent.  It can also be ingested, different types of tea supposedly having different therapeutic benefits.  I’ll include some links below if you are interested in using tea or other herbs for health and beauty.

So…there’s your quick tip, and here’s your links.  Don’t say I never gave you anything!

common herbs and some of their uses

brewing therapy teas

I’m More Messed Up Than I Thought

You know that satisfied feeling when you pop a big pimple?  Or maybe that urge you get to scratch at a scab when you know better?  I was lying in bed last night thinking.  (Do I think because I can’t sleep, or can I not sleep because I am thinking too much?  Oh the mysteries of the universe.)  So anyway, I was curious about where that urge, that sense of satisfaction, comes from, so today I started to Google my question about scabs.  Predictive text had the related pimple popping question out before I was even done, and through the few pages I selected and read, I learned a disturbing thing…

I have Dermatillomania.   Great, something else to add to my list of things that make me a dysfunctional human being.

The simplest definition is basically compulsive skin picking, often to the extent that damage is caused.  A lot of people can’t resist popping a giant red zit on their face when it’s sitting there like a beacon calling attention to itself.  But have you ever passed by a mirror and leaned in to look for something to pop?  Do you feel compelled to pop on other people ? (I don’t, but I am totally grossed out when I see huge blackheads on other people’s faces.  Okay, maybe I pick at hubby a little.)  Do you do it in spite of the fact that you usually make things worse?  Does your skin cause you a lot of anxiety?

Dermatillomania has been regarded as an Impulse Control disorder, compared by some to Obsessive Compulsive disorder or even substance abuse (Wikipedia.)

Some of my followers and friends may have heard me mention my OCD from time to time.  Until recently, I never really thought much about my need to pick at my face.  I hate having plugged pores and when I have a subcutaneous zit, I often irritate it to the point where it’s much worse than it has to be.  Reading up on Dermatill… oh, hell… picking…today I realized with some dismay that my need to pick is a little excessive.  It’s not as bad as it could be.  Apparently there are a few different “levels” of the disorder, and I while I do actively look for pores to “unclog,” I’m not to the point where I can’t leave the house because I look like someone suffering from leprosy.

Some cases however have been severe enough to cause infection and even require surgery! The face is the most common place people pick, but the scalp, arms, back, legs, and pubic region may be affected.

English: Skin Picking pattern and effect on th...

English: Skin Picking pattern and effect on the skin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anyway, from what I learned during the course of my studies for my Psychology degree and also in the course of my own treatment for OCD, there are certain behaviors that may be obsessive or compulsive, but assuming they do not cause you anxiety or physical harm, they are regarded as OCPD rather than OCD.

Differential diagnosis between OCD and OCPD was described in Wikipedia thusly:

Unlike OCPD, OCD is described as invasive, stressful, time-consuming obsessions and habits aimed at reducing the obsession related stress. OCD symptoms are at times regarded as ego-dystonic because they are experienced as alien and repulsive to the patient. Therefore, there is a greater mental anxiety associated with OCD.

Just thought I’d put that out there, as it particularly annoys me when anyone with a simple penchant for neatness or a distaste for germs describes themselves as “having OCD”, and since compulsive skin picking is considered related, these are things that may be relevant.

Magic Potion~Rosewater and Glycerin

WHY was I not informed of this sooner?  The answer was so simple– literally!  I could have started using this years ago and reaping the benefits, if only someone had told me… Rosewater and Glycerin.   Continue reading