How to eat healthfully: Double your portion size

According to a recent study, larger portions of food might not be so bad for us after all. The findings add to our understanding of the psychology of healthful eating.

If somebody gives us a huge bowl of candy, we are likely to eat more of it than if someone gives us a smaller bowl of candy.

Scientists have studied the so-called portion size effect in some depth.

One review of the research found that when a portion size is doubled, people consume an average of 35 percent more.

Food outlets often advertise larger portion sizes to attract customers, and many health professionals believe that this tactic might play a role in the rise of obesity in the United States.
For this reason, health-conscious people around the world make sure to only give themselves small portions of foods that some may call unhealthful.

Despite a great deal of research into the negative consequences of portion size, very few studies have focused on the potential benefits. Could increasing portion size of healthful snacks increase their consumption?

With this in mind, researchers from Deakin University in Australia recently set out to see whether the effect would work in reverse.

The study, which Prof. Chris Dubelaar led, was a coordinated effort between scientists in Australia and France. Their findings now appear in the journal Food Quality and Preference.

Portion size revisited

In order to investigate, the team designed two complementary experiments. The first involved 153 university students in a laboratory setting. The scientists gave them large or small portions of healthful apple chips or unhealthful potato chips.
As expected, the participants to whom the team gave the larger portions of snacks — even the healthful versions — ate significantly more than the group with the smaller portions.

The second phase took place at a film festival. In total, the researchers gave 77 participants a small or a large bag of baby carrots. They watched either a film about a restaurant, which included many scenes involving food, or a romantic comedy with no particular food references.

How to manage a polyester allergy

Polyester is a synthetic fiber present in a lot of clothing and other fabrics. In some people, coming into direct contact with polyester-based fabrics can cause a skin reaction.
In this article, we look at the symptoms, treatment, and prevention of a polyester allergy.

What is a polyester allergy?

A person with a polyester allergy may experience a skin reaction when they come into direct contact with fabrics containing polyester. Polyester is a widespread synthetic fiber that is common in:

  • clothing
  • home furnishings such as carpets, bedding, and curtains
  • industrial fabrics

A polyester allergy is a type of contact dermatitis. There are two main types of contact dermatitis:

  • Irritant contact dermatitis. This is the most common type, occurring when a substance irritates or damages the skin and causes inflammation. This reaction typically occurs within minutes or hours of the person’s skin coming into contact with the substance.
  • Allergic contact dermatitis. This occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly reacts to a harmless substance, causing a skin reaction. This response often occurs several days after exposure to the allergen.

Polyester allergies are more likely to be due to irritant contact dermatitis.

Symptoms

Polyester allergies typically affect the area of skin that the fabric comes into contact with. Symptoms can include:

  • skin irritation
  • redness
  • dryness
  • itching
  • swelling
  • blistering

These symptoms may develop within minutes or hours of coming into contact with polyester, or they may take 1–2 days to appear.

Treatment

Correctly identifying a polyester allergy is challenging. The polyester-based material sometimes contains a range of other potential irritants, such as detergents, dyes, or fragrances.
Before undergoing any form of treatment, it is important to identify the source of the allergy with the help of a doctor.

The most effective way to treat a polyester allergy is to avoid coming into contact with polyester. Replacing household products and items of clothing with polyester-free versions can help reduce the risk of experiencing a reaction.

However, it will not always be easy or possible to avoid all polyester, particularly at work or in other public places. There are a range of over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications available to relieve the symptoms of a polyester allergy, including:

  • moisturizers
  • antihistamines
  • topical or oral steroids

A doctor can provide guidance on how to use these medications.

If a person’s symptoms do not respond to treatment, a doctor may recommend light therapy, or phototherapy. This therapy uses a special type of light to slow cell growth and inflammation in the skin. Doctors use it to treat a range of skin conditions, including polyester allergies.

Are gut bacteria the key to healthy aging?

An increasing number of recent studies are asking an important question: Do gut bacteria hold the key to healthy aging? New research, recently presented at the London Microbiome Meeting, brings us closer to the answer.

In the ancient myth of Tithonus, the eponymous protagonist asks the gods to live forever but forgets to demand eternal youth.

Although he gained immortality, the diseases of old age eventually defeat Tithonus, and he bitterly regrets his immortality.

While achieving longevity is a goal worth pursuing and an ambition that humankind has harbored since the times of Ancient Greece, the myth of Tithonus reminds us that a long life has little value if riddled with disease.

As human life expectancy increases, the world population is aging at much higher rates. In fact, the United Nations estimate that the senior population — that is, the number of people aged 60 and above — is increasing at a rate of approximately 3 percent per year.

Currently, there are 962 million people aged 60 and above across the globe, according to the most recent estimates. By the year 2050, this number is projected to more than double, and the number of people aged 80 and above is expected to triple.

A range of chronic diseases accompanies aging. By the year 2060, for example, the Alzheimer’s disease burden in the United States will have doubled, say the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

They predict that almost 14 million people will have Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia by then, and researchers are hard at work trying to prevent this and other age-related diseases.

So, the question “How can we live longer and healthier lives?” is slowly replacing that of “How can we live longer?” As scientists embark on the quest for a longer healthspan, it is becoming clearer that aging is not just an inevitable process that simply “happens,” but that there are precise molecular mechanisms that regulate it.

Marina Ezcurra, Ph.D. — a lecturer in neuroscience at the School of Biological & Chemical Sciences at Queen Mary University of London in the United Kingdom — dedicates her time to understanding these mechanisms.
\Her research focuses on how aging and its related diseases occur in a worm called Caenorhabditis elegans. More recently, Ezcurra and her team have been examining gastrointestinal aging and the role of the microbiome in this process.

On 24 October, 2018, Ezcurra presented her research at the London Microbiome Meeting in the U.K. In this Spotlight feature, we report on the key takeaways from her presentation.

Using a ‘worm-bug’ to study human aging

In her presentation — entitled “The worm-bug: a combined model system to study host-microbiome interactions” — Ezcurra introduced C. elegans as a viable model for studying aging. C. elegans has a lifespan of only 2–3 weeks, but as it ages, it develops several pathologies — just like the human organism.

Struggling to get out of bed is a medical condition

As the mornings get darker, motivating yourself to leave the comfort of your bed becomes increasingly difficult.

But rather than just being down to laziness, struggling to leave the comfort of your mattress is a condition that many claim to be affected by.

Known as dysania, the disorder – which is not medically recognised – is defined by having trouble getting up in the morning.

Although many have a strong urge to go back to sleep after waking, dysania sufferers could stay in bed for days on end and develop anxiety at the thought to getting up.

Suspected sufferers should see their GP as soon as possible due to dysania often being a sign of an underlying condition such as depression, chronic fatigue syndrome or the pain disorder fibromyalgia.

Self-proclaimed sufferers of dysania, also known as clinomania, insist the disorder is very real – despite it not being recognised.

While many groan when the alarm goes off, dysania patients experience genuine panic at the thought of getting out of bed.

They also need far more than the recommended seven-to-eight hours of shut eye a night and cannot get up even if they have commitments in the outside world.

Suspected sufferers are advised to think of the words that sum up how they feel about waking.

If ‘overwhelming’ or ‘debilitating’ come to mind, they should see their GP.

There is no known cure, however, sufferers may get relief from simply going bed an hour or two earlier.

The NHS recommends the following for a good night’s sleep:

  • Go to bed and get up at the same time every day
  • Make the bedroom peaceful by controlling its temperature, light and noise, and not sleeping with pets
  • Have a comfortable mattress
  • Exercise regularly to relieve tension that builds up over the day. Avoid rigorous activity in the evenings as this can keep you awake
  • Cut down on caffeine and opt for milky or herbal teas
  • Do not overindulge in alcohol or food too close to bedtime
  • Do not smoke – nicotine is a stimulant
  • Relax before bed with a warm bath, calm music or gentle yoga
  • Write down any worries or to-do lists for the next day
  • Get up if you cannot sleep and do something until you feel tired again

Due to dysania not being medically recognised, its prevalence is unclear.

However, being so fatigued you could stay in bed for days is considered very rare.

This comes after research released earlier this month suggested teenagers who regularly get less than six hours sleep a night are twice as likely to smoke, drink or take drugs.

Researchers, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, also found youngsters who often stay up later and wake up earlier face treble the risk of suicide.

What are the limitations of BMI?


Body mass index, or BMI, is a useful tool for determining healthful weight, but experts have expressed uncertainty about its reliability.

BMI alone cannot show whether a person’s weight is healthful, but using it in combination with other indicators can provide a more complete picture.

For adults ages 20 years and older, BMI incorporates weight and height, but it does not take age or sex into account.

A woman tends to have more body fat than a man with the same BMI. Likewise, an older person tends to have more body fat than a younger person with an equal BMI.

For these reasons, BMI may not give the detail necessary to determine whether a person’s weight is healthful.

Body composition

BMI does not reflect the location or amount of body fat, and these factors can impact health.

For example, studies have indicated that people who have fat around the waist and surrounding the abdominal organs may be more at risk of health problems than those with fat in other areas.

A 5-year investigation of 1,964 people, published in Scientific Reports in 2017, was one study that confirmed these findings.

BMI and health

If a person has a high BMI, they are likely to have a high proportion of body fat, especially if their BMI falls in the obesity

category.

However, it is possible to be “overweight” according to BMI, but have healthful levels of fat.

For extremely muscular people, such as athletes and bodybuilders, height and weight measurements alone may not accurately indicate health, because muscle weighs more than fat.

A healthy, muscular person may have a BMI in a very high range. Meanwhile, a frail, inactive person may have a low BMI, but more body fat and less lean tissue than is healthful.

Stages of development

Regular BMI cannot accurately indicate the state of a person’s health at some stages in life.

These include:

  • pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • childhood and adolescence, while a person is still growing

For this reason, BMI calculations are different for children and teens. These measurements take age and sex into account.

Norm can also vary among people of certain races and ethnicities.

Making BMI accurate

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) suggest that an assessment of weight and health risks should incorporate three key measures:

  • BMI
  • waist circumference
  • risk factors for diseases and conditions associated with obesity

Higher Levels of Vitamin D Linked to Better Fitness Levels


You already know that vitamin D is sweet on your bones, your mind, and your coronary heart. Now, new analysis means that it might additionally give your exercise routine a lift. According to a research revealed within the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, people with higher levels of vitamin D tend to be more physically fit.

Specifically, the research checked out cardiorespiratory fitness, a measure of how effectively the guts and lungs provide oxygen to the muscle tissue throughout exercise. People with greater cardiorespiratory fitness can exercise longer and more durable, they usually additionally have a tendency to reside longer and more healthy lives.

For the research, researchers in contrast the vitamin D ranges and cardiorespiratory fitness ranges—measured by a treadmill check—of almost 2,000 U.S. adults ages 20 to 49 who took half in a nationwide research from 2001 to 2004.

They discovered that folks within the prime quartile of vitamin D had cardiorespiratory fitness ranges that have been four.three occasions larger than these within the backside quartile. Each 10-point improve in vitamin D was related to a zero.78-point improve in VO2 max, the measurement for cardiorespiratory fitness.

RELATED: 12 Ways to Get Your Daily Vitamin D

Even after adjusting for individuals’ age, intercourse, race, physique mass index, and health historical past, fitness ranges for these with the very best vitamin D ranges have been nonetheless 2.9 occasions larger than these with the bottom. The link held true for each women and men, and for all of the age teams and ethnicities within the research. It was additionally true regardless of whether or not individuals have been people who smoke or had hypertension or diabetes.

The research was observational, so it couldn’t present a cause-and-effect relationship. But the affiliation was “strong, incremental, and consistent across groups,” stated lead writer Amr Marawan, MD, assistant professor of inner drugs at Virginia Commonwealth University, in a information launch from the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

“This suggests that there’s a strong connection and provides further impetus for having adequate vitamin D levels,” Dr. Marawan stated, “which is particularly challenging in cold, cloudy places where people are less exposed to the sun.”

Vitamin D is called the sunshine vitamin as a result of the human physique makes vitamin D in response to solar publicity. People also can get it from dietary supplements or from fortified meals. (The research didn’t bear in mind how a lot vitamin D members received from solar, dietary supplements, or food.)

The research notes that vitamin D might probably have an effect on cardiorespiratory fitness in a number of methods. For starters, the nutrient has been proven to increase the manufacturing of muscle protein and help in calcium and phosphorus transport on a mobile degree. It can also have an effect on the physique’s make-up of fast-twitch muscle fibers, “suggesting that vitamin D may improve aerobic fitness,” the authors wrote.

RELATED: 27 Health Problems Linked to Low Vitamin D

This isn’t the primary research to recommend a link between vitamin D and athletic efficiency: Previous analysis has famous that vitamin D-deficient ballet dancers jump higher and have fewer injuries—and professional athletes have higher dash occasions—once they take dietary supplements. Vitamin D ranges have additionally been linked to ranges of irritation, ache, and weak spot.

In the ESC information launch, Dr. Marawan stated the research is one other good cause for individuals to make sure that they’re getting sufficient vitamin D—which could be finished via weight-reduction plan, dietary supplements, and “a sensible amount of sun exposure.”

Stella Volpe, PhD, professor of nutrition sciences at Drexel University, agrees with Dr. Marawan. “The study was very well done,” she says, “and given what we know about vitamin D’s role in protein synthesis of muscle, these findings are really not a stretch at all.” (Volpe was not concerned within the present research, however she has carried out different analysis on vitamin D and bodily fitness.)

Volpe does level out, nevertheless, that the research solely discovered a relationship between vitamin D and cardiorespiratory fitness at a single level in time and may’t present whether or not one is driving the opposite. It’s potential that having excessive vitamin D ranges improves fitness ranges, she says, nevertheless it’s additionally attainable that somebody with excessive fitness ranges spends lots of time exercising outdoor—and has larger vitamin D ranges consequently.

RELATED: This Is How Much Vitamin D You Need for a Healthy Heart

“Sitting around and simply taking more vitamin D isn’t going to increase your VO2 max,” Volpe says. “You nonetheless have to exercise, and perhaps for those who additionally have excessive vitamin D ranges your cardiorespiratory fitness could also be higher.”

But greater ranges aren’t all the time higher, both. Both Volpe and Dr. Marawan warning towards taking too many vitamin D supplements, which may lead to extra calcium within the blood and trigger nausea, vomiting, and weak spot.

Doctors don’t know but what the perfect dose of vitamin D is for coronary heart health or for fitness, and Dr. Marawan says extra analysis is required. Until then, he says, ensuring your vitamin D ranges are “normal or high” is your greatest guess for general health. (What’s thought-about a normal vitamin D level can also be up for debate: Some docs say sufferers’ ranges must be 30 nanograms per milliliter or larger, whereas others say ranges as little as 10 or 15 can nonetheless be healthy.)

Many individuals get sufficient vitamin D via solar publicity and a healthy weight loss plan, says Volpe. But for those who’re involved about your ranges, she says, ask your physician for a check. “If your levels are fine, my advice is to maintain a healthy level of exercise and a healthy diet,” she says. “And if you’re deficient, you can work with your doctor to bring those concentrations back up with a supplement.”

‘Natural protein’ could reverse obesity-related diabetes, fatty liver

A chance find in cancer research has revealed that a protein that occurs naturally in the body plays an important role in regulating metabolism. Further investigation led to the suggestion that raising levels of the protein could reverse fatty liver, type 2 diabetes, and other obesity-related conditions.

 

Scientists from Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C., found that raising production of the protein caused obese mice to reduce the amount of fat in their bodies even though they were genetically engineered to overeat.

They did this by increasing expression of the protein’s associated gene.

In a paper on their work that now appears in the journal Scientific Reports, the authors describe how fibroblast growth factor binding protein 3 (FGFBP3, or BP3), “modulates fat and glucose metabolism in mouse models of metabolic syndrome.”

“We found,” says senior study author Anton Wellstein, who is a professor of oncology and pharmacology at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, “that eight BP3 treatments over 18 days [were] enough to reduce the fat in obese mice by over a third.”
Other conditions linked to obesity were also reduced. The animals’ excessive levels of blood sugar — a hallmark of diabetes known as hyperglycemia — fell, and their livers, which had been fatty, lost their fat.

The researchers note that because BP3 occurs naturally in the body, therapies based on it would not have to undergo the same lengthy testing as drugs based on synthetic compounds. Clinical trials using the human equivalent could start straight after the conclusion of preclinical studies, explain the authors.

Therapies based on BP3 could also have the advantage of minimal, if any, unwanted side effects; the investigators found none in the treated mice, even when they examined their tissues under a microscope.

Obesity and related conditions

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimate that obesity rates have almost tripled worldwide since 1975.

Estimates for 2016 reveal that a third of adults (1.9 billion) are overweight and that of these, 650 million have obesity.

There is a similar pattern of rising obesity in children. In 1975, around 4 percent of those aged 5–19 were overweight or obese, compared with 18 percent in 2016.

Obesity — especially abdominal obesity — is one of the risk factors that make up metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that increase the risk of developing health problems and diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, some cancers, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (fatty liver).

Abdominal obesity, or having a large waistline, is an indicator of too much fat around the stomach, which raises heart risk more than carrying too much fat in the rest of the body, including the hips.

As metabolic syndrome increases in line with obesity, experts predict that it will supplant smoking as the primary risk factor for heart disease

BP3 is a ‘chaperone protein’

BP3 belongs to a family of “chaperone” proteins that enhance the activity of fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) by binding to them. FGFs are present in many species, where they help control vital biological processes ranging from cell growth to tissue repair.

Prof. Wellstein has been investigating the role of BP3 for some time. Increased production of BP3 occurs in some types of cancer, so he and his team decided to take a closer look at it.

They discovered that BP3 attaches to three FGFs whose signaling feature in cell metabolism. Two of the FGFs help regulate the use and storage of sugars and fats. The third FGF regulates the use of phosphate.

Prof. Wellstein says that increasing BP3 helps increase the signaling of these FGFs, making the protein “a strong driver of carbohydrate and lipid metabolism.”

“It’s like having a lot more taxis available in New York City to pick up all the people who need a ride,” he adds.

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Adult Acne More Prevalent Than People Realize


Even though at least 50% of adults suffer from some type of adult acne, society has not given that common medical problem a great deal of attention. While changing hormone levels are usually associated with teenagers, the hormones of the adult also undergo changes. A fluctuating hormone level in a younger or older adult can lead to the development of adult acne.

Everyone who suffers from adult acne has at least a small patch of skin on which a pimple has appeared. Each pimple contains the same elements. The skin under the pimple encloses a mixture of fat, debris from the skin and keratin (a protein that is also found in nails and hair).

Those three substances are squeezed into a hair duct, another part of each pimple on the skin. Glands attached to that same hair duct respond to the varying hormone levels in the blood. Those glands make the oil that moisturizes the skin. When they make an excessive amount of oil, then the surrounding skin displays the characteristics of an acne flare-up.

The excess oil becomes a “home” for bacteria. If those bacteria remain on the skin, they then irritate the skin. The irritated skin becomes red and tender. If the bacteria are exposed to the air, then they darken, and the pimple becomes a blackhead.

An effective treatment for adult acne must offer a way to control the factors that contribute to the formation of a pimple. An attempt to interfere with the natural alterations in hormone levels could have unforeseen and undesirable consequences. One group of researchers has chosen to concentrate on how one certain hormone interacts with a particular enzyme, an enzyme that’s found in the skin.

Testosterone flowing in the blood courses through the skin cells. There it mixes with 5 alpha reductase. That enzyme then catalyzes a reaction, a reaction that converts molecules of testosterone into molecules of DHT (dihydrotestosterone).

The latest treatment for adult acne blocks the formation of DHT. By interfering with the synthesis of DHT, this new anti-acne product removes from the skin the substance that triggers the production of skin oils. By eliminating the factor that’s responsible for unfettered oil build-up in the skin, this new product gives adults a way to do away with the annoying symptoms of adult acne.

Added ingredients in the same product manage to open-up the skin pores. That then facilitates the cleaning of the skin, thus removing the factors that can cause adult acne.

About Acne Skin Guide

Acne Skin Guide is a health resource dedicated to providing factual information and clearing up myths about acne and acne treatment.

Written by – Jeremy Langart

We may not need to rely on antibiotics to treat UTIs


Even though at least 50% of adults suffer from some type of adult acne, society has not given that common medical problem a great deal of attention. While changing hormone levels are usually associated with teenagers, the hormones of the adult also undergo changes. A fluctuating hormone level in a younger or older adult can lead to the development of adult acne.

Everyone who suffers from adult acne has at least a small patch of skin on which a pimple has appeared. Each pimple contains the same elements. The skin under the pimple encloses a mixture of fat, debris from the skin and keratin (a protein that is also found in nails and hair).

Those three substances are squeezed into a hair duct, another part of each pimple on the skin. Glands attached to that same hair duct respond to the varying hormone levels in the blood. Those glands make the oil that moisturizes the skin. When they make an excessive amount of oil, then the surrounding skin displays the characteristics of an acne flare-up.

The excess oil becomes a “home” for bacteria. If those bacteria remain on the skin, they then irritate the skin. The irritated skin becomes red and tender. If the bacteria are exposed to the air, then they darken, and the pimple becomes a blackhead.

An effective treatment for adult acne must offer a way to control the factors that contribute to the formation of a pimple. An attempt to interfere with the natural alterations in hormone levels could have unforeseen and undesirable consequences. One group of researchers has chosen to concentrate on how one certain hormone interacts with a particular enzyme, an enzyme that’s found in the skin.

Testosterone flowing in the blood courses through the skin cells. There it mixes with 5 alpha reductase. That enzyme then catalyzes a reaction, a reaction that converts molecules of testosterone into molecules of DHT (dihydrotestosterone).

The latest treatment for adult acne blocks the formation of DHT. By interfering with the synthesis of DHT, this new anti-acne product removes from the skin the substance that triggers the production of skin oils. By eliminating the factor that’s responsible for unfettered oil build-up in the skin, this new product gives adults a way to do away with the annoying symptoms of adult acne.

Added ingredients in the same product manage to open-up the skin pores. That then facilitates the cleaning of the skin, thus removing the factors that can cause adult acne.

About Acne Skin Guide

Acne Skin Guide is a health resource dedicated to providing factual information and clearing up myths about acne and acne treatment.

Written by – Jeremy Langart

Gangrene under Homeopathy treatment, Gangrene with diabetes (VIDEO)

A pimple in the ear can be painful and uncomfortable. Pimples usually go away on their own, but some treatments can speed up the healing process.

Pimples can occur on the ear, behind the ear, or inside the ear canal.

In this article, we talk about what causes ear pimples, how to get rid of them, and how to prevent them from coming back.

What causes ear pimples?

Pimples, also called whiteheads, zits, or blackheads are most common on the face and back, but they can show up almost anywhere.

The outer ear and external ear canal have skin cells, hair cells, and oil-producing glands, which are all it takes for a pimple to form.

Pimples appear when a pore becomes clogged with dead skin cells and sebum, which is the natural oil that protects the skin and keeps it moist.

Bacteria can also cause pimples, so anything that introduces bacteria or dirt into the ear can cause pimples.

Causes of pimples in the ear include:

  • exposure to a dirty or dusty environment
  • glands in the ear producing too much oil
  • sharing earbuds with another person
  • using dirty earbuds or headphones
  • putting things in the ear, including a finger
  • contact with unclean water, leading to swimmer’s ear or otitis externa
  • increased stress levels
  • hormonal imbalances, such as during puberty
  • ear piercings that become dirty or infected
  • wearing hats or helmets for long periods of time
  • allergic reactions to hair or beauty products that enter the ear canal

Some conditions can cause symptoms similar to a pimple in the ear, so it is important to identify a pimple correctly in order to treat it. A dermatologist can help diagnose and treat these skin-related issues in the right way.

 

Should you pop them?

It is best to avoid popping pimples in the ear, particularly in the ear canal. Popping pimples can push pus and bacteria deeper into the pore and cause additional symptoms, such as inflammationand infection.

The ear is a sensitive area, and if a burst pimple becomes infected, this can cause further problems. It can also damage the skin and result in a scar.

A pimple that causes substantial distress can be removed by a doctor to prevent complications.

Treatment

There are several treatments for pimples that are gentle enough to use in the sensitive ear area.

A warm compress or heat pad may reduce inflammation and irritation. This can soften a pimple to bring the pus to the surface.
If a pimple drains in this way, the individual should clean up the discharge and gently wash the area with a mild soap. Cleansers, such as witch hazel or alcohol, may prevent infections.

 

Over-the-counter or prescription drugs may help to treat acne, such as:

  • hydrogen peroxide
  • rubbing alcohol
  • antibiotic creams, including Neosporin or Polysporin
  • products that contain salicylic acid
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve)

For severe acne, a doctor will usually recommend topical or systemic drugs made from vitamin A. Tretinoin cream is one of the most common. Isotretinoin may also be used but is usually reserved for the most severe cases.

Doctors may also recommend antibiotics, including doxycycline or minocycline, to get rid of the bacteria. However, this type of treatment is becoming less popular, as cases of antibiotic-resistant bacteria appear.

There is some evidence to suggest that tea tree oil may reduce the severity of acne.

Dermatologists may also recommend specific store-bought acne creams or facial cleansers based on the grade of a person’s acne.

 

Prevention

Pimples in the ear can be prevented by practicing good ear hygiene. This includes:

  • regular washing and cleaning to reduce dead skin cells and sebum
  • not putting foreign objects in the ear
  • avoiding swimming in dirty water
  • taking breaks from wearing helmets or hard hats

When pimples do not respond to treatment, a dermatologist can help decide the best prevention methods. They can help identify which grade of acne the person has, and recommend medications or home practices to prevent flare-ups.

People need to be patient when starting a new prevention method, as this will take time to produce results.

Is it a pimple?

While most spots in the ear are pimples, other conditions can also cause bumps that appear similar. Because we are unable to see our own ears, it is possible for bumps in and around the ear to go unnoticed until they become a problem.

Other ear bumps that can resemble pimples include:

  • Sebaceous cysts: These are small bumps beneath the skin that appear not to grow, or to grow very slowly.
  • Keloid scars: A small wound near the ear may cause keloid tissue to appear. These are areas of raised, dark-colored scar tissue that can be much larger than the original wound.
  • Seborrheic keratosis: These are common, harmless skin growths that appear as slightly raised, brownish areas of skin.
  • Acanthoma fissuratum: An uncommon skin condition, this may resemble a bump with raised edges. It is usually seen in a person who wears glasses.
  • Boils or blind pimples: These are similar to pimples, but they are deeper into the skin, and so may cause more pain and inflammation. They tend to show no visible head.
  • Basal cell carcinoma: Although rare, it is possible for bumps on the ears to be malignant growths.

A person who is uncertain about a bump in or on their ear should see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Outlook

Pimples in the ear are similar to pimples elsewhere and can be treated in the same way. They usually clear up relatively quickly, often without leaving a scar.

People with persistent acne, whether in the ear or anywhere else, should see a doctor or dermatologist for a diagnosis. A doctor or specialist will help assess the severity or grade of the acne and can suggest a treatment plan suited to individual cases.