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June 2010

Articles of Faith, Variant Acne

Arch Dermatol. 2010;146(6):623. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2010.63

This little creature (Figure) is composed of various articles that have been recommended in folk and traditional medicine for the treatment of acne. For the tail, we have toothpaste; for the body, oatmeal; for the legs, milk of magnesia; and for the ears, goat's milk, all meant for topical use. The horns are cucumbers, which can be applied topically or taken internally as a juice. The eyes are complex: the centers are Pepto-Bismol tablets; around them are peppermints (which can also be used externally or internally); and the fuzzy cotton balls surrounding the mints can be used to apply any number of local agents, such as lemon juice, egg whites, neem oil, or witch hazel. The head is an antique urinal: a “duck” in medical parlance. Some authors advocate washing the face with urine to clear up the complexion, but given the choice between piss and pimples, I personally would opt for acne.

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