Acne Club: A New Way to Fight Acne

Recently I posted that my work resembles the work of the artist Hong Yi. Her work shows that profitable beautiful art can be made from the cheapest materials; my work shows that non-trivial useful science can be done by anyone. A reader named David commented:

Your work and discoveries, just like Hong’s, are very inspirational. . . . They send a message that every individual has the potential to contribute something to society even with no or limited budget.

This hadn’t occurred to me. It should have. I could have made this point in talks, for example.  Beyond the obvious point, David was saying that the more your personal science could help others, the more likely you would be to do it. The prospect of helping yourself and others will surely be stronger motivation than the prospect of helping only yourself.

How can one person’s personal science help others? This doesn’t happen automatically, it has to be arranged. My Journal of Personal Science and the Make Yourself Healthy Meetup group are two ways of facilitating this. What about other ways?

David’s comment made me think of another way: Acne Club, that is, a high school club for people with acne. The purpose of the club is to promote personal science about acne. Members of the club try to find the causes of their acne, partly by self-experimentation. They meet to share results and ideas (e.g., treatments to try, how to measure acne) and encourage each other. The discovery of two groups of “primitive” people who have no acne suggests that all acne has environmental causes. If a high school group could identify even one environmental cause, it would be a huge contribution to human well-being — especially the well-being of high-school students. I think this is quite possible.

I had acne as a teenager. If you start such a club, I would be happy to help you however I can. For example, I could give advice about measurement and experimental design and could publicize what you learn.

 

11 Responses to “Acne Club: A New Way to Fight Acne”

  1. DZ Says:

    I always get uneasy whenever I see some grandstanding on this site. No sir, the difference between you and Hong Yi is that she has left something tangible in the physical realm as an artist. You just say that you pioneered this idea that science can be done by anyone, something which my first-grade science kit also claimed. Your work shows interesting causations and correlations, but you didn’t teach anything to anybody who wasn’t already primed and teachable.

    To show just how in-house and local baseball your claim is, you need to look at the out of touch examples you provide. Who, in their right mind, would want to have anything associated with an ACNE CLUB??? What a way to seek out even more ostracism for those unlucky kids who suffer from it.

    Seth: Weight loss produced by the Shangri-La Diet — is that anti-tangible? It would take an unusual person to start an acne club, but unusual people exist.

  2. Tom Says:

    Also, those who desired to participate while preserving anonymity could do so if there were an Internet component to the club (such as a forum) that allowed people to choose their own handle.

    Actually, Seth, there may already be an internet forum like that. Maybe you could post there and offer your support. I think having access to your expertise could transform a lot of young lives.

  3. Nancy Lebovitz Says:

    I think self-experimentation clubs would be a better idea than acne clubs, but the acne club could work as an online forum.

  4. Tom Passin Says:

    About acne and self-experimentation, when I was a teenager I also had bad acne. At one point I went to a doctor who prescribed a liquid (to be gotten from a pharmacist) that turned out to be mostly alcohol. Presumably it would remove oils from my skin, which was naturally oily, and prevent the pores from clogging. It would help moderately for a while (weeks, usually).

    The other thing I had heard was not to wash your face with soap (or perhaps not to wash it at all). So I tried that, too. It also would help modestly for a period of time. I ended up alternating between the two methods for several years. I always had acne but after each switch of treatments, it would lessen for a time.

    I learned from this that the body somehow has a tendency to return to its previous condition. This should be but rarely is taken into account when experiments are run. So I was not surprised to learn that most people regain weight after a weight loss diet, or that antibiotics become less effective.

    It seems much harder to produce lasting changes.

  5. dearieme Says:

    Instead of an acne club to fight acne, would an acne rapier not be more suitable?

  6. alexi de sadesky Says:

    The acne club. Yes. I believe they might find that fist blows to the face result in poppage of pimples.

  7. BQ Says:

    Maybe it’s been too long since you’ve been a teenager? When I had acne as a teen, I wanted to hide, to be invisible. I didn’t want to acknowledge (or have anyone else acknowledge) that I had acne. Even though mine wasn’t super bad, every tiny pimple felt like a giant glowing beacon of shame.

    I can’t imagine anyone wanting to start a club about it. And even so, I can’t imagine attending a club about it. Or posing for the yearbook photo with the rest of the club? Yeah.

    Seth: I disagree that all teenagers are the same.

  8. CC Says:

    “No sir, the difference between you and Hong Yi is that she has left something tangible in the physical realm as an artist. ”

    I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather have a cure for obesity and a cure for acne than a piece of art.

    And I have to say that an online forum would be better than an actual club that meets after school. The acne.org regimen and zinc picolinate supplements might be all you need though.

  9. Serbian boy Says:

    Dear friends,

    I am 100% sure that acne is related to stress. Also it doesnt have to do much with age, even older people in 30-ties or 40-ties could have it. It is a question of your state of mind. Being very relaxed, worried free, and just leting things go is the first thing to so. Just dont be afraid of life and belive that slowly you will get to the point where you would be optimistic, energetic, satisfied, loveble person. Thats all. Try and let us know if it worked for you. Spending money on silly medicenes is not long term solution.

  10. Bex Says:

    I think its an great idea to start an acne club after school. I am a teenager having acne problem. I would invite some friends of mine and discuss about it. Lets see how it goes…

    Seth: I’m very curious to hear what happens, good or bad.

  11. Rose Says:

    On the same line, I wouldn’t want to join an obese club. Why not just a forum where all acne sufferers can get support?