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By David M. Stoll

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However, when tested for their skin's ability to react to injected antigens, major differences from nonalcoholics were noted. This suggested an immunological problem. The test itself works this way: Most adults have been exposed to germs such as Candida, the mumps virus, and strep bacteria. If antigens (proteins) of these germs are injected into the skin, there will be a localized skin reaction to fight them off. This will take the form of a red bump on the skin at the injection site. In the alcoholics studied, 40 percent had no reactions to at least two out of three of these injected antigens, whereas 100 percent of the normals reacted.

Basically, glands are organs that secrete a substance that regulates some aspect of the body. There are internal and external glands. Some internal glands secrete hormones. The pancreas, for example, secretes insulin, the powerful hormone that controls the body's sugar. The thyroid gland secretes thyroid hormone, which governs our metabolism. Other internal glandssuch as the parotid glands in the mouth (the glands that swell up when you get mumps)produce enzymes that help break down food. There are three different types of skin glands: the sebaceous glands, or oil, glands; the apocrine, or scent, glands; and the ec- Page 13 crine, or sweat, glands.

Much of it comes from manufacturers, the popular media, or word of mouth. Although sometimes it's correct, it isn't always. And it's rarely comprehensive. This can be costly in more ways than onefor skin care and cosmetic practices and products, both the ordinary and the high-tech, have limitations for safety and effectiveness. A good bit of what I cover is meant to help you sift through these issues. A large part of the book is devoted to the skin care and health issues that come up at different points during your life.

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