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  • acne and club bogu

    I use club bogu and have been getting very bad acne breakouts on my chin, at the temples, and on my forehead. I had acne when I was a teenager but it had cleared up by the end of high school. I started taking kendo the beginning of this year (I am 19) and ever since I began wearing the men my face has been breaking out. I am wondering if this is simply because of an increase in sweat, or something worse like a bacterial infection. The men I use is pretty old and beat up; I certainly have no idea how many people have used it before me. I'm low on funds right now, so aside from spending a lot of money on a brand-new men and/or acne medications, does anyone have any suggestions on what I could do to "disinfect" my men and protect myself from future breakouts?

  • #2
    Try wrapping a tenugui or 2 around the inside of the men where it touches your face, especially the front. This should serve to soak up the sweat, and prevent any bacteria from the men getting to you, if that is the problem. If it's just too much sweat, then it should help too. Are you able to shower immediately after training? Do you air the men in the sun?

    Hamish

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    • #3
      I second what Hamish said. Your skin is being irritated, and that may have caused those breakouts. Also, make sure the tenegui on your head covers a good part of your forehead and temple.

      Moisture + heat = good breeding ground for bacteria. If your teneguis are soaked, you may have to ask permission to remove your men so you can tie fresh teneguis on.

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      • #4
        You could try to spray the men with some disinfectant, and then scrub and rinse it. I've done it to the club men I use and my skin seems better. It takes several days to dry the men after this. (But then again I sweat so much in my men that it is always soaked).

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        • #5
          After training, it will vary but I generally don't make it to a shower until at least an hour after practice. And my men has never seen sunlight. I read somehwere that sunlight will actually fade your men. What can I use to wipe down the inside of the men in terms of disinfectant? Is super-diluted bleach and alcohol okay? Also, are there any all-around face inserts specifically made for men, and if so, where can I get them?

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          • #6
            Get Clorox and diluted 15-30 times with water - spray generously on any suspected area that could touch your face. Nothing lives thry Clorox ( Fabric Whitener ). It also get rid of any bad smells..

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            • #7
              I think you can use alcohol or bleach. Just make sure that it is not too strong. I'd try to clean it before spending money on some insert to put in the men, because if the men itself is stinky and slimy your insert will get that way to eventually. Just wiping it won't do, you have to get the dirt out of it.

              Sunlight fades and ruins fabric and leather. It is better to find some other way to dry your men, especially if you'd like to use it for a long time.

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              • #8
                I solved a similar problem a few years back by using an antibacterial / antifungal spray that is used to disinfect camping equipment, work boots, running shoes, bowling shoes, and hockey gear. Try to find an antibaterial agent which will kill what ever is living in your men as opposed to a deodorant which will give their home a nice clean sent.

                I currently use Aero San and it does the trick. To quote the can - it kills odour causing bacteria such as nasty Staphylococcus aureus, salmonella choleraesuis, Pseudomonas aeroginosa and Trichophyton intergigitale on environmental surfaces. A 440g can cost 11.00 $C and lasts me over a year. If you can't find a similar product locally you can fax Maurice Boyer Inc at (514) 761-1233.

                By the way it also clears up that musky kendo sent that we have all grown to love.

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                • #9
                  Have you asked permission to clean and/or disinfect the club bogu? Traditionally tasks like this and other less exciting jobs were delegated to the less experienced members of the dojo. (As well as offering to clean, run errands for, or assist the Sensei in any way asked outside the dojo)

                  If you asked for this responsibility (you could split it with someone else if you've got more than 20 sets) you would be ensuring the appearance and cleanliness of the bogu for the entire club, but you'd also be providing an honorable service that most Senseis in this country have given up on expecting, although it is a valuable part of any martial studies.

                  Your dojo will provide the cleaner for you so there will be no out-of-pocket expense to you, and you will be proactive with your acne problem. There are several really good ones on the market that you Sensei will know about.

                  Some other suggestions are more obvious, though should be mentioned. (please note that I am not assuming that you do not take care of yourself - But many in this country have simply not been taught the basics of how to do so.)
                  1: Cut out caffein. Not partially, but completely. No, you won't like it, but no, you won't die. I am not advocating that anyone follow my diet, but there are only 2 liquids that your body is actually designed to process: water and fruit juice.

                  2: Watch your diet. No more Mcdinners or sugar-laden breakfasts. Learn to take care of yourself instead of using the "I don't have time" excuse. You owe it to yourself and to your Sensei to be in the best physical and mental condition you can be in.

                  3: Drink more water. I know #1 sort of covered this, but bare in mind that while food is the fuel for your body, water is lubricant as well as the means of fuel transportation. Water is the most essential thing you can put in your body. It bonds with carb molecules as well as fat cells and carries tham through the body. It increases lymph production which helps keep your body disease free. And, if you drink it regularly, when you do drink or eat other things, their flavor is more distinct.

                  Okay, I'm starting to sound preachy, and I don't like that, but if you will at least look into the three thing above you will radically improve your skin condition, and it sounds like that might improve your attitude about about the club bogu.

                  Good luck! <gassho>

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