Myth #1: Acne Is a Teenage Problem and Something That You Will Grow Out Of
Acne is not just a teenage problem and can continue right into your 20s and adulthood. It’s true that acne is usually due to hormonal changes during puberty and often hormones sort themselves out before you get into your 20s, however depending on the root cause(s) of your acne this doesn’t always happen.
Acne can often pop up again later in you 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s…almost any age. Many people just like myself have had acne follow them right into adulthood and it is usually a sign of a something more serious affecting their body and health. However there is a solution to every root cause, and if you restore your health, lifestyle and inner balance, you can clear up your acne in no time.
Myth #2: Accutane (also known as Roaccutane, Isoretinoin, Isotane) Is a ‘Miracle Cure’ For Acne That Will Cure It Permanently
Accutane is NOT a reliable ‘cure’. I have tried it myself, once when I was 17 and again when I was 20 (both times for 1 year) and each time my skin cleared up but then as soon as I went off it, my acne came back with a vengeance. Even those who consider their Accutane treatment to be a success have endured harmful side effects (and other possible long term side effects we are yet to discover), and even though their skin looks clear, their inner health is suffering because whatever was causing the acne condition in the first place has not been dealt with, it has simply been masked.
Acne is a sign; it is your body desperately trying to tell you that something is wrong internally. No person who is truly balanced and healthy has acne. Accutane doesn’t even ‘work’ for a lot of people and some people will get put on 2 or 3 rounds and even then it still doesn’t work. Accutane is a very dangerous drug and I would not recommend it even as a last resort (it only temporarily cleared up my acne, but screwed up my liver, made my hair thin and gave me random nose bleeds). Why make your body go through that when there are alternatives that are more effective, healthy, natural and permanent.
After my own personal experience with Accutane I have to say it is a harmful drug made by pharmaceutical companies to make money. Honestly, they don’t really care about your personal health, overall wellbeing, or if the drug actually cures the root cause of your acne. Don’t put your trust and health in the hands of companies who are just out to make money.
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I know first hand how acne can ruin your self esteem. It’s especially hard if you struggled with self esteem and self confidence to start with. Even some people I know who used to be so confident and outgoing suddenly seemed to lose their self confidence when they got acne. It’s totally understandable to feel this way, and everyone who has had acne knows what it’s like to go through this.
You start to become so self concious of your skin that you start avoiding social situations. When you meet people it’s hard to look them in the eye and you’d rather just look at the ground or try and draw attention away from yourself so you don’t feel like everyone’s looking at your skin. It’s hard to become close to the opposite sex because you don’t want them to see how your skin looks close up. It’s hard to feel attractive. Sometimes it’s even hard to leave the house especially if you’re having a bad skin day.
It’s hard because other people are so quick to judge. They have misconceptions about acne because they don’t know what it’s like themselves. They think maybe you’re dirty and just need to wash your face more often. Other stereotypes are also associated with acne like being a geek or nerd, being unclean etc. It’s already been proven through studies that people will unconsciously judge an attractive healthy looking person as being more intelligent, better behaved, cooler etc.
People judge others on the way they look and will draw assumptions about their personality based on that. It’s true that the way you dress and present yourself is an expression of your personality, but acne is a physical skin condition that is in no way an indication of your personality, how clean you are, or who you really are.
It’s impossible to stop people judging you but the problem is a lot of acne sufferers will become so self concious about being judged they’ll take it to the extreme and think everyone is judging them harshly (even if they’re not) and everyone is staring at their skin. This can go from just simply feeling self conscious about your skin to completely crushing your social skills and confidence to the point where you don’t want to attend any social events. You may even develop such a extreme view of yourself that you think your skin is actually worse than it really is or you think everyone’s always staring at you when they actually may not be.
If you’ve had acne for a decent period of time than you know what this feels like. It will chip away at your confidence as time goes on to the point where you’ve become withdrawn and nervous around people. A lot of people begin to hate themselves and their body and really believe they are ugly. They lack the courage to try new things because their skin is holding them back. A lot of acne sufferers become very depressed, especially if they’ve had acne for a long period of time. And when they feel they’re missing out on things in life it just makes things worse.
Other people underestimate or don’t understand just how much having acne can affect your life and your self esteem. Even years after clearing their skin some people still ‘act’ as if they have acne and never quite get their confidence back. I know for myself personally that even after I cleared my acne I still felt self conscious about my skin and would avoid people seeing my skin close up, or being under bright lights etc.
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If you’ve been suffering from acne for a while, you’ve probably already experienced first hand how stress affects acne. A lot of people have experienced breakouts during times of stress such as exams, divorce, relationship problems, financial problems, work deadlines, bullying etc.
This is because your thought patterns and emotions directly influence your body’s physical processes such as triggering certain chemicals to be released or suppressing a certain function in your body. You environment and mental health can even influence certain genes to be turned off or on.
For example, you may carry a gene that can lead to breast cancer that is currently ‘turned off’. In a period of mental, physical or emotional stress you could trigger that gene to be turned on, and it will now be expressed. Never underestimate the power of your mind and emotions to alter your physical state of being.
How Stress Can Cause Acne
Just like pleasure, stress or pain can cause your body to produce or suppress certain chemicals in your brain and body and influence how your body functions. This particularly important when it comes to your hormones. Hormones are the chemical messengers of your body and they work together delicately to keep your body functioning as it should. They need each other, and some vital hormones are made from other hormones, so it’s really important everything is balanced. If one hormone or group of hormones become imbalanced it can influence the rest of your endocrine system and certain functions or processes can become excessive or depressed.
Your body is biologically designed to handle stressful situations and has processing in place in order to deal with them. It’s when you are subjected to stress on an ongoing basis with little or no relief that your body starts to become very unbalanced and problems occur.
One of the main parts of the body that has been designed to deal with stress is your adrenal glands. These are 2 small glands, one on top of each of your kidneys. Your adrenal glands are a critical part of your endocrine system and produce important hormones such as androgens, estrogens, adrenaline, cortisol and many others. Continue reading →
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Today I want to discuss the link between acne and Vitamin D deficiency. Many people are unaware of this link and don’t realize how much Vitamin D can really affect not only acne but your overall health. Many people notice an improvement in their acne during the summertime when they’re exposed to a lot of sunlight. This is not only because of the direct effect sunlight has on your skin, but also how the Vitamin D affects your body and improves your overall health; in particular your hormonal health.
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is described as a ‘steroid vitamin’. It is a group of ‘pro-hormones’ that are vital to your overall health. In particular Vitamin D is needed for your body to metabolise and absorb Calcium and Phosphorus which is vital for strong bones along with many other things. Some of it’s most important functions are helping:
- Bone structure and density
- Fight cancer with it’s anti-cancer properties
- Brain functions
- Immune system health and fighting infection
- Heart health and circulation
- Respiratory health
Vitamin D is unique compared to other Vitamins. Your body can create Vitamin D from sunlight, however it needs to get other Vitamins from food sources.
Something else particularly unique about Vitamin D that most people don’t know is that your body turns Vitamin D into a hormone. This hormone is called ‘Calcitriol’ or ‘Activated Vitamin D’. This is particularly important to know if you are suffering from hormonal acne.
There are 5 forms of Vitamin D, but only 2 that are important to humans; D2 and D3. Your body mainly gets Vitamin D from sunlight but it also gets small amounts from foods such as fruits and vegetables. You can also take Vitamin D supplements.
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If you’ve been trying everything to get rid of your acne you may have not taken into account you could have a food allergy or intolerance that could be the underlying cause. Often this is something that is overlooked, but I have known some people to completely clear their skin after figuring out they had an allergy to something.
An allergic reaction happens when your immune system comes in contact with a food or substance that it recognizes as toxic. It creates an inflammatory response which results in acne or other skin conditions.
Everyone is different and you are unique. Your body composition is unique to you and so you will react differently to certain things. Sometimes you can also be fine eating something your whole life then all of a sudden develop an allergic reaction to that same food. There are different triggers that can set off your immune system which can in turn change the way your body reacts to food.
If your body reacts badly to a certain food or if it can’t digest it properly, it will cause you to have a sluggish digestive system. This will cause toxins and the undigested food to build up and results in more acne and inflammation.
How to Find Out If You Are Allergic To Something
1) Get an allergy test. You can get different allergy tests done by your doctor or naturopath.
2) Keep a food journal. Start becoming more aware of what you’re eating and how you feel after you eat it. Note down how you feel and how you felt your body reacted to that certain food. Notice changes in your acne and if it flares up at certain times. The best thing you can do is to get in touch with your body and listen to what it’s telling you. Keep in mind, it can sometimes take up to 24 hours before you can feel the affects of an allergic reaction/intolerance.
3) Cut out suspect foods for at least 3 weeks and see if you notice any difference in your skin.
Some of the biggest and more common allergies are:
You will be better off health wise and acne-wise by cutting down or cutting out Gluten and Dairy anyway because both are quite acidic and inflammatory.
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