Monday, August 17, 2009

Stress Acne

Does stress cause acne? While some people seem to think there is no correlation between stress and acne. I prefer to take the Al Gore global warming, the discussion is closed approach, and believe there is such a thing as stress acne. Back in 2002, Stanford University did a study which showed that stressing over exams worsened acne. While it was a fairly small study, I am attracted to it like a moth to a flame.

I first recognized my stress acne while in college. Sure I had been fighting to get rid of my acne all through my high school years. But I was basically a happy go lucky kid in the stress department. Academically it wasn’t much of a problem and socially I was a typical well liked kid. So if being up tight or worrying has anything to do with any biological function, in high school I just wasn’t going to be affected by it.

Well, along comes college and yep you guessed it. Stress for me is everywhere. Whether it was being on my own for the first time not knowing what to expect, or just plain fearing that I was going to flunk out, whatever the reason, stress and I were formally introduced, I was under a great deal of It and It was starting to show its effects on my skin. I was getting a whole lot of new zits and pimples as well as a worsening of the acne I was always trying to get rid of. As if that weren’t enough. It wasn’t until my second semester that I realized what was happening and the relationship between my acne and stress was explained to me in an off chance conversation with my dorm advisor.

It was a Friday afternoon and I was going home for the weekend. I had a friend that was coming up to see a basketball game and was going to leave a key with my advisor Kit. Well when Kit opened the door it was obvious she had been picking at her face. She was complaining that the stress of school was driving her acne nuts and she was at her wits end. Well like the proverbial light bulb going off over your head in a cartoon. I had a moment of clarity and realized what was making my acne go nuts too. Of course Kit mistook the look on my face as a look of confusion and proceeded to explain to me how stress can affect your acne in two ways.

First, stress stimulates your adrenal glands to secrete male hormones which in turn stimulate the Sebaceous gland which produce more Sebum which causes acne pimples.

Second, stress reduces the capacity of your body to mend it’s self by weakening your immune system.

So, not only is stress going to cause acne, it’s going to make it harder for your body heal or get rid of acne you already have. And you didn’t think God had a sense of humor.

Anyway after leaving the key with Kit I am sure you know what was on my mind as a drove home for the weekend. Yep that’s right, what was I going to do to get rid of the stress in my life so I could get rid of my stress acne.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Getting Rid of Acne in 12 Steps

I was surfing the net looking for some inspiration when I ran across an article styled 12 Steps to Getting Rid of Acne. For today’s post I fully intended to write about urine as a treatment (I am sure you can understand the natural progression after just writing about chocolate) and was just hesitant about approaching that topic. Americans have enough hang ups and suggesting urine as an acne treatment just seems like something that didn’t quite have the right timing. Hence, my internet escapade, hoping to find something to get me inspired writing about getting rid of acne. Usually a quick look in the mirror will suffice.

Anyway, when I ran across the 12 step meme, for some reason my mind flashed to the actor Robert Downey Jr. and his battle with his addictions that have played out in the media over the years. I was making a connection between a drug rehab program and a regimented approach to acne success. After all these years of struggling with my acne, searching for answers, untold doctor’s visits, phone calls to 1-800 get rid of acne. After all that, the years of wash wash, scrub scrub, how did I miss a 12 step program for getting rid of acne? When I lost my last baby tooth and placed it under my pillow, did the tooth fairy sprinkle me with some sort of witch hazel magical dust that put me in a deep stupor for the last couple of decades? And why now was I being awakened with a Christopher Walken, here’s your dad’s wrist watch moment from Pulp Fiction? I was torn between the two emotions of finally finding the secret for getting rid of acne and what took you so long.

As the digital images danced off my computer screen, my heart began to race. The ideas that acne is an imbalance that occurs internally and is a manifestation externally by the presence of acne were validating my deepest held convictions. If you have known me for anything longer than 5 minutes you would understand how difficult it was for me to contain myself as I read. And wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if you found me screaming at my computer “what are the steps, what are the steps”.

Now just imagine my elation when I discover step 1 to getting rid of acne was keeping your face clean and Castile soap is an excellent choice of product for the task at hand.

Well, now I am in Nirvana. Castile soap is what I’ve used all these years. When I try other products its breakout city for me, so I always return to good old Castile. I don’t remember what lead me to Castile but for my money if you are looking for a quality natural product, this is it.

Step 2 use Scotty’s Acne Face Cream. Uh Oh, this is beginning to sound like an advertisement for a really off brand acne product. This stuff doesn’t appear to be cheap, I’ve never used it and couldn’t comment on its effectiveness but my hopes for finding the 12 step program for getting rid of acne are beginning to fade.

Step 3 is relieving constipation with something called a tree day liquid diet. Now I am really worried. Maybe this is a misprint and it’s a three day liquid diet for getting rid of acne. As I start researching on the internet I begin to realize I’ve run across a PLR article that has been reproduced at a whole lot of sites. I don’t know why I’ve never seen this before but I am sure you can understand how devastated I am.

What started as great hope of discovering something new has turned into a sales pitch for getting rid of acne that doesn’t much materialize past a product someone is pitching? I am now totally devastated and feel cheated. And to think, before I ran across this great idea I was planning on writing on the uses of urine in getting rid of acne; guess that will be my next post.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Chocolate a Way to Get Rid of Acne

It could not have been more than five minutes after I posted best way to get rid of acne, that I received an email from my friend Clark who was writing to tell me about chocolate as an acne treatment. Since it wasn’t a good time for me and Clark is somewhat of a practical joker I didn’t pay much attention and put it off to the side to take a look at later. Clark lives in Hershey Pennsylvania so my first thought was this is his way to boost chocolate sales in a downturned market. Well today I finally around to following up (actually it totally slipped my mind) and clicked on some links in the email that takes me to information for a company in England called Frutel’s. I poked around some of the company literature and sure enough they are pitching chocolate as a way to get rid of acne.

Let me preface myself here. I am by nature a very critical person. It probably started when I was a little kid and took thinks apart for no other reason than to put them back together. As I got older and started to see things through more educated eyes, it didn’t take long for me to realize that I was living in a world where people were constantly selling and being sold to. When I developed acne issues I got a front row seat on the consumer roller coaster.

Initially I thought I’d go to the doctor and bada bing I would get rid of my acne. When the results were unsatisfactory to say the least the Doc tinkered around with some more pills and potions, told me to lay off the fried foods and candy and my mom and dad were now making the doctor’s car payments. It was starting to appear the doctor was not trying to cure my acne as much as setting me up on the acne product purchase plan. I just wanted to let you know a little something before I get back to the Willie Wonka acne chocolate bar.

From a promotional advertising point of view I love the idea of a chocolate as a way to get rid of acne. With the exception of all fried foods, I can think of no other food that is more associated with the cause of acne than chocolate. To take that perception and twist it as a way to get rid of acne is brilliant in my humble opinion. I also can appreciate what appears to be their company philosophy that acne has to be treated from the inside out. Pimples and zits are the symptoms of an out of whack hormonal and dietary system. Acne isn’t the problem it is the result. The question becomes whether adding vitamins and minerals to chocolate is the solution.

While chocolate will not cause acne I am at a loss to find its nutrition specific acne fighting benefit. Without getting all technical on its molecular structure and its nutritional value there really isn’t a specific reason to include this food per the discussion of this post. While I grant eating chocolate has a certain emotional and euphoric benefit it would appear that in the case of getting rid of acne, its main reason for being are promotional and commercial. The other aspect of these products is vitamin and mineral supplements. While vitamin and mineral deficiencies can and do causes hormonal change as well as a host other problems. Is it really necessary to put it in chocolate and charge a premium? Can’t I just run down to the corner and grab the latest Flintstone chewable’ and be done with it. Also I would be interested in how the heat in the processing of this chocolate delectable affects their potency.

All in all it seems to me to be a big waste of time and money. The best way to get rid of acne is to get your vitamins and minerals by eating a healthy diet. If you want chocolate there is always the Hershey bar.