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Stress-Related Acne

stress chin mouth nonhormonal

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#1 NotCleanAndNotClear

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 12:51 PM

hey everyone,
first up, i'm not a native speaker, so there might be some mistakes in my post, please excuse that...
i'm turning 25 this month (i'm a girl) and i definitely know that my acne is caused/ promoted by stress/ nervousness. when i get pimples they occur exclusively around my mouth, mostly on my chin. it is not totally bad, always depending on my stresslevel, but it's bothering me a lot and i've been trying to find a solution for so many years.
last month i also had my hormones tested which confirmed my stress-theory. the doc said everything's fine, except my stress hormones are extremely high. which is also why i get my period only every 3rd month or so. anyhoo, i have been on the regimen for about 3 weeks now. so far i haven't really noticed any real improvement. my skin is very dry, that's a given, but i hope it will all be worth it in the end.
my question is: will the regimen help stress-related acne? i have never found anything that ever helped except for trying not to stress out so much, but lately this is just impossible for me...
i'm just really sceptical, i've tried so many things in the past...B5, birth control, anticiotics. i'm so sick of it all.
maybe someone can relate to this problem or has any tips or experience... would be great!
also i am kinda interested in my stress-theory. am i superweird or do others also have this problem?
thanks for reading,
xoxo from germany :)

#2 cvd

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 02:00 PM

Stress can make existing acne worse or cause flare-ups. When stress hormones (cortisol) rise, other hormones like androgens also rise which in turn aggrevates acne...it's a cascading effect. Yoga and meditation can help moderate cortisol levels, as well as daily walks and positive self-talk, etc. But research studies show that although stress is a piece of the acne problem it is not a cause of acne.

Like many women, the pores in your chin and mouth area may be particularly sensitive to hormones (...you can have normal levels but still be reactive...). Hormone therapies address this issue but lots of women can't take them. There are other ways to help. One way is to make very sure your pores are functioning as normally as possible. The chin and mouth area produces lots of sebum and if you have pores prone to plugging up then that's where you'll get flare-ups. Doing Dan's regime or using a perscription retinoid will help. .1% generic tretinoin cream has helped me. Using BP or a retinoid will normalize how the pores function so it won't matter as much when cortisol levels rise.

You may also have food allergies that are increasing inflammation in the body, particularly when you are already under stress. This additional inflammation may be pushing your skin over the edge causing flare-ups. Getting a professional allergy test done may reveal some specific foods to avoid so that you can help your body stay calmer.

You may want to stop using all toothpastes with flouride, sodium laurel sulfate and peppermint. These ingredients can cause pimples around the mouth in people sensitive to them. Walleda makes a toothpaste without these things.

Hope this helps. Last year my derm took me off all antibiotics and hormone treatments and I was scared! But following my prescribed allergy diet, changing toothpastes, and following my wholistic derms suggestions seem to be helping.

#3 NotCleanAndNotClear

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 04:00 PM

thank you, this was very helpful!
i guess i am inclined to get acne, but it only shows when i am stressed out. i know exactly when i "caused" a pimple. i sometimes have that nervous twitch in my belly. at times i can suppress it. but when i have like an exam or something scary coming up i can't control it. i know it sounds weird. it's just really frustrating, because i know exactly what i would have to do be acnefree. last year it worked really well, but now i'm writing my thesis and i am so stressed.
the sad thing is, i have had high cortisol levels since i was 12. and i'm 24 now... i'm sure this can't be healthy... Posted Image
it would be amazing if the regimen worked on me but i would still like to do something about the cortisol. i read it promotes aging and weakens the immune system. i did try yoga and i go running a lot. i guess i will look into some medication possibilities here.
but who knows. maybe my stress decreases as my pimples fade. vivious-circle-style.
thanks again!

#4 steven m jacobson

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 06:40 PM

hey everyone,
first up, i'm not a native speaker, so there might be some mistakes in my post, please excuse that...
i'm turning 25 this month (i'm a girl) and i definitely know that my acne is caused/ promoted by stress/ nervousness. when i get pimples they occur exclusively around my mouth, mostly on my chin. it is not totally bad, always depending on my stresslevel, but it's bothering me a lot and i've been trying to find a solution for so many years.
last month i also had my hormones tested which confirmed my stress-theory. the doc said everything's fine, except my stress hormones are extremely high. which is also why i get my period only every 3rd month or so. anyhoo, i have been on the regimen for about 3 weeks now. so far i haven't really noticed any real improvement. my skin is very dry, that's a given, but i hope it will all be worth it in the end.
my question is: will the regimen help stress-related acne? i have never found anything that ever helped except for trying not to stress out so much, but lately this is just impossible for me...
i'm just really sceptical, i've tried so many things in the past...B5, birth control, anticiotics. i'm so sick of it all.
maybe someone can relate to this problem or has any tips or experience... would be great!
also i am kinda interested in my stress-theory. am i superweird or do others also have this problem?
thanks for reading,
xoxo from germany Posted Image


heres another important tip, stress isnt always felt emotionally or mentally or even physically. chemical stress occurs as well. i for one had issues with sexual chemical stresses that occur during orgasm or arousal. if i ejaculate i get acne, no joke. not saying that is your case, just stating it here so you know that there are chemical imbalances that occur from other things in the body, not just emotional or mental stresses.

Edited by steven m jacobson, 20 December 2011 - 06:40 PM.


#5 NotCleanAndNotClear

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 03:00 AM

that's interesting. i've been thinking about it and can't see a correlation in my case though.
so how did you deal with it? i mean this definitely sucks!

You may also have food allergies that are increasing inflammation in the body, particularly when you are already under stress. This additional inflammation may be pushing your skin over the edge causing flare-ups. Getting a professional allergy test done may reveal some specific foods to avoid so that you can help your body stay calmer.


i actually had pretty much everything tested foodwise, because i do have some problems with digestion. apparently i do not have any allergies or intolerances...
what i figured out is that i'm okay if i only eat small amounts of food. i suspect having IBS...

#6 cvd

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 09:38 AM

What kind of food testing did you have? Everything you say about feeling the stress in your body has elements about it which are very similar to what people feel with food allergies. Have you had a gluten test? Try avoiding all flour, sugary foods, and dairy products for a month. These are the usual culprits. Your mood should improve as well as your ability to handle stress...which will in turn lower the cortisol levels. Flour, sugars and dairy can stress the system even if you don't show allergies...you may be on the tip of getting them because these foods are so overused in our cultures. Try drinking a blend of spearmint and chamomile tea each day...2 strong cups. You can add rice milk to it. These 2 herbs will both lower hormones and calm your system.

There are things to do naturally that can make a HUGE difference in how you feel and in how your skin looks...particularly if your flare-ups are due to stress.

Hope this helps!

Edited by cvd, 21 December 2011 - 09:39 AM.


#7 NotCleanAndNotClear

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 05:32 PM

hey thanks for knowing and sharing so much :)
i know i've been tested for gluten and dairy. after that the doc didn't really know what else to check, so he took a blood sample and told me everything was fine.
i will try to minimize flour and sugar after xmas. i'm not eating dairy during winter anyways, because i feel i don't get sick so easily when i avoid dairy.
the tea idea sounds great, i will definitely try that!

#8 NotCleanAndNotClear

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 09:55 AM

also i did some research on the internet. i found out that when your cortisol is too high, as a consequence your d.h.e.a. will be too low.
wild yam is supposed to help with the low d.h.e.a. i bought that now. it says take 1 a day (300 mg). in other threads i've read tho, that for acne you should take up to 1000 mg. do you know anything about this, cvd? can i take more and do you think this might be a solution to my problem?

#9 Jabberwocky80

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 10:04 PM

thank you, this was very helpful!
i guess i am inclined to get acne, but it only shows when i am stressed out. i know exactly when i "caused" a pimple. i sometimes have that nervous twitch in my belly. at times i can suppress it. but when i have like an exam or something scary coming up i can't control it. i know it sounds weird. it's just really frustrating, because i know exactly what i would have to do be acnefree. last year it worked really well, but now i'm writing my thesis and i am so stressed.


Although I suffer from acne all the time, my stress levels definitely affect my skin. I can relate to your situation. I'm very high-strung and emotional. I've never been seen about having an anger management problem, but I believe I'm a "perfect" candidate. Posted Image My job is a high-stress situation and I put a lot of pressure on myself. I get angry at the drop of a hat, but I have to hide it at work. I know holding in anger isn't healthy...so I break out. When I finally get to "blow" -- at home, in the vehicle, etc. -- and scream, cry, curse a blue streak, whatever, I still break out. I've had my hormones tested to see if I have too much testosterone (I'm female), but tests came back normal. I guess my cortisol levels haven't been checked. I'll ask my dermatologist about that. Anyway, I just FEEL as though I have too much testosterone. I just started going to a new dermatologist and he put me back on spirolactone. It's been years since I've been on that. I've only been on it for about two weeks or so, but I feel differently. I still get pissed off, but it's not the chest-tightening, raging anger that I was so quick to. Then again, I've been on vacation. Posted Image The spirolactone HAS to be helping some...I'm getting rid of androgen and my blood pressure isn't spiking due to getting stressed out. We'll see how this goes.

#10 NotCleanAndNotClear

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 05:47 AM

i hear ya... it's definitely not healthy to have to suppress your anger. for me it's rather nervousness/ anxiety that breaks me out. but i could imagine all of these "negative" emotions are somehow related to acne, at least in some people. it's so weird, whenever i tell someone about my stress-problem, everybody tells me they see me as one of the most relaxed and even-tempered persons ever. so there's definitely something wrong with the way i deal with stress...
as for the spironolactone - i live in europe and i actually had never heard of it until i read about it on this site. i don't think it is used as an acne-treatment here.
also personally i wouldn't want to take any kind of medicine for my acne. i kinda wanna try getting it under control with only topicals and supplements and maybe stress management. but it really hope it works for you! maybe you should try yoga or something, i think i will give that a shot.

#11 NotCleanAndNotClear

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 05:07 AM

okay so i've been on the regimen for a little longer than 3 months now. the last two months were very stressful for me and during that time i still broke out at times. for about 2 weeks now though i stopped breaking out although my stresslevels were at their highest. i think the regimen just started to work. there were so many situations when i had stomach cramps because of stress during the last two weeks and i was sure i'd break out very badly, but nothing happened. it has to be the regimen working, because that is the only thing that has changed. so i hope i won't jinx myself here, but i think all the redness and dryness was worth it.
so for everyone out there who thinks they're a hopeless case like me: give it a shot and don't give up too early - for me the regimen did not work until 3 months after i started. for a while i even only used the BP at night because my face was so irritated and it still worked after all.
i will keep posting what happens, because i can't really believe it yet.