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pss215

Stress & Acne

I wonder if anyone has had a similar experience. I'm 26 (male) and have had acne for the past 10+ years. I've tried every prescription (accutane 1x, retin a, proactiv, etc etc) and have not been able to 'rid' myself of acne.

However, there have been 2 periods in the past 10 years where I have been completely clear with no breakouts...

I spent a summer in Europe in 2002 and had perfect skin. I was using Proactiv at the time and my diet was horrible. I could not breakout even if I tried. A few times I didnt wash for a couple days...ate fast food...slept irregularly....the list goes on. I returned to the US, started working again, and the acne slowly came back.

Then in 2004 I spent a month in China. Similar story. Perfect skin. I returned to the US and I started breaking out again.

The only thing that makes sense to me is stress is causing my breakouts...

Has anyone had a similar experience where they removed themselves from their everyday environment and their acne cleared up...and then when they returned so did the acne?

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pss215, I feel you. I find the less I stress out the better my acne gets. There most definitely (for me at least) is a link between stress levels and acne activity.

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Yeah, I have noticed that when I am away on holiday or staying with family/friends, there is a significant improvement in my skin. Also, during these breaks, I do not bother with skin care much at all.

I think the improvement is probably due to the fact I am just relaxing and having a stess-free time. I'm not thinking about my skin and I'm not stressing about that either, which is one of the main things I stress about normally.

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Yeh it defenatly affects maybe thatäs why my acne got worse at 17 cause I had been under a lot of pressure for a long period of time and I had been bullied before so that probably caused it....

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Also, my own little theory. How often do you look at yourself in the mirror and watch your "progress" when you're out on a vacation? My guess is most people don't do it that often as opposed to staying at home and meticulously examining every pore. Not watching the progress = gets you better results because you worry about it less?

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Interesting...I try not to 'stare' at myself in the mirror (especially close up) when I have a bad break out. After dealing with this for the past ten years I'm starting to get used to the fact that I have acne. Hopefully this is one of the first steps in getting rid of it (accepting it). In the past all I could think about was getting rid of the acne...now I focus on controlling it and not irritating my face. I hope this helps in the long run.

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Also, my own little theory. How often do you look at yourself in the mirror and watch your "progress" when you're out on a vacation? My guess is most people don't do it that often as opposed to staying at home and meticulously examining every pore. Not watching the progress = gets you better results because you worry about it less?

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I don't believe in a stress/acne connection. I clear up a lot when I am away from the city and flare up when I come back, even if I'm on a work trip rather than a holiday, so I think that pollution is the bigger factor. Pollution is obviously not the only cause, but I would be far more inclined to blame that than stress.

I once went on a hectic, stressful week-long school trip (I'm a teacher not a pupil) to the countryside and was clear by Friday. After a relaxing weekend at home after the trip, I had flared up again by Monday...

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I definatly think stress leads to break outs. Alot of times stress causes sweat, which can also lead to acne break outs. I think I recently read in a magazine that a study was done on college students, and 90% of them (or somthing close to that) suffered from break outs close to examination time (the only time a college student stresses out :lol: )

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