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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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I've heard of this happening to a few other people. I haven't experienced it myself though. No one has quite figured out what the thing is. Some think it's the water, some think it's allergies to the local plants. It's still up in the air. It doesn't necessarily have to be a different country though, some people just went to a different city and saw a dramatic difference.

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I used to worry about going on field trips / camping / music festivals because I wouldn't be able to look after my skin properly.

But I would always come back from these trips with better skin: perhaps being more active physically / fresh air / sun / not worrying about it so much all help.

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