Jump to content
Acne.org
Search In
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
elvybeauti

Did moving across the country cause my acne??

Sounds crazy at first, but I can't think of any other explanation.

I'm originally from Syracuse NY, which has an elevation of 580ft., and is almost always cloudy, and humid. To say the least, it's not one of those nice, sunny, places you visit on vacation.

I moved to Denver, CO in August 2007, which has an elevation of 5,280 ft, very very dry, and is ALWAYS sunny and amazing weather (except at 3 pm during the summers, when it rains for 4 minutes out of nowhere).

Within 1 month of moving to Denver, i got severe cystic acne. I've always been extremely healthy and clear-skinned, until I moved here.

My theory is that upon moving here, my skin was shocked at the thin air, which means less oxygen, and very high UV rays.

Within that first month, i also went hiking in the Rocky Mountains, and reached elevation of 11,000ft. I wore sunscreen, but i still experienced slight burnage. The air is so thin up there that I know the UV rays were drilling into my skin. I thought SPF 30 would be fine, but now I don't think it was enough.

After the first month of very bad acne, i tried using sunscreen more, but it kept getting worse. It wasn't until after 3 months that I finally got to the dermatologist and started Accutane.

Well, we all know that acne worsens with sun exposure, which is why I'm thinking the thin air/high UV rays played a huge part in causing such bad acne.

In august, I also began grad school, (the reason i moved to denver) which has greatly increased my levels of stress (due to money, time, work, etc.).

Could this combination have caused such a fast development of horrible skin??

I really want some opinions, thoughts, ideas, and to know if anyone else has experienced anything like this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If anything i'd say its the stress thats getting to you. I noticed the opposite as far as altitude and weather. My skin was perfect throughout high school. Right when I moved to Eugene, OR for college my skin went to shit. Then I moved to Lake Tahoe which has similar weather to Denver(high altitude, sunny gorgeous weather), and my skin got better. When I moved back to PA(where i grew up) it got the worst it had ever been almost immediatley. I blame this on the shitt air where I live and the fact that i was depressed as hell to be moving back to my home town after all that time away. Stress can be a huge factor. I am realizing this right now as i am super stressed from grad school as well, and have gotten the first two zits ive had in months after changing my diet dramtically. Has your diet changed at all since you moved to denver? I would think that denver has cleaner, fresher air than syracuse but i could be wrong. I'd still have to say it is mainly stress. sorry for the rambling, this might not even make sense. haha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really interesting post, but I'm going to have to side more with the OP. I live in a very comparable city in the Mt. West and I've suffered the same as you. When I'm at sea level or in a desert environment I'll never suffer from acne. Strange, but can it really be attributable to UV rays? Some UV rays are good for your skin in a limited exposure, too much can inflame your skin, but I also wonder if the level of Oxygen at altitude has anything to do with it.

I also have to say it sounds like stress is playing a major factor as per your post. I believe stress (or rather how you react to things as you can't go out and fill a cup with stress-i.e. there really is none it's in your mind and your skill level) plays a part in releasing toxic hormones which inflame your skin. So you probably got at least some acne from your reactive choices.

Did you change anything in your diet? Any other probs there like food allergies, glucose intolerance etc?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Elvy,

I'm from Rochester NY and know how you feel about the awful weather :). I moved away to another state on the east coast with no change to my skin really.

Since you moved from an extreme climate in NY (blistering cold in winter, extremely humid in summer = not good for skin!) to Denver, I would think that would help your skin being in a drier climate.

I'm thinking it's the stress.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Elvi,

I noticed this post because I had a horrible breakout a few years ago when I was in Europe for a month. I was also under a great deal of stress at the time. I thought it might have had something to do with the water. I figured our water here in the states had more chemicals in it.

I also noticed last year when I bought a house that my face had trouble again. In a new part of my city with a new water system as well... now it has adjusted.

I know it is easier said than done, but it may take patience for a little while. It sounds like you've gone to a dermatologist and that is probably good since it sounds like you had such a severe reaction.

Once you get it under control, perhaps you can try cutting back on the products you use? I have found that the more I streamline the products I use and how often, it has helped tremendously.

Also, if you are in grad school, I am sure you have a great deal of stress. If you can, take time to relax and "de-stress." Stress almost always causes me to breakout. :mellow:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank for all the input everyone.

Well, my diet has not changed since I've been here. In fact, nothing has changed about my health, (i'm probably healthier now), the only thing that changed is the climate and my level of stress (greatly increased).

After I started Accutane, I have been making a huge mental effort to avoid stress (however right before midterms or other big deadlines, it peaks of course). I'm a perfectionist and have been maintaining a 4.0 gpa since I started grad school, but to the detriment of my skin. However, making a mental effort to calm down is helping, as well as taking a scientific approach to my problem.

in response to Organic Girl, I know the water is different here too. In NY at my house, I got my water from a well in my yard, and now I get my water from Denver city pipes. I think the water is a lot harder here, so that could make a difference.

I have cut back on harsh products as well. Now I use a gentle cleanser (St. Ives), and CeraVe lotion. I think this is helping too, plus I use SPF 30 whenever I go outside.

All this, plus Accutane, is working.

I'm just worried that when I go off of Accutane in a month or so, the acne will return.

I'm one of the lucky ones that Accutane worked amazingly for, with barely any side effects.

Another girl in my program said when she first moved to Denver, she had a breakout too (not as bad as me).

It sounds like most of you think it's due to stress, and I'm starting to think that is the main reason, with all these other factors being minor contributers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank for all the input everyone.

Well, my diet has not changed since I've been here. In fact, nothing has changed about my health, (i'm probably healthier now), the only thing that changed is the climate and my level of stress (greatly increased).

After I started Accutane, I have been making a huge mental effort to avoid stress (however right before midterms or other big deadlines, it peaks of course). I'm a perfectionist and have been maintaining a 4.0 gpa since I started grad school, but to the detriment of my skin. However, making a mental effort to calm down is helping, as well as taking a scientific approach to my problem.

in response to Organic Girl, I know the water is different here too. In NY at my house, I got my water from a well in my yard, and now I get my water from Denver city pipes. I think the water is a lot harder here, so that could make a difference.

I have cut back on harsh products as well. Now I use a gentle cleanser (St. Ives), and CeraVe lotion. I think this is helping too, plus I use SPF 30 whenever I go outside.

All this, plus Accutane, is working.

I'm just worried that when I go off of Accutane in a month or so, the acne will return.

I'm one of the lucky ones that Accutane worked amazingly for, with barely any side effects.

Another girl in my program said when she first moved to Denver, she had a breakout too (not as bad as me).

It sounds like most of you think it's due to stress, and I'm starting to think that is the main reason, with all these other factors being minor contributers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The environment/climate can play a role in some people's acne. Drastic changes such as going on vacations have been mentioned many times on these forums. And Dr. Fulton says in his book that weather/humidity/sun etc. can all play a role.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you ever use sunscreen when you were in NY? From your description, it doesn't sound like you'd have needed it. I wonder if a combination of dry skin (flaky skin, dead skin cells) plus hot weather (sweating, oil) plus sunscreen that probably wasn't non-comedogenic all worked together to plug up your pores?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Did you ever use sunscreen when you were in NY? From your description, it doesn't sound like you'd have needed it. I wonder if a combination of dry skin (flaky skin, dead skin cells) plus hot weather (sweating, oil) plus sunscreen that probably wasn't non-comedogenic all worked together to plug up your pores?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just don't think it's stress. I mean, think about how stressed out the people are in poverty and war riddled countries, and they don't have acne. Their stress is waay worse than what most people experience here. I mean, they'd daydream about stressing over finals! This is not to belittle your stress, but just to point out that I don't think stress alone can completely cause acne, especially the drastic difference you experienced, I think something else is happening too. I don't know what, but I don't think it's just stress.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yea, that's why i said the stress, plus the drastic change in climate, combined to make unfriendly conditions for my skin.

i also think it's based on individual conditions.

i know many people in poverty in denver and their stress is far more than mine, but they are not prone to acne, which is why they dont have it.

i know people who can play sports and not ever wash their face, no matter how dirty it is, and they never get acne.

its all relative.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Personalized Advice Quiz - All of Acne.org in just a few minutes


×