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rakugaking

Mood cycles and Acne

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Hey there,

I've not posted here in quite a long time. I'm a 29 year old guy and I've had acne on and off (usually pretty mild) for the past ten years. The condition of my skin got worse about a year ago when I was put on oxytetracycline to try and clear my spots. As a result of using antibiotics for 5 months, I ended up with really flaky skin (I think it was seb derm) as well as my usual acne. The flakiness has subsided quite a lot but I'm still breaking out a lot more frequently than before I went on the meds.

Anyway, to get to the point, I seem to be in a mood cycle that probably a lot of you are familiar with. Namely, my skin will be doing fine for a week or so (maybe a couple of marks from previous acne and a couple of smaller blemishes) then when I notice that I have a new spot on the way I get stressed to the point where I'm really anxious and negative. Typically this is followed by a bunch more angry spots until I reach a point where I think 'aww f*ck it' at which time my anxiety lessens; I start to feel positive again and I'm able to go a week or two without any real flare-ups. I guess I'm just wondering how much of a factor the stress and anxiety is in exacerbating my acne. I've read lots about how increased cortisol (stress hormone) can cause blocked pores to become inflamed and angry. There also seems to be a correlation between my calming down and the acne stopping.

I have quite a lot of things causing me stress in my day-to-day life and previously when I've had less to worry about (when I've been away travelling or work has been more enjoyable etc.) my skin has tended to improve. As an example, I was out of work for two months while I relocated to another country last autumn and my skin got tons better while I was just at home sorting things out for the big move. Now that I've relocated and I'm in work again I find that my anxiety levels and my acne has increased substantially.

Does this sound familiar to anyone? Also, does anyone have any suggestions for ways to destress? I've been trying to use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques recently as well as taking ashwagandha but I'd love to hear other things I could try.

Thanks for reading!

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