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How big of an effect do you think stress/worry/low confidence has on skin..

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So as of yesterday I'll be about 4 and a half months post accutane and at least 18-24 months since I really started to think about my diet and how it could have effected my acne. Despite this, my cheeks are still full of red marks and I've even been getting 1 or 2 tiny whiteheads here and there. They go within a day or two, so it's no biggie, but the fact I'm still getting little breakouts and my redmarks still aren't fading too good, despite eating 90% meat, veg and fruit, is making me think that maybe my negative outlook on things is slowing down the healing or something.

Since about this time last year, every morning I've gotten up, drawn my blinds, grabbed my mirror and inspected my face and everyday I'm more or less greeted with the same mug looking back. Sure the accutane took away the cysts and that's improved my face a hole lot, but a year has passed and nothing has really changed, I still feel shitty about my skin, I still feel like I can't be myself while I (in my eyes) am inferior to everyone else and just generally feeling bitter about everything. You'd think after all the healthy foods I'd have at least something to show for it, but not really.

I honestly believe this negative way of thinking is screwing things up. I read in a magazine yesterday that negative thinking and worry can lower the immune system increasing the chances of catching infections like the flu. If that's true, what's to say the skin isn't the same? All this negative thinking and worry is stopping the healing. I'm aware I should also factor in the accutane and how it thins the skin and how it slows the process of healing, but come on, almost 5 months post and I barely look that much better than before I started? I've watched logs on youtube and gone through countless logs on ance.org and there was people with much worse skin than me who look close to perfection after finishing. The people who don't look great, who still have issues with their skin probably have the same thing in common. They hate the way they look and their confidence is shot.

Starting today I decided to avoid the lengthy mirrors inspections and tried my best not to think about my skin. (logging on here hasn't helped in that respect) I even went for a lengthy walk and hung around in the woods for about half hour just taking in the sights and sounds. It definitely helped, but I really need to keep myself busy for 4-6 hours a day. College only takes up 2 and a half days lately and I'm rarely in the mood to socialise, so apart from work I'm not sure what I can do to be at peace for lengthy periods.

TL;DR Is it possible my negative thinking and defeatist attitude is having an effect on my skin healing?

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Is it possible my negative thinking and defeatist attitude is having an effect on my skin healing?
No.

Is it possible the same thing that causes your negative thinking and defeatist attitude is affecting your skin health?

Yes.

Having a shortened/flattened melatonin cycle can produce both bad skin health and increased stress. When melatonin is not up, cortisol (aka, "the stress hormone") is. That's why you can increase the rate of depression in a population just by messing up their sleep. Melatonin is relevant to the skin because it's anti-androgenic, anti-oxidant (directly and indirectly), slows cell division, and stimulates cells to create more of their own antioxidants. A few psychologists believe that depression is disturbed sleep. In any case, it's no biochemical surprise that depression and acne go hand in hand -- a messed-up melatonin cycle underlies both.

And, red marks just take a good while to clear. You have to wait for skin cell turnover and not get new acne at the same time.

despite eating 90% meat, veg and fruit

And hopefully not eating lots of high-fructose fruits like apples, pears, etc. People slam down massive amounts of fructose that way and then happily post that they eat no "refined" sugars -- but are puzzled as to why they still have acne. We did not evolve sitting around eating high-fructose fruits (really, such high levels of fructose are the result of breeding, since people will pay farmers more for sweeter fruits).

IMHO, and so sez one random nut on the Internet. :D

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How can you say that databased? Ever heard of placebo effect? People get cured by believing that that the medicine they was given cured them, even though it wasn't the actual medicine. People have died because they were given a fatal disease such as cancer misdiagnose (they didn't actually have the disease). Why wouldn't it work with acne?

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Yes stress can have a big effect.

However, databased is right to a certain extent.

A lot of stress is really just things like messed up sleep, messed up diet, no exercise, no sunlight (vitamin D), etc.

The biggest stressors on your body in the modern world are not mental, but things like nutritional stress and sleep stress.

I would work on those first and then work on the mental stress.

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Is it possible my negative thinking and defeatist attitude is having an effect on my skin healing?
No.

Is it possible the same thing that causes your negative thinking and defeatist attitude is affecting your skin health?

Yes.

Having a shortened/flattened melatonin cycle can produce both bad skin health and increased stress. When melatonin is not up, cortisol (aka, "the stress hormone") is. That's why you can increase the rate of depression in a population just by messing up their sleep. Melatonin is relevant to the skin because it's anti-androgenic, anti-oxidant (directly and indirectly), slows cell division, and stimulates cells to create more of their own antioxidants. A few psychologists believe that depression is disturbed sleep. In any case, it's no biochemical surprise that depression and acne go hand in hand -- a messed-up melatonin cycle underlies both.

And, red marks just take a good while to clear. You have to wait for skin cell turnover and not get new acne at the same time.

despite eating 90% meat, veg and fruit

And hopefully not eating lots of high-fructose fruits like apples, pears, etc. People slam down massive amounts of fructose that way and then happily post that they eat no "refined" sugars -- but are puzzled as to why they still have acne. We did not evolve sitting around eating high-fructose fruits (really, such high levels of fructose are the result of breeding, since people will pay farmers more for sweeter fruits).

IMHO, and so sez one random nut on the Internet. :D

I both agree and disagree.

I believe that depression, in most instances, is learned. Though whacked out melatonin can certainly cause it, it is often that someone develops negative thinking patterns and end up developing poor sleeping patterns and exacerbate the situation. I don't particularly think melatonin levels are the single source behind depression OR acne for that matter - even though it can contribute to both.

Though we shouldn't gorge ourselves on mega sugary fruits, they are not necessarily going to cause acne in every single acne prone person. Earlier in the year, I ate a TON of fruit on a regular basis when I switched my diet to the similar, meat, fruits and veggies. It was easy. And what did I eat most of? Apples and bananas. Yep. The sugary beasts of the fruit world(not saying this was the healthiest of options but it made giving up regular junk food easier). And frankly, I managed to clear my skin up eating this way. And based on personal experimentation over the past year, refined sugar breaks me out. Fruit sugar does not. Period. Though I've grown tired of sweet things and backed off of fruits and the like.

No - this is not going to be the case for everyone. Fructose has the potential to really break some folks out. But that does not imply that every acne prone individual is going to be sensitive to it.

And yes, stress can create a host of other problems. If you spend too much time in a state of stress, it will take a toll on your body and can affect hormones, sleep and other things, which can, in turn, affect how well your skin heals. Also, eating a plethora of vegetables should help speed up the healing process.

Edited by gMARIAs

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Though we shouldn't gorge ourselves on mega sugary fruits, they are not necessarily going to cause acne in every single acne prone person. Earlier in the year, I ate a TON of fruit on a regular basis when I switched my diet to the similar, meat, fruits and veggies. It was easy. And what did I eat most of? Apples and bananas. Yep. The sugary beasts of the fruit world(not saying this was the healthiest of options but it made giving up regular junk food easier). And frankly, I managed to clear my skin up eating this way. And based on personal experimentation over the past year, refined sugar breaks me out. Fruit sugar does not. Period. Though I've grown tired of sweet things and backed off of fruits and the like.

I too began eating a lot of sugary fruit like grapes and apples when I cut out other sources of sugar. Yet my skin cleared rather rapidly. In less than 2 months from the day I drank my last soda and began making improvements to my diet which I did little by little as I found new things to prepare. The cutting of the sugary drinks is the only drastic change I've ever made and the only thing I am strict about. I'm not one an All or nothing extreme type.

But you have to understand. Databased is determined to find the 'one true root cause' of acne. He has this model based on the melatonin cycle, which apparently works for him, and everything must fit to that. Regardless of how many people can demonstrate that, while important, it isn't their 'one true cause.' And he probably won't visit this thread to respond to anyone so there's no point. Visit his thread in the Adult acne forum if you want to dispute him.

Edited by alternativista

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Though we shouldn't gorge ourselves on mega sugary fruits, they are not necessarily going to cause acne in every single acne prone person. Earlier in the year, I ate a TON of fruit on a regular basis when I switched my diet to the similar, meat, fruits and veggies. It was easy. And what did I eat most of? Apples and bananas. Yep. The sugary beasts of the fruit world(not saying this was the healthiest of options but it made giving up regular junk food easier). And frankly, I managed to clear my skin up eating this way. And based on personal experimentation over the past year, refined sugar breaks me out. Fruit sugar does not. Period. Though I've grown tired of sweet things and backed off of fruits and the like.

I too began eating a lot of sugary fruit like grapes and apples when I cut out other sources of sugar. Yet my skin cleared rather rapidly. In less than 2 months from the day I drank my last soda and began making improvements to my diet which I did little by little as I found new things to prepare. The cutting of the sugary drinks is the only drastic change I've ever made and the only thing I am strict about. I'm not one of you All or nothing extreme types.

But you have to understand. Databased is determined to find the 'one true root cause' of acne. He has this model based on the melatonin cycle, which apparently works for him, and everything must fit to that. Regardless of how many people can demonstrate that, while important, it isn't their 'one true cause.'

I'm not extreme by sheer choice. I cut everything out because everything breaks me out and/or makes me feel really sluggish. If I eat unhealthy foods even every once in a blue moon, I will develop a couple of spots - which to me says my body isn't able to tolerate it so I typically opt to just stick to my regular foods. I literally ate a single sugar free oatmeal cookie made with gluten free flour a week ago and developed 3 spots the next day after being 100% clear for months. It's absolutely obnoxious from time to time. But I enjoy how I feel and veering off from this diet typically makes me feel sluggish.

And his posts generally annoy me. He spouts off personal experiences as though they were the only truth to acne. The whole melatonin thing is only piece of the puzzle. I don't care as much about dispute as I do about pointing out things for others who are reading to consider.

Edited by gMARIAs

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I'm not extreme by sheer choice...

And his posts generally annoy me. He spouts off personal experiences as though they were the only truth to acne.

Oh. I didn't mean you. I meant to illustrate that my diet improvements were gradual, with the exception of stopping all sugary drinks, because I just don't do extreme things. But just couldn't resist an opportunity to express annoyance at the all or nothing American way. I didn't deliberately capitalize All, either. That's a typo.

And, yeah.

Nothing is more annoying than the people that think; "Because it worked for me it works also for everyone else".

Even with my own acne there are multiple reasons for it so one "root cause" sounds ridiculous to me.

Yep. And in my early 20s I spent whole summers spending all day everyday outdoors and sleeping well in total darkness which according to his model would have cleared me, yet there was no improvement. While changing to diet habits that reduce insulin surges and inflammation did.

Edited by alternativista

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And based on personal experimentation over the past year, refined sugar breaks me out. Fruit sugar does not. Period.

I have found that all carbs break me out. I have tried fruits and "safe" (non-grain, no gluten) starches at separate times and they all break me out exactly in same area of my face.

Have you tried things to address an inability to metabolize carbs? Including a healthy circadian cycle and certain nutrients? There's info on that in my Good Things thread in the Blood sugar and sleep sections and maybe a few other places. And includes, ironically considering this discussion, links to a couple of database's more helpful posts.

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I kind of dealt with the same problem, I was obsessed with my skin and had really low self confidence. What kind of helped me a bit in that department was realizing it's only as bad as you let it be. You can only let what's on your face effect you so much, and by looking at yourself constantly in the mirror and actively searching out your imperfections will do just that.

I say start practicing looking in your mirror and noticing the good, and whether or not this positive thinking helps your skin it doesn't matter. You will be generally happier because you're not consumed by your acne, whether it's there or not, the point is it doesn't matter. Of course, take care of your skin and be kind to it, but don't care too much so to speak. Too much of a good thing can make you sick , to quote Cheryl Cole.

I do find that the more positive I think about skin the better it ends up looking. I think when I realize how beautiful my skin is it really glows. Maybe it all is in my head, but either way, I feel much better that I did before when I used to obsess about it. And that's all that matters :).

Good luck, and I hope you can find more ways to be positive about your problem skin situation. It's tough, but work on it!

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i did a mind experiment based on the concept of classical or associative conditioning for about two months where i moved out of my old apartment and avoided anything that possibly reminded me of anything negative, the theory was that thoughts were associated to certain sensory stimuli, similar to pavlovs dogs association of the salivary response to the bell, where food was associated with the bell. I was taking a completely deterministic approach to the existence of unwanted thoughts and emotions, such as that they were causes simply by the environemtn more then they were a result of my "willing' them to exist, in my opinoin the majority of thoughts and emotions happen beyond the concious will, although we can learn to influence them greatly, thoughts are more directly controlled while emotions and moods are very indirect in regards to the will,moods and emotions to me are more of a reflex or a built in system.

i took the same approach with thoughts and my surroundings, and did intense meditation and visualization techniques.

My face cleared very well and i looked much healthier with very little change in diet. there is an absolute connection to thought/moods and overall health and acne.

i suppose i have pondered the idea of health and the mind for sometime and have proven to myself there a connection.

in a way, you have probably now associated your acne with your need for safety and security and social acceptance, which may contribute to social anxiety and general anxiety, but you may be over emphasizing its effect on social acceptance, depending on the severity of your case of course, as i wont deny some cases are disturbing when they are real bad, disturbing to life in everyway, but you are alive and still better of then many others in life, even with bad acne.

at some point while having acne and worrying about its effects on your life and social life, we begin to become emotionally numb and ignorant, because we feel there is not much we can do to change how we feel and associate all feeling with having acne. this make our condition worse because we give up on feeling good, which is what life and health is all about. now i wonder if the giving up on feeling good comes before or after acne, either way, i believe it happens. but an important part of health and recovery is not to give up on feeling good, pay attention to your feelings and how things make you feel and feel you deserve to feel good.

the self worth/self esteem thing seems to correlate with acne as well, i wonder which is the cause and which the effect?? right?

either way, im here to testify that moods/thoughts/emotions have a tremendous impact on health/disease, much more then diet alone. my current opinion is that its about 30%diet and 70% emotions that contribute to overall well being. somewhere in there is excercise too!!!

also, i have been trying to summarize how the mind is related to health, simply we must feel we have the right to our own subjective responses to our environment, and treat this inner reality as just as real as any other. this is related to levels of autonomy, and how well we can follow our own agenda in life, without guilt or shame. this could also be called skills in assertiveness and knowing your rights and standing up for them, reject all the false illusions of others concepts of what is ethical, and judge your behavior inner or outer, for yourself as to whether it is right wrong good or bad. Trying to adhere to some unnatural system of ethics can disrupt the deciion making process, a system of what is ethical can subject us to continued emotinal distress. sometimes doing the "right' and "good" thing seems very wrong inside, i believe this is the true test of what is good or right, as the objective in life is to seek pleasure. im not saying some painful thing sdo not have greater rewards, but sometimes submitting to pain can have no benefits, but somehow we have been convinced that there will be some delayed greater benefit. religious types i believe are ones to endure pain like in helping people that cannot be helped and followed strange cliches and beliefs that have little to do with how the world really works, needless to say these are also the types that have little science education. ALso my point could be made where people are expected to a lifetime of doing "good" whatever they mean by that, and hope to get into "heaven" after they die. such is the concept of submitting to pain with no real immediate rewards. their is no way to prove we will be rewarded for being "good" and doing what is "right" so why adhere to this doctrine.

so either by following some false system of ethics, and giving up our rights to make uncoerced decisions, and becoming numb to how places and people make us feel, this is the way we submit ourselves to psycological. if i could reduce or abstract everything to one concept, it would safety and security and how we have associated things to "stand" for that, everyones mind is connected to our environemtn differently all our subjective meanings and responses to things are very unique, its hard to prescribe one thing to everybody, you have to be trained over time mentally to develop all these skills and realize some benefit for health, its an almost spiritual process i believe, you have to become in tune to the real you and differentiate from the false you.

i dont think what i have written here is as clear and organized as i would have wanted it to be, so please forgive me.

Edited by AutonomousOne1980

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Is it possible my negative thinking and defeatist attitude is having an effect on my skin healing?
No.

Is it possible the same thing that causes your negative thinking and defeatist attitude is affecting your skin health?

Yes.

Having a shortened/flattened melatonin cycle can produce both bad skin health and increased stress. When melatonin is not up, cortisol (aka, "the stress hormone") is. That's why you can increase the rate of depression in a population just by messing up their sleep. Melatonin is relevant to the skin because it's anti-androgenic, anti-oxidant (directly and indirectly), slows cell division, and stimulates cells to create more of their own antioxidants. A few psychologists believe that depression is disturbed sleep. In any case, it's no biochemical surprise that depression and acne go hand in hand -- a messed-up melatonin cycle underlies both.

And, red marks just take a good while to clear. You have to wait for skin cell turnover and not get new acne at the same time.

despite eating 90% meat, veg and fruit

And hopefully not eating lots of high-fructose fruits like apples, pears, etc. People slam down massive amounts of fructose that way and then happily post that they eat no "refined" sugars -- but are puzzled as to why they still have acne. We did not evolve sitting around eating high-fructose fruits (really, such high levels of fructose are the result of breeding, since people will pay farmers more for sweeter fruits).

IMHO, and so sez one random nut on the Internet. :D

nice post. what is crazy to think about is how sleep is induced, sure there is the physical part of sleep, but the intitiation of sleep and rest is just as much a psychological component as well. we need to feel as if we can handle upcoming threats to our existence to initiate sleep. it is the awareness of threats(real or imagined) which stimulates the fight or flight response, which inhibits sleep as well and keeps us vigilant and awake.

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I'm not extreme by sheer choice...

And his posts generally annoy me. He spouts off personal experiences as though they were the only truth to acne.

Oh. I didn't mean you. I meant to illustrate that my diet improvements were gradual, with the exception of stopping all sugary drinks, because I just don't do extreme things. But just couldn't resist an opportunity to express annoyance at the all or nothing American way. I didn't deliberately capitalize All, either. That's a typo.

And, yeah.

Nothing is more annoying than the people that think; "Because it worked for me it works also for everyone else".

Even with my own acne there are multiple reasons for it so one "root cause" sounds ridiculous to me.

Yep. And in my early 20s I spent whole summers spending all day everyday outdoors and sleeping well in total darkness which according to his model would have cleared me, yet there was no improvement. While changing to diet habits that reduce insulin surges and inflammation did.

Yeah I'll never understand the all or nothing mentality of some folks. I took a dive in approach. The gradual approach always seemed to just keep me hooked.

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