The vicious circle of Acne and stress
Life is stressful – did you know that chronic stress is the main culprit of adult acne? Stress causes an inflammatory response in the body and can cause the walls of the pores to break. When this happens, the body responds with redness. Stress often triggers an outbreak of acne and around the broken pore, and an influx of pus. Skin outbreaks often affect self-esteem, increasing stress and thus a vicious cycle begins. How does stress trigger acne? During periods of stress the body diverts blood flow away from the peripheral organs including the skin, to provide muscles with additional resources. This limits oxygen and nourishment to the skin cells and impedes removal of waste toxins through the skin. The skin is our biggest organ, and as it is porous the body uses it to eliminate heat and toxicity. The skin can suffer under extreme toxic load. So stress weakens our skin at a time when it is overloaded with work. The stress response diverts blood away from the digestive system. In Chinese medicine acne is attributed to weak digestion. The stress response strains the lungs. The lungs have a relationship with the skin. In Chinese medicine acne and skin conditions are always traced back to the lungs. Continual stress sends our adrenal glands into overdrive. This increases hormone levels which increase oil production – resulting in congestion and an overwhelming of a now weakened skin which will find it hard to cope. Muscle tension is a reflex reaction to stress. When you are tense, your body tries to protect your skin by boosting inflammation in the area, thus further increasing the strain on the skin. When stress makes our blood sugar and insulin levels rise, we experience inflammation on a cellular level, further causing acne. Lowering stress levels will calm inflammation, heat and toxicity and strengthen the organs of the body, which can dramatically reduce the symptoms of acne. Acne is often painful so we need to start gently. We need to calm the heat and toxicity and restore the circulation, so start with a jade gua sha tool. You can buy these online very easily. The most important thing is to deal effectively with your ongoing stress to avoid a repeat occurrence.
What You'll Need
- Jade gua sha tool.
- A lubricating oil, as natural as possible, but if you have a favourite face oil that would be perfect.
What You'll Do
- We need to clear the acne at surface level, and reducing that inflammation is going to help. The key is to very gently press-hold on the area – but keep repeating it and allow the jade to pull heat out of the body. If you can, use two tools. Keep them in a bowl of ice and alternate them. It’s very gentle and the cooling stone feels amazing on hot, angry skin.
- Get to work at clearing the internal source of the heat – so focus on the lungs. In Chinese medicine the skin is controlled by the lungs; acne is commonly a sign of heat in the lungs and intestines, all of which is exacerbated by stress – allow it to go red and sha to come up.
Tips & Warnings
- A few notes on how to treat acne scarred skin Never treat broken skin, and don’t use oil on congested skin – working over clothes is still effective.
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