Severe acne, at any age, can be highly devastating. Teenagers with acne often have low self esteem while women in their mid 30s and 40s with acne tend to suffer from depression. Acne in women in the late 30s and early 40s often accompanies PMS with symptoms like loss in libido, breast tenderness, backache, bloating, weight gain etc. Indeed, bad skin and acne go hand in hand. Let us take a look at ways to deal with acne anxiety.
1. Seek help
The first thing to do is acknowledge you have a problem and seek help. As your skin starts to clear up, your confidence will return. Many dermatologists talk about acne depression stories and will tell you about the happiness their patients experience once their skin begins to clear. So seek help of a good dermatologist who can address the root cause of your problem. Talk about concerns regarding acne medication. If you are not happy using drugs like antibiotics or oral contraceptive pills, then discuss alternative solutions.
2. Control stress
Stress is an oft overlooked cause of acne. The more you stress, the worse your acne will be and this becomes a vicious cycle. When you breakout month after month, the stress worsens. As the stress worsens, certain hormone levels rise which tend to aggravate acne. So make stress control an integral part of your acne treatment. Practice yoga, meditation or listen to calming music.
Exercise in an important part of dealing with acne depression. You must exercise daily. Pick an activity you love-it could be walking, swimming, dancing, jogging etc. These activities will throw out the toxic waste from your system and keep your skin clear. Exercise is also useful in controlling stress and releases feel-good hormones or endorphins.
4. Accept your situation
Instead of keeping on harping about the fact that “my skin is making me depressed”, accept things. The sooner you accept your breakouts; the lower will be your stress levels and subsequent depression. Acceptance will also help you understand that change is possible.
5. Change your diet
Healthy diet is an important tool in preventing acne and the associated depression and anxiety. Make a commitment towards eating fresh, healthy organic food. Avoid junk food and sugary, processed foods. Keep a journal to encourage you to make healthy choices.
6. Take vitamins
Many vitamins are necessary not only for controlling acne but also for preventing depression. Take a good multivitamin and mineral supplement. Also eat an anti-oxidant rich diet. You especially need vitamin D, B-complex, chromium and zinc. Talk to your doctor about the right supplements for you based on your age, gender and lifestyle.
7. Try herbs
Many herbal remedies can help calm mind and body and also give your clearer skin. St. John’s wort is a remedy for depression and anxiety. You can also use calming essential oils like Lavender, Bergamot, Chamomile and Rosemary for combating depression and acne.
8. Try deep breathing exercises
Progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, chanting and other mind body techniques can help you curb stress and acne related depression. When negative or sad thoughts arise, take a deep breath. Practice doing this and soon you will be able to prevent the reaction you have to those thoughts. Make deep breathing and daily chanting and positive affirmations a part of your treatment to psychologically deal with acne.
9. Do not isolate yourself
Often, people with very bad acne socially isolate themselves. This increases depression and aggravates the acne. Seek help from family and surround yourself with people who love and understand you. Be in the company of people who will not judge you on the basis of your looks.
10. Know that you are not alone
Sometimes, talking to people who are in the same situation as yours can help. Find out peer groups online or offline and talk to them. Knowing that you are not alone can help you deal with the negative feelings and emotions.
11. Be patient, stay committed
Dealing with severe cases of acne takes time, willpower, commitment and determination. Stick to the daily routine of cleansing, toning and moisturizing. Follow the plan your dermatologist has laid out for you. Watch your diet carefully. Exercise everyday and follow the mind body practices above.
In some cases, acne goes away on its own. So keep faith in your treatment and soon you will have the clear skin you have always dreamed of.