Monday, September 12, 2011
I receive many emails a day from people asking for help about their skin. Many of them are so confused as to what is happening to them and how to fix problems both new and chronic. Some people want a miracle, a cure, even a magic potion to erase wrinkles, age spots and of course zap those unwanted blemishes forever. Many are so frustrated or confused by company claims and product promises. Everyone wants beautiful skin and they want it now, fast, instantly! Now, I am not a Dermatologist or an Esthetician even, just a seasoned woman that has had her share of skin issues. I've never suffered from chronic acne or eczema or anything else that many people I know have, so generally I've been pretty lucky. I did have a rather bizarre bout of small white little pimples that cropped all over my neck and would not go away one very trying period when I was the most stressed I had ever been. (Thank goodness for turtlenecks). I immediately went to a Dermatologist and I have to say she really was one of the most influential people that have helped to change my life. She didn't promise me a magic potion, instead she wanted to get to the "root" of the problem and prevent it from happening again.
She asked me quite a few questions about what was going on in my life, what I was eating, if I exercised, was I laughing everyday, did I incorporate music and dance into my life? I was ready to bolt out of her office thinking, "how will a joke make these zits go away crazy lady?" She just smiled and very kindly explained that she believed I was too stressed and most possibly depressed. She went on to inform me when a person is constantly stressed it raises a hormone called cortisol that can have a negative effect on the body. Chronic stress causes fluctuation in cortisol until the body is so confused it changes chemistry in your brain which also leads to bouts of depression. Suddenly, you can't quite get back to your brain's normal levels of serotonin or keep cortisol in control and it will cause physiological symptoms such as headaches, achy muscles, and skin disorders!
My Doctor thought it would be beneficial to me to try a few natural remedies (in addition to some temporary hormone therapy and anti depressants) to get my body, brain and skin back on track. For those of you that may be suffering some of the same symptoms it may be helpful to discuss this with your Doctor before changing your diet or eliminating any types of food from your diet.
1. Eat plenty of Omegas. Wild Alaskan Salmon is full of brain rich essential fatty acids, which have been known to regenerate nerve cells and help increase serotonin levels.
2. Cleanse your body of toxins. For me, I had been indulging in foods that I knew were bad for me. Having been told early on that I was gluten sensitive and that I also did not process corn well, I should have known that these foods were causing toxin buildup in my body. I had to eliminate certain foods for a while and then introduce back into my diet slowly and in whole grain form. I also began to take probiotics and enzymes and I swear I was suddenly feeling better and tolerating many foods better as well. Some folks suffer true food allergies and do better completely cutting their allergen culprits out. To this day, I won't go near popcorn and I think my body is better for it. I can however, still enjoy the smell.
3. Laugh. Dance. Create. Sometimes, when we are wrapped up in our 9-5 (or 7-7) jobs we forget to take care of the essence of ourselves. My true essence has always been a creative outlet (I have painted my entire life) and someplace in fantastic discovery. Working day in and day out without time for friends or family or to catch up with people over dinner is not a good day at all. Getting home to eat a quick meal in front of the television isn't healthy or social either. Answering emails, phone calls or texts after a long day's work is sometimes necessary, but doesn't allow one much time for real human contact. Call a friend, sister or better yet invite them over and prepare a salad or listen to good music together. You can tell your sister she can come over for a few hours and then you need to get some quality shut eye. If you have a spouse, partner or cat, make time to talk about the good parts of their day also. Sometimes listening to the person you love is enough to make your heart swell.
4. Exercise. Take time to move your body. Allow blood to circulate, get your heart pumping and move your ass! If you're scared of sit ups or the treadmill, fear not. Get out some samba CD's and dance like a fool until you are laughing and breaking a sweat. Your body needs to move and it will stimulate certain brain chemicals that will make you feel better. If you're the romantic type tell your partner that an evening walk after sunset will put you in the mood and viola..you'll have an instant exercise buddy!
I hope some of what I learned helps others to know there are things one can do to fight acne or other skin issues naturally. Running to the drugstore to purchase harsh acne aids does not solve the problem. First, one must understand why the problem is occurring and then prevent it from happening again. Using natural products full of nutrients, vitamins and pure antioxidants are most beneficial to every skin type and every person.
Happy Skin Awareness Month!