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mental attitude and condition of skin

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mental attitude and condition of skin

Posted by
Mike H on July 16, 2001 at 14:50:06:

hey guys,

i wanted to ask you all about how much you feel acne and any other skin problem has affected your mental ability to focus or have confidence, with yourself and others.

for example, i am very self-critical and i can see that where i am now, in my post-accutane, post-antibotic treatmeant phase...that i am almost getting worse. like many of you, while the long-term treatmeants may have failed there are periods of time where i think look "good" or am making progress. but then, oftentimes i'll see an "explosion" and boom! 10 new zits, 20, 5, whatever. and mentally, i'm getting less and less able to handle it.

i've started working on dr. stoll's SR methods, but i struggle with many of the suggested ways and means to achieve it. i'm also supplementing with several natural herbs and vitamins/minerals. i'm just starting B5 so hopefullly i'll have something to show for it soon.

but my main thing is this -- the more and more i live with my war on my skin, the harder it is for me to see beyond it in my daily life. sure, i'll still go to work or school, but i feel like a freak while i'm there. and of course, this all plays a factor in my love life, b/c i do'nt want any girl getting close to me and seeing how disgusting my skin is. i've come to realize this is a very selfish viewpoint, and that 99% of the population doesn't care about my skin, but i can't help but feel out of place and ugly, especially since i'm not a teenager (i'm 22).

so those of you who are married or with a SO, how do you deal with going to bed every night hating your skin and possibly yourself? they say you can't love someone until you love yourself...and you know how touching your acne is supposedly bad? well, it's kind of tough not to have it touched (if even a little bit) if you're with someone, you know?

i think the bottom line here is i obviously don't love or accept myself for my flaws, and that's very true. but i also feel there is a health aspect in that excessive touching could lead to more breakouts. so how have you guys handled this aspect of having a skin problem? how have you gotten over not just how you look at the grocery store, but how you look up close and personal to your girl/boyfriend or spouse? (this assumes your skin still isn't perfectly clear)


Re: mental attitude and condition of skin

Posted by max on July 17, 2001 at 03:46:00:

In Reply to: mental attitude and condition of skin posted by Mike H on July 16, 2001 at 14:50:06:

Hi, Mike!

Boy, do I know how you feel! Don't beat yourself up over how your skin looks and whether it's your fault or not--that will only make things worse. I'm currently struggling with the worst cystic acne of my life due to stress (finishing dissertation, moving, starting new job). Frankly, I'm not "over" my acne. It's hard some days for me to leave my house to do yoga or go to work or go shopping or whatever. Plus, it's not all about vanity, as I'm sure you know. Acne can be physically painful, plus anthropologists have done research showing that healthy skin and eyes are something that humans use to assess the health and suitability of a potential mate. These things have been proven to attract people to one another socially--it's not all in your head. Acne says to others that something is wrong (and it is, whether you buy the psychological, Western medical, Oriental medical, or other holistic perspectives). Your concerns are very real, and shared by lots of other people. I guess I don't have anything to offer you but sympathy.

I do know there are people out there who DON'T care what your skin looks like. I've been married to one for more than 10 years. I wouldn't worry about the touching part of a relationship affecting your acne--if anything, it's going to help, just by letting you relax and let off steam (I can't blame any of my zits on my spouse!).

You have to learn to let yourself be loved for what you are inside, not what you look like, even though it's hard, and even though those negative thoughts intrude sometimes. Just know that there are kindred spirits out there, and we recognize each other. You are NOT alone! Even us old folks (ahem...30+ years is all I'll admit to) are suffering from the same things. Eat healthy, stay informed about ALL the new advances (nutritional, medical, and otherwise), keep up your SR, and take your supplements. Find a sympathetic and knowledgable dermatologist or holistic specialist THAT YOU'RE COMFORTABLE WITH (that's the most important part, I think). Keep the faith! I sincerely wish you all the best.

Re: mental attitude and condition of skin

Posted by ALI on July 17, 2001 at 04:41:49:

In Reply to: mental attitude and condition of skin posted by Mike H on July 16, 2001 at 14:50:06:

Are you the same Mike H. who posted about the "Acne Miracle"? If so, how is that going? If not, here is what I have to say... I can totally, completely, irrevocably relate you how you feel. I'm 25 and about to get married and my skin is a mess. I have been dealing with acne for about 12 years and it doesn't get any easier. There are days when I have a ton of errands to run, but I am reluctant because my face looks so bad. I have gotten very adept at covering them up which is probably why I'm a makeup artist by trade. Eventhough they are covered, I still know they are there and I feel like everyone notices them too. I used to model and people would tell me how beautiful I am and say things like..."you're perfect" and "you are so lucky" and it was always when I was fully made-up. I would always think to myself that they wouldn't even give me a second glance if they saw me without makeup. It's like a crutch. If I don't have it on I tend to be a lot more introverted and less self-confident. When I do, I'm a different person and people treat me as such. Sometimes I think I got cursed with acne so it would keep me from getting a big head. Well, it worked! Only now I'm so worried about how I look that I'm in the mirror all the time which gets mistaken for vanity when it is really my huge insecurity about my horrible looking face and whether or not my zits are visible to the public eye. I don't look people in the face when I am talking to them or vice-versa. Yes, acne has really f***ed up my sense of being. The only remedy that has helped, psychologically, that is, is do have developed an "I don't give a s**t attitude". I don't give-a-s**t about the man/woman at the grocery store because who the hell are they to me anyway? No one! Will these people's opinions of my skin matter when I'm on my deathbed? No! I am always thankful that any situation at any given time could always be a lot worse. My acne could be disfiguring, but it isn't and for that I'm thanful. I have just resolved my self to help people with acne in any way I can. I feel like it is something I am meant to do. On the positive note, I do attribute my evolution as a better person to my acne. Focusing so much on the outside, made me look deeper and focus more on the inside. Do I wish I would wake up tomarrow and be completely acne free? HELL YES!!! Will that happen? No, but through SR, B5 and a better diet it is getting better and that just might be good enough for now.
Mike, I hoped this has helped you in some way. If nothing else, just know that there is someone else out there who feels every last bit of your pain and torment. If you ever have any more questions or just want to vent just give me a holler on the board.
Warm regards,

There is a really great website for us... it's and click on the Acne Forums. It's a support group for people with acne. There is a diet plan on there that people swear by to clear up. Also, you should stop using ANYTHING on your face but a very mild cleanser, distilled water and if your skin gets dry, a little coconut oil. I know this is counterintuitive to everything you know about acne, but it works like a charm. The theory behind it is that all those topical meds dry out the layers of the skin trapping the debris in the pore so you'll break out non-stop. I stopped all meds and my skin looks 80% better just from that!! They discuss this more in detail on the site. Hope it helps!

Re: mental attitude and condition of skin

Posted by
Mike H on July 17, 2001 at 13:20:27:

In Reply to: Re: mental attitude and condition of skin posted by ALI on July 17, 2001 at 04:41:49:


i can't tell you how amazingly close our experiences have been!! looking in the mirror all the time, not making eye contact, all that. while i haven't modeled people like to tell me i'm cute (like 99% of the population also hears :) ) and when i say i hate my skin, they always say it's fine.

yes, i'm the same guy that posted about the acne miracle. while i don't follow it as specifically as he lays out (he wants you to go on these cleansing diets and clean out all the gallstones in your liver, among other things, in addition to the supplements) i do take almost all the supplements he says, except for miso...that stuff looks and smells disgusting to me.

and i *think* my skin is getting better. ok, it is. it's hard for me to say that, you know? i'm so used to being disappointed that i have a hard time accepting results. but i'm definitely better than where i was a month ago. unfortunately, all these supplements are expensive as all hell and, being the frugal (ok, cheapskate ;-) ) guy i am, i'm going to try to cut back and see how low i can go to keep a maintenance dose.

i've also started b5, and if this thing works as well as everyone says, man, that's one hell of a "secret", you know? imagine how low accutane sales, among other crappy drugs, would be if everyone took b5 and was happy with the results?

however, Walt made a good point: we don't really have a b5 deficiency (sorry walt if i'm not getting your words 100% here) and b5 might just be treating the symptoms and not the cause. i hate to say this, but i have to wonder if that line of thinking can also be applied to all the other supplements i'm "cure" a disease, in my book, means you take things, the disease is cured, you stop taking said things, you are ok from then on.

that's why i feel SR and keeping a clean liver might just be the key, and all the supplements, while not worthless, might just be icing on the cake. obviously there are other health benefits to keep taking sups but to stay on this program for the rest of my life, well, that's no cure.


Re: mental attitude and condition of skin

Posted by
Mike H on July 17, 2001 at 13:33:56:

In Reply to: Re: mental attitude and condition of skin posted by max on July 17, 2001 at 03:46:00:


thanks for the reply. i was going to ask you -- what kind of SR do you do? as a pretty hyperactive (no i don't have ADD ;-) ) guy, i have a hard time in many relaxed settings. i find what's worked for me best is immersing myself in music while laying down and closing my eyes. i'm a big jazz/improvisational music fan so i have music that goes into many introspective places for a long period of time. i guess what i'm saying is i feel the music i listen to is more proper for SR than, say, Marilyn Manson.

i can achieve some sense of a transcendental state at times, and i feel this helps me, but a) does this qualify as SR and b) what else do you feel might help me further my SR abilities?

while i like the turn my skin is taking with my sups, i feel like perhaps detoxing and keeping clean my liver, along with relaxing and getting rid of other toxins through SR, maybe that is the "cure" or the best way to get at the root of acne?


Re: acne and egg

Posted by Wendy on July 17, 2001 at 14:03:27:

In Reply to: Re: mental attitude and condition of skin posted by Mike H on July 17, 2001 at 13:20:27:

To Mike, Max & Ali, etc.
I just wanted to mention that I read an article written by a woman who suffered from terrible cystic acne. She was told to use egg yolk on her face to clear it up. She used it as a face mask (I don't know how often) and it worked beautifully. There is something in the yolk that naturally combats acne. Just thought I'd pass that on. If anyone tries it, will you let us know how it works?

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Re: mental attitude and condition of skin

Posted by max on July 17, 2001 at 22:10:54:

In Reply to: Re: mental attitude and condition of skin posted by Mike H on July 17, 2001 at 13:33:56:

Hi, Mike!

Hmmm, I'm not sure I'm the best person for you to be asking, but I'll try to answer your questions as best I can from my perspective.

Frankly, I'm not heavily into the SR thing, mostly because I don't really have the time right now to dedicate to SR as Dr. Stoll advocates (20 minutes 2 x day). I do yoga (in a class) 2-3 times a week, which involves 15-20 minutes of sivasana (relaxation). Sometimes we do visualization exercises, like imagining we're on a beach, or lying on a cloud, or stretched out in front of a roaring fire. One of the best ones I've found (visualization-wise) is imagining a compact ball of healing energy--you pick the color that represents healing and warmth to you that day (mine changes every time!). Then you imagine that ball working it's magic up your body from head to toes, so that the energy moves into each muscle, joint, and organ, leaving each area relaxed and healthy. Sometimes we just meditate on our own. In that case, I find it helpful to focus on my third eye (hard to explain, but it helps keep my mind from wandering).

I've also found that yoga helps me relax by making me focus on particular areas of the body so I can stop "bracing" them all the time. It's great for flexibility, increasing your energy level, and opening up your chakras. Plus the improvements you can see in your poses as you keep practicing is very gratifying--it's cool to realize that you can now do something you couldn't do very well at first, and that lots of other people can't do at all. It's a very personal journey. Inversion poses are supposed to do wonderful things for your heart and other internal organs, and I like to imagine when I do inversions that the blood flowing to my head is picking up all the toxins in my skin and then flushing them out. For me, the visualization is a big help just from an attitude standpoint. If you believe it, it can happen, right? Luckily for me, I have a terrific yoga instructor who is very focused on form and safety and the therapeutic aspects, while still making yoga fun and non-threatening. If you decide to try yoga, make sure you find an instructor that you're comfortable with. Some instructors emphasize the religious and spiritual aspects, while others focus more on the physical and psychological benefits. I've ditched classes after one experience because I just didn't like the instructor (too touchy-feely, too pushy, not enough demonstration/explanation, etc.). You have to be comfortable with the person who will be guiding you through your journey.

I don't know too much about Dr. Stoll's brand of SR, except that he says you should use biofeedback to ensure you're reaching the correct state. I haven't done that, but you might want to try it. I think I've read some posts that include references to specific audio/video tapes and other SR tools, so you might try a search on this site. I'd like to try the Alexander Technique (which as I understand it, focuses on breathing exercises) at some point when I have more time to learn about it.

I think that any kind of relaxation excercises can be helpful for stress-related conditions like acne. And honestly, the last thing I want to get caught up in is worrying about whether I'm doing it as often as Joe or Susie are or whether I'm doing it the "right" way. I'm doing something to reduce my stress levels and I feel like it's working, so I'm not going to stress about sticking to someone else's program. I do what works for me, and I suggest that you try to find something that works for YOU.

Let's see. I just started the B5, too (about 3 days ago), and I'm very hopeful. I haven't done any liver detox stuff, so I don't have any advice to offer you there.

I'm not sure how helpful this will be to you, but if I can give you any more opinions (!), let me know. Best wishes!

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Re: mental attitude and condition of skin

Posted by Ann on July 18, 2001 at 05:57:45:

In Reply to: Re: mental attitude and condition of skin posted by ALI on July 17, 2001 at 04:41:49:

Hi Mike,

If it makes you feel any better, I can totally understand how you feel. Some people say that having acne makes you a better person, but not from my experience. I've always had a spot or 2 here and there most of my life. Every time you get a spot you'll sort of feel crappy until it goes away and you can get on with your life again. At the age of 21 I discovered makeup and got a big confidence boost. For years, I felt great about myself because I just accepted that my real face was the one with makeup. After a while I noticed a strange thing. I didn't like seeing myself without makeup anymore and i wouldn't wash it off straight after I got home (like you're supposed to). I hated doing any activity that involves getting close to the mirror in bright lights (like brushing teeth). I also started to avoid daylight because in daylight all your flaws are more visible. I would keep the curtains in my room shut also. It didn't even matter if there was anyone in the room. I always thought to myself - well, at least i don't have bad acne. It could be worse - i could have scars from it. And deep down I was afraid that one day it would happen to me.

Anyway, things got really bad, when at the age of 25.5 I started developing BAD ACNE vulgaris- i.e. the kind that leaves scars. (some ppl say their face has scars but mostly they're referring to little flat red marks). I'm talking about slight holes in your face.

So you can imagine how I feel now. For the past 6 months, my skin is all i ever think about. I keep staring at my face, crying and feeling depressed all the time. I've never experienced anything this difficult ever in my life. It's as though I'm still waiting for it to go away so that I can have a life again. And it's just getting worse and I can't do anything to stop it quickly.

I feel that stress was a major cause of it. Because over the last few years I've had a lot of stress in my life and it must have had all built up eventually causing things to go wrong.

I know that stressing about how I look is not helping me get better - that's for sure!

Anyway, I haven't discovered a way to make myself not care about how my skin looks. So if anyone comes up with one, please tell me.


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Re: mental attitude and condition of skin

Posted by ALI on July 18, 2001 at 07:17:48:

In Reply to: Re: mental attitude and condition of skin posted by Mike H on July 17, 2001 at 13:33:56:

Hi Mike,
Glad to see your post on the board. :-) I know I'm not Max, but I thought I could help you with your question. There are 2 books you need to read: The Relaxation Response and The Silva Mind Control Method. They will help you develop your SR. Personally, the Silva Method gave me quicker results. They really teach you how to do it right. I don't need the biofeedback either. You will know when you are in alpha; you will FEEL it. I think taking supplements is very important, however, I do agree with you that eliminating the root of the problem is key and that can only be done with SR. The liver issue is a part of that but when you start eating foods like from Wai's diet you are no longer burdening the liver and that helps it to repair itself. If I remember correctly, liver tissue will regenerate itself under the right conditions. So that takes care of that! The B5 and flaxseed oil have reduced my oil output and cysts all the while I'm doing SR and eating right so that is the best course of action I can think of. Also, stop using anything but a mild cleanser and bottled water to wash with and a little coconut oil if you are dry.... you will LOVE the results. Well, that's it... if you have any more questions please ask, I am here to help you.
Take care,

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Re: mental attitude and condition of skin (Archive thread in acne.)

Posted by Walt Stoll on July 18, 2001 at 08:37:19:

In Reply to: mental attitude and condition of skin posted by Mike H on July 16, 2001 at 14:50:06:


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To Mike H. & Ali/Re: mental attitude and condition of skin

Posted by AMY on July 18, 2001 at 10:42:03:

In Reply to: Re: mental attitude and condition of skin posted by ALI on July 17, 2001 at 04:41:49:

I just want to say that I know exactly how you guys feel.
The difference is that now I'm in my forties and still
suffer from acne. I did the accutane thing twice when I was
in my late 20's. It worked for awhile. What bothers me
most is the scarring the acne left me with. When I was
younger everyone said I should model, but because of my acne
I felt I couldn't. To this day I still hide behind my
make-up. I also have thought (so many times) that I was
"cursed with acne so that I wouldn't get a big head." Ali,
I have had many of the same thoughts you have had. I think
that my acne has made me look more on the inside too. Some
of the top (male & female) models I used to know relied so
much on their looks, that they never developed an identity
apart from that. They didn't have to. Everyone loved them
and wanted them because they were so perfect and beautiful.
But perfect or not, models still get dumped just like
everybody else. I used to think that my ex-boyfriend dumped
me because of my acne...that's how obsessed I was about it.
And I too am constantly checking myself out in the mirror.
Not because of vanity but also out of huge insecurity. Now
I'm with a guy (we've been together 2 years) who loves me
with or without the makeup. I honestly sometimes think he
doesn't even see my acne he loves me so much. So Mike,
don't despair. Take everyone's suggestions and hopefully
soon it will be a thing of the past.

I have tried many things for my scarring (peels, Lazer) but
nothing has helped. I have to be careful because I have
olive skin (In some ways it's good because I look 30 instead
of 4. I'm currently trying micro-dermabrasion and have had
3 treatments, but don't notice much improvement. Does
anyone have any other suggestions for eliminating acne scars

Thanks. Take ca

Re: To Mike H. & Ali/Re: mental attitude and condition of skin

Posted by ALI on July 19, 2001 at 01:15:56:

In Reply to: To Mike H. & Ali/Re: mental attitude and condition of skin posted by AMY on July 18, 2001 at 10:42:03:

Hi Amy,
I've included a link that you might find interesting.
I gave it to Mike H. and I think he found it useful.
People on that board are having luck with scarring using Monoi oil. It's a purified coconut oil that makes the skin really soft and people who have tried it said it is making their scars soften and fade. I think its a product that you'll have to order online. If you'll do a search, I'm sure you'll find something. Also, I've been using 100% aloe vera on my face and it has really diminished the reddish-purple marks from old pimples. That website has a lot of really great information solely about acne. You should check it out! I post on there a lot, everyone is extremely supportive and helpful.
Well, I hope this helps. Isn't it nice to know people who share the same experiences? Thanks for writing that reply.
Take care,

To: Amy... corrected link included

Posted by Ali on July 19, 2001 at 01:22:27:

In Reply to: Re: To Mike H. & Ali/Re: mental attitude and condition of skin posted by ALI on July 19, 2001 at 01:15:56:

Sorry about that previous link... here is the correct one.

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