Karen had remembered having sensitive skin as a child. But now in her late 30s, she noticed that her facial skin was even more prone to breakouts and rashes. On occasion, she even got a large blemish that was painful to the touch, got red and swelled, but rarely, if ever, came to a head. Called cystic acne, it took a long time to heal and was very hard to cover even with layers of concealer. She didn’t think these pimples were linked to her menstrual cycle; she thought they might have something to do with what she was eating, but couldn’t determine the culprit.
Then, to make matters worse, she started getting a rash on both cheeks around her nose. This was slightly scaly and was also difficult to cover with makeup. She tried to soothe it with a natural ointment but this just made it worse. Again, she thought maybe it was something she was eating, but had no idea what it was.
Karen went to her doctor who prescribed hydrocortisone cream for the rash, and told her that if she chose to, she could have the cystic acne injected with cortisone by a dermatologist to help it heal more quickly. Otherwise she could try applying benzoyl peroxide. Preferring to take a natural route, Karen started doing some research and asking others for advice.
4 Ways Karen Got Control of Her Skin
1. A friend said she had heard that rashes around the mouth and nose are often caused by nervousness and stress. Karen bought a high quality B-Complex vitamin supplement at a health store. She also started to do yoga stretches while deep breathing for 10 minutes every morning and every night to help calm her. Within two weeks, the rash disappeared.
2. Karen had a consultation with a nutritionist about her cystic acne. She was told to avoid all dairy foods, sugar, wheat, nuts, caffeine and alcohol for two weeks. Although this was difficult at first, she found replacements for most, which made it much easier. Two weeks later, she didn’t have any bouts of acne, but wondered if it indeed was something she had avoided. She began adding the foods and drinks back into her diet one by one giving with two weeks in between each addition. She found that when she started eating them again, dairy foods, certain nuts and caffeine would begin to cause breakouts!
3. Karen began to drink more water. She drank two glasses first thing in the morning; and during the day, she would drink a cup or two of plain hot water to help satisfy her craving for a hot drink and replace caffeinated tea and coffee. This helped to flush her system of impurities so the bouts of acne she did get disappeared much more quickly.
4. Karen noticed that when she had a slight breakout, if she touched it (other than to lightly dab makeup on it with a clean finger) or if she was stressed, nervous or angry about something, these would make it worse. She vowed to reduce both the touching and the tension.