CAUSES: MORE THAN SKIN DEEP
Skin Problems are Often the Manifestation of Internal Dysfunction
Stress and Your Skin…
Two things came to mind today… Regarding the observation about picking the face being common among career women in their 30s, I was wondering: Is it a way of sabotaging our success?
Or punishing ourselves for being successful?
Or punishing ourselves for not being wives and mothers? (a “good” mother stays home).
Or is it a way to decrease our feminine attractiveness so we can be taken seriously in the male working world?
Or are we angry that we have to work outside of the home and take that anger out on ourselves? Is picking only a problem in countries where there are a lot of women in the work place?
Then I realized that 3 out of my 4 sisters picked their faces EXCEPT the one who never had to support herself! She was in high school during the late 1950’s-early 1960’s and became a fulltime wife and mother soon out of high school.
Skin problems can be the result of internal turmoil, both emotionally and physically. Most often the reasons go beyond the superficial to deeper emotional issues.
There are so many good questions that need to be answered. In researching this book I came across the one interesting fact that there is no sign of Acne in the tribes that live along the Amazon. The doctor who had discovered this concluded that it must mean that Acne appears to be a disease of civilization.
It is also interesting to note that the neurosis of face picking is extremely prevalent among work age women. Is it possible that picking is the result of women’s lib and the economic necessity after the 1970s for women to enter the workplace. No longer is being a working woman a choice. It is expected. For the women who pick, is it possible we pick due to our loss of femininity. Our culture has shifted our roles from processors to producers. Women now have to bear the burdens of financial survival and workplace competition more than ever. And for the men who pick, perhaps this reversed responsibility contributes to fears of being able to fulfill the multidimensional roles that men have never been asked to fill before. Do we feel good enough or worthy enough to fulfill these new assignments?
So much more is expected of both men and women since the sexual revolution and we have more areas in which to fail or at least fall a little short, thus contributing to more self criticism.
Aggressive behavior is more and more considered taboo in our culture, so where is it acceptable to lash out? Do we pick at ourselves at the end of the day after we have felt picked on by others all day long? Do we pick due to a lack of emotional fulfillment.
The economic demands of the American lifestyle are expensive and many times we feel trapped in jobs that do not make us happy and fulfill our dreams and desires just to have our daily ‘necessities’ like cable tv, eating out, cel phones, etc…
In this chapter we will look at some of the physiological reasons for skin problems, but in the next chapter we’ll delve deeper into emotional issues.
Way Beneath the Surface
Cosmetic companies and many doctors may only treat problem skin externally, when an inner imbalance is the culprit. The skin is integrally connected to every other body system. When internal organs are out of balance toxins build up and the body works to eliminate them. One of the best ways of elimination is through the pores and perspiration.
If you are a female, you know how drastically your skin can change throughout your monthly cycle… If you are male you have monthly cycles as well, maybe not as openly perceptible, but they are there if you take notice. Sometimes in this modern age we forget what kind of delicate and vulnerable creatures we are. We put on our ‘tough’ business suits and strut into the workplace or into the hard smooth chrome, steel and vinyl kitchens and baths, and interact with hard manmade substances like computers and automobiles, and we fail to realize that human beings are animals, susceptible to all sorts of stimulus and injury. With this in mind let us talk about the various daily stimuli which can effect your skin adversely.
Way Beneath the Surface – Hormones & Steroids
Birth control pills attempt to control nature’s balance by replicating female hormones that occur when a woman is pregnant. This is what signals the body not to allow a second pregnancy to occur. These hormones may alleviate symptoms in some rare cases. Those with androgenic, antiestrogenic progesterones, or norgestrel aggravate symptoms.
Steroids can cause irreversible damage to many internal organs, possible hair loss, and psychological changes and affect the skin causing severe cystic acne. DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate) has been touted as a new miracle drug, but is simply a steroid in disguise of an over-the counter weight loss energy pill and has had the same cystic acne effects as other steroids.
Systemic corticosteroids and androgens like adrenocorticotrpoic hormone (ACTH) are also known to cause acne.
Way Beneath the Surface – Other Drugs
Other drugs known for acne side effects include: lithium, anticonvulsants, phenytoin, barbiturates, isoniazid, cyclosporine, iodides, and bromides. And chronic overuse of broadspectrum antibiotics can lead to gram-negative folliculitus, or follicle inflammation breakouts.