Do you or does someone you love have with acne? If so, you know that it is no fun! It often leads to numerous trips to the dermatologist, perception pick ups from the pharmacy, and even sessions with your counselor as you deal with the emotional trauma from having acne. That said, acne is common and it is normally accepted as a right of passage, part of life, and something that just is as it is.
Acne has been diagnosed as “dirty skin,” “oily skin,” or “hormone imbalance” for years. Many people are told that they are greasy, that they over produce testosterone, or that it is just in their genes. These diagnoses are often accepted as bad luck and we move through life living with acne, as if we have to accept it as an unchangeable condition. The next step for many is to medicate and extreme clean our face and body in order to fix our problems. Thus begins the life of popping pills, piling on creams, crying in front of the mirror, and feeling down about bad luck. I don’t mean to sound like a downer here. At the same time, this is the reality. This is the reality that many people live with for a very long time.
But what if we went one level deeper and what if we asked why? Instead of accepting a condition and leaving it as something that was named as is, why don’t we keep the thinking going and why don’t we ask why? Why is our skin dirty, oily, and why are our hormones out of balance? Asking these questions didn’t dawn on me for over 2 decades. I lived in the place of “bad luck” and lots of medicine to combat my luck, thinking that that was all I could do.
After one month of asking why, I began to turn my acne around. Once we ask why, we start to solve these conditions holistically, rather than except them as lifelong concern. We begin to recognize that we are an interwoven system in which the parts of our body talk to each other, work with each other and that they do not operate independently of each other. This beautiful symphony of parts will express disruption if something is not going along well. For me, that disruption appeared as acne. My ahah movement was when I saw my acne as a sign that something was not going well inside of me, rather than a part of me that was irreparable.
So regarding where to start… if you or someone you love has acne, I would start by recognizing the acne as a sign. A sign that you may want to look deeper and figure out why your body is sending out a “flare” or “blinking light” as a warning signal. A sign that something inside is not very happy, and not recognizing the acne as a lifelong sentence of bad luck. As Dr. Trevor Cates put it:
“Your skin is similar to a magic mirror—offering clues about your internal health. When you look at your skin in the bathroom mirror, what do you see? Your first instinct may be to mask redness, bumps, fine lines, and discolorations with makeup. But have you ever thought about why your skin contains blemishes in the first place? Checking for the hints your skin provides to figure out the “why” is what this magic-mirror concept is all about.” ~ Dr. Cates
Here in lies the journey of functional wellness, digging deep, and healing to where you may feel better than you may have thought was possible!