Winter & Acne And Rosacea
In winter dry cold weather can aggravate acne and rosacea. The combination of outdoor winds and indoor heating causes the skin to loose a lot of moisture. These extremes of temperature can especially aggravate the skin conditions.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine the change in seasons will have a direct effect on our internal body environment. Each element of the climate (wind, heat, cold, damp, and dryness) corresponds to the cycle of the seasons. Respectively wind corresponds with spring, heat with summer, dampness with late summer, dryness with autumn and cold with winter. When a person exhibits internal response patterns analogous to external climatic conditions, Chinese Medicine postulates that a person has that condition or climate internally as well.
The nature of wind is movement that rises and falls unpredictably. As spring is a time of sudden and rapid change, it is considered the season of wind. Wind can enter the body, just as it finds its way through the cracks and crevices of doors and windows. Wind invading the surface of the body manifests as soreness, itching, and sensitivity of the skin and muscles.
Cold makes things contract, contracted blood vessels restrict the circulation, chilling the body. Winter is the season that corresponds to cold. Lack of circulation to the body surface means that the skin is less nourished and impurities are slow to be cleared away. Cold leads to Blood and Moisture congealing and can cause the formation of clots and lumps.
The nature of dryness is to wither and shrivel. Dryness damages fluids and dehydrates. Brittle hair and nails cracked and withered skin and mucous membranes, irritated eyes and lack of perspiration occur with dryness. The lack of lubrication and moisture can generate irritation and inflammation.
The nature of dampness is to sink and accumulate, like a stagnant pond. Dampness is characterized by an abnormal build up of fluids or excess secretions. When it obstructs the circulation on the body surface it produces oily skin and sticky perspiration. Any sore, abscess, or ulcer with pus or fluid indicates dampness.
The dry artificial indoor heating dilates the capillaries. When heat invades the surface, it may show up as skin eruptions such as red rashes, welts, sores, ulcers, boils, and acne. Certain B vitamins, sugar, coffee, spicy food and alcohol all produce heat and can exacerbate an excess heat condition.
To keep a healthy skin in winter:
- Drink a lot of water. Particularly beneficial is warm water. Avoid sodas, juice, coffee and tea and try to drink herbal teas instead. Herbal teas and decoctions that help purify the blood are cleavers, burdock, nettles and dandelion.
- Try to avoid smoking, this really can dry out the moisture in skin.
- Keep the central heating turned down and avoid long hot baths. Do not wash with hot water on your face.
- Along with AcnEase it is good to take zinc as a supplement. Zinc helps to rejuvenate skin and helps the skin to grow. Zinc is necessary for stored Vitamin A in the liver to be released into the blood so if you suffer from acne, take 15mg a day and eat pumpkin seeds, which are rich in zinc.
- Keep to a healthy diet and try to avoid the sugary sweet foods and eat regular meals.
- Use humidifiers in dry artificially heated rooms or keep bowls of water on top of or close to radiators in order to put more moisture in the air.
- Get plenty of sleep as stress and fatigue cause increased production of hormones by the adrenal glands.
- Vitamin A is especially helpful for acne, so try and drink a glass of carrot juice a day. You can also mix carrot juice with cabbage, apple, and beetroot juice, all of which will benefit your skin.
- Vitamin E either by itself or mixed with comfry can be applied to healed scarred skin once the inflammation has resolved. A daily dose of Vitamin C is useful to boost the immune system and help clear up skin infections.
- Take regular exercise to help the circulation to the skin and to maintain a healthy metabolic rate in the winter. Regular exercise also helps reduce stress and depression by keeping the Qi (vital energy) flowing.