The great truth that owners of skin complaints have to accept is that fully 95 per cent of people who look at them don’t even notice their skin. They probably sec it but it doesn’t register in their brain because they are too busy thinking about themselves. Those who are aware of the skin complaint’s existence would be so for less than a few seconds because they’re not interested enough in others and their afflictions to let it be an issue with them.

The fact is that most people hold themselves and their own well-being at the centre of their attention. They are the centre of their own little universe and most expect to be the centre of other people’s attention and universe as well, which is one reason conflicts arise in human relationships. This attitude is held by all those who worry about the opinions others hold about their skin. They are so self-centred they automatically assume that everyone else is noticing and thinking about them when, in fact, they’re not.

These people tend to be outer rather than inner centred, meaning their focus in life is on their studies, hobbies, sports, friends, work, pets, family, art, music, nature, science or whatever outside interest they have, rather than on themselves and how others perceive them. Their waking hours and a good measure of their sleeping hours are taken up with thinking about all those interesting things they are involved in and/or the pursuit of their own particular goal which, in their case, is not attention seeking.

This attitude to life shows on their face and skin. They are of healthy colour with relaxed facial muscles, an easy relaxed smile and clear skin. The attention seekers, conversely, tend to be more uptight, highly strung and, if they are the dramatic type as well, possessed of acne, eczema, rosacea or psoriasis.

Anyone can learn to be more self-contained, self-reliant and independent of the opinions of others by regularly talking themselves out of it and by forcibly stopping their attention-seeking habits (boasting, pouting, comparing ourselves with others, ranting, raving are all attention-seeking habits). To help this process along it pays to get some interests (studies, hobbies or sports) to focus on.

If you are suffering from eczema or psoriasis it pays to use the cortisone cream while the program and change of attitude are taking effect. It is easier to get yourself off centre stage if you’re not having to look at a complaining skin each day. While the inflammation is down, your anxiety levels are down and while they are down the neurokinin levels are down.

If you have acne talk to your doctor about taking the drug Roaccutane while your program and change of attitude are taking effect. Roaccutane helps to shrink over-excited sebaceous glands and is very effective at reducing acne.

Some women find the pill helps. The oestrogen negates the acne-producing testosterone that the stress of looking at acne has put in their blood each day. The pill only works if it’s low in progesterone and Candida infections have to be contained by ninety days on the Anti-Candida/Anti-Allergy Program.

By using the drugs and program together you are enjoying the best of what medicine and naturopathy have to offer and that is the way it should be. As the program and change of thinking begin to take effect you can begin to wean yourself off the drugs (under your doctor’s supervision). For eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and acne sufferers this tends to be an automatic thing as you will find your skin is flaring up less and less and without realising it, the time span between cream applications is getting greater and greater.

The deep breathing exercises are excellent for quietening down the skin, especially for the dramatic types who tend to over-react to all of life’s little antagonisms in a fiery and vociferous way. The dramatic types tend to awfulise life situations more vigorously than others and must learn to moderate their reactions. They blow things out of all proportion, making mountains out of mole hills and creating storms in teacups. Nothing flares up the skin quicker than dramatic over-reaction to life’s events or the things others say and do. And although dramatic types tend to flare up and forget quickly, the neurokinin lingers in the skin for some time after.

The smouldering resenters are at the other end of the spectrum. They are just as intense as the dramatic type but keep everything inside and just fume and boil quietly. A skin complaint is usually the only evidence of their inner turmoil. Learning to be more philosophical about life and the things people say and do is the big challenge for smouldering resenters. Learning to forgive will quieten their skin down more quickly than anything.

Shy people can experience a flare-up of their skin complaint because shy people embarrass easily and blush when they do so. Embarrassment is the inability to retaliate or find an appropriate answer to a challenge be it real or imagined. Assertiveness classes are the answer for the easily embarrassed as well as making a concerted effort to expand their vocabulary and learn to use it. Joining a debating society has done wonders for many of my formerly shy patients. It was the practice of debating that took the famous playwright George Bernard Shaw from an inarticulate introvert to the very articulate and entertaining extrovert he came to be. Doing the things we fear is the best way of overcoming our fear and embarrassment.

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