Skincare for Chronic Migraine

Skincare for Chronic Migraine

Living with chronic migraine can be a daunting journey, often disrupting daily routines and diminishing quality of life. However, integrating specific skincare for chronic migraine can provide a dual benefit—soothing both the skin and your migraine symptoms.

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The information in this blog post is provided for educational and informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read online. The author of this post is not a licensed medical professional and does not assume any liability for any actions taken based on the information contained in this post.

Understanding Migraine Phases

Migraine episodes typically progress through four stages: prodrome, aura, attack, and postdrome. Understanding each phase can help in managing symptoms more effectively.

  • Prodrome Phase: This “pre-headache” phase can occur hours or even days before the migraine attack. Symptoms may include mood changes, food cravings, neck stiffness, increased thirst, frequent yawning, or even depression. Recognizing these early signs can help in taking preventive measures.
  • Aura Phase: Not everyone with migraine experiences aura but, for those who do, it can involve visual disturbances such as flashing lights, zigzag patterns, or blind spots. Some people may also experience sensory, motor, or speech disturbances.
  • Attack Phase: This tends to be the most debilitating phase, characterized by intense, throbbing headache on one or both sides of the head. It can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light, sound, smell, or touch.
  • Postdrome Phase: Often referred to as the “migraine hangover,” this phase can last up to a day after the attack. Symptom include fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and a general feeling of being unwell. It’s important to rest and recuperate during this phase.

Skincare Products for Chronic Migraine

Gua Sha

Gua sha, a traditional Chinese medical technique, involves gently scraping the kin with a smooth-edged tool. This practice is believed to promote blood circulation and release muscle tension. For those of us with chronic migraine, gua sha can be particularly beneficial in relieving neck stiffness and promoting relaxation.

Find a budget-friendly gua sha at Shop Miss A!

How to Use Gua Sha for Migraine Relief

  • Choose the Right Tool: Select a gua sha tool made from jade or rose quartz, known for their cooing properties.
  • Prepare Your Skin: Apply a few drops of facial oil to ensure the tool glides smoothly.
  • Focus on Key Areas: Gently scrape the tool along the neck, shoulders, and base of the skull. This can help alleviate tension and improve blood flow.
  • Be Consistent: Incorporate gua sha into your routine a few times a week, especially during the prodrome phase, to potentially reduce the frequency and intensity of migraine episodes.

Jade Rollers

Jade rollers have gained popularity for their ability to reduce puffiness and improve skin elasticity. Beyond skincare benefits, their cooling effect can also provide relief during a migraine attack, particularly when stored in the refrigerator before use.

Find a compact jade roller at Shop Miss A.

How to Use a Jade Roller for Migraine Relief

  • Cool the Roller: Keep your jade roller in the fridge for an extra cooling effect.
  • Start with a Clean Face: Ensure your face is clean and apply a hydrating serum or moisturizer.
  • Roll with Intention: Gently roll the jade tool across your forehead, temples, and along the jawline. The cooling sensation can help reduce inflammation and soothe the discomfort of chronic migraine.
  • Integrate into Your Routine: Use the jade roller regularly, particularly during the prodrome phase, to help manage symptoms.

Ice Rollers

Ice rollers are another fantastic tool for providing relief during a migraine attack. The cold temperature can help constrict blood vessels and reduce inflammation, offering a soothing effect on throbbing pain.

Order my go-to ice roller on Amazon.

How to Use an Ice Roller for Migraine Relief

  • Keep it Cold: Store your ice roller in the freezer so it’s ready to use when needed.
  • Apply to Affected Areas: Roll the ice roller gently over your forehead, temples, and neck. The cold can provide quick relief and reduce inflammation.
  • Use as Needed: Ice rollers are perfect for immediate relief during a migraine attack! Use it whenever you feel the onset of symptoms.

Microcurrent Devices

Microcurrent facial devices utilize low-level electrical currents to stimulate facial mucles and promote skin health. These devices can also offer relief from certain migraine symptoms by enhancing blood flow and reducing muscle tension.

How to Use a Microcurrent for Migraine Relief

  • Choose the Right Device: Opt for a reputable microcurrent device designed for facial use.
  • Follow Instructions: Adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines for safe and effective use.
  • Target Problem Areas: Focus on areas prone to tension, such as the forehead, temples, and jawline.
  • Consistency is Key: Regular use can help mitigate the onset and severity of symptoms associated with chronic migraine.

LED Light Therapy Masks

LED light therapy masks use different wavelengths of light to target various skin concerns. Red light therapy, in particular, can help reduce inflammation and improve circulation, which may be beneficial for those with chronic migraine—though it may not be an ideal fit for those dealing with light sensitivity.

Shop light therapy masks on Amazon.

How to Use an LED Light Therapy Mask for Chronic Migraine

  • Choose the Right Mask: Opt for a mask that offers red light therapy.
  • Follow the Instructions: Use the mask according to the manufacturer’s guidelines, typically for about 10-20 minutes per session.
  • Consistency: Use regularly to potentially reduce the frequency and severity of migraine episodes.

Scientific Insights: Skincare for Migraine Relief

Emerging research suggests that the skin and nervous system are closely interconnected.

…the skin should be considered a sensory organ and an important part of the central nervous system, an ‘active interface’ and the first connection of the body to the outside world.

Cell Proliferation, 2019

Tools that stimulate facial muscles and improve circulation can also influence the trigeminal nerve, which is often implicated in migraine pain. You might recognize that connection from the fan-favorite Cefaly device! By enhancing blood flow and reducing tension, certain skincare for chronic migraine can provide a noon-pharmacological approach to symptom management.

Safe Use of Skincare for Chronic Migraine

While these tools and products can be beneficial, it’s essential to use skincare for chronic migraine correctly to avoid potential harm:

  • Gua Sha: Always use a gentle hand to prevent bruising. Avoid using the tool on broken or irritated skin.
  • Jade Rollers: Ensure the roller is clean to prevent skin infections. If you experience increased pain, discontinue use.
  • Ice Rollers: Do not apply ice directly to the skin for prolonged periods. Use a clean cloth if needed!
  • Microcurrent Devices: Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and avoid using the device on areas with open wounds or acne.
  • LED Light Therapy Masks: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Avoid looking directly at the lights and limit sesssions to the recommended duration and frequency. Ensure the mask is clean and in good condition to avoid skin irritation.

Skincare Products for Migraine Relief

In addition to using these tools, incorporating specific skincare products can help enhance your migraine management routine. Here are a few recommendations:

  • Calming Facial Oil Mist: This is a nightly ritual for me! A hydrating mist with calming essential oils like lavender can provide a soothing effect during a migraine attack. This may not be the right fit when it comes to skincare for chronic migraine if you’re dealing with scent sensitivity, though.
  • Hydrating Serums: Serums with ingredients like hyaluronic acid can keep your skin hydrated and healthy, which is crucial during a migraine episode, when dehydration can exacerbate symptoms.
  • Cooling Gels: Products containing ingredients like aloe vera or menthol can offer a cooling sensation that helps reduce inflammation and discomfort.

Creating a Migraine-Friendly Skincare Routine

Incorporating these tools into a regular skincare for chronic migraine routine can offer holistic benefits beyond traditional migraine treatments. Here’s a simple routine to get you started:

  • Morning Routine: Start with a gentle cleanser, followed by a hydrating serum and moisturizer. Use a jade roller to reduce morning puffiness and promote circulation. Finish with a spritz of facial oil mist.
  • Midday Relief: If you feel a migraine coming on, use an ice roller or other skincare for chronic migraine for immediate relief.
  • Evening Routine: After cleansing, use a microcurrent device to relax facial muscles and enhance skin health. Apply a cooling gel, then finish with a facial oil and gua sha session to relieve tension before bed.
  • During Migraine Prodrome: Pay extra attention to your skincare routine, incorporating these tools to address early migraine symptoms and potentially lessen the intensity of the upcoming attack. Use an ice roller or LED light therapy mask for additional relief if needed.

Learn more about my skincare routine!

Chronic migraine requires a multifaceted approach, and integrating a variety of skincare tools and products can provide some much-needed relief. By addressing symptoms early and promoting relaxation, these sorts of skincare for chronic migraine offer a holistic way to manage migraine attacks while enhancing your wellness routine.

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