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I have been dealing with cystic/hormonal acne for about 4 years. Painful, deep cystic acne (along with "normal" pimples) all over my lower cheeks by my mouth, along my jawline, and even slightly on my neck. Blackheads became an issue too. It seemed everything made me break out - humid weather was the worst. I couldn't be seen without makeup because my face was scarred and red, and constantly breaking out.
This type of acne came about suddenly in my early twenties, and for a few years I was convinced it was related to my birth control. A few months ago, I decided to get to the root of the problem. I switched birth controls (probably too many times) trying to find "the one" that would make my acne go away. Unsurprisingly, nothing worked. I was also experiencing hair loss (which I was also convinced was because of my birth control pills). I tried EVERYTHING - masks, creams, antibiotics, DOZENS of supplements (the only one which seemed to work slightly was DIM-Plus), even spironolactone, essential oils, cutting out dairy, cutting out sugar - seriously, everything.
After visiting 5 doctors in two months, I stumbled across a forum where someone mentioned gluten. I had always thought it was a "fad" diet, and never gave much credence to it. However, since I had nothing to lose, I decided to give it a go. On day two - yes, TWO - I noticed a difference. By day 4, my cystic acne had flattened and I wasn't noticing any new breakouts. I am not on week 2 of being gluten-free, and my face is clearer than it has been in YEARS. No new pimples - all cystic acne gone. I'm just dealing with getting rid of the scarring now, but even most of the redness is gone.
I am telling you: if nothing seems to work, and you can't figure out the reason for your cystic acne, give the gluten-free diet a try. It could be the answer you've been looking for!
Cutting gluten from my diet is the only thing that ever genuinely fixed my cystic acne. I still occasionally get small pimples and some hormonal acne, but nothing like before. Had to cut it for 6 months -- not even a little bit of soy sauce, NOTHING with even a trace of gluten -- to notice the difference. WORTH IT. I can live without it. I eat rice pasta and rice bread, I eat tamari instead of soy sauce. I live in Toronto so it's easy to get yummy things like gluten-free cinnamon buns, sandwiches, and stuff like that all over the place. I don't care why gluten-free has become a fad but thank god it has because it's so much easier these days than it used to be to eat out (especially me also being vegan... luckiest girl in the world because I live with someone who works at a vegan/gluten-free bakery). Anyway, when I "cheat" and have some non g-free beer or a little bread or something if I'm visiting family, I get cystic acne around my eyebrows, chin and ears within a couple of days and it takes FOREVER to go away. I'm 100% certain it is connected. Now I just have to deal with the scars. Please try this. There are no side effects and it's not as much of an inconvenience as you probably imagine. You can still eat what you eat now, just different versions of it. Been off gluten for a few years now and I wish I'd done it sooner.
I've been mostly gluten-free for the past 2 and a half years, although not perfectly but now I'm getting better and better at avoiding gluten. My forehead is CLEAN! I don't use any OTC products or drugs there and I have no pimples there. Whenever I have even a minimal amount of gluten, I do get terrible and painful pimples on my forehead that don't go away for 2 weeks no matter what I do. If I eat a lot of gluten (like I used to), my forehead will look like a minefield (like it used to). However, I still got pimples before my period and as a result of stress and so on. So now with a better sleep, benzoyl peroxide (I don't apply it on my forehead) and a topical antioxidant, my face is clear! I have a perfect complexion and I don't need to wear a lot of foundation. I used to have anemia too, now not anymore! Maybe I have Celiac but to get tested I need to binge on gluten for 3 months which is not gonna happen any time soon. Anyway, I finally have perfect skin, I wear sunscreen every day and I look and feel good!
Like some people here, I've had acne since I was 15 years old. Being 23 now, I've tried every over the counter cream and suffered many painful cysts. After reading some reviews for inositol, which is mostly for women with PCOS, I decided to give it a try. It helped significantly at first, but it wasn't enough. I still had the occasional cyst and white heads. Later, I discovered that my father is allergic to gluten and my mother is sensitive to it. This encouraged me to eliminate gluten from my diet for at least a week and see what my results would be. Today is day five of my gluten-free diet and my face has NEVER felt so smooth! My currents cysts are very flat and almost gone, and there are no new nodules on my face. There's also a difference in my level of energy and mood. Overall, I feel great! I'm still taking inositol because it helps, but that's it. I'm so glad something finally works!
I have struggled with acne since I started breaking out in painful cysts around age 14 ( I am 20 now). Through the years, my acne has only gotten worse and I have found nothing to be of much help. I have gone to a dermatologist several times and have been prescribed several different topical gels, 2 different kinds of antibiotics, cortisone injections, etc. My mom is also an esthetician so I have had my share of facials, peels, masks, two different expensive acne skin care lines, and light therapy but nothing seemed to help. I finally decided as a last resort to start eliminating foods out of my diet, starting with gluten. After a week of no gluten, I noticed a significant change in my skin. Though it was not fully clear yet, all of the cysts were flat, not painful, and I hadn't developed hardly any new ones. I still had red spots from previous breakouts & the occasional zit that would clear up within a day. This was a huge improvement compared to the horribly painful cysts that covered my forehead and cheeks. I decided to eat a muffin one morning because I thought my clear skin was only due to starting birth control. I WAS WRONG. Within three hours of eating the muffin, I broke out into 8 new painful cysts with whiteheads all over my forehead. I haven't touch gluten since then which was about 3 days ago. So far, the cysts are starting to clear up slowly and I have not developed any new ones. If you've tried everything to no avail, I would definitely recommend this. I'm hoping to see more improvement as I stick strictly to the diet so we'll see!
I have not touched gluten in two months now, but I'm still breaking out in cystic pimples. I used to have severe acne (a side-effect after coming off the pill), it's a lot better now but still moderate. I am also taking antibiotics at the moment and I think those are the reason why my acne is getting better, but since it's quite easy to stay away from gluten I don't see a reason not to do it. It's hard at first but as you get used to it, it's easy to stay away from bread, pasta, cookies... It's a healthy choice of life but I'm afraid it doesn't take away acne. Not for me, at least.
I've had acne since I was 15, and I'm now 30. For those 15 years I took antibiotics, used Differin, Retin-A, BP, salicylic acid, and anything else a doctor told me to try, for years at a time. Nothing worked and my skin was dry, sensitive, and I had painful acne that has left scars. I finally did an elimination diet (look it up, find a plan you can follow, then follow it to the letter) and my skin cleared up within two weeks. A month and a half later I added gluten back in to see if I broke out, and within 5 days I broke out all over my back and lower face, in really painful, inflamed red bumps. I took gluten out again, and within less than 2 weeks I was clear again. It's been close to 4 months now that I've been gluten-free and I've miraculously been acne free as well. I really hope some 15 year olds read this and save themselves a half of a lifetime of low self-esteem, scaring, expensive treatments, and general misery.
To those who say that gluten-free products are expensive: usually they aren't very healthy anyway, being high in sugar and other processed white grains like rice or corn, so just don't buy them! You can eat so many other things that nature already provided gluten-free, so skip the processed substitutes. Also, if you do want gluten free cereal and bread, it's going to be cheaper in the long run than prescription medications, over the counter creams, microdermabrasion for inevitable scarring, or laser treatment for leftover dark marks. Think of it that way.
Try it for a minimum of two months. You can make it that long, I promise. If you actually do it right, no cheating, you might get the miracle results I got too.
After only a few days on gluten free diet, 90% of my acne is gone. Amazing, as I've had acne for last 17 years. It's the first time I feel confident enough in my skin to stop wearing foundation. And overall improvement in health doesn't heart, as in much more energy, balanced emotional and mental states, better digestion.
I noticed an improvement in my skin within the first two weeks. After eight weeks my skin was almost completely clear.