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Hoping this will help someone, or we can bond and share advice over similar backgrounds/experiences.

  • female, in my 20s
  • have had acne for about 10 years, severe for about 5 years
  • also diagnosed with folliculitis, flares up in summer and almost nonexistent in winter
  • redness and visible blood vessles around nose, symptoms of rosacea
  • naturally oily skin

    Medication history:
    • Never been on birth control or accutane
    • Tried countless OTC topicals, with no success. Some of the most common, benzoyl peroxide and Proactiv, were much too irritating for my skin, while salycylic acid did not produce results.
    • Clindamycin and oral antibiotics worked for a few months, took these about 3 years ago.
    • Took Spironolactone for about two weeks before giving it up after getting severe hives every night the second week.

    What has improved my skin so far:

    [*]ending the use of unnatural topicals. this was very important for me.

    [*]in the evenings, I wash with oats and tone with apple cider vinegar

    [*]licorice root extract as part of a mask has been great for scars and pores, manuka honey is also very helpful

    [*]switching to natural makeup (by afterglow cosmetics), and using it minimally

    [*]drinking peppermint tea daily has helped my skin greatly

    [*]daily exercise and reasonable exposure to sunlight, good sleep habits, actively lessening stress by avoiding overcommitment, giving myself a break, and working out anxieties

    [*]eating a vegetable-based diet, with probiotic-containing foods, and drinking (seemingly) large amounts of water

    In the summers when I am able to follow this more relaxed and healthy lifestyle with ample exercise outdoors, my skin is about 80-95% clear (depending on the time of month), which is a vast improvement over my severe acne which began several years ago. However, recently I have begun rigorous studies in a new country with a very different environment and food which my skin responded to by breaking out somewhat severely, so I am looking to become healthy again and improve my skin.


Current situation:

  • flare up of folliculitis on legs and back
  • some (2-3 small) acne on face, but overall not bad
  • redness of face (rosacea still present)
  • scars from recent acne outbreaks (3-5 weeks ago)

    Other factors:
    • recent international travel
    • very humid environment, different food and sleep schedule than I'm used to, stress of academics
    • extremely bloated stomach, tiredness, skipped period

      Lifestyle changes to be made:
      1. sleep early (by 10 or 11pm at the latest) and enough
      2. drink 6-8 glasses of (lemon) water daily
      3. low/moderate daily exercise (starting out very gently due to present exhaustion)
      4. avoid dietary stressors (aka sugar and high glycemic foods, refined grains, gluten) and instead focus on vegetables, protein, and probiotic foods
      5. drink apple cider vinegar before dinner, relax when eating, chew thoroughly, eat less at each meal and more frequently
      6. be kind to myself :) and release stress

      Current topicals:

      [*]night only: wash with oats, followed by apple cider vinegar as toner

      [*]nizoral shampoo on skin (except face) daily, followed by anti-fungal cream (both over the counter)


      [*]worsening of folliculitis due to introduction of nizoral and/or anti-fungal cream a few days ago?

      [*]a visit to a doctor (and the $) possibly warranted if conditions (extreme bloating, tiredness, folliculitis) don't improve in 1-2 weeks with lifestyle changes? Possibly to check for things such as food allergies, parasites, thyroid function, hormones or just due to a new environment?

      [*]undergo a natural (herb-based) parasite cleanse? (recently eaten a variety of new foods, including a good amount of raw fish)

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