Day One (My FAQ's)treatacne
My FINAL regimen was vegetable juicing and started with the picture above.
Time to say good bye to "acne regimens" and try to live the best I can.
My previous pictures and past regimens are always still public with the descriptions of what I was doing written with them. Everyone is welcomed to take a look at them.
I just wanted to thank everyone first and foremost for sending me links to all the information they have found in regards to acne. I was so surprised with how much I learned when I came to this website. When I first joined, I joined for Dan's Regimen, and it worked! Sadly, its cons outweighed its benefits, and when I quit my acne unsurprisingly came back full blown and worse than ever before. I've pretty much decided that enough is enough. My body has been screaming at me for years and I have done nothing but ignore it. Therefore, my final regimen is taking care of myself from the inside out.
A lot of people have been sending me personal messages since I've joined this site. Unfortunately, they just look at my pictures and simply begin telling me about trying [this and that]. OVER and OVER again I explain to each and every one of them what I am doing. It has gotten pretty repetitive at this point to be quite honest.
So, without further ado, I've gathered my top frequently asked questions (FAQ's) based on what people have asked me numerously over the past few months... and what they will probably be asking me next (I hope). If you see a question you have that's not here then please let me know!
(Last updated 08/25/13):
What do you do?
I'm a full time worker and college student (now graduate).
What are your Health Stats (After a Physical and blood work)?
Physical from 08/06/2012:
Height: 5 ft. 5 in. (I've been that height for several years).
Weight: 120 lb. (I've been thin and fit all my life).
BMI (Body Mass Index): 20 (18.5-24.9 = Normal).
Cholesterol: 169 (Less than 200 = Desirable).
HDL (Good Cholesterol): 83 (60+ is High, which is optimal and good).
Triglycerides: 42 (Less than 150 = Normal).
LDL: 78 (Less than 100 = Optimal and good).
Glucose: 83 (Average is 80-120, so this is good).
Liver and Kidney function: Normal.
I do not have anemia (blood count is normal).
I took a normal blood test and fasted for 12 hours before drawing blood. I didn't ask for anything else specifically. I understand that levels rise and fall all the time, but this is what I got.
More Tests on 04/19/13:
- Had a stool test and blood test done. Required no fasting.
- RESULTS: Everything was negative for parasites in my stools, and my thyroid function is healthy and working.
More Tests on 05/08/12:
- Had a skin prick allergy test done (60 common foods/allergens).
- RESULTS: It concluded that I had no food allergies whatsoever... not even to the nightshade vegetables and corn that I discovered were fairing up my eczema.
How much sleep do you get?
Anywhere from 7 to 9 hours a night. Rarely will it be 6 hours. I have never had problems sleeping and/or waking. I wake/sleep around the same time every day.
Do you exercise?
… How often?
Usually every day. I take long walks once to twice a day, and I stretch when I wakeup and before I sleep. I move around a lot, doing household chores everyday that may take anywhere from one to two hours: cooking, cleaning, laundry, vacuuming, shoveling snow/raking leaves/mowing lawn, dusting, organizing, walking the dog, etc… I am usually constantly on my feet. I rest whenever I feel like it.
… Do you exercise vigorously?
Not really. Sometimes I will sprint or run for 20 minutes, sweating and raising my heart rate to its max, but I don't attempt to body build. My jobs have been very physical in the past (cooking, factory working, food distribution in a freezer, waitressing, etc…) ever since I was hired at 16.
Do you have stress/depression?
Now? No. I am an extremely active and very happy person. If anything, people complement me on my smiles and enthusiasm all the time. Some people actually get pissed as to why I'm so happy. One girl even admitted strait to my face that she was jealous and literally hated me for that, saying that I was too damn happy, like a baby...
… Did you ever have stress/depression?
Before? Yes. But the past is no longer important... not even so much the future. What's important is NOW.
But for the sake of helping others, I will let you know what DID happen to me when I had "depression". I was on a few medications and received counseling before, neither of which did anything to help. I was teased a lot in high school by both my companions, peers, and even my teachers. Some of the teasing was from my acne, but most of it was from the fact that I wasn't very social (not because of my acne). I was constantly depressed from grade school all the way through high school, never completely leaving the depression until I was around 19 years of age. It feels like I'm talking about someone completely different other than myself.
When I started college, my depression faded away down to nothingness. Today I have no depression whatsoever, even with others still critiquing my acne from a distance. Also, my acne has been getting slowly worse with age, not better. Therefore, stress/depression has little to no effect on acne for me, this does not mean that it won't effect other people.
As a female, do your monthly cycles affect your acne?
I'm actually not 100 percent certain about this. In regards to my cycles alone, I have very few symptoms, and almost always perfectly timed every 28 days. I will admit that I thought I noticed some of my acne linked to my periods, but it was almost next to impossible to catch since I always have acne on my face coming and going. I take daily pictures of my face and store them in my computer, trying to see if I can capture any kind of possible "pattern" I am missing, but this is difficult to do because:
a.) My acne is mostly cysts... they develop slowly as huge, unmoving spots, so it's highly possible for my acne to remain unnoticed under my skin for several weeks after my cycle, not to mention I get them in all shapes and sizes.
b.) My period is not the cause of all my acne.
c.) There are too many spots to keep count.
Do you take Birth Control?
No. Never did.
Do you drink alcohol/do drugs?
No. Never did.
Have you done The Regimen of Acne.org?
Yes I did.
And yes it worked.
But I don't recommend it.
More information on all that here: http://www.acne.org/messageboard/gallery/image/44954-first-acne-regimen/
Did you ever take topical/oral medication for your acne?
I've tried everything and anything at all my local stores and pharmacies that said "For Acne" on them since I was 14. I have been an extremely patient acne sufferer for many years, always giving these products two or so months to work.
Anything prescribed to me was always given to me by my local dermatologists. I do not remember all the prescription names I was on, but I do know that many of the things I took and used that were given to me by my dermatologist worked...
... However, my dermatologists gave me more problems than answers, such as:
- Finances: I was constantly pushed to maintain the cost of my medication, as a part time/full time worker AND part time/full time student. Treating my acne... not curing it, TREATING it... was anywhere from 100 to 600 dollars PER MONTH. This included all oral and topical medications. Some of them had to be done 3 times every single day.
- Health: More than 4/5 prescriptions given to me gave me side effects. I had chapped lips, nose bleeds every few months, loss of appetite, shaking, itchy feet, and "burning sides of torso" (kidneys). I also had frequent and sharp headaches, but they only lasted up to 2 or 3 minutes after taking the oral medications.
- Damage: I still live with the side effects to this very day. My face has a thin layer of never ending shedded skin, my hair (which use to me thicker) also constantly sheds and is very thin, and my acne has further mutated into more cyst like legions than the pimply white heads I started with and wish I went back to. They've also spread to my back and stomach. Those particular spots only showed up when I came OFF the dermatologist medication.
- Mentality: I was frequently called and coached by my dermatologists every week to come in because of how severe I was, and that stopping in any way NOW would only "make the acne worse"... Wow, you don't say... I wonder why and when that started to happen...
Dan's Regimen works for me and Accutane works for some people in my family.
Since my first job at 16 years of age, my doctors and dermatologists have gotten quite a generous amount of my paychecks. My acne was always treated with something, so I have been paying for it as long as I can remember. However, I no longer go to my doctor or dermatologist for my acne anymore. I can not stand the risks and side effects, not to mention they will always try to put me on something insanely expensive.
I was able to somewhat trick them into admitting that not only are these medications not long lasting, but that there IS a link to what we DO and EAT that obviously effects our overall health, including the state of our skin which may or may not develop acne. During my last acne visit to my doctor he had told me, rather strictly mind you, that I can never get rid of my acne... that I will always have it no matter what I do. He was 100 percent wrong.
Are you quitting topical washes/medications then?
Yes. I realize now that they might have caused me more harm than good, but I never went more than 3 weeks without trying something different. I guess I never waited long enough. Stoping wasn't easy but I did it anyway. The only thing I use to cleanse myself now is simple organic soap bars (ordered off the internet - coconut, lavender, african black, etc...) and any kind of shampoo/conditioner I can get my hands on.
Do you wear make-up?
Yes, but about 90 percent of the time I don't. I try not to wear anywhere on my face unless I absolutely have to, so with that said I only use it to hide the scars. I only put makeup on if I'm working, at reunions, important company, etc..., but I despise it. Make-up COSTS money and to me is a completely unnecessary investment. I use my fingers and only use a base foundation. I use any brand that doesn't clog the pores.
What do you eat?
I enjoy eating:
-Fruit and berries.
-Vegetables (both cooked AND raw: I either steam them or cook them in soups).
-Sometimes fish meat and eggs.
I do NOT eat:
-Anything genetically processed and prepackaged, boxed, or factory produced.
-Dairy products (does not include eggs).
-Anything Spicy or Hot (Chinese, Mexican, etc…).
-Fast food/Drive-Through food (Wendy's, McDonald's, etc…).
-Most restaurant food (I hardly eat out anyway).
-Almost anything that's not fresh and whole.
Do you eat organic?
Not all the time but I will always prefer organic if it's available.
How much money do you spend on food?
Eating the way I am now actually helped my wallet out more than I thought. The only issue is that I have to shop every week rather than every few weeks. Depending on the season will depend on how much the local produce will cost.
With that said, I spend about $30 to $40 a week on groceries on average.
Fresh produce is large, bulky, takes up a lot of fridge space, and will go bad fast if not used right away, so try keeping track of your receipts and gas trips until you find what works for you. I save money and time by combining my shopping with my other errands. Most produce remains refrigerated until I use them, and I only peel produce the instant I start cooking/juicing with them. I wash everything in a small bowl full of cool water and with a vegetable brush. I have a small fridge and small kitchen, so anyone should be able to do this.
How is your energy level?
High. It's always been high. Eating more healthy now is not changing my energy levels.
How many times do you eat a day?
I don't worry about how many times I eat a day, I eat whenever I get the chance and whenever I NEED to do so. I've always been a "snacking" person, so if you're picky about my diet then I'd say around 3 to 5 times a day, but it may chance at any time. Seldom I sit down an eat large meal. I also rarely eat and drink at the same time. I drink water periodically throughout the day, always keeping myself hydrated. Sometimes I'll wait a few hours before eating and/or drinking, it all depends on what I'm doing.
What DID you use to eat?
Candy, pop, chocolate, breads and bakeries, fruits, vegetables, soups, pizza, pastas, etc…
I ate a variety of healthy things AND junk food. Whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. The majority of my diet was breads, pastas, bakeries, cereals, candies and sweets, milk, soda, and juices.
At first none of what I listed above sounded bad at all, but after reading several forums and stories on this website as well as one nutritional book after another, I eventually realized how terrible these things actually were. I hide nothing and admit everything. Why? because I want to get rid of my acne.
But please keep in mind that I didn't just eat all of these things at once, nor did I eat them every week. These are things that I had no problem swallowing and come across at least a couple times a year. Most of the time it was for birthday parties and/or class/work meetings. I am simply giving you a list of what I remember eating from time to time. I use to have candy about once a week and soda every other day. If I wanted something sweet all day and healthy the next day, then I would just eat it. This is not the case anymore.
Do you still eat candy/ice cream/pudding/sugary sweets?
Not anymore. I did try that trick for almost a year before, getting yelled at by my family and relatives during their holidays and birthdays. No change in acne whatsoever. Only now did I realize what I was doing wrong... Not only did I not read the labels and ingredients correctly, I didn't REPLACE my diet with more nutritious food at the same time. You can't just get rid of the bad stuff, you also have to eat the good stuff!
Do you still drink milk/eat dairy products?
Not since joining this website. Before I use to drink 1 to 3 glasses of milk a day, as well as cheesing up my eggs and other foods, but now I have completely stopped. However, this took a while even when I was a member here because I have been fooled by some products before, such as chocolate, cocoa power, bread, etc... when the ingredients themselves contained milk/dairy. Milk is a huge stimulant for my acne and especially my cystic acne. Being EXTRA careful was the only way that guaranteed my acne would go away.
So now you don't eat/drink sugar AND dairy products?
Correct. However, there is sugar in everything we eat, including fruit. With that said I do eat one any kind of fruit I want every do often, so I guess we have to be realistic when it comes to the word "sugar".
Did you ever stop drinking milk AND eating sugar at the same time BEFORE this website?
I think I did once, but I only tried it for about a month. That month had no change in my acne whatsoever, but I wasn't doing it correctly (such as reading labels and adding healthier foods into my diet at the same time).
What about Gluten?
I've never tried to omit gluten before, so with that said I'll have some bread once or twice a week. I am not interested in gluten free products because they are a health scam in my eyes: just because they took out the gluten doesn't mean the product is more healthy, it means that they replaced it with ingredients that act like gluten would... only they're twice as bad for you. I eat things such as oatmeal but not often.
So you ARE changing your diet?
Yes. After joining this website, I am becoming much more convinced that nutrition and diet plays a role in our acne.
How many servings/meals do you eat a day?
I don't actually eat "meals" but "snack" about 3-5 times a day with around 4-5 servings of fruit and vegetables throughout the day.
What do you drink now?
Only water and hot tea. Please note, I do not drink the tea most of my friends and family are use to: the pre-bagged pouches found in small boxes. No, what I drink are the loose leaf teas, organic and caffeine free if I can find it. I have found many kinds of loose leaf green, white, chamomile, and darjeeling teas off the internet and at my local vitamin shops. Those are my favorite flavors. I drink 1-5 cups a day.
Loose leaf tea lasts longer than the pouched tea because I can add as many dried up leaves as I like. A little goes a long way. I would recommend buying a bag for 9-20 dollars and having it last half a year to one year in your household.
I have always drank hot tea though, ever since high school. Being a tea drinker alone didn't help my acne, I just happened to like it. I also use to sweeten my tea with honey, but eventually just enjoyed the plain, bitter taste of it as I got older.
How much water do you drink a day?
I carry around a 20oz black reusable metal water container with me wherever I go, and I drink anywhere from 1-2 fillings of it a day. I drink water as soon as I wake up and continute to sip it periodically throughout the day. I usually don't eat and drink at the same time, but if I do I won't drink a lot just a little.
Please understand that no one has yet to tell me the exact amount of water I should be drinking a day, which is fine because each day is different. If I am walking then I'll drink more. And of course I also drink my 1-5 cups of tea a day as well.
How often do you urinate/produce waste?
Well... if you must know I urinate about once every 2 hours, so that's an average of about 5-6 times a day. I stop drinking water approx. 2 hours before I go to sleep because I dislike waking up in the middle of the night to pee... always hurts my stomach.
Before my diet change, I produced waste only once every other day. Ever since I started drinking my homemade vegetable juice and/or eating more vegetables, I suddenly can produce waste up to 3 times a day! To me that was just way too much, so I read a few books and later discovered that chewing my food much longer than I normally would actually slows down the waste production, and it did.
Sorry for all the piss and crap talk, but these are actual questions that people have been asking me during my time here. I had no idea people were so picky and upset about these sorts of things, so... there you go!
Best of luck to you all!
And I'm out.
Other pictures from the album
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