I'm doing good, thanks! Figured I'd stop by and check in. I still read on the site, I just don't post often because I feel silly saying "still clear" over and over.. what a terrible problem to have I know, lol. I eat pretty much everything now with no problems, although I still steer clear of gluten. I even went out to eat, which was huge for me! I pretty much only break out if I drink a ton of coffee, which I rarely do since I know it causes me problems. Once I eliminated coffee, most of my health problems seemed to get better.
I used mostly raw honey when I was doing it, not the Manuka and not the regular. Like I said, I don't think it made it worse exactly, it just was getting worse anyway the longer I went without using the acne meds. I didn't really have a reaction, I just got sick of coating honey on my face every night and still breaking out. I've tried thousands of things but nothing has really consistently helped other than benzoyl peroxide.
What kind of reaction did you have? They say you can easily be allergic to honey.
It's nice to hear you're staying clear. In what way do you think coffee affected your health? I have a definite addiction and drink a couple of cups a day on weekdays, and I've always wondered if it's bad for my health or acne, but I just haven't come across anything to give me the incentive to quit. They even claim coffee is healthy these days, although I don't believe it. Maybe my coffee habits are one of the reasons I still battle with acne.
Here's my theory:
Basically, anything that stresses your adrenal system is going to be bad for acne. This is just my experience and the experience of many others. How many of us break out after a fight with a boyfriend, problems at work or some other issue? That's stress--it inflames the human body, plain and simple. However, emotional stress is only part of the equation. There are also physical stresses, and bombarding your system with caffeine is one of them.
If you ever have gone a long time without caffeine and then drank a cup of strong coffee, you will feel the effects. It makes shaky, jittery, almost like you did a hard drug or something. This effect, although it might not be noticeable after you get used to caffeine every day, is always there. It's always affecting your system like that. So if you drink a few cups of coffee a day, you're bombarding your system with a drug that inflames you and stresses you. Ever day. Think about that.
I'm not saying we can't enjoy a cup of coffee once in a while, but I urge anyone suffering from bad acne to consider giving it up for a long period of time. I gave it up for 3-4 months and that was when I saw the most improvements in my heath. I continued to see improvements even weeks later. Now, I usually break out from coffee but there are times I don't. I think that's because I happened to drink it in a time where my body wasn't as stressed. I think we all basically have a "stress threshold" and when something pushes us past that, it makes it more likely for us to get acne. I think a lot of things can push up the stress load, including emotional stress, harsh drugs like caffeine, bad foods, hormonal shifts (pms, steroid use, etc). This is why people see reactions to so many of these things but not consistently. There is no consistency usually because it all depends on the balance of various things going on at any given time. This is why I constantly broke out when I had my eating disorder even though I was avoiding every "bad" food on the planet--I was constantly stressed and worried. Now, I eat a lot worse but I look and feel better. Why? I decided that life is short, food is good and I don't have that stress anymore. Much less of it as I continue working in recover, at least.
It's just funny, I've been on these boards a long time and seen soooo many people go down the road toward eating disorders from avoiding so many foods and trying to follow all these special diets. It seems like a lot of people are willing to adjust their diet in any way necessary but most aren't willing or don't even realize they can get off the daily coffee train and see major improvements. Coffee is such an accepted part of everyday life in our society, most people don't understand how terribly unhealthy it can be. But google some studies on caffeine and how it affects the body. It's scary. Coffee should be an occasional treat only.