I just want to share what worked for me because I really hope it helps other people or at least gives some hope to keep forging on. I've struggled with acne since I was 10, I'm 27 now. Chronic, cystic, scar-leaving, gross acne nonstop for 17 years, and l've of course tried every kind of medication and cream and herbal pill.
I've wanted to give up SOOO many times!! Whenever I discovered some new idea online, I would get so excited hearing stories of how that one thing was the miracle cure for so many people. Then I'd try it, and it wouldn't do a thing for me, and I'd cry. I'd try the next great idea, again same disappointment. Luckily though, I'm a tenacious person, so I just kept trying, and finally something seems to be happening, so I want to encourage you to do the same! It's worth giving everything a shot b/c you never know what will work for You!
Here's what seems to be working for me so far:
1. Going off dairy Completely really helped me a Lot. I didn't think I could do it, because I had milk, cheese and yogurt every single day, but once I saw the improvement, it became so easy to let go of dairy in exchange for CONTROL, something I had never had before over my acne! It's an amazing feeling, so please, as hard as it sounds, try going off dairy first, because more and more evidence links it to acne for many people (not everyone tho). I can't drink soy (b/c it has the same effect on me as dairy), so I drink vanilla almond milk (almond's vitamin E has made my skin softer!), have almond cheese, and coconut milk ice cream, and all is well! It's not easy to always avoid dairy, but it's easier than i thought and 100% worth it.
Strangely going off dairy has also brought me back to my correct weight - I was only 5 pounds over and couldn't lose it, but going off dairy, even though i'm eating more meat to replace the protein loss, has helped! Maybe also because I've been forced to be more creative and healthy with my food choices now that I don't have the luxury of grabbing pizza or processed junk on the go...
2. I know I suffer from hormonal acne because I break out right before my period (and if milk affects you, you probably have hormonal acne). Birth control pills did nothing for me. Going off milk helped 90% of my acne, but I was still breaking out during PMS a bit. So I kept reading about more ideas and came across Calcium-magnesium-zinc-vitamin D pills. I know that sounds like a bit much, but it's all in one supplement, and the combination of these nutrients keeps hormones balanced. Apparently Dr. Oz recommends this combo too. Nature made has a safe amount that minimizes potential side effects. I take them 2-3 times a day and more around my period, and i barely broke out last time. It's too early to declare this my miracle, but it's certainly something good! For the first time in my life I can start looking up ideas on how to heal acne scars rather than just how to prevent acne. I don't think this supplement would've worked on me if I were still eating dairy, though. Dairy was the root problem that prevented anything else from helping me. I just wish I had heard about it years ago!!!! Tell everyone you know, we need to spread this knowledge!!
3. I also take omega 3 fish oil almost everyday, although I can't say it has directly helped my acne. I can't be sure. But it works for many people, so it's worth a try and it's very healthy for you anyway!
4. I bought Broccolive pills recently, because they sound amazing. the Indole 3 Carbinol in broccoli and other cruciferous veggies is also known to balance hormones, and apparently Broccolive has the highest potency and has helped people with acne. I'm going to wait before starting them, to see how long this Ca-Mg-Zn-D pill experiment works for me. I'll keep you posted.
Bottom line: Find the root cause and obliterate it. If you suspect it's hormones, try everything to balance your hormones. Keep researching, reading, trying, and failing, and then trying again. Accept that most things won't work on you, and then you'll feel less depressed when they don't, and you'll be ready to try the next thing. DON'T GIVE UP!!!! I want you to find your cure, it's out there!!!!
Note: Accutane did nothing for me, PLEASE DON'T GO ON ACCUTANE!!! It's not worth it, very few people I know had their acne completely cured by it, and with the damage it causes/can cause, and all those copays and blood tests, it's just not worth it! If you really want to try it, don't go on it again if it doesn't work the first time! Your derm is a money-grubbing idiot if they're telling you to do that, think about who stands to benefit! I don't think most derms really look out for our best interests, but that's another issue.
Thank you acne.org for providing this forum. it has helped me SOO much! Good luck to everyone and let me know how it goes!!!!! With love, river333
Edited by river333, 27 May 2011 - 10:07 AM.