Phase 1. Lurks for a short amount of time to barely grasp an acne/diet connection. The amount of information is overwhelming and immediately instills a need for guidance (as this approach isn't just "take this supplement/antibiotic/use this cream" it requires a certain degree of autonomous thinking on behalf of those who would like to successfully travel this route). So onto phase two.
Phase 2. Starts a "help me" thread. People come in and give answers and advice to questions that have already been answered and could have been referred to by simply using the search bar/reading more available content/typing it into a search engine ("what are nightshade vegetables?" "what is insulin resistance?" "what does the lymphatic system do?"). Realizes that strangers on the internet can't give specialized attention when having no basis to work off of. This person has never really eaten differently before or considered that how they eat is anything but healthy, since everyone else in America eats the same way (and of all those tame medical conditions, like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, hypertension, multiple sclerosis, this poor individual had to be cursed with acne). This instigates an onslaught of "why me why me, everyone else gets to eat what they want, why me". Still, people seem to know what they're doing here, so maybe they'll accept some of the tips they have to offer.
Phase 3. Every single time the simplest question arises, this person makes a thread about it. These make up most of the "Does _____ cause acne?", "Will I lose weight?", "Where will I get my nutrients from?", etc. threads. Instead of realizing that acne's connection with diet and lifestyle can be complicated, what with inflammation in the body (brought on by ignored food intolerances and sensitivities, a screwed omega 3:6 ratio, and a diet of empty carbohydrates), unbalanced hormones (xenoestrogens, prescriptions, insulin resistance, excess androgens, too much estrogen/not enough estrogen, DHT conversion, progesterone deficiency, anything to do with reproductive organs, thyroid), build-up in the main toxin removal systems (in the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract ((your gut)), liver, lymphatic system, kidneys, lungs), stress (your body can't tell the difference between real and imagined situations so when you feel stressed out, the body responds accordingly in the nervous system, a messed up sleep cycle, unresolved events in your past) this person thinks the real answer to their skin's issues lies in asking if eggs will break them out. C'mon, it's not that simple.
Phase 4. Starts to offer snippets of advice in other threads that are based on something their mom/friend/doctor just told them and is rarely followed up by even a simple internet search. When someone else comes along to say something like "Oh, well just because you broke out the next day doesn't necessarily mean it was from the eggs you ate and if you are noticing a pattern with the frequency of your breakouts and eggs, it doesn't really mean that everyone will have the same results", this person gets frustrated and sulkily continues to argue, maybe mumbling something along the lines of "it's not our fault our hormones are messed up", or some other nonsense. The more you commit yourself to a holistic approach, the more effective it will be. Yes, that means looking up things on your own (remember the day you googled 'acne' and this website showed up as a result? It's kind of like that, only you consider how different bodily processes affect your symptom. Everything in the body is connected. So spend some time looking up different bodily organs and their functions sometime).
Phase 5. Makes a "Diet Has Nothing To Do With Acne" thread after making minor modifications to their diet for a week or two, adding things like they were practically starving themselves having to avoid cheese, losing weight, and sometimes that their acne got even worse. The same people who helped them out in their first thread requesting assistance kind of roll their eyes and reiterate information that the person has been ignoring or not taking the trouble to look up themselves. Meanwhile people like you, dear reader, are kind of put off by these posts because it looks like someone in need isn't getting help, when it's quite the opposite. They're getting tons of help but aren't ready to take responsibility for their own health in real life.
The more you think about it, what you put into your mouth, enjoy the flavor of while chewing, swallow, digest, having a direct affect on your entire being can seem pretty abstract and overwhelming, causing more of that lovely stress I mentioned earlier. So take it a step at a time!
Write down the following things, putting what seems like it'll be the hardest for you to avoid first. Mine would be:
Only using water on skin
All Grains, Gluten
High fructose corn syrup, canola oil, partially hydrogenated oils, etc.
Even while avoiding all these things, I found myself making small allowances for sweet things, or topicals (camellia oil, lemon juice, ACV, rolled oats, clay masks, A&C serum, willow bark extract, jojoba oil, etc.). It wasn't until I entirely cut them out that I saw the best results. So make a list to gauge how difficult it will be to avoid these things and just get the hardest one over with for at least a month. Whether or not you even want to make a commitment to the others is entirely up to you and how dedicated you're feeling. There are exceptions, of course, to all of these foods. Low glycemic sweets, kefir, quinoa/brown rice, tempeh,...I can't think of anything remotely beneficial about the last one...but you get the picture. Give up the one at the top of the list completely for a month, brownie points if you give up the top two or even ~*three*~. Then you can start looking into the alternatives/check out different supplements that may help you along the way. Keep a food journal and start taking photos of yourself (as unappealing as it may sound) on a monthly or bi-monthly (what I do) basis if you want personal resources to refer back to.
Our thinking when we get a new spot-treatment is to cover problem areas (which, at times, we think, is practically our whole face and kind of sigh) every night to be consistent and get results as soon as possible. If you get BCP or an antibiotic or even a supplement you've heard good things about, you take it every single time you're supposed to without your heart skipping a beat. But for some reason when it comes to what you're putting in your mouth on a regular basis, your mind kind of glazes over and you think "Nah, it can't possibly be that". You put it off, like it's a small homework assignment for a class you already have a C in. It's not like I haven't been there both in thinking that way and at school! But think about turning in that assignment the next day how much better you feel with it turned in and counting towards your overall grade. Feel good about eating what your body needs to thrive, do what you need to today to see results tomorrow. This forum is like your personal study group.
If you don't feel up to thinking about your skin this much (or at least, in a new light. I wouldn't doubt that you think about it often enough if you've come to a forum on how to make your skin smooth again) and are more comfortable with constantly wishing you didn't have acne (along the way getting your hopes up for a new topical or birth control or antibiotic, then getting let down. And believe me, most of us have been there, otherwise we wouldn't be here), this forum may not be for you right now. In another regard, it is for everyone all the time, because there is absolutely no one whose health is exempt from the effects of diet and lifestyle.
Edited by corgisoulpower, 27 January 2012 - 05:15 PM.