I'm new to this website but I was hoping to get some feedback regarding gluten-free/dairy-free diets. A little background about me: Skip to the end if you're not interested in hearing my long, boring acne story! I'm twenty years old and up until seven to eight months ago I had never struggled with acne. I always took very good care of my skin (which tends to be on the drier side) and neither of my parents struggled with acne growing up so I never imagined that I would be going through this hell. In the beginning of this past March I chose to go off of Yaz (which I had been on and off of for a little over three years with no issues) because I'm a few pounds heavier on the pill and wanted to feel more confident at the pool this summer. Unfortunately, by the beginning of April I started noticing a few inflamed pimples on my chin. I shrugged it off and figured that my hormones were just adjusting to being off of the pill.
However, by the end of May, my forehead was covered in non-inflamed closed comedones and I continued to get a couple inflamed bumps on my chin every month. My acne was mild, but after having perfectly clear skin my entire life, I had very little patience for it and decided to go back on Yaz. My gynecologist and dermatologist both told me that it typically takes a full three months on birth control to see results with acne. In the beginning of August, I had taken two packs of Yaz but my acne wasn't budging. I decided to find a new dermatologist, a doctor who is well-known in our community, and she prescribed me Differin cream for the closed comedones on my forehead. Since then, I have been applying a thin layer of Differin on my forehead every night. During the first two months, I did experience some purging but the results have been well worth it. My forehead is soft and clear, minus some faint marks in between my eyebrows that really aren't noticeable unless you're super close to my face.
However, while my forehead was clearing up, my jawline took a turn for the worse. At the end of August (during the last week of my third pack back on Yaz), I woke up to find ten inflamed pimples along my jawline, more than I had ever had at once. These pimples were not just your run-of-the-mill little whiteheads, they were deep, sore, red cysts and they hurt even worse than they looked. My first instinct was to get upset but after talking to my gynecologist, I calmed myself down with the thought that my skin might be going through its' "worse before it gets better" stage and my perfect complexion was right around the corner. Unfortunately, I continued to get two to four new pimples a week after the breakout from hell, with usually one or two of them being cystic. I added Aczone to my nightly routine, applying it to my chin and along my jawline in hopes of reducing the inflammatory lesions that plagued my skin each week. At the end of September, I wasn't getting quite as many cysts (maybe one or two a week instead of three or four) but my derm recognized how devastated and depressed I was and decided to put me on Doryx after diagnosing me with a mild patch of perioral dermatitis in one corner of my nose, saying that the antibiotic would help with my inflamed acne as well as the dermatitis and (hopefully!) kill two birds with one stone.
After two weeks on Doryx (which I believe is low-dose doxycycline), I asked my dermatologist to switch me to Spironolactone, which had been her initial suggestion before seeing the dermatitis. Because I had noticed that my breakouts tend to follow the pattern of my monthly cycle, it seemed like a good idea to get to the root of my acne (which I think may be hormones) instead of just putting a bandaid on it by taking antibiotics, which can't be taken in the longterm anyways. I have been on Spironolactone for four and a half weeks. The first two and a half weeks I took 25 mg every morning, but for the past two weeks I have been taking 50 mg every morning. My potassium levels are normal and I haven't experienced any side effects beside being a little extra thirsty and significantly drier skin on my face and hands (which could also be attributed to the weather change, but either way, it's easily combated with moisturizer). I also got a facial and Cosmedix's blueberry jessner peel at my dermatologist's office two weeks ago. The esthetician did a great job with extractions and the chemical peel did improve my skin texture and tone.
Start reading here for the summarized version! In short, while I feel like my acne is improving with the help of Yaz, Spironolactone, Differin, and (possibly) Aczone, I am still getting at least one or two new bumps every week. I am extremely discouraged this week because I woke up with a cyst on my cheek a few days ago, and I truly thought that cysts were a thing of the past for me since I had not had one in almost a month. I have been doing a lot of reading on gluten and dairy's relationships with acne, and I should mention that I have been cutting out approx. 90% of the dairy in my diet for about two months. However, I have noticed that my breakouts aren't necessarily following the pattern of my monthly cycle (which may suggest that hormones might not necessarily be the only cause of my breakouts) and I have been experiencing other symptoms of gluten intolerance such as bloating, cramping, depression, and lack of energy. I'm trying to stay positive but its' been a long seven months for me and I'm becoming increasingly impatient. Please let me know if you have any experience with gluten-free and/or dairy-free diets, good or bad. I am starting to get a little desperate and would appreciate any advice you all have to give!
Edited by emt813, 01 November 2012 - 05:32 PM.