i just wanted to add a few comments about my personal story with acne. i've had low to moderate acne since i was 12, however due to psychological reasons i would pick at my pimples consistently and turn them into inflamed boils that took weeks or months to heal. i was depressed because of my skin and even wanted to die on account of it. i hated myself for being unable to keep my hands away and for being so vain in caring about my face so much. the pimples that seemed to bother me most were those little ones that are not noticeable to others, but i could feel them under my skin. until i managed to get them out i was not at peace. i would get them out any way i could - if my fingers weren't supple enough, i'd use a needle, tweezers, a knife. then i'd have an ugly real pimple, but eventually, i'd be able to squeeze whatever white thing was in there, leaving just a wound. this made me feel better - knowing that it was "empty".
this was my life until i turned 26. at this time i started having massive bloating and very painful stomach aches when i ate certain things. i'd been eating a mostly "natural" vegetarian diet since i was 17, which consisted primarily of fresh veggies and fruits, and too a much lesser extent legumes, rice and bread. according to blood health markers i was healthy in every way, including my iron. but at 26 i started having these stomach issues and after some time i associated them with intake of gluten. for example, dark bread didn't give problems, nor did pasta when it was al dente. but pasta that soaked in the sauce overnight or pastries made from refined flour gave me a lot of stomach bloating and pain. i was feeling quite fed up with this pain, and just decided to stop everything. this meant no intake of gluten and wheat products. somehow, although i'm generally very undisciplined i maintained this diet. around month 3 i noticed an improvement in my skin. i hadn't stopped touching it, but i stopped getting new internal pimples (those kind that you feel but don't see).
since then, i've done several things. i've gone to a great esthetician who removed the internal pimples i had already. i'd done this before but it never really helped me, as the same day of the appointment i could already feel other pimples. however, since this visit to the esthetician 5 months ago, i've been more or less pimple free! and i've stopped attacking my skin!!!! i mean... i was a compulsive picker. it was an obsessive disorder that i could not control. i associate getting off gluten with the cessation of my acne and the improvement of my mood!
(in the photo i posted i'm not wearing make-up, but the lighting is a bit dark so you can't see my scars so much, however i also managed to reduce them since this summer by doing several rounds of spongilla (бадяга in russian), a freshwater sponge that grows in lakes in ukraine, commonly used there for treating pigmentation. besides i apply squalene oil daily to my skin, or weleda baby face cream when i need more moisture).
p.s. at the same time as removing gluten (& wheat, rye, barley, oats etc) from my diet, i also avoided (though not entirely) corn and soy as these are other potential triggers. when i go to mexico next month i will add corn to my diet and see the reaction... till then i've just felt no need to complicate things
things that i have found DO NOT give me acne are cheese and chocolate! although i do have a tiny breakout when i eat nutella, i wouldn't call it acne because it's the kind of 'pimples' that have nothing inside and go away the next day, more like a skin irritation that a little child might get on her face.
of course, this kind of diet means that cooking/preparing your own food is necessary... perhaps lucky because i enjoy cooking more than restaurants :}
i felt very hopeless and disgusting for many years. since i started eating gluten/wheat free i've felt so much better. even the stresses of my exams and thesis were not overwhelming to me!
so if you can relate, consider a gluten/wheat free diet.
best to you....
Edited by Elena Haji, 23 January 2013 - 04:26 AM.