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Diet Changes Have Worked - Coming Off Topicals?


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#1 spartan32

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 09:26 PM

At least I believe that my diet changes have worked.  I am 25 years old and have had acne for a good 12 or 13 years.  Cysts, nodules, papules, etc.  I have used just about everything and have found that a combination of 2.5% BP in the morning and a retinoid (Tazorac .1 currently) at night have helped me the most.  This has never gotten me clear but it has reduced my breakouts to a more manageable level.  I would still breakout at times on my cheeks and forehead where I applied the medication.  I would get about 3-4 nodules a month on my upper neck/jawline area that would last weeks and not respond to medication.  I would also get random hard papules in weird spots like in and around my ears and eyebrows where I didn't apply any medication.  Never had acne below my neck.

 

In September, I started taking fermented cod liver oil for the high levels of Vitamin A and Vitamin D.  After about 6 weeks, I started getting no pimples at all.  I continued my BP and Tazorac.  In the middle of January I decided that the cod liver oil was still just masking a deeper problem in my body and I couldn't just spend $400-500 dollars a year on it the rest of my life.  I am very lean and have a low body fat so my weight isn't a problem as I also go to the gym regularly and my metabolism is extremely fast but I do have some other health issues that I wanted to try and address with a better diet.  My typical diet before this had been fast food 4 times a day and a ton of high fat red meat and other junk when I cooked.

 

After reading a ton of threads on here and researching, i started following the basics of Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid as well as paying attention to Glycemic Load.   So for about 2 months now, I have followed this diet extremely strict as well as kept up with my workouts.  I have also reduced my fermented cod liver oil and my skin is still clear.  I am also feeling a lot better too.

 

At this point, I really want to come off the BP and possibly only do the Tazorac every other night or once every third night.  I enjoy this diet and feel that there are a lot of options that I do not feel restricted.  I am getting some work done on my scars soon and heard it's good to be on a retinoid as it stimulates more collagen.  I am really asking this question to the people who were on topicals and came off of them after finding a diet that worked for them.  The last time I tried to come off topicals a year and a half ago with no diet changes, I broke out so bad all over my face which took months to recover from.

 

Does this need to be done slowly over the course of weeks? days? cold turkey?

 

I am going to try and get off of the BP first but I am literally terrified of breaking out bad again.  Any feedback would be great.



#2 Username22

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 10:47 PM

i don't think coming off bp will be a problem, assuming your diet is good.  i did the same, switched from slathering 10% bp all over twice a day to just spot treating as i got clearer from diet.  no adverse reaction that i can remember from the switch.  another big improvement is washing with water only if you aren't already, I highly recommend it.  so go for it!  it'll feel great to finally be set free from topicals 

 

tl;dr, cold turkey, you'll be fine



#3 TreatAcne

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 07:15 AM

Please understand that every single time you come off a topical medication, your skin will get WORSE. If you quit cold turkey now, you'll be able to get out of the upcoming acne explosion chain much more quickly. The outburst can last up to 3 or 4 months, depending on your severity. So if you get a flair up by the third month, try your best to wait it out. This is especially true for cystic acne. I am a sever cyst sufferer, you are free to look at the pictures in my gallery anytime (I also got worse when I quit Dan's regime, or any regime I did in the past). The reason for this is because the chemicals that were killing the acne bacteria were ALSO killing your skins GOOD bacteria... the kind you need to keep your skin functioning properly. Until those good bacteria grow back and inhabit your facial skin again, you'll be prone to the acne bacteria you were attempting to kill off.

 

I think you are making a wise decision since it is unrealistic to continue using topicals and chemicals on your face when they only prolong the problem. Everyone has their own successful diet, it's just up to you to find out what it is. If you have yet to try a more solid diet (although the anti-inflammatory is a great way to start!), then I would recommend moving onto the Paleo, Southbeach, or "gut" diets. This way you wont need so much cod liver oil and can get your omega-3's naturally from fish. Getting the nutrients you need from whole foods as much as possible is more beneficial than vitamins and oils, plus it's cheaper too.


Edited by TreatAcne, 19 March 2013 - 07:18 AM.


#4 alternativista

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 08:05 AM

I think you could quit cold turkey, but if you want to phase it ou, go ahead. Do whatever won't stress you out. I never found that it made any difference whether or not I used BP.

I would start taking care of your protective acid mantle by either not stripping it away with cleansers and topicals or restoring it promptly with an acidic toner like a little ACV in brewed green tea. Moisturizing or oil cleansing with a high linoleic acid oil is all good. And you can apply live yogurt like a mask once in a while. Those two things restore a great deal of normal skin function. You can read more in the God Things thread.

And any diet that is anti inflammatory is a solid diet. It's not just a "start." Dr Weill's is good except for the recommendation of 3-5 servings of whole grains per day. Especially when right next to there's a recommendation for 1 or 2 servings of legumes. Anyway, I wouldn't routinely have more than one serving of grains per day. Don't fill up on grains. Oh, and the soy. Avoid unfermented soy. And feel free to have more eggs.

Edited by alternativista, 19 March 2013 - 08:23 AM.


#5 spartan32

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 02:41 PM

i don't think coming off bp will be a problem, assuming your diet is good.  i did the same, switched from slathering 10% bp all over twice a day to just spot treating as i got clearer from diet.  no adverse reaction that i can remember from the switch.  another big improvement is washing with water only if you aren't already, I highly recommend it.  so go for it!  it'll feel great to finally be set free from topicals 

 

tl;dr, cold turkey, you'll be fine

 

It's terrible having to rely on topicals everyday isn't it?  I just want to splash water on my face in the morning and night and be done with it.  Hope your diet is working out great as well.

 

 

Please understand that every single time you come off a topical medication, your skin will get WORSE. If you quit cold turkey now, you'll be able to get out of the upcoming acne explosion chain much more quickly. The outburst can last up to 3 or 4 months, depending on your severity. So if you get a flair up by the third month, try your best to wait it out. This is especially true for cystic acne. I am a sever cyst sufferer, you are free to look at the pictures in my gallery anytime (I also got worse when I quit Dan's regime, or any regime I did in the past). The reason for this is because the chemicals that were killing the acne bacteria were ALSO killing your skins GOOD bacteria... the kind you need to keep your skin functioning properly. Until those good bacteria grow back and inhabit your facial skin again, you'll be prone to the acne bacteria you were attempting to kill off.

 

I think you are making a wise decision since it is unrealistic to continue using topicals and chemicals on your face when they only prolong the problem. Everyone has their own successful diet, it's just up to you to find out what it is. If you have yet to try a more solid diet (although the anti-inflammatory is a great way to start!), then I would recommend moving onto the Paleo, Southbeach, or "gut" diets. This way you wont need so much cod liver oil and can get your omega-3's naturally from fish. Getting the nutrients you need from whole foods as much as possible is more beneficial than vitamins and oils, plus it's cheaper too.

 

Thanks for the thoughts and your experiences.  That is my worry that I will breakout bad but I have to risk it as you know.  I am clear at the moment so I am hoping that it is the dietary changes that are clearing me as opposed to the topicals that never fully cleared me.  I am eating a ton of salmon and black cod so I will be coming off the cod liver oil soon.  Great progress btw!

 

I think you could quit cold turkey, but if you want to phase it ou, go ahead. Do whatever won't stress you out. I never found that it made any difference whether or not I used BP.

I would start taking care of your protective acid mantle by either not stripping it away with cleansers and topicals or restoring it promptly with an acidic toner like a little ACV in brewed green tea. Moisturizing or oil cleansing with a high linoleic acid oil is all good. And you can apply live yogurt like a mask once in a while. Those two things restore a great deal of normal skin function. You can read more in the God Things thread.

And any diet that is anti inflammatory is a solid diet. It's not just a "start." Dr Weill's is good except for the recommendation of 3-5 servings of whole grains per day. Especially when right next to there's a recommendation for 1 or 2 servings of legumes. Anyway, I wouldn't routinely have more than one serving of grains per day. Don't fill up on grains. Oh, and the soy. Avoid unfermented soy. And feel free to have more eggs.

 

i am going to wean off BP over the next 3 weeks as cold turkey would stress me out too much.  I want to try the acidic toner when I am fully off topicals.  How often do you apply it?

 

Regarding the diet, I am actually avoiding all soy.  Never liked it and it seems to be a problem for many people. Regarding the grains,  I generally have a cup of steel cut oats a day and either a serving of long grain brown rice or quinoa.  If I run into problems I will adjust that.  Also your thread regarding the good things to do is very helpful.  I took a lot from it when I started my diet and other lifestyle changes.



#6 alternativista

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 02:53 PM

I think you could quit cold turkey, but if you want to phase it ou, go ahead. Do whatever won't stress you out. I never found that it made any difference whether or not I used BP.

I would start taking care of your protective acid mantle by either not stripping it away with cleansers and topicals or restoring it promptly with an acidic toner like a little ACV in brewed green tea. Moisturizing or oil cleansing with a high linoleic acid oil is all good. And you can apply live yogurt like a mask once in a while. Those two things restore a great deal of normal skin function. You can read more in the God Things thread.

And any diet that is anti inflammatory is a solid diet. It's not just a "start." Dr Weill's is good except for the recommendation of 3-5 servings of whole grains per day. Especially when right next to there's a recommendation for 1 or 2 servings of legumes. Anyway, I wouldn't routinely have more than one serving of grains per day. Don't fill up on grains. Oh, and the soy. Avoid unfermented soy. And feel free to have more eggs.

 

i am going to wean off BP over the next 3 weeks as cold turkey would stress me out too much.  I want to try the acidic toner when I am fully off topicals.  How often do you apply it?

 

Regarding the diet, I am actually avoiding all soy.  Never liked it and it seems to be a problem for many people. Regarding the grains,  I generally have a cup of steel cut oats a day and either a serving of long grain brown rice or quinoa.  If I run into problems I will adjust that.  Also your thread regarding the good things to do is very helpful.  I took a lot from it when I started my diet and other lifestyle changes.

 

Apply it after you wash, especially if you use a cleanser. Even most tap water is slightly alkaline, although your skin will probably recover quickly from the water.



#7 leelowe1

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 07:09 PM

I would also recommend weening yourself off topicals.  I stopped my retinoid cold turkey and my acne this summer was bad.  I agree that a good diet is a good and that natural face care is great but realistically, this is not for everyone.  If you find that diet works for you, keep at it.



#8 spartan32

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 10:22 PM

I would also recommend weening yourself off topicals.  I stopped my retinoid cold turkey and my acne this summer was bad.  I agree that a good diet is a good and that natural face care is great but realistically, this is not for everyone.  If you find that diet works for you, keep at it.


Thanks for the input. I am thinking of gradually decreasing the BP over the course of the next month to not using it at all. If that works I will slowly do the same with the tazorac.

I am optimistic that these diet changes have worked but know from years and years of acne that I could break out horribly. So many factors come into place for acne and I just hope that I hit mine. We will find out soon.

#9 Quetzlcoatl

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 09:45 PM

Just out of curiosity, why did you think the fermented cod liver oil was just a bandaid fix? I was considering getting some myself but it is very expensive so I don't want to go out and spend a bunch of money on another pipe dream :P



#10 lostinthefog87

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 01:06 AM

I recently went from 8 years of BP use, periodic sulfur treatments, antibacterial soap, rounds of topical antibiotics, to just Cerave cleanser twice a day. My skin is not perfect by any means yet but it has been 2 weeks and my breakouts have lessened considerably.  I am beyond surprised, and even if I break out i'm not doing a damn thing about it.  I devoted 8 years to topicals, I can devote one or two to seeing how cleanser/or just water work.

 

I have found no matter what I slather on my face, nothing really changes. If anything, it worsens and I am constantly searching for that "miracle topical" to no avail.

 

So at least right now I don't spend 20 minutes in the bathroom splashing, cleansing, applying, waiting, moisturizing, etc.

 

As far as you going off of topicals.  Do what you think is right, and STICK with it.  Don't say "I'm going to cut down to 1x a day, then 1x every other day over x amount of weeks" and then the second you break out you are back on.  Whatever you decide, make sure you do it consistently.  I would say this only for people who are going off topicals or acne meds, I believe the opposite for going on them.  If your skin gets worse going ON a medicine or topical (with the exception or topical retinoids), stop immediately. A derm once told me....besides the retinoid breakout, purging is a complete myth.


Edited by lostinthefog87, 21 March 2013 - 01:14 AM.


#11 alternativista

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 07:06 AM

I recently went from 8 years of BP use, periodic sulfur treatments, antibacterial soap, rounds of topical antibiotics, to just Cerave cleanser twice a day. My skin is not perfect by any means yet but it has been 2 weeks and my breakouts have lessened considerably.  I am beyond surprised, and even if I break out i'm not doing a damn thing about it.  I devoted 8 years to topicals, I can devote one or two to seeing how cleanser/or just water work.
 
I have found no matter what I slather on my face, nothing really changes. If anything, it worsens and I am constantly searching for that "miracle topical" to no avail.
 
So at least right now I don't spend 20 minutes in the bathroom splashing, cleansing, applying, waiting, moisturizing, etc.
 
As far as you going off of topicals.  Do what you think is right, and STICK with it.  Don't say "I'm going to cut down to 1x a day, then 1x every other day over x amount of weeks" and then the second you break out you are back on.  Whatever you decide, make sure you do it consistently.  I would say this only for people who are going off topicals or acne meds, I believe the opposite for going on them.  If your skin gets worse going ON a medicine or topical (with the exception or topical retinoids), stop immediately. A derm once told me....besides the retinoid breakout, purging is a complete myth.


What kind of sulfur treatments?

#12 spartan32

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 03:18 PM

Just out of curiosity, why did you think the fermented cod liver oil was just a bandaid fix? I was considering getting some myself but it is very expensive so I don't want to go out and spend a bunch of money on another pipe dream tongue.png

In my opinion, all the fermented cod liver oil was doing was giving me high doses of vitamin A in its retinol form in a safer way than synthetic supplements.  The kind that I take is supposed to be balanced in Vitamin A, Vitamin D, and Vitamin K2 so it is apparently safe.  I feel like this combination is possibly reducing my oil production as Accutane does to treat acne. (I never experienced any side effects like dry skin or dry lips though as I am not getting anywhere near as much Vitamin A as Accutane)

 

I am convinced from my research that acne is an inflammatory disease and chronic inflammation is a big factor in that.  There is a reason that I am a 25 year old male that still gets acne.  Some kind of combination of chronic inflammation, stress, and other factors are screwing up my hormones. I refuse to continue to use topical medication forever and I do not want to have to rely on taking cod liver oil for the rest of my life.  I feel like a diet change and working on other lifestyle factors is the key to fix not only my acne, but making my body healthier overall.  I think that my acne is just a symptom of how bad the condition of my body is in.  Some people get other diseases, some people show no symptoms, and some people like us show it through acne. 

 

The bottom line is that the fermented cod liver oil/high vitamin butter oil combination that I was taking worked extremely well for me personally.  I have read about other people having similar results so maybe it can clear you up as well.  I still highly recommend it as it is easy to take and you do not have to slather chemicals all over your face.



#13 lostinthefog87

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 03:44 PM

I recently went from 8 years of BP use, periodic sulfur treatments, antibacterial soap, rounds of topical antibiotics, to just Cerave cleanser twice a day. My skin is not perfect by any means yet but it has been 2 weeks and my breakouts have lessened considerably.  I am beyond surprised, and even if I break out i'm not doing a damn thing about it.  I devoted 8 years to topicals, I can devote one or two to seeing how cleanser/or just water work.
 
I have found no matter what I slather on my face, nothing really changes. If anything, it worsens and I am constantly searching for that "miracle topical" to no avail.
 
So at least right now I don't spend 20 minutes in the bathroom splashing, cleansing, applying, waiting, moisturizing, etc.
 
As far as you going off of topicals.  Do what you think is right, and STICK with it.  Don't say "I'm going to cut down to 1x a day, then 1x every other day over x amount of weeks" and then the second you break out you are back on.  Whatever you decide, make sure you do it consistently.  I would say this only for people who are going off topicals or acne meds, I believe the opposite for going on them.  If your skin gets worse going ON a medicine or topical (with the exception or topical retinoids), stop immediately. A derm once told me....besides the retinoid breakout, purging is a complete myth.


What kind of sulfur treatments?

Sulfur Masks.