Hi there. I've lurked on here for years (and actually had a different active account for awhile, but lost that email address and can't get back in.) I've been clear on and off for awhile now, but I need help. I'm so confused. Even my naturopath is stumped on what to do with me going forward. I'm hoping if I share my story, someone might have some idea on what I can try next.
Story (I'll keep it as short as possible):
Skin goes crazy with heavy moderate acne at the age of 12. It's practically overnight.
Teenage years - use every topical imaginable.
College -start to get very disturbed when I realize everyone else's skin is clearing up and mine's just getting worse.
Age 20 - birth control pills for very irregular periods. Skin clears up about 85% in a week. Amazing, but doesn't last.
Age 21 - round one of Accutane. Skin becomes flawless. Acne slowly creeps back after a couple of months, and I figure out that it only flares when I eat certain things. Am diagnosed with an immediate response soy allergy. Avoiding soy seems to keep my skin clear.
Age 22 - just kidding. I'm breaking out again, even without soy. I go on a second round of Accutane. Same thing happens - I clear up beautifully, and the acne creeps back.
Age 23 - I'm noticing that anytime I try to introduce a new food into my diet, I break out in cysts. I eat a whole foods, totally unprocessed, cooked-from-scratch vegan diet, but it's not good enough. When I try to reintroduce fish, I break out in cysts. I know it's the fish because I tested it several times with the same results. Ditto on trying to reintroduce a piece of hard, real cheese. Or a new vegetable. Or anything prepared by anyone else. I'm terrified of eating anything I haven't made with my own hands.
The breakouts creep back up to a point where no matter what I eat or do, I get new small pimples every day. I cave and start seeing a naturopath, who tests me for delayed response food allergies and tells me I have a leaky gut. I cut approximately twenty things out of my diet for six months (dairy, eggs, gluten, corn, on and on) and follow a paleo diet. I also switch to all-natural self-care products.
My gut is healed and I no longer get the swollen cysts that accompany consumption of an undesirable food. No - I just break out constantly. Small red bumps and whiteheads for NO APPARENT REASON. My doctor has no idea why, considering that my gut is better.
So in the past few months...
I quit the birth control pill. No changes.
I started a milk thistle supplement for my liver, since I break out notably more after drinking alcohol (rare).
I threw away commercial antiperspirant, since I noticed my face broke out after applying it.
I am STUMPED. My remaining mild acne WILL NOT BUDGE. I eat a totally clean diet. I exercise, but not too much. I sleep 8-9 hours a night. I wash my face with water only. I eat organic as much as possible. I don't really consume any sugar. My diet consists of healthy, local, grass fed meat, vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats.
I'm so f*cking confused. WHAT ELSE CAN I POSSIBLY CHANGE? I've supplemented zinc and vitamin A regularly in the past with my doctor's guidance. No luck.
Am I missing something here? I know I wrote a lot (sorry), but can ANYone suggest ANYthing? I'm going crazy and just doing my best not to develop an eating disorder over all this.
Yuck, sorry about the typo in the title.