I am a longtime lurker and set up this account to share my story.
I am a 30 year old female, and have been dealing with what I thought was hormonal, adult-onset acne for the past several years. I have an eating-disordered history, largely the result of attempting to avoid foods that seemed to trigger my acne. I have been vegetarian for 10 years, vegan most of those (including at present). I have a degree in holistic health, and was a raw foodist for a year. My acne went into remission for a year after a 3 month course of juicing 5 lbs of raw carrots each day. It was a pain in the butt, but it worked as well as Accutane, without side effects. I noticed minor flareups returning in December 2013.
Around Christmastime, I was hit with a terrible cold. I began taking 2-4 cloves of raw garlic daily, split between morning and night, to kill the bug and rebuild my immune system. I minced it, swallowing it and chasing it with a big glass of water. I did this religiously for about 3 weeks, then decided to take a short break. Little did I know what was about to hit me.
First, allow me to reiterate that garlic is a POWERFUL healer. I developed three huge, painful cysts after about 2 weeks of taking it. Midweek of this week, while on garlic break, I woke up at midnight with what felt like food poisoning. Never have I felt so ill. Both ends, the whole deal. The next morning was even worse, and my lower back and hips were in excruciating pain. Luckily, I had an appointment for a physical with my doctor that morning. She attributed it all to the flu, and offered me an antiviral (Tamiflu), which I declined. I returned home to rest, and that's when things got truly ugly. I had terrible diarrhea all day, and I nearly lost my shit (haha) when I noticed parasites in the bowl. As in, worms. Dead ones.
I have touted the benefits of regular human deworming (we deworm our pets biannually; why are we above other members of the animal kingdom?) using diatomaceous earth, but never had I experienced this level of die-off. I had never actually witnessed a worm, although I secretly wished I had, for the satisfaction. Never had I experienced this level of physical pain, either. I ran back to my doctor, and actually ended up at the ER that night, as my level of pain terrified me as much as the parasites. A stool sample confirmed the diagnosis of pinworms, and I was prescribed an anti-parasitic. As clinical testing only catches about 1% of parasites, I suspect this was not the only variety. For the next three days, I literally thought I would die. I barely left the restroom. Today is the first day I have felt slightly human, and you'd better bet I'm back on the garlic train. I plan to resume DE as well.
It is estimated that 85-95% of us suffer from parasites. There are thousands of varieties. This all got me thinking. In the past few years, I have developed all sorts of food allergies and intolerances, as well as... acne. I suddenly found myself sensitive to all sorts of topicals, products, environmentals, and cosmetics. I assumed I had leaky gut and hormonal imbalances. And you know, maybe I do. But I also noticed that as soon as the horrific die-off began, those cysts drained and my skin looked... great. And felt... normal. Holy moly. I have a gut feeling that the parasitic load I was carrying was responsible for these symptoms. I didn't have overt symptoms of parasites, i.e. I never noticed an abnormal bowel movement, and have prided myself on living cleanly for many years now. And yet, I've had fatigue, insomnia, depression, this acne, and allergies. And apparently, I was offering these jerks a free ride for god knows how long. Related? Hmmm...
Raw garlic is the most powerful antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal, and antiparasitic I have encountered to date. I must warn that it is no gentle healer, particularly when taken internally. I began taking 2 minced cloves (raw and minced is important) at night again, which I plan to do for the next several months, repeated again in the fall. I hope I won't experience another period of this level of die-off, but if I do, I will be happy to know I'm ridding myself of a large amount of toxins.
Could a high parasitic load be lurking behind your strange food intolerances, environmental sensitivities, and, perhaps, acne? This is nothing to fear. As living things, this is just a part of life, albeit a part we avoid in polite conversation. Even Europe recommends biannual deworming for pets and their people. Knowledge is power! Perhaps a parasite cleanse, in the form of something traditional like DE or raw garlic, or using one of the products on the market (Humaworm is supposed to be good, but I have never personally used it) might alleviate your symptoms, including acne. Couldn't hurt to try, right?
Best of luck on your journey.