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The Cure: A Vegan Diet

acne cure vegan diet accutane tetracycline benzoyl peroxide

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#1 YouShouldDoThis

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 06:16 AM

Hello everyone, 

 

I was once like all of you. Keep in mind, this is my first post EVER on any forum and I am only posting this for the benefit of acne sufferers. I know that there are probably hundreds of posts claiming a solution to this problem, however, I believe I have found a solution (it was awknowledged by my dermatologist at one point as well). 

     Let me start out by saying I am now 23 years old. The start of my terrible acne experience started at around 19-20. Over the first 6 months of my breakouts, I had tried anything and everything I could possibly get my hands on without a prescription. Nothing worked. I went to see a dermo in my area and he gave me stronger benzoyl peroxide than I had already been using. Didn't work. Eventually we continued to antibiotics for about 6-8 months (tetracycline). Nothing. Did some research and found accutane. My current dermo didn't want to put me on it. By this time my acne became cystic. Like really bad. My face would projectile pimple juice. My face would bleed at night. I was extremely depressed and would refuse to leave the house except for college classes. I didn't leave the house without a hood on if it was under 80 degrees. This newest doctor told me I had very severe acne, said that I qualified for accutane, and 5 minutes later (after signing all the necessary forms and getting that accutane ID card) I had the prescription in hand. I did my due diligence in researching accutane and refused to take it, trying desperately to find another way. I couldn't, so a month later I filled my first prescription of 20mg/day for the first month. I had the usual side effects. My dosage was elevated 20mg every month. Fast forward to month 4 (80mg/day). I had plans for moving to California and consulted with my dermo.

     Roughly 2 months preceding this meeting, I had spoken to a vegan friend, who had convinced me that the animal products I was eating was contributing drastically to my acne. So I thought, "why not give this a shot?". No animal products for about 2 months and I was crystal clear. No cysts, blackheads, whiteheads, or red marks. I really could not believe it. There were tears in my eyes while I was looking at the mirror. I could actually look at myself again. I couldn't be happier. I honestly cannot say that going vegan for awhile eliminated my acne or the accutane did. While doing this vegan diet, I was slowly weening myself off the accutane in the 3rd and 4th months. I started to cut my dosage by 1/3 (I had 20mg pills, so 40mg/day for month 3), and then by half (40mg/day) in month 4, and in the middle of month 4 I had cut it to 40mg every 2 days until this meeting with the dermo. 

    So back to the dermo. Our relationship was good. He could see that I was clearing up and how happy it made me. I told him what I was doing, and that I planned to stop taking accutane all together. He told me that he, himself, went on 3 cycles of accutane throughout the course of his life. "Every time it would come back 6 months later", he said. He then admitted that he was also a vegan and only would eat dairy on very rare occasion ("a little with my tarimisu" lol). His face was clear as well. I told him I was leaving and that I planned to stop taking the meds. He nodded in approval and gave me an extra prescription anyway in case I wanted to renew it. This was in April 2013. 

     I didn't remain totally vegan. I would have "cheat" meals which directly led to severe breakouts (usually chicken or some ice cream) . This could be from some food allergy but I really don't think it was given that I was eating junk food all of high school and didn't break out. It's still inconclusive if any specific food makes me break out, but it seems that any animal product will do the trick. Until today, I have a half month prescription of accutane untouched in my room back home. When I cheat, I see the results on my face soon after. I realize that everybody's body is different and what worked for me will not necessarily work for you. I post my story only because I have read so many of yours. I feel that I am obligated to share my solution with all of you. During the time of this post I have only one pimple (due to some ben and jerry's, do'h). I am not vegan, but 95% of my diet is plant based. I am attaching a few graphic pictures of my face from the 2nd month of my accutane days (before vegan diet). So please, if you're reading this, try to go without animal products for a few months. It is not easy in this day and age, but will be well worth it. Good Luck. 

 

    

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#2 paigems

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 12:05 PM

Thank you for posting this! Would you mine sharing what you eat on a typical day?



#3 YouShouldDoThis

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 12:21 PM

Sure, I'll even list a few choices for every meal.

 

Breakfast: oatmeal (usually with fruit) , a smoothie (banana, strawberries, other berries, almond milk) , cereal with almond milk

 

Lunch: veggie burritos, baked beans, quinoa, sushi (veggie rolls only)

 

Dinner: pasta (or any variation thereof) , sautéed veggies, vegan pizza, baked potatoes.



#4 Quetzlcoatl

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 12:32 PM

Maybe it was just milk all along?



#5 Dolan Duck

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 12:39 PM

These different diet regimens are quite useless to tell other people because everyone reacts differently to different foods. Everyone should just invest to some good food sensitivity tests so you know what you can eat without negative reactions.



#6 YouShouldDoThis

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 08:57 AM

Maybe it was just milk all along?

Nope, I cut dairy out as I started on the antibiotics



#7 Sunshineandblossoms

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 01:46 PM

Hello,

I too suffered many years from severe cystic acne. I used tetracycline, but when that made me feel sick to my stomach I stopped. Then, I had a constant presence on my chin of lumps. Some days were less obvious than others. I tried almost everything and continued to apply prescription benzoyl peroxide. I had cystic acne from the age of 13 until 27. I became vegetarian, then vegan. After I went vegan, my skin cleared up. The quality of my diet is mirrored by my skin. It keeps me honest. I am now thankful for it, because it reminds me to stick to plant based foods and not cut corners. I think dairy was my biggest trigger. We have lost touch with the process of diet and nutrition. What we eat becomes us. Nobody would dream of adding soda to the fuel tank of their car, or, if they did they would understand why it wasn't running correctly. The same is with our bodies. Happy herbivore has great recipes to start out with. I'm now eating a lot of raw food and juicing. It's easy and cheap if done right. Best of luck.

Love and light,

Moon

#8 interested19

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 07:21 PM

Hello,

I too suffered many years from severe cystic acne. I used tetracycline, but when that made me feel sick to my stomach I stopped. Then, I had a constant presence on my chin of lumps. Some days were less obvious than others. I tried almost everything and continued to apply prescription benzoyl peroxide. I had cystic acne from the age of 13 until 27. I became vegetarian, then vegan. After I went vegan, my skin cleared up. The quality of my diet is mirrored by my skin. It keeps me honest. I am now thankful for it, because it reminds me to stick to plant based foods and not cut corners. I think dairy was my biggest trigger. We have lost touch with the process of diet and nutrition. What we eat becomes us. Nobody would dream of adding soda to the fuel tank of their car, or, if they did they would understand why it wasn't running correctly. The same is with our bodies. Happy herbivore has great recipes to start out with. I'm now eating a lot of raw food and juicing. It's easy and cheap if done right. Best of luck.

Love and light,

Moon

Its so tough to cut out foods you love though, temptation just gets the better of me! How diligently do you follow your diet?



#9 paigems

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 10:00 PM

Thanks for sharing what you'd eat on a regular basis! Your diet is actually very similar to mine except I eat a small amount of chicken with lunch and dinner. I need to try eating beans like you do.



#10 LadyPink

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 05:56 PM

If I stop eating meat I get weak and feel totally sick. I don't know what to do because I have cysts as well :(



#11 paigems

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 09:18 PM

If I stop eating meat I get weak and feel totally sick. I don't know what to do because I have cysts as well sad.png

You're probably not getting enough protein. You have to make up for the lack of animal protein by eating more plant proteins like beans and quinoa.



#12 LadyPink

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 05:05 AM

Sounds like a great alternative. I eat so much  meat and I am starting to think it can be my issue with acne at 25.



#13 Sunshineandblossoms

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 07:02 PM

Hello! I am what's called a plant based vegan and I stick to the diet pretty strictly (although I still use veganeise sometimes). Once or twice a year, I eat an oreo (which is oddly vegan). However, when I first started I was very forgiving with myself. Part of any new thing is making mistakes, and I have made plenty.  I do know when I've had dairy instantly (just this week I ate something with dairy and had an instant cyst on my chin).

 

I found that if I buy fresh produce, I'll eat it. Not buying tempting food and keeping other food on hand is the best way to keep to a new diet. It's also about looking at it as a choice rather than an "I can't." If I choose not to eat something, I'm empowered.

 

That said, it is a transition and it can be overwhelming if you are just starting out and aren't familiar with food labels or cooking. I recommend switching to almond milk and finding ways to incorporate more fruits and veggies and whole grains into your diet. Try a few vegan meals a week and work up from there. There's alot of great recipes out there and nutritional yeast is the best cheese substitute around (great source of b12).

 

I hope this answered your question. Best of luck in your journey!


Edited by Sunshineandblossoms, 08 February 2014 - 07:03 PM.


#14 Binga

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 01:10 AM

Except accutane everything is a band aid.



#15 OrganicLemonade

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 10:20 PM

Hi all, I was a vegetarian for a long time and it didn't cure me of acne (almost vegan, but I ate organic free range eggs).  Acne is a multifactorial disease and no one method will cure everyone's acne.  For me, avoiding trigger food (such as diary, iodine rich food such as seaweed and nori) definitely help big time.   But I would still need to apply topical meds to keep myself > 90% clear.   



#16 bubbles55

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 09:55 AM

I was vegan for years, a plant based raw vegan, it did nothing for my cystic acne.

 

I have had severe facial and body cystic acne since I was 11, I am nearly 25, I have done every diet, lifestyle modification and treatment under the sun and I'm telling you there is no cure. Acne is a genetic disease. It has "no cure" because it's apart of your genetic fabric.



#17 Quetzlcoatl

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 02:31 PM

bubbles55: Considering the number of people who have had success with dietary modifications, I think that's unlikely. Yes, a genetic predisposition for our bodies to display to the world that we have some inflammation going on; but as recent research suggests, it's a process that we can tinker with. We just need to tinker with it in the right ways. Because so much remains unknown about the human body - especially the microbiome it's home to - we really have no idea where to begin.

 

If I had to guess, I would say that most people's acne is triggered by dysbiosis. Dysbiosis can be addressed through diet, antibiotics, probiotics, and a host of other methods, which is probably why it seems like there are so many different treatment approaches for acne. The main issue is that there are lots and lots of different kinds of microbes that all react differently to treatments and diets, and there are lots of secondary conditions these microbes can create - leaky gut, which leads to food sensitivities, faulty ileocecal valve, vitamin deficiencies, etc.

 

Of course, I have no doubt that acne has other triggers, such as vitamin D deficiency in winter, or hormonal fluctuations. But it is a bold statement to say that there is no dietary cure for acne, simply because one specific diet did not work for you.



#18 artisdead

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 11:36 PM

Vegan of three years and I still get cystic breakouts.

 

A plant based diet is great for overall health and well being but for some it is not a solution to acne. This kind of eating cuts out many foods that effect hormones, but some are still sensitive to soy, caffeine, chocolate, others. I find any food like this triggering. And sometimes even on my weeks of cleanest eating I still break out.

 

Shrug



#19 ClearSkinAvenger

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 11:58 PM

It's been almost 2 weeks since I started a vegan diet like yours and I broke out bad jw did you get a initial breakout when you first started the diet?

#20 YouShouldDoThis

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 08:19 PM

ClearSkinAvenger: The diet could take as long as 2-3 months to take effect. It all depends on what you've been eating.






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