Hey guys, just thought I'd share this for those who haven't been following my case.
I'm now 100 percent clear and have been for a long time. I am on the regimen, which helps a lot, but it isn't only that. It's avoiding probiotics and fermented foods. I've been eating this stuff (kimchi) for years thinking that it's important to put "good bacteria" in my gut. As it turns out, that was majorly doing me in. In hindsight, I realized that I was eating something fermented all of the time my acne was really bad. At first it was just kimchi, but then as I got more focused on healing my skin naturally, I got on the path of bombarding my system with probiotics, which was advised to me here. (bad advice, although I'm sure the person had good intentions)
I can't stress enough that you should be very, VERY careful about probiotics and especially fermented foods. My cystic acne got worse and worse and I constantly felt sick and aggravated and depressed. At the time I was taking a probiotic supplement, eating multiple servings of kimchi, sauerkraut and water kefir every day. Do you have any idea how harsh that was on my stomach?
When I started the regimen, I was still eating some sauerkraut and kimchi. The regimen helped, but I was still breaking out like clockwork 1-3 cysts a week, and more around my period and ovulation time. I always thought hormones were to blame. NOPE! Do you know how I know? Because I stopped everything that could possibly have bacteria and I got totally clear! Just to make sure that it wasn't odd timing and actually the regimen clearing me, I tested probiotic foods on multiple occasions with a few weeks in between each test. Without fail, every time something probiotic went into my stomach, I developed fresh cystic acne (after being totally clear) within an hour of ingestion. Sometimes within minutes. DESPITE being on the regimen. Which clearly proves that it wasn't just the regimen clearing me.
The best part? I NO LONGER GET HORMONAL ACNE! I have no idea how this works, but apparently hormonal acne that appears before your period or around ovulation can be triggered by something else. I don't break out at all anymore, even around those times! I don't even break out from stress anymore, and when I do get the occasional random pimple for whatever reason, it's nothing (not cystic) and it's usually gone within 48 hours. I used to get HUGE cystic acne that would last for weeks if not months. I wanted to share this for those who feel hopeless about their "hormonal" acne. It may be flared by hormones, but it's probably being triggered by something else. I'm not saying it's necessarily dietary, but you don't just get hormonal acne for no reason.
Of course, being on the regimen does help, but I honestly think it's just an aiding factor that makes my skin less prone to breakouts and not what actually cleared me. If it was, I wouldn't break out immediately from probiotic foods or other dietary triggers, no? If it was all the regimen, I should be able to eat whatever I want and remain clear, but I can't. Or maybe there are multiple types of acne, "regular" acne (which the regimen clears) and then the deep, cystic, hormonal or allergic reaction type acne I was getting from probiotics.
I just want to throw this out there because there is SO much promotion of these fermented foods around here and it definitely is NOT healthy for everyone. I highly urge anyone who is dealing with really violent cystic acne to try removing these things from your diet. It's not like these are delicious or important food items, or entire food groups that you will be missing out on. It takes a lot of work to ferment your own food anyway. If you are bombarding your system with bacteria in the name of health and still seeing bad acne, stop it! You might be doing yourself in.
For the record, I now eat pretty normally. Lots of rice, pasta (gluten free), salads, curries, stir fry, veggies, meats, eggs, even chocolate! I can even eat small amounts of some of my trigger foods like corn if I limit it to one or two servings only. I'm healing from the eating disorder I gave myself in the name of trying to get clear skin. I'm starting to feel like a normal human being again. How amazing is that?
Hope this helps someone. Love to all you guys. <3