Thanks Doodle! I appreciate your insight. I am and have always been very petite even though anyone who knows me will tell you I eat a LOT. I can put it away lol. I am 5'3 and 95 lbs. I can eat whatever I want and as much as I want and never gain a pound. I have always been really thin and small framed. I have not ever been on a diet of any kind, probably eat poorly sometimes, but I try to eat nutritious/healthy meals because being thin does not necessarily mean I'm eating healthy.
My skin is pretty normal but definitely more on the oily side. It has never been dry except for when I was young and I would wash my face and use acne creams and no moisturizer. There were days that my face was extremely dry but I was not treating it properly then and did not put 2 and 2 together. I had to look up Candida. Didn't know what it was. I don't have any of those internal symptoms either.
Hormones have never been tested but I have been on BC pills. When given to me, she said it would clear up my skin. It didn't really. There are not really any trends or patterns with my skin during the month either.
I am glad the tea tree oil seems to be doing great things for my skin. From what I've read and what you say about it I feel like it just makes sense! The whole theory of demodex mites crossed my mind too. Too many of those mites can really affect the appearance of skin for some people.
All acne is hormone induced. I believe, without the secretion of oil, nobody would have acne. And the consistency of a person's oil who has acne, tends to be very waxy. I think perhaps the over-proliferation of dead skin cells is because of the abundance of oil, bacteria and inflammation within the hair follicle.
I haven't seen a mention of antibiotics, have you ever tried a course of them?
I do not know if this is relevant at all but one thing I have noticed I do that is very different from most people is that I drink VERY little while I eat. I have heard some people believe drinking liquids while eating has a big effect on digestion. I don't not drink much during meals for any reason other than I just don't like to. Even when I was a kid I would eat all my food in my lunch and not even open my drink until after I was done eating. I rarely get refills at restaurants while my husband goes through 3 glasses during a meal lol. It is not easy for him to maintain a weight he is happy with, but his skin is always flawless and we eat the same meals daily. I drink more throughout the day when I am not eating.
You are doing right by not drinking with your meals, as liquids neutralise the stomach acids that aid in digestion. Some people have claimed to have healed their acne by not drinking fluids with their meals. It is wise to drink water on other occasions to help flush out toxins. An excess of water is also not good, as it can thin the blood and what have you.
Your face looks quite thin in some of those photos, so I was wondering if you were having difficulties with diet and perhaps making that connection to your skin's appearance at that time. I mentioned Seborrrheic dermatitis because your skin looked dry and perhaps being flaky and/or scaly, hence the redness and irritation. And at the same time, your skin looks oily. It differs slightly from your pictures. So perhaps it's what you were using on your face, or your skin trying to counter the oiliness. Well I guess if you don't have dry skin and dandruff, then it's probably not SD. It must be the oiliness that is/was causing the inflammation and redness, due to too much oil secretion. Did you ever get your hormones checked out?
I guess the tea tree oil is working because it's killing the bacteria from there being too much oil, and also acting as an astringent, which is why complimenting your regime with moisturiser with aloe is working well for you. I know you're using tea tree oil externally; it is toxic taken internally and also toxic used externally in larger quantities; it's good that you're diluting it. Some people can have an allergic reaction to tea tree oil. Have you ever considered candida to be a problem for you and your skin? I'm just mentioning the usual things you see on this forum.