... Eliminating Sugar, Caffeine, and High GI/GL (Glycemic Index/Glycemic Load) foods cleared the rest of my 'white heads'.
This, however, was what personally helped me. From what I understand, you'll need to find what works for you. Each and every person is different.
This took me about one year to discover and figure out.
This will be the last time I come on here and talk about my acne. If anyone wants to see my pictures, I've left them up in my galleries for everyone to see. They are all completely PUBLIC.
I'm not going to make a fancy thread/post/topic or whatever because I've already spent a lot of time on here as it was. I'm also sorry if you come across any typos or broken links but I have at this stage in my life happily moved on and will be leaving acne.org.
If anyone wants to put this post into a success thread then please do so so that others may see this.
So, this is what you need to do if you have cystic acne (or what you should try to do and see if it works for you):
1.) Put aside some time for yourself so that you may learn about acne and what it is. The past and even the future is NOT important, what's important is what you do NOW. Not what you did last week or what you'll do in 5 minutes... it's what you'll do NOW. Next, find a local library that has a computer or free internet and begin reading a hell of a lot of material (I'll list some links below). If it helps, get a notebook and begin recording a food diary and things you are only going to be eating from now on.
2) If it's at all possible, get a blood test done at a doctor's office. It's always best to know where your starting from and where you stand when it comes to your health.
3.) Consider completely getting rid of all your milk and milk-containing products for about 6 months to 1 year. This includes yogurt, butter, cheese, powdered milk, evaporated milk, etc… whatever. As long as it has milk it in, it probably has a large amount of NATURAL HORMONES in it. Read the labels in the box: if it has milk, skip it. If the cow was injected with growth hormones, it could be even worse than regular hormones. This may seem like a long time to go without milk but hopefully these articles will explain in better detail why that is:
4.) Get rid of as much sugar from your diet as you can... white refined table sugar, honey, breads, etc... and instead retrain your taste buds to enjoy the more natural, sweeter side of fruits and vegetables.
5.) Go to your local library (and/or free PDF internet database lab) and find/research charts with records for High Glycemic Index/Loads foods. Begin omitting as many blood sugar raising foods as possible without putting your overall health in a nutrient deficient state. You'll want to change your diet as calmly and safely as possible.
Here are just a few I read that had the most impact on me:
(Please wait for some of the links and PDF files to load...)
http://www.google.co....52434380,d.aWM (This is an automatic download).
http://search.medsca...0&submit=Search (You may have to log in and create a username/password... don't worry, it's free).
6.) Fint Alternativista's Acne.org profile and topics/posts in the diet and holistic health boards and read every single one of them. Start here:
7.) Drink a minimum of 4 bottles of water a day (does not have to be bottled).
8.) Sleep 8+ hours a day if possible.
9.) Do not stress about your acne. I was able to be stress free this the whole time in front of hundreds of people and they could all clearly see that I don't give a damn about it… or at least to the extent to where I would start harming myself. Is life fair? Who knows, But anyone can see my past posts and photo's, I've left them all up and alone for good. I had no idea if and when my acne was going away either, so why bother worrying about it? Clear your mind, forget the past, and start NOW.
10.) Walk. Don't just flat out run for long periods of time killing yourself trying to do something unnatural and harmful, just walk. Walk for long distances if possible and enjoy every single step. Do it at least once a day if possible. Two times a day would be your best bet. This is what I do. If you want to take up Yoga and/or other Meditation-like classes then do it, but I didn't have to. Don't think about it, just DO IT.
You're not going to like this answer, but no matter what I tell you or how much you read, you'll never find out what works for you until you try it out. I'm not you and you're not me.
Maybe a diet change won't help you. Maybe it will. You'll never know unless you try.
It helped me... that's all I'm really saying here.
My diet is basically fruits and vegetables will little fish. I take no vitamins and supplements since they make me sick. All my fruit is usually eaten raw, and the vegetables I eat are either fresh (raw) or frozen and then steamed/boiled. I avoid probably about 90 percent of most average westernized grocery stores.
I'm not a meat eater, but I'll occasionally have fish once a month or so. I don't eat chicken, beef, pork, turkey, etc. Once I accidentally ate some chicken in a stir fry… but it's not like I'm going to throw the chopsticks across the room and demand retribution. A tiny bit every few months or so is something that I doubt will cause an issue with most people, so it's wise to be practical and open minded. Also, I still eat potatoes, rice, and very few times bread. I drink fresh, hot tea (real, loose leaf tea, not the bagged kind) and water every single day. Once every few months I'll fast for a couple of days. I make and drink my own homemade vegetable juice about once a week or even less than that.
I've spent less money, sopped washing my face, stopped putting my hair up, stopped visiting my dermatologist, and stopped having cystic acne. I honestly cannot see what others have to lose, but I do understand that it's not something people are often anxious to do and get rid of. I didn't care for the diet I had before, so this wasn't a big change for me. Maybe you do care about your diet, in which case you may need to work on how to get off it.
If you're having difficulty wanting to change the way you eat and live, then put aside some time and find and watch these videos, they may help you make the diet change (YouTube, Library, Amazon, The Pirate Bay, etc... whatever it takes for you to get them, just find them and watch them):
Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead
Forks Over Knives
The Future of Food
Hungry For Change
May I Be Frank
Simply Raw - Reversing Diabetes In 30 Days
***UPDATE*** (11/19/13): Someone had brought to my attention that a few of the movies above are flawed, not scientifically proven and/or accurate, biased, and make points that have little to no scientific studies (a.k.a. "pseudoscience": http://en.wikipedia....i/Pseudoscience ). Unfortunately I may have to agree with some of their arguments as I've done a little digging myself and discovered a few empty holes in their logic. Doctors and nutritionists - or raw foodists, naturalists, etc… whatever you want to call them - CAN work together if they really want to, but when their beliefs get in the way you can be sure that there will be an all out war to win to public opinion. I understand that it can be tough to really know what works and what doesn't work, and that's why so many people scream "Bread is Bad!" and "Bread is Good!" to one another in all out frenzy. There are several ways you can deal with this: Find what works for YOU and acknowledge that you are DIFFERENT than others. Mention again and again "This is what works for me", and never try to shove your specific diet into other people's faces. Work together, create lists of possibilities, provide GOOD scientific research and PROPER statistics, and be the best you can be. If you'd like to learn more about the criticism against some of these movies, then just follow the links bellow (and read the comments from other people as well):
Criticism against "Simply Raw": http://www.scienceba...raw-food-diets/
Criticism against "The Gerson Therapy": http://www.scienceba...is-beat-cancer/ , http://www.scienceba...ancer-quackery/ , http://www.skepdic.c...sontherapy.html , http://scienceblogs....t-on-celluloid/ .
Movie reviews on "Food Matters" (and other movies if you use the website and type in the titles): http://www.imdb.com/...s?ref_=tt_ov_rt
There are probably dozens more documentaries out there, but I'm sure you get the point by now. I'm not trying to shove Raw Foodsim, Veganism, Vegetarianism, Paleo Diet-ism… etc… whatever kind of diet into your face... I'm just giving you the suggestion that you should be exploring all other alternatives before going to the extreme with pills, lasers, steroids, etc.
I am neither one or the other, I am simply myself. I am as natural and organic and I can be with exceptions that I KNOW my body can handle. I make most of my own food and found things that I liked to do (soups, stir fries, etc...). Telling you every detail of my diet would be impossible since I am natural and change with it every time.
Again, I will say that the biggest thing that simply helped me with my cystic acne and 99 percent of my white heads would be NO MILK, NO CAFFEINE, NO -BAD- SUGARS (Table sugar, high fructose corn syrup, etc.), and NO (OR VERY FEW) HIGH GI/GL FOODS.
That is all I have to say.
*** SPECIAL NOTE: I have eczema as well! That's right! Acne and Eczema: Two different skin conditions with, in reguards to MY body, completely different causes. I use to tell people with a sad expression that "The roll of the dice had gotten my twice".
People have asked me if they are possibly related to the same "cause" since few people have both problems at once, and after finding out what worked for me I began to tell them that we have to be careful with the word "cause". My eczema's biggest cause was not milk, like milk is for my cystic acne… it was actually certain vegetables and nuts. With that said, is that even eczema at all? Some have told me that it's a reaction to having food allergies, not the rash itself: http://www.dryskinsr...food-allergies/ and http://www.fda.gov/F...ens/default.htm . Well... If that's the case, then why did my food allergy tests all come back negative? Why is my blood work fine and healthy when food allergies often cause abnormal blood count and weight gain in the majority of others? Are there other people being misdiagnosed with eczema if all they have is a food allergy/sensitivity? Isn't the allergy suppose to kill me and not give me a rash? Why does it get worse with age? Why do I have it if no one else in my family does? And why are there so many questions??? Gah!!!
I didn't even know food was causing my rash until I joined acne.org and started eating more raw vegetables and nuts. My "eczema" has been with me most of my life, and no one knew the "cause" of it. Most of the time it was just dry and slightly red, and few times it was bright red and agitated by… whatever. My family and I just assumed that it was incurable, and I was given topical steroids to make the rash go away. Most of the time the creams worked, but sometimes they didn't. To an extent, my rast IS -currently- incurable, but that doesn't mean that it will NEVER be cured for good! It just means that it's a complex issue that has many "triggers". My rash mostly appears on the bend of my arms, but during my early 20's it started to spread all over my hands and fingers. As a kid it was behind the knee cap, but disappeared when I was a teenager and now only has smooth skin in that area.
One again, it wasn't until I came here and began juicing vegetables and eating salads that my rash exploded out of control in a way that I had never seen before. It was too much of a coincidence to not compare it to my diet change, and every flair up was 4-6 hours later after eating the culprit.
This time frame of consuming the food and then digesting the food within 4 hours MIGHT suggest that my gut/bowels are what is rejecting the foods… which is also, interestingly enough, POSSIBLY the main cause for many people's acne according to these websites:
GUT Eczema(or Psoriasis):
If this IS the case, then I haven't found any evidence of a gut problem for me because all of my blood/stool tests I have taken have all come back negative and healthy… but the SENSATION that it IS my gut is completely there with 100 percent accuracy. I even had an endoscopy done (I was put to sleep) to see what was causing the extremely hot and burning feeling in my stomach area, but no ulcers or anything else were found in my stomach… just very faint inflammation near the start of the small intestines. My doctor didn't find the inflammation to be an issue, but tried to convince me (rather smugly since I was the "only one" who had ever come to him with this issue) that the incredibly hot and burning sensation I was feeling was from stress, which we all know is nowhere near the truth. So once again, I had to try to figured out the "cause" for the fiery feeling in my gut on my own. Unsurprisingly, I did! I discovered that the hot/fire/tingly feeling in my gut/bowels to be a reaction to caffeine and vitamin pills. … Something that I had drunk and eaten most of my life without any issue whatsoever?… Insert confused face icon here: .
Why my body suddenly decided doing this at the age of 25 I have absolutely no idea, but any amount of caffeine will cause my lower belly's front, sides, and lower back to feel as though someone is wrapping a hot blanket around me. This started happening after my diet chance and after I stopped drinking vegetable juice. At first I was convinced that the juicing and diet change had somehow screwed up my body for good and that I could never go back to drinking coffee or anything with caffeine in it again, but I later accepted what IS and decided that MAYBE I had so much crap inside of me that when it was finally "washed out" my body could then tell me what I should and shouldn't be consuming. IS this a legit conclusion? Absolutely not, but it's all I have to go on for now while I continue searching for the truth. Either way, I can't have anything with caffeine in it (or "decaf" products since they also contain small traces of caffeine) with the ONLY EXCEPTION of loose leaf tea. So there's not only THAT weird burning issue, but also my eczema and acne. Gut. Gut. Gut. That's all I'm hearing and understanding, but no one else seems to have any idea how to help me...
Anyway, despite the doom that has been mysteriously permitted upon me, I avoid the vegetables that irritate my second most common skin condition; eczema… which is flared up by corn (yes, many things have corn and even HFCS), tomatoes, peppers, table mustard, certain kinds of nuts, and eggs. When I found out that corn and tomatoes were a HUGE factor for me (as an example), I wondered why I never broke out with pop and candy (HFCS) and pizza (tomato sauce). It turns out that the closer the food is to its natural and complete/whole body source, the greater of a reaction I have. Maybe now you could imagine my absolute confusion and frustration with my breakouts… as well as my excitement in FINALLY figuring out what was causing it to behave in the way that it did!
Is avoidance a "cure"? No, but it's my current and temporary "solution" while I join the thousands of others who are searching for the truth as well. We must accept what we are given if we are to ever put the past behind us a move on with the natural changes of the universe. This may not be what everyone likes to hear, but it's the closest thing to truth that can be understood at this point in our lives.
If you want to see pictures of my eczema/psoriasis they're right here: http://s1096.photobu...tml?sort=3&o=27 . Please note that Photobucket keeps changing it's website to the point where I can't seem to organize anything or add any titles to my pictures, so please forgive the lack of description while you start at the link I gave you and work your way through all 28 of my pictures. In a nutshell, this is what happens when I eat the rejected food once, and then wait out the rash until it goes away. Sometimes it takes longer than one month, but lotions can and usually do speed up the healing process.
Out of curiosity (and possibly for other people's sick amusement), I wanted to see how red and irritated my rash would get if I continue to eat the rejected food for up to three days. Well, three days was the longest I could go before the rash turned so hot and bright red that my body could no longer withstand it. I couldn't bend my arms, I couldn't ignore the heat, and had incredible amounts of fatigue. My stomach and gut would burn with pain, a sign that my body can no longer attempt to digest it, let alone get it past my stomach in the first place. The final symptom would be dizziness, feverish-like sensations, and alas throwing up the culprit. Afterwards I would feel normal after 24 hours, and simply wait for the rash to go away as long as the culprit has not passed my lips.
It's a crazy, complicated life, but I guess someone has to live it!
Help for you to get started:
I'll provide a list of links for you to read and explore whenever you get the chance. Make sure you are getting as many vitamins, minerals, EFA's, sunlight, and exercise that your body needs to function and maintain itself. Becoming friends with your doctor and/or nutritionist would be a big plus and easy support. I've always enjoyed properly organized and easy to print PDF pages and information, so I can print them myself and create my very own personal diet book. The specific lists/charts I will give you bellow will help you decide on choosing what foods you want to eat and/or are able to get your hands on based on the minerals/vitamins listed (you may have to do your own adding/subtracting and other calculating based on your own custom made diet):
The minerals your body needs: http://www.health-al...tion-chart.html
The vitamins your body needs: http://www.health-al...tion-chart.html
The protein your body needs (Legumes): http://www.health-al...tion-chart.html
The protein your body needs (Animals): http://www.health-al...tion-chart.html
(Although this website provided the above information for free, it also has the information available in PDF Printable Formats for sale. However, with any luck you should be able to either copy and paste the information and adjust it in Microsoft Word or whatever text program you use, as well as using search engines in finding other websites with similar free nutrition information in pdf formats on the internet. I personally prefer the printable "one page information" charts because they are easy to read and understand as well as organized. This is just my personal preference though since I do a lot of reading and printing. I prefer to save paper and space on my bookshelves.)
The FDA's Educational Resource Library: http://www.fda.gov/F...s/ucm239035.htm
(I don't care whether or not you agree or disagree with what the FDA does... getting the RAW DATA in itself is more important than pointing fingers at the people or the government who hold onto it. If you don't agree with any of the information and/or are skeptical of who has collected it/funded it, then make your own charts or seek those with greater truth. Personally, any free resources are always a plus and should be important for anyone to consider studying. With that said, this site has free "Nutrition and Labeling" information in printable PDF formats. Just click on the words for a drop down list and more information.)
Another website with some of their own printable PDF documents and extra information: http://www.abcompany...n/nutrition.htm
(To the uper left of their home page, http://www.abcompany.com/index.htm , there is a search bar. The site seems kind of unorganized, so I just typed in "nutrition" and followed whatever links looked interesting. Read and understand website's URL's to backtrack to other places that may or may not be hidden... For example, they didn't have the link on their website but it still exists. An example of a printable PDF page they have is "food combinations": http://www.abcompany...d_combining.htm .)
Despite people "debunking" some of the movies above, some of these people's websites provide their own printable PDF charts with possibly important information (hopefully not biased and supported my several references and resources). One such example is "Food Matters" and "Top 10 Food Additives To Avoid": http://www.drcraigfr...Guide-20121.jpg
***Some minerals rely on vitamins! And vice versa! Make sure your Calcium/Vitamin D ratio is accurate, and your Vitamin E is being absorbed properly!!
Learn about labels and what they mean: http://nutritiondata.self.com
Here's a cool Vitamin D website: http://www.vitamindw...om/VitaminDWiki
Great popular educational website with easy to understand videos (Just a warning, this site and the doctor who runs it is practically vegan. If you're worried it's more vegan-propaganda then don't look at it… but the information on the fruits and vegetables alone are amazing): http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/milk/
Complete lists of Vegetables, Fruits, Grains, Nuts and Seeds: http://vegetablesfruitsgrains.com
Alphabetical list of Fruits and Vegetables and some extra data (PDF Format): http://www.education...tionSection.pdf
Website where Vegetarians discus updated research about vegan, paleo, raw food, fruitarian, etc… diets: http://www.beyondveg.com
And finally, I saved one of the best for last. It's the only other "acne" website that I think we all can trust since I it had pretty good data and articles to read: http://www.acneeinstein.com . There are also printable PDF formats and information to seek out, as well as their book that I bought for myself and enjoyed reading very much. It's possible to always find more information as time goes on, but learning what you can whenever you can makes the road travelled much less hectic and problem free.
Seriously, thank you all for your support, love, and kindness! I could have never made it this far without all of you amazing people!
Whatever you decide to do, be smart, be safe, and be open to ALL possibilities!
May you all find what works for you! May you all live a long and happy life!!
GoodBye and God Bless!!!