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Quetzlcoatl

Member Since 04 Mar 2013
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 11:12 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Grain Free/paleo Diet Made Things Worse For Me?

29 July 2015 - 10:24 PM

Paleo isn't really low carb. That's just what people who want to lose weight do. Plenty of starchy root vegetables, fruits, honey, are all great.

In Topic: What Do You Think The Reason Is For The Fact That Diet Can Lessen Acne?

27 July 2015 - 05:06 PM


 


 Leave that to the scholars. 

I am actually a scientist earning my PhD in immunotherapy.  I'm just curious what everyone thinks since most have tested themselves and have come to their own unique conclusions. 
 
I've experimented a lot over the past few years and come to a few conclusions. The primary conclusion is that acne, in many cases, is a symptom of immune dysregulation. That is, acne is the outcome of a hyperactive (probably Th1 or Th17) immune response against commensal bacteria - sort of like an autoimmune disorder, but targeted against the microbiome instead of your own cells (side note - I think dandruff is the same thing possibly involving a fungus instead of a bacteria, but that hypothesis is more shaky).
I've been on accutane twice, and both times I've made an interesting observation that has been reported once or twice in case studies. While on accutane, my persistent athlete's foot got about ten times worse; it went from practically negligible to covering 30% of the surface area of both feet. It also gave me smelly feet. I believe both of these effects to be outcomes of isotretinoin's proven immune-suppressing effects; my immune system while on the drug was unable to control certain pathogens, and was far more tolerant of other bacteria (which led to an increase in body odor). Even more interestingly, though, is the fact that my persistent low-grade athelete's foot, which I had had for a decade before taking the drug, was cured about a month after cessation of isotretinoin therapy. My immune system bounced back, and the balance between tolerance and intolerance to the dermatophytes was re-established in such a way that they were perfectly controlled. This effect, pertaining to foot fungi, has been reported sporadically, and hasn't really been investigated at all.
In the case of acne, I might wager that something similar is happening. You go on the drug for 6-12 months, suppressing your immune system, and then when you go off it, your immune system has a fresh encounter with P. acnes and establishes a more favorable tolerance equilibrium. Sure, accutane has sebo-suppressive effects (which are not long-term) and antimicrobial effects (also not long term), and it regulates skin turnover, but I don't think any of these other effects are responsible for long term remission.
With this in mind, I think the reason diet affects acne is because the immune system is closely intertwined with nutritional status and food antigens. If you tweak your diet, there's a good chance you're changing how your immune system reacts by a little bit. Adding cod liver oil, going into the sun, eating liver, avoiding antigenic foods, supplementing zinc, getting a lot of sleep, eating low glycemic - all of these holistic approaches to treating acne modulate the immune system, usually in a specific anti-inflammatory way, which would support the hypothesis that it's an overactive Th1 or Th17 response.
As a little side note, I've notice that for me, forehead acne was not a problem until I got severe food poisoning, after which my forehead became a battle zone, even upon resolution of the illness. It would be interesting to see if gut flora has anything to do with acne - I'm sure it does, but I'm not sure how. In my case, I wonder if the food poisoning threw my immune system off balance, so now I react to exotoxins/endotoxins from commensal bacteria that are structurally similar to those that gave me food poisoning. Perhaps some of them find their way into my blood where they interact with leukocytes which then travel and produce comedones. Or maybe there are memory cells embedded in my forehead's skin that react to the toxins in my blood when they are encountered. Unfortunately not a lot is known here, though I do find the fact that acne can affect distinct areas of skin (which histologically look very similar) to be extremely interesting.
Thank you for this.  You're dead on that this is an immunological disorder and that isotretinoin likely works at the immunologically level.  The trouble with figuring these things out is that these small vitamins have such pleiotropic effects, making their consequences tough to study.  
The thing that always perplexed me is why some of us only get acne on certain regions if the causative factor of acne is systemic immune dysregulation.  In your scenario, these bacteria-reactive T cells would be everywhere, so why do they only manifest issues on the face?  What is it about facial skin in particular that makes it susceptible?  Vascularity?  Amount of oil glands? Exposure to the elements?  

My guess would be skin flora. I don't think it's necessarily general immune dysfunction, but rather a dysfunctional response against certain bacteria or antigens. I'm not sure how skin flora differs by area of skin, but I'm guessing that sebum has a rather large impact, which is why sebum is generally seen as a necessary condition for developing lesions.

Alternatively, it really could all be intestinal. We have a biome that is constantly secreting antigens into the lumen of the intestine, and some of them are absorbed. We're also constantly eating food. Differences in target tissues could determine reactions to these molecules, maybe by the presence of T cells that cross react with skin flora antigens, or maybe by the presence of growth factors that provide the right environment for an inflammatory response. It's really hard to know.

In Topic: What Do You Think The Reason Is For The Fact That Diet Can Lessen Acne?

26 July 2015 - 10:05 PM

 Leave that to the scholars. 

I am actually a scientist earning my PhD in immunotherapy.  I'm just curious what everyone thinks since most have tested themselves and have come to their own unique conclusions. 

 

I've experimented a lot over the past few years and come to a few conclusions. The primary conclusion is that acne, in many cases, is a symptom of immune dysregulation. That is, acne is the outcome of a hyperactive (probably Th1 or Th17) immune response against commensal bacteria - sort of like an autoimmune disorder, but targeted against the microbiome instead of your own cells (side note - I think dandruff is the same thing possibly involving a fungus instead of a bacteria, but that hypothesis is more shaky).

I've been on accutane twice, and both times I've made an interesting observation that has been reported once or twice in case studies. While on accutane, my persistent athlete's foot got about ten times worse; it went from practically negligible to covering 30% of the surface area of both feet. It also gave me smelly feet. I believe both of these effects to be outcomes of isotretinoin's proven immune-suppressing effects; my immune system while on the drug was unable to control certain pathogens, and was far more tolerant of other bacteria (which led to an increase in body odor). Even more interestingly, though, is the fact that my persistent low-grade athelete's foot, which I had had for a decade before taking the drug, was cured about a month after cessation of isotretinoin therapy. My immune system bounced back, and the balance between tolerance and intolerance to the dermatophytes was re-established in such a way that they were perfectly controlled. This effect, pertaining to foot fungi, has been reported sporadically, and hasn't really been investigated at all.

In the case of acne, I might wager that something similar is happening. You go on the drug for 6-12 months, suppressing your immune system, and then when you go off it, your immune system has a fresh encounter with P. acnes and establishes a more favorable tolerance equilibrium. Sure, accutane has sebo-suppressive effects (which are not long-term) and antimicrobial effects (also not long term), and it regulates skin turnover, but I don't think any of these other effects are responsible for long term remission.

With this in mind, I think the reason diet affects acne is because the immune system is closely intertwined with nutritional status and food antigens. If you tweak your diet, there's a good chance you're changing how your immune system reacts by a little bit. Adding cod liver oil, going into the sun, eating liver, avoiding antigenic foods, supplementing zinc, getting a lot of sleep, eating low glycemic - all of these holistic approaches to treating acne modulate the immune system, usually in a specific anti-inflammatory way, which would support the hypothesis that it's an overactive Th1 or Th17 response.

As a little side note, I've notice that for me, forehead acne was not a problem until I got severe food poisoning, after which my forehead became a battle zone, even upon resolution of the illness. It would be interesting to see if gut flora has anything to do with acne - I'm sure it does, but I'm not sure how. In my case, I wonder if the food poisoning threw my immune system off balance, so now I react to exotoxins/endotoxins from commensal bacteria that are structurally similar to those that gave me food poisoning. Perhaps some of them find their way into my blood where they interact with leukocytes which then travel and produce comedones. Or maybe there are memory cells embedded in my forehead's skin that react to the toxins in my blood when they are encountered. Unfortunately not a lot is known here, though I do find the fact that acne can affect distinct areas of skin (which histologically look very similar) to be extremely interesting.

In Topic: My Dermatologist And Parents Are Forcing Me To Eat Foods That Will Trigger Acne?

02 July 2015 - 08:42 PM

Noodles are unhealthy. I don't know why your parents would feed than to you even if the derm was right that they don't cause acne. Which they are not.

In Topic: Paleo Diet Log.

16 June 2015 - 08:36 PM

Hi!

I ve been missing all of this time cause I moved and didn´t have internet until last week. I only came back to say that, unfortunately, paleo DIDN´T WORK FOR ME.

I had 2 or 3 breakouts during the diet, exactly as when I wasn´t dieting. I´m so frustrated...I have been eating well for 4 months and I´m the same or even WORSE than in the beginning. All around my mouth I have bumps and, it ITCHES TERRIBLY. I think it must be something like bacterias/yeast, because it itches as HELL the same days as the breakouts, its mathematical. If someone wants more paleo ideas I have no problem in posting them, by the way. But, as it was absolutely useless to me, I don´t find it useful to share my "method".

Nowadays I´m hopeless, don´t know what to do...I have been on zinc for 13 days and I see no improvement.


Because this post has already been drudged up from the depths, I will add that what you have is probably perioral dermatitis, not acne. Acne does not usually itch. You could try eliminating products that you use on your face and lips, as well as changing your toothpaste to something without fluoride or SLS.