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cvd

Member Since 15 May 2007
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 03:40 PM

#3441361 If My Diet Is So Great, Why Isn't My Skin Great?

Posted by cvd on 14 July 2014 - 05:02 PM

Blackheads can sometimes get inflamed which is part of the process of a clogged pore becoming infected with acne bacteria.  That said, lots of people with blackheads don't progress to inflamed lesions.  If you will or won't depends on many factors including skin type, hormones, sensitivity to acne bacteria, degree of general body inflammation, etc.  

 

Usually inflammatory acne develops after a pore is clogged with a tiny plug that is microscopic within the pore.  This tiny plug deprives the pore of oxygen which creates the perfect environment for acne bacteria to multiply.  Then inflammation and infection can begin which results in visible lesions.  Bigger plugs like blackheads can do it too.

 

This brings us to diet and Dan's regime.  Diet can help the body deal with inflammation better, lower inflammation, and help to balance hormones and hormonal reactions.  Consequently there is less oil so there are fewer plugs.  If a pore does get clogged and infected with acne bacteria the skin's reaction is less inflammatory because the whole body is calmer and not so reactive.  For some people diet alone is sufficient to control acne...skin plugs are then naturally expelled before serious inflammation sets in...hence less or no acne.

 

For other people diet is not enough.  I am one of those people.  I need some meds along with diet.  However meds alone did not get me clear...adding a whole foods diet and avoiding dairy-sugar-processed fats (very similar to Piagem) finally got me clear.  I went to many derms over the years (am 63 now) who said diet did not matter.  But I am living proof that diet does matter, that meds are not enough for some people and a good anti-acne diet can help tip the scale to clear skin.  

 

Dan writes about his regime helping.  It does this by using BP which opens up the pores, even clogged pores, to allow oxygen in which kills acne bacteria.  BP also helps dissolve the plugs.  I personally can't use BP topically because I have extremely sensitive skin but a BP cleanser works great and is gentle enough for my skin.  I also recommend microderms to help keep pores clear of dead skin which is part of what plugs are made of...that and oils.  

 

P.S.  Piagems --- I can not eat nuts of any kind.  They clog me up every time.  However other foods with natural fats are just fine for my skin (avocado, fish, etc.).  It was extremely hard for me to give up nuts so I did specific experiments where I'd eat nuts and record what happened versus when I avoided nuts.  For me, there was a definite increase in facial oil when I ate nuts and inflamed acne.  You may want to do a similar experiment and see what happens.  I hope that nuts (cashews) are not an issue for you.  I know they are a big component of many vegan type diets...but if they are an issue for you there are ways to still get needed calories and make delicious meals without them.




#3437093 Spiro Advise

Posted by cvd on 20 June 2014 - 02:49 PM

Everyone's different so who knows?  You know your body best.  As for the red face...tazorac is a retinoid and that can cause skin irritation.  They say that using it just as prescribed and with time the skin usually stops reacting so much.  BP can also be irritating.  You may want to speak with your derm about the redness.  Personally I can't use any retinoids because they are way too irritating for my sensitive skin...I've tried several times but always have to stop.  Just in case your redness doesn't go away or gets worse --- an alternate regime for sensitive skin is BP cleanser plus a topical antibiotic (see below).  Also your derm might have you do either the gel or the BP every other day until you skin calms down.  Key here is to not aggravate the skin too much for too long or the inflammation will keep the acne flaring up.




#3436602 Is My Acne Bad? (Pictures)

Posted by cvd on 17 June 2014 - 11:06 AM

No --- your acne is moderate and seems to be more surface than the deep cystic kind.  Your kind of acne should respond very well to the treatments you are on.  It will take a month or more to get you clear because it takes time for residual acne to make it's way to the surface and for any plugged up pores to open up.  Don't change anything you have been prescribed to do and don't change cleansers, etc....especially if you start to get impatient.  This is the biggest mistake acne patients make...changing routines or getting fed up before treatments have a chance to work.  When you wash be sure to do it extremely gently...this is very important when using the kind of topical treatments you are on.  They work better if the skin is less inflamed.  You may also want to avoid dairy and sugary foods.  Eat as wholesome as you can and cut down on processed fats (no junk foods).  This will also help your skin heal and be less inflamed.

 

Another thing to remember is that you will have some residual red marks that will take several months to go away.  If they stay around longer you may want to do microderms every other month to help the marks go away.                                     




#3436502 More-Than-Persistant Acne

Posted by cvd on 16 June 2014 - 05:24 PM

Hi Dee --- I too was put on tons of things...accutane worked while I was on it but acne came back when stopped...and full strength antibiotics were the only other thing that kept me mostly clear.  What finally got me clear was a combination treatment that attacks acne on multiple fronts.  My derm is a specialist in resistant adult acne...a genius.  Before this other derms had me on one thing or another but usually just one or two things at a time but that approach did not stop acne, especially the cystic kind.  

 

This is my current derm's treatment that I have stayed clear on now for several years (yeah!!!):

 

1. Monthly microderms to open pores, get rid of dead skin and pull out plugs.

2. Panoxyl 4% BP cleanser in the morning to kill acne bacteria (is gentler than topical for adult sensitive skin).

3. Topical Cleocin-T to further kill acne bacteria and provide a barrier for the day.

4. DML lotion to soothe and heal skin (developed especially for acne prone skin).

5. Cetaphil antibacterial cleanser in evening followed by DML lotion.  Spot treat with Cleocin-T if needed.

6. 100 mg spiro per day (blocks androgen receptors but is not a hormone --- very safe).

 

In addition I eat only whole unprocessed foods and avoid all dairy, breads, processed oils, sugary foods, and alcohol.  This is the same diet that cultures that don't get acne eat and it is an anti-inflammatory diet as well.  I also avoid caffeine and fermented foods as these seem to inflame my sensitive skin.

 

I hope this helps you.




#3435258 Did Zinc Work For Anybody?

Posted by cvd on 07 June 2014 - 02:44 PM

I think zinc helps but personally I have to do other things as well to stay clear.  The usual dosage is 50 mg or less.  Shouldn't go above 50 mg on a regular basis.  Studies have shown that acne prone people are often low in zinc.  I like "NOW L-Opti Zinc" brand.  Also eat zinc rich foods as getting nutrients from foods is best.  Eat whole unprocessed foods and avoid diary, sugary foods, and processed oils.




#3435123 Spiro Advise

Posted by cvd on 06 June 2014 - 04:15 PM

Spiro blocks androgens so it should not cause acne.  It takes months to kick in so the cyst you have now is not from the spiro.  Cysts take a long time to develop deep within the skin (weeks)...unlike more surface acne.  Spiro will help dry up your oily skin.  Stick with your derm's advice...exactly.  Don't play around with treatment but instead tell your derm what is happening and let him/her decide what to do next.  I'd say that the one cyst you got was probably a fluke and due to starting and stopping the birth control, since you say it made your skin more oily and that could have started the cycle of a cyst (timing is right too for it to suddenly show up now...weeks later).  Is your skin tolerating the topical treatments (BP, antibiotic, etc.)?  If so then also keep doing them.  BP takes a while to kick in too.  

 

You may want to keep a log of your breakouts, especially if you've been breaking out for awhile and are on new treatments.  This will help you see how your skin is dealing with things over time and will really help your derm figure out how your individual skin works.  It takes some experimenting to get things just right.  

 

You should also try avoiding all dairy, sugary foods, alcohol, and oils (dressings, margarines, etc.).  This will help your skin to calm down and also help to balance hormone fluctuations.  Avoiding oils will help your skin be less oily and unclog pores.




#3434547 Why Hasn't Diet Had Any Effect On My Skin?

Posted by cvd on 02 June 2014 - 06:16 PM

I have some thoughts to share that I hope may be helpful.  First off you may have a bit of rosacea along with acne --- it often manifests as constant breakouts versus the cyclical kind that is purely hormonal.  So if that is true then diet will help.  But you may want to consider looking into a rosacea type of diet which will also take care of many facets of your acne too as it is basically anti-inflammatory.  

 

A very restricted diet to start will help you figure some of this out.  Remember though that it can take a month or two to see results as the clogged up pores you already have are clearing out.  You'll need to modify the diet to get the calories you need to function, especially if you're very active.  I do marathons so I have to keep my calories up while still eating in a way that keeps inflammation down.  

 

The diet which seems to be working for me, not only for my skin but also my digestion is wild fish, free-range poultry, fresh vegies, tubers (yams, potatoes with skins), rice, berries but not citrus --- no processed oils (margarine, butter, salad oils, etc.), junk foods, alcohol, spicy foods, sugary foods, nuts, dairy.  Much of this diet is similar to a rosacea diet.  Personally I find it to be a very calming diet. The two foods that were something I would never have considered eliminating were oils and nuts.  I had always eaten those things thinking they are really good for skin and they may be ok for people who don't get clogged up pores but if you are prone to acne you may want to avoid them.  I really saw an incredible change when I avoided processed oils.  Just my experience.

 

 

Unlike most people on this forum, I do use some meds (Spiro, a BP cleanser, a topical antibiotic) and I do monthly microdermabrasions.  I continued to break out on just the meds but adding the diet finally got me clear and has kept me clear.  




#3432461 Help! It Just Keeps Spreading

Posted by cvd on 19 May 2014 - 07:17 PM

The cycle of better and worse is not unusual with acne because it is directly affected by the increase and decrease of hormones, especially androgens, in our body.  Hormones surge naturally and when there is ongoing stress and when you eat hormone laden foods (dairy, red meats, etc).

 

The reason for a multi-prong treatment approach is to make sure that even if a surge happens the skin has what it needs to effectively shed dead cells that clog pores and to kill acne bacteria if that fails.  People with acne are usually sensitive to hormones and have skin that sheds poorly.  It is often too hard to totally figure out why hormones are surging...it just happens.

 

People with normal skin also have surges but genetically they may have much dryer skin and have pores that shed well and don't clog up as much.  Also they may have less of an inflammatory response and this also helps pores stay clear.  And thus less acne. 

 

A first cue that hormones are surging is an increase in oily skin...and then pores clog and acne happens. A preventative approach is one that helps the skin to function well even if there are problems.  

 

First avoid all oils in the diet except for oil that is naturally in foods (avocado, salmon, etc.).  Some people with really chronic acne also avoid nuts as they are too oily even in their natural state.  If you do this you will notice a dramatic decrease in oily skin within 2 weeks.  This is not talked about much but it works and is based on cultures that don't get acne...they don't eat processed oils (oil, margarine, butter, mayo, etc.) at all.  

 

You have to use a cleanser or topical that helps the pores stay open and clear.  I use a BP cleanser (Panoxyl 4%) that is very effective but gentle.  There's lots of other options depending on what your skin likes.  Some people swear by salicylic acid...personally it makes my skin red and raw.  

 

Then you need to use an antibiotic topical.  Some people like tea tree oil products, others like BP.  I like Cleocin-T...mild but effective.

 

And of course...Spiro will help decrease the amount of androgens affecting your skin.  It takes about 4-5 months for Spiro to kick in.  But at least for me, spiro is only effective when used with the whole regime below.

 

Hope this helps.  




#3432284 Help! It Just Keeps Spreading

Posted by cvd on 18 May 2014 - 04:10 PM

Yes --- a bacteria laden environment along with broken sensitive skin (active lesions) could have aggravated your acne.  Plus I'm sure it was emotionally stressful.  I broke out more when caring for my mom who was in diapers and it was hard to keep things clean.  Hopefully being home and in a cleaner environment will help...along with less stress!  

 

FYI: spiro is one of the most benign ways to assist hormone issues, especially sensitivity to androgens...mainly because it is not a hormone itself --- it only blocks androgens but putting itself into the androgen receptors.  I wouldn't be afraid of it.  I have read tons of info on it, most written by doctors saying spiro is okay to take long term for acne.  In fact it was originally developed as a really mild diuretic for heart issues that could be taken forever.

 

The only other way to help your body regarding hormones is to avoid dairy, red meats, and chronic stress.  That said, you may be able to avoid spiro or the hormone issue by making sure your pores work as well as possible...which means being on a treatment regime that opens pores, helps dead cells slough off and kills acne bacteria effectively.  BP does this, as does topical antibiotics. 

 

I have been on spiro since 2001 with no problems.  By itself it did not keep me clear but as part of the regime below (see signature) I think it helps.  That said, I intend to try weaning off of it next year because my ultimate goal is to only use topicals and diet if possible.




#3429704 Weaning Off Doxy - Wish Me Luck!

Posted by cvd on 02 May 2014 - 10:08 AM

Thanks!  I'm now completely off doxy...all done!  Have been now for almost a week and so far no flare-ups.  Spiro by itself never kept me clear.  It was the addition of everything else that finally got me clear.  I think spiro helps as part of an overall regime, at least for me.  But I probably have the most resistant chronic acne in the world...have had it since teens and am now in 60's.  Yes, I'm too old for this stuff but nothing by itself worked...not diet, not individual meds, nothing.  It wasn't until my current derm who put me on a multi-prong approach (pills + topicals + microdermabrasion + diet) that my acne finally cleared up.  But the goal is to eventually try to get me off all oral meds...even the spiro if possible.  Could be as I get older hormones will be less of an issue but we live forever in my family (100's) so being 63 is still rather young and I'm still sensitive to androgens - hence need for spiro right now.




#3427865 Help! It Just Keeps Spreading

Posted by cvd on 22 April 2014 - 10:01 AM

Yup --- looks just like the acne I used to get.  Awful and painful too!  I'm so sorry.  I do have some ideas that might help you.  First, diet is important and I agree with above that it can take time for a bad diet to make a mess.  So you must change your diet right away.  Avoid all dairy (because of the inherent hormones that affect your hormones), sugary foods, caffeine, and possibly the usual rosacea triggers (look up on web for list).  In addition you must avoid all processed oils (butters, margarines, salad dressings, etc.) because these things inflame the skin and also make skin oilier if you are prone to inflammatory acne.  Eat whole fresh foods and drink lots of water.

 

I think you have a mix of rosacea + acne so you have to treat from both perspectives.  The BP cleanser may be helpful.  Wash extremely gently...just gently swooshing over skin with fingertips to the count of 60 (this lets BP get into skin).  Dry by patting gently...no rubbing.  Do your topical.  It will help.  I use Cleocin-T and love it.  It totally knocked out the cystic acne, along with using the BP cleanser (Panoxyl 4%).  You may want to consider using Spironolactone.  It blocks androgen receptors which in turn makes for less inflammatory acne.  It is not a hormone...just blocks androgens.  Another thing that made a HUGE difference in my deep cystic acne was starting monthly microdermabrasions in derm's office with a diamond tip.  Totally opened up my very blocked pores and let the meds in.

 

You have deep acne and it is going to take a multi-prong approach to get it under control.  Trust me...I know this from years of dealing with the same thing.  My derm is a specialist in adult acne and he put me on the regime below.  Ask your derm about this combined approach.

 

Send me a message if you want.  Would love to hear how it goes!




#3427755 Weaning Off Doxy - Wish Me Luck!

Posted by cvd on 21 April 2014 - 05:44 PM

Still doing great and now down to only three 20 mg doxy pills a week.  In a couple of weeks will be all done with doxy.  Yeah!  Wish I had had the guts to do this earlier.  I really think the combo of Panoxyl 4% cleanser (BP) + Cleocin-T (topical antibiotic) + monthly microdermabrasions and the daily spiro are eneough to keep me clear, along with my diet that is whole nutrient dense foods and avoids dairy, sugars, processed oils, etc.  




#3425767 Weaning Off Doxy - Wish Me Luck!

Posted by cvd on 11 April 2014 - 10:03 PM

So far so good...skin is staying clear!  Next Monday I'll be at 5 total for the week (20 mg each) and two days with no doxy at all.  I'm being really careful to eat my rosacea/acne diet which is basically an anti-inflammatory low glycemic diet that is nutrient dense.  Keeping fingers crossed that this works. 




#3424878 Weaning Off Doxy - Wish Me Luck!

Posted by cvd on 07 April 2014 - 09:05 AM

It's been one week since I weaned down from 40 mg/day to 20 mg/day and each week I'll wean off one day until I'm done (7 weeks).  Today was my first day of not taking any doxy at all...the rest of the week I'll take 20 mg/day and then next week wean off two days (Mon & Wed) and so on.  Eventhough it was only a low anti-inflammatory dose (not antibiotic) the doxy was still causing some stomach upset at 40 mg/day...and even at 20 mg/day.  So it has been very nice today to not have any stomach issue.  Plus I can now take my probiotic first thing in the morning which is a plus for my bod. 

 

Thus far my skin has been doing fine.  No flare-ups or anything.  But I am also being very careful about following a low inflammatory rosacea diet and avoiding triggers.  The true test will be when I'm traveling and can't avoid triggers...this is when my skin usually flares up --- not so much acne as rosacea p&p's...which for me are somewhat different.  The low dose doxy was for my rosacea p&ps which are different than the acne I also have.  All of this is about weaning off oral meds and only using topicals.  That's my ultimate goal...if possible.

 

I've made significant changes in diet in the past several years (religiously avoiding dairy, sugars, rosacea triggers, added oils, etc.) that also include concentrating on whole nutrient dense foods.  Especially avoiding oils has made a huge difference.




#3424515 Weaning Off Doxy - Wish Me Luck!

Posted by cvd on 05 April 2014 - 11:17 AM

I'm in the process of weaning off doxy and will share my progress in case anyone is interested.  I've taken 40 mg of doxy for over two years now without a problem.  I'd taken Oracea before this but it was too expensive and so switched to low dose doxy (anti-inflamatory versus antibiotic dose).  When I took Oracea it really didn't do much of anything and I'm not sure the doxy has either.  I'm on a complex tx regime (see below) so who knows for sure what is doing what.  I stated one week ago slowly weaning off doxy to see what happens.  My ultimate goal is to only use topicals.  Getting off of doxy (even an anti-inflammatory dose) I think is healthier for my body longterm. 

 

 I've been clear for a long time, especially after my derm started the BP cleanser (Panoxyl) + topical antibiotic (Cleocin-T) + monthly microdermabrasions combo.  Even on this regime I can sometimes get really tiny flat lesions, only a couple at a time...that sometimes have pus, sometimes not.  They seem to come up after eating rosacea triggers so I think they must be rosacea (I also have been diagnosed with acne).  Avoiding added oils also really helped clear up my skin.

 

So that brings me to weaning off the doxy.  I'm one week into it and my skin seems about the same.  I'm down to 20 mg doxy once a day.  Then I will take one less doxy a week until totally weaned (7 weeks).  Have to admit I'm a bit nervous about tinkering with things...but here goes!