I'm creating this post, not only to help those who are still looking, or who are finding hard to keep up with strict regimens, but also to help myself, If I ever go down the old path again and need a refresher
I have been using certain NATURAL steps to control my cyctic acne that have helped immensely. These are aimed at preventing the root cause which leads my body to wreck havoc on my skin. Over the last few weeks, my thinking has changed drastically. I stopped looking for a magic superficial cure to acne and started thinking in depth. For the first time I started to notice how I feel after eating certain things or doing certain things.
For e.g. If I have blackheads, I can be sure those they will erupt into cysts any day. Now my aunt also has blackheads but her body doesn't think of those as threats which must be attacked. She can live with those for years. So what is different here? My body is reacting differently to blackheads than hers.
What I have learnt is that any type of acne at heart is basically one thing. It is an inflammation in the body that is out of control. Now this can further be due to several factors such as Insulin resistance, Fluctuating blood sugar levels, Unhealthy gut, fluctuating harmones etc. You don't have to worry about that. All you have to do is take any measures you can to reduce the inflammation and hence facilitate your body to heal from within! I just found some articles where this exactly has been explained very well by Seppo at clear for life. I wont go into the details here but he has explained exactly what I have been trying to implement into my life. This realization, i.e. the body will heal by itself, you just have to help a little bit really set me free. I have been feeling so much better knowing that I don't have to go on a highly restrictive diet or take crazy measures to cure it, I can live a relatively normal life.
Here is what I'm doing
My goal: Reduce any inflammation in my body, keep blood sugar moderated, mitigate stress
How to achieve it: Limit things that cause spikes in blood sugar or put body under any abnormal stress. Increase things which help keep body calm and reduce inflammation.
Step 1: We all have read that diary, wheat etc. trigger acne. Instead of going crazy with a restrictive diet, eliminate one thing at a time, if you notice no difference. Move onto another. This is important because I have previously tried to eliminate diary, wheat etc. all at once, which was so difficult to manage that my diet would just fall apart and Ill go back to beginnings. So baby-steps.
Hence I limited dairy. I used to drink a glass of cow milk every night, have milk tea etc. I stopped. And new cysts stopped forming. I still eat wheat as I cannot do without it, but after my diary experiment, I know it is not that big of a problem for me. Still I have tried to limit it very slightly anyway. (Note: Having a balanced diet is the healthiest for our bodies. Moderation is the key)
(For those who have noticed that wheat is a problem for them, they will obviously have to limit it until their body heals)
I eat everything else in moderation. Meat, chicken, fruits, and all. The only things I am consciously trying to limit are dairy and sugar.
Step 2: Increase vegetable and fruits (Quickest way is to have a blended vegetable fruit juice in morning). Again fruit is not a problem for me in moderation.
Step 3: Green tea after every meal to reduce inflammation. Now I didnt like the taste of green tea so I did something interesting. I added some more anti-inflammatory things to improve the taste, so much so that I actually really enjoy it now. I want to share my recipe for those who do not like green tea much either. Put half centimeter piece of ginger in a cup of water. Bring it to boil. Add a green tea bag. Then add a pinch of Cinnamon and half a pinch of turmeric to it. i also add 2 teaspoons of honey, and squeeze half a lemon. So this is my own super anti inflammatory drink It has not caused me any problems in case someone is wondering this might be too 'hot'.
Step 4: I am taking a multivitamin just because I dont think I get all the required nutrients through diet. I'm taking one called skin, hair and nails vitamins.
Step 5: Intermittent fasting. This means, reduce the time bracket in which you eat. Do not have too many meals in a day. I have 3. Even a snack counts as meal here because it will be converted to sugar in your body, I have just the green juice for breakfast. Then a proper lunch and dinner later.
Step 6: That is it for now. I want to start exercising as that also helps in moderating insulin resistance, similarly mitigating stress helps. But I just wanted to share these little steps so that you guys get the idea about where to go from here.
I eat everything but in moderation. I used to get sugar cravings and hunger pangs but it has quickly moderated. My skin has become less oily. (Used to be embarrassingly oily before), no new cysts, just one or two pustules but I'm not bothered as I'm sure that I'm on the right track and by taking some more healthy lifestyle measures, I will be free from those as well. The feeling of having swelling all over has subsided. I feel much calmer and my face is pretty calm too. I have even lost some weight as I don't feel hungry all the time like I used to just few weeks ago.
I'm still learning new things every day about making my body healthy from inside and I really think this is the path to a happy healthy me.
Good Luck to us all.