I was noticing a lot of improvement with my skin from only using water/epsom salt! So much improvement, that I decided to eat a ton of bread from this worker-owned bakery near my work. Olive, provolone, and onion bread to be specific. Mmm. However, I also have been eating ice cream and some other garbage foods lately. With no new breakouts, either! Until...I really went overboard. Yesterday I had a mango peach topper from jamba juice in the morning and two cotton candy sticks and two corn dogs at this carnival-themed work event in the evening, then two mixed drinks, one with bourbon and one with whiskey. This morning I woke up with three inflamed white heads and I know they're from over-taxing my whole system. Sugar wipes out 50% of your gut's good flora, I've read somewhere, which probably accounts for the overgrowth of yeast I'm experiencing in my nether regions. Bleugh.
There are a couple upsides to this experience, I guess. For one I am now comfortable with not using topicals on my face! I think it's important step to make if you want to go on an elimination/rotation/any kind of specific diet for skin otherwise you'll never know if it's from what you're putting on the outside or the inside or both that's bothering you. Here's a list of things I suspect attribute to my recent breakout:
-Sugar, food coloring (cotton candy)
-Corn, sulfites (corn dogs)
-Phenols/salicylates in general (sulfites, fruits)
-Amines/sugar (mixed drinks)
-New SLS/fluoride-free toothpaste (but it has orange oil, pineapple, papaya, and I think mango which scares me a lot)
I've also been pretty depressed lately. The other night I cried a lot before bed without a clear reason. When talking about it to my boyfriend, I offered that it was probably the stress attached to eating I've been having ever since discovering my phenol/salicylate sensitivity. There aren't too many clear lists online that say what the highest phenol foods are. And another part of me doesn't even really want to pay too much attention to things like phenols and salicylates since I plan to implement the GAPS diet soon. I actually just got the guide today.
It's so strange, what acne does to people. The longer you learnt to live with it the hardest it is to eradicate, I feel.
I'm on my second week and I've started cutting off part of my pills. First week I cut 1/4th off, now I'm cutting something like 2/3rds, next week will be halves, and then I'll be on the low dose pills ("shark week"). Then I'll start the half fragments, then the 2/3rds, then the 1/4ths, and maybe start cutting those in half too. I think it's time I stopped messing with my body's hormones with excess estrogen, I've been on birth control for about 4 years, I switched types and quit for something like 2 months in that period and I've read it's not good for women to be on it past 4 years (need to look into this more as I'm not sure why but it makes sense). So for overall health reasons. I was originally on it via Planned Parenthood but was prescribed a mini-pill (less estrogen) when I started seeing a derm (who was a Nurse Ratchet type, the first one anyway).
I'm not sure if this is the best method but the idea of stopping abruptly, bleeding (which will most likely happen anyway as it does with pill skipping, etc.), and my body getting used to it doesn't appeal to me. Someone on the internet (what a dependable source) suggested just taking your last month as you would normally and letting your body adapt. I'm hoping that my method is easing me into a BCP-free life but I may actually just be sending my hormones on a roller coaster ride. Eep.
Anyway I'll be looking at supplements to take towards the last week, perhaps Dong Quai or Saw Palmetto. Definitely plan on being more consistent with Evening Primrose Oil during that period as well.
Oh, and I'm sexually active. Gonna have to figure that one out.
It's been approximately a month and four days since I made changes to my diet and I'm surprised with how patient I'm being to see long-standing results. I can gently put my hand on one side of my face and it's relatively smooth whereas the other side has some deep bruised spots which had three heads (aaaah! monster stuff~). Which explains why they're bruised and hurt to apply pressure. I mean I definitely applied pressure when attempting to "vanquish" said "monsters" by pulling out pus. I really should just sit back and let my skin take care of what it needs to do (an approach that somehow comes after dietary changes leads me to believe this is more difficult than it sounds).
I've been doing a lot of visualizing lately. Thinking about the problems I'll still have regardless of my skin being clear (in addition to problems I'm just becoming attuned to related to the diet of most Americans, the economic state of America, etc.), about how other people outside of my life probably see my face in time-lapse photography (I just moved to San Francisco in the last couple months so there are lots of new faces to be seen) as opposed to the way I obsess over it's little details and changes (again, trying to let my body do the talking here). I've had this condition for the last 7 years. Out of all my visualizations the hardest one to take seriously is imagining myself being completely clear.
This blog is somewhere I can talk about problems I'm having which are hard for me to bring up otherwise for fear of sounding too self-critical/vain/people don't know how to respond. Although when I finally mentioned to my boyfriend (who I share the same room with) that my skin is the reason all these dietary changes have been taking place (I wasn't sure if I was resentful, grateful, or just dumbfounded that he hadn't asked, assuming he probably knew the reason) there was a lot of relief on both of our parts. Why does it have to be the focal point of my body's largest organ that separates me from others emotionally? Well, I supposed that goes along with the primary function of skin. To differentiate yourself from others. It's where others end and you begin.