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Okay, my story first. I'm 22 female, I used to get 1-2 spots a week during my teen years, maybe more before my period. Then all of the sudden last summer I go on a diet (which mind you, wasn't for being healthy as much for being slimmer, my BMI was 21). I go on this superhealthy diet, taking fiber pills, and working out.

During working out, I sweat copiously (I've always sweated buckets) and I notice these many tiny bumps on my cheeks. Till then, I had never gotten anything on my cheeks. I've always had numerous blackheads on my nose, and occasional spots on my chin , but the cheeks? They were flawless with no visible pores. So the little bumps get a bit bigger, I continue working out and BAM cystic acne all over my cheeks, in huge swollen clusters, down to my neck. I counted about 20-25 spots active daily.

Of course I freak out, I read the net, stop using towels (just paper ones, and just patting dry), replace liquid make-up with mineral (Lily Lolo brand) I stop applying any other make-up on my face (blush, concealer etc.), I stop touching my face throughout the day, I keep my hair in a pony tail at all times. The frequency of spots decreases, and they change nature - no more cystic, but inflamed nonetheless and take about 4-7 to stop being inflamed. But still 10-12 of them at any given time.

It becomes obvious it's linked to my cycle (the week prior to my period plus a bit before my ovulation). In fact, if for some reason I'm late a day or two, I get bigger breakouts. Like my body is punishing me for it.

It also becomes obvious it's not linked to my diet. I go on superhealthy diets, eliminate dairy, try a vegetarian diet full of greeny leafs plus only chicken breast and eggs for a month and the result? I feel like crap, and the acne is the same. One elements from food that does indeed cause breakouts? MSG. The fucking thing is vile. One day ramen, second day increase of spots.

About a month ago I keep reading this site, and I have a breakthrough. ZINC. I read up on the effects of deficiency and I notice "loss of smell". Now, this may seem silly, but at work, this dude is famous for...stinking. As in, body odour and breath. Now, my friends kept commenting on his stink, and my reaction, prior to reading anything about zinc (so no bias), was "I can't sense it, what are you talking about". I also work in a laboratory, and some substances stink like hell. I had a much better time handling it then other people. I then thought it was because I'm tough, but it seems now it's not the case.

I started taking 30mg a day of zinc (morning and evening 15) and guess what. I could smell the Smelly Guy now. Heck, I could sense things way before other people could. AND my acne decreased even further both in number and gravity of spots. Unfortunatelly I couldn't check it for more then 2 weeks because I caught enterocolitis, and I stopped all supplements.

Breakthrough number 2 - naproxen. I took this for 6 days before my period, just one pill, and the decrease was even bigger (several days without any spots). Instead of coming out the other end of my cycle with scars, I came out with a clean face (and some old scars that are still not there yet).

HOWEVER - it's not GONE with any of these therapies alone. So hoping on breakthrough 3, and that it's the final nail in the coffin of sodding acne. - BP

This is third day of BP (using 4%) and I think I found it. Remember those sodding bumps on my cheeks? They're gone! During the time it took me to get here, I had also aquired numerous bumps on my chin as well. Well, 3rd day of BP and the bumps are decreasing. The actual cause of my acne, going away. Not only that, BP has erased 80% of the blackheads on my nose! It stopped looking like a freaking strawberry!

Anyways summary for my causes for acne:

ZINC DEFICIENCY (caused by diet, and taking fiber pills which can cause deficiencies by complexing zinc from food)


HORMONAL (can be beaten with naproxen 1/day for 3 days and then 2/day for the last 3 days before period)


CLOGGING OF PORES CAUSING BUMPS (which then get inflamed and turn into cystic spots or just plain old spots) - Cheratinolytic - BP?


SENSITIVITY OF SKIN (hair brushing on my skin can turn a bump into a spot, kissing my boyfriend can turn bumps on my chin into spots, a freaking touch to a bump can cause a freaking spot) - naproxen for antiinflammatory, 99% aloe vera gel Lily of the valley during the night, lots and lots of tea (I noticed drinking mint and green tea does me good, dunno why)


POSSIBLE FOOD ALLERGIES - MSG proven, might be others but I can't tell.

Okay, so right now I'm only on BP, and doing a course of antibiotics for my enterocolitis. I don't think the AB are helping with the acne because they're specific for enterobacteria while most AB for acne are large spectrum AB. I'll let my stomach rest for a bit from the AB before going back on the Zinc and it's not time yet for the naproxen.

I see a lot of knowledgeable people here so I'm asking for your advice. Any things I'm doing wrong? Any suggestions? Any healthier alternatives to BP and naproxen (which are some serious drugs)? Thanks for reading.

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