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Is it can be cleer skin tiem now plz? (6/18/09-12/6/10)

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I've had acne for over 10 years now (I'm 22), and have recently decided to attack the problem from the inside by altering my diet, thoughts, and exercise patterns. It's hard for me to keep track of what works and what doesn't as I haven't been writing down what I'm doing, so I'm hoping that this log will help me determine what is clearing me up as my skin and health continues to improve. :dance:

My acne is moderate; I get a ton of tiny whiteheads on my forehead and cheeks, random pustules here and there (mostly on my chin), and blackheads on my nose and cheeks. Occasionally I get what appears to be a cyst on my chin, but those typically come to a head and go away with some BP. Unfortunately, it seems like everything scars now, leaving boxcar scars all over my face. Other than that, I think my skin is slowly improving with the changes I'm making; it just FEELS healthier than it did when I was slathering BP all over it.

~Current Topical Regimen (trying to keep it simple)~

Morning:

wash with Yes to Cucumbers cleanser for only about 10 seconds

wait 5-10 minutes, apply Aczone gel (once every few days)

moisturize with emu oil

MyChelle Dermaceuticals Sun Shield SPF 28 Zinc Oxide sunscreen

Evening:

wash with cleanser

.025 generic tretinoin cream gel

moisturize with emu oil

Supplements:

Lunch:

30mg zinc cheleate when I remember it

Dinner:

400 mg Magnesium Glycinate

5000 IU Vitamin D

100mcg Selenium

"Primal" foods I'm eating: ground turkey, ground beef, chicken thighs with skin, pork chops, lamb chops, bacon, occasional chicken or beef liver, eggs, canned wild salmon and sardines, collard greens, kale, swiss chard, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, sweet potato, yukon gold potato, zucchini, summer squash, onion, garlic, macadamia nuts, almond butter, shredded coconut, blueberries, raspberries, green apples, ghee, olive oil, occasional alcohol

For exercise, I walk as much as possible and sprint all-out for short periods when I feel like it, as well as lift heavy things at work.

My goal is to keep things under control and minimize scarring until I grow out of this. Here goes!

~~~~~~~

Supps I've Tried:

Evening Primrose Oil: tried it twice, both times made me miss my period and it would resume only when I stopped taking the oil for a few days

Carlson's Cod Liver Oil capsules (1 per day gave me hive-like acne in weird spots)

Nature Made Vitamin E 400 IU (added 8/24): no effect

Nature Made Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc 3x daily (added 6/21): no effect

GNC Zinc 50 mg (added 6/21): made me break out along my jawline SO BADLY

Nature Made Vitamin C 1000 mg (for stress): switched to Quercetin + C

Swanson Full Spectrum Bitter Melon 500 mg 2x daily (added 6/30): did nothing and tasted gross

NOW Vitamin D 5000 IU (kept me healthy, did little for my skin)

Digestive Enzymes (did nothing)

Diets that have NOT helped my skin or digestive problems:

Most Recent Diet:

chicken, oatmeal, almonds, coconut, plain organic full-fat yogurt, spinach, brussels sprouts, kale, collard greens, zucchini, onion, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, chickpeas, olive oil, kiwis, blueberries, raspberries, Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Odwalla bars, wine and beer and some junk on the weekends

Possible problems: chickpeas, Odwalla bars, oatmeal, not enough fat

~Hypoallergenic Diet (7 week test)~

Basic guidelines: hypoallergenic, low-fat and protein, high carb and fiber diet avoiding omega 3 foods to reverse possible GLA deficiency- no dairy, gluten, or added sugar

Breakfast:

hot buckwheat cereal with shredded coconut, almonds, and cacao nibs

Lunch:

garbanzo beans and brown rice with raw spinach, broccoli, and kim chi

Dinner:

baked turkey breast or chicken with steamed broccoli, zucchini, collards and kale, with garlic and pepper

Drinks:

spring water, occasional rum or wine

Snacks:

kiwi

I also add a few shakes of sea salt to meals.

Possible problems: fat too heavy on grains and beans, cacao nibs, not enough fat

--

Old diet: chicken, salmon, tuna, eggs, spinach, broccoli, green bell peppers, carrots, sweet potatoes, steel cut oats, kiwis, strawberries, blueberries, brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, chick peas, brown basmati rice, brown rice pasta, quinoa, sprouted whole wheat bread, Icelandic butter, occasional Thai food (love it!), coconut oil, cacao nibs, 85%+ dark chocolate, and a ton of chia seeds

Drinks: water, rooibos tea, hemp milk, coconut milk kefir, occasional rum, beer, wine or vodka

Low-GI, Anti-Inflammatory diet

No dairy

No added sugar

No gluten

Limited alcohol

~Typical day~

Breakfast:

organic steel cut oats with oat bran, walnuts, almonds, chia seeds, raisins and dried cranberries (I eat this almost every morning)

Lunch:

eggs scrambled with frozen veggie mix (pea pods, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, carrots, mushrooms, soybeans) and spices (lemongrass, green tea, ginger, pepper) in coconut oil, sprinkle brewer's yeast on top

or

spinach and romaine salad with tuna, broccoli, green peppers, and chia seeds with olive oil and raw apple cider vinegar dressing, sprinkle brewer's yeast on top

Snack:

prunes, strawberries, cacao nibs, brazil nuts, sprouted wheat toast with Icelandic butter

Dinner:

baked salmon with wild rice and mixed veggies, seasoned with ginger and turmeric

or

baked chicken with wild rice and mixed veggies, seasoned with ginger, garlic and oregano and drizzled with olive oil

Possible problems: too many grains, butter, yeast, not enough fat...pretty good, though

Edited by QuirkyPixy

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Skin looks pretty good today; less red and oily overall. No new pustules today! Maybe the Vitamin E is helping?

I caved and pigged out on three big Kashi Oatmeal-Raisin-Flax cookies. I guess I'll know in a week if I can tolerate some grains and flax. :lol:

Avoiding eggs for a bit to see if I'm allergic, but it's tough. I love my eggie-weggs. :(

Waiting for some supplements to come in the mail: Nature Made Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc and GNC Cheleated Zinc 50mg. Going to drop my B-100 Complex to a B-50 Complex because it's $4 cheaper and I think I pee half of it out anyway. Also waiting for Kiss My Face Jump Start Cleanser to arrive; this worked well for me before even when my diet was crappy, and it has 5% AHA that might help my scars and blackheads without making my face redder.

Got an interview tomorrow- gotta keep those stress levels low. Time to exercise!

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Stayed over boyfriend's for the weekend. Had some swordfish (yummy!) and curry. Slipped a bit and had a glass of white wine, a lot of coconut custard and half a small bowl of ice cream. Broke out on right cheek (one big pustule and 4 smaller ones) after eating custard; might be the eggs? Didn't break out further when I had more of the custard.

Stressed out over interview, but did fine.

Got zinc, calcium/magnesium supplements and AHA face wash in the mail; starting all three tonight.

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Went to a party and ate three bowls of fruit (cantelope, melon, strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, grapes, kiwi), two really salty meatballs with tomato sauce, and some Chex Mix; small breakout on chin which could be from anything. Face isn't looking so hot with the new breakouts, but they'll go away eventually. They seem to take forever to heal even when I spot treat with BP. Hopefully the zinc supplements will help with the healing and prevent even more scarring from happening.

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Breakouts still looking pretty angry. Nice huge papule on my left jawline, probably hormonal. Lots of tiny bumpies on lower left and right cheek; hoping the AHA face wash will take care of these and even out my skin tone. Was able to take 60 mg of Zinc at once with no nausea; may bump it up to 115 mg in a week if I see no effects.

Today I ate:

1/2 sweet potato w/ cinnamon

orange

banana

about 15 pineapple chunks

spinach salad w/ pepper, cucumbers, and baby corns

chicken w/ mango marinade and brown basmati rice

raisins

almonds

walnuts

yay.

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New big zit in T-zone. Face still a mess. Maybe the AHA cleanser is bringing all the gunk to the surface? Spot treating with BP, aloe and Vit E seems to do nothing to prevent scarring, though it might make it less severe.

I've hit a bit of a rough patch. I wouldn't give a damn about my acne if the scarring stopped, but I feel helpless to prevent it now. Man, acne is bad enough on its own, but scarring is a completely different beast! My thoughts are almost entirely variations of "Oh, if I just did this thing then maybe they'll stop and I won't have to live with another new scar forever" or "I wonder if doing this is making the scars worse." I am terrified whenever a big new pimple pops up, because it'll likely leave another dent in my face. I can't use harsh chemicals to treat my face any more because it's so burnt out, but the all-natural stuff isn't strong enough to do much. It's hard to focus on anything else when my cure could be anywhere- eating some particular food, avoiding some particular food, taking a supplement of a particular vitamin or some wacky herb, using a different topical or using no topicals at all...the list goes on and on and on.

I am living in fear of my own skin. It's unhealthy to be focused on something so vain, but I have a hard time getting around it. Maybe I just need to let it all go and let things run their course; if I turn into a scarred mess, then I'll just learn to live with it. I have a feeling that all of this fretting and obsessing might be one of the primary causes of my acne. I doubt that other people see half of what I see on my face.

I am going to continue taking supplements and eating healthily, as both of these things have health benefits that go far beyond acne treatment. However, I am going to try to wean myself off of using BP, which seems to be useless anyway, and wash only at night with the AHA cleanser to promote healing of my scars and red marks. I am also going to avoid mirrors, try more yoga and some meditation, and generally do every thing I can to steer my thoughts away from acne for good. I have more important things to worry about than my skin (like getting a job :pray: )

Typing my worries out helps. Now that that's out of the way, time to stop dwelling on small matters and to start living my life again! :)

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Good luck. It looks like you have a good plan, but you seem to have a problem with binging. You need to work on that. Just have small portions at a party or special meal.

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Good luck. It looks like you have a good plan, but you seem to have a problem with binging. You need to work on that. Just have small portions at a party or special meal.

Thank you! I will admit that I have a bit of a binging issue, but I'm working on it. I feel like I'm always hungry (I'm a complete ectomorph with a fast metabolism) so it's hard for me to eat just small portions of delicious things sometimes.

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Did a good job of avoiding mirrors all day, only to find a breakout on lower left chin tonight; 4 very red and angry looking papules. My bets are on the face wash; I'll give it a week or two to finish purging.

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Realized that the Vit. E I've been using on my face is the artificial kind, not the natural kind, and is therefore probably not absorbing or doing anything; cutting topical E from my spot treatment. Ordered some alpha lipoic acid capsules to try to help my shallow scars heal, and some bitter melon capsules to help with digestion and blood sugar regulation.

I'm starting to think that my acne might be caused 25% by diet, 25% by lack of an effective topical regimen, and 50% by stress since I'm stressed out so much. Keeping busy helps take my mind off of things, so I'm packing this weekend with fun stuff to do!

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Left chin is still pretty bad, and the papule on my jawline is now probably the grossest looking pimple I've had in a long time. Gonna put some hydrogen peroxide on that monster to see if I can draw the infection out. :dance:

Despite the zits, I'm feeling really good! I woke up at 9 am today without an alarm, got out of bed with minimal effort, and am feeling clear-headed and energetic. Despite the lousy weather (over a week of rain every single day, another week of constant rain to come), my mood is good. Yay! :D

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Got a bunch of good eats from a local farm today: a TON of kale and baby spinach, bean sprouts, pineapple, Macintosh apples, limes. Found fish sauce and coconut milk! Gonna make a yellow curry with chicken, pineapple, potato, red pepper, and onion tonight. Yummy!

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Overall texture/ color of skin looks better today. Haven't moisturized in a while because I haven't felt the need to. Got about 10 pustules of various sizes scattered around face now, on top of the typical non-inflamed stuff.

Going over zee boyfriend's place for a few days, then going to a potluck dinner party on Sunday where I will eat God-knows-what. Not gonna worry about breaking out; good times, ahoy!

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Had a great weekend at the boyfriend's place, but definitely messed with my diet. I had a green tea popsicle (milk, sugar, green tea, oh my!), white wine and chardonnay, white pasta with a pesto sauce, and AN ENTIRE JAR OF PEANUT BUTTER. Holy cravings, Batman! At least the peanut butter was all natural, no sugar added. :doh:

I also started a Newswriting course that is stressing me out way too much, and I'm hormonal and moody. Yay.

Switched my cleansing routine up a bit. I think the Kiss My Face cleanser may be breaking me out, which is unfortunate because I liked the way it made my skin feel otherwise. Now I'll use an olive oil and aloe soap at night to try and give my skin a break.

Started taking bitter melon and alpha lipoic acid supplements today in hopes of regulating my blood sugar and digestion.

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Gonna have an egg tomorrow morning. I've been avoiding them for a while now without any noticeable improvement, and they're such a great breakfast that I think they may actually help more than harm me in the long run.

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Skin looks ok today. Had an egg last night and two for breakfast this morning with no negative effects so far. Moisturised with Jason Vit. E oil last night, skin felt good this morning. Have been using Blue Emu oil with vit. A, vit. E, and ALA from capsules on scars 2x daily; will see if there's any improvement in a month.

Feeling pain and small lump under left armpit today; might be related to very red bug-bite type lesion on leg I got over the weekend. Gonna get it checked out tomorrow to make sure nothing's up.

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Finally found a sodium lauryl sulfate and flouride-free, all-natural toothpaste! :D

Also got some granny smiths, an avocado, some tomato, basil and artichoke flour pasta, and more all natural, no sugar peanut butter. Yummmm.

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How do you like the desert essence cleanser.

It's probably the best cleanser I've used. No unnatural chemicals, non-irritating, ph-balanced, and a bottle of it lasts for months because you only need to use a little bit. It doesn't keep me clear on its own, but it does keep my face clean and less irritated. :)

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Cheated a ton on my diet again; yay 4th of July! Had a red bean bun (sugar, milk), 1/4 pitcher of sangria, a piece of custard pie (sugar, milk, corn syrup) and a hamburger with a home-made bun. Hoo boy. Stress levels are up for various reasons, uncertainties about life after college graduation being reason numero uno. Hormones are acting wacky, might be the stress and might be the zinc.

I just wanna get my skin under control so I can focus on the important things in my life, but perhaps I've got it backwards. If I sort my life out first, maybe I'll "grow out" of this irritating problem in the process.

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Trying gluten-free for two weeks. Started eating small amounts of yogurt.

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Is it possible that skin can be so damaged by topicals that it can't heal itself any more?

Over the past ten years, I've used:

Clindamycin

Erythromycin

20% glycolic acid

8% alpha hydroxy acid

2.5 % benzoyl peroxide

2% salicylic acid

sulfur soap

oatmeal soap

Proactiv

Differin and Duac (I think this is where things started taking a turn for the worse)

Tea Tree oil in various forms

I keep eating well, taking supplements that are supposed to promote healing and using topicals that claim to do the same, yet the scarring that started suddenly is continuing to happen, even with the tiniest pimples. What gives?

I'd like to know the science behind how the skin heals itself, but I don't have enough time to research because I have a journalism class to pass and a life to get back on track. Le sigh.

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Had some serious slip=ups this weekend again; seems to be a trend here. Went to a party and had a beer, binged on S'mores. Ate another one of those green tea popsicles.

Also ate more green apples than normal; one or two per day. No idea if eating fruit is good or bad for my skin.

Now using Kiss My Face olive oil and aloe soap 2x a day because it seems silly to use two different cleansers.

Skin looks like absolute crap, likely due to the chocolate and my stopping use of the TTO cleanser; it's red, tons of whiteheads and pustules everywhere. Body isn't doing so hot either; no matter what I eat, how much sleep I get or how many vitamins I take, my digestion still sucks, I get random stomach and chest pains and I'm almost always tired. Thinking about seeing a naturopath because I don't know if I can handle this on my own any more when my diet hasn't changed anything after 4 months.

Super-busy this week with schoolwork; no time to worry about acne. :naughty:

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Noticed that my dad, who keeps reassuring me that the pock-marks will go away, has several acne scars on his face, some fairly deep. Not very reassuring. Yay genetics. Maybe I should just suck it up and let nature take its course; my dad had bad acne and scars, but he's doing just fine now.

Skin really oily and red, probably from washing 2x a day, and have a few new zits that look like they'll scar. Pimples seem to be healing faster, though. Gonna try not washing tomorrow morning.

I want to try using BP again, but I feel like that's giving up at this point, and that it may make it even harder for my skin to heal. I'd probably have half as many scars if I'd been using it, but it burned the crap out of my face even when I used 2.5% once a day.

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