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A new regimen that's cleared 15 yrs of acne...?

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I'm a 34 year old male with persistent acne that started when I was 19. At its worst, some months the acne was shallow and surface-level, some months it was painful and cystic. I've spent thousands of dollars, consulted with every derm in 4 different states and tried everything from Accutane to Mino to Doxy to Retin-A.

In 2003, at my lowest point emotionally and acne-wise, I visited a new doctor. He recommended Bactrim. The results were immediate. It cleared my skin completely from 2003-2008. The results almost made me cry with happiness.

But last year, the acne slowly came back. Then suddenly quicker with a vengeance. This spring, I broke out every single day, mostly painful red cysts and exploding whiteheads. It threw my personal life in shambles. I had flashbacks to those very very bad days of 1996-2003.

In April 2009, after much internet research I stumbled on Dr. Perricone's "Clear Skin Prescription" book. Every day I began eating lots of Alaskan salmon, unsalted almonds, blueberries, cantaloupe and romaine lettuce. I also took Vitamin A, B-Complex and Zinc supplements. I saw tiny improvement after 3 weeks, but not much. I also felt fairly weak from lack of calories, but I did like the idea of a very healthy diet, regardless.

About 8 weeks ago, I did some research on candida. I asked my Dad, a respected MD, what he thought: "Total BS". Admittedly, some websites seem to attribute candida overgrowth to nearly every malady, and I'm hugely skeptical of non-Western herbal treatments as they've always had zero effect. Thus, the placebo effect has never been an issue or tricked my problems into improving.

But I took the plunge and did a two-week candida cleanse (Pau D'Arco, Oregano Oil, Black Walnut and Caprylic Acid). My skin cleared up in mid-May, and continues to improve. My rosacea has also decreased. I continue playing soccer 3 times a week, sweating a lot and experiencing testosterone spikes, yet the acne has really leveled off. I continue eating "non-inflammatory" foods with probiotic drinks (kefir + blueberry).

So....it's only been a couple months, but I'm happy. I'm not sure whether the change in diet or the candida treatment did the trick, or maybe a combination of both. I'm the last person I know who I thought would respond to a more 'holistic' regimen like this. I've always put my eggs in the antibiotics/topicals basket, but that's clearly a temporary treatment. Maybe this is too. But I wanted to report in to you guys and let you know that the change recently has been dramatic and positive, and hopefully the regimen will help you too, if you choose to try it.

Thanks for letting me ramble :D Let me know if you have questions.

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Congratulations.

I cleared my skin with an anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense, blood sugar stabilizing diet too. And it helped my rosacea as well. My face is never red anymore.

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In April 2009, after much internet research I stumbled on Dr. Perricone's "Clear Skin Prescription" book. Every day I began eating lots of Alaskan salmon, unsalted almonds, blueberries, cantaloupe and romaine lettuce. I also took Vitamin A, B-Complex and Zinc supplements. I saw tiny improvement after 3 weeks, but not much. I also felt fairly weak from lack of calories, but I did like the idea of a very healthy diet, regardless.

I have his book, I haven't read it in its entirety but I get what he's advocating. The only problem that I have with his book is that his suggested diet includes a lot of wild Alaskan salmon, and where I live it's very expensive. The salmon that is not expensive is the farmed salmon, which we all know is sub-par in comparison to wild Alaskan. Anyway, I follow his diet when I have money, but when I don't I find myself consuming food I know I shouldn't.

BTW, congratulations on clearing up with a holistic approach!

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I have his book, I haven't read it in its entirety but I get what he's advocating. The only problem that I have with his book is that his suggested diet includes a lot of wild Alaskan salmon, and where I live it's very expensive.

There are many other high omega 3 fish like sardines, mackerel, herring, tuna. But you don't want to eat too much of the larger predatory fish because of mercury, so not too much tuna and only small species of mackerel.

@alternativista: nice! Can you tell me more about your diet these days?

I just make most meals from real, nutrient dense plant foods and fish. Some free range eggs, lots of greens, broccoli, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, lentils, garbonzos mostly in hummus a favorite snack, quinoa, apples, berries, oats, yogurt. All kinds of nuts and seeds like peanut butter, cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds.

For breakfast I make a baked oatmeal with apples, usually adding some cooked quinoa and pumpkin seeds for more protein. Lately I've been having a slice of Ezekiel, a sprouted grain bread, with peanut butter and sprinkling of pumpkin seeds for more protein. Or yogurt with a banana, berries, sprinkling of granola and pumpkin seeds. Sweet potatoes are another favorite breakfast. Either with a little butter and cinnamon or spicy seasoned salt blend. Because I'm always hungry in the morning to lunchtime, I have second breakfast a while later.

I try to keep a bowl of cooked legumes on hand for lunch or dinner, especially when days don't go as planned and i don't have time or don't feel like cooking a dinner. I put a lot of onion and garlic as I cook kidney beans or lentils then when they are near done I add some greens like spinach or collard greens. Keep a bag of frozen on hand for when you don't have fresh. You really can't even taste them so if you don't like greens, this is a good way to get them. They are very important. Sometimes I buy some smoked or Italian chicken sausage for the beans.

Also have green smoothies for a great way to get greens. There's a very lengthy thread on this in the Nutrition forum with all kinds of recipes. But I usually make them simple with a couple of kiwi and some romaine or baby spinach and a bit of yogurt. And maybe a small apple. I usually make enough for two glasses so have the leftovers the next day. I do this a couple of times per week.

Other cooked meals I make are veggie soups, make enough for a couple meals.

Veggie stir fry with peanuts sometimes fish or shrimp,

Veggie curries also maybe with fish or shrimp. These are good ways to get a lot of anti-inflammatory spices like garlic, ginger, and tumeric, as well as the veggies. I have them over quinoa for the protein.

I make pita sandwiches with canned jack mackerel, which I buy for my cats, but it tastes pretty much like tuna and is a high omega 3, low mercury fish, so I have some. Or I make salmon cakes with canned salmon. You could also do it with the mackerel, but I like salmon better.

And I buy wild salmon on sale and poach, grill, or broil it. Usually I buy a large portion, poach it as that's a fool proof method, and eat it for a few days in various ways--hot with veggies, on a salad, in an omelet or fritatta. Most supermarkets will steam cook it for you for free, if you prefer. You stop at the seafood counter first, they cook it while you shop and you go home and have it with some steamed broccoli or sauted spinach.

And I drink unsweetened tea, cocoa, iced tea, water, water with lemon or a splash of some juice, this drink here, etc. No sugar.

I don't only eat like this. I just make most meals like this. Any splurges are only on things I really love. Like ravioli, dark chocolate, pizza. But they need to be very good versions of such foods.

Please visit the links in my signature for more info on how to diet and lifestyle affects the many factors that lead to acne. And if you've kept your skin clear via diet and lifestyle, please add your story to the success thread. I'm about to add the link to my signature right now.

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Awesome, thanks for all the info. If I still have good luck in a couple months, I'll post a bit to the Success Stories, though it almost makes me superstitious to declare myself 'clear' ;)

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Thanks for all of this information. I'm currently on month one of accutane. I did the Perricone Prescription and when I stuck to it religiously, it worked. When I got a craving for pasta and had some, I broke out immediately. I find it really difficult to follow, even though I do eat a pretty healthy diet. If Accutane doesn't work, I'll have to do what you recommended, and treat it like diabetes. Part of it is the social aspect. It is often hard to find many things on the Perricone diet on a restaurant menu. But it IS doable, just hard. It is good for me to hear others say the same thing.

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