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chingwa

My story and current situation

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Hello All, I just joined the forums here but have been perusing this website for years. I'm going through a particularly horrible bout of acne and thought I would post my history... more as a sort of cathartic emotional therapy...

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I first started to have acne around age 13. I never thought it was a big deal as a kid, as many other kids that age had it as well, but this stayed with me through the end of highschool. it started to affect my self image quite a bit in those days. once out of school and into my early 20's hardly a week would go by without 2 or 3 big red pimples on my face.

As I got into my late 20's the acne started to get worse. I began to develop cystic acne underneath the skin. these would last for weeks at a time and really affected my mood, self-esteem, temper etc. I had tried every over the counter medicine imaginable. nothing worked. NOTHING. the emotional distress was even worse at this time because I had always expected to "grow out of it" by then. most people my own age had, why hadn't I?

I discovered acne.org and Dan's regimen 3 years ago. Feeling I had nothing left to lose I jumped in. After about a month of using cetaphil, BP, and moisturizer my face really started to clear. it was pretty amazing to me. I went from have 4 or 5 constant big cysts down to having maybe 1 or 2 normal pimples a week. eventually this went down to 0, with the occasional weekly small disturbance. the only problem is the bp did irritate my face, and it had a pretty much constant light red tinge around my T area. I also suffered occasionally with dry flaky skin.

Every time I tried dropping the BP from my regimen the breakouts would appear again, so I would go back on it. I read a lot about the potential long term side-effects of bp even in small doses... cancer, toxification, sun sensitivity etc. but I stuck with this regimen for 3 years to pretty good success.

I am now 32, almost 33. in August 09 I started to develop some alarming general health problems related to inflammation and allergic responses. this forced me to take a look at what and how I was taking care of my body. I changed my diet dramatically in order to address these problems... no dairy, meat, or sugars of any form (no fruit, no honey, no white carbs etc). I revised the topicals I was using on a day-to-day basis. I cut out anything unnatural. No BP or Cetaphil. I started washing my face with just water and following up with ACV and jojoba oil as moisturizer. I also started drinking small amounts of ACV with water. I did this for 1 month. This helped my condition tremendously and I can safely say the ACV, taken internally, has been a real boost to my overall health. AND it controls those relentless sugar cravings.

One of the most dramatic side effects of my diet/regimen change has been a face perfectly clear of acne. My skin has not looked so clear and so healthy in 18 years! I was amazed, and emboldened.

I slowly started adding ingredients back into my daily life. I added tea tree oil to my ACV toner, which helped at first, but after a couple weeks this started to break me out again. I got rid of it, but now the pure ACV wasn't working nearly as well as before. Since my overall health had improved, I also started to eat meat again and slowly started consuming dairy products and sugar again...

BIG MISTAKE!

...4 weeks ago, after admittedly taking way too much dairy/sugar the week before, my face literally exploded with hormonal cystic acne around the jawline... at least 15 big red underground cysts! I was horrified. I immediately cut out the dairy and most extra sugar, and while this helped some, the extant of this breakout was just too much too handle. the ACV I felt had stopped working so I switched to witch hazel (couldn't find the non-alcohol kind). I felt this worked some, but not much. slowly over the past few weeks the pimples started to go away, but now there are new ones that pop up in their place.

I am now back on the ACV toner, though I've stopped taking it internally because I'm underweight and suspect that drinking ACV was a factor in preventing weight gain. This morning I went back on the BP regimen because I cannot take this anymore. I was trying not to use the BP but apparently my body combined with natural topicals and healthy diet just cannot get rid of these suckers. if the BP helps (hope to god it does) I plan on stop using it once the cystic acne goes away completely and going back to the natural regimen.

this whole recent experience has been very traumatizing. after having perfect skin for about a month, to wake up to the worst breakout of my life is very disheartening. If there is one thing I have learned from this recent experience it is this... what you put in your body affects your body, and if your body is under duress it will show in your face. Milk, sugar, yogurt, icecream... even cheese yes, cheese; these are things I will no longer be putting in my body. I will have to cut down dramatically on red meat. I've read it elsewhere too, but anything that comes from a cow should be avoided... they really aren't even cows anymore... just biological petri dishes.

I'm very grateful to this community and have garnered some very valuable advice over the years by browsing this site. I will keep everyone updated to my progress.

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I will have to cut down dramatically on red meat. I've read it elsewhere too, but anything that comes from a cow should be avoided... they really aren't even cows anymore... just biological petri dishes.

And yet, nothing in your story actually implicated red meat at all. It's not as though you had clear skin, made the single change of introducing meat, and then had a severe breakout.

One thing that comes from cows (from meat, that is) is tryptophan. If you avoid it and don't replace it via some other source, I predict you'll have a hard time keeping clear skin.

In general, your story has been repeated many times by diet researchers. No matter how motivated people are, extreme diets almost always collapse. So, for example, while it's probably true that an Atkins diet can improve acne (by eliminating vast amounts of carbs, particularly fructans), very few people manage to maintain that low-carb lifestyle for life.

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No matter how motivated people are, extreme diets almost always collapse.

Man, you're not kidding! I've already been cheating a bit... eating chicken and fish... and I had bacon the other day.... :shifty: I figure it's just a matter of time before the beef creeps back in as well.

The dairy shouldn't be too hard to control, I've done that before for other reasons than acne. The thing that I find hardest to avoid is excess sugar. Man that stuff is in everything.

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I'm sorry, but the reason your face cleared was not because you quit eating "bad, unnatural" foods. The kind of food you eat (with the clear exception of dairy) does not have much effect on your skin. In other words:

You changed your diet to omit sugar, etc. and because of that you vastly decreased your daily calorie intake. You probably even started to lose weight, am I correct? Which in turn led to a massive reduction in the production of serum, which then in turn meant you got no acne. NOT because these foods were 'natural.'

The moment you started adding food back into your life (and of course the dairy didn't help), your serum production increased like mad which caused this ultra-large breakout. I'm sorry. But acne can not be cured by any type of diet. Go back on the BP. Keep the dairy out though, I agree with that for sure.

Edited by Beautiful Day

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