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Gavins Acne-free Paleo quest :D

I wasn't sure exactly where to put this, and I actually debated making this at all because I'm worried I'll end up focusing on my skin even more. But perhaps doing this will kind of "exercise" it from my brain a bit and free up space for other thoughts. :]

The reason I'm not sure precisely where to put this is because I'm on a very low-dose of Accutane, but also attempting a holistic approach at the same time because it's taking a while for the other stuff to work, and I want to find a way to KEEP my skin clear. I've been on iso before and my skin only remains clear for a few months before I have another break out. :[

I've been blaming it on hormones, and possibly they do have something to do with it. But I don't think hormones are the CAUSE, because the more I research I do the more I find that acne is a really modern disease in a way. (Or at least, the explosive prevalence in recent times of it must have something to do with the modern diet.) I have a strong feeling it's 99 percent about diet, at least for a lot of people.

So! I'm on 10 mg of Accutane a day. I'm just getting past the "initial breakout" period that everyone talks about, FINALLY - that was the worst part really. The actual whiteheads are starting to come up more rarely, and they come up in weird places they didn't before. Now I mostly have a lot of red marks leftover where my facial hair comes in. I have a hard time shaving because I don't want to rake a razor over them. D:

Another thing I should note is that I'm transgender, FtM. I've been on hormones for about 7 months now. I actually had FANTASTIC skin for the first few months, best I've had in years. Which really surprised me, because most ftms get more acne than usual when starting hormones. (They're androgens after all.) So this is how I finally started thinking perhaps it isn't hormones *causing* it, maybe more like a contributing factor. And anyway I was on a low-dose of Accutane the first couple of months, so that might have had something to do with it. As you can see there are a lot of factors for me and it's not simple to figure out what is causing my skin problems. I've always had skin issues since puberty however. :[

But I really think diet is the root cause. So I've started on the paleo-diet, and I've been on it for the past three or so days. This is rough to be honest! I *love* bread, and I love dairy like eggs and stuff. So my diet is pretty bland right now since I don't have lots of money to get lots of different types of food.

I've temporarily gone off hormones as well, because my skin was getting so bad I was getting hugely depressed and wanted to try anything. I'll probably take my next shot on Sunday again, but that is a whole 'nother can of worms that maybe I shouldn't get into since this is just about acne and stuff.

This is my "regimen" although it varies sometimes:


-wash face with water

-face mask of egg white and lemon juice for about ten minutes (clears scars faster and reduces redness, plus makes makeup application easier. I just wear foundation to hide the marks.)


-Wash face with water and Olay Cucumber Make-up Remover

-put lots and lots of "Vaseline" Repairing Moisturizer (fragrance free), let sit a minute, wash most of it off (my skin get super dry from the iso)

-Aveeno redness reducer lotion w/ feverfew on red spots and under eyes

SOMETIMES I use Dans PB but I've really stopped using it because it doesn't seem to work well anymore. And sometimes salicylic acid on my forehead and nose where I tend to get oily. I go really sparingly on this because it can be more irritating than anything.

What I'm going to do here is post how my skin is doing every few days. I won't know for sure if it's the Accutane or the diet for a while (or if it's lack of hormone-shots, if I don't continue them.) But really I just need a place to record my progress even if I'm not sure of the cause.

Anyway, here's to hoping everything works out. :]

Edited by Thorson

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Hi! I had the same problem as you when I first went to make a log. I am on accutane, but also making over my diet and, except for the accutane, I mainly focus on natural ways to take care of my skin/body. There really isn't much to write about the accutane. You take the pill, you may have more or less zits than you did a week ago, but overall it isn't much to write about. Your diet and everything else you do for your skin are the more interesting things to keep track of.. at least I thought so.

I too think diet is the major cause, specifically all the 'non-food- things we eat, all the chemicals and additives and things that just aren't even food. and the fact that we pasteurize, preserve, dehydrate, modify, spray things with fungicides/pesticides, spray wax on produce, all those things we do to turn real food into something else. Oh and that sugar is added to everything! holy crap.

I think people see success with different diets - paleo, clear skin diet, candida diet, low GI diet, anti-inflammatory diet - because if you do them right they are generally clean diets. They really aren't all that different either. They all focus on real food with lots of fresh vegetables. Of course if you have allergies or sensitivities you have to modify them to work for you.

I also see how it is true that hormones are a cause of acne, that toxins are a cause of acne, and that cleansing your major organs can be helpful for acne... but all because we messed them up with our toxic diets and polluted environment.

I have a log here too. I haven't updated much the last few months, but I am going to start using it again to write about my diet and whatever other things I am doing for my skin and health. I'm kind of in a hurry to get started on my mountain of homework right now, but i'll be sure to check your log again soon! I wish I could say something about the hormones, but I just don't know enough about it. I think you are brave taking them! And I hope it will be possible to get rid of acne and continue with the hormones. I mean, if androgens alone were responsible for acne, all men would have acne, right? So I think you'll be able to be acne-free and be male. You will probably need a verrry low-sugar and high-vegetable diet to do it, but I'm sure you know that. accutane will help too :)

For now, heres my new favorite breakfast that I think counts as paleo:

scrambled eggs, with diced avocado and spinach mixed in. Also, if I have some kind of meat already cooked (like turkey or ham) i dice that up and throw it in too! I buy turkey burgers already cooked at the health food store, and then I take just a third of it, dice it, and add to eggs.

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Hey Tree, Nice to meet you! I'm glad to see a fellow journeyman on the accutane/holistic path. :surprised:

Unfortunately I've had a really terrible time of it the last few days in terms of diet. I had to go visit my dad out of state, and had zero control over my diet really unless I wanted to go hungry. And ever since then I've felt so despondent that I haven't even tried to keep things healthy. Uhg! And with Thanksgiving coming up, it's going to be really hard to stay away from the yummy stuff my family makes. I'm going to try anyway.

Heheh, it's true about the pills! Definitely not much to write about, but it sure is a long and anxious process sometimes. Every day waking up hoping and praying that it will be just a little bit better. It *seems* like this is the case, but I don't know .. it's hard to tell.

For sure I am having less *deep* acne. They were becoming sort of large and sore. And for some reason my acne has always popped up in "lines" on my face. I have no idea why. But lately the big painful ones have started to go away. Now I've got these red marks on hollows of my cheeks, and some under my neck. I'm wondering if this is due to facial hair but I'm not positive. I try to shave every day even though it's painful. It seems to help a little although it leaves it red and sore for a while.

At this point it seems like the whiteheads are becoming more rare now, thankfully! I am able to wear a basic foundation/concealer type makeup over it which hides it pretty well. The only hard part is taking it off at night and going to bed, because I don't want my boyfriend to see mt face all splotchy. :[ I know I shouldn't care and he doesn't care about my spots or he wouldn't have been with me so long now! It's just embarrassing I guess. But now at least I don't have to cover big bumps, which show up even with makeup.

I really, really hope it continues to get better. It's been a week since I stopped hormones, and I still feel really bad about this. I'm really scared of losing all the progress I've made over the last 7 months all because of the fear of acne. :`( I'm thinking of stopping maybe until my acne is pretty much all cleared up with the iso, and then going on it for a bit more.

But anyway, I definitely agree with you Tree about diet! I have a strong feeling this is really part of the big reason so many of us have acne. It's just so hard in this day and age to have good food. Like you say, everything has been tampered with! Pesticides, hormones, and all kinds of crap is injected or sprayed onto our foods. I've been trying to cut down on sugar lately. I went into my kitchen to take a look at what kinds of food have added sugars, and I was floored. Nearly EVERYTHING has extra sugar in it, for no good reason! A can of chili beans has sugar. A can of fruit has sugar. It's crazy. I think it's insidious because in a way they've hopelessly addicted us to the taste of sugar so that we need it in *everything* nowadays.

Thank you about the hormones though, heheh! Believe me, it was scary when I first started them. For years and years I wanted to go on them and transition, because I feel like a man inside. But I've always been terrified that they would make me break out really bad, because I'm already super prone to it. I was so happy to see this wasn't the case. At least it wasn't at first. I don't know, it seems like in the last month my facial hair has finally become darker and thicker instead of downy, and this oddly corresponds to the increase of acne in those areas. I really, really hope that I can keep the acne away, because I desperately want to continue hormonal transition.

Your paleo breakfast idea sounds fantastic! I might have to try that! I like scrambled eggs with chopped up tomatoes in them. I've been using lunch meat to throw in there, but I just realized that for some reason they add sugar to that too!! (arg!) So your turkey buger idea sounds way better, I'll have to try that out tomorrow. :]


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Uhg! I just don't know what to think. My skin is so random.

The other day I finally got some new Cetaphil cleanser. That stuff is AWESOME. I've got dry flaky skin because of the Accutane so it works wonders.

I've got one big zit on my upper cheakbone that hurts like a bastard. I've been pretty good about not picking my spots - this is hard because I grew up ALWAYS picking. (My mom would always tell me "why don't you pop it? It's ready to come out!" and if I said no she would annoy me to death until I let her pop it for me. I know, yuck. Moms are crazy. And maybe if she hadn't of bugged me about it I would be less self-concious about it now. :[

But anyway, I attacked it. It was big and annoying and *usually* when I pop them they go right away. Well not this bugger. It just filled up again in a few hours. So I attacked it again. This is it, I'm not touching it anymore. I just don't care about it, it's so annoying.

The good thing is the rest of my face is doing better. The red spots on the side of my face are turning slightly darker, instead of being bright and raw. I never picked at those so I don't know why they were like that. But they are starting to go away *finally*. Chin is finally clearing up. I really, really hope I look better by Thanksgiving. ;_;

I've been better about my diet, though I still goofed a bit because of cookies. But I only had half of one, so better than yesterday. I had fish and a lot of fruit today. And I actually went outside and exercised despite my increasing agoraphobia.

I sure hope tomorrow this big one has gone down. :(

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So that big one finally turned into a scab and I kinda picked it off. It was bright red for a bit, but it's healing now. My skin takes a lot longer to heal .. I think because of the accutane. The slightest scratch can make me bleed, uhg.

The left side of my face is finally clearing up nicely. YES YES YES! :] There are still marks but they are very, very slowly healing. The ride side of my face is still having issues. There is a patch in the hollow of my cheek that just will not stop being annoying. It's not really too bad, only one or two actives, but they are just a pain. The marks on this side are still kind of vivid.

On plus side, my forehead is much clearer, my nose doesn't have a big spot on the end of it, and my chin isn't nearly as bad. The only annoying this is how dry and flaky and itchy my face is. I want to pick and scratch off the dead skin so bad and it's really hard to resist.

On the bad side: now my back is breaking out majorly. What the hell! I don't know why .. honestly it's not the worst thing in the world. Wouldn't it be nice (if we just HAD to have acne) if only our backs broke out? It's easy to just wear a shirt and nobody can see it .. it's just itchy really.

I was actually able to go outside .. my lad took me to see Harry Potter. :surprised: It was AMAZING. I'm really glad my skin is starting to clear up again at least for a while .. I hope it stays but even just a short reprieve is something. I like being in public again, I don't feel like people are staring at my spots so much ..

I haven't been doing so well with my diet really. I mean, I have been losing weight. Truth be told I have had an on-again-off-again eating disorder since I was a young teen. So I have to be really careful and not get too obsessed with weight. I don't know how much I weigh and I don't use a scale anymore. I knew I would gain at least 15 pounds going on hormones, and that was hard to deal with. So I just stopped weighing myself right after I started taking them.

I'm trying to stay away from extra sugar and things, but it's hard. Holidays make me want sweets. :(

I'm excited about Thanksgiving though. I'm gonna make some yummy but healthy foods. And I love cooking. I hope my skin has cleared a little more by then so I'm not too shy about taking pictures with family.

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Well, things are slightly better. These stupid red marks won't go away, and some of them still have small amounts of pus inside them. It's taking forever for them to go away .. and it's still painful to shave. Every few days I have to gently take the blade across the skin to get away the hairs with a minimum of aggrivation, because having facial hair REALLY makes me break out worse.

I've got on large zit under my jaw, but it's not bothering me because you can't see it easily, thank god. And most of my acne is stuff I can cover with makeup.

It's so so much better than it was, for sure. I can go outside and not feel humiliated!

My skin is really dry now though .. lots of flaking. I think I need to do another honey/oatmeal mask, that always feels good. I'm taking my fish oil, vitamins and everything. But to be honest I've completely fallen off the diet boat. I haven't even attempted to stick to a good diet. :boohoo:

I want to get back on the path, but it's more than just difficult .. I don't have much money so sometimes I have to eat whatever is on hand .. :(

I went looking for work today and it was awful .. nobody I looked at was hiring, and only one had an application to fill out. Getting employment as a transgender person is sometimes freaking impossible, especially when you haven't been able to change your legal name. And I was socialized my whole life as a girl, so in public I often real really anxious and never know how to act properly or what to say .. I'm so socially awkward. >_<

Well my sleeping meds are kicking in so my brain is shutting off .. just washed my face with makeup remover and Cetaphil, the usual. I WISH I could stop wearing makeup, but it's become a security blanket in some ways, and I don't want my fiance to see me with a broken face. :cry:

Here's to hope . . to victory .. to a brighter day!

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