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Hey all, I've been guest-reading these forums for probably four years now, but I've never really had much to say until now.

I'm 23 and have had moderately severe acne since I was 12. My face was usually running the whole spectrum of painful cysts to blackheads and whiteheads. I'm a stubborn person and when I got a regimen or a medication I stuck to it and followed doctor's orders. I'm proud to say that my acne was not due to a lack of will and execution on my part. The problem is that I wasn't being treated for the underlying cause...which I'm sure many of you can relate to.

After 11 painful, disfiguring years, it turns out that my acne is solely caused by...dairy products.

After removing dairy completely from my diet for 6 months, my acne has disappeared. Any occasional zit I may get now I can always attribute to the inadvertent consumption of dairy (e.g. going to Olive Garden and not realizing even the marinara pastas are practically baked in cheese).

Things I have tried in strict regimen at one time or another:

Antibiotics

Retinoids

BHAs & AHAs

Oil cleansing

Changing all my cleansers and products to match that long list of "don'ts" on this forum

Not wearing makeup for three years

Azelaic acid

No-carb diet

GI diet

Vitamin supplements of all kinds

Proactive

Clean & Clear (salicylic acid)

After years of that, I stopped going to the doctor and I stopped doing anything about my acne. I just let it do its thing for a while. It stayed just as bad as it ever was. Getting tired of acne again, I did some research, read a study about acne and milk consumption, and feeling particularly desperate about the state of my skin that day, decided then and there to stop consuming dairy for the next 3 months.

In the end, what actually worked for me was throwing out the milk, yogurt, butter, and cheese and any products containing these ingredients. I saw a major difference after a month. I saw 70% clearance in 3 months. I saw complete clearance in 6 months. I also feel a lot better: less tired, more motivated to do things I enjoy. I'm a pretty healthy person with no medical issues. Acne was the bane of my existence.

Acne-killing regimen:

Morning:

Splash face with water

Tell self, "DON'T EAT DAIRY!"

Evening:

Cleanse with CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser

Apply CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion

Current scar treatment regimen:

(Started doing this AFTER the acne went away to clean up the mess acne made of my face.)

Morning:

Splash face with water

Apply Finacea

Wait 30 minutes

Apply Neutrogena Face Spectrum sunscreen

Evening:

Cleanse with CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser

Apply Differin

Wait 30 minutes

Apply CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion

I would really encourage anyone struggling with severe acne to faithfully try this. It's such a relief to feel like a person with normal, healthy skin...I hope this helps somebody else, too.

(Just FYI: I had to be really strict about no dairy, not even a little bit in my Pasta Roni sauce mix, to see the drastic change.)

Edited by Shazzy

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thats kool it wrked for u i always had milk every thay when i woz yunger nd only rcently started drinking it again dough i guess id have to stop eating cheese 2 which wud be hard

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I completely agree with you! I've had acne since I was 12 too, and I've always been a HUGE milk fan. I can drink it all day, every day. Then I read a post on here a few months ago about dairy & acne so I switched to almond milk. My skin is still not perfect, but drastically better! And that's only because I still eat cheese....if only I could stop eating cheese haha.

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thanx for sharing.

some questions for the thread starter or anyone with pertinent info and/or solid advice>>>

But being a 27 year old male, dealing with what probably is hormonal acne, i would want to know if anyone else of this age can vouch for this this practice, of simply eliminating all dairy from one's diet??

also where do u get your CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser and CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion? any specific kind? and where do u get the Finacea for the scars?

i intended to try this turmeric/yogurt mask that i had been advised about on this site from a woman dealing with hormonal acne, but would you advise against that???

also, man sound dumb, but since i work out at least 4-5 days a week, would i have to cut out whey protein and egg whites from hard boiled eggs as well?? i mean, i plan on removing dairy completely for the next month as a trial basis, and more if the restriction gives me postitive results...

thank you and i appreciate your responses and would like to thank you in advance for taking the time out to help me out.

hopefully i can start this restriction this weekend or monday at the latest

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If this is true for everyone that sucks because everything is fuckin dairy LOL.....what does your dairy free diet consist of??

@ Sito - I work out with whey protein also, I drink the powder mixed with water, same affect and similar taste..taste is not AS good but honestly I think it works better.

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In my case, No, acne is NOT caused by food. I'm glad that you found that dairy triggered your acne. I gotta tell you this summer whille I was at my parents home my face was so clear...I was in love with it...it was beautiful. I had even cut out caffeine and haven't had anything to drink except water in 4months 11days and I had thought that maybe cutting this out was causing my face to clear. I was wrong. As soon as I got back to school BAM my face exploded. I looked back as far as a could to see if I had changed anything in my diet, but I hadn't. I had bought a jar of peanuts and thought that maybe that was it, but then I remember eating a peanut breakfas bar every morning during the summer. They say stress doesn't 'cause acne, but I'm really doubting that these days. It is also genetic because my dad says that when he met my mom that she had really bad acne. Anyway, really, I'm happy you found your trigger. :)

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It's funny how most people grew up drinking milk, then they turned into teenagers, and milk suddenly triggers acne.

Edited by Abara

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If this is true for everyone that sucks because everything is fuckin dairy LOL.....what does your dairy free diet consist of??

@ Sito - I work out with whey protein also, I drink the powder mixed with water, same affect and similar taste..taste is not AS good but honestly I think it works better.

I'm 42, and I've quit dairy a few times for other reasons. Never made a difference.

But WHEY is a different story. Man, that stuff gives me hardcore zits around my mouth & jaw.

Never noticed until I started w/ the protein shakes about 2 years ago. I'd been clear for a few years, then all of sudden it came back w/ a vengeance. Deep, hard underground suckers that took forever to heal.

Since then, I started reading the ingredients at the grocery. Whey is in a lot more stuff than you think. Lots of breads, bagels, pot pies, frozen foods, etc.

Try getting your protein from eggs & meat for a while. Made a huge diff for me..

Edited by Colonel

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i have a question.

Can one eat VEGAN cheeses? and my moms going on about how lactose intolerant people (i am, but i also avoid milk because its also a trigger for me) can drink goats milk, what in milk causes acne exactly? and is it in goats milk?

I'm starting to miss cheese quite a bit, so thats why i'm asking about the vegan part, i'm almost sure its okay, but i just want to be sure.

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COLONEL>>u said>

But WHEY is a different story. Man, that stuff gives me hardcore zits around my mouth & jaw.

Never noticed until I started w/ the protein shakes about 2 years ago. I'd been clear for a few years, then all of sudden it came back w/ a vengeance. Deep, hard underground suckers that took forever to heal.

Since then, I started reading the ingredients at the grocery. Whey is in a lot more stuff than you think. Lots of breads, bagels, pot pies, frozen foods, etc.

Try getting your protein from eggs & meat for a while. Made a huge diff for me..

My thing is that i'm going to to completely cut out dairy cuz it's easier for me that way, as i won't have to decide what is and what is not part of my diet. i will just know NOT to eat anything dairy.

my question tho is, and it might sound stupid, but do egg whites count as dairy??

and what else can i get my protein from, if not eggs and dairy??

and on a different topic, what do u think about creatine, the kind they sell at rite-aid for $20 to help with gaining muscle mass???

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i also got the hardcore zits and acne around the jawline and cheeks???

so your input would be taken into great consideration COLONEL>>>

thank you.

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No, eggs aren't dairy.

High quality protein= eggs, turkey, chicken, fish, beef and pork (pork if you can't find the others).

I had a bad reaction to creatine also, but it's been years & I can't remember what it has in it.

I train 5-6 times/week, and I pretty much eat the things listed above plus lots of green vegetables. I also love grains and nuts, but legumes make my face oily.

Everyone's different tho, but I can't imagine creatine being good for anyone's acne.

Edited by Colonel

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No, eggs aren't dairy.

High quality protein= eggs, turkey, chicken, fish, beef and pork (pork if you can't find the others).

I had a bad reaction to creatine also, but it's been years & I can't remember what it has in it.

I train 5-6 times/week, and I pretty much eat the things listed above plus lots of green vegetables. I also love grains and nuts, but legumes make my face oily.

Everyone's different tho, but I can't imagine creatine being good for anyone's acne.

i'm thinking of taking the creatine pills from Twin Lab>>> that's why i ask about creatine<>> still no good?

aren't legumes beans >> vegetables?? u sure that's what makes your face oily?

can u name some good green vegetables to eat that i can incorporate in my diet?

and have you heard of a green smoothie?? if so, how would you make that?

SORRY to Bombard You with Questions COLONEL> i appreciate any help tho.

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hmm...I've been looking into this for awhile and you're the first person who's actually going out and saying milk has jacked you up.

I am inclined to agree but I'm still hesitant to give up my dairy...I lift a lot of weights and am trying to gain weight. I usually drink weight gainer but when I read that milk has a lot of the calories I needed I started drinking 4 tall cups/day additional. I noticed that my cystic acne increased but all the stuff I do on a weekly basis is so random I don't know if I can attribute it solely to dairy...

maybe I should take a leap of faith and give it up...BUT I LOVE CEREAL!

sadness

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yay, i'm happy for you! my acne is similar in that it is hormonal, but the direct cause of my hormonal imbalance is too much sugar consumption (which i am most definitely guilty of) and so i have to cut out CANDY and other delicious refined sugary products from my diet, as well as refined carbs but i never ate those anyway. so we shall see if i've found my trigger too!

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yay, i'm happy for you! my acne is similar in that it is hormonal, but the direct cause of my hormonal imbalance is too much sugar consumption (which i am most definitely guilty of) and so i have to cut out CANDY and other delicious refined sugary products from my diet, as well as refined carbs but i never ate those anyway. so we shall see if i've found my trigger too!

man i think acne is also caused by food too when i went on a good diet my acne started too clear right up :surprised: im so happy now

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hey just wanted to put in my two cents as well..

i've also tried antibiotics, topicals, facials, and the " leave it alone regimen" where i washed my face with aveeno salyclic acid foaming cleanser or even dove soap and that was it. during that time, i had the skin of a baby. ( 10th grade) i got4 cysts that whole year and that was it, though they have left scars.. but when i turned 16 my acne went ballistic and turned into this fungus looking shit on my face that's green right now. I have a feeling it's because i was on antibiotics for almost 3 years during that time and i developed some yeast infection or something on my face.

but yeah back to the point... my skin was at its best when i wasn't using any products and when i was eating healthy ( i remember i diligently drank green tea ( at least a litre and a half whether it was hot green tea or arizona green tea and honey, etc) and i always ate an apple a day lol.. so cliched but it did keep the doctor away .. for a few months anyways.

and last night.. i ate a lot of chocolate, drank a 710ml bottle of coke, and had cheese. and this little pimple i had forming near my nose now has two whiteheads in it and hurts.

so i concur :)

but im also extremely underweight for some reason and my doctor wants me to eat a more balanced diet, etc but i just go for the fast-track -cokes, sugars, chocolate, etc. so i dunt know what i should do. because i care about my skin more but i have no hope in natural methods anymore..

Edited by Foreverdoomed

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hey just wanted to put in my two cents as well..

i've also tried antibiotics, topicals, facials, and the " leave it alone regimen" where i washed my face with aveeno salyclic acid foaming cleanser or even dove soap and that was it. during that time, i had the skin of a baby. ( 10th grade) i got4 cysts that whole year and that was it, though they have left scars.. but when i turned 16 my acne went ballistic and turned into this fungus looking shit on my face that's green right now. I have a feeling it's because i was on antibiotics for almost 3 years during that time and i developed some yeast infection or something on my face.

but yeah back to the point... my skin was at its best when i wasn't using any products and when i was eating healthy ( i remember i diligently drank green tea ( at least a litre and a half whether it was hot green tea or arizona green tea and honey, etc) and i always ate an apple a day lol.. so cliched but it did keep the doctor away .. for a few months anyways.

and last night.. i ate a lot of chocolate, drank a 710ml bottle of coke, and had cheese. and this little pimple i had forming near my nose now has two whiteheads in it and hurts.

so i concur :)

but im also extremely underweight for some reason and my doctor wants me to eat a more balanced diet, etc but i just go for the fast-track -cokes, sugars, chocolate, etc. so i dunt know what i should do. because i care about my skin more but i have no hope in natural methods anymore..

Hmm what you should do is eat healthy. Reading above, I'm not sure why you aren't doing currently, especially when you say you are at your best then.

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maybe the differin cleared you up? "Acne" that is triggered by food is more of a rash/hives. Real acne in the forms of cysts and paps are more than likely hormonial/genetic

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maybe the differin cleared you up? "Acne" that is triggered by food is more of a rash/hives. Real acne in the forms of cysts and paps are more than likely hormonial/genetic

definitely, but also certain consumption of foods can cause a hormonal imbalance... that is where it gets irritatingly tricky!

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hey just wanted to put in my two cents as well..

i've also tried antibiotics, topicals, facials, and the " leave it alone regimen" where i washed my face with aveeno salyclic acid foaming cleanser or even dove soap and that was it. during that time, i had the skin of a baby. ( 10th grade) i got4 cysts that whole year and that was it, though they have left scars.. but when i turned 16 my acne went ballistic and turned into this fungus looking shit on my face that's green right now. I have a feeling it's because i was on antibiotics for almost 3 years during that time and i developed some yeast infection or something on my face.

but yeah back to the point... my skin was at its best when i wasn't using any products and when i was eating healthy ( i remember i diligently drank green tea ( at least a litre and a half whether it was hot green tea or arizona green tea and honey, etc) and i always ate an apple a day lol.. so cliched but it did keep the doctor away .. for a few months anyways.

and last night.. i ate a lot of chocolate, drank a 710ml bottle of coke, and had cheese. and this little pimple i had forming near my nose now has two whiteheads in it and hurts.

so i concur :)

but im also extremely underweight for some reason and my doctor wants me to eat a more balanced diet, etc but i just go for the fast-track -cokes, sugars, chocolate, etc. so i dunt know what i should do. because i care about my skin more but i have no hope in natural methods anymore..

Hmm what you should do is eat healthy. Reading above, I'm not sure why you aren't doing currently, especially when you say you are at your best then.

oh because when i was eating healthier and not on any medication. i got cystic acne on my forehead and chin and they left some scars. the medications did not do anything for my whiteheads but they stopped the cystic acne. Plus i dont think eating healthy has any effect on me anymore . & it takes toooo long.

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Just thought I'd respond to a couple of questions:

I should point out by dairy I mean milk products (milk, cheese, yogurt). I still eat eggs with no harm done.

I use Finacea in the morning. It is the brand name for azelaic acid, also marketed under the name Skinoren. It functions as an anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant. Its antibacterial effect is similar to benzoyl peroxide in that it is a chemical reaction and not an antibiotic that you will become immune to over time. It didn't clear my acne but it helped a little--as much as BP ever did without drying out my skin or bleaching my clothes. What I mainly use it for is red marks and calming down my sensitive skin. It is prescription only in the USA. You may have to educate your doctor; I've had prescriptions from two doctors who didn't really know what it was and had to read up on it before they gave me the prescription slip.

CeraVe cleanser and moisturizer can be found at Walgreens. Their line is very simple and I believe they only have four products. I use their Hydrating Cleanser (green and white 12 oz. bottle) and their Moisturizing Lotion (blue and white 12 oz. bottle). They concentrate on keeping the skin barrier intact through hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and niacinamide. Each bottle runs about $12 and lasts forever...I haven't bought a refill in the last 6 months. Google them for their website.

I should add that before I cut dairy out of my life I had already made positive lifestyle changes. While I can directly attribute a thorough clearing of my face to cutting out dairy, I kept the other changes because I believe they contributed to my overall health and probably helped my skin heal faster.

Habits:

-Exercise about 8 hours a week

-Sunscreen every morning (highly recommend Neutrogena Spectrum)

-3,000 IU Vitamin D a day

-Multivitamin every day

-Ferrous sulfate every day

-Probiotics every day (I use Allerdophilus from Twin Labs, it's a milk-free acidophilus capsule)

Diet:

I rarely eat sugar. By rarely I mean I might have a cookie once or twice a month at an office party. After I cut out ice-cream and other dairy desserts, the appetite for sugar disappeared.

Whole wheat bread instead of white most of the time.

I drink a lot of water and rice milk.

I would NOT recommend soy as a replacement for dairy. From what I've read, soy actually has a lot of hormonal properties. I personally got headaches and indigestion from it. I didn't try it long enough to say if it affected my acne.

I replaced butter with Smart Balance Original Spread.

I replaced mayo with Smart Balance sandwich dressing.

I use Corn Oil for cooking.

The meals I eat most often:

Non-cheese pasta (e.g. garlic & olive oil vermicelli) with stir fry vegetables

Whole wheat sandwiches, w/ lots of meat, tomato, avocado, SB dressing, mustard -- no cheese

Oatmeal with rice milk

Hamburger casserole (use Hamburger Helper but make your own non-cheese sauce)

Canned soups

Egg dishes of all types

Mexican w/o cheese

Korean and Chinese dishes

Hamburgers and fries 2-3x a week

Fruit w/ breakfast 2-3x a week

In short a lot of meat, bread, and veggies. My diet may not be ideal, but it works for what I need right now: it's cheap, fills me up, and doesn't affect my skin.

To the bodybuilders on here: I actually found it easier to maintain muscle after I cut out dairy. I have no idea why. I also just felt a lot better (no more "fuzzy brain" feeling) and didn't get tired so quickly.

Edited by Shazzy

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