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Does diet really play a big part in adult acne ?

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Just a bit about my past, i've been suffering acne for 20yrs + now. Tried pretty much every prescription on the market, including 2 courses of Accutane. Accutance worked wonders for the first month, but the derms descided I couldnt carry on the course as my liver levels were too high for me to finish the 6 month course.

After being unsuccessful with all the prescriptions spanning 20+ yrs I decided to try vitamins to help with the acne. Zinc and Vitamin B has reduced the amount of oil on my face and even cured the acne for 3 months with a few minor spots. However it has not worked in the long term and I am back to having big cystic acne on my face.

I play a lot of sports so i have a good balanced diet. Junk food, chocolate, crisps and fried food don't generally feature in my diet. I started to play around with my diet a few yrs back and started to cut dairy products out to see the effect but it had no effect on the amount of acne produced. I then cut out citrus fruits, sugar, red meat from my diet yet still no long term improvements.

After 3 yrs of playing around with my diet, its become obvious that diet doesnt play a part in acne (for me anyway).

Do people who seem to have cured there acne for a long time span have any other suggestions for me to try ?

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I wish acne could be totally cured with diet. Maybe it works for some people but not most...unless the acne was something they were outgrowing anyway. I think adult acne is very different than teen acne. According to my derm, chronic adult acne is usually due to a combination of factors --- high sensitivity to androgens, greater than normal output of sebum, and/or a propensity to have pores that plug up...in other words a defect in how the skin functions on certain parts of the body. Basically it's like other chronic skin problems...ie psoriosis, etc.

That said, anything that can help reduce inflammation or the production of sebum helps. And diet can be helpful in this. I've noticed that if I follow a diabetic diet (low sugar-glycemic) along with avoiding dairy, alcohol and too much fruit that my skin has less inflammation and less oil and therefore has less breakouts. Also I eat lots of good fish (salmon, halibut, etc) and drink lots of water.

I tried all natural ways of trying to cure my acne but none of them worked. They helped but didn't cure it. I think that it's very difficult to cure adult acne...you can just do your best to contain it.

My derm says the best approach is a multi-prong one --- usually entailing external and internal meds until the inflammation calms down and then usually topicals will maintain things. That said, I've never been able to maintain clear skin on only topicals (sorry Dan...). But my derm keeps on trying - bless her...

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CVD - i guess if you're trying to avoid dairy then you wouldn't recommend eating egg whiltes or consuming whey protein, correct?

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Try 6 months dairy free. I messed around for a couple weeks with a dairy free diet a few years ago and absolutely nothing happened—but when I stuck with it for 6 months (I'm now 12 months dairy free) my acne got a lot better. Eggs are fine, but make sure to avoid anything with butter; no baked goods at all. Also, try not washing your face. Seriously. I shower everyday; I let water run over my face in the shower; and I shave once every three days, and that's it. I seldom let anything but water touch my face. After the effect of my dairy free diet seemed to have peaked I completely stopped using scrubs and cleansers and the remaining acne I had disappeared. Frankly, some of the face washing regimes mentioned on these boards are shocking. Acne, especially adult acne, I suspect has nothing to do with dirt or oil on your skin; it's about hormones, stress, and what you take into your body. Irritating the skin by over washing only makes the problem worse.

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Try 6 months dairy free. I messed around for a couple weeks with a dairy free diet a few years ago and absolutely nothing happened—but when I stuck with it for 6 months (I'm now 12 months dairy free) my acne got a lot better. Eggs are fine, but make sure to avoid anything with butter; no baked goods at all. Also, try not washing your face. Seriously. I shower everyday; I let water run over my face in the shower; and I shave once every three days, and that's it. I seldom let anything but water touch my face. After the effect of my dairy free diet seemed to have peaked I completely stopped using scrubs and cleansers and the remaining acne I had disappeared. Frankly, some of the face washing regimes mentioned on these boards are shocking. Acne, especially adult acne, I suspect has nothing to do with dirt or oil on your skin; it's about hormones, stress, and what you take into your body. Irritating the skin by over washing only makes the problem worse.

Hey DOC!

what else should i avoid when going dairy free?? see i'm kinda dumb so i thought eggs were dairy...

i know not to consume cheese, milk, peanut butter, ..., but what else??

how about 100% whole wheat rolled oats (the walmart brand), like i use for my morning oatmeal every day? it says it contains traces of milk, so should i completely cut it out?

and what about wheat bread? Arnold's multigrain to be specific.

thanks for the help so far. it really does make me feel better.

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Hi Sito

Avoiding dairy means avoiding all milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, whey, and any products containing these things. Many breads have dairy, especially whey, in them. Check the label. I doubt that oatmeal would have dairy in it but if the packaging says it does then I would switch to Quaker Oats or bulk from the health food store.

I totally agree with NeuroDoc that it takes a very long time to see the results from following a non-dairy diet. That's how it worked for me too. I think it has really helped reduce inflammation and the amount of acne I have but it did not totally stop it.

It takes a long time for hormones to rebalance and to rid the system of excess iodine. Both naturally occurring hormones (cows are lactating) and the iodine added during processing are what is thought to make dairy so bad for acne prone skin. If dairy affects you then that is a sign that your system may be extremely sensitive to androgens.

I also think that NeuroDoc is right on about washing acne skin extremely gently. I finally discovered this secret this year...I'm ashamed to admit that my derm has been saying this for years but I always thought that exfoliating was important. She finally convinced me to try Cetaphil's antibacterial bar soap and wash very very gently with fingertips hardly touching the skin to the count of "5" and then rinse with lukewarm water. I wish I could just use water to wash but my skin seems to need a bit of that antibacterial action and a bit of foam since I wear makeup. Maybe it you're a guy then just water will do...

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Everyone is different - but for me, diet plays absolutely no role whatsoever in my acne. I eat no junk food whatsoever, avoid sugars and artificial sweeteners, went dairy and caffeine free for well over six months - and noticed no change whatsoever.

I've actually reached the conclusion that nothing i do will make my acne better or worse. It just stays at a constant level. I could wash my face in nothing but cooking oil for a month, and then wash my face in nothing but Dan's cleanser for a month, and i would end up with the same number of new spots - and it's the same with food; eating nothing but pizza all month, would result in the exact same complexion as a month on salads and tuna (for example).

It's a terrible state of affairs.

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Everyone is different - but for me, diet plays absolutely no role whatsoever in my acne. I eat no junk food whatsoever, avoid sugars and artificial sweeteners, went dairy and caffeine free for well over six months - and noticed no change whatsoever.

I've actually reached the conclusion that nothing i do will make my acne better or worse. It just stays at a constant level. I could wash my face in nothing but cooking oil for a month, and then wash my face in nothing but Dan's cleanser for a month, and i would end up with the same number of new spots - and it's the same with food; eating nothing but pizza all month, would result in the exact same complexion as a month on salads and tuna (for example).

It's a terrible state of affairs.

Have you tried going paleo for at least 4 months? SOOO many people clear up on this diet. NO grains (wheat, corn, rice etc...), No beans, No legumes (things like chick peas and kidney beans are not allowed), No dairy and limit the sugar. You bascially eat ing like a cave man.... meat, veggies, and small amounts of fruit. Organic butter is usualy okay on the paleo diet.

I'll give you an exampled of a an eating plan for paleo:

Breakfast:

3 fried eggs in coconut oil with boiled or baked sweet potato cut up into little hashbrown peices. Spinkle sweet potatoe with cinnamon and stevia.

Lunch:

BIG HUGE SALAD.... avocado, wild canned salmon, greens, cucumber, tomato... ANY veggies you want.... pour olive oil and lfresh lemon juice over top and spinkle with spices like garlic powder and cayenne pepper... YUM!

Dinner:

STEAK haha.... Steak with a salad on the side.... maybe some more sweet potatoe, maybe a small amount of potatoe.

There you have it! Paleo! It's yummy! Try it.... for at least a few months... see if it makes a difference. I tried it and it made a bit of a difference but I don tthink I was on t long enough.... plus it's hard to be on a diet around the people in my life.

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^^^ Great Post TDOT - esp. with the eating plan for paleo.

that's exactly the detail and info i'm looking for. thnx.

instead of fried eggs with coconut oil can i should be able to substitute that coconut oil for olive oil correct??? and no oatmeal either, right??>> even if it's 100% whole grain rolled oats with water?

sorry to trouble u any further TDOT, but would you be able to give another Breakfast and Dinner?

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Just a bit about my past, i've been suffering acne for 20yrs + now. Tried pretty much every prescription on the market, including 2 courses of Accutane. Accutance worked wonders for the first month, but the derms descided I couldnt carry on the course as my liver levels were too high for me to finish the 6 month course.

After being unsuccessful with all the prescriptions spanning 20+ yrs I decided to try vitamins to help with the acne. Zinc and Vitamin B has reduced the amount of oil on my face and even cured the acne for 3 months with a few minor spots. However it has not worked in the long term and I am back to having big cystic acne on my face.

I play a lot of sports so i have a good balanced diet. Junk food, chocolate, crisps and fried food don't generally feature in my diet. I started to play around with my diet a few yrs back and started to cut dairy products out to see the effect but it had no effect on the amount of acne produced. I then cut out citrus fruits, sugar, red meat from my diet yet still no long term improvements.

After 3 yrs of playing around with my diet, its become obvious that diet doesnt play a part in acne (for me anyway).

Do people who seem to have cured there acne for a long time span have any other suggestions for me to try ?

i think a diet plays a part in adult acne sometimes tho i think when you have a very good diet you may help your acne out a lot i mean if you "Eat Good You Look Good Right?" :dance:

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Hey DOC!

what else should i avoid when going dairy free?? see i'm kinda dumb so i thought eggs were dairy...

i know not to consume cheese, milk, peanut butter, ..., but what else??

how about 100% whole wheat rolled oats (the walmart brand), like i use for my morning oatmeal every day? it says it contains traces of milk, so should i completely cut it out?

and what about wheat bread? Arnold's multigrain to be specific.

thanks for the help so far. it really does make me feel better.

Peanut butter is fine. I mean, it has a lot of sugar, but it's definitely dairy free. Mayo is FINE—it's made from eggs. Avoid baked goods like the plague: muffins, cookies, brownies, and so on. If you drink milk, start drinking soy milk. I actually think it tastes better. Want ice cream? There are a few companies in the US that make coconut milk ice cream; it's amazing. I like it better than dairy based ice cream. Avoiding cheese, I think, is the hardest part of a dairy free diet. Forget about pizza and loads of different cheese topped sandwiches. And remember, if you order a sandwich or toast at a restaurant make sure to ask them not to butter the bread. Now, about face washing, I never really had acne in high school. It started for me in college and then got progressively worse. The more acne I got, the more I washed my face. Soon I was exfoliating and cleansing every day, sometimes twice and day, and my acne kept on getting worse. It was the really bad kind of acne—the cystic kind. I now think that washing my face too much was part of the problem. Since I've quit dairy and stopped washing my face, my cystic acne has pretty much disappeared. I mean, I still get the occasional cyst—perhaps one every 3 to 6 months—but it's a huge improvement compared to the 2 or 3 cysts per week I was getting while eating dairy and washing my face like a mad man. This raises the obvious question: Was it the dairy or the face washing that caused my acne problem? I'm not sure. To be honest, I don't really miss dairy—dairy is not particularly healthy—and I definitely don't miss washing my face all the time and spending money on cleansers.

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Hey DOC!

what else should i avoid when going dairy free?? see i'm kinda dumb so i thought eggs were dairy...

i know not to consume cheese, milk, peanut butter, ..., but what else??

how about 100% whole wheat rolled oats (the walmart brand), like i use for my morning oatmeal every day? it says it contains traces of milk, so should i completely cut it out?

and what about wheat bread? Arnold's multigrain to be specific.

thanks for the help so far. it really does make me feel better.

Missed the oat bit, although I think someone answered this: Whole Foods has oats that are both dairy free and gluten free. Just check the label. "Traces of milk" = milk, I'd say.

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^^^ Great Post TDOT - esp. with the eating plan for paleo.

that's exactly the detail and info i'm looking for. thnx.

instead of fried eggs with coconut oil can i should be able to substitute that coconut oil for olive oil correct??? and no oatmeal either, right??>> even if it's 100% whole grain rolled oats with water?

sorry to trouble u any further TDOT, but would you be able to give another Breakfast and Dinner?

Hi :), no trouble at all!

Iw ould stick with coconut oil for cooking with, olive oil is not good to cook with. Olive oil is great cold, with salads.

Ummm no oatmeal, that's grain.

Breakfast:

Fried eggs in coconut oil. Soaked walnuts (soak em in water overnight with abit of sea salt on them, makes them more digestable, then strain them in the mornin, rinse and enjoy) with organic butter and chopped up avocado.

Dinner (If you dont live in Canada just ignore the comments about Super Store, I'm just copying and pasting this from a recipe I sent my mom once):

TACO SALAD RECIPE (for 7 people)

Fixins (just place these things separately in bowls or on plates)

- Romaine lettuce

- Chopped tomatoes

- Chopped cilantro

- Guacamole (recipe for this below)

- Lime wedges

Guacamole (best to make this first then refrigerate it for when the rest or the meal is done)

Ingredients:

- 6 soft avocados peeled, pitted and cut up (make sure you buy them a few days before hand so they get soft enough)

- 1.5 cups chopped cilantro

- 4 small limes (cut in half and squeezed for their juice)

- 4-5 garlic cloves

- I tsp cayenne pepper

- Sea salt to taste

- Just enough Extra Virgin Olive Oil to help it blend properly

Throw all ingredients into blender and blend until desired consistency (might be too big of a batch to do all at once with the Magic bullet, so you might have to divide it up and make it in two or three batches).

Taco Meat

Ingredients:

- Two packages of the Presidents Choice Free From ground beef (green label, from Superstore)

- 1 cup chopped green onions

- ½ cup water

- ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

- Sea Salt to taste

Taco Seasoning for Meat:

- 3 tbls chili powder

- 3.5 tbls cumin

- 3.5 tbls paprika

- 3 tbls onion powder

- 3 tbls garlic powder

- 3 tbls oregano

For the seasoning, put all spices into a bowl/container and mix/shake it together. To make taco meat, brown the meat in a pot, then add the mixed seasoning (make sure you taste the meat when it’s done and decide if it needs more of a certain spice, my measurements are just estimates) and ½ cup water (add more water if needed), let it simmer for 5-10 minutes (add sea salt last).

Make sure all the spices are just plane spice….like for instance don’t use garlic salt instead of garlic powder, the meal could end up being too salty. And make sure you use only Extra Virgin Olive Oil…. It doesn’t have to be organic…. But I am not allowed to have canola oil on this diet. I am also only allowed sea salt on this diet, you should buy yourself some anyway!

You can get all these ingredients at Super Store!!

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^^^ Great Post TDOT - esp. with the eating plan for paleo.

that's exactly the detail and info i'm looking for. thnx.

instead of fried eggs with coconut oil can i should be able to substitute that coconut oil for olive oil correct??? and no oatmeal either, right??>> even if it's 100% whole grain rolled oats with water?

sorry to trouble u any further TDOT, but would you be able to give another Breakfast and Dinner?

I have alot more recipe ideas but dont have time to write any down righ tnow....

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