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I'm 28 and have suffered with terrible cystic acne on my chest and back of head for as long as I can remember. I've tried most of the specialist drugs and creams that my doctor has given me but nothing seems to have helped (in fact, he's sending me to the dermatologist this Monday). Anyway, I've decided to go down the diet/natural route for the time being, to see if there's any improvement. It can't hurt.

Here's what my diet consists of ATM:

Breakfast: Oats with rice milk, blueberries and banana + multivitamin

Snack: Apple

Lunch: Tuna salad consisting of beetroot, lettuce, tomatoes, celery, red and yellow bell pepper, cress, basil and cucumber. Topped with grated carrot and a sweet potato on the side.

Snack: Kiwi

Dinner: Can be fish (cod/pollock) with steamed veg, quorn chille, stir fry veg and chicken, or salad again.

Drinks throughout the day are normally green tea and water. Weekends I treat myself to a large soy milk cappuccino from Costa.

This diet seems to have helped clear up the cystic acne on my chest and the back of my head, but I'm suddenly breaking out on my cheeks and forehead :confused: I'm not too sure what's causing that. I've given up all additives, seaweed and dairy, so I'm thinking maybe the problem is the soy milk or oats for breakfast? Could this be a gluten or wheat intolerance?

Is my diet OK, or should I be adding/cutting things out?

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It could very well be the soy or oats. Oats don't have gluten btw but they're often contaminated wit h gluten during processing. This is why it's best to get steel cut oats from a facility that doesn't work with other grain products, or has a separate facility for that.

Your diet is quite good besides those two things but I think you need a bit more fat. Try adding in an avocado or some eggs here and there for lunch. Add in some herbs/spices as well. They're some of the most anti-inflammatory foods out there and they can make your food taste much better and more exotic if you really play around with them.

Also don't eat tuna too often, it's a fish which is high up on the food chain and thus collects more mercury and PCBs than fish on the lower end of the food chain. Keep your tuna intake to no more than once a week or every other week.

I would cut out the soy but keep the oats and see how that goes.

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Your diet looks great apart from the soya milk - you will be hard pushed to find anyone who is clued up on nutrition recommeding unfermented soya as a healthy option.

Also, if you do have a gluten intolerance you would be wise to cut out the oats as well as there are other forms of gluten in different grains that many gluten intolerant people have problems with - myself included. Gliadin (wheat gluten) is just the worst of them due to the particularly high prolamine content within the endosperm of the grain, so that is the one that is often cited as problematic. The reality is that all the other grains can be problematic as well, depending upon your own level of sensitivity. My own experience was that it wasn't until I removed ALL grains (excluding rice which seems to be fine below a certain threshold for me if eaten in moderation) that I saw significant improvement.

I think you need some more healthy fats in there as well - oily fish (mackeral, salmon), avacado, virgin coconut oil, hemp seed oil, olive oil and nuts and seeds are all good sources of healthy fats.

Edited by rifkah6

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Your diet looks nearly the same as mine! Although I have totally cut out dairy. Porridge oats and fruit tastes just as good with water. I prefer it because it's easier to stomach in the morning.

I agree with chunkylard, I am a big advocate for healthy fats. I eat lots of oily fish like smoked makrel/salmon and I eat half an avocado a day. I heard that almonds are especially good for your skin.

I don't know whether oats are bad for acne but it's currently the only carb I have apart from vegies. I'm going to start eating sweet potatoes on the suggestion of the ever informative and knowledgeable chunkylard :)

I probably wouldn't recommend eating too many eggs though, they BIND you so bad!

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Thanks for replying. Well, I shall try eliminating the soy milk and see if there's any changes, and definitely incorporate more of the healthy fats into my diet, too. I did eat lots of peanut butter, nuts and seeds for fats, but gave everything up, as I heard it was inflammatory?

abigailwheeler - I'm totally dairy free as well :) I know for a fact that dairy products cause me to break out in really nasty spots, not to mention causing stuffy sinuses and eczema. My doctor actually dismissed this for some reason.

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