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NCsweettea

I May Be One Of The Oldest Members On Here...so Depressing :-( 48 And Cysts....

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How depressing is it to be 48 and still have acne??? VERY depressing....

I have had acne since I was 13 years old....it's waxed and waned over the years, but has come back with a vengeance since I entered into perimenopause about a year ago...the skin got oilier again, and the cysts returned...and, lucky me, I also got some rosacea on my cheeks....

This holiday was particularly bad...I currently have two truly HUGE cysts on my face- both on the right side, one next to my nose, the other on my chin. The one on my chin is, truly, about the size of a small pea, red, swollen and both are very painful....In fact, I've cancelled out from work for the next 2 days because I just can't face co-workers. These cysts are actually distracting!! I have a job where I am *seen* all the time, and I just can't face people. I've always had pretty good self esteem, but these two painful cysts are really knocking me for a loop in the self esteem department.

I am wondering, are there any other women out there, around my age, who have had resurgence of cystic acne due to perimenopause? What treatments have you used? I took antibiotics for years, and more recently, my doctor put me on a low dose of docyclince ( Oracea) for rosacea. It helps with the redness, but does nothing to stop cysts. I used minocycline years ago, and thought about trying that again.

I used to do cyst injections all the time, but I once got an indentation from a particularly huge cyst, that didn't go away for almost 3 months, and I thought I would lose my mind...the indentation was actually worse than the cyst! However.......this current batch of cysts has me wondering about calling first thing tomorrow morning and just going for it....

As you can see, I"m super distressed about this acne resurgence. I've dealt with acne for 30+ years, and it seems monumentally unfair that, at this point in my life, I'm still dealing with it....

Any help, support, encouragement would be greatly appreciated rolleyes.gif

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How depressing is it to be 48 and still have acne??? VERY depressing....

I have had acne since I was 13 years old....it's waxed and waned over the years, but has come back with a vengeance since I entered into perimenopause about a year ago...the skin got oilier again, and the cysts returned...and, lucky me, I also got some rosacea on my cheeks....

This holiday was particularly bad...I currently have two truly HUGE cysts on my face- both on the right side, one next to my nose, the other on my chin. The one on my chin is, truly, about the size of a small pea, red, swollen and both are very painful....In fact, I've cancelled out from work for the next 2 days because I just can't face co-workers. These cysts are actually distracting!! I have a job where I am *seen* all the time, and I just can't face people. I've always had pretty good self esteem, but these two painful cysts are really knocking me for a loop in the self esteem department.

I am wondering, are there any other women out there, around my age, who have had resurgence of cystic acne due to perimenopause? What treatments have you used? I took antibiotics for years, and more recently, my doctor put me on a low dose of docyclince ( Oracea) for rosacea. It helps with the redness, but does nothing to stop cysts. I used minocycline years ago, and thought about trying that again.

I used to do cyst injections all the time, but I once got an indentation from a particularly huge cyst, that didn't go away for almost 3 months, and I thought I would lose my mind...the indentation was actually worse than the cyst! However.......this current batch of cysts has me wondering about calling first thing tomorrow morning and just going for it....

As you can see, I"m super distressed about this acne resurgence. I've dealt with acne for 30+ years, and it seems monumentally unfair that, at this point in my life, I'm still dealing with it....

Any help, support, encouragement would be greatly appreciated rolleyes.gif

Get Food Allergy testing, IgG's on all 9 common foods. If negative, a wider panel of food's is needed. Now a qustion for you. Do you have any other health problems? If this makes you feel any better, my dad is 65 and Acne is still going strong. Can't get him to change now.

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How depressing is it to be 48 and still have acne??? VERY depressing....

I have had acne since I was 13 years old....it's waxed and waned over the years, but has come back with a vengeance since I entered into perimenopause about a year ago...the skin got oilier again, and the cysts returned...and, lucky me, I also got some rosacea on my cheeks....

This holiday was particularly bad...I currently have two truly HUGE cysts on my face- both on the right side, one next to my nose, the other on my chin. The one on my chin is, truly, about the size of a small pea, red, swollen and both are very painful....In fact, I've cancelled out from work for the next 2 days because I just can't face co-workers. These cysts are actually distracting!! I have a job where I am *seen* all the time, and I just can't face people. I've always had pretty good self esteem, but these two painful cysts are really knocking me for a loop in the self esteem department.

I am wondering, are there any other women out there, around my age, who have had resurgence of cystic acne due to perimenopause? What treatments have you used? I took antibiotics for years, and more recently, my doctor put me on a low dose of docyclince ( Oracea) for rosacea. It helps with the redness, but does nothing to stop cysts. I used minocycline years ago, and thought about trying that again.

I used to do cyst injections all the time, but I once got an indentation from a particularly huge cyst, that didn't go away for almost 3 months, and I thought I would lose my mind...the indentation was actually worse than the cyst! However.......this current batch of cysts has me wondering about calling first thing tomorrow morning and just going for it....

As you can see, I"m super distressed about this acne resurgence. I've dealt with acne for 30+ years, and it seems monumentally unfair that, at this point in my life, I'm still dealing with it....

Any help, support, encouragement would be greatly appreciated rolleyes.gif

Aw come on.

I am sure there are many things in your life that make up for your skin disorder.

You have a job.

That is something to be proud of in life.

I'm sure there are many more things.

You have had it for your whole life.

Pretty much 50% of the people on this site, will also have acne for their whole lives.

Its nothing to worry about.

You have a ton of advice and support that you can offer the younger generation about acne. :)

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I'm 49 and I feel your pain. I had a really bad case of cystic acne about 4 years ago and went on minocycline which helped a LOT! I've been on a lower dose (50 mg twice a day) ever since. If I feel a big cyst coming on (typically the week before or during my period), I'll take two pills or sometimes 3 at a time for a couple days and it usually shrinks it to nothing. To compensate, I'll take none or one a day usually AFTER my period when the hormones aren't causing havoc. Also, glycolic acid at 20% twice a week to exfoliate seems to help as well. BP nightly. Good luck. I know how painful and depressing cystic acne is. Once, I wore a bandaid on my face. SO embarrassing. I've never had them injected, my derm won't give me an appointment within a month... she doesn't understand how urgent a cyst is when it's on your face.

Hang in there. They won't last forever. Soon enough, we'll be through with the hormones and instead of cystic acne, we'll have other issues. ;-)

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I'm 44 and understand what you're saying. But PLEASE do not allow the acne to define you or rob you of your self-esteem. Maybe consider some counseling, to help you face your concern about your appearance? It never hurts to consider! Being able to face the public depends so much on how you already feel about yourself overall.

For me, what helped most of all was a 10% glycolic acid toner that I used every other day to every day. I used Avon's Anew Advanced Clinical retexturizing peel. Also use Cetaphil sensitive skin antibacterial cleansing bar. Check with your dermatologist about glycolic acid; consider checking into Retin A (not the cream, the gel) or Differin or Tazorac. Not only do they help with normalizing keratinization and pore clogging, but they also help with elasticity and collagen reformation, something that's fantastic for us middle aged ladies. ;)

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Thanks so much for the replies rolleyes.gif I was in a bad space yesterday, if you couldn't tell... All the advice was helpful and encouraging.

@ Kidego- I have not had food allergy testing, but that may be a good idea. I will admit that my diet is not that great. I've never had a weight problem and have always been very active, so have always just eaten what I wanted....which has usually not always been that great with regards to the quality of food eaten- I am a "grab and go" kind of gal...I do have migraines and a relatively mild case of IBS, so I think looking into food issues is a good idea. Ive often wondered whether my migraines were food related.... Other than that, I'm really quite healthy I exercise regulary,so I'm very fit, especially for my age. Besides the cyst breakouts, my skin is pretty smooth and fairly wrinkle free for 48 due to being smarter about the sun for the last 20 years surprised.gif However, I have considered making some pretty dramatic dietary changes as I feel that the resurgence of acne is partly due to a diet that is too high in processed foods. As well, I've decided to dramatically reduce alcohol intake ( I'm not slugging it down every night, don't get me wrong, but I do believe that wine especially, causes breakouts in me) In fact, I just ordered "The Clear Skin Diet" off of Amazon, as I am determined to try to stay as "natural" as possible with regards to dealing with the acne...

@ Rachelx7- thanks for your reply rolleyes.gif It is always nice to know that one is not alone in their struggles, though I hate that so many others have to deal with this!!! I've taken minocycline in the past with very good results, though it's been years since I"ve taken it. I have a derm appt in a few weeks for a mole check and a skin check-up, so I may ask for a prescription for it, to use the week before my period ( i've used it like that before, and like you, have taken 2-3 at a time to try to ward off a large cyst from forming) I know the use of antibiotics is controversial, and with my long history of using them, I am hesitant to try them again, but it might not hurt to have them as back up, just in case. I do take probiotics daily ( Reuteri) for my mild IBS.

And i get the bandaid thing....I've got one on my face right now, but am home alone so it's not a big deal surprised.gif

@ Wynne and Saturine- I know...I know...attitude is everything, thanks for reminding me of that rolleyes.gif Yesterday was a veeery bad day, I'm usually able to handle breakouts better than I was yesterday. Counseling is helpful, and I've actually done it for years to deal with self-esteem and appearance issues. I do try to remind myself during bad moments that I am, in fact, a pretty lucky person- I have a job , a great husband who adores me, lovely adult children who are thriving, a house, parents still living and healthy....It is important to keep things in perspective, I agree. For some reason, I really completely LOST that perspective yesterday...Probably the PMS/perimenopause stuff. It's really kicking in big time, and I'm sure that also is causing some overall distress- moving into "the change" is actually a pretty complicated time in a womans life, both physically and emotionally. I have to keep reminding myself of that, too

Anyway...thanks again for the replies, it really helped rolleyes.gif

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Hi NCsweettea

I'm 60 and can totally relate to your frustration and dispair. I can't believe I'm still struggling with cysts after all these years (started at 14). It seems so unfair. My derm doesn't seem to think it's that bad since she only sees me once or twice a year and I only get one or two cysts at a time. I think that derms only get riled up if they see a whole face full of acne...but that isn't what happens for most adults. We get one or two but they are big painful, unsightly ones. And I know that at least for me...because I've been dealing with this for so long, the appearance of a big cyst brings out all the pain of prior ones and those embarrasing moments. It is emotionally overwhelming! You are not alone in this!

However I have found through experience and lots of treatments that there is a way to control this...to make it more manageable. But I have found that there is no magic bullet. The regime I'm on now includes a prescription topical, diet + suppliments, a prescription spot treatment, and very gentle facial care. Even still tho...just last week I freaked out when it looked like a cyst might be coming up (...so much so I even started a post...)...but I used the spot treatment and it went right down. I am over a month into following my allergy diet and suppliments and my skin is getting better and better. That and the retinoid cream may do the trick...all without any antibiotics or hormones --- yeah!!!

Here are some things that have worked...

Accutane

Have you tried this? Your derm might not let you do it...again it's the issue of only getting one or two cysts at a time...most derms don't see that as bad acne. Accutane will stop cystic acne while you are on it and will make it so you get them less often after you stop. I did it twice in my 30's.

Antibiotics

They work but can't be used forever. I used them like you have...in desperation when flare-ups got really bad. But just to let you know...if you have used them for years then when you get to my age they won't let you use them anymore. They have to be reserved for more serious issues. My derm took me off antibiotics last year and prescribed Oracea...but it does nothing for cysts that I can see.

Hormone Treatments

HRT helps but is controversial. I found Spironolactone very helpful in my late 40'-50's. On it I only got a cyst maybe 4 times a year. Spiro is an anti-androgen. My derm took me off it last year because I had been on it for 10 years which is a long time.

Retinoids

My derm put me on prescription generic Tretinoin Cream a couple of years ago. This has worked wonders. I truly think it has made a huge difference in the number and severity of cysts. I started at .5% and a year ago went up to .1%. I think it helps to be on an antibiotic for the first year because this topical pushes out all the old deep plugs which can be irritating to the skin. Now that happens much less and so she took me off the antibiotic.

Perscription Spot Treatment

I just started using this and it is amazing. Overnight is makes a cyst go away...if caught early. It's called "Sodium Sulfacetamide 10% and Sulfer 5% Lotion". It's both gentle and effective. I wish I had known about it years ago. A wholistic derm prescribed it for me. And it is okay for rosacea. I used it at night if needed and just use my retinoid cream around it.

Food Allergies

If you had asked me about this 2 years ago I would have said...yeah...well...isn't that just a hype? It isn't. When my derm took me off the antibiotic I freaked and my skin did too. In desperation I spoke with my regular doc who said that cystic acne at our age is due to issues other than just how the pores function. The skin is overwhelmed by inflammation...caused by system inflammation...that usually originates within the gut...and this usually indicates food allergies. Some people get intestinal upset or rashes due to allergies but some people get acne...it's all just a skin reaction! I was sent to an endocronologist to make sure there wasn't an underlying hormone issue (no) and then he did both skin and blood testing. Surprise-surprise...I was allergic to a bunch of foods. He told me to see the registered dietitian...but stupid me waited a whole year to do this.

Diet - Suppliments

I am firmly convinced now that it is almost impossible to figure out a correct diet and suppliment regime on your own...especially when dealing with a chronic resistant problem like cystic acne. You need to spend the bucks and take the tests and get professional input. My registered dietitian has been incredible. The suppliment regime she has me on is making a real difference. There is a lot of diet info in books and on this site but it may address only part of the issue, especially if you have allergies. You may try and try (I did) but still be missing key elements. For instance, for years I avoided dairy and wheat...it helped but did not fully take care of the issue.

Cleansers

I really think Cetaphil Antibacterial Bar is incredible. It's gentle but also effective.

Make-up

I use Neutrogena Mineral Sheers powder. Covers the red...amazing stuff. Plus it has SPF that my sensitive skin can tolerate. All SPF lotions break me out. The lotion I use is Neutrogena Lotion for Combination Skin.

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cvd -

Thank you SO much for your post!!! It really does help to know I'm not alone in this ongoing battle with my skin....I just figured I'd be over this by now!!! Each year, I keep thinking, " surely, i won't keep getting these huge cysts!!" and each year, they keep coming...UG!!!

I did consider accutane a few years back, but after talking to my dermatologist about the side effects, I decided against it. It just seems to be too big of a "gun" for my issue. I mean, she was willing to prescribe it to me, it was me who decided not to. I probably get 3-4 cysts a year, with about 2 of them being REALLLLLY bad (like the one I've currently got on my chin...it's a whopper, though it's started to drain in the last few days...the other one, under my nose, drained yesterday too, and is now more of a maneageable size)

Spironolactone- I did try that a few years back, but didn't notice much of a difference

antibiotics- I plan to ask my dermatologist to put me back on minocycline for a few months, to get the breakouts back under control...I'll see what she says. Yeah, the Oracea doesn't do anything about cysts, though it does keep the rosacea bumps at bay ..yay! rolleyes.gif

I just ordered the book " The Clear Skin Diet"...it should arrive tomorrow, and I'm hoping and praying eusa_pray.gif that dietary changes will help me, as they seem to have helped you and so many others. I have to admit, my diet sucks, it really does. I live mostly on carbs and junk, don't eat alot of fruits or veggies, and drink too much wine- a glass at night, maybe two sometimes.... I occasionally slip into healthy eating, but I am married to a ( wonderful) man who happens to be southern, and was raised on fried foods and eating out ...I love my guy, but his eating habits have not been good for me!!! So.....I"m hoping dietary changes will help tremendously, especially as i am now fully entering into a perimenopausal phase ( I think I'm ovulating again...didn't even get a period this month!! AGG!)

I will definitely ask for the spot treatment, too!!! I haven't ever heard of the sufacetamide/sulfur treatment! I'll try anything at this point!!!

I used to routinely get cyst injections, and they seemed like magic..........that is,until they started " sinking in" when the cyst when down, and instead of a big bump, I"d have a big divet in my face, that would sometimes linger for months!!! Worse than the cyst, if you can imagine that. I've actually got scarring on my chin from repeated cyst injections in my 30's. So.....as wonderful as those were, when they worked.....I won't touch them anymore...huh.png

I am going to go to whole foods tomorrow and look into supplements to take, too. Especially since my diet ain't all that great, it can't hurt..

It's just SO FRUSTRATING!! I will go for months and months without a zit, and then POOF, two huge ones will pop up. It's like, when my skin looks good, it looks really good....but when it looks bad, it looks baaaaaaad. I rarely have anything in between!!!

I also just ordered Dan's BP gel, and will try his regimin. I've tried retinoids in the past, but they made me break out WORSE!! Though, I may ask again, and do the minocycline too, to get through the breakout phase. I used to use Retin-a years back, wish I had never stopped!!!!

THANK YOU again for your nice reply. I will take all your suggestions into consideration!!!!!

oh, and p.s.

I LOVE NEUTROGENA MINERAL SHEERS!! LOVE IT!! I have NEVER found a makeup that covers so well, especially redness. In fact, it's the best " concealer" i've ever used, too. Today, i had to go back to work, so I had to take the band-aid off of the huge cyst on my chin, which has started to reach a head and drain, but is still pretty red. So....after washing and moisturizing, I put a light layer of the liquid Neutrogena Healthy skin makeup on, then a dusting of the powdered mineral sheers over it ( I find the combo of the two works best for coverage) Then dabbed a small makeup brush into the powdered mineral sheers make up, and used it as a concealer.. AMAZING!! Covers almost all of the red, and doesn't look "gunky". Yeah, the bump is still there, but it's not so red looking, which helps to camoflauge it somewhat. It did enough that I felt ok going out, anyway :-)

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I'm so glad you're feeling better. I would be careful about using Dan's BP regime. Like you said...you get nothing for months and then whammo a big cyst which means something else is really triggering this other than just clogged up pores. I used Proactive for about 8 years and it almost totally destroyed my skin...yes it kept down surface acne but hardly affected the cysts and just made my skin red and irritated...even at lower usage. BP is very harsh on aging skin, especially skin prone to rosacea. Interestingly I also tried to use retin-a years ago and it was too irritating but somehow this current generic tretinoin cream is not. Of course, I am digilent about waiting the 30 minutes before applying after washing. I think I was not as careful years ago. Also you can't use any other acne products while using tretinoin cream or retin-a. The exception seems to be the Sodium Sulfacetamide 10% and Sulfer 5% Lotion which is dabbed on and the tretinoin cream applied around it. Look at my post on Registered Dietitian's Recommendations...it has the exact suppliments she recommended. The wholistic derm recommended a special probiotic that also has some herbs known for lowering inflammation especially on the skin...it is called "Tyler Yeast Balance Complex - Intestinal Balance" and made by Integrative Therapeutics. I take two caps a day. I have to say that I am totally sold on this diet-suppliment approach...my skin looks as good as it does when I use full strength antibiotics.

It's taken me such a long time to really manage this problem. I think that for years I got by thinking I'd magically outgrow it...and then I was either taking antibiotics or hormones or using BP or taking accutane...and the years slipped by. Then I thought for sure I'd outgrow it with menopause but no such luck! Although my skin went from super oily to somewhat oily which has been a blessing! A few years ago I decided to give an all out effort to solving this problem once and for all. Especially since my derm was pushing me towards getting off all oral meds. This is what led me to talk with my regular doc and to start the testing and finally the diet and suppliment approach. Which he firmly believes is at the root of adult cystic acne.

Before doing the nutritional approach I ate well and drank wine. I was heavy on the carbs, especially flour products. I was a vegetarian who ate lots of cheese. I thought I was eating the right stuff but have come to know that was not true. For me the best way to eat is no flour products, dairy, alcohol, or sugars - in addition to the regular foods I found I was allergic to (shellfish, wheat, tomatoes, etc. etc.). I am eating now tons of salads, green smoothies, turkey, fish, some pork, vegetables, potatoes, rice...very whole foods. And it isn't too bad. My weight is perfect, my energy is the best it's been in years...I think this is a good way to eat. It replenishes the body and heals the gut.

However it is very hard to make the switch. At first I felt really deprived. But now, even after just over a month, I feel so much better that it is easy to do. I look forward to my salads and smoothies!

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I am definitely going to take the dietary approach seriously. In fact, i just received my copy of " The Clear Skin Diet" and I have begun to read it. The information on inflammation has been enlightening. I also suffer on and off from IBS, and I'm convinced it's due to diet. Clearly, there is inflammatory issues in my body... It's a fascinating book to read, talks about all the research done on acne and diet, about the increasing numbers of acne cases in adults in western cultures....Yet, dermatogists continue to say that diet and acne arent connected...while the food industries continue to make bazillions of dollars a year, feeding us crap food....

I plan on taking all your advice with regards to supplementation. I take a probiotic called "Reuteri", which I really like, but will look into the Tylers yeast balance too...I've also decided to cut out wine all together, because it also gives me migraines, which I really don't need...and in recent years, when I drink wine (chardonney especially) I feel almost like I've been poisoned the next day. Clearly I am sensitive to something in it. And, this most recent outbreak was, I'm convinced, caused by eating candy and drinking too much white wine one night a few days before xmas. I had been fine, a smallish cyst under my skin, but it had just been hanging out, not really doing anything, and small....I drank way too much wine one night, woke up the next day feeling literally poisoned....and by that afternoon, the cyst was growing and the one next to my nose had suddenly sprung up.....Clearly there is a connection, and it's time I learned my lesson!!!! rolleyes.gif

Thanks so much again for all your support and advice. It helps to know I'm not alone!!!!!

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Im glad ur feeling better, its crazy how acne can get us so low.....Im at that stage atm, I am 31 in about 2 weeks time and still getting acne, I have blackheads and large large pores on my nose from squeezing, I wish i could start all over, Id go al a natural for sure....

keep us posted.

Trent

Australia

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I am a 40 year old female who has delt with acne my entire life. I think I have finally found the solution. I did accutane years ago, only to find my acne returned. I have been on all the usual meds from retin a to antibiotics. I have come to the conclusion that this is an internal issue stemming from inflammation. I decided to go on a gluten free diet (no wheat, barley, or rye), I switched from milk to almond milk for coffee and cereal (I still eat some cheese), I eat pineapple (fresh only) every day (google plastic surgery and pineapple....the surgeons use it for wound healing). I started taking vitamin supplements of vitamins A, E, Bromelain (pineapple enzine), zinc, and D. I also drink ginger tea (found in asian markets) and green tea if possible. I also eat a tsp of bee pollin just for kicks. I switched from raw sugar when possible to honey. My skin has never looked better. It has been amazing!!!! I really think the key in all honesty has been the gluten free diet (I saw immediate amazing results with that) and the pineapple. Frankly, there is no way to know for sure because I did this entire diet and supplement switch at the same time. I would be interested if you have the same experience. Every one is different and what works for me may not work for someone else, but cutting out gluten and buying fresh pineapple are less costly than many altenatives. Best of luck....I hope this helps.

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I am a 40 year old female who has delt with acne my entire life. I think I have finally found the solution. I did accutane years ago, only to find my acne returned. I have been on all the usual meds from retin a to antibiotics. I have come to the conclusion that this is an internal issue stemming from inflammation. I decided to go on a gluten free diet (no wheat, barley, or rye), I switched from milk to almond milk for coffee and cereal (I still eat some cheese), I eat pineapple (fresh only) every day (google plastic surgery and pineapple....the surgeons use it for wound healing). I started taking vitamin supplements of vitamins A, E, Bromelain (pineapple enzine), zinc, and D. I also drink ginger tea (found in asian markets) and green tea if possible. I also eat a tsp of bee pollin just for kicks. I switched from raw sugar when possible to honey. My skin has never looked better. It has been amazing!!!! I really think the key in all honesty has been the gluten free diet (I saw immediate amazing results with that) and the pineapple. Frankly, there is no way to know for sure because I did this entire diet and supplement switch at the same time. I would be interested if you have the same experience. Every one is different and what works for me may not work for someone else, but cutting out gluten and buying fresh pineapple are less costly than many altenatives. Best of luck....I hope this helps.

You sound like your Gluten Sensitive. I am and I eat the same crap food (minus Gluten) & sugar. Totally amazing it was a Food Allergy that caused this.

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I'm curious about the gluten allergy. Can you describe your daily meals to me? It seems I'd have to give up everything I currently eat/drink!!!!

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Im giving up dairy (except Rice Milk and organic plain yoghurt), bread, sweets, sugars,.... and doing freshly squeezed juiceds fruit n veg, daily...plus taking vitamins.

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How do you give up bread? No sandwiches... ever? Pasta? Cereal? Do you eat at home or out? I eat at home often and cook meals for my family. There's no way I'm cooking two meals a day and there's no way my picky family would go for this sort of diet. Maybe I could make my food ahead of time?

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I'm curious about the gluten allergy. Can you describe your daily meals to me? It seems I'd have to give up everything I currently eat/drink!!!!

Eating is not too bad, drinking is another story. I don't cook so I depend on a lot of processed foods. New labeling for 2012 makes it pretty easy. As for drinking, no soda for me (must be high in Barley which explains my test results). I'm still struggling to find 100% Fruit Juice that is completely GF (no traces) so I drink mostly water & Folgers coffee.

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Regarding the gluten....I don't think it is too bad. I eat at home and out and frankly I find it really easy. You can eat rice, potato, and corn. Most chain restaurants have a gluten free menu. You do have to read lables on processed foods or google to make sure they don't have hidden gluten. I eat a lot of salads (you can put anything in there but croutons or breaded chicken), chipolte and baja fresh have a lot of gluten free options. You can do subway or quiznos...I just have them put everything on a salad (no sandwhiches) although I heard subway is coming out with gluten free bread. I eat corn chex or rice chex or gluten free rice krispies in the am, a salad for lunch, and you can even have a steak and mashed potatoes for dinner.....no bread. If you are dying for bread there are many things you can make at home, Bob's red mill brand has a lot of gluten free flours and bread mixes. I made gluten free pizza the other night. The only place I find it challenging is high end restaurants. They always put flour in the sauces and in soups. I just ask them to hold the sauce. New Years I had a high end dinner....spinich salad with bacon dressing, lamb carpaccio, turf and turf, creme brulee for dessert....not horrible lol! Oh....and thai food is pretty much all gluten free.....you can get a lot of Thai processed food in the grocery store that is amazing and labled gluten free. Sushi is also a great option but you can't use regular soy sauce as it has gluten....you need Tamara soy sauce which most places have if you ask for it. As far as drinks, all fruit juice is gluten free, but I would stay away from it due to the high sugar and calorie content. You can also have most hard alcohol and wine.....if you google alcohol and gluten you can get a list. I still eat dairy in moderation and have not had a problem. You really end up not eating cakes and cookies which we all should avoid anyway....I didnt gain a pound over the holidays!!!! Hope this helps......my skin has never looked like this.....who would have thought. I would be interested to hear from you if you try this and it works for you. I would give it 3 weeks at least. Also, google gluten free....you can get a lot of info on what to eat and what not to eat. Best of luck!!!!

I'm curious about the gluten allergy. Can you describe your daily meals to me? It seems I'd have to give up everything I currently eat/drink!!!!

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ladies ,you say you have been on antibiotics for years.havent they messed up in your organism?I can take them with no problem(no side effects) but I am worried that something bad will happen to me...

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Sorry I've been off-line for about a week- youngest daughter was really sick with a kidney infection and was in the hospital cry.gif she is better now, thank goodness!

Anyway.....I want to thank everybody again for all the great tips !

@ Liz90201, I really appreciate your post. I am in total agreement with you about this being an internal issue. After I posted a few weeks back, I ordered the book " The Clear Skin Diet" and it has really changed how I look at this acne issue. Clearly, this is a hormonal issue, an internal issue. NOBODY, and I mean, NOBODY takes better care of their skin than I do, so it certainly isn't about lack of a good skin care routine. I stay in good shape, so I do get adequate exercise. But, as I said in earlier posts, I am the first to admit that my diet SUCKS. And, after reading this book, it is clear that this may well have been a major underlying factor in my continued cystic breakouts. The whole "inflammation" thing. This last horrible breakout ( the cysts are FINALLY starting to subside, thank god) I believe was directly related to stress, to eating crap food and drinking too much. Reading this book really finally drove home the point that my DIET is paramount to good skin health.

I have changed, in the last 2 weeks since posting, my whole diet. I can't say I've cut out gluten all together, but I've tried to be more aware of gluten. I was never a milk drinker, but I can eat too much cheese so I have cut back dramatically on that. I have *tried* to switch from coffee to green tea, and so far so good. I think I just miss the taste of coffee more than anything, the green tea has enough caffeine in it that I haven't had a caffeine withdrawal headache. I went out and bought EPA supplements ( evening primrose oil), a good multi-vitamin, I already take probiotics, but think I may switch to "Align" as it's supposed to be good at reducing inflammation outside the gut...

Anyway, I could go on and on about my diet changes, but I am trying like heck to stick to fruits, veggies, lean meats, nuts, yogurt, little to no cheese, no milk at all. There is a supplement called " Perfect Skin" that the book recommends, but it seems to have mixed reviews from what I've read, and is quite expensive, so I will try to find similar supplements at Whole Foods, and see how that works.

I can say that since my last post, and my diet changes and supplements, my skin does seem to look better. But, it's only been a week and a half, so we'll see how this goes. I can't imagine that the diet changes won't improve my skin. I will definitely keep you all posted! And, if anyone knows anything about this supplement " Perfect Skin", feel free to let me know..

I am determined to not go back on antibiotics after reading this book. And I just won't do accutane. Too many side effects, and from so many people that I talk to and know, the acne always seems to come back and they have to take another round. I just want to see if I can do this another way...

Thanks so much for all the feedback! I will keep following this link and keep you updated on my progress with my "clean diet" rolleyes.gif

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Keep me posted. I will say that cutting back on gluten is not enough...if gluten is the cause of your acne and is a source of inflammation in your body you will never cure your acne if you eat any gluten. Unfortunatley, I believe from my personal experience with my skin this is an all or nothing deal. The only way to know is to cut it out entirely. I would try cutting it for 2-3 weeks.....you will know if that's the issue.....you will also know if you add gluten back in if it's the issue! I saw an immediate improvement in my skin. I am not even breaking out before my period which is amazing. The other good part is that I have no stomach bloating as a result....my stomach looks flat which is a great bonus. I do drink coffee every day. I also eat cheese, just not in large amounts. I did switch from milk to almond milk (it has 2/3 less calories to boot...40 calories a cup) and from sugar to honey. I also eat fresh (not canned) pineapple every day due to the anti inflammatory effects and the effects on skin healing. You can also take a supplement Bromelain which has the same enzime....I do both (I eat fresh pineapple daily as well as take the supplement.) I would check with your doctor regarding any supplements...some supplements can interact with medication....I have seen articles saying Bromelain in particular can interact with some heart meds so check it out with your dr if you need info. Good luck....my skin has NEVER looked this good......hoping you can have the same results. And, btw.....I had a very high end expensive (from a derm) skin regime too and it didn't make a difference....only thing that has is the gluten.

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Hi all --- this thread is so interesting! I think because several of us are trying the diet-suppliment approach and we haven't really done that before. I am now about 6 weeks into following a doctor/dermatologist prescribed allergy diet + suppliments. My skin seems better...less oily...less inflamed. I have had two small pimples but they went away in a day or so. For the first time in 11 years I am not on antibiotics or spironolactone...which is very scary. I'm so afraid of returning to a chin full of cysts like I had before.

Please keep posting about your progress! I've ordered the "Clear Skin Diet" book as a back up and am curious to see if it is like what my wholistic doc/registered dietician have recommended.

We all seem to be intelligent women...we should be able to get a handle on this problem!

What gets me upset are magazine ads showing women with absolutely perfect skin (page after page) and articles about how to clear up blemishes. None of this info works - at least for me and usually just inflames things more (salicylic acid, BP, etc). These articles make it seem like if we have blemishes we aren't doing something right and that just drives me crazy since I am and have always been meticulous about my skin care. Sorry had to rant here....

Someone mentioned Thai food as being good...gluten free. Problem with Thai food is it often has lots of sugar in it...and/or vinegar. Sugary foods can be a problem for acne prone skin...and vinegar can cause inflammation for those prone to rosacea. However I use Thai foods like rice noodles for other recipies...just not the sugary sauces (peanut sauce, etc.)

Edited by cvd

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Hi all --- this thread is so interesting! I think because several of us are trying the diet-suppliment approach and we haven't really done that before. I am now about 6 weeks into following a doctor/dermatologist prescribed allergy diet + suppliments. My skin seems better...less oily...less inflamed. I have had two small pimples but they went away in a day or so. For the first time in 11 years I am not on antibiotics or spironolactone...which is very scary. I'm so afraid of returning to a chin full of cysts like I had before.

Please keep posting about your progress! I've ordered the "Clear Skin Diet" book as a back up and am curious to see if it is like what my wholistic doc/registered dietician have recommended.

We all seem to be intelligent women...we should be able to get a handle on this problem!

What gets me upset are magazine ads showing women with absolutely perfect skin (page after page) and articles about how to clear up blemishes. None of this info works - at least for me and usually just inflames things more (salicylic acid, BP, etc). These articles make it seem like if we have blemishes we aren't doing something right and that just drives me crazy since I am and have always been meticulous about my skin care. Sorry had to rant here....

Someone mentioned Thai food as being good...gluten free. Problem with Thai food is it often has lots of sugar in it...and/or vinegar. Sugary foods can be a problem for acne prone skin...and vinegar can cause inflammation for those prone to rosacea. However I use Thai foods like rice noodles for other recipies...just not the sugary sauces (peanut sauce, etc.)

What kind of diet did they put you on? I'm also curious if they allergy tested you or not? The gluten thing is wierd because people can test negative for a gluten allergy yet still be allergic to it.....I think the only way to tell if acne is being caused by gluten is to completely cut out the gluten and see what happens.

I am completely convinced that acne is a systemic problem. The major ways our bodies clear toxins are thru our liver, kidney, and skin. Putting a cream or gel on top of a pimple is the equivalent to a bandaid. It may help heal the pimple but it doesnt prevent it. Drs are not always health experts. I would trust a chinese herbalist over a derm any day lol!

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Hi cvd rolleyes.gif

I will be interested to see what you think of " The Clear Skin Diet". I thought it was overall a good book, definitely goes into GREAT detail about inflammation, about oil production....honestly, probably a little TOO much for me, but it was helpful to really drive home the point that what we EAT is likely the culprit, and all the data over the decades about the link between food and acne, and how it all got overlooked by "mainstream" dermatology. Really frustrating to think how much money I've spent over the years on topical and oral medications, cosmetic products, etc....prescribed by dermatologists, who seem to think that if I just find the right combo of pharmaceuticals, I'll get a handle on the problem. This book really drives home the point that underlying inflammation is the root of acne, and that proper nutritions and supplements can essentially "cure" it.

@ liz- i will definitely try to gluten free approach, and see what happens. I"m not a huge pasta or bread eater anyway, so it might not be as hard as I"m thinking it will be....I must admit, I have caved in on the coffee since I posted the other day. I just CANNOT go without my morning cup!! But, I honestly don't think 1 cup of coffee in the morning was the culprit....

Anyway, I'm glad to have so many comrades in this quest rolleyes.gif

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