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StephenMcl

Diet Has Nothing To Do With Acne

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Hi everyone, i'm just posting to say that, there is no possible way diet can be linked to acne and i'l tell you my experiences.

About october time i went on diet, hardly eating anything, lost about 3 stone, when i was only trying to see if diet had anything to do with my skin, which didn't change during the course of my experiment (October - December). During this time i was also working nightshift and ate healthy during the nightshifts, Apples, pears, homemade soup, water etc. My skin had absolutely no change during these 2 months, and i still got spots. Also other people that i worked with that were around the same age were eating all the junk food, microwaved junk, cola etc and their skin was clear!. This is my reasoning behind my statement that diet cannot cause acne. Also some people i know eat junk all day and have perfect skin. So if diet was causing it, why do they have perfect skin eating junk and i have horrible skin eating healthy?.

This is why i believe that diet has nothing to do with it, and i used to believe that diet was the cause, but due to these facts stated, i no longer believe it. I want you to tell me your opinions on this and why some people can have perfect skin, surely it is not down to genetics, which is the only other thing i can think of because if it was down to hormones, then my friends that eat junk all the times hormones would be causing them to get acne aswell, which it doesn't, this is my opinion on why i believe now that diet has nothing to do with it.

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Alright, so in your experience diet has nothing to do with acne. But some people on here have had their acne completely clear through diet changes. What are we to conclude from this? That diet CAN affect acne- for some people. Not everyone, and not to the same degree. But I've read too many threads of people either clearing or greatly improving their acne through diet to discount it. And personally, my skin's appearance does improve or worsen depending on what I eat.

Edited by akko

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Diet has everything to do with acne. As does other lifestyle habits such as sleep and physical activity. It is not possible for them to not affect your acne as they affect every aspect of the system that is your body. But you are right, it does not cause it. It can prevent, reduce and reverse acne just like with most other health conditions, but it doesn't cause or cure it. The body just doesn't work that way.

It is down to genetics. Plus your hormones and other health factors all of which are affected by the things you do to yourself. The others had clear skin because they are not genetically predisposed to getting acne and/or had not yet impaired their body's function to the point where the damage shows. Anyway, most people don't get acne. Period. Most people have clear skin despite their crap diets. Most lifelong smokers never develop cancer either.

Anyway, your working a nightshift was likely a major factor. A natural circadian cycle is very important to health. So many things are timed by your exposure to bright outdoor light (indoor lighting isn't enough) and darkness, including the manufacture and release of hormones. And all kinds of repairs. And in addition to that, bright light exposure affects your ability to metabolize carbs, fructose in particular. And you were consuming high fructose fruit like apples and pears. Your diet wasn't as healthy as you thought.

What else did you eat? 'Hardly eating anything' for 2 months isn't a healthy diet. Also, 2 months isn't enough time even on a truly healthy diet for everyone to see results. Especially not in combination with unhealthy lifestyle habits like not sleeping at night.

Edited by alternativista

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Diet has everything to do with my acne. I went 30+ days with no pimples on the acne free diet, but then decided, irrationally, that I could enjoy some holiday treats and some dairy. That was a big mistake. The trade off was not worth it...........about 15 pimples in exchange for holiday indulgence. Back on the strict diet. At least I know sugar and dairy are my triggers. If you have never tried a low glycemic, no sugar, no dairy diet, then I highly suggest you do. It may not work for everyone, but it certainly works for me.

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Alright, so in your experience diet has nothing to do with acne. But some people on here have had their acne completely clear through diet changes. What are we to conclude from this? That diet CAN affect acne- for some people. Not everyone, and not to the same degree. But I've read too many threads of people either clearing or greatly improving their acne through diet to discount it. And personally, my skin's appearance does improve or worsen depending on what I eat.

Many people here. And many more not here. The doctor who created the South Beach diet has done surveys of the people who follow his anti-inflamatory diet and has shown that it does clear skin. Those whose skin didn't clear likely had a food intolerance they hadn't identified or some other impaired function (stress, thyroid, liver, digestion) that the diet had not yet healed and just need more time. Or they managed to follow the diet without consuming all the nutrients they need.

That's the problem with these various diets. Like with Paleo, it is possible to consume the allowed foods while not adhering to the basic diet principles for health and clear skin: Lots of real, whole nutrient dense foods, more anti-inflammatory than inflammatory. Only low to moderate Glycemic load meals, drinks and snacks. In other words, never having a high glycemic load meal, drink or snack. And to avoid anything to which you have an intolerance for.

And lifestyle habits like sleep/circadian cycle, physical activity/muscle and stress are also factors and affect how strict your diet needs to be.

Edited by alternativista

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Don't forget that everyone is different, Stephen. For some people, diet has everything to do with acne. It's not always about what is or is not "healthy" either because I know for a fact that there are healthy foods - including some vegetables - which I have an intolerance of and so they may well contribute to triggering my acne. The key point there is that this relates to me specifically and so I would not be in a position to make blanket statements about how these particular things do or do not cause acne in everyone. In some case it would be all about things like hormones or genetics. For others, it is totally about diet.

All I know is that over the last seven weeks, I have greatly reduced the things I have been diagnosed as having an intolerance of and my skin is now 100% free of acne and all blemishes for the first time in 13 years. On that basis, I can personally see a direct link between my diet, my skin and how my body processes things.

Perhaps you took the wrong approach. I mean, you described it as a diet and you lost weight as a result. If your intention had been to lose weight then you would now be describing the diet as a success. But if it made no difference to your skin then I guess the changes you made were not the kind of changes which might help your skin to begin with. It's not about eating less or directly swapping "junk food" for "healthy food". Rather, it comes down to finding out if any of the foods you consume are inflammatory and if there are any foods your body struggles to or is unable to process. Whatever it can't process is just waste and that is what can trigger acne for some of us.

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Mine is definitely genetic and hormonal. When I was pregnant and nursing, my skin was great. Now that my periods are back and normal, all hell breaks loose especially the week before my period. Maybe a diet would help this. I'm not sure. I'm not sure I'm willing to make such a huge sacrifice for my skin. It seems like a full time job to follow those clear skin diets.

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Everyone is different, but I guess count yourself lucky foods don't affect your acne, for better or for worse. I'm not on a strict acne diet, but I'm not eating chocolate and sweets every day. Twice a week is manageable for me. I've cut out coffee completely and have seen results. I'm eating more fruit and vegetables and my skin hasn't been this good in quite a while. I'm still unsure about diet and acne but it's good that I'm eating healthy and frankly I believe if you eat fatty fried food, with chocolate and sweets as snacks you have a greater chance of breaking out...my 2 cents anyway. This is an interesting thread though.

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No. Diet affects everyone's acne and everything else going on in their body. It isn't possible for it not to. The difference is the degree to which it affects your acne and much of that is due to what else you do to yourself. how active you are, how well you sleep, how much muscle you have, how you deal with stress, and various other health issues you might have. But all of that is also affected by your diet and vice versa. For example, Stress affects your diet and your diet affects how well you deal with stress.

All of our acne is hormonal. And all of our acne is genetic. Even in those of us who keep their skin clear via diet and lifestyle.

Mine is definitely genetic and hormonal. When I was pregnant and nursing, my skin was great. Now that my periods are back and normal, all hell breaks loose especially the week before my period. Maybe a diet would help this. I'm not sure. I'm not sure I'm willing to make such a huge sacrifice for my skin. It seems like a full time job to follow those clear skin diets.

Edited by alternativista

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Alternativista: I read your blog. I am certainly impressed with the amount of time you've devoted to diet/supplement/skin research. I certainly promote eating healthy... my diet didn't change at all since my pregnancy/nursing days (except for alcohol). I hear you though, that diet may help the hormone issue. I've started taking Zinc and Probiotics 4 weeks ago... and my skin is great now... has been for a month. But, who knows? It may just be coincidence. I'll continue until it's not great anymore. whistling.gif)

I wonder... you claim that oranges cause you cystic acne and that you get a cyst the day after eating one. Don't cysts take time to grow and form under the skin? I'm wondering if the next day your cyst was quite small but noticeable or large?

I've started reading this board a month ago and there seems to be no clear answer. Some things help some people... I just have to wonder if it's all coincidence. Sometimes my skin is great and who the heck knows why... you know? And other times, it's horrible even though I'm diligent to eat well, exercise and sleep.

Edit... I noticed you have dry sinus issues.... as do I. Did you ever find a solution? My sinus airways burn at times... and it's so irritating!

Edit... you say that wheat/gluten shouldn't be a part of anyone's diet? Wheat is natural and wouldn't that be something we'd eat naturally?

Edited by Rachelx7

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Alternativista: I read your blog. I am certainly impressed with the amount of time you've devoted to diet/supplement/skin research. I certainly promote eating healthy... my diet didn't change at all since my pregnancy/nursing days (except for alcohol). I hear you though, that diet may help the hormone issue. I've started taking Zinc and Probiotics 4 weeks ago... and my skin is great now... has been for a month. But, who knows? It may just be coincidence. I'll continue until it's not great anymore. whistling.gif)

I wonder... you claim that oranges cause you cystic acne and that you get a cyst the day after eating one. Don't cysts take time to grow and form under the skin? I'm wondering if the next day your cyst was quite small but noticeable or large?

I've started reading this board a month ago and there seems to be no clear answer. Some things help some people... I just have to wonder if it's all coincidence. Sometimes my skin is great and who the heck knows why... you know? And other times, it's horrible even though I'm diligent to eat well, exercise and sleep.

Edit... I noticed you have dry sinus issues.... as do I. Did you ever find a solution? My sinus airways burn at times... and it's so irritating!

Glycemic load/intolerances, there's what you want to be paying attention to.

Cut out dairy for at least a month, see if you notice any changes. Then cut out all grains. Soy, gluten, and sugar should be a constant throughout this. Soon enough you'll start feeling what foods agree with you or not, it's not just about how long a cyst or whatever takes to form.Particularly those foods you'd been avoiding (minus soy, gluten, and sugar. There's no need to 'reintroduce' any of that crap back in). Even 85% dark chocolate gives me headaches (maybe it's the caffeine), dairy makes my tummy upset, I might have problems with chicken but will have to be more strict about avoiding poultry (some muscle testing I had done said I showed reactions to chicken and eggs). Amines and food phenolics also showed reactions and I'm still trying to understand what the second one means. Soon your body feels more connected to you with the more you read here (which at first sounds like rubbish that it could have anything to do with your daily life) and more you change your eating habits (you'll start to feel that sugar cookie or chocolate shake or whatever more than you ever have in your life) it just becomes natural. It gets to a point where it really has nothing to do with clearing your skin but more taking care of yourself because you'll be avoiding foods that have caused you discomfort this entire time but due to the flavor, endorphin release, whatever-you kept eating them (and are free to have them once in awhile, intolerances can go away after being dedicated with diet).

For those who whine about everyone around them enjoying soda and white bread and sweets with clear skin but YOU have to be different. C'mon. You seriously haven't already seen all the posts to say the same thing? And it sounds like you have your faith in a back-up plan (for whenever whatever you're trying stops working) in something else. Almost done with that round of high-percent retin-a, retinol, bp, sal acid? Gonna go for the accutane after the antibiotics stop working (if they ever even did for you)? Mmm'kay, sounds good. A pill once a day is so small compared to what you eat every day. Ever thought of changing that?

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Why would I be able to have dairy during pregnancy? If dairy was adding to my skin issues, why would I be able to have it during pregnancy and nursing and not afterwards? That's what I don't understand.

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I wonder... you claim that oranges cause you cystic acne and that you get a cyst the day after eating one. Don't cysts take time to grow and form under the skin? I'm wondering if the next day your cyst was quite small but noticeable or large?

Allergic reactions can make things happen in minutes. And there would be some period in which I would feel it coming under the surface but there would be a visible red cyst at some point the next day. And I have a suspicion that cysts and nodules may always be allergic reactions and not true acne.

I've started reading this board a month ago and there seems to be no clear answer. Some things help some people... I just have to wonder if it's all coincidence. Sometimes my skin is great and who the heck knows why... you know? And other times, it's horrible even though I'm diligent to eat well, exercise and sleep.
Some people might be imagining that some things affect them, but no it isn't all a coincidence. Diet and lifestyle is at the root of everything. Health conditions are not caused by a lack of drugs. They are end results of things you do to yourself. Usually cumulative. Don't look for bullets.
Edit... I noticed you have dry sinus issues.... as do I. Did you ever find a solution? My sinus airways burn at times... and it's so irritating!
They aren't dry. In fact, I rarely actually have any problem in my sinuses. I only feel pressure/pain in sinuses once in a while. It's my nose that feels stuffy. It took me a while to realize there was a difference. And rhinitis could be an intolerance I haven't identified but something that is a constant in my life. But it is also associated with hyperkeratinization/hyperproliferation which is at the root of acne and is genetically influenced. The gene has been identified. And there are many ways diet affects it.
Edit... you say that wheat/gluten shouldn't be a part of anyone's diet? Wheat is natural and wouldn't that be something we'd eat naturally?

Yes, but not in the amounts we do today where they take the place of nutrient rich foods that would help mediate the damage. And certainly not in the refined state we eat them in. For most Americans, breakfast means toast, pancakes or processed cereal, lunch means a sandwich and dinner means a roll, not to mention all the cakes, cookies, pastries, pie crusts, pizza crusts, breading on fried food, gravies etc that make up a huge part of the SAD diet.

And I didn't say that no one should have wheat/gluten. I said they weren't good for anyone and shouldn't be big parts of anyone's diet. Also, they can be prepared in ways that reduce the harm, and were for many thousands of years, but now rarely are in our instant, profit driven industrialized 'food' supply.

And what you should read is the Good Things thread. Click the link in my signature.

Edited by alternativista

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Why would I be able to have dairy during pregnancy? If dairy was adding to my skin issues, why would I be able to have it during pregnancy and nursing and not afterwards? That's what I don't understand.

You can have everything you want, I don't know if you understood that. But the more you remove things that aren't really good for most people the more you won't even want it in your life.

Are you saying you were clear during pregnancy? That was probably due to your progesterone levels being high. Some people here have said pregnancy made them/someone they know clear so why doesn't everyone else give it a go? Most girls (like myself, at some point) are obsessed with estrogen defeciency/dominance/body not ridding itself of the extra hormones (cruciferous veggies are excellent for that, btw) or too many androgens (also a problem) but lil progesterone over there is very important in clear skin and it's levels happen to be boosted during pregnancy. There are other ways to do that besides having a kid, for you ladies who are interested in it.

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Why would I be able to have dairy during pregnancy? If dairy was adding to my skin issues, why would I be able to have it during pregnancy and nursing and not afterwards? That's what I don't understand.

Because other things were happening that made up for whatever harm it was causing. One of which was nutrients being routed to your baby. Besides, dairy is full of things that specifically make babies grow. You were growing a baby. Now you aren't.

I wonder... you claim that oranges cause you cystic acne and that you get a cyst the day after eating one. Don't cysts take time to grow and form under the skin? I'm wondering if the next day your cyst was quite small but noticeable or large?

Allergic reactions can make things happen in minutes. And there would be some period in which I would feel it coming under the surface but there would be a visible red cyst at some point the next day. And I have a suspicion that cysts and nodules may always be allergic reactions and not true acne.

I should add that it's delayed-type responses that cause acne as well as all kinds of mystery ailments people never figure out. They don't cause a response in minutes but a day or several days later.

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Corgisoulpower... how long ago did you stop the bcp? Doy ou think that could've helped your skin? How do you plan on balancing your hormones off bcp?

alternativista: drinking apple cider vinegar or having a sweet potato for breakfast... I may prefer having acne. LOL Just kidding... thanks.... I will read it ... it's certainly detailed and long..... and I will try to introduce tolerable changes in my diet that I admit isn't the greatest. Thanks again!

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Corgisoulpower... how long ago did you stop the bcp? Doy ou think that could've helped your skin? How do you plan on balancing your hormones off bcp?

I stopped it like two months ago, it never helped my skin and I'd been on some form of it for 4 years. You think I'd notice a change somewhere along the line if there had been one. Nope.

Humans have lived without a pill to 'balance' their hormones for thousands of years, instead relying on food. I'm okay with doing the same.

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alternativista: I will read your entire "good things for acne" thanks... it's certainly detailed and long. But, if given the choice of drinking apple cider vinegar and eating a sweet potato for breakfast or having acne... I might choose acne. LOL No, seriously... I am looking for tolerable changes in my diet that I admit isn't the greatest.

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Do you two think that blocked pores and bacteria have anything to do with acne?

I have known people who were "cured" of their acne without a diet change. Maybe they just outgrew it for whatever reason???? I'm a skeptic... I admit..... it takes a lot to convince me.

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alternativista: I will read your entire "good things for acne" thanks... it's certainly detailed and long. But, if given the choice of drinking apple cider vinegar and eating a sweet potato for breakfast or having acne... I might choose acne. LOL No, seriously... I am looking for tolerable changes in my diet that I admit isn't the greatest.

Why? Sweet potatoes are delicious and make a great breakfast for anyone who wants a sweet carby thing for breakfast. I've been eating one nearly every day for I think a couple of years now. I still think they are delicious. And they are my go to lunch when i need to bring something. I spent a month visiting my mother in the hospital nearly every day and rather than spend money on eating crap out, I bought sweet potatoes to microwave.

Do you two think that blocked pores and bacteria have anything to do with acne?

I have known people who were "cured" of their acne without a diet change. Maybe they just outgrew it for whatever reason???? I'm a skeptic... I admit..... it takes a lot to convince me.

Yes, of course. They both do, although the bacteria is the least important factor in acne. First the pore has to get clogged. And some people are clogging their pores with topicals and environmental pollutants, but that isn't the main problem for most of us. And all the things Corgi and I have been telling you about diet and inflammation are at the root of your clogged pores. And oily skin if you have it. Oily skin doesn't actually cause acne.

Corgisoulpower... how long ago did you stop the bcp? Doy ou think that could've helped your skin? How do you plan on balancing your hormones off bcp?

I stopped it like two months ago, it never helped my skin and I'd been on some form of it for 4 years. You think I'd notice a change somewhere along the line if there had been one. Nope.

Humans have lived without a pill to 'balance' their hormones for thousands of years, instead relying on food. I'm okay with doing the same.

Yes. Screwed up hormones aren't caused by a lack of BCP. It's caused by diet and lifestyle habits that impair your body's ability to function.

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I just think that's disgusting... especially for breakfast. Regular potato maybe.... don't you need protein though?

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So why have others been cured through diet?... don't speak for everyone. Your acne just has a different cause.

Well, some people might be clogging their pores with topicals or environmental pollutants. And some people may only think they have acne, but really have folliculitus, rosacea or some other skin disorder. Or an allergy. But that doesn't mean diet still doesn't affect them. It affects everyone.

I just think that's disgusting... especially for breakfast. Regular potato maybe.... don't you need protein though?

?????? One of the most delicious foods nature ever produced? Maybe you are thinking of candied yams aka crap-in-a-can, or that nasty casserole filled with sugar and marshmallows people make for thanksgivng? No, I'm talking about buying inexpensive sweet potatoes in the produce department and baking, roasting or steaming them. You should make them for your baby and replace some of the commercial chemical filled baby foods if that's what you are using.

And yes, you need amino acids. Plants are full of them. But I have some animal sources throughout the day as well.

Edited by alternativista

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And all the things Corgi and I have been telling you about diet and inflammation are at the root of your clogged pores

I've read that some people don't naturally exfoliate skin cells like other people and their pores clog more easily? I would think if bacteria gets trapped in a pore... that's obviously a bad thing. How does diet affect exfoliation of skin cells? Also.... Why just skin on your face or upper back? And... it seems that people with acne usually have super oily skin. No? I've tried glycolic acid which seems to really help prevent cysts for me.... and I assume it's because it gets rid of the skin cells which would otherwise block a few pores???

Edited by Rachelx7

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And all the things Corgi and I have been telling you about diet and inflammation are at the root of your clogged pores

I've read that some people don't naturally exfoliate skin cells like other people and their pores clog more easily? I would think if bacteria gets trapped in a pore... that's obviously a bad thing. How does diet affect exfoliation of skin cells? Also.... Why just skin on your face? And... it seems that people with acne usually have super oily skin. No? I've tried glycolic acid which seems to really help prevent cysts for me.... and I assume it's because it gets rid of the skin cells which would otherwise block a few pores???

Sure, topicals can help with that. I guess it's a matter of whether or not you'd feel more comfortable a) finding out which foods your body (and tastebuds, apparently) like and controlling how your skin looks that way or b) playing a constant guessing game with different skin products (I don't know about you, I got tired of that after 7 years).

But using some topicals are okay. It's better to let your skin restore its own pH level by rinsing with only water for the most part, or oil-cleansing. If you feel like buying a nice cleanser/toner/moisturizer/sunscreen/spot treatment then by all means do it if that's what feels good. I've found that TCA peels are the only thing that make my hyperpigmentation noticeably lighter.

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