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aliengirl

Organic "green" Diet And Cystic Acne

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Hi everybody...

I'm new here, though I have browsed the site and the forums over the years... Recently feeling pretty lost again about my acne, and finally decided to join the discussion in the forums...

I live in the Japanese countryside and eat a diet consisting of fruits and vegetables only (locally farmed and organic - I often receive fruits and vegetables as gifts from my generous neighbours who keep their own veggie gardens!). I make green juices and smoothies during the day, and in the evenings I eat cooked veggie stews seasoned with herbs and spices (garlic, onions, parsley, chili powder, paprika, generally no added salt although I do have some sea salt in my pantry, mostly unused).

Previously I consumed pretty much everything - meats, fish, processed food, a LOT of sugar, etc... for years. I kept telling myself I was too busy to be bothered with cooking or buying groceries and so I just ate out a lot or bought microwavable meals. At that time I managed my acne with Dan's Regimen, and it kept me mostly clear although it didn't stop the cysts around my mouth at around "that time of the month". So the diet change was pretty radical for me (especially the sugar, I never imagined I would be able to do it, but I actually managed to cut out the sugar - as in the white processed stuff, and to be honest don't miss it much).

I stopped using Benzoyl Peroxide because basically I ran out. I used to live in Hong Kong where I could get BP in the product called Oxy (a cream). It worked reasonably well, combined with mild Cetaphil face wash. Since moving to Japan I discovered that BP is actually banned in acne topical products here. Why? I don't know. But I went hunting for it one day and was told by the pharmacy that you basically cannot get BP acne products in this country.

ANYWAY.... In the beginning, I didn't notice much change in my skin after changing my diet (I experimented a bit, Paleo, fruitarian, and now plant-based with an emphasis on veggies). But over the past 2 weeks or so, my skin has been breaking out like CRAZY, mostly around my chin/jaw/neck area, but also around my temples and cheeks near my nose/mouth region, and cheeks around the hairline. The breakouts include nodules, cysts and non-inflamed but clogged pores (often when I wash my face the gunk just "comes out" on its own). I was hoping that the juicing and blending would help to control the oiliness of my skin but there hasn't been a significant difference, and in the meantime the acne is inflamed, burning, itchy, and RED. Makeup only goes so far to hide it (and I need it to hide the acne for when I go to work)

I am willing to accept that for a holistic or diet-based approach to healing acne, the time required would be months (or even years - I often read about people taking a year or more to heal their cystic acne purely through lifestyle changes), but when the skin is so itchy and inflamed and looks like it is being destroyed or eaten alive with acne, it can get hard to stay positive - I'm sure many people on these boards understand what it feels like to be up at 3 am and despairing over one's skin (It's 3:04 am here in Japan...)

I'm resisting going to an endocrinologist or another dermatologist or doctor about my acne, because I've tried the pills and the topicals before and I just hated myself for the dependence and feeling "chained" to those things, all the while with the nagging fear of potential side effects.

Just a little about where I am coming from... for anybody who is willing or able to offer any insight or (gentle) help...

In my teens, I had acne on my forehead and temples, they started out as white bumps but gradually got more and more inflamed and itchy. Needless to say it was very distressing. Finally, after having no success with topicals or oral antibiotics, I went on Accutane and it cleared my skin. For some reason, at that time the acne didn't affect my cheeks or chin or lower part of the face at all, although I would occasionally get pimples on my nose. Accutane cleared up my skin pretty much immediately, fortunately with no noticeable side effects other than dry lips (only my lips were affected, so I carried chapstick with me always). However, for some strange reason my dermatologist didn't really tell me to stop the treatment - eventually I just stopped seeing him despite him booking me the follow up appointments, because my skin had become clear anyway.

After I stopped Accutane, my skin was clear for a while (I can't remember for how long... several months I think?), but then it broke out again, and with a vengeance. Before it got too bad, I decided to go back to the dermatologist and he put me right back on Accutane. Again, the dermatologist never stopped the prescriptions and out of fear of the acne coming back, I just kept taking the drug - I think I was actually on it for over a year!! Then I realized that the typical round of Accutane is 6 months, so I asked the dermatologist if it was really ok for me to be on such a potent drug long-term. And his response was rather disturbing, he said that since I wasn't suffering side effects and I wasn't at risk of pregnancy, it should be no problem.

Well, long story short I eventually grew to hate my dependence on the drug and I voluntarily stopped taking the drug, even though yes, it brought the acne right back. Shortly after that I heard that Accutane had been taken off the market in America (and I didn't know what to make of that to be honest, considering that I had been on it myself pretty long-term)... Fortunately as I said, personally I haven't seemed to have suffered any long term adverse side effects.

So... the acne came back and as I grew older, I started to develop the type of acne around the mouth area around the time of my period. But it was always usually one or two large cysts, and I was more concerned with the acne covering my forehead, temples and nose. I also started to get acne at the back of my neck (hairline), but as they weren't visible I just tried to ignore it as best as I could. I just tried to keep my skin clean and ignore the problem. The acne then spread to my back, and it was very bad - so painful that I would cry at night just from the physical pain of it.

My sister finally recommended the Regimen, which she swore by. She emphasized that you had to be diligent, and to prepare some white shirts to wear just because of the bleaching issue. My sister always had beautiful skin, but during her 20s she did break out a little (nowhere near to the extent I did and still do, though). So I tried the Regimen, but I wasn't diligent, and I was annoyed by the staining/bleaching of clothes. Also, I guess I felt that since the acne on my back was hidden by clothing, it didn't matter as much as my face which I had to present to clients/colleagues during the day.

For some reason, the acne on my back cleared up eventually (although it seemed to take forever as I still remember there was a significant period in my life where I was wincing in pain from the bleeding, painful cysts on my back and shoulders and back of my neck). And, I never figured out why it cleared up - I didn't really notice the healing process, it was just one day I realized the pain was gone and I was left with scars only. But, my face was still breaking out, and getting worse. So, after encouragement from my sister, I decided to give the Regimen a serious go, and to be diligent about it. And like I said, it worked, for the most part. My skin wasn't perfect but the acne was under control, save for the annoying cysts around my period.

Fast forward to now, where my face is exploding with cysts, nodules, papules and pustules (yuck)... Itchiness, inflammation, bleeding and all of the despair and aggravation that comes with the condition. I really don't want to go back on Oxy (and besides, like I said it is not conveniently available where I live - I would have to order it and have it shipped to me) and especially not Accutane (I've already been on 2 rounds and yes, I know it works, but I just don't want to put myself through that again, especially after hearing that it was basically banned in the US).

When I was on Oxy, my skin wasn't 100% perfect but now looking back at photos from early 2014/ late 2013, it really was so much better than it is now. \

Although I'm not seeing the improvements I'd like in my skin, I've noticed other health benefits to my diet, so I intend to stick to it, but it is depressing to see my skin as damaged as it is now. I don't want my colleagues or my boyfriend to see it without makeup on (even though in some ways the makeup makes it look desperate!!), it really is just horrendous. I know it's not the most severe case of acne, but it is pretty painful and emotionally aggravating.

Re: general health though... there is something I've noticed, of which I'm not sure what to think... Since changing to a plants-and-fruits only diet, my digestion has improved a million times, for which I'm glad. Sorry if this is TMI, but I never realized I constipated I was until my digestion improved!! Also, I used to suffer terrible, TERRIBLE period cramps (I fainted a number of times from the nauseating pain and was taken to the hospital for the same reason as well - embarrassing because basically there is nothing the doctor can really do for you and the medical staff who take you to the hospital look at you funny when you come around!!)

Here's the strange part... my period got lighter since changing the way I eat, and became painless. No problem there, I was happy about that. But this month, I haven't had my period (I'm usually very regular, with the exception of a period in my life where I was extremely stressed due to work). It's like it's just vanished. I did some googling and read that it is common for people going vegan to lose their periods for a time. I really don't know what to think because, other than the acne, I feel in good health, in fact in better health than before. It is just that the skin isn't reflecting that.

I don't think I have any deficiency in calcium or protein, since I eat plenty of dark leafy greens... I know I should probably go and get a blood test, but I just feel weird about this because I feel fine, it's just that the period vanished and the acne is seriously awful. I don't know if I should wait and see and just feel it out, or go to get a blood test right away.

Also, I don't think acne is caused by my makeup or surface irritation, because I take care to buy non-comedogenic, and also, more noticeably... the acne doesn't affect my forehead so much anymore like it used to - and I use makeup for all areas of my face. Nor does it affect my back or shoulders anymore like it used to, and I hadn't particularly changed anything that I did in terms of 'bacne'. I'm pretty sure that this acne is some symptom of internal imbalance, but at the same time I feel like I'm stabbing in the dark because "imbalance" could mean anything, and it could even be more than one thing...

I just sort of rambled on here but I guess I just needed to distract myself and vent a little. Thanks for reading if you made it to the end... If you are suffering from acne too, then my heart goes out to you, I really wouldn't wish acne on anyone, it is just so confusing and energy-draining.... I try to live day-to-day positively but whenever I look into a mirror or feel the pain, even just from smiling. It just is a constant reminder that I have this condition and might possibly have it for the rest of my life. I guess I just don't want to accept that and I want to believe there is something I can do, which is perhaps making my aggravation at myself worse. \

I guess I'll update here from time to time if I notice any significant changes, and I'm currently keeping a record of skin changes by taking photos which I upload to my gallery here. Better stop here for now or I'll never stop...! Thanks again for reading and I'm really glad there is this forum here where we can vent.... Oh look, now it's 3:54 am... I'd better go to sleep!!

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Hi everybody...

I'm new here, though I have browsed the site and the forums over the years... Recently feeling pretty lost again about my acne, and finally decided to join the discussion in the forums...

I live in the Japanese countryside and eat a diet consisting of fruits and vegetables only (locally farmed and organic - I often receive fruits and vegetables as gifts from my generous neighbours who keep their own veggie gardens!). I make green juices and smoothies during the day, and in the evenings I eat cooked veggie stews seasoned with herbs and spices (garlic, onions, parsley, chili powder, paprika, generally no added salt although I do have some sea salt in my pantry, mostly unused).

Previously I consumed pretty much everything - meats, fish, processed food, a LOT of sugar, etc... for years. I kept telling myself I was too busy to be bothered with cooking or buying groceries and so I just ate out a lot or bought microwavable meals. At that time I managed my acne with Dan's Regimen, and it kept me mostly clear although it didn't stop the cysts around my mouth at around "that time of the month". So the diet change was pretty radical for me (especially the sugar, I never imagined I would be able to do it, but I actually managed to cut out the sugar - as in the white processed stuff, and to be honest don't miss it much).

I stopped using Benzoyl Peroxide because basically I ran out. I used to live in Hong Kong where I could get BP in the product called Oxy (a cream). It worked reasonably well, combined with mild Cetaphil face wash. Since moving to Japan I discovered that BP is actually banned in acne topical products here. Why? I don't know. But I went hunting for it one day and was told by the pharmacy that you basically cannot get BP acne products in this country.

ANYWAY.... In the beginning, I didn't notice much change in my skin after changing my diet (I experimented a bit, Paleo, fruitarian, and now plant-based with an emphasis on veggies). But over the past 2 weeks or so, my skin has been breaking out like CRAZY, mostly around my chin/jaw/neck area, but also around my temples and cheeks near my nose/mouth region, and cheeks around the hairline. The breakouts include nodules, cysts and non-inflamed but clogged pores (often when I wash my face the gunk just "comes out" on its own). I was hoping that the juicing and blending would help to control the oiliness of my skin but there hasn't been a significant difference, and in the meantime the acne is inflamed, burning, itchy, and RED. Makeup only goes so far to hide it (and I need it to hide the acne for when I go to work)

I am willing to accept that for a holistic or diet-based approach to healing acne, the time required would be months (or even years - I often read about people taking a year or more to heal their cystic acne purely through lifestyle changes), but when the skin is so itchy and inflamed and looks like it is being destroyed or eaten alive with acne, it can get hard to stay positive - I'm sure many people on these boards understand what it feels like to be up at 3 am and despairing over one's skin (It's 3:04 am here in Japan...)

I'm resisting going to an endocrinologist or another dermatologist or doctor about my acne, because I've tried the pills and the topicals before and I just hated myself for the dependence and feeling "chained" to those things, all the while with the nagging fear of potential side effects.

Just a little about where I am coming from... for anybody who is willing or able to offer any insight or (gentle) help...

In my teens, I had acne on my forehead and temples, they started out as white bumps but gradually got more and more inflamed and itchy. Needless to say it was very distressing. Finally, after having no success with topicals or oral antibiotics, I went on Accutane and it cleared my skin. For some reason, at that time the acne didn't affect my cheeks or chin or lower part of the face at all, although I would occasionally get pimples on my nose. Accutane cleared up my skin pretty much immediately, fortunately with no noticeable side effects other than dry lips (only my lips were affected, so I carried chapstick with me always). However, for some strange reason my dermatologist didn't really tell me to stop the treatment - eventually I just stopped seeing him despite him booking me the follow up appointments, because my skin had become clear anyway.

After I stopped Accutane, my skin was clear for a while (I can't remember for how long... several months I think?), but then it broke out again, and with a vengeance. Before it got too bad, I decided to go back to the dermatologist and he put me right back on Accutane. Again, the dermatologist never stopped the prescriptions and out of fear of the acne coming back, I just kept taking the drug - I think I was actually on it for over a year!! Then I realized that the typical round of Accutane is 6 months, so I asked the dermatologist if it was really ok for me to be on such a potent drug long-term. And his response was rather disturbing, he said that since I wasn't suffering side effects and I wasn't at risk of pregnancy, it should be no problem.

Well, long story short I eventually grew to hate my dependence on the drug and I voluntarily stopped taking the drug, even though yes, it brought the acne right back. Shortly after that I heard that Accutane had been taken off the market in America (and I didn't know what to make of that to be honest, considering that I had been on it myself pretty long-term)... Fortunately as I said, personally I haven't seemed to have suffered any long term adverse side effects.

So... the acne came back and as I grew older, I started to develop the type of acne around the mouth area around the time of my period. But it was always usually one or two large cysts, and I was more concerned with the acne covering my forehead, temples and nose. I also started to get acne at the back of my neck (hairline), but as they weren't visible I just tried to ignore it as best as I could. I just tried to keep my skin clean and ignore the problem. The acne then spread to my back, and it was very bad - so painful that I would cry at night just from the physical pain of it.

My sister finally recommended the Regimen, which she swore by. She emphasized that you had to be diligent, and to prepare some white shirts to wear just because of the bleaching issue. My sister always had beautiful skin, but during her 20s she did break out a little (nowhere near to the extent I did and still do, though). So I tried the Regimen, but I wasn't diligent, and I was annoyed by the staining/bleaching of clothes. Also, I guess I felt that since the acne on my back was hidden by clothing, it didn't matter as much as my face which I had to present to clients/colleagues during the day.

For some reason, the acne on my back cleared up eventually (although it seemed to take forever as I still remember there was a significant period in my life where I was wincing in pain from the bleeding, painful cysts on my back and shoulders and back of my neck). And, I never figured out why it cleared up - I didn't really notice the healing process, it was just one day I realized the pain was gone and I was left with scars only. But, my face was still breaking out, and getting worse. So, after encouragement from my sister, I decided to give the Regimen a serious go, and to be diligent about it. And like I said, it worked, for the most part. My skin wasn't perfect but the acne was under control, save for the annoying cysts around my period.

Fast forward to now, where my face is exploding with cysts, nodules, papules and pustules (yuck)... Itchiness, inflammation, bleeding and all of the despair and aggravation that comes with the condition. I really don't want to go back on Oxy (and besides, like I said it is not conveniently available where I live - I would have to order it and have it shipped to me) and especially not Accutane (I've already been on 2 rounds and yes, I know it works, but I just don't want to put myself through that again, especially after hearing that it was basically banned in the US).

When I was on Oxy, my skin wasn't 100% perfect but now looking back at photos from early 2014/ late 2013, it really was so much better than it is now. \

Although I'm not seeing the improvements I'd like in my skin, I've noticed other health benefits to my diet, so I intend to stick to it, but it is depressing to see my skin as damaged as it is now. I don't want my colleagues or my boyfriend to see it without makeup on (even though in some ways the makeup makes it look desperate!!), it really is just horrendous. I know it's not the most severe case of acne, but it is pretty painful and emotionally aggravating.

Re: general health though... there is something I've noticed, of which I'm not sure what to think... Since changing to a plants-and-fruits only diet, my digestion has improved a million times, for which I'm glad. Sorry if this is TMI, but I never realized I constipated I was until my digestion improved!! Also, I used to suffer terrible, TERRIBLE period cramps (I fainted a number of times from the nauseating pain and was taken to the hospital for the same reason as well - embarrassing because basically there is nothing the doctor can really do for you and the medical staff who take you to the hospital look at you funny when you come around!!)

Here's the strange part... my period got lighter since changing the way I eat, and became painless. No problem there, I was happy about that. But this month, I haven't had my period (I'm usually very regular, with the exception of a period in my life where I was extremely stressed due to work). It's like it's just vanished. I did some googling and read that it is common for people going vegan to lose their periods for a time. I really don't know what to think because, other than the acne, I feel in good health, in fact in better health than before. It is just that the skin isn't reflecting that.

I don't think I have any deficiency in calcium or protein, since I eat plenty of dark leafy greens... I know I should probably go and get a blood test, but I just feel weird about this because I feel fine, it's just that the period vanished and the acne is seriously awful. I don't know if I should wait and see and just feel it out, or go to get a blood test right away.

Also, I don't think acne is caused by my makeup or surface irritation, because I take care to buy non-comedogenic, and also, more noticeably... the acne doesn't affect my forehead so much anymore like it used to - and I use makeup for all areas of my face. Nor does it affect my back or shoulders anymore like it used to, and I hadn't particularly changed anything that I did in terms of 'bacne'. I'm pretty sure that this acne is some symptom of internal imbalance, but at the same time I feel like I'm stabbing in the dark because "imbalance" could mean anything, and it could even be more than one thing...

I just sort of rambled on here but I guess I just needed to distract myself and vent a little. Thanks for reading if you made it to the end... If you are suffering from acne too, then my heart goes out to you, I really wouldn't wish acne on anyone, it is just so confusing and energy-draining.... I try to live day-to-day positively but whenever I look into a mirror or feel the pain, even just from smiling. It just is a constant reminder that I have this condition and might possibly have it for the rest of my life. I guess I just don't want to accept that and I want to believe there is something I can do, which is perhaps making my aggravation at myself worse. \

I guess I'll update here from time to time if I notice any significant changes, and I'm currently keeping a record of skin changes by taking photos which I upload to my gallery here. Better stop here for now or I'll never stop...! Thanks again for reading and I'm really glad there is this forum here where we can vent.... Oh look, now it's 3:54 am... I'd better go to sleep!!

I applaud you for going the natural route. I've tried it many times over and not once has it helped. My heart goes out to you. We have similar stories with BP as i quit the regimen in May due to eczema and my acne has exploded since then. It is indeed very distressing, especially since i don't wear makeup. I think your derm misused accutane for sure and its great that you're trying other routes. Have you thought of Spiro or other hormonal means. Sometimes unfortunately diet cannot cure acne and the scars that are formed as a result can't be gotten rid of. I agree that with most things, there is probably an internal component. Hoping you get some relief soon.

Keep us posted

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Are you consuming higher sugar fruit juices than apple?

If your period is irregular, you could be magnesium deficient.

But if this just a menstrual issue, BCP (you can take them right through the blank days and never menstruate) or Spiranolactone.

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Has your acne always been itchy? Are you sure it's all acne? Consider intolerance/allergy. What have you increased?

And just because it's normal for vegans to stop menstruating doesn't mean it's a good thing. There are those (paleo guru for example) that say it's because you aren't getting enough of vital nutrients, so you stop ovulating. Although I am positive a light period is a good thing. It just doesn't make any sense for us to hemorhage a ton of blood every month. My period always had be pretty light, and got even lighter with improved diet.

It is common for acne to begin on the forehead, especially in the teen years.

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I applaud you for going the natural route. I've tried it many times over and not once has it helped. My heart goes out to you. We have similar stories with BP as i quit the regimen in May due to eczema and my acne has exploded since then. It is indeed very distressing, especially since i don't wear makeup. I think your derm misused accutane for sure and its great that you're trying other routes. Have you thought of Spiro or other hormonal means. Sometimes unfortunately diet cannot cure acne and the scars that are formed as a result can't be gotten rid of. I agree that with most things, there is probably an internal component. Hoping you get some relief soon.

Keep us posted

Thanks for your kind words. Yeah, I'm really not sure that diet will help for my acne, but in any case, the diet has improved my digestion so much, so I'm really happy about that... I was happy about the lighter periods too but now confused because the period is gone haha...

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Few doctors know anything about nutrition and have an idiotic belief it has little impact. Think about it a moment. How can you possibly believe what and how you eat doesn't affect everything happening in your body?

Anyway, there have been numerous researchers and numerous studies demonstrating the many ways diet and specific nutrients affect the mechanisms involved in acne formation. Including researchers testing specific diets on acne sufferers finding that the diet did improve acne.

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I think you are correct when you say you need to visit a holistic doctor. I don't think the prescription meds that you've been prescribed for so long has done any favors for your body toxicity levels, and I believe you need an intervention. If your holistic doctor can perform a blood test it would be great to find out which nutrients you are deficient in and then you can be sure to consume those foods that will provide your body with the required nutrients, and simultaneously cut out the foods that are raising your toxicity level. In my opinion the non-availabilty of BP is a blessing in disguise, while it maybe hard to accept, you need to cut out all these harsh chemicals you're applying to your face. Bacteria on your skin is not the sole cause of your acne, many types of bacteria are beneficial to your skin and killing them all only makes room for the bad strains of bacteria to survive on your skin.

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Few doctors know anything about nutrition and have an idiotic belief it has little impact. Think about it a moment. How can you possibly believe what and how you eat doesn't affect everything happening in your body?

Anyway, there have been numerous researchers and numerous studies demonstrating the many ways diet and specific nutrients affect the mechanisms involved in acne formation. Including researchers testing specific diets on acne sufferers finding that the diet did improve acne.

Thanks, yes, I am going through trial and error I guess... There are so many conflicting views and studies with conflicting conclusions out there... Maybe they're all right and it's just that everybody is different and has different sensitivities. I really don't know anymore... :( But I do believe that diet and lifestyle has some connection because there seem to be a lot more acne sufferers than there were in the past. I don't know, maybe I just didn't notice it but it seems to be the case. Even in rural Japan, I mean, it seems to be a lot more common now than I would have thought (for people to have acne).

I think you are correct when you say you need to visit a holistic doctor. I don't think the prescription meds that you've been prescribed for so long has done any favors for your body toxicity levels, and I believe you need an intervention. If your holistic doctor can perform a blood test it would be great to find out which nutrients you are deficient in and then you can be sure to consume those foods that will provide your body with the required nutrients, and simultaneously cut out the foods that are raising your toxicity level. In my opinion the non-availabilty of BP is a blessing in disguise, while it maybe hard to accept, you need to cut out all these harsh chemicals you're applying to your face. Bacteria on your skin is not the sole cause of your acne, many types of bacteria are beneficial to your skin and killing them all only makes room for the bad strains of bacteria to survive on your skin.

Thanks for your comment, yes I will keep asking around for a good doctor that works holistically. Unfortunately I'm kind of stubborn after my experiences with doctors in the past, and now I'm resisting going to another doctor. Especially after this last one!

Just as a quick update... Like I said I didn't take the progesterone pills (Duphaston/dydrogesterone), but I did finally get my period and it was very late... normally my cycle is 20-something days. Usually less than 28 days. This time it was 41 days. It was slightly painful but not overly painful... Flow was not too heavy, but it wasn't exactly light either. And there was a little bit of spotting before. I don't know what that means but anyway. I am relieved to have my period!

Re: diet... I've been experimenting over the last few months and so there hasn't been enough consistency but one thing I have managed to stick to for the past 2 months is that I managed to stick to plant based diet. I guess I need to give the low-GI thing I serious try. Which makes me sad because I really like bananas and potatoes!! -_-

For any of you out there that cleared your skin up through diet... Just wondering, what was the process like...? I mean if it took 3 months, or 1 year, or however long, was the improvement slow and gradual or did it come in bursts of 2 steps forward, 1 step back, or... was it long period of no improvement and then suddenly clear? It just doesn't seem like there is any improvement for me. The acne is just spreading and leaving scars wherever it goes. I just try to tell myself it is not a life threatening thing etc. But still, it is something I'd rather do without!!

At the moment the entire lower portion of my face feels like it is being destroyed or eaten away inside out... The lumps on the chin and jaw just feel like my lower face could quite possibly just be full of pus! So painful and itchy, not to mention disfiguring. I just don't understand how my skin could be so bad when I am eating nothing but fruits and veggies. (supplementing with Saw Palmetto at the moment) :( Also I didn't notice much improvement of my skin during my period, the acne is now constant regardless of my cycle (new cysts, nodules, papules, pustules - every day). And it is so terribly inflamed and red, it looks as bad as when I had to be put on Accutane, only this time it is on the lower part of my face (only a few pimples on my forehead although there are many clogged pores).

So frustrating!! Thanks again for your replies and really appreciate you taking the time to read this!!

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Hi

I will answer your last question.

After I changed my diet, I was very strict the first few months no sugar at all, no dairy and low GI meals. Sleep cycle and stress are very important for me. I started going to bed at 10 and waking up at around 6 am. I would say I had 80-90% improvement in the first 3 months. PLus my digestion improved alot. My acne was very managable and I did not feel like I cant see people without make up. No cystic acne as soon as I discovered my intolerances towards citrus and eggs. I still breakout once in a while if I cheat (conventional dairy- while eating out-being indian a lot of food cooked in my friends and family's homes is made in ghee/butter/yogurt or desserts).

There are times when I am absolutely clear for 2-3 weeks and breakout a little around my period. May be 1 or 2 acne, but it is so much better. I also wax facial hair, as I am brown skinned with dark hair which is visible, and may get few tiny bumps a few days after waxing. I had acne which was bad enough, that the only derm I saw in the US prescribed me antibiotics and told me if there is no improvement in the next 2 months he would start me on accutane.

It has been around 15 months since I started the holistic path and other than acne I feel this lifestyle has helped me be more energetic and efficient at work, home and people say I look much happier. I still make baby steps towards improving my life daily, like doing yoga, (started in the last few months) and try to eat healthier, by beeing innovative with new recipes. I would say I am clear 95% of the times. The last stretch seems a little difficult but I am learning to deal and not fret about it. Like alternativista told me only we are so critical about our own acne. Noone else notices it as much.

I love bananas and though I dont eat them alone, they are amazing in green smoothies(low GI). And I may add a small potato to a vegetable soup, but make sure you are eating a salad or lots of veggies with it. Give those a shot.:)

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Few doctors know anything about nutrition and have an idiotic belief it has little impact. Think about it a moment. How can you possibly believe what and how you eat doesn't affect everything happening in your body?

Anyway, there have been numerous researchers and numerous studies demonstrating the many ways diet and specific nutrients affect the mechanisms involved in acne formation. Including researchers testing specific diets on acne sufferers finding that the diet did improve acne.

Thanks, yes, I am going through trial and error I guess... There are so many conflicting views and studies with conflicting conclusions out there... Maybe they're all right and it's just that everybody is different and has different sensitivities. I really don't know anymore... But I do believe that diet and lifestyle has some connection because there seem to be a lot more acne sufferers than there were in the past. I don't know, maybe I just didn't notice it but it seems to be the case. Even in rural Japan, I mean, it seems to be a lot more common now than I would have thought (for people to have acne).

Every one is different and do have different sensitivities. But no, they are not all right. Anyone who thinks what you do to yourself, especially diet, has no impact on everything to do with your health is wrong.

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Every one is different and do have different sensitivities. But no, they are not all right. Anyone who thinks what you do to yourself, especially diet, has no impact on everything to do with your health is wrong.

I agree with you so much on this! I guess I just mean that maybe for those who say diet doesn't affect them... it is true for them that diet just isn't an acne trigger for them so they are not wrong in that sense. But yeah, making generalisations for all other people is wrong for sure! Thanks so much for sharing so many useful links and articles, I still haven't read all of them and there is so much content here in the forums!

Hi

I will answer your last question.

After I changed my diet, I was very strict the first few months no sugar at all, no dairy and low GI meals. Sleep cycle and stress are very important for me. I started going to bed at 10 and waking up at around 6 am. I would say I had 80-90% improvement in the first 3 months. PLus my digestion improved alot. My acne was very managable and I did not feel like I cant see people without make up. No cystic acne as soon as I discovered my intolerances towards citrus and eggs. I still breakout once in a while if I cheat (conventional dairy- while eating out-being indian a lot of food cooked in my friends and family's homes is made in ghee/butter/yogurt or desserts).

There are times when I am absolutely clear for 2-3 weeks and breakout a little around my period. May be 1 or 2 acne, but it is so much better. I also wax facial hair, as I am brown skinned with dark hair which is visible, and may get few tiny bumps a few days after waxing. I had acne which was bad enough, that the only derm I saw in the US prescribed me antibiotics and told me if there is no improvement in the next 2 months he would start me on accutane.

It has been around 15 months since I started the holistic path and other than acne I feel this lifestyle has helped me be more energetic and efficient at work, home and people say I look much happier. I still make baby steps towards improving my life daily, like doing yoga, (started in the last few months) and try to eat healthier, by beeing innovative with new recipes. I would say I am clear 95% of the times. The last stretch seems a little difficult but I am learning to deal and not fret about it. Like alternativista told me only we are so critical about our own acne. Noone else notices it as much.

I love bananas and though I dont eat them alone, they are amazing in green smoothies(low GI). And I may add a small potato to a vegetable soup, but make sure you are eating a salad or lots of veggies with it. Give those a shot.

Thanks so much for your comment! Actually come to think of it I often have bananas in a green smoothie (spinach, parsley)... and I never eat potatoes alone, I usually make them with a lot of veggies (e.g. cabbage, spinach, broccoli, daikon radish, onion, bell peppers - always local and organic) in a stew spiced with chili powder and paprika... But I think the problem for me is that it is not GI because I eat a lot!! I'm not worried about my weight and so I just eat to my heart's content. Which is a lot haha. So even if the foods I eat are healthy I guess I have to manage portions more strictly...!! Thanks so much for the tip!!!!!

Unfortunately my work is busiest in the afternoon and evenings and so I usually get to bed rather late... :( I tried to change that over the past few days but it is going to have to be much longer term, I can see that now...! Acne is in clusters these days, they don't come in ones but in twos, threes, even fives and climbing down my neck... It really looks and feels ridiculous. :( I so envy you for feeling you could see people without makeup! I won't leave the house without makeup and sometimes I wear makeup even at home because I have to deal with people over Skype and the acne is so bad it shows.

Low GI and regular quality sleep!! Also I am planning to get proper bloodwork done although I'm not too hopeful about getting the kind of holistic practitioner out here that I would like... Anyway it's a start I guess.

Really appreciate all your input!

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Hey aliengirl!

I read this whole thread and I can relate to you so much it's scary, down to my mother and sister having lovely skin (with my sister breaking out a bit in her 20s) and father having skin issues. Guess who I take after... I also looked at your gallery and I too have that stubborn OILY Asian skin complete with giant pores, papules, and itchy red pustules concentrated on my chin, jawline, and cheeks. (Leelowe can attest to this...heh.)

My Epiduo kept me about 85-95% clear even if I didn't have the best diet. Uni student=lots of refined foods. However, I had to quit cold turkey because I was afraid the retinoid in it was making my meibomian gland dysfunction terrible. It's been a couple months since then and my skin just got worse.

I too have sworn off the dermatologists, as all mine have just sent me away with a cream or antibiotic after 5 minutes. It's true, they really are condescending, and irresponsible with those drugs! The antibiotics made everything 5x worse when I stopped them, which is probably why I have food sensitivities now.

So, I decided to try a naturopathic doctor and she put me on an anti inflammatory diet. I can't eat things like corn or tomatoes, along with the usual suspects like gluten, dairy, soy, sugar, red meat, etc. She also started me off with a tincture containing vitex/chasteberry and red clover to naturally raise my progesterone and balance hormones, to answer your question about that. It also has liver detoxifying herbs, which might be something to consider if you took all that accutane? I've always been scared to try saw palmetto so I decided myself to try spearmint tea everyday. I've only been on this diet for about 3weeks but I'd be happy to keep you updated if you do the same!

Sorry for the long post!!! I just wanted to give you some background about my skin :)

Edited by SquirrelMonkey

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Hi aliengirl,

Do you have any other problems besides acne? Thyroid issues, allergies, recurrent aches...

Please read my post, you might find something useful there.

Good luck.

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... my skin has been breaking out like CRAZY, mostly around my chin/jaw/neck area, but also around my temples and cheeks near my nose/mouth region, and cheeks around the hairline. The breakouts include nodules, cysts and non-inflamed but clogged pores (often when I wash my face the gunk just "comes out" on its own

FYI, this is how my cystic acne used to be before I figured out it was due to an intolerance to citrus. And it seems like different citrus caused me to break out in different places. For example, i quit most citrus except lemons and limes for years during which time my skin was mostly free of cysts/nodules except I usually had at least one coming or going (you know how long that takes) on my neck or jawline, and a few on my back and/or butt. Later I figured out that while I could have lemons & persian limes, key/Mexican limes were the culprit for the neck/jaw cysts. Then I tried having a tangerine for the first time in years and cyst formed on my temple the next day. And now I;m thinking that lemons and Persian limes may cause a milder response and the reason I get the occasional cyst on my backside.

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You can help your skin produce retinoids the way it's supposed to btw. Stop interferring with it's function with cleansers and creams containing emulsifiers. And harsh anti-bacterials like BP. Try to avoid chlorine.

A low glycemic diet will help improve sebum quality. As will topical use of a high linoleic acid oil.

More info:

See also my blog post http://dietforclearskin.blogspot.com/2013/12/brad-pitt-has-stopped-using-soap.html (in which I tried a stabloidy title to see if it lured more people to the site)

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