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Feel like I've tried almost everything

It doesn't matter if I eat gluten free, dairy free, plant based, or eat low fat... Whatever. There is no significant change when I cut these foods for a couple of months and when I introduce them back to my diet. It doesn't matter if I eat dark leafy greens and lots of carrots and pumpkin seeds. Eating turmeric with black pepper doesn't help much either. I believe mainly that acne can be treated with food, but I don't know anything anymore. I started using powder foundation instead of liquid, and invested in a better facial cleanser and some witch hazel. That improved my skin a little bit, reducing my "at least 20 pimples at the same time on the face" to about 5. That was last fall, but now after christmas the breakouts are coming back. I don't know what I'm doing wrong or right. I also feel like it's difficult to exclude stuff from my diet since I've been underweight since I was a teen (I'm 23, soon 24, and had acne since I was 20). I wanna eat as healthy as possible, which I do. But that usually means less calories so cutting out stuff isn't so easy because I feel like I need grains, gluten free or not, just to not lose too much weight. I don't know if I have an intolerance, and honestly I don't know how to even explore what intolerance I could possibly have. I've tried eliminating cinnamon and cocoa. I've also tried various of herbal teas such as peppermint and spearmint, dandelion, chamomile, green tea, matcha etc. A few years ago I tried eliminating night shades and spinach. Even citrus fruit. When I was in HS I used to eat a lot of gluten and grains too, but my skin was super clear. I just wish I could find out the cause one and for all!

I don't even know anymore if my acne is hormonal, or if it's caused by inflammation or whatever it could possibly be. Any tips?

Edited by ClearSkinPLS95

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You're right in that diet can control acne - to an extent.


But, I will tell you that having fought this battle for over 12 years now and devoted more brain power than I'd like to admit, I've finally come to my senses. In all likelihood, acne is exactly what it appears to be - an infection. That the infection on the skin is only secondary to an infection of the gut. Which is why foods irritate acne - you're feeding the infection. Perhaps some substrates i.e. foods are more growth-promoting for it.


You might see people say stuff like "I did x and y and drank a shit ton of alcohol and I got really clear". For one thing, ethanol is antimicrobial. Ethanol alcohol damages cell membranes, which is one reason why yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the standard yeast for brewing and chosen for its relatively high ethanol tolerance) can only tolerate it's own alcohol by-product of sugar consumption up to about 14% before they die off. So what they're witnessing is probably a temporary "killing" effect.


I mean, we talk of vitamin b5, epigenetics, all this crazy shit. I'm so over that. I'm convinced we're all just reading too much into it. Really, we take antibiotics for this. What bigger clue do we need.


I recently heard someone say "the simplest explanation is the most likely to be true". That got me thinking.


Some people eat all sorts of shit and have no signs of the condition at all. Hell, I used to be the same way. To me, that says they don't have the infection. It's like without acne you can do anything and nothing will give you acne. And then once you have it it's like nothing you do can get rid of acne. You can't tell me that people do X, Y, Z, everything under the sun and still can't rid themselves of this? That doesn't sit right with me.


Here's a clue: some people say that among all their siblings who were breast fed they all have clear skin but the one who wasn't has acne. Why? Because non-breast fed infants are more prone to infection. But infection by what is anyone's guess. And that's challenging to figure out with microbial life. Only DNA sequencing can really provide a definitive answer.


While I tend to think that it is a bacterial species, it may even be a fungus or something else. Fungi are generally poisonous. And it would seem that some sort of toxin is probably responsible for acne in the same way that Clostridium botulinum produces the toxin that causes botulism.


As if life ain't hard enough, then you got these dumb ass bacteria producing toxins and shit. That's some bullshit, man. The D.A.R.E program will never work, haha. You grow up with the idea that there's a santa claus around every corner. Then when you get older you realize those are bars. If anything really prepares you for life, it's your Liver.


All that said, the microbe that causes acne probably is a normal resident of the microbiota whatever it is. Because sometimes people who normally don't have the condition might get it occasionally. So it's probably still "there" in everyone but for some given reason isn't active or some such.


While we can control this condition with careful dieting, unfortunately if it is true that an infection is responsible, we can talk all the epigenetics we want but we will ultimately have to wait for science to identify the organism or organisms truly responsible. And sadly, it's not like you can just punch them in the face - there really is no justice for the damage done.

Edited by FvckAcne

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It sounds like you've been frantically trying a lot of different things, which is good, but can leave you feeling stuck and lost. Getting rid of acne is like solving a puzzle... and unfortunately the pieces are different for everyone. There are some over-arching "guidelines" we can all use, but these very detailed things like, "should I be taking witch hazel" can become overwhelming simply due the vastness of variables we can experiment with.


My advice to you is to focus on ONE THING at a time and then when that thing doesn't work, cross it off the list and move to the next. I would try to stay focused on the bigger ticket items.


For example, one major item you could focus on is water quality. Our bodies are almost 70% water and the quality of water we drink has a MAJOR impact on acne. Check out Melissa Gallico's book "The Hidden Cause Of Acne" for more on this topic.


Next we can look at some of the major acne triggers:

  • Dairy
  • Sugar
  • Vegetable oils
  • Non-sprouted grains / gluten


Again, you don't want to go nuts here. Simply eliminating these food groups one at a time is the best approach. Trying to do everything at once is a recipe for overwhelm.


After we take out some of the major acne triggers above and you notice you still have acne, then we can look at a potential vitamin or mineral deficiency. So adding in more nutrient-dense foods and/or taking a high quality multi-vitamin / greens powder might be an option here.


After we exhaust the food options maybe we move onto other lifestyle factors such as sleep, exercise, and stress. We then exhaust all of these before we begin diving down into really detailed things like witch hazel.


If this all sounds daunting, that's okay because you only have to focus on ONE at a time. Like I said above getting rid of acne is like solving a puzzle and eventually you will figure out how the pieces all fit together.


I hope this helps and good luck to you on your journey to clear skin!

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