1. Forums Adult acne
    Upon returning to Melbourne, where the weather is humid/hot most of the year around the 20-27 deg celsius, my acne returned to its state of red scars on my cheeks with the occasional pimple.

    We have different definitions of acne. If you only get the occasional pimple, then you're like most of the adult population of the civilized world, and no clinician would diagnose you with acne.

    Ever patiently looking for a cure,

    Hmmm. About 2-3 years of skin cell turnover now that you don't really have significant acne anymore?

    You probably want to try a different forum, like "facial redness" or "Red/Dark marks left after acne".

  2. Forums Cosmetics & grooming
    I think sea salt is definitely worth a shot, and there are studies backing that up

    A search for "salt acne" on PubMed produces 44 results. After looking through them all, I can find no studies of using sea salt as a topical treatment for acne. Do you have some links to those studies, or were they for using sea salt for something unrelated to acne?

  3. Forums Shaving

    IME, quality varies widely. When my first trimmer died, I bought

    some name brand (Vidal Sassoon?) product and it was just

    lousy. I don't know if the blades were too short/dull/slow or

    what, but you could just go and go and never get it all.

    Sometimes it would even pull my hair. Youch. Gave up after

    a week with that, dug my old one out of the trash to verify

    the brand, and then bought a new Norelco. I'll stick with them

    in the future.

  4. Forums Diet & holistic health
    Also you never really see many asians with acne.

    Your sample size is too small to be relevant. Hang out in the Tokyo teenager scene and you will see more acne than you can shake a stick at.

    This calls to mind the hoary old joke:

    "What's that whistle around your neck for?"

    --- "It's to keep away bears."

    "But there aren't any bears around here."

    --- "See how well it works?"

  5. Forums Diet & holistic health
    Is There Something Missing From Your Essential Fatty Acid Program?

    Probably, since I don't even have an EFAP (they never proved relevant to eliminating my acne). :D

    Omega 7 oil from Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides).

    The only aspect of Sea Buckthorn I care about is the possibility that it may elevate superoxide dismutase (SOD) levels (as usual, who knows if enough can be ingested to produce biologically relevant effects in the skin). I have a bottle arriving soon as part of my Big Bag of SOD Elevators (BBSODE) experiment.

    are now being hailed as

    Never seen anybody "hail" anything they didn't own stock in. :D

  6. Forums Diet & holistic health
    Uhm, how exactly am I harming my body by taking 250mg of nicotinamide a day? This is actually very beneficial for my body. Niacin is probably the best booster of HDL, which is highly protective of arterial disease.

    Seems like you're saying you are taking nicotinamide (which is used to treat acne, and does not reduce cholesterol) and believe it is the same as nicotinic acid (which is not used to treat acne, and can reduce cholesterol, though large doses of the OTC forms may cause liver damage).

    one more time:

    nicotinamide: relatively safe. studied as an acne treatment. not for cholesterol.

    nicotinic acid: not as safe (in OTC forms). not used as an acne treatment. used for cholesterol.

  7. Forums General acne discussion
    You know those days when you wake up and think "Shit that was a bad sleep, how am I going to get through the day?", if I have one of those and have to go through the daily grind, I'm almost guaranteed a new spot on my face.

    When you had that "bad sleep", you failed to have a normal surge of pineal melatonin that night. Melatonin stimulates cells to produce superoxide dismutase. In the presence of sufficient zinc, that will provide zinc superoxide dismutase which easily cleans up the superoxide anions that trigger acne when the P. acnes bacteria touches keratinocytes.

    Was that caused by "stress"? Well, it's a chicken and the egg thing. Cortisol (aka "the stress hormone") and melatonin operate as complements. Cortisol levels come up in the morning only as melatonin levels go down (get up too early, and melatonin levels are still high while cortisol is low, making you yawn and be not fully mentally functional) and the reverse happens at night. So, the less of a normal melatonin surge you get at night, the more hours of cortisol you will have that day. Psychological stress can impact sleep, but for most people it's really the highly controllable habits of stress that are doing the damage -- taking in lots more caffeine/drugs/alcohol, sleeping fewer hours, going to bed at irregular times. All these things directly impair the melatonin cycle and guarantee you more hours per day of higher cortisol levels (as well as raise the odds of acne).

    Wait a minute, don't most people use caffeine, sleep less than 8 hours, stay up late on the weekends and so on? Yes, and about half the adult population has at least one acne lesion on any given day. However, the Trobriand Islanders, who have no caffeine/alcohol/drugs/electricity don't do these things, and they have zero acne lesions, even among teenagers.

  8. Forums Diet & holistic health
    Isnt the time released type the least safe? Niacin is suppose to be hurtful to your liver in high doses usually stated at 1300 milligrams or if you really want to be safe at 500, I'm on the lowest at 100mg. But I will def. look into the nicomide link you posted, thanks!

    "niacin" is a word applied to at least 3 completely different chemicals, each with different effects, each with different safety records. As described in this study, the specific form of niacin called nicotinamide:

    • Has a proven safety record in large doses.
    • Has proven to provide a statistically significant improvement within 8 weeks in acne symptoms for most patients.
    • Generally causes little or no discomfort.

    If you buy something called "niacin" without confirming exactly what chemical it contains... then you have no idea what you're taking. It's possible that some people taking "niacin" and not seeing any improvement are simply not taking the chemical that has been successfully studied with acne. Some forms of niacin absolutely, positively do carry a non-trivial risk of liver damage. Fortunately, those forms have never been shown to have any relevance to acne anyway. Unfortunately, some folks are taking those forms just out of sheer ignorance.

  9. Forums Oily skin
    I know it's Hormone related

    Then why not try to influence the one hormone that is anti-androgenic, directly anti-oxidant, stimulates cells to upregulate their own anti-oxidants, and slows cell division? Melatonin.

    I bet you do very few of the following things that help avoid destroying your melatonin cycle:

    • Sleep 9-10 hours each night.
    • Go to bed at exactly the same time each night, every single day.
    • Live in bright outdoor light 10-12 hours each day (no hat, no sunglasses, direct line from eye to sky).
    • Avoid high-fructose foods like soda, apples, pears, etc.
    • Sleep in total darkness, where no light pollution can reach your eyes.
    • Eliminate caffeine, alcohol, drugs.
    • Eat foods rich in lycopene.
    The teenagers of the Trobriand Islands do these things and they have no acne. None. Nada. Zero lesions.
  10. Forums Diet & holistic health
    a small number of dietary changes I could make that would have the most benefit

    • #1: stop eating a high-fructose diet. drop the fruit juice. absolute, #1 priority.
    • #2: since you're willing to eat spaghetti, can you increase the amount of tomato sauce (lycopene) in your diet?
    • #3: definitely do not trade full-fat milk for skim, since the only study to implicate dairy in acne showed no correlation with full-fat milk (possibly because the conjugated linoleic acid in the fat elevated anti-oxidants enough to counter whatever ill effects the other components offer).
    • #4: eliminate caffeine. Or if you can't, eliminate it within 8 hours of bedtime. If possible, do not drink tea in particular.
    Though you only mention diet, if you could increase the # of hours of bright outdoor light exposure in your eyes each day (no sunglasses, no hats), you would likely get less carb malabsorption, which could greatly decrease the ability of diet to affect your acne.

    Really, if you lived in outdoor light all day, had a normal melatonin cycle at night, and exercised moderation with the fruit juice, you could be acne-free on this diet. But those things are really hard to do, so you're left with diet-twiddling and modest improvements.

    100% IMHO, of course! :D

  11. Forums Diet & holistic health
    I've been taking the flush kind for a few days now and well I don't flush, at all.

    So, you're taking the form of niacin that is less safe, that doctors use to lower cholesterol, that has never been studied with acne. Why not take the form that is much safer, that has been studied and shown to be successful in reducing acne symptoms? Just got a grudge against your liver? :D

    Roll your own Nicomide.

  12. Forums Diet & holistic health

    Tip: Eat a crapload of fructose at the same time (e.g., apples and pears). That way, if your acne quickly worsens, you know that gluten is not particularly important and maybe keep yourself from going down the road of chasing endless random correlations (that are not causal) between food/symptoms. Don't end up in the "can't stop losing weight" crowd!

    The process is so gradual and slow that you might not even notice.

    That is an excellent formula for chasing random correlations and never getting anywhere. To do successful self-experiments, you have to be able to get significantly different results that can be measured and reproduced.

  13. Forums Diet & holistic health
    I am wondering which is healthier, raw or boiled veggies.

    That's surely going to vary a lot. Tomatoes cooked were implicated in lowered prostate cancer risk, while tomatoes raw were not. If you cook your carrots, you'll surely lose a hunk of good stuff into the liquid, but if you eat them raw, you may have to chew awful hard to get them all digested. The best stuff in garlic (allicin) breaks down after some # of minutes (what was that, 20 minutes?), so it's better to throw them into the mix at the very end.

    The details are undoubtedly still being discovered and will depend on what nutrient you care about in which vegetable...

  14. Forums Diet & holistic health
    Can a body of light suffer from Acne?

    Gandhi had some serious health problems, so I'm gonna guess the answer is "Yup. Acne and much worse."

    Maybe you have read Castanedas books?

    All of them. No wait, not the nuttier I'm-running-out-of-book-royalties ones towards the end, when he was starting his weird sex/suicide cult. You know he totally made up most all his stories, right? Doesn't mean he never said anything of value; I'm just sayin'. :D

    But I'm not cynical. Heck, I hope Carlos and Andy Kaufman are sittin' up in the hills together, eatin' peyote, and laughing at everybody who thinks they died of boring old diseases. But really, probably fewer people will suffer if Carlos is just dead. He was gettin' pretty bat-*hit there at the end, doncha think?

  15. Forums Diet & holistic health

    It's time fruit juice loses its wholesome image, some experts say

    Funny stories about how Americans were trained to "believe" in juice as a means of selling excess oranges. Parallel to the tale of teaching Americans to eat oats for breakfast once the auto started wiping out the primary customer for oats: horses.

    Still, I was surprised that the media was willing to quote a scientist arguing that there's little difference between the health detriments of juice and soda. At least with soda, you have no delusions it's a health drink, so if you get problems you're inclined to say "hey, maybe I should cut back!" But with fruit juices, you get people actually drinking more of them in the insane hope it will benefit their health. Or, as the article says, "Because juice is viewed as nutritious, limits on consumption are not usually set by parents".

    I remember watching, aghast, as my nephew spent his formative years glued to apple juice boxes, since he would fuss if denied. He had his first root canal by the age of 10.

  16. Forums Diet & holistic health
    How is this diet for acne control/prevention? I typically eat 4 to 6 meals a day as I lift a lot of weights.

    It's full of carbs. You're probably lifting all those weights not outdoors but in dim artificial light, meaning most of your meals experience carb malabsorption. That causes tryptophan (required to make anti-acne melatonin) to not get digested (and likewise interferes with the zinc pill being absorbed, especially with so little distance between the final meal and ingesting the zinc). As a modern human, you probably: abuse substances that interfere with melatonin (caffeine, alcohol, etc.), don't sleep 10, or even 9 hours per night, don't go to bed at the same time every night, don't sleep in a room devoid of light pollution, etc. The end result is acne. You could go no-carb, but few people can keep that up for any length of time.

  17. Forums General acne discussion
    If you started within a month ago, NOTHING is going to happen! You have to give it time.

    I see no evidence that any effects of supplemental zinc require a month to manifest; effects tend to be measured in days.

    In my personal experience, if zinc is going to help, you'll see results within a week. You're unlikely to hurt yourself upping the dose to 60mg/day (unless you already have some underlying condition), but you're not likely to help much either. IME, the effect of zinc depends on having a robust melatonin cycle. If I'm taking lots of caffeine and sleeping 6 hours per night, even large doses of zinc are nearly useless. If I'm having 9 hours of deep and restful sleep per night, then even a modest dose of zinc can greatly reduce inflammation.

  18. Forums Diet & holistic health
    Melanoma has increased 50% in women but not men since these lasers hit the market in the 80's...Non melanoma skin cancer has tripled in women under 40...

    Taking a look at actual data , I see that the rate of increased incidence of melanoma (women only) actually was cut in half in the period 1980-2006 compared to the period 1975-1980. For mortality (dying being somewhat more important than just being diagnosed), I see that the trendline actually went from positive in the period 1975-1988, to negative 1988-2006. This would be pretty much the exact opposite of what you're claiming, right?

    Every other type of cancer has declined 20% while skin and melanoma rise....

    Well, if you're going to tell a lie, make it a whopper! I leave it as an exercise for any reader who has the slightest doubt this is completely made-up fiction to look at the data.

    Have you ever actually looked at any cancer stats database?

    The Internet has given birth to the most gullible generation the planet has ever seen, nowhere moreso then in the area of "holistic" health.

    IMHO. :D

  19. Forums Adult acne
    I have a back injury so I really dont do much but hang around the house.

    That likely affects your relationship to light and sleep.

    I drink ALOT of Dr.Pepper but have done this since I was 15.

    It's possible that other things you do affect whether and how your diet affects your acne.

    I know what I have is inside my body.

    Probably so. The P. Acnes bacteria on the skin has been implicated in the inflammation of acne, but nobody has really even proven the exact mechanism for that (despite the fact that the little buggers are right on top of the skin!).

    A random nut on the Internet says:

    Acne is produced by living in dim light and sleeping in light pollution. When you live in dim indoor light, your intestines don't get the signal that it's daytime, so they do a half-ass job of digesting (and bacteria goes nuts eating what's not digested). Some crucial nutrients fail to get digested in that case, including: tryptophan and zinc. You need those for the nightly melatonin surge that keeps acne from happening in an acne-free person.

    Some people can find improvement by overdosing zinc. Zinc is implicated in multiple pathways that can help prevent the inflammation of acne. Some people can find improvement by overdosing niacin. It's the same story there -- in fact, niacin and zinc share one potential pathway in that they can help make one cell anti-oxidant (glutathione) more plentiful. However, then you have to worry about the long-term effects of overdosing.


    Spend all day every day in bright outdoor light (no sunglasses!), sleep in a darkened bedroom for >=9 hours each night with a sleep mask.

    Can't spend 12 hours each day outdoors in bright light? Then diet will matter. Give up the caffeine (depletes zinc and flattens the melatonin curve). Give up the fructose (sodas, high-fructose fruits like apples, pears, mangoes, etc.). Try to avoid sweets anytime close to when you are eating the meats that contain tryptophan.

    If you are deficient in certain nutrients (which living in dim light helps to cause, because of impaired digestion), then the chemical cascade that melatonin is meant to cause each night can be damaged. Try taking:

    * 30mg zinc picolinate

    * a Vitamin B complex pill

    * >= 1000 IU Vitamin D3 (make sure it says "cholecalciferol"

    * 200mcg selenium

    Zinc is an atom that gets used in multiple ways during the melatonin surge. If you're deficient in Vitamin B, the body will use up big amounts of tryptophan to make it up, leaving less for creating melatonin at night. Vitamin D will not cure acne, but there is preliminary research that implies it can be harder to absorb zinc if you are D-deficient, which most Americans are. An adult burns up around three or four thousand IU of Vitamin D, so if you're getting no UVB rays from the sun and not drinking enormous amounts of milk, you probably don't have enough to even keep your skeleton from slowly falling apart (though Sally Fields will sell you a really awful pill to fix that for you when it gets bad enough!). Finally, selenium helps move zinc out of one molecule into a position where it can perform an anti-oxidant function, so it's a good idea to not be deficient in it.

 Seattle, WA, USA

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