3

votes

Acne and iodine

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created September 07, 2012 at 6:09 AM

Hello,

I have been on strict paleo diet for 6 months, and on gluten free/dairy free diet for 1.5year however my acne on face is not really improved.

I tried to find out what causes a breakout for me and so far this is what I found: - iodine (iodized salt etc.) - white pustules on lips/chin area - bananas - white pustules on lips/chin area (i haven't eaten those in 2 years) - fish sometimes (probably too iodine) same with chlorella detox supplement

So any ideas why it is happening? I heard I might be sensitive to iodine or my problems may be related to bromide. Is there any valid theory to this?

(btw. my thyroid hormones levels are ok, same with the rest of the hormones)

75d65450b6ff0be7b969fb321f1200ac

(2506)

on April 29, 2013
at 04:04 PM

The term is "bromism". Just Google it to learn more. However I don't think there is enough iodine in iodized salt to cause much of a bromine discharge.

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on October 04, 2012
at 02:29 PM

I was no help at all, I think acne is maybe one of the most complex things out there. does seaweed make you break out?

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on October 04, 2012
at 02:28 PM

sorry Charlie, but Perfecthealthdiet says kelp is bad because it can concentrate other toxins- "Kelp consumption often causes acne, but kelp contains many things besides iodine." apparently it can contain thyrotoxic compounds. http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2011/03/iodine-the-thyroid-and-radiation-protection/ better to take iodine I think...but you can try cooking with kelp. I think beef broth is the best thing for acne and you can put some kombu in there for flavor.

Bf9bb538f15bf0cdc291efb60920ed81

on October 03, 2012
at 05:15 PM

anyway thanks for help elf27 i really appreciate it.

Bf9bb538f15bf0cdc291efb60920ed81

on October 03, 2012
at 05:15 PM

ok i bought now foods kelp (iodine) i will start supplementing tomorrow. and nope everything is rather far from being alright - i have problems with my digestion, anxiety and stress. it is quite severe unfortunately and all those things together are fuelling each other :(

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on October 03, 2012
at 04:02 PM

sorry and then slowly increase the amoutns.

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on October 03, 2012
at 04:02 PM

is everything else in line - sleep, stress? acne has really complicated etiology, and I wish you luck. it may also be best to avoid these foods and slowly increase the amounts.

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on October 03, 2012
at 04:01 PM

I think bone broth is your friend. Paul Jaminet also recommends to try a metametrix GI Effects test, which will give you definitive answers rather than a lot of self-experimentation.

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on October 03, 2012
at 04:00 PM

yeah, because iodine will stain your skin unless you buy the providone one. Honestly, it's a tough call. I know it's painful to ride out the reaction. I would try taking a small amount, 225 mcg, and slowly increasing. Iodine has anti-microbial properties. But keep washing your face - treating externally too - and doing paleo. I think acne you have to attack externally and internally. Seppo, a paleohacker, has a really good website and he might be good to ask some questions. I think it's acneeinstein or something like that.

Bf9bb538f15bf0cdc291efb60920ed81

on October 03, 2012
at 12:17 PM

I'm sorry I don't understand, I doubt this is normal...

Bf9bb538f15bf0cdc291efb60920ed81

on October 03, 2012
at 12:16 PM

i did the test with Lugol Iodine solution but this 'yellowish' stain on my skin kinda disappeared from my body after 40mins. i'm not sure if this is reliable at all.

Aa748fb43334ffd2db3934aa00874bbe

(458)

on October 02, 2012
at 05:38 PM

Well, if you your acne is related to ejaculation, at least one thing is going right in your life. ;)

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on October 02, 2012
at 01:01 PM

see if there's a reaction to your skin on that spot, or somewhere else, but this could be hard unless you've been able to achieve a baseline of clear skin.

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on October 02, 2012
at 12:56 PM

apparently you can test if you are iodine deficient like this, per the healthwyze.org link: "Want to test yourself? You should place some Iodine (we used a standard 2% solution) on your stomach. Make a circle the size of a quarter. If it disappears within 12 hours, then you are iodine deficient, because a body will only absorb iodine at the rate it needs."

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on October 02, 2012
at 12:51 PM

if I were you, rather than completely rely on Paul to give you some advice (or me), why don't you try transdermal iodine? I found this on another paleohacks thread, related to iodine: http://paleohacks.com/questions/130869/waking-up-tired-what-is-the-cause#axzz283uoYqIS http://healthwyze.org/index.php/the-dark-side-of-the-alternative-health-movement-promoting-ingested-iodine.html See if you get a reaction using iodine this way...

Bf9bb538f15bf0cdc291efb60920ed81

on October 02, 2012
at 09:45 AM

I forgot to add i tried oil pulling 4 years ago it was pretty useless in my case :)

Bf9bb538f15bf0cdc291efb60920ed81

on October 02, 2012
at 09:41 AM

so what to do in this case? should I avoid iodine or supplement it heavily?

Bf9bb538f15bf0cdc291efb60920ed81

on October 02, 2012
at 09:40 AM

well I have no idea if my acne is hormonal, the blood tests may be not reliable at all. Some sources say that if I breakout after ejaculation it means my acne is hormonal -- I feel like I'm bouncing in circle. I'm not sure what to do in case of hormonal acne since I'm a male too. I tried vitex and saw palmetto supplements but I haven't noticed any improvement.

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on October 01, 2012
at 03:36 PM

perhaps you can try more bone broth? Chicken broth seems to make me break out, but not beef. and then, as an experiment, try fish broth?

Aa748fb43334ffd2db3934aa00874bbe

(458)

on October 01, 2012
at 03:15 PM

+ 1 for milk and sugars being a problem

Bf9bb538f15bf0cdc291efb60920ed81

on October 01, 2012
at 04:10 AM

yeah i was also on accutane, that thing is pure evil. Anyway experimenting gets tiring after so many years :(

Bf9bb538f15bf0cdc291efb60920ed81

on September 30, 2012
at 12:00 PM

I'm not sure if there is any way to verify it. Although I was using candida clear from Now foods and Colostrum from now foods for half of a year + a ton of probiotics. That did not help me at all.

Bf9bb538f15bf0cdc291efb60920ed81

on September 30, 2012
at 11:58 AM

my acne is located at chin, mouth, lips area mostly and on forehead (but it is not so severe up there). I'm trying to keep low carb diet. I mostly eat meat, chicken, some apples and vegetables (but last two cause bloating and gas for me). Yes I have days which are worse than others: - 1-2 days after sex (ejaculation) I will have a breakout - after eating bananas, grapes - I will have a breakout (i haven't touched them for 2 years already) - after eating foods high in iodine I wasn't able to find/filter any more causes.

Bf9bb538f15bf0cdc291efb60920ed81

on September 30, 2012
at 11:55 AM

yep, everything i use is 100% organic including soaps, toothpaste and shampoos. I have not experienced any positives effects since using them.

Bf9bb538f15bf0cdc291efb60920ed81

on September 30, 2012
at 11:54 AM

are there any medical proofs for that?

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on September 25, 2012
at 04:00 PM

High iodine causes you to detox bromide and brominism looks like acne.

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12 Answers

3
283cc00cbf8885ca94f4ffbc32f165e5

on October 01, 2012
at 12:37 AM

I am actually "allergic" to chicken, milk, and chocolate. These things cause me "allergies" in the form of acne. I took antibiotics (and accutane!) for YEARS during adolescence only to go to an allergist on my own after those meds did a number on my system. I also find that carbs give me acne, and especially sugar and fake sugars. I might have some corn issues...who knows. Keep experimenting. :) You'll get there!

Aa748fb43334ffd2db3934aa00874bbe

(458)

on October 01, 2012
at 03:15 PM

+ 1 for milk and sugars being a problem

Bf9bb538f15bf0cdc291efb60920ed81

on October 01, 2012
at 04:10 AM

yeah i was also on accutane, that thing is pure evil. Anyway experimenting gets tiring after so many years :(

2
8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on October 01, 2012
at 03:35 PM

perfect health diet also has some users who replied that iodine gave them acne, and Paul Jaminet said the same thing as BoneBrothFast, that it could be the bromine detoxing. I would also like to add it could be the fluorine detoxing.

Here's Paul's commment on it:

"Hi Julie,

Well, trigger and cause are two different things.

Kelp consumption often causes acne, but kelp contains many things besides iodine.

Iodine consumption often triggers bromine release from cells and high serum and urinary bromine. Bromine is a known cause of acne. However, sustained intake of iodine will eventually clear bromine from the body and end the acne. In some cases, this can take a year or more.

Finally, iodine intake can amplify immune activity against pathogens, since the myeloperoxidase pathway is iodine-dependent. This can temporarily lead to an increase in inflammation at the site of infections ??? including acne lesions. But this is temporary.

Often, therapies that are curative against infections lead to a flare of symptoms initially, due to higher immune activity. In many conditions, including acne, symptoms are due to immune activity, more than pathogen activity. Yet you need the immune activity to cure the infection.

As far as Pubmed literature goes, there???s not a lot. This writer (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17190637) concludes, ???To summarize, there is no evidence to support iodides as a cause of comedonal acne.???

I agree. An increase in iodine intake may trigger an acne eruption, but it is not worsening the disease and is not a cause of the acne."

Best, Paul

http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2011/03/iodine-the-thyroid-and-radiation-protection/

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on October 03, 2012
at 04:01 PM

I think bone broth is your friend. Paul Jaminet also recommends to try a metametrix GI Effects test, which will give you definitive answers rather than a lot of self-experimentation.

Bf9bb538f15bf0cdc291efb60920ed81

on October 02, 2012
at 09:41 AM

so what to do in this case? should I avoid iodine or supplement it heavily?

Bf9bb538f15bf0cdc291efb60920ed81

on October 03, 2012
at 12:16 PM

i did the test with Lugol Iodine solution but this 'yellowish' stain on my skin kinda disappeared from my body after 40mins. i'm not sure if this is reliable at all.

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on October 03, 2012
at 04:00 PM

yeah, because iodine will stain your skin unless you buy the providone one. Honestly, it's a tough call. I know it's painful to ride out the reaction. I would try taking a small amount, 225 mcg, and slowly increasing. Iodine has anti-microbial properties. But keep washing your face - treating externally too - and doing paleo. I think acne you have to attack externally and internally. Seppo, a paleohacker, has a really good website and he might be good to ask some questions. I think it's acneeinstein or something like that.

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on October 01, 2012
at 03:36 PM

perhaps you can try more bone broth? Chicken broth seems to make me break out, but not beef. and then, as an experiment, try fish broth?

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on October 02, 2012
at 12:56 PM

apparently you can test if you are iodine deficient like this, per the healthwyze.org link: "Want to test yourself? You should place some Iodine (we used a standard 2% solution) on your stomach. Make a circle the size of a quarter. If it disappears within 12 hours, then you are iodine deficient, because a body will only absorb iodine at the rate it needs."

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on October 02, 2012
at 01:01 PM

see if there's a reaction to your skin on that spot, or somewhere else, but this could be hard unless you've been able to achieve a baseline of clear skin.

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on October 03, 2012
at 04:02 PM

sorry and then slowly increase the amoutns.

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on October 02, 2012
at 12:51 PM

if I were you, rather than completely rely on Paul to give you some advice (or me), why don't you try transdermal iodine? I found this on another paleohacks thread, related to iodine: http://paleohacks.com/questions/130869/waking-up-tired-what-is-the-cause#axzz283uoYqIS http://healthwyze.org/index.php/the-dark-side-of-the-alternative-health-movement-promoting-ingested-iodine.html See if you get a reaction using iodine this way...

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on October 03, 2012
at 04:02 PM

is everything else in line - sleep, stress? acne has really complicated etiology, and I wish you luck. it may also be best to avoid these foods and slowly increase the amounts.

Bf9bb538f15bf0cdc291efb60920ed81

on October 03, 2012
at 05:15 PM

anyway thanks for help elf27 i really appreciate it.

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on October 04, 2012
at 02:29 PM

I was no help at all, I think acne is maybe one of the most complex things out there. does seaweed make you break out?

Bf9bb538f15bf0cdc291efb60920ed81

on October 03, 2012
at 05:15 PM

ok i bought now foods kelp (iodine) i will start supplementing tomorrow. and nope everything is rather far from being alright - i have problems with my digestion, anxiety and stress. it is quite severe unfortunately and all those things together are fuelling each other :(

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on October 04, 2012
at 02:28 PM

sorry Charlie, but Perfecthealthdiet says kelp is bad because it can concentrate other toxins- "Kelp consumption often causes acne, but kelp contains many things besides iodine." apparently it can contain thyrotoxic compounds. http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2011/03/iodine-the-thyroid-and-radiation-protection/ better to take iodine I think...but you can try cooking with kelp. I think beef broth is the best thing for acne and you can put some kombu in there for flavor.

1
8ce8b8fd33944e67dfd6277e7b671815

(327)

on April 24, 2013
at 05:05 AM

Have you looked at the nutrient density of your diet, or the amount of sleep your getting, what about your stress. All of these affect the amount of acne on your face, for instance maybe your macro nutrient's are off. if your eating 60% protein or more for your macro nutrients you might be inciting inflammation. Although, i'm not super knowledgeable on the subject.

1
13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on March 30, 2013
at 04:10 PM

You could try "salt loading" to speed up the bromine detox. Cheap, safe, easy. if it doesn't work, you're not out much.

http://iodinehealth.wordpress.com/bromide-salt-loading/

0
1e9773c23d5aaea16eee874b0071c968

on April 29, 2013
at 03:19 PM

Another thing to try is high strength omega 3 oils - they are powerful anti-inflammatories. A doctor I know recommends them for his acne patients at 3 - 4 grams per day (some literature I have read has recommended not taking over 3 grams without doctors' supervision - he did go for 4grams for men). Check the data on the bottle, its the levels of omega 3 vary. It's the EPA content that is most important in your case as that is the anti-inflammatory agent. The other thing to look out for is enteric coating which is a substance sprayed on the surface of the capsule which allows it to pass through the stomach to the small intestine before it gets dissolved, meaning you won't get any fishy aftertaste but more importantly you are getting the full amount of active ingredient released into your system where it gets absorbed. Avoid any containing omega 6 as this is pro-inflammatory and competes with the omega 3 for absorption (most western diets contain far too much omega 6 which is theoretically a reason why we have a higher tendency towards acne than non-westerners). There has also been some recent studies in Australia that have shown excellent results in treating acne (men and women) using a low GL diet (that's glycaemic load, as opposed to glycaemic index). There seems to be a link to spikes in blood sugars and acne in some people. Hope this helps.

0
86f79cd075c1cf85be96ad1497b43d8e

on March 30, 2013
at 12:48 PM

Only time i didnt have acne was when i was on the master cleanse for 13 days and lost 30pounds. Fml. :(

0
Aa748fb43334ffd2db3934aa00874bbe

on October 01, 2012
at 03:15 PM

Since you've eliminated the hormonal acne theory, which is what I would have said, here are some random ideas:

At the risk of stating the obvious, could you be touching that area of your face a lot? Like, resting your chin on your hands while you look at the computer? Does your phone touch your face? Etc.? Maybe regularly disinfecting your phone and keeping your hands away from your face would help.

If you haven't already, look into the oil cleaning method. I don't break out much since starting the whole primal lifestye (sleep, stress reduction, foods, etc.), but when I do, the OCM works wonders for clearing things up. I HAVE found that sugar, excess sodium, and milk seem to trigger acne for me, although I have no scientific proof, just personal anecdata... :)

I know you said that your hormone levels are normal, but this article on hormonal acne from the Paleo For Women blog has lots of advice/information about the causes of acne, which might have something you haven't thought of.

Good luck!

Bf9bb538f15bf0cdc291efb60920ed81

on October 02, 2012
at 09:45 AM

I forgot to add i tried oil pulling 4 years ago it was pretty useless in my case :)

Aa748fb43334ffd2db3934aa00874bbe

(458)

on October 02, 2012
at 05:38 PM

Well, if you your acne is related to ejaculation, at least one thing is going right in your life. ;)

Bf9bb538f15bf0cdc291efb60920ed81

on October 03, 2012
at 12:17 PM

I'm sorry I don't understand, I doubt this is normal...

Bf9bb538f15bf0cdc291efb60920ed81

on October 02, 2012
at 09:40 AM

well I have no idea if my acne is hormonal, the blood tests may be not reliable at all. Some sources say that if I breakout after ejaculation it means my acne is hormonal -- I feel like I'm bouncing in circle. I'm not sure what to do in case of hormonal acne since I'm a male too. I tried vitex and saw palmetto supplements but I haven't noticed any improvement.

0
4564de0416aadac7c375f2c60b0caa5b

on October 01, 2012
at 02:26 AM

Have you looked into pyroluria? Adult acne is one of the traits associated with pyroluria. http://www.primalbody-primalmind.com/?p=398

0
C4fdbe042cbc4b4a4bc5b6ec59ea67b4

on September 27, 2012
at 04:51 PM

maybe you have candida albicans in your gut and that has given you a leaky gut and the food is going thru the leaks and causing your body to react. that was my problem.

Bf9bb538f15bf0cdc291efb60920ed81

on September 30, 2012
at 12:00 PM

I'm not sure if there is any way to verify it. Although I was using candida clear from Now foods and Colostrum from now foods for half of a year + a ton of probiotics. That did not help me at all.

0
E187ec3816e673bb14eb3a96e29beca2

on September 27, 2012
at 02:36 PM

Are you consuming fruits, coffee regularly? What are your normal foods you consume and do you have days that are worse than others? where is your acne centrally located(cheeks,forehead,cheeks,above lip, hairline,etc.)?

Bf9bb538f15bf0cdc291efb60920ed81

on September 30, 2012
at 11:58 AM

my acne is located at chin, mouth, lips area mostly and on forehead (but it is not so severe up there). I'm trying to keep low carb diet. I mostly eat meat, chicken, some apples and vegetables (but last two cause bloating and gas for me). Yes I have days which are worse than others: - 1-2 days after sex (ejaculation) I will have a breakout - after eating bananas, grapes - I will have a breakout (i haven't touched them for 2 years already) - after eating foods high in iodine I wasn't able to find/filter any more causes.

0
66e918071971027e1d6717bf218cab87

on September 25, 2012
at 05:13 AM

Have you tried not using shampoo and soap? I was paleo for a while and wondering why I still had pimples. Turns out it was my shampoo. I haven't used soap or shampoo in 6 months and I ask people all of the time how I smell and I never get a negative answer.

Bf9bb538f15bf0cdc291efb60920ed81

on September 30, 2012
at 11:55 AM

yep, everything i use is 100% organic including soaps, toothpaste and shampoos. I have not experienced any positives effects since using them.

0
A39237551dac75eb36335098b0f5fa61

(525)

on September 24, 2012
at 04:02 AM

I looked into acne-iodine connection a while back. Given how everybody says iodine causes acne I was really suprised that there's almost no research on it.

There are some case reports suggesting that hgh iodine intake can cause acne, but the levels were hundreds of times higher than the RDA. Now, I'm not telling you that iodine doesn't break you out. I'm just pointing out what the scientific literature says. To my recollection it was linked to bromide.

If you breakout from low levels of iodine then there could be some sensitivity issue, maybe linked to some other nutrients. So this is something you might be able to get rid of once you find the link. But what the link is, I'm sorry I can't help you much. Studies didn't say much about this.

You might check out this UN report on iodine: Iodine And Inorganic Iodides: Human Health Aspects (PDF). It could give you further clues.

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