3

votes

Acne is bugging me!

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 06, 2012 at 10:36 AM

I've been paleo for a year, and at first it worked : acne started to disappear, never had new zits. Then went lower carb, and everything got messed up. Everything. I now have more acne than I ever used to, my legs even have acne, I have sinus aches and fungal infections, ...

So I started eating veggies again. No luck. I started eating fruit again. No luck. I tried tubers. No luck.

What is this all about? The only 2 differences that I made are : I stopped retinol supplementation and also upped vitamin D supplementation. It's winter, I don't see a lot of sun...

Please help me, I really eat a fine diet but it just won't work. As a sidenote, eating vegan made it even worse than this (I had tinea all over my leg, and maybe you know this, tinea takes months to disappear, I almost cleared it all until I went low-carb).

The amount of money I lost to trying out different solutions is extreme. I want to do a blood test for vitamins, minerals and hormones, but I'm not sick so my doctor doesn't want to. I'd go to an other doctor but they're all like this, and my doctor is actually an awesome guy (he's very open-minded).

I've read through a lot of posts here and I do everything right it seems : fatty fish, organs, bone broth, veggies, and recently I tried going higher carb and all. Why don't I have a bit more luck???

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 07, 2012
at 09:43 PM

That's interesting. It must be some deficiency for sure. What do you think it is? How bad is your acne? Oh, by the way, there is a multivitamin (GNC's Hair skin and nails). Even when I was eating gluten and lots of sugary stuff, it was still working. I do not suggest you take it, but I do suggest that you check out its contents (if you want me to, I can list them, I still have the box). You might be missing one of them. By the way, any deficiency is caused by poor absorption, and it goes back to gut issue. Unless it is vitamin D. Cute dinosaur, by the way!

437446d8587a8edf752b6c7cd53149e8

(70)

on March 07, 2012
at 12:18 PM

Well I actually heard about it in a Robb Wolf podcast. Apparently our bodies are supposed to convert something to GLA, but some people's don't. I also saw a huge improvement in my PMS and period with supplementation. Not sure if you're male or female though.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on March 07, 2012
at 11:40 AM

Oh I put it on topically. I might try supplementing it but I don't see how it'd help me, unless it's a temporary fix. I want good skin but I don't want to simulate it by putting tons of things on my face or by supplementing like crazy.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on March 07, 2012
at 11:38 AM

Don't tolerate fermented foods, I haven't eaten gluten for a whole year, not even traces. I don't do dairy. I did low carb, zero carb, higher carb, sugar does practically nothing. It must be a certain deficiency. In any case it gets worse in the winter.

F55be68a03e578c64c526004505daae2

(85)

on March 07, 2012
at 08:17 AM

Ray Peat may be on to something.

F55be68a03e578c64c526004505daae2

(85)

on March 07, 2012
at 08:16 AM

I took some retinol yesterday, I took calcium, and I drastically decreased my muscle meat intake and what dya know my skin looks better and I slept quite well (only woke up once).

437446d8587a8edf752b6c7cd53149e8

(70)

on March 07, 2012
at 02:10 AM

It does for me. Wait itch? Do you put it on your skin or take it as a supplement? Intake it in capsule form.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 06, 2012
at 11:38 PM

Haha, +1 for chicken skin. Life is waaaay to short to not eat the skin.

F55be68a03e578c64c526004505daae2

(85)

on March 06, 2012
at 04:45 PM

No, I didn't stop eating liver, I stopped taking retinol as a supplement. I doubt I have a retinol deficiency, I used to have badass vitamin d deficiency. Still, it's a possibility.

F55be68a03e578c64c526004505daae2

(85)

on March 06, 2012
at 04:44 PM

It's one of the few minerals I haven't tried yet. I've bought liquid iodine it should arrive next week.

76f3ead3aa977d876bcf3331d35a36e9

(4620)

on March 06, 2012
at 02:23 PM

You say you stopped retinol supplementation; what was your retinol source? Are you eating any liver? Retinol (from liver) really helped my acne. Taking vitamin D could potentially exacerbate a retinol deficiency.

03bb06ced2ae02a265909342d4cf3e75

(793)

on March 06, 2012
at 01:55 PM

This is just a comment on your doctor - how does he think having acne suddenly appear all of your body + sinus aches + fungal infections = not being sick? What exactly is his definition of sickness? The medical community can be so whacky sometimes.

535fafe8afe6923870905c707c4f4454

(720)

on March 06, 2012
at 01:45 PM

Have you tried Iodine? I was naturally scared of it cause I'd heard iodine = acne. I'm going real slow- in no rush. Could be placebo but I'm feeling better each day (energy has always been a problem for me). Yes its hard to say with the fish oil. I used to go nuts on the stuff and I don't think it did me that well.. I'd rather eat liver for my retinol.. somehow I am a lot less oily this way. N=1 all over this however.

F55be68a03e578c64c526004505daae2

(85)

on March 06, 2012
at 01:15 PM

Can't eat nuts, break me out real bad.

F55be68a03e578c64c526004505daae2

(85)

on March 06, 2012
at 12:52 PM

I have most of the symptoms of hypothyroidism outlined here btw : http://www.nutritional-healing.com.au/content/articles-content.php?heading=Hypothyroidism but increasing carbs don't really help...

F55be68a03e578c64c526004505daae2

(85)

on March 06, 2012
at 12:50 PM

My only fat is muscle meat, coconut oil and fish oil (I tested it out, helps me tremendously). I wonder if the fish oil is helping me due to the retinol, or that the omega 3 is enough. I'll gradually transtion to Ray Peat and hope it'll be solved...

F55be68a03e578c64c526004505daae2

(85)

on March 06, 2012
at 11:57 AM

It might even cause acne, since it got worse when I tried it out. It could be other things, I don't know. I actually think it's not my diet that is causing this, just supplements that are useless and do more harm than good. Most supplements I now take have been tested : if I don't take them, it gets really bad (eg. vitamin D, magnesium and vitamin k2).

F55be68a03e578c64c526004505daae2

(85)

on March 06, 2012
at 11:46 AM

Interesting about the zinc, it may be an issue for me too. Kombucha helps? Primrose oil does nothing but itch for me.

F55be68a03e578c64c526004505daae2

(85)

on March 06, 2012
at 11:46 AM

Zero results with zinc. Does nothing. I think I'm not deficient, since it tastes a bit metallic.

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6 Answers

3
03bb06ced2ae02a265909342d4cf3e75

on March 06, 2012
at 02:13 PM

I had acne since I was 11 (I'm 29 now), and had to use a 10% benzoyl peroxide cream every day to avoid turning into a pepperoni pizza. About 5 weeks ago, I completely cleared up my skin and stopped using the BP cream (and I want to cry with joy every morning when I wake up and my skin is still clear).

I went strict paleo 5 weeks ago, eliminating all grains and upping my fat intake. I wasn't focused on PUFAs at the time, but looking back I had DRAMATICALLY reduced my PUFA intake, and also upped my intake of fatty grass-fed beef, chicken cooked with the skin and (I love me some chicken skin), butter and coconut oil all over everything, bacon and eggs every morning, and increased consumption of full-fat, grass-fed dairy.

For me, I'm pretty convinced that wheat/gluten trigger acne for me, because the one time I had wheat over the past 5 weeks, I got a zit the next day (but just one, and it went away pretty quickly). But I've recently become a Ray Peat convert, and I'm thinking that reduction of PUFAs and increase of good animal fats and proteins has helped to heal my skin and whatever was going on in my system that was causing my acne. I've never in my life reduced PUFAs as much as I have in the past 5 weeks, and I've never in my life had skin this good. This is all speculation though, as I'm not about to switch back to a PUFA-heavy diet just to see if my acne comes back.

I wish you the best of luck - keep searching, and you'll find the answer!

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 06, 2012
at 11:38 PM

Haha, +1 for chicken skin. Life is waaaay to short to not eat the skin.

2
535fafe8afe6923870905c707c4f4454

on March 06, 2012
at 12:45 PM

Have you tried low PUFA? My acne seems random but recently has been clearing.. When I think back to what I've been doing.. I have been eating heaps of fruits (oranges 1 a day), taking a low dose of iodine when I wake, using iodised salt and trying a new approach to PUFA of keeping it as low as possible.

My protein is kangaroo mince, lamb liver/kidney, bonebroth and my only real PUFA is a can of sardines every other day (low PUFA anyways at only like 400mg O3 a can)

My fat is coconut oil or tallow from bone broth.

I also have been sleeping amazing for the first time in a while (using a bit of melatonin) and only washing my face by wiping it with a wet rag. Cold showers before bed as well.

I think my approach might have been influenced by Ray Peat. I know I have been VERY bad to my thyroid in the past when I thought I was eating a perfect paleo diet.

I think mainly you need to get yourself feeling well and good physical and mental energy - then slowly but surely the skin will follow... I'm convinced at least for me, Acne will never be a quick fix. Do some heavy lifting too maybe to stimulate the CNS.

535fafe8afe6923870905c707c4f4454

(720)

on March 06, 2012
at 01:45 PM

Have you tried Iodine? I was naturally scared of it cause I'd heard iodine = acne. I'm going real slow- in no rush. Could be placebo but I'm feeling better each day (energy has always been a problem for me). Yes its hard to say with the fish oil. I used to go nuts on the stuff and I don't think it did me that well.. I'd rather eat liver for my retinol.. somehow I am a lot less oily this way. N=1 all over this however.

F55be68a03e578c64c526004505daae2

(85)

on March 06, 2012
at 04:44 PM

It's one of the few minerals I haven't tried yet. I've bought liquid iodine it should arrive next week.

F55be68a03e578c64c526004505daae2

(85)

on March 06, 2012
at 12:50 PM

My only fat is muscle meat, coconut oil and fish oil (I tested it out, helps me tremendously). I wonder if the fish oil is helping me due to the retinol, or that the omega 3 is enough. I'll gradually transtion to Ray Peat and hope it'll be solved...

F55be68a03e578c64c526004505daae2

(85)

on March 06, 2012
at 12:52 PM

I have most of the symptoms of hypothyroidism outlined here btw : http://www.nutritional-healing.com.au/content/articles-content.php?heading=Hypothyroidism but increasing carbs don't really help...

1
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 06, 2012
at 08:59 PM

I believe that acne is always connected to your health, most likely, gut bacteria and other organs.

To address your gut bacteria issue I would most definitely start by adding sauerkraut and kimchi to your diet on a daily basis. For the first couple of months I would eat them three times per day with meals. Also, since you might need more gut bacteria, check this site for the best pro-biotic supplement. I hate supplements, but I would start taking one if I had this issue.

I always notice when my (usually flawless) face flares up and it always have something to do with my hormones or digestive health.

Oh, and NO GLUTEN. Make sure there is no gluten in your lipstick, toothpaste or facial cream.

Stick to being 100% Paleo with no cheating for a while.

I would not do dairy for a while either unless you personally own that cow/goat and what it eats.

No sugar either, not even fruits because of the gut issue.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on March 07, 2012
at 11:38 AM

Don't tolerate fermented foods, I haven't eaten gluten for a whole year, not even traces. I don't do dairy. I did low carb, zero carb, higher carb, sugar does practically nothing. It must be a certain deficiency. In any case it gets worse in the winter.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 07, 2012
at 09:43 PM

That's interesting. It must be some deficiency for sure. What do you think it is? How bad is your acne? Oh, by the way, there is a multivitamin (GNC's Hair skin and nails). Even when I was eating gluten and lots of sugary stuff, it was still working. I do not suggest you take it, but I do suggest that you check out its contents (if you want me to, I can list them, I still have the box). You might be missing one of them. By the way, any deficiency is caused by poor absorption, and it goes back to gut issue. Unless it is vitamin D. Cute dinosaur, by the way!

1
1bc18852894dad9d6dddfb3dfed49ab3

(341)

on March 06, 2012
at 01:05 PM

My zits occurrences went down dramatically after having handful of roasted pistachios daily. Don't know any science behind it but it just works for me. I'd like to try raw pistachios to see if the effect would be the same.

F55be68a03e578c64c526004505daae2

(85)

on March 06, 2012
at 01:15 PM

Can't eat nuts, break me out real bad.

1
437446d8587a8edf752b6c7cd53149e8

on March 06, 2012
at 11:36 AM

Also an evening primrose oil supplement can be super helpful. I actually found that too much zinc made me breakout more.

Oh and I drink a daily kombucha.

F55be68a03e578c64c526004505daae2

(85)

on March 06, 2012
at 11:46 AM

Interesting about the zinc, it may be an issue for me too. Kombucha helps? Primrose oil does nothing but itch for me.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on March 07, 2012
at 11:40 AM

Oh I put it on topically. I might try supplementing it but I don't see how it'd help me, unless it's a temporary fix. I want good skin but I don't want to simulate it by putting tons of things on my face or by supplementing like crazy.

437446d8587a8edf752b6c7cd53149e8

(70)

on March 07, 2012
at 02:10 AM

It does for me. Wait itch? Do you put it on your skin or take it as a supplement? Intake it in capsule form.

437446d8587a8edf752b6c7cd53149e8

(70)

on March 07, 2012
at 12:18 PM

Well I actually heard about it in a Robb Wolf podcast. Apparently our bodies are supposed to convert something to GLA, but some people's don't. I also saw a huge improvement in my PMS and period with supplementation. Not sure if you're male or female though.

0
99bd7f8b1170a1e9e56b93d9d53b51cc

(193)

on March 06, 2012
at 11:21 AM

i would strongly recommend you try supplementing with 25-50mg of zinc picolinate every evening - myself and my partner have had radical results from upping our zinc, and both have clear skin now. there is a lot of reading on the topic on paleohacks - i would definitely give it a shot.

F55be68a03e578c64c526004505daae2

(85)

on March 06, 2012
at 11:46 AM

Zero results with zinc. Does nothing. I think I'm not deficient, since it tastes a bit metallic.

F55be68a03e578c64c526004505daae2

(85)

on March 06, 2012
at 11:57 AM

It might even cause acne, since it got worse when I tried it out. It could be other things, I don't know. I actually think it's not my diet that is causing this, just supplements that are useless and do more harm than good. Most supplements I now take have been tested : if I don't take them, it gets really bad (eg. vitamin D, magnesium and vitamin k2).

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