After following the PHD diet (no cheating, bananas, potatoes and white rice being my starch source, some IF, some diary - mostly heavy cream and butter but also some organic milk) for about a good year most of my health issues improved but my acne, while reduced, didn't go away completely.
I went to see a dermatologist last month and he diagnosed me with folliculitis and prescribed some antifungal creams. There was really no effect from that thus I'm asking here if anyone has any personal remedies or protocols that have helped ?
I'm 24, skinny, my Vitamin D levels are about 50 ng/ml, I sleep 8-9 hours in total darkness, don't supplement Omega 3 but eat sardines twice a week. As for exercise, it's mostly walk about 30 minutes per day and table tennis at the weekends.
asked byWarrenT (5)
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on April 19, 2012
at 08:44 PM
I consider myself an expert on folliculitis since diagnosed with it in 2007 and successfully treated it with several modifications.
First, understand that folliculitis is caused, mechanically, by excessive or improper desquamation inside the hair follicle. This can be caused by inflammation or irritation of the follicle via diet, dysbosis, skin care products, or bacterial infection like staph.
I had gram-negative folliculitis, which is basically like leaky gut manifested on the face. An improper balance of the skin flora causing an immune reaction in the skin, which turned into improper shedding and in clogged pores which then harbored infections. I had been on a multitude of antibiotics for acne and thus, the skin flora was unbalanced. I tried numerous topicals, and not a single one worked. Breakouts lessened when I went paleo, but still occurred fairly frequently.
What did it for me, was cutting out all topicals. I stopped washing myself and the pores stopped getting clogged. However, through this, I discovered I also had Seboherric dermatitis in the same areas. Talk about unfortunate. So, I began getting a bit more specific with diet + lifestyle.
Things that improve my skin and keep it clear are:
1.) Vitamin A - Eating liver regularly, once or twice a week.
2.) Iodine - From food seems to be the best in terms of skin health. Keeps it moist and happy.
3.) Fermented foods and anything that helps digestion + gut health
5. ) No topicals - Wash with mild temp water only.
6.) High D Levels
7.) Humidifier at night - Keeps skin moist and thus the barrier happy.
8.) Avoiding dairy + gluten. Lowers inflammation + helps immune function (at least for me, I had raw milk for a long time but I cut it in March and things really did improve... No amount of Vitamin A seems to mitigate the effects of dairy on my skin).
9.) Biotin supplementation - G00d for skin health
10.) Zinc + Copper via food (organs and shellfish)
11.) Vitamin C
12.) Gelatin from bone broths and supplemental powder.
13.) MSM - Helps support skin cell production
These are all things I do, most of them aren't just for my skin but other general health reasons... they just also happen to help my skin.
Currently, I am in the middle of a second fluconazole regime for the Seb. Derm. I did one back in October but was still heavy on the dairy and it never went away. I am also using a really nice Jojoba oil brand (only for 4 days so far) and it is actually working really nice (knock on wood) as a moisturizer after I wash my face with water. I really hope my skin continues to like it... Coconut oil worked for like a week then clogged the hell out of me. Even with water washing, my skin is very dry (I also live in SoCal, have been on Accutane, and have done serious skin damage with topicals over the years). I definitely need some topical assistance in healing the barrier, but all commercial products clog the pores/irritates the skin/flares SD + folliculitis, and most other oils.
So still a work in progress, but I have more 100% clear days than 95% clear days, and never less than that! So, either way, I consider myself successfully treated and hopefully one day "cured".
It's important to note, that skin barrier dysfunction comes before all skin problems as well... so doing things that encourage proper barrier function SHOULD improve all skin issues. But YMMV on this.
on June 18, 2012
at 07:52 AM
Magnesium. I've had folliculitis for years and years. For me, it's seasonal-- not totally sure why, but every spring... Mine is on my forearms and around a long surgery scar around my ankle. When I cut the gluten 3 years ago it improved immensely. Almost totally cured, in fact. For some reason, however, this Spring has been really bad. I cut more carbs (haphazardly, but I made an attempt-- it's not hard once gluten is no thang). I drank cider vinegar. Also applied the vinegar, tea tree oil and coconut oil to the problem areas. No real improvement.
It was getting worse. My students would ask about it (7th graders, so...). A date asked about it. I refuse to cover it up and just wear what I want to wear, but I was becoming increasingly self conscious.
Just as I began to entertain the idea of antibiotics (they'd helped the folliculitis whenever I was taking something for the myriad of infections I had pre-gluten free), I read a board that recommended Milk of Magnesia. It stopped me for a minute because I began thinking about those multi-vitamins and magnesium supplements I started a few weeks prior-- and then stopped b/c of tummy ache. I realized, my folliculitis had diminished during that time. So, since I had some Phillips left over from the gluten days, I smeared it all over my problem spots and went to bed. (ticktockticktock) Woke up the next morning dubiously surprised that the spots seemed better. Since that time, they've continued to heal/shrink and I've only had 1 or 2 new ones. I can't tell you how happy I am to have a solution... I invested in some really good oral magnesium complex (so not the magnesium oxide) since it's hard to absorb. Also bought some magnesium oil transdermal spray. I still go to bed with the milk of mag, but wear the oil during the day. Be warned: you kinda have to titrate up with the magnesium or it'll give you tummy issues and loose 2s (which explains why I stopped the supplement earlier-- see above).
So why does Mg work? Well, I'm not totally sure, but I think part of the reason is it changes the pH of the skin making it less hospitable to staph (I'm pretty sure staph, btw, is my issue-- particularly given the proximity to the big scar, but also because staph is the biggest culprit for folliculitis-- I don't know why your dr gave you fungal treatment w/o doing tests b/c it's so rarely caused by fungus). But apparently staph also produces hyaluronidaise (sp) which messes with your cells and immune system-- basically, allowing the staph to create pockets of inflammation in which to set up house. Magnesium heroically inhibits that hyalursfsdfas. I'd read about it on this MRSA forum where a bigger nerd than me explains it with more clarity.
There is also info out there about TSS and the link to magnesium. Evidently, Mg is easily absorbed by cotton, so a tampon can deplete it's surroundings which, in turn, allows staph to multiply and move around easily and lead to TSS, etc. Seems to make sense then that our Mg deficient SAD bodies are perfect hosts for staph-- and folliculitis.
As an aside, in recent weeks I've incidentally (vs. intentionally) consumed less dairy that I do normally, so I have to wonder if there is a connection there as well. I would not be surprised, but I think I'll keep my consumption low throughout this tank top/allergen/folloculitis(?) season-- just to be safe.
Oh, another aside-- I've been exfoliating my skin with baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to keep pores and follicles clear of any irritants. As far as I'm concerned, that is helping as well. My skin feels really nice anyway. :)
Hope this helps someone. Keep sharing, folks!
on April 19, 2012
at 08:17 PM
Get off the dairy. The bovine hormones run havol in the body
on April 19, 2012
at 07:40 PM
I've always struggled with acne too. I've noticed that it's much better when I'm low carb. The thing that makes the biggest difference for me is changing my pillow case (and sheets if the problem is not just on the face) very frequently.
on April 19, 2012
at 07:38 PM
Often it's the seed-storage-proteins (e.g. prolamins) that cause those problems. All seeds have these guys, which do unfortunately have a high rate of cross reactivity. Be it rice, nuts, sesam seeds, coconut, palm kernel etc. They are highly resistant to digestion and severely allergenic.
I guess the real power of a paleo diet is the abandonment of all seeds, as they are among the most potent allergens.
I would strongly suggest you avoid any kind of seed and get your carbs from fruit. (They want to be eaten; btw. fructose from fruit is not bad at all..)
on April 19, 2012
at 06:57 PM
I was on the Paleo-ketogenic diet for over a month, and I felt great. Then I started eating more (Paleo-allowed) carbs, and felt a bit bloated, but nothing serious. And then I ate some white rice. Boom. My eczema broke out in a single night.
No matter what PHD says, rice is not a safe starch in my personal opinion. It still has gluten, even if at a lower concentration, and of a different nature. It's still a type of gluten, difficult to break in our body.
So, I'd say to cut out rice completely and see what happens. Also, make sure you eat the rest of the important Paleo foods: offal, fermented foods, maybe some home-made goat kefir, more fish/shellfish, sea veggies, some Mg/K2 supplementation, cook with coconut oil.
on July 08, 2013
at 11:55 AM
my advice to you all is use Phillip Kingsley flacky itchy shampoo and the Scalp toner this seems to work on me but make sure u dont use any styling products on your hair. Spam is the place to buy the products at a cheaper price
on February 08, 2013
at 04:49 PM
Get it cultured before you go any further. I had what I thought was pimples on my chest. Went to the Doctor because of lymph nodes on my head and when I took my shirt off She said I had staff and wrote a script. I decided to take the antibiotics and it didn't even help. I wish I would have had it cultured before I did anything else. I don't think mine was staph. If it were staph I would take the antibiotic.
on February 08, 2013
at 03:43 PM
I'll reiterate as an official answer... if you have skin problems it's probably a good idea to be tested for allergies. Not that folliculitis is an allergy symptom, but vulnerable skin is for sure.
The allergies (dust, dander... all types of seemingly innocuous triggers) make your skin an open buffet for bacteria & fungus.
Also, to the OP... was your folliculitis cultured? An antifungal seems like an odd prescription. Just based on my own experiences and research. If its still there you may want to request an antibiotic. Bacterial skin infections can be very stubborn. You'll be sorry if it progresses to an impetigo or even just an isolated abscess.
Bomb it with antibiotics, then start picking through the advice here until you find what suits you. But, don't try to win this round by shifting your diet, etc... It's already got hold, you need to kill it.
Go back to your Dr, tell him the antifungal isn't working and you'd like to treat (or rule out) Staph. If he won't do either fire him/her. Get a new dermatologist. Then see an allergist.
Dermatology is not designed to prevent problems from returning.
on February 08, 2013
at 07:57 AM
what works for one does not work for another so take all these posts with a grain of salt.
avoid all the fancy expensive creams, lotions, and potions they don't work and do your skin more harm than good
where your ancestors hail from has ALOT to do with what foods you can and can not put in your body. milk is a perfect example of this. why some can tolerate milk and some can not.
As far as eating organ meat.....I would AVOID that like the plague b/c that opens up an entirely new set of potential issues. Organ meat was never meant for human consumption.
gluten is still debatable at best. some say it's a legit concern others say it's a medical fade/quackery that people are using to cash in on with glutten free products.
eat clean food that's the best advice for everyone even with no skin concerns (go to google type in clean food diet). the US government's FDA let's a lot of unclean disgusting shit pass as safe for human consumption when in reality I wouldn't feed it to my dog let alone eat it.
another good lifestyle diet is the Gracie Diet. worth checking out.
avoid all sodas, mass produced candy, mass produced cereal, and anything with corn syrup.
the only (close to) proven cure for folliculitis is laser hair removal in the area/areas you have the issue.