Acne and increasing carb intake without negative effect

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 13, 2012 at 12:30 AM

Hey guys this is my first time ever posting on paleohacks. I have cleared my cystic acne that was moderately severe a year ago through dietary changes. I still feel though as if I could make an improvement some how cause after elimentating grains and cow dairy (besides cream, butter ect.), and low carb (around 80-90 grams a day), I am 95 percent clear and no cysts since a year but I have this issue with what seems to be a moderate case of dermatitis. I didn't have this before and just maybe if I add more carbs I could fix this, problem is I don't kno the line between cystic acne and regular acne when it comes to carb intake. I want to know if someone can help me figure out how to up my carb intake with out crossing the regular to cystic acne line cause I simply have never wanted to find out since cysts leave scars that will stay there forever. I have done a good job with a plantain and banana a day. Also if it helps I'd like to add that I notice high salycitate foods aggregate my dermatitis. How do I fix both cystic and dermatitits when I am basically in a stuck situation?? I really don'tind have some acne I just don't know were the line between normal and cystic/modular acne is drawn in my tolerance to carbs.

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3 Answers


on October 08, 2012
at 03:45 PM

The reason behind it is because you're not digesting carbs properly. You need to heal your gut, which is exactly what I'm doing, since I have the same exact problem. I am following a GAPS-like Paleo diet with bone broth and betaine HCL. I need to incorporate probiotics though since my results so far have been minimal, though the HCL has let me digest them much better.



on October 08, 2012
at 12:44 PM

I'm right there with you; I've been battling severe cystic acne since puberty. I went paleo and it cleared up magnificently. but now I have to watch my carbs like a hawk if I want to keep clear skin. my suggestion? half a banana a day, or a multivitamin for your magnesium. or almonds. drink your water, I have trouble with that myself lol. limit the caffeine. I shouldnt drink coffee but tea is fine. and only wash your face once a day. really helped me once I realized I didnt have to obsess over it anymore



on September 24, 2012
at 03:44 AM

I don't think anyone can give you specific number of carbs to eat. At least based on anything reliable.

I guess you know the story of how carbs contribute to acne, so I'll just mention it briefly. Insulin and IGF-1 stimulate the skin to produce sebum. They also make the skin more sensitive to androgen hormones. Getting insulin levels down is one of the best things you can do for the skin.

This is one reason why carbohydrate restriction works for acne. The problem is that with increased fat intake comes increased risk of insulin resistance, at least as far as I've been able to tell. And that's why upping your carb intake can cause a disaster on the skin.

Anyway, since you have your acne under control with diet, why not just try to manage dermatitis topically. There are real genetic abnormalities in acne-prone skin, something that diet can never fix.

I can't imagine dermatitis to be so bad that you couldn't keep it under control with topicals. I find that benzoyl peroxide (2.5% once a day) curbs inflammation in my skin a lot. Top that off with soothing moisturizer and my skin is probably as good as it's going to get.

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