3

votes

Paleo teen and acne

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 23, 2012 at 11:57 PM

Hey guys, I'm a seventeen year-old girl and I've got a bout of acne that won't go away. It started back in October 2011 and it hasn't gone away. I've been relatively paleo since December 2010, and until October, I only got zits in my t-zone and they only got inflamed and nasty if I picked at them. So those were fairly normal and tolerable. Now let me break down what's going on with this new break out:

  • It's on my chin, and according to many, this is an indication of hormonal changes. I am not on the pill and the most medication I'll ever take is a decongestant or a tylenol, but I've got to be really rotten sick before I take even that.
  • There's some good reason to believe I'm going through a "second puberty" as I often jokingly call it. My chest seems to think so, as I now fill out my bras a bit better

  • My dairy consumption has gone up a bit since September. I'm currently cutting all but hard cheeses during Lent and I'm hoping that will do it. What's your thoughts on this? I've had dairy before without too much issue before.

  • My skin is super sensitive. Tap water leaves my skin burning, peeling, and redder than a steamed lobster. I've stopped washing my face a couple weeks ago. My pores seem no different than when I was cleansing via oil cleansing method or even using a mild neutrogena cleanser.

  • I'm currently supplementing with 50mg of Zinc, 2000 IU of Vitamin D (I never get enough sun), 1200mg of fish oil, and 2000mg of Vitamin C. I added the Zinc, D, and fish oil a week ago. I eat quite a bit of bacon (I always have), but I'm hoping the fish oil might offset whatever the O3-O6 ratio is contributing. When should I expect results from that?

I'm on the verge of taking antibiotics (I think we all know why that's a bad idea), and my dad is poking fun at my face in public because I refused the tetracycline routine he's offered (he's taking things a bit personally-- he's the biggest Korg in the family). I've got a powerful topical antibiotic, but naturally I'm apprehensive on taking it.

Any other advice guys? Do you think my acne is just a little hormonal blip that will end in a few months?

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 25, 2012
at 08:51 AM

@ Paul - you sound like a very young man. It is all fine and dandy when you are in your twenties, but when you are in your late thirties, all of the sudden, you feel like shit and you have no idea what is happening to you. And then you feel really really sorry for all the garbage that you have consumed over the last thirty years. I wish I could turn back the times. I would eat that broccoli and I would ask for more. If you needed a life-saving procedure three times per day, you would find the time for it, right? So I need to find this time in my life if I want to live.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 25, 2012
at 08:46 AM

@Korion - I am making my own sauerkraut. Let me know how your water kefir works for you, I am actually thinking of making it. Just for the record: my skin has always been acne-proof (I never ever had severe acne, even when I ate junk food), but it has gotten slightly worse when I started to take PPI. Now it is better again (actually, my skin is flawless now), and I am not sure why - maybe my gut is healing (I am gluten intolerant). I do know at least three cases when a severe acne cleared up with diet. All three were teenagers. That's why I responded.

35a8b223ae5d863f17a8c9e3a8eed5eb

(571)

on February 24, 2012
at 11:01 PM

@ haha, good luck with the water kefir. It's just incredible how much shit we do (paleohackers in general) to combat acne or other diseases. And there are people out there who do EVERYTHING "wrong" and they don't have acne, IBS or whatever. The idea that we miss some nutrient found in kale or whatever and that's why we get acne just cracks me up. I hope you know where I'm coming from. Greets.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 24, 2012
at 06:05 PM

*"You don't really need vitamins if you eat well."* I guess, but eating well is not that easy. It's time-consuming and often expensive. Cheap supplements like vitamin D and magnesium citrate can really make everything easier. *"I believe that acne is triggered by poor digestive health."* it seems more and more likely :). That's why I'm trying out water kefir tomorrow (I'm letting them ferment right now).

35a8b223ae5d863f17a8c9e3a8eed5eb

(571)

on February 24, 2012
at 04:55 PM

@ Korion yes, organs are very good. I eat liver 2 times a week. Backne is much more difficult to get rid off. I've no idea why.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 24, 2012
at 03:55 PM

@ Korion - that's what I eat because I am intolerant to almost everything and my stomach does not react to foods I listed. Everything else it reacts to. You don't really need vitamins if you eat well. As for salt - there is enough salt in food already (have you ever heard of DASH diet) so you don't need to add anything else. Some vitamins are very powerful, but not as powerful as the real stuff - good food. It is true, it is Terry Wahl-style diet. @ Paul - I believe that acne is triggered by poor digestive health. When you restore the balance in your intestines, your face will become clear.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 24, 2012
at 03:03 PM

It could be handy to get your body back in balance, Paul, as it is actually very nutrient dense if you eat loads of veggies and organs (terry wahls-style).

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on February 24, 2012
at 02:24 PM

+1 I wold also suggest getting your Vitamin D tested. 2000 IUs may not be enough if you are very deficient. You want a blood level of 50-60 ng/ml. D is a hormone precursor, so it is essentail for hormonal balance along with Magnesium, K2, A and Zinc.

35a8b223ae5d863f17a8c9e3a8eed5eb

(571)

on February 24, 2012
at 01:19 PM

Those kind of diets may work for a while but it's mostly due to low calorie and nutrient intake and therefore decreased thyroid. Veggies, no salt and no sugar will cause big hormonal interruptions. The presumption that acne is triggered by "allergic foods" is mostly wrong. As soon as she increases sugar or salt she could get a breakout, but not because of its allergic value, because salt is not an allergic food. People only fool themselves on such kind of regimes. But of course, by all means she could try it.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 24, 2012
at 12:29 PM

Saturated fat is great for the skin, good call.

Ef089e1180f240aa9fd2d089f7f38b45

(279)

on February 24, 2012
at 10:39 AM

Some past paleohacks would disagree with pork, see posts about a positive effect of bacon on their skin - though it is not clear whether it is due to bacon itself.

35a8b223ae5d863f17a8c9e3a8eed5eb

(571)

on February 24, 2012
at 09:29 AM

you can surf all the "acne" tagged posts http://paleohacks.com/questions/tagged/acne , unfortunately there is no real formula that works. If one would try to incorporate all the tips then there is nothing left to eat - lol. I suspect hormones are a the biggest culprit, no matter if you're on a paleo diet or not.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 24, 2012
at 08:41 AM

VB, why lots of cabbage family? And why no butter/ghee? If tolerated, those are great fats... Why no salt? Why no vitamins? Salt is actually great for acne, and some vitamins are damn powerful.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 24, 2012
at 07:48 AM

She takes vitamin D...

D3f3b91d1dd9ce60865654faeb2ec809

on February 24, 2012
at 07:19 AM

Not even clarified butter?

Ef089e1180f240aa9fd2d089f7f38b45

(279)

on February 24, 2012
at 12:09 AM

Congrats for resisting to the pressure of antibiotics. From what I read, antibiotics are only temporary (over time the tetracycline will be less and less effective) and harm your gut flora (by destroying both good and bad bacteria).

22fcea5ec4415ff2238c663324aca40f

(556)

on February 24, 2012
at 12:02 AM

"I neve get enough sun".. you might have the answer.

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4 Answers

6
B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 24, 2012
at 07:59 AM

Acne on the chin usually means stress : bad sleep, just standard school stress, ... You often see it in older women (one zit on the side of their chin, like my mother, my aunt, and many other women I saw).

What could really help you is a diet high in fruit and root veggies, coconut oil, gelatin, organs, bone broth etc. and low(er) in muscle meat, leafy greens, ... Ditch the chicken and the pork.

Liver will give you retinol, which should really help with your acne, especially if you don't wanna quit dairy.

Paleo often puts too much emphasis on going low in carbs and supplementing magnesium and vitamin D, but if you have acne every mineral/vitamin/micronutrient is important, not just those two. Calcium should not be neglected, and vitamin k2 can be an awesome addition.

Some people also put too much emphasis on diet and forget "life" in "lifestyle". Make sure you walk a lot, in the sun preferably (don't walk if you really don't want to), make sure you move around and get your blood flowing. I'm not advocating cardio for this, since it would increase stress levels.

An important part of the process is gut healing (acne is probably the result of a leaky gut) : add probiotics, or (preferably) eat fermented foods you tolerate. Start with water kefir, maybe add some sauerkraut or kimchee, etc. Bone broth is a great aid.

All this should already help a lot. Never give up, everybody deserves clear skin, and there is always a solution. The good news is : clearing up acne usually clears up the other health problems first (digestive issues, mood issues, skinny fat body, insomnia, ...)

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on February 24, 2012
at 02:24 PM

+1 I wold also suggest getting your Vitamin D tested. 2000 IUs may not be enough if you are very deficient. You want a blood level of 50-60 ng/ml. D is a hormone precursor, so it is essentail for hormonal balance along with Magnesium, K2, A and Zinc.

2
Ef089e1180f240aa9fd2d089f7f38b45

(279)

on February 24, 2012
at 10:44 AM

You mention a problem with tap water on your skin, have you tried going a week without any tap water on your face? I often read about bad reactions to some types of tap water, though its never clear whether its well founded. Also, have you tried coconut oil and lots of saturated fat but minimum amount of polyunsaturated fats?

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 24, 2012
at 12:29 PM

Saturated fat is great for the skin, good call.

2
0ab1af20860640fb1bd494e3d28e040e

on February 24, 2012
at 01:55 AM

Before you take antibiotics please read this!
http://www.gutpathogens.com/content/3/1/1 And once you are done, consider investing in a good probiotic rather than an anti-biotic. This stuff is expensive, but my functional doctor recommended it to me to help heal my gut. http://www.vsl3.ca/about.html

I began suffering from cystic acne at the age of 30. It's been a long slow road, but I finally got it under control after realizing my breakouts were actually inflammatory breakouts to food allergies. Also, I learned that I had leaky gut syndrome, which ties into the above article. I recommend going on a lectin ellimination diet to see if there is a lectin group that you are particularly sensitive to.
Read more here:http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

Also, pork is highly inflammatory. I break out every time I eat it in any form. I've also found if I eat too much fat or sugar I break out.
Here's another article that discusses the relationship between sugar (in any form) and hormonal acne. http://www.natural-acne-treatments.com/sugar-acne.html

Hope this helps!

Ef089e1180f240aa9fd2d089f7f38b45

(279)

on February 24, 2012
at 10:39 AM

Some past paleohacks would disagree with pork, see posts about a positive effect of bacon on their skin - though it is not clear whether it is due to bacon itself.

-1
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 24, 2012
at 07:06 AM

I am going to suggest something.

  1. NO DAIRY PERIOD. NO HARD CHEESES, soft cheeses, butter or anything like that.

  2. Try eating ONLY: vegetables (no nightshades) lots of cabbage family and green leafy ones

                berries (preferably organic)
    
    
    
            meat/fish/poultry (preferably grass-fed, no eggs)
    

    No salt, no sugar, nothing else for one week. I would not even take vitamins.

Just try it for a week and see if it makes any difference (it is called elimination diet).

If your acne won't get better with this diet, come back to Paleohacks.

Good luck!!!

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 25, 2012
at 08:46 AM

@Korion - I am making my own sauerkraut. Let me know how your water kefir works for you, I am actually thinking of making it. Just for the record: my skin has always been acne-proof (I never ever had severe acne, even when I ate junk food), but it has gotten slightly worse when I started to take PPI. Now it is better again (actually, my skin is flawless now), and I am not sure why - maybe my gut is healing (I am gluten intolerant). I do know at least three cases when a severe acne cleared up with diet. All three were teenagers. That's why I responded.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 24, 2012
at 03:55 PM

@ Korion - that's what I eat because I am intolerant to almost everything and my stomach does not react to foods I listed. Everything else it reacts to. You don't really need vitamins if you eat well. As for salt - there is enough salt in food already (have you ever heard of DASH diet) so you don't need to add anything else. Some vitamins are very powerful, but not as powerful as the real stuff - good food. It is true, it is Terry Wahl-style diet. @ Paul - I believe that acne is triggered by poor digestive health. When you restore the balance in your intestines, your face will become clear.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 24, 2012
at 03:03 PM

It could be handy to get your body back in balance, Paul, as it is actually very nutrient dense if you eat loads of veggies and organs (terry wahls-style).

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 24, 2012
at 06:05 PM

*"You don't really need vitamins if you eat well."* I guess, but eating well is not that easy. It's time-consuming and often expensive. Cheap supplements like vitamin D and magnesium citrate can really make everything easier. *"I believe that acne is triggered by poor digestive health."* it seems more and more likely :). That's why I'm trying out water kefir tomorrow (I'm letting them ferment right now).

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 24, 2012
at 08:41 AM

VB, why lots of cabbage family? And why no butter/ghee? If tolerated, those are great fats... Why no salt? Why no vitamins? Salt is actually great for acne, and some vitamins are damn powerful.

35a8b223ae5d863f17a8c9e3a8eed5eb

(571)

on February 24, 2012
at 04:55 PM

@ Korion yes, organs are very good. I eat liver 2 times a week. Backne is much more difficult to get rid off. I've no idea why.

D3f3b91d1dd9ce60865654faeb2ec809

on February 24, 2012
at 07:19 AM

Not even clarified butter?

35a8b223ae5d863f17a8c9e3a8eed5eb

(571)

on February 24, 2012
at 01:19 PM

Those kind of diets may work for a while but it's mostly due to low calorie and nutrient intake and therefore decreased thyroid. Veggies, no salt and no sugar will cause big hormonal interruptions. The presumption that acne is triggered by "allergic foods" is mostly wrong. As soon as she increases sugar or salt she could get a breakout, but not because of its allergic value, because salt is not an allergic food. People only fool themselves on such kind of regimes. But of course, by all means she could try it.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 25, 2012
at 08:51 AM

@ Paul - you sound like a very young man. It is all fine and dandy when you are in your twenties, but when you are in your late thirties, all of the sudden, you feel like shit and you have no idea what is happening to you. And then you feel really really sorry for all the garbage that you have consumed over the last thirty years. I wish I could turn back the times. I would eat that broccoli and I would ask for more. If you needed a life-saving procedure three times per day, you would find the time for it, right? So I need to find this time in my life if I want to live.

35a8b223ae5d863f17a8c9e3a8eed5eb

(571)

on February 24, 2012
at 11:01 PM

@ haha, good luck with the water kefir. It's just incredible how much shit we do (paleohackers in general) to combat acne or other diseases. And there are people out there who do EVERYTHING "wrong" and they don't have acne, IBS or whatever. The idea that we miss some nutrient found in kale or whatever and that's why we get acne just cracks me up. I hope you know where I'm coming from. Greets.

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