I'm still struggling with clearing my skin, but I'm so much improved that I wanted to share what I've found that is working for me in hopes that I might help someone else.
I was put on birth control when I was young, and it just so happened to be a brand new form of bc (insert) that ended up with horrid side effects for me. I had perfect skin before going on the bc, and all through high school. When I went off of it, however, I developed horrible acne on face, chest, and back as well as hormonal issues and breast lumps. My hormones were out of control. I saw dermatologist after dermatologist, and everything topical they gave me burned my skin and didn't make anything any better so we did 2 years (yes, I said 2 years!) of antibiotics. My skin was better, but not perfect, until I decided that I wanted to go off the antibiotics. That was a year ago. For the past year, I have been dealing with worse acne than I have ever had before and intestinal problems from the antibiotics stripping my gut of good bacteria.
I had tried everthing under the sun... my dermatologist told me I had exhausted my options... until I started seeing a granola crunchy esthetist who took me off everything topical, gave me gentle, organic, all natural products that DONT treat acne but make my skin healthy, and we looked at my diet and overall health.
The acne, hormone issues, digestive tract issues were all related. I did a strict elimination diet, and found that I cannot have meat (other than fish), dairy (other than a little goat's milk/goat cheese), potatoes, processed sugar, or flour. I'm unable to digest these things (probably due to low stomach acid), so they sit in my gut and rot (gross, I know) and make me horribly sick (I was experiencing horrid stomach cramping every time I ate for two months!!). The toxins from that buildup was effecting so much!
I also am taking probiotics for my digestive tract, minerals that are depleted from extended antibiotic use (like zinc, magnesium, etc.), and DIM, saw palmetto, pregnenalone, and evening primrose oil to balance my hormones. Add in some essential fatty acids and vitamin C for good measure (and they help with PMS, btw) and I feel SO much better! And my skin has been getting increasingly better since I started. Now, every so often I NEED some chocolate or a cup cake, and I just know that I'll break out within two days. But that's OK, because now I'M in control, rather than my acne controlling me! And, sometimes, a cupcake is worth one little pimple. I can deal with that!!
I would encourage people suffering from acne to look beyond their skin, and see it as a possible symptom or side effect from a general unhealthy state or imbalance.
The Following User Says Thank You to RachAnne For This Useful Post: summer17 (07-08-2011)
Hi, I just wondered how long you were on the diet and supplements before you started seeing improvement. I am convinced that my acne is hormone-related b/c I am always perfectly clear right after having a baby until the return of menses (for six months or so). Right now my son is almost two and I feel like my acne just keeps getting worse. There's so much more to my story, and although I used oral contraceptives for five years, I was never on extended antibiotics as you were. I went to a holistic dermatologist at the end of May and he put me on a low-yeast diet and about ten supplements. But I lost faith in it and really didn't see any improvements. I was half-hearted to begin with, though, because I don't want to change my diet permanently. I already eat a healthy, whole-foods diet, but I do believe in everything in moderation, so going without sugar or coffee EVER is really hard for me. This dermatologist was rather condescending about the whole thing, so I threw in the towel after five weeks b/c I just couldn't stand it any more and wasn't seeing results. I would love to discover how to balance my hormones so that my whole body is healthy, resulting in healthy skin, but I have to be honest I just don't want to permanently change my diet, especially since it really interferes with a social life and takes a lot of extra work in thinking ahead and making sure you have something you can eat. (Extra work is not what I need, since I have two very lively little children!) Thanks for sharing.