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idealist 09-02-2004 07:02 PM

nonbelievers & believers of diet/acne connection
nonbelievers of the diet/acne connection, i urge you take a few minutes to read this and consider it. believers, please comment and share your experiences.

i am 28 y/o female. my acne came back with a vengeance about a year and a half after two courses of accutane. since then, changing my diet (specifcally to low simple carb, low glycemic index, low sugar, low dairy) has controlled my acne . when i stick with the diet i am clear, when i don't i get blemishes within 1 - 3 days.

i think there are three main reasons that make the diet/acne connection difficult to believe:
1. MISunderstanding the meaning of "healthy" food
2. MISunderstanding of the way food "works."
3. condsidering acne a cosmetic problem rather than a health problem

for a long time i was a NONbeliever in the diet/acne connection. it took me 27 years to realize, that food that comes in a can or box is not only not healthy, but not exactly "real" food either. throughout highschool and college i ate very poorly (fries, pizza, chicken wings etc). at one point i thought i'd be healthy and help my skin by eliminating greasy food. i stopped eating pizza, fries etc but still had acne. what was i eating mostly? pasta, potatoes, dairy, sandwiches, cereals. at the time, i didn't know all these SIMPLE carbs and processed food were so bad. then i came across a few acne message boards and other info on the internet and learned/realized what foods are not very good for you: SIMPLE carbs (bread, pasta), HIGH glycemic index foods (potatoes, carrots), dairy (ice cream, cheese, milk, butter), and sweets (cookies, pastries, etc). i covers A LOT of stuff. i thought to myself...i can't do this...i'll starve! i didn't think it was possible/healthy to NOT eat this stuff. but i was so desperate i tried it. over the course of the past 11 months i've nearly elminated these "bad" foods. now i only eat what i believe are truly healthy foods: COMPLEX carbs, LOW glycemic index food, the majority of my meals now consist of FRESH vegetables and fruits, leafy greens, beans/legumes, nuts and seeds. "real" food is NOT paul newman's "healthy" line of foods. although probably better than other commercial brands of food, they still contain lots of sugar and preservatives. nor is healthy food boxes and cans that read "low-carb" and "vitamin enriched." i don't think a supplement is quite the same as getting the vitamins directly from fresh vegetables and fruit; some people have noted their acne got better when they stopped taking commercial vitamins, like centrum. NATURAL foods. natural meaning it doesn't come in a box or can, it's naturally occurring in nature.

no matter what you eat, food IS DOING SOMETHING to you internally. the way it MANIFESTS itself is going to be different from person to person. certainly if this were a weight board instead of an acne board, you wouldn't be saying "food doesn't make you fat." i can pretty much eat as much of whatever i want and not get overly fat. yes i will gain weight but i will not balloon. my brother can eat whatever he wants (which is mostly fast and proccessed food) and he doesn't gain weight at all, he's a toothpick. does that mean the food he is eating is not doing anything to him? he doesn't have acne, but he has high cholesterol and a lot of stomach probs. i have a couple girlfriends who have slight weight problems. when they eat poorly, they say they can "feel food" going to their thighs. when i eat poorly, i notice my skin get oiler and i'll get blemishes 1 - 3 afterwards. in short, food is doing things inside of us. for some of us, including me, poor foods manifests itself in the form of acne.

what is most worrisome is that most of us, including the medical profession, consider acne a cosmetic concern, not a health concern. but it really should be a health concern, especially for those of us past puberty still struggling with acne. our body is trying to tell us something is awry. also, the philosphy of the medical profession in general is to treat the SYMPTOM of an ailment, not the ROOT CAUSE. for example, consider acne being a rash. let's say that rash was due to new detergent. most doctors would most likely give you some topical cream and not consider environmental factors. last time i went to a derm, she barely looked at me, and less than 10 minutes later, walked out with 5...FIVE! prescriptions, which of course, did not help.

last, but not least, on other health message boards i have been on (not just other acne boards, but also PCOS, diabeties, excessive sweating, excessive body hair, excessive fatigue) many, many people have indicated they've controlled and/or CURED the symtpoms from these ailments from changing their diet to low carb/low glycemic/low sugar.

ok, that's it. i know it was a lot, but i just had to get this off my chest.

jazmella 09-02-2004 08:56 PM

Re: nonbelievers & believers of diet/acne connection
You are absolutely correct. :)

surenitynow 09-03-2004 01:50 AM

Re: nonbelievers & believers of diet/acne connection
i second that going to try, no no, DO that...if i just keep reminging my self how it will benefit my skin by NOT eating those bad things it will be way easier...i would give anything to not have problems with my skin and if that will help..thats what ill do... thanks for the motivation

rocknroll1234 09-03-2004 03:21 AM

Re: nonbelievers & believers of diet/acne connection
Great Post. Could you possibly give a short list of what exact foods (which meat, fruit etc) you find yourself mostly eating on a daily/weekly basis to keep your acne under control?


boulder21 09-03-2004 06:38 AM

Re: nonbelievers & believers of diet/acne connection
Yes. I've recently started to put the pieces of the puzzle together. I cleared up for a day or two then ate a pizza over 2 days. In the next 3 days acne came back. So I made an appointment with a dietitcian (sp?) to see what she can do for me.

Why don't derms make this connection?

They always say there is no scientiffically proven connection. Well, really there's no money in making a connection so who wants to pay for the study. Why make the connection and throw out the cash cow for big pharm! Just a thought, who knows if it's true.

Do you have a list of specific foods that are good and bad? pizza bad obviously.

Resources on the internet to look at?


keison 09-03-2004 07:02 AM

Re: nonbelievers & believers of diet/acne connection
About 8 months ago I decided to change what my family was eating (complex carbs, low gly). Almost immediately my son's behavior changed for the better. I know there is a correlation. Acne is one of many ways the body let's us know it's not balanced/healthy.

PBABY 09-03-2004 08:30 AM

Re: nonbelievers & believers of diet/acne connection

Your post was right on!!! There IS a connection between diet and acne!! Took me about...mmmm...18 years to figure it out! lol lol I just started this week to watch my diet and look closer at things that affect my acne. I also take certain vitamin supplements to help me also.

To anyone who wants a list of foods, johnsmith007 posted a list. I'm kinda a computer idiot so I don't know how to post links. But the list is in a thread titled "Dieting Routine for the Skin". It was last updated August 24. Hope that helps!!

rocknroll1234 09-03-2004 08:53 AM

Re: nonbelievers & believers of diet/acne connection
I tried linking to it but it wouldn't work :(

PBABY 09-03-2004 09:04 AM

Re: nonbelievers & believers of diet/acne connection

I didn't include the link. You'll have to search for that particular thread "manually".

idealist 09-03-2004 10:33 AM

Re: nonbelievers & believers of diet/acne connection
here is a link to the thread with the food list by johnsmith:

if the link doesn't work when you click on it, copy and paste it into your address broswer.

below is a list of food i eat. the hardest things is not WHAT to eat, but HOW to prepare/cook it so that it tastes good. for this i highly recommed recipe web sites and experimenting on your own.

-mixed green salads (i'll throw in a different combo of veggies each time, for ex. avocado, tomato, asparagus, olives, radishes, celery, raw pine nuts, raw sunflower seeds)
-for dressing i simply use a combo of extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice or balsamic or white wine vinegar. you can find a ton of homemade dressings on the internet. store bought stuff usually has a lot of sugar and preservatives.
-SEA salt. NOT salt that is FORTIFIED with iodine. i've read iodine can make acne worse, but i think getting it from fortified sources is what makes it bad. again, i think getting vitamins from food is much, much better than getting it from a pill.
-broccoli, spinach, collard greens, green beans, artichoke, yellow squash, zuccini, asparagus
-brown rice
-black beans, lentils, adzuki beans (NOT from a can, the raw stuff you have soak overnight, etc)
-RAW, UNroasted, UNsalted sunflower seeds, almonds, pine nuts.
-garlic! i love garlic. either raw or cooked adds a lot of flavor to dishes
-spices (oregano, basil, red pepper, cumin, etc). i do use quite a bit of dried spices in some of the dishes i prepare. try to buy organic ones that aren't fortified with any preservatives or vitamins.
-fruits. i don't eat that many fruits, but when i do my favs are apples, grapfruit, peaches, berries. stay away from high GI fruits like watermelon. if your not sure about the GI of certain foods you can do an internet search on "[food] and glycemic index." a ton of sites have info about GI and foods.
-meat and diary: i only eat chicken on occasion and i don't like meat or fish. if you are a big meat eater buy organic. i think meat and dairy is only bad because of all the crap (anitibiotics, hormones) they give to the animals, which then effects us when we eat it. so eat sparingly or by organic.

unfortunately, some "natural" foods are common acne culprits
on many message boards i've read how some people specifically have found their acne causing food to be bannanas, potatoes, carrots, and peanuts. so these are "natural" foods that should be avoided or eaten in moderation. i'm assuming this is because most of these foods are HIGH on the glycemic index. for more info about this do an internet search for "Acne foods and Glycemic Index"

idealist 09-03-2004 10:46 AM

Re: nonbelievers & believers of diet/acne connection
[QUOTE=keison]About 8 months ago I decided to change what my family was eating (complex carbs, low gly). Almost immediately my son's behavior changed for the better. I know there is a correlation. Acne is one of many ways the body let's us know it's not balanced/healthy.[/QUOTE]

that's great to hear!

since changing by diet and all the experiences i've read on message boards, i'm beginning to think all disease is caused by diet. not to say, of course that genes don't play a role. i believe in an interactionist theory; a combo of genetic and environmental factors affects our health.

i was doing some research on underarm odor and excessive sweating when i came across a family message board. a few parents had noted their child having strong underarm odor at a very early age. some noted that it coincided with a change to nonorganic milk. they went back to organic milk and the odor dissappeared.

i remember a LONG time ago there was a show on 20/20 or Dateline about this famous movie director who had a son with some disease, a rare form of epilepsy or something, i can't remember exactly. he made a very good living, so he could afford to go to many doctors. he went to so many of them, but noone was able to help his son. the father started doing his own research, in medical journals, etc. he came across something about diet being able to help. i can't remember if it was the caloric intake or the type of food or both that he had to control, but either way he started changing/restricting his son's diet...and it WORKED. his son stopped having the seizures.

rocknroll1234 09-03-2004 10:50 AM

Re: nonbelievers & believers of diet/acne connection

I didn't include the link. You'll have to search for that particular thread "manually".[/QUOTE]

No I meant that I was trying to add a link for the thread you mentioned so other people could access it without having to seach.

Even though there is the option to add a hypertext link, it doesn't seem to want to make a link you can just click on. You have to copy and paste into the browser.

PBABY 09-03-2004 10:53 AM

Re: nonbelievers & believers of diet/acne connection

Thanks for posting that link!! I'm kinda...uh...moronic when it comes to dealing w/certain computer functions. lol lol

I wish I had known long ago that controlling acne is something that needs to be controlled both internally and externally. Sure would have save me a lot of money on Rx's!!!! Oh well.....


I'm sorry I couldn't be of more help!! But I think idealist has posted the link now.

gymnasticsfan 09-03-2004 02:38 PM

Re: nonbelievers & believers of diet/acne connection
Idealist, I think you are right. I've noticed that I've been getting more pimples every since I started adding certain foods to my diet that are very high on the GI like mangoes(eating at least 2 a day lol), papayas, raisins, figs, and almond butter(roasted). Wow.. just when I thought I was on the right track I realized that I'm still eating the wrong foods. Thanks so much for the info. I guess I'll go back to pears and apples and I'll try to find some raw almonds. Grapefruit seems to be the best fruit to eat but I can't stand the taste. If anyone knows a better way to eat it, let me know :).

surenitynow 09-03-2004 03:02 PM

Re: nonbelievers & believers of diet/acne connection

i used to hate it! the only way i could eat it is with tons of sugar on it because its too bitter... . Unnntil, mu mom gave me the solution...first you peel it like an orange, then you take the segments and peel the skin off those(ya know, the thin covering)..i just have a knife with me and that helps.....with an orange you can eat the skin with no problem...but that is what causes the bitterness with grapefruits... you can find your own way to eat them, whatevers easiest for you, But all you need to do is make sure that skin is off. It suprised me that grapefruits are really sweet and good!.. .. thanks for reminding me about them im going to go get some right now!

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