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Acne worsen 4th day into paleo diet....

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Updated about 15 hours ago
Created October 30, 2011 at 1:58 PM

Hi to all who is willing to help n advise, I'm 6th day into paleo diet now n my acne had worsen to the point it's unbearable to wash my face or look in the mirror. I had acne problems on n off before I started paleo but it was still manageable but all hell broke loose the 3rd day into paleo, I woke up with around 20 red inflamed pimples mainly around my chin n jawline, a few above the lips n some on forehead n temples. It doesn't look like it's healing n I can see more are coming up around my chin. My skin now is at it's worst ever n painful to touch. My main acne area has always been my chin n jawline but now it's spreading to places I never used to break out like my forehead, temples n cheeks.

I follow a very strict paleo diet since day 1. My diet consists of: Breakfast: vegetable smoothie( only green veg add with water n blend, no sugar or fruits)

Lunch: either pork or beef(with garlic n onions) with steamed or fried veg.

Dinner: baked fish with herbs with steamed or fried veg.

I had eggs n fruits when I started paleo but eliminate it all when my acne was getting worse. I also did not add salt into my cooking at all, my main seasonings are just all kinds of herbs. No nuts or diary at all. I take 2x30mg zinc picolinate, 2x900mg fish oil, 2x160mg saw palmetto, 1 1000mg vit C daily, plenty of water n 2 cups of white tea daily.

Is it some kind of purging of toxins in my body thus all this acne? Should I continue with this diet? I'm really scared n desperate to see the state of my face now, even my daughter is a little afraid to look at me n I feel so depress. FYI, I'm 35, female.

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8953 · January 04, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Gelatin is definitely good for you skin, but I wouldn't use whey, unless you want huge cystic acne.

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448 · October 31, 2011 at 6:06 PM

Keeping a food diary will help you figure out if lard is safe. Lard and olive oil both contain about 11% n-6. This may be too high, this may not be too high. Suppose you pull lard out and just use steam to cook your veggies, then watch your symptoms. If they improve without lard and get worse with lard, then lard is a problem. Don't do it with just lard, play around with all your foods and try to figure out what causes your acne.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78407 · October 31, 2011 at 3:25 PM

Oh yes, gelatin seems to be good one. There is lot of recipes how to create gelatin on your own or you could buy some that is used for cooking.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78407 · October 31, 2011 at 3:25 PM

You need to buy them. Body building stores have some. Whey are probably better then soy. I wouldn't depend on this too much, its still synthetic product which I don't trust, but perhaps it can serve you until you isolate the problem.

3a945b6b3f4612c1eeffa20e230739d8
0 · October 31, 2011 at 2:44 PM

Wow, that's a lot of information... I'll definitely look more into what u suggested. Thanks so much! Btw, what are protein shakes n how do make them?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78407 · October 31, 2011 at 11:17 AM

It looks like acne can be caused by hyperthyroid issues.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78407 · October 31, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Mhm... make sure you have enough proteins. Maybe you want to include some protein shakes from time to time. If you can feel you can eat more but don't have an appetite, cannabis solves that problem like nothing else and it gives you acute cravings for sugar. If toxins are problem, more fats will introduce more toxins acutely via higher level of endotoxins. Make sure you take high vitamin C doses. You might have hyperthyroid related problems, have you checked it ? Maybe thats the reason you crave goitrogenic vegtables [this is just wild guess, needs to be tested ofc].

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78407 · October 31, 2011 at 11:10 AM

A is best via cod liver oil. E is best as mixed tocopherols. I wonder, Matt, if Now mixed tocopherols would create problem for you. But I guess E supplementation for most people on paleo diet is not needed,especially if you use palm oil and nuts. Cardiovascular problems require higher E doses. You could also use it topically (for instance for hemorrhoids )

3a945b6b3f4612c1eeffa20e230739d8
0 · October 31, 2011 at 1:54 AM

But my husband is very concern about my weight loss, I'm almost skin n bones now n i'm not taking any tubers now, my main veg are broccoli, spinach, kale, carrots, lettuce, cabbage. So I don't know where to get additional carbs from. Despite being so thin, I have no problems with energy, I still do my usual yoga n light exercise but I've been a little lazy these 2 days, yawning constantly n feeling lethargic. I don't know if there are enough fats in me to convert into energy since I'm not taking any carbs. I try to eat more but I'm really full from every paleo meal, no room for snacking too.

3a945b6b3f4612c1eeffa20e230739d8
0 · October 31, 2011 at 1:46 AM

Now, my main problem is weight lost. I'm 164cm tall n weigh only 94lbs. I've lost 4lbs 1 week into paleo diet. I've always being on the thin side but I do have a big appetite! Pre paleo, I eat a normal diet consists of meat, fish, rice n noodles. I would think I had a rather healthy diet but my main problem has always being sugar. I crave sugar after every meal n I would have cakes, pies, chips or cookies after every meal then I will feel satisfied n the meal is complete. After starting paleo, I don't even crave for sugar anymore. I get full easily with the paleo diet.

3a945b6b3f4612c1eeffa20e230739d8
0 · October 31, 2011 at 1:35 AM

I used to take Vit A n E but dropped them after I discovered they have soybean oil in them, I don't like supplementing that much too so I'm really choosing to see which are the ones I really need.

3a945b6b3f4612c1eeffa20e230739d8
0 · October 31, 2011 at 1:32 AM

I will definitely look into magnesium n coconut oil though the latter is going to be difficult to find here....

3a945b6b3f4612c1eeffa20e230739d8
0 · October 31, 2011 at 1:30 AM

Firstly, thank you so much to everyone for the replies n suggestions. I woke up today with more acne on chin, cheeks n even my eyelids are invaded! My whole face looks so red n swollen! I'm really worried n going to a derm is out of the question coz where I live now, doctors are simply unreliable(i live in Asia btw). I used to cook with olive oil n has switched to lard a few days ago. Is lard safe for acne-prone skin? My 30mg zinc has 2mg copper in it so I think should be alright. I have a very bland taste bud n cooking without salt is not a problem at all but is it healthy?

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41341 · October 30, 2011 at 10:24 PM

It started with multivitamins, but when I started spot supplementing I found that both A and E cause me issues. I buy whatever brand is on sale, so unlikely I bought the same brand of mutlivitamin and Vitamin A or E. I don't like supplementing all that much anyway. Charting out my diet, I'm well above RDA with A and E typically.

79fc447191de75e7c178951594a43f13
448 · October 30, 2011 at 9:22 PM

also consider taking a multivitamin for general health. What kind of vegetables are you eating? Paleos don't consider beans to be vegetables. What is your carb intake? Anything high carb can cause an insulin spike and thus acne. For me, the lag time between what I eat and the acne I get is 2-12 hours. Keep a food diary to link acne symptoms with what you eat. A food diary is your best bet for you to figure out what specifically is causing your acne.

79fc447191de75e7c178951594a43f13
448 · October 30, 2011 at 9:13 PM

salt is fine to eat. use your taste to figure out how much salt you should eat. What are you frying your vegetables in? if you are frying in any type of high n-6 oil you will get acne. Banned oils: any soybean oil, any vegetable oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil. Safe oils: coconut oil (maybe macadamia nut oil and olive oil). Just drop the fried vegetables for now. Steamed only. (A trick: if you feel a pimple coming on, you can ice it down like an injury) if you take 60 mg of zinc a day, you need to take 2 mg of copper to prevent copper deficiency.

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8953 · October 30, 2011 at 7:39 PM

Matt - thank you. Finally someone that doesn't use the detox argument.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78407 · October 30, 2011 at 7:37 PM

Maybe you should try topical vitamin C. You can find some recipes online.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78407 · October 30, 2011 at 7:36 PM

Have you used used different providers for A/E and/or different forms ?

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78407 · October 30, 2011 at 6:26 PM

I second this..

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6889 · October 30, 2011 at 6:16 PM

Seconding fish oil being the problem, but I switched to krill oil instead and that seemed to work. So, OP, you do have a few options to play with.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f
8953 · October 30, 2011 at 2:08 PM

More vitamin C, magnesium, and most important of all : coconut oil. Don't underestimate the power of coconut oil :) I had a short worsening of acne too, so just accept it. Your diet looks great. Be sure to avoid stress at all cost, it's the most important thing you're gonna do (-> more sleep and playing games).

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6 Answers

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78407 · October 30, 2011 at 7:28 PM

Toxins are found in adipose tissue. Lots of them. We know this from "Monitoring Human Tissues for Toxic Substances" research project. Authors stated that "we are exposed continually to a wide range of chemical substances [and that] some are known to be toxic at common exposure levels, and others might be toxic."

From: http://www.thorne.com/altmedrev/.fulltext/5/2/133.pdf

Chemicals known as solvents are part of a broad class of chemicals called volatile organic compounds. These compounds are used in a variety of settings, are ubiquitous, and off-gas readily into the atmosphere. As a result of their overuse, they can be found in detectable levels in virtually all samples of both indoor and outdoor air. Certain of these compounds are detectable in adipose samples of all U.S. residents. Once in the body they can lead to a variety of neurological, immunological, endocrinological, genitourinary, and hematopoietic problems. Some individuals also have metabolic defects that diminish the liver???s clearing capacity for these compounds. Supplementation may be of benefit to help clear these compounds from the body and to prevent adverse health effects.

We also have review "White Adipose Tissue: Storage and Effector Site for Environmental Pollutants".

You can find other references in those papers.

So it can be detox, especially if you started loosing weight. There is possibility that improved diet caused detoxication. Increased input of iodine, for instance, can cause acne by causing bromide detox. Higher vitamin C input can also increase detoxication.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f
8953 · January 04, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Gelatin is definitely good for you skin, but I wouldn't use whey, unless you want huge cystic acne.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78407 · October 31, 2011 at 3:25 PM

Oh yes, gelatin seems to be good one. There is lot of recipes how to create gelatin on your own or you could buy some that is used for cooking.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78407 · October 31, 2011 at 3:25 PM

You need to buy them. Body building stores have some. Whey are probably better then soy. I wouldn't depend on this too much, its still synthetic product which I don't trust, but perhaps it can serve you until you isolate the problem.

3a945b6b3f4612c1eeffa20e230739d8
0 · October 31, 2011 at 2:44 PM

Wow, that's a lot of information... I'll definitely look more into what u suggested. Thanks so much! Btw, what are protein shakes n how do make them?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78407 · October 31, 2011 at 11:17 AM

It looks like acne can be caused by hyperthyroid issues.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78407 · October 31, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Mhm... make sure you have enough proteins. Maybe you want to include some protein shakes from time to time. If you can feel you can eat more but don't have an appetite, cannabis solves that problem like nothing else and it gives you acute cravings for sugar. If toxins are problem, more fats will introduce more toxins acutely via higher level of endotoxins. Make sure you take high vitamin C doses. You might have hyperthyroid related problems, have you checked it ? Maybe thats the reason you crave goitrogenic vegtables [this is just wild guess, needs to be tested ofc].

3a945b6b3f4612c1eeffa20e230739d8
0 · October 31, 2011 at 1:54 AM

But my husband is very concern about my weight loss, I'm almost skin n bones now n i'm not taking any tubers now, my main veg are broccoli, spinach, kale, carrots, lettuce, cabbage. So I don't know where to get additional carbs from. Despite being so thin, I have no problems with energy, I still do my usual yoga n light exercise but I've been a little lazy these 2 days, yawning constantly n feeling lethargic. I don't know if there are enough fats in me to convert into energy since I'm not taking any carbs. I try to eat more but I'm really full from every paleo meal, no room for snacking too.

3a945b6b3f4612c1eeffa20e230739d8
0 · October 31, 2011 at 1:46 AM

Now, my main problem is weight lost. I'm 164cm tall n weigh only 94lbs. I've lost 4lbs 1 week into paleo diet. I've always being on the thin side but I do have a big appetite! Pre paleo, I eat a normal diet consists of meat, fish, rice n noodles. I would think I had a rather healthy diet but my main problem has always being sugar. I crave sugar after every meal n I would have cakes, pies, chips or cookies after every meal then I will feel satisfied n the meal is complete. After starting paleo, I don't even crave for sugar anymore. I get full easily with the paleo diet.

4bb7a88866d5f97c6bd900b2a83fa2b0
2
223 · October 30, 2011 at 4:13 PM

I used to have that problem when I was supplementing with fish oil. I have since switched to fermented cod liver oil and added butter oil haven't had a pimple since. This is the brand I use. http://www.amazon.com/Royal-Butter-Fermented-Liver-Blend/dp/B002M06SMU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1319991198&sr=8-1

41dfb1a4fecb38d24075ff52f13ccb28
6889 · October 30, 2011 at 6:16 PM

Seconding fish oil being the problem, but I switched to krill oil instead and that seemed to work. So, OP, you do have a few options to play with.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46
2
41341 · October 30, 2011 at 2:33 PM

My acne has always about about a 7-day lag time between stressor and breakout. Did perhaps go on a bender right before starting paleo? Give it 1 month before concluding that it's the paleo eats that are causing the problem. After a longer period of time, you can conclude that it's likely you added something that your body doesn't agree with.

You're not "detoxing." Our bodies don't intentionally store toxins and unintentionally stored toxins aren't magically released all at once.

EDIT: Also, I've discovered that I'm sensitive to Vitamins A and E and those tend to cause me to break out. Only really a problem when using a multivitamin. Whole foods high in A and E do not have that effect (or I just never eat enough of them for the effect to occur).

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78407 · October 31, 2011 at 11:10 AM

A is best via cod liver oil. E is best as mixed tocopherols. I wonder, Matt, if Now mixed tocopherols would create problem for you. But I guess E supplementation for most people on paleo diet is not needed,especially if you use palm oil and nuts. Cardiovascular problems require higher E doses. You could also use it topically (for instance for hemorrhoids )

3a945b6b3f4612c1eeffa20e230739d8
0 · October 31, 2011 at 1:35 AM

I used to take Vit A n E but dropped them after I discovered they have soybean oil in them, I don't like supplementing that much too so I'm really choosing to see which are the ones I really need.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46
41341 · October 30, 2011 at 10:24 PM

It started with multivitamins, but when I started spot supplementing I found that both A and E cause me issues. I buy whatever brand is on sale, so unlikely I bought the same brand of mutlivitamin and Vitamin A or E. I don't like supplementing all that much anyway. Charting out my diet, I'm well above RDA with A and E typically.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f
8953 · October 30, 2011 at 7:39 PM

Matt - thank you. Finally someone that doesn't use the detox argument.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78407 · October 30, 2011 at 7:36 PM

Have you used used different providers for A/E and/or different forms ?

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0
0 · February 13, 2013 at 1:59 AM

hey! i am on my second week of paleo and my acne has not calmed down yet. i definitely started breaking out a lot more when i started this diet, getting it all over my face, my neck, my hairline, my back, even my chest. i have never had so much acne before. i do not eat any sugars, dairy, grains or legumes, and i take several vitamin supplements a day that include vitamin c, b-complex, bilberry, flaxseed/fish oil/omega 6 & 9, vitamin e, vitamin d, biotin, b-12, and magnesium. is there anything i can do to help ease the seemingly continuous growth of new pimples? i saw the posts about cod liver oil instead of fish oil, and that this burst of acne fades with time, but how long does that take? is there something i am doing wrong or missing? thanks!!! other than the acne, i feel the healthiest that i have felt in my life!!! and i can already see positive changes in my weight :)

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35 · December 07, 2012 at 4:29 AM

I'm also new to Paleo. There was a point in time, however, when I decided to switch to cleaner food (more fresh fruits & veggies, no processed foods, low-fat though), and I started to break out. I never had acne growing up so when this happened to me at the age of 22 I was in shock. I found out later this was just a step your body goes through when it is detoxifying itself. I'm pretty sure the breakouts are only going to be temporary. It was the case for me, and after a while, my skin cleared up and was in even greater condition than before. I also got acne on my back during this detox phase. It will pass! Hang in there :)

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0
0 · December 07, 2012 at 4:15 AM

Hi Hope,

I am just starting my Paleo diet for acne and I was wondering how your results turned out? I've noticed my acne getting slightly worse as well (I'm on my 3rd day of the diet). Did your acne eventually clear up? And how long did it take?

Thanks!

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