Hi, so I've been paleo/primal on and off since February. Overall I've been pretty happy with how I have felt. I've had a few weeks here and there where I was not eating that well, but I definitely had some pretty sustained period of 90% or higher paleo.
Anyway, going paleo has not particularly helped my acne. My dermatologist has prescribed accutane. I'm a little by wary of going on this because of potential long term side effects.
Alternatively, I was thinking about doing a more strict version of paleo for a while (at least 30 days), i.e. really cutting out fruit, having no dairy at all, and maybe even cutting out eggs/nightshades.
Has anyone done an elimination diet to figure out what was really causing an issue (such as acne)? What did your diet look like?
I have been strict paleo for almost 3 months now, without cheating ever. I have had skin problems all my life (acne, greasy skin, dry skin, cracking and bleeding skin, and skin cancer even. NOTE: I'm 21). My acne has gone from a new breakout every week to now I have 1, maybe 2 pimples on my face at a time. Definitely eliminate the dairy. If you get rid of the dairy, grains and legumes, you should see it.
The reason you probably haven't noticed a change is because you have been intermittent with your diet. You won't see changes right away, pimples can form under the skin for weeks before actually appearing. You need to stick to your diet, eliminate dairy completely and stop switching back and forth. The changes back and forth in your diet are not helping; whenever your body goes through a diet change or any major change, it reacts negatively at first. You need to be consistent with the way you eat.
I have no experience with acne but I did have TERRIBLE Rosacia. I mean bad, ugly, bumpy, red rash standing out on both cheeks.
I went Paleo and gave up nightshades and ** POW ** my skin was clear in 3 months! It was incredible.
So my advice is to try dropping Nightshades. srsly.
Hope this helps!
Agreed with the consistency issue. A REAL elimination diet needs to be pure for at least 2 weeks if not more like 4-8 weeks, then you reintroduce one item at a time and wait 3 days to see/feel any reaction thereafter.
Common food causes of acne include: wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, nightshades, nuts & seeds (yes, all of them really).
This is one of my only "health" concerns personally at the moment as well and I don't eat a very high omega 6 diet but I started taking fish oil last week and noticed my skin got worse immediately. I have now been switched over to evening primrose oil for a few days and plan to continue this for a few months. It can take 1-3 months for fat-related deficiencies to clear up as opposed to micronutrient deficiencies or issues.
The most likely candidate is the dairy. I don't see anything wrong with cutting it all out, and then adding things back in to confirm, but if you do end up cheating on something, make sure it isn't the dairy.
Are these the bumps you are talking about? If so, you may need to be careful about trace gluten. http://www.helpforkp.com/
At acne.org there is a special thread to people on paleo fighting acne. There are a lot of usefull experiences on elimination, acne and paleo.
I think dairy as a mayor acne player is waaaay overrated and that gut flora is the key. Do we have any other sources than Cordain ?
Also what about diary ? I can't imagine that casein/lactose and fat all have the same effect on acne.
If you still need possibilities, here is an excellent elimination diet:
Someone might be sensitive to salicylates, goitrogens, oxalates, or who knows what. There are charts and good explanations at this website.
I've never had acne, but, I did find that my skin improved by leaving out store-bought cheese. I make mascarpone cheese and yoghurt from heavy cream and eat those sparingly. I started throwing out the egg whites and eating only the yolks and my skin texture improved.
I am very strict about no grains, legumes, seeds/seed oils. Also no prepared/packaged foods.
I think your idea about no fruits and no nightshades is worth a try, due to wanting to reduce inflammation.
The website about the failsafe diet explains what is in foods that cause problems and why.
All the best to you.
Robb Wolf says that acne is evidence of inflammation in the body.
Here are my suggestions:
At the end of the elimination period, continue to avoid the foods that caused skin problems!
P.S. You might also try supplementing with Evening Primrose Oil.
To sum up my own experiences : nuts, nightshades, dairy and seaweed cause acne. Saturated fats , grass-fed meat/offal, wild fish, vegetables, gelatin and apple cider vinegar do not. Fat-soluble vitamins (especially k2), cod liver oil and magnesium work wonders. Stress causes acne on my chin (its a phenomenon you often see in older women that are stressed out).
If you wanna get rid of your acne, be sure to focus on health and NOT on your acne. Acne is just a symptom.
Oh, and sleep well :) !
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