Background: I've had acne since I was a teen due to inflammation. For as long as I can remember I've had easily irritated skin, keratosis pilaris and slow healing wounds than often turn into scars. Since going autoimmune Paleo as per Robb Wolf my skin has improved but I must be very vigilant in my food choices and still suffer from these skin problems.
The only time I ever felt normal in my skin was when I was giving a course of prednisone for a couple of weeks to help treat an isolated attack of bronchitis. When on the prednisone, my acne disappeared overnight, old scars started to fade and cuts and scrapes on my legs healed up. Prednisone is a strong anti-inflammatory but also an immune suppressor. Most people put on prednisone report the opposite effect on skin. It seems people on a high dose for a short term usually break out.
The strange thing is that I currently have a common cold and my skin has been clearing up. This seems to be a common occurrence and I can honestly say that my skin is the best when I'm sick.
Could the result of an over-active immune system be causing my inflammation? Since my immune system is trying to rid my body of this cold virus it is no longer attacking my skin thus resulting in a better complexion?
You could be right. I don't know if there's any scientific proof behind this but yeah, your immune system could be busy off utilizing more resources to fight off the cold rather than your acne.
I suffered from horrible acne but since switching to Paleo, my skin has really cleared up. So I've done a bunch of research on acne back in the day and I totally forgot where I saw this but one of the (many) causes of acne is high testosterone levels. And I've read that some people think that when you get sick, your testosterone levels decrease, so your skin clears up. I can't find any literature on this though.
I don't think acne has anything to do with hormones - in personal experience anyways. If any hormone is the culprit it is estrogen and that just accounts for oily skin.
Personally I believe what has happened is when you are sick, your metabolic rate increases as well as your temperature thus protecting your body from infection. Oily skin doesn't cause acne you must have a compromised immune system for the bacteria(infection) to grow.
Personally I would pin acne down to digestive health alone. Bacterial overgrowth in the digestive tract in particular. Vitamin A/D is needed to fight infection - are you getting any from liver?
I have an opposite experice with acne. If I get a fever, I tend to immediately break out with several zits.
On the other hand, my eczema always got a lot better when I was sick. I never knew why, but hypothesized that it was because I was eating less and sleeping more. But I wouldn't be surprised if there were more immune pathways involved.
I have also keratosis pilaris and now when I've been sick for 3 days, my skin looks very good! It's so amazing! I have been sleeping more than normaly, eating less and haven't even washed my face that often than usually. My guess is that it must be the diet. I guess some ingredient usually poisons me and makes my skin sick. Now when I've been ill, I haven't been eating so much, so my body doesn't get that "poison" that much either. I don't have a clue about what poison is. It could be milk, wheat, anything. Though tests say that I don't have lactose intolerance nor celiac desease. So I don't know. That's why I came here to find some information. Sorry if there are some grammar mistakes. English is not my mother language.
Ok I'm a little late on this one but the same thing happened with me and predisones I was prescribed it for for 2 weeks and had the most beautiful complection in my life right after I went off my skin was angry and terrible looking for a full weekl now its still red and flaky and I wish I could ingest predisones forever but because it surpresses the immune system it also surpresses histamines which allows your body not to see something as an invader ,,I have had terrible allergies I only sneezed twice while on predisones ,,compared to 20-100 times a day before ,,I think it was definetly the predisones that cleared your skin
If your condition responds to Prednisone, more than likely, it's due to autoimmunity. It's an immune atack. Are you gluten and dairy free? I would at least get rid of those two items at minimum.
Another aspect of Prenisone has to do with its steroid aspect. It actually thins the skin in some, makes people look younger, and in the process could clear up certain skin complexion issues. But I haven't heard of wounds or other problems clearing up. To the contrary, you could become more susceptible to cuts and bruises and more sensitive to water. It's known as "Prednisone skin" and sometimes gets confused with Scleroderma symptoms, which also could make your skin paper-thin, making your face look like wearing a mask.