I have been eating a paleo diet for over a year, and have seen great results especially for my skin. I have always fought small bouts of breakouts since I was a teenager. In my 20's I started taking birth control (for obvious reasons), and my skin cleared up as well due to the hormones that helped regulate my cycle. I am 32 and took myself off of the pill about 5 months ago. Eversince my neck has been breaking out in clusters of acne. To the point that it looks like hives. It is very depressing and frustrating. I recently asked my obgyn if it was indeed a hormonal imbalance, could anything be done to eliminate the problem (without the pill)? Her answer, without pause, was NO. Could there be a way to solve this thruogh nutrition? Maybe I'm missing something or doing something wrong with my food intake. Any thoughts? Please help.
Things might take a while to calm down since going off BC. It's a big change for your body. I've never been on BC but I also used to break out badly on my neck too, big red bumps, from hormonal issues. Hope you can get yours to clear up soon!
I did these things when I still had acne remaining after a year paleoish:
*Ate, and still eat, very high in retinol (no supps)
*Maximized saturated fats. Fatty beef and cream!
*Minimized omega-6s as much as possible (I have never supped O3 though, just eat seafood. I don't eat much nuts, avocados, etc any more - I do eat pork, and EVOO in salad dressings)
*Kelp supplement (for iodine)
*Limited solid dairy products and milk (started eating more cheese recently, preferably raw, with no ill effects. Used to be addicted to Greek yogurt, haven't had it in a long time)
*Kept vitamin D levels up, through sunlight when when weather permits and supp. in the winter
My skin is really beautiful right now. :D Best it's been since I was 14 or so (didn't go through puberty until nearly 15). I haven't had a single zit on my face for months... still can't believe it.
I've always had horrible acne (often very painful cystic type acne in addition to normal acne). After about 6 months on birth control, it had almost totally cleared up. Then we decided to try to get pregnant. Blech. Instant acne again.
I can't say what will work for you since mine isn't totally cleared up, but what really helps me is low sugar, lots of good quality saturated fat, and fermented cod liver oil. Also, once I stopped using facial wash and shampoo (I'm poo-free, use baking soda and vinegar when there's a build up, and I wash my face with just water, and every so often I use the Fructis facial cloths which helps to exfoliate- it's not great but it doesn't break my face out) my face improved even more. I have to make sure that I wash my pillow cases in castile soap and baking soda. If hubs washes my pillowcases, he uses normal detergent and lots of fabric softener. It's really bad for my skin.
I've tried a few herbal supplements for my skin (saw palmetto, and something else, I forget what), and they made my entire face so inflamed and red with cystic acne actually joining up that it looked like I was wearing a red mask. It was so painful, I had to stop it. When I read all the success stories about those herbs, it seemed that the women who did well on them are the ones who broke out when they used birth control- the exact opposite of my problem. So, I recommend a great deal of caution if you go the herbal route.
I've seen other threads on here with recommendations on particular minerals and such, so if you don't get a good response on this thread, I recommend checking out the other related threads on this forum. Definitely dig through the comments as well as the answers.
I advise this strategy, knowing it works but also knowing how hard it is to stick to:
Get a decent source of retinol, ie liver, sardines or fermented CLO not beta carotene, that doesn't do anything.
Get OBSESSIVE about your omega 6 intake, no avocadoes, no pork, no almonds, no chicken fat, no olive oil
Take small dose mixed E (tocotrienols and tocopherols.)
That will help, I find it so hard to live without olive oil and pork, but when I avoid them it does produce results.
Giving up dairy did nothing but I do have exclusively grass fed.
I have a very simliar issue as you, womaninneed. I went on the birth control pill at 21 and just stopped 2 months ago and I'm 33 now. The few times I stopped before, over the years for a 3-4 month break while travelling or whatever, I would break out in horrible cystic acne, mostly on my back and weird places like hairline, neck etc. It was the worst on my back. Face wasn't too bad (not bad at all but going from "perfect" skin to any acne is hard to deal with.)
Anyway, first, I went to a low dose pill- Tri-cyclen Low, for about a year. I saw a naturopath who suggested I do milk thistle drops at night before bed, for a bit of a liver cleanse. I recently started Paleo, cutting out all grains, dairy and processed foods, with a 90 clean/10 cheat ratio. I keep fruit to berries, apples and melon only. I supplement Vitamin D, Macca and fish oils. So far I have no acne at all, although that may change since it usually takes 2 months to get it out of your system. I never wash my face with soap, just water. I drink a lot of tea, Raspberry Leaf, green or black. I also drink a TON of water, get a TON of sleep and live a virtually stress-free life. Good luck, I'd love to know how it goes.
Thank you to the others who answer, I'm getting some great tips from this site!
I had the same problem and I cleared mine up by going dairy free. I also stopped eating or drinking anything with HFCS and aspertane. Both caused cystic type acne.
As for products, the best thing for the acne I have found is oil of oregano. Dilute it in olive or coconut oil. Apply to pimple or cyst. Take one drop under the tongue daily. Amazing results!
Also, I use a Jasmine Almond oil I got at whole foods. It is suppose to help with scarring.
One word: DAIRY. Giving up dairy was the only thing that did it for me. I never had acne pre-pregnancy but once I got pregnant... OMG. I looked like a teenager. Not just my face, but my chest and back, too. And it didn't stop after I had the kid. Once I gave up dairy, BOOM. Clear skin. Butter, heavy cream, and soft cheeses (feta, goat) don't affect me, but if I have as little as a bite of Swiss or a swig of milk? Immediate breakout.
Also, try washing your hair with medicated shampoo (I use T-Gel). Sometimes the trouble stars on your head. It's called seborhheic dematitis and it can spread to your face. I don't see a lot of difference when I don't use the med shampoo, but I can see some.
Restoring Acne Scars 9 Answers