How I Got Rid Of Cystic AcneThursday, October 11, 2012
This is my story and how of cystic acne.
From ages 15-25 I was plagued with cystic acne. The breakouts were embarrassing and painful. Each flareup would leave my skin with dark spots and scars. Everyone had always told me it was just hormones and it would clear up as I got older. But it didn't clear, instead the flareups only seemed to worsen.
I was told, "Go see a dermatologist."
So I went to a dermatologist who prescribed me antibiotics, medications, creams, lotions and potions. Nothing was working. I mean sure it dried the heck out of my skin which helped suppress the bumps. But it wasn't fixing the real problem. The breakouts were not superficial surface bumps, they were coming from deep within the skin. The real problem was internal. Cystic acne was not the disease, it was the symptom. My body was reacting to something, but what? I asked my dermatologist if it could be something I was eating... she said, "No." ...Lies. I knew better, I already knew the answer. That was my last visit to her office, no more dermatologists. I embarked on my own journey alone. Mission: find the trigger.
I started keeping a food journal.
That was an eye-opener! I discovered every time I ate dairy new cysts would begin to form. If it was a small amount, the bumps were less severe and went away faster. But when I ate it regularly over a period of time, I was stricken with severe breakouts on my face, specifically the sides of my cheeks and temples, the bumps would last anywhere from weeks to months. By eating dairy I was literally feeding my acne.
I had found the trigger! Eliminating dairy cleared my cystic acne almost completely. Now I say "almost" because dairy is not my only acne triggering food. Every once in awhile I would still get one or two painful deep bumps on my chin or jaw area. Not often but enough to make me search for that other trigger. I found it, gluten. I'm not gluten intolerant but rather gluten-sensitive. I can get away with eating small amounts here and there but if eaten in large amounts, that's when the extra painful deep bumps form on my chin and jaw. Interesting that the trigger foods affect different areas, it's not random. I came to learn exactly what I could expect from my trigger foods and not just once, twice or a few times... but consistently every time, like clockwork.
Another trigger? Sugar, we all know it's bad news but we love it anyway. So what roll does sugar play as an acne trigger? Sugar increases inflammation in the body. For myself, it doesn't cause the deep cystic acne but it does cause an outrageous amount of redness, a blotchy complexion and smaller surface acne blemishes.
People ask me... How do you know this is the cause for sure?
Again let me repeat, this is not just once, twice or a few times... but consistently every time, like clockwork. I have watched these cycles for years now. When you're keenly aware of what you're putting into your body and what's happening on the outside of your body, it becomes crystal clear how much and how fast one affects the other. When you consume something you're allergic to, your body quickly reacts, letting you know it's not happy. When I consume dairy, cystic acne starts to form, typically within 12-48 hours, when I stop it goes away. There is no question. Food allergies are very real and affect millions of people. The fact that food can affect your skin (your body's largest organ) is no surprise. Just like our liver and kidneys, our skin is also used to eliminate toxins from our body.
What's my advice to others dealing with acne?
Listen to your body...
I wasted too much time listening to other people who didn't have any answers. You know you best. Pay attention to your body, the outside is a reflection of what's going on inside. If you suspect your acne could be due to a food allergy, keep a food journal. Now dairy, gluten and sugar may not be your triggers, but they certainly do affect a lot of people, so keep a close eye on those three to start.
Video: How I Got Rid Of Cystic Acne
Skincare and topical treatments.
As much as I love skincare and trying out topical treatments, there was no topical treatment on this planet that could stop my cystic acne. Topical treatments are just that, they treat topical issues. Yes, there are some amazing skincare products that do wonders for treating and reducing surface blemishes and helping to heal and soothe the skin... but they are no match for a food allergy.
I have simplified my skincare regimen since making this video. I still stand by all of the products mentioned in the video, they helped my skin immensely... However, I now use all natural, pure, simple ingredients for my skincare.
If you are battling cystic acne or have been able to control it, please share in the comments.