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Skin problems/Acne!!!

2579 Views 24 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  RandomPersonified
Fellow feelers, please offer up your words of wisdom! I have an ENFJ guy friend who had chronic acne on his cheeks while waiting to hear back from medical schools. I thought it must have been just his biological makeup, and never expected that MY SKIN WOULD RESPOND THE SAME WAY! The stress of the waiting game is killing me. I've never had cheek acne in my life (I'm 26 btw).

Is there possibly a correlation between stress and break outs for NFs? Is there anything you can do to relax and lessen this horrible physiological stress response? How did you fix your acne? I'm trying every possible remedy - creams, a healthier diet, birth control... is there anything you ladies (or men) did that helped your skin? It's already started to scar a bit. :unsure: Thank you, thank you, thank you in advance!
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I suffered from acne up into my 30s or so I can sympathispze with you and your friend. Anyway, this is what I learned:

- ProActiv was pretty good, but did not solve the problem 100%
- dermatologists are totally worthless and don't know anything worth knowing about acne
- drying out your skin will make matters worse; your skin gets micro cracks which get infected and this leads to more acne

- allergies! Showed up that 'delayed allergies' were to name for my issues (see below)
- cows milk - I break out pretty much within 24 hrs, but I love it too much to stay away... :frustrating:

Below is a really long description of what I went through from an old blogpost. Hopefully some of the info may resonate with you. Good luck, dealing with acne is not fun!

All right! On to the health part of this post, so feel free to skip! :) A few years back I started to feel like I had no energy whatsoever. I slept badly, it never seemed enough and I was really more passed out than sleeping (I can not recall ever dreaming during this time). If a colleague so much as sneezed in the same room as I was in, I could pretty much sit back and wait to get sick too and for a really long time - it never failed. I was eating healthy, exercising regularly (as high impact cardio at least 4 times a week) and I tried to get 7-8 hrs sleep a night. Yet, something was really not right.

I finally decided to invest in myself and try to get some help. Instead of going to a doctor that would either give me pills or tell me to change my busy life-style to a slower pace, I went to a holistic medical doctor, recommended to me by a female colleague. (DH calls her "The Witch Doctor" - LOL) This doctor is fantastic! First of all, the doctor was a female, so she could relate to what I was talking about on a whole different plane than any male MD can.
Within meeting her the fist few minutes, she already had a pretty good idea of what was going on. She told me that I probably had an inflammation in my intestines that had changed my hormone levels, specifically cortisol. She explained that the change of the cortisol level will affect everything else that goes on in your body - all the other hormone levels will get out of whack automatically, with all the problems that follow. Furthermore, she explained that she is not a magician, but that this is a really common problem among women and that she had seen it countless times before.

I won't bore you with too many details, but after meeting with my MD about 4-5 times and running a number of (pretty costly, paid out-of pocket) tests through a company called Geneva Diagnostics, it was determined that
- my cortisol levels were completely out of sync with the day rhythm it is supposed to follow. This explained why I was dead-tired every day at 10AM, but ready to play at 11PM.
This test is called Rhythm Plus Profile
- the intestinal inflammation was caused by a number of delayed allergies to a vast assortment of foods. Delayed allergies are just what they sound like, they show up hours or even days after you have been exposed to the allergen and are there really tricky to pin-point.
The list of foods that I was allergic to was very long and a bit over-whelming at first, but the MD assured me that I only had to carry our detox for 6 months and I would be back to feeling a lot better again. Just a few examples of things that I was allergic to were (are) corn (this is the one I am very allergic to), cow milk, coffee (this is pretty interesting and may explain why coffee has always made me sleepy rather than perky), sugar, chocolate, yeast, a number of fruits and veggies, all sea-foods including shell-fish, turkey, all seeds, rice, potatoes, and the list goes on. She informed me that most of her patients do not have the will-power to cut all of the foods that they are allergic to out of their diet, but I did manage stick to it for the half year to come. It was half a year of not eating out, not eating anything processed, and a lot of time spent reading labels in the store. (If you think that it is hard to live with gluten allergy, try to buy anything, ice-cream, yogurt, you name it, that is made without corn syrup or corn starch here in the US... )
This test is called IgG Food Antibody Assessment
- I had about 0% protein in my body and I was told to eat more meat.
This test is called Optimal Nutritional Evaluation or ONE

After the 6 month detox, I did notice some significant and very nice changes:
- My immune system finally got back on track and I could stay healthy - even when co-workers dragged all kinds of stuff in to work
- I had a lot more energy and my sleep pattern started to change - I started remembering dreams, I was awake during the day and I got tired in the evening
- I lost a bunch of weight (not strange, since there was not a whole lot that I could eat)
- My skin improved - finally - after struggling with acne since I was 12!!! more than 2/3rds of my life! (Lots of heart-ache there, let me tell you...)
- My pain resistance levels went down. This may sound bad, but in my case, my body could override and "walk off" pains that most people can not function with, which is not a good thing - we are designed to feel pain for a reason.

If you think that this may be something that I may have imagined or changes that were very subtle, I can tell you that I had never ever gotten a compliment on my skin until after I did the detox. People that I don't really talk with on a regular basis would tell me how nice my skin looked and ask what I had done!
If you feel like I felt a few years back, this may be something to try out. It is no fun going through life feeling drained, you should not have to live like that if you do!
Good luck and let me know if you have any questions!
Thank you sooo much for sharing your detailed course of action. I myself and embarking on a paleo "detox." S'gonna be so hard without dairy! Did you follow a specific eating plan with meals mapped out, or did you just stay within the restrictions?
I stayed within the restrictions which was really easy, since there was so much I could not eat! In addition to what is excluded in the paleo diet, I could not eat seafood, a bunch of veggies (asparagus, cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes, and so on), turkey, a load of fruits (can't recall), sugar, coffee, yeast, any type of grain, walnuts, and on and on.... :)
I ate pretty much the same things every day to avoid keeping the long list of no-no:s in my head, but oddly enough it didn't really get boring. I'd eat 2 eggs for breakfast, bun-less burger for lunch, etc. I thought that I would miss more foods than I actually did.
I think that part of why it would have been hard to stick with this diet was because so many things were off limits, so it was hard to cook or bake anything, not to mention going places were food was involved.

The restrictions that I had are suspiciously close to the paleo diet which makes me want to jump to the conclusions that the paleo theory is correct - at least in my case. I've been thinking about doing paleo too, because it makes sense in my case. It also sounds like most people who do it see enormous benefits (my team leader at work swears that it saved his life).

Good luck with everything!

@Eos_Machai, the problem is that skin conditions that are not true acne often get diagnosed as such, especially by lazy dermatologists. I tried everything, including accutane and often my skin got worse off, inflamed, itchy, swollen. Many acne treatments dry out the skin severely (because it is assumed that the skin oil is the cause) and this is not always the right way to treat.
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