Until I was about 16, I had great skin. Like any female teenager, I got the occasional pimple around the time my period arrive but overall was very lucky. When I became ill at 16 (you can read more about that here), my skin became a raging monster. It was especially bad through the t-zone, which is very noticeable part of the face. I would get deep cystic acne on my chin and at times it was painful. The worst part is being afraid to show your face.
At first many people told me it was because I was a teenager and that there was nothing I could do. I tried all sorts of home remedies to no avail. I finally went to my Dr. and he prescribed a facial cream. The cream helped with my acne but caused skin irritation. When I went on birth control I figured my problems had been solved. At first it did help, but over time my skin got worse again.
I thought that once I reached my 20’s my acne would disappear, as I would then be a “mature” adult. It didn’t. I tried different cover up creams but often found they worsened my skin and would rather just go without.
My acne did not improve dramatically until I got to the root problem. I had severe inflammation in my body. I also had severe malabsorption issues. Later, genetic testing would show that my body struggles with eliminating toxins. I am very sensitive to everything that goes in and on my body. As a teenager I thought being gluten free would be enough, but it wasn’t. Then I tried lowering my sugar intake, I couldn’t see a difference. It wasn’t until I focused on my body as a whole that I was able to heal.
If you struggle with acne, I know your pain. I know you don’t like being in pictures. I know you don’t like to go swimming. I know you don’t want to make eye contact. Our skin is what we present to the world first, and our confidence can be easily damaged through it. Today I want to share some of the changes I had to make to cure my acne.
- Grain and Dairy Free Diet. I had to be very strict for a very long time before the inflammation in my body would decrease. The great news is that your body will heal and when it does you might be able to have some of the foods that were bothering you before. Gluten and dairy may not be a problem for you, finding out what is can be the tricky part. I focused on eating quality whole foods that gave my body all the nutrients it needed. I recommend you talk to your Dr. and a Nutritionist before making major dietary changes.
- Increase water intake. I drink a lot of water! It make s a huge difference in the appearance and texture of my skin. I drink 2-3 L of water a day. Adequate water intake helps flush the body of many of the toxins that can cause Acne.
- I avoid foods that contain high fructose corn syrup. To be perfectly honest, that stuff is crap. The affect it has on your skin is the least of your worries, what it is doing to the rest of your body is what should concern you.
- I decreased my coffee intake. I know, devastating! For me, coffee was a big trigger for my acne. Keep in mine I have celiac disease, it is very common for people with celiac to have a cross-reaction with coffee.
- I focused on stress management. Easier said than done! A lot of this is about your mindset. Learning to let things roll off my shoulders took practice and sometimes I still suck with it.
- Prioritize sleep! It matters! You need proper sleep to regulate your hormones.
If you have been struggling with acne, developing a plan with a health professional would be a huge step in the right direction. If you do not currently have a Nutritionist, I would love to help!
Eat Your Veggies!