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Greg Battaglia
12-11-2008, 10:11 AM
My girlfriend has suffered with moderate-sever acne since her high school days. When we first started going out she switched to 100% low-carb paleo and her acne completely disappeared. Unfortunately, recently it has come back since Thanksgiving. Admittedly, she did cheat a bit with some pumpkin pie and other sugary junk over the holidays and this is when it came back with a vengeance. Her whole lower jaw and around her mouth broke out severely after Thanksgiving. The problem is, she has since switched back to 100% paleo and the acne seems to only be progressing and getting worse, rather than improving. She swears that she hasn't cheated at all since she broke out.

She's been incredibly busy with finals and quite stressed out and two things have resulted: 1) more stress (cortisol) and 2) Due to her busy schedule she has only been eating one meal a day, and I'm thinking that could be too much stress when coupled with her work load (even more cortisol).

She started eating 2 meals a day, and more food overall, at my suggestion but things haven't improved. She showed up at my house crying yesterday because she is so frustrated with her skin. She said she doesn't even want to go out into public and show her face.

I'm not sure what to have her do. I promised her I'd research the topic and get back to her with what I find.

So far I've come up with the following:

I might get her on some Chaste Tree Berry Powder to control her hormones. Her acne predictably acts up just before her period, which has convinced me that she suffers from hormonal related acne.

I'm thinking a good probiotic may help, since gut health strongly influences skin health. The only supplements she currently takes are CLO and vitamin K2 (MK-7). She has been eating a lot of nuts, which I think may be playing a role in her breakouts. From my own experience I know nuts can be harsh on the digestive system, and anything that alters the gut may alter the skin. I may have her go 100% meat and veggies only.

Other than that, I'm pretty much lost. I couldn't find much research on herbs and acne or relevant hormones. Can anyone provide some input. Any suggestions would be helpful.

Thanks

Garrett Smith
12-11-2008, 10:31 AM
Greg, your initial plan sounds good. Getting nuts out is a good idea, I also believe Cordain cuts out eggs in his acne book.

Considering some evening primrose oil or borage oil for the GLA may help as well.

Greg Battaglia
12-11-2008, 01:37 PM
Thanks Dr. G, I completely forgot about the EP oil. Eggs could be a major culprit, she loves eggs and eats them daily. Unfortunately she won't buy the pasture-fed cause they're "too expensive" (sigh).

Garrett Smith
12-11-2008, 02:01 PM
I'm pretty sure everyone in my family reacts negatively to eggs. She may be like that, it won't matter what type of eggs she eats if she is sensitive...

Borage oil is higher in GLA than EPO. The stuff I carry has 600mg GLA per 1000mg softgel.

Kelly Frankson
12-11-2008, 02:52 PM
How does cutting out nuts help?

Tony Ferous
12-12-2008, 03:08 AM
Cordains acne ebook recommends(off the top of my head), full paleo, low carb(except low gi fruit), fish oil 3-5g, zinc supplement, no nuts(lectins). I dont remember eggs being outlawed, could be wrong though. Ok i just checked, he says limit to 6 omega 3 eggs per week...

Stress plays a big part i think.

George Mounce
12-12-2008, 04:55 AM
This article might help (its the Cordain article on acne):

Implications for the Role of Diet in Acne (http://download389.mediafire.com/ia9ddit041qg/jlmzgs5j1n4/Final+Acne+Article.pdf)

Daniel Labuz
12-12-2008, 05:43 AM
I just find it odd that people will try anything to get rid of acne except change their diet, I've seen people get some crazy radical medical treatment but as soon as you tell them it could be diet related they tell you it has nothing to do with it.

I can testify myself, I used to have some moderate acne and it completely cleared up after I went paleo (95%, one meal a week usually consists of non-paleo options)

But I guess that's with anything about diet, you tell people eating whole wheat might not exactly be the best idea for optimal health and they tell you it has fiber in it :(

Allen Yeh
12-12-2008, 05:47 AM
I just find it odd that people will try anything to get rid of acne except change their diet, I've seen people get some crazy radical medical treatment but as soon as you tell them it could be diet related they tell you it has nothing to do with it. (

I think that stands true for just about everything, not just acne....

Look at all those products and medicines out there for every ailment.

Greg Battaglia
12-12-2008, 01:59 PM
Thanks, guys. I'm gonna get her on some borage oil and zinc. No nuts, no eggs. Dr. G, that's interesting that you should say that about eggs. I find that if I eat any eggs other than pasture-fed my MVP acts up. Heart palpitations, tight chest, general lethargy. Pasture-fed tend to have the same effect except to a much lesser degree. Sometimes I reacts, sometimes not. I think it has something to do with the anti-nutrients in the whites. Maybe arachidonic acid as well, as levels are lower in pasture-fed, leading to fewer symptoms. Maybe it's a combo of the two, who knows.

Anyway, thanks again, can't wait to tell her about those tweaks and see how it works.

Garrett Smith
12-12-2008, 02:48 PM
Greg,
Those are good signs that you should likely avoid eggs in general as well. FWIW.

Darryl Shaw
12-13-2008, 05:53 AM
Greg,

How much fruit is your girlfriend eating on her 100% low-carb paleo diet? I'm just wondering because a lot of people on low carb diets reduce their consumption of fruits and berries in an attempt to get their carb intake as low as possible and this can have quite a detrimental effect on your skin condition as it significantly reduces your vitamin C intake.

Mike ODonnell
12-13-2008, 08:58 AM
Acme usually is a sign of inflammation also.....sugar increases it, stress increases it and so does a overbalance of Omega 6s to 3s. Standard eggs are usually higher in omega 6s. Maybe some other omega 6s like nuts are too high as well? Fish Oil can help balance and keep from excess AA formation (inflammatory omega 6).

Greg Battaglia
12-13-2008, 10:43 AM
Darryl,
She doesn't eat much fruit, especially this time of the year. Recently I had her cut out all fruit and sub in more veggies. She shouldn't have any problems at all with vitamin c, she eats lots of greens.

Mike,
Yeah, I have her on CLO right now and I'm going to have her take some fish oil as well. As of yesterday all eggs, and nuts are out.

I also just started her on some vitamin K2 taken with the CLO. That actually helped her skin already. Might be just a coincidence, but this morning when I spoke with her she said her skin is clearer already. I think Fat-soluble vitamins have a major impact on skin health. I don't know why exactly, but when I get in my CLO and vitamin K2 my skin looks much better than without it.

Thanks guys, hopefully this crap clears up for her.

Steve Liberati
12-13-2008, 12:43 PM
Greg, make sure she is drinking enough good clean water (if there is such a thing!). At least a gallon a day. I notice when I don't drink at least a gallon a day, I feel like crap and break out more than normal. Sleep is just as important, but nothing you don't already know.

Frank Needham
12-13-2008, 05:49 PM
Clindamicyn. It ain't natural but the stuff works very well on acne. In the past, when undergoing other medical procedures, a case of acne got me that was overwhelming. My Dr rx'd Clindamycin, I picked it up and started applying it. Worked just as it was supposed to. Give it a shot, after she talks with her Doc of course.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clindamycin

Grissim Connery
12-14-2008, 04:25 PM
For me, acne is very closely tied to sleep. if i lose a lot of sleep for an extended period, then about 4 days later my breakout surfaces. normally it's like finals week or something (like it is right now), that ends, then about 3-4 days later it all surfaces. the compounding stress of no sleep and tests is just so brutal on my body. i've noticed that if i'm having trouble getting adequate meals in while studying crazy amounts in the library, i try to keep some kind of fat source with me at all times. IFing during those times is just too rough and can lead to mental instability. if i just keep drinking a little olive oil or something whenever i get a hunger pang then it helps.

i just always tie acne to stress. if i'm going to have to miss sleep for school, then i will try to eliminate all other unecessary stressors.

George Mounce
12-14-2008, 05:08 PM
For me, acne is very closely tied to sleep. if i lose a lot of sleep for an extended period, then about 4 days later my breakout surfaces. normally it's like finals week or something (like it is right now), that ends, then about 3-4 days later it all surfaces. the compounding stress of no sleep and tests is just so brutal on my body. i've noticed that if i'm having trouble getting adequate meals in while studying crazy amounts in the library, i try to keep some kind of fat source with me at all times. IFing during those times is just too rough and can lead to mental instability. if i just keep drinking a little olive oil or something whenever i get a hunger pang then it helps.

i just always tie acne to stress. if i'm going to have to miss sleep for school, then i will try to eliminate all other unecessary stressors.

Interesting take - I've noticed throughout my school and flying career that I've done way better with enough sleep, rather than skipping sleep to try and study more. I guess I just got rid of the things that during normal waking hours were preventing me from studying, and focused on my studies to ensure I got 7-8 hours a night. Personally I would rather feel refreshed and well slept for a test than drained and cloudy in the head.

Grissim Connery
12-15-2008, 09:00 AM
i mean i'm all about sleep if i can get it. the problem is that if i have not read any of the material yet and i have a test tomorrow, then sleeping 8 hours is not going to help for the test.

granted i should have just properly adjusted my schedule so that the situation would not have happened, but life happens.

last week i went to bed each night at 6pm, woke up at 10pm, and studied until my finals which were at noon each day. i dind't want this to happen, but i was up 30+ hours getting a paper done sunday/monday that threw off everything. then i capped of thursday/friday with a 16 hour straight paper writing bonanza after 3 hours of sleep.

i'm taking less classes next semester.