Acne with dietary change?

beabria
beabria Posts: 307 Member
I started eating what I would call a "paleo/primal inspired" diet about three weeks ago. Basically, I've cut down on carbs, cut way, way back on grains in particular, and upped my protein intake significantly. I'm not quite ready to give up my dairy, and still eat a few servings of grains a week (usually if I'm eating out). I love how I'm rarely hungry now, BUT.... I've started developing weird rash-like acne. I haven't added anything new to my diet, just more or less of things I was already eating. I know that paleo and primal diets are supposed to improve acne problems, so I'm a little puzzled. This could be completely unrelated to the dietary change, but the timing is a little suspect. So, I'm wondering - has anyone else experienced this in the beginning stages of a higher protein, lower carb dietary habit? If so, how long did it last? Other ideas for culprits?

Replies

  • shining_light
    shining_light Posts: 386 Member
    I used to work as a skincare consultant, and as a general rule, diet does not cause or prevent acne, as acne takes two to three weeks to form. The notable exceptions are dairy products, meat, and soy. Anything containing hormones or that will mess with your hormones (like that time of the month, etc.) can cause acne. I have done a primal diet in the past, and I did note improvement in my skin, but our meat here is hormone-free.

    Also, you've cut down on carbs. Carbs hold water in the body, which is why people are often dehydrated on lower carb diets. What could also be happening is you're losing moisture in your skin and your body is overproducing oil in the sweat glands to compensate. That would be my best educated guess. With that in mind and assuming that that is the likely culprit, exfoliate and moisturize every day twice a day and see if it improves.
  • beabria
    beabria Posts: 307 Member
    I used to work as a skincare consultant, and as a general rule, diet does not cause or prevent acne, as acne takes two to three weeks to form. The notable exceptions are dairy products, meat, and soy. Anything containing hormones or that will mess with your hormones (like that time of the month, etc.) can cause acne. I have done a primal diet in the past, and I did note improvement in my skin, but our meat here is hormone-free.

    Also, you've cut down on carbs. Carbs hold water in the body, which is why people are often dehydrated on lower carb diets. What could also be happening is you're losing moisture in your skin and your body is overproducing oil in the sweat glands to compensate. That would be my best educated guess. With that in mind and assuming that that is the likely culprit, exfoliate and moisturize every day twice a day and see if it improves.

    Interesting! I don't really eat much soy and have always bought meat and dairy products from animals not treated with hormones. But, now that you mention it, I have been a bit on the dry side, but I didn't make the connection that that could be related to diet. Actually, I didn't know that carb consumption could affect hydration, especially since I've only cut down to ~40%carbs! I'd better make a conscious effort to drink some more water. :)
  • Ricktopsy
    Ricktopsy Posts: 3
    Hormonal changes can cause an increase in acne problems. Meat does have additional hormones injected into it, unless the meat you buy is marked as hormone free.
  • shining_light
    shining_light Posts: 386 Member
    Hormonal changes can cause an increase in acne problems. Meat does have additional hormones injected into it, unless the meat you buy is marked as hormone free.

    Or unless it's illegal to add hormones to it, as it is in Canada.
  • ginakiki
    ginakiki Posts: 226 Member
    I am a Licensed Medical ESTHETICIAN.. With a Degree in REFLEXOLOGY. Also went to Massage School....if you have any skin questions email me
  • Amberlynnek
    Amberlynnek Posts: 405 Member
    Check to see if you have changed anything else first - laundry detergent, sheet material, clothing material, etc. Any major changes could have triggered a reaction. This could also be caused by increased sweat from new or more intense workouts, especially if you don't shower immediately after. And if you say its more like a rash, it might not just be acne. I have an auto-immune skin condition that certain allergy prone foods like gluten cause my skin to flare up and appear rash-like. I've had to reduce them in my diet, as well as, increase other foods to keep my issues at bay. I'm not saying go diagnose yourself with anything but if it appears outside how typical acne would form for you ( we all get it) then it might help to consult a dermatologist.
  • Jenni129
    Jenni129 Posts: 692 Member
    I cut my dairy back to almost none and it has majorly improved my acne. Took me about 10 years to figure it out. I take a supplement now to get my calcium. If you think about it, dairy cows are pregnant while producing milk, so you never will be eating "hormone-free" dairy. They have their own natural hormones. (and I'm not telling you to give up dairy... this is just what worked for me)