Adult acne question

I'm not sure which board is best but I have an odd question. I had been suffering from acne this last year very badly. It was mostly around my chin and was boderline cystic. They were very painful and embarrassing. I'm 37, I was 5'3" and about 154lbs so not obese and I ate a moderately healthy diet. In January, I started MFP, I've lost 15lbs (currently at 139) and gave up soda, fast foods, etc for the most part. My acne is virtually gone for the last 1-2 months. Any ideas what the key was that made the change in my skin? More water, less soda? Less greasy foods? Less weight? I'm kinda confused (but obviously relieved).
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Replies

  • R_is_for_Rachel
    R_is_for_Rachel Posts: 381 Member
    I suffer with rosacea and recently discovered lactose was the major cause, if that helps?
  • jandsstevenson887
    jandsstevenson887 Posts: 296 Member
    I haven't cut all dairy but I probably don't eat as much. I am eating some yogurt and ice cream.
  • Colleen3429
    Colleen3429 Posts: 1 Member
    I have unusual breakouts on my chin and the area around my mouth. Recently a friend told me to be aware of sulfates in liquid face wash and I switched to Dove Sensitive Skin fragrance free bar soap. (I had been using baby wash on my face under the assumption that it was gentle.) Also, I am careful to not let my toothpaste dribble out on my skin as that can be irritating. Sometimes things appear to be acne but are actually irritations or fungal. Hope this helps-- I know how embarrassing this can be.
  • Christine_72
    Christine_72 Posts: 16,049 Member
    I notice a big difference in my skin when I limit dairy, particularly milk.
    I don't get acne, I have little bumps under my skin on my chin and temples. The big problem is, I love, love, love dairy and cant (don't want) to give it up, so I sometimes sub milk for almond milk and stopped eating yogurt and cottage cheese every single day like I used to.

    My opinion is cutting down on the sugary drinks fatty foods would for sure have a positive affect on your skin. Are you eating more fruit and veggies aka antioxidants, vitamins and minerals? Plus plenty of water makes a difference too.
  • BodyByBex
    BodyByBex Posts: 3,685 Member
    For me it was quite bewildering as well.
    I had severe cystic acne when I was married and I took accutane for all of 5 months. I got divorced about 2 years after accutane and it came back, although not as bad but still REALLY bad.

    Then I started really USING MFP. I drank ONLY water, cut WAY back on alcohol (I was a 4 bottles of wine a night kinda girl pre-divorce), finalized my divorce, broke up with my new d*ckhead boyfriend, quit my super stressful and downright horrible job, AND lost 20 pounds all within about a year and the acne vanished.

    It really hasn't come back at all and it's been a year and a half since my last real cystic pimple (It was on my cheek, near my chin, right side, I still have the scar).

    I just figured it was the combination of factors like reduced stress, less excess body fat(it does something to your hormones), more water, less sugar, and, yes, less diary will ALL affect your skin in a mostly positive way.
  • BodyByBex
    BodyByBex Posts: 3,685 Member
    I notice a big difference in my skin when I limit dairy, particularly milk.
    I don't get acne, I have little bumps under my skin on my chin and temples. The big problem is, I love, love, love dairy and cant (don't want) to give it up, so I sometimes sub milk for almond milk and stopped eating yogurt and cottage cheese every single day like I used to.

    My opinion is cutting down on the sugary drinks fatty foods would for sure have a positive affect on your skin. Are you eating more fruit and veggies aka antioxidants, vitamins and minerals? Plus plenty of water makes a difference too.

    It's pretty true for me as well. I get more skin woes after a love affair with some yogurt. :cry:
    I LOVE yogurt and cheese SO MUCH!
  • jandsstevenson887
    jandsstevenson887 Posts: 296 Member
    I guess I shouldn't be surprised if it is dairy. I have 4 lactose intolerant kids...ironically we even adopted a LI kid from China. I did switch some face products to that complicates narrowing it down. I'm currently only used a Purpose bar soap to cleanse and a Eucerin light moisturizing/sunscreen lotion.
  • jandsstevenson887
    jandsstevenson887 Posts: 296 Member
    It seems like my LI kids have no problem with yogurt and cheese. Only straight milk. I wonder if the cooking process reduces the lactose?
  • CorneliusPhoton
    CorneliusPhoton Posts: 965 Member
    My cystic chin acne mysteriously went away last year. Only thing that has changed from that long ago- I have stopped eating wheat. My skin is still pretty oily with lots of sebum but no acne.
  • Equus5374
    Equus5374 Posts: 462 Member
    edited April 2016
    I've had acne all my life and continue, though to a lesser extent thanks to about 4 rounds of Accutane -- my miracle drug. I've limited dairy too and had some success. I love Greek yogurt though, and have 2 per week. About two days after eating greek yogurt I notice an increase in breakouts. If I don't have any in a week, I don't see increased breakouts. Interesting. I've heard that the new micellar water is good for cleansing.
  • LKArgh
    LKArgh Posts: 5,172 Member
    For me, it is greasy food. I do not know if it happens to everyone.
  • BinaryPulsar
    BinaryPulsar Posts: 8,928 Member
    edited April 2016
    I never had acne. Then I was wrongly overtreated with antibiotics and a vasoconstrictor that caused me severe pain, stress, lifestyle change. I developed a GI disorder. Food increased nerve pain in my face. I weighed 95 pounds and couldn't gain. I developed cystic acne. My Rheumatologist told me to track GI symptoms with a food journal. I am intolerant to quinoa and most grains and legumes (might be temporary), and need to eat low fodmap (hopefully temporary). I changed my diet. My gut symptoms improved. My acne was gone in a month. What a crazy weird experience.
  • GiddyupTim
    GiddyupTim Posts: 2,819 Member
    I am going to guess that maybe your weight loss, though relatively modest, resulted in a slight hormonal change. Perhaps?
    Androgens are known to stimulate oil glands in the skin and certain cells that line the hair follicles. Guys tend to outgrow their acne when they leave adolescence. Many women do not, even when they do have normal androgen levels. One study done about five years ago found that 45 percent of women aged 21-30 years have "clinical" acne (clinical meaning that a dermatologist would agree to treat them, should they want it.), 26 percent of women 31-40 years, and 12 percent of women 41-50 years.
    Maybe the women who don't outgrow acne are just more sensitive to the androgens they do have???? (Many women get flares of acne just before their menstrual period, when their estrogen and progesterone levels have fallen off, but their androgen levels (testosterone) have stayed the same. Is the androgen taking over?) They don't know.
    Many dermatologist believe that they are seeing more adult-onset acne in women these days. Again, they don't know why.
    I don't mean to offend those who have identified food products as a cause of their acne -- they know themselves better than anyone, after all -- but dermatologists tend to be skeptical of the claims that particular foods cause acne. The one exception may be milk. Milk can contain cow hormones that are known to stimulate oil glands. Maybe, when you eat oily food that oil gets on your skin and clogs your pores. But, in general, dermatologists believe there is not a lot of evidence that specific foods (like chocolate) spur more acne.
    The best treatment is probably to find a moisturizer than is "non-comedogenic" (non-zit-causing), which usually means a moisturizer that is not oily or greasy. And, better, but often drying and/or irritating, at least for a while, a topical retinoid. Topical retinoids tend to be very effective.
  • robot_potato
    robot_potato Posts: 1,535 Member
    I also think it has some to do with weight/body fat/hormone changes. The more i weigh, the worse it seems to be. I am less than 15 away from a 'normal' weight and i haven't had a pimple since i've been under 200 pounds. I turn 30 this year, so maybe i'm just outgrowing it as well (i've had acne since i was a teen).
  • BinaryPulsar
    BinaryPulsar Posts: 8,928 Member
    edited April 2016
    I'm using retinol on my skin as well. But it has side effects and increases sun sensitivity. Paula's Choice Clinical 1% Retinol. And it doesn't address the root cause (for me dealing with food intolerance).
  • ashleyadeline
    ashleyadeline Posts: 20 Member
    My husband has bouts of really bad acne with cysts sometimes appearing on his upper neck and under the chin region. We have no definite proof, but with experimentation, we have found that when he eats excessive amounts of white bread he breaks out really badly. He also develops acne when he increases his intake of sugar. It could be due to the hormonal changes that happen when you increase your sugar intake (your insulin levels change), but again, we have no legitimate proof.
  • sthome925
    sthome925 Posts: 13 Member
    It could be from foods you were eating before. I had a similar thing happen last year. I love chocolate. I have/had a huge sweet tooth. Last year, I had gone to my doctor to get a topical cream (thinking it was acne issues). I used the cream for about 2-3 weeks and then Lent started. I had given up everything chocolate (including anything with cocoa) in it. My face and back had cleared up. I didn't realize it during Lent what had happened. The first week after Lent was over, I had a Jenny Craig chocolate chip muffin for breakfast one morning. Within a day my face and back had broken out in acne again. I was shocked. I went back and looked at my food log from the past 2-3 months and realized it was the chocolate chip muffin (cocoa) that was causing my acne issues. I went in for an allergy test last September and found out I was indeed allergic to chocolate. It could be the same thing for you (food allergies). Or it could be stress and hormones. It's common when you are stressed to eat more sugar which increases your sugar intake and then it spikes your insulin levels.
  • jandsstevenson887
    jandsstevenson887 Posts: 296 Member
    Please don't let it be chocolate
  • BinaryPulsar
    BinaryPulsar Posts: 8,928 Member
    edited April 2016
    tufel wrote: »
    I am going to guess that maybe your weight loss, though relatively modest, resulted in a slight hormonal change. Perhaps?
    Androgens are known to stimulate oil glands in the skin and certain cells that line the hair follicles. Guys tend to outgrow their acne when they leave adolescence. Many women do not, even when they do have normal androgen levels. One study done about five years ago found that 45 percent of women aged 21-30 years have "clinical" acne (clinical meaning that a dermatologist would agree to treat them, should they want it.), 26 percent of women 31-40 years, and 12 percent of women 41-50 years.
    Maybe the women who don't outgrow acne are just more sensitive to the androgens they do have???? (Many women get flares of acne just before their menstrual period, when their estrogen and progesterone levels have fallen off, but their androgen levels (testosterone) have stayed the same. Is the androgen taking over?) They don't know.
    Many dermatologist believe that they are seeing more adult-onset acne in women these days. Again, they don't know why.
    I don't mean to offend those who have identified food products as a cause of their acne -- they know themselves better than anyone, after all -- but dermatologists tend to be skeptical of the claims that particular foods cause acne. The one exception may be milk. Milk can contain cow hormones that are known to stimulate oil glands. Maybe, when you eat oily food that oil gets on your skin and clogs your pores. But, in general, dermatologists believe there is not a lot of evidence that specific foods (like chocolate) spur more acne.
    The best treatment is probably to find a moisturizer than is "non-comedogenic" (non-zit-causing), which usually means a moisturizer that is not oily or greasy. And, better, but often drying and/or irritating, at least for a while, a topical retinoid. Topical retinoids tend to be very effective.

    This is good info. And I do think some women have skin that is sensitive to androgens. I never had acne. Until I was overtreated and wrongly prescribed powerful antibiotics and a vasoconstrictor. After the vasoconstrictor food would cause severe nerve pain in my face. So, my diet changed. I developed severe food intolerance. The symptoms were severe (most likely tmi). Then I developed cystic acne. Two dermatologists said they think the cause was from the antibiotics changing the microbiome in my gut. The dermatologist wanted to put me on Accutane. But, I didn't want further injury. My Rheumatologist suggested a food diary to track my GI symptoms. I found the correct diet change that addressed the severe GI problems I was having (which included all my food going through me rapidly leading to weight loss and inability to gain). Within a month I went from over 30 severe cystic acne and acne rash to clear skin with one small acne. My dermatologist agreed the food intolerance due to my gut injury had been the cause. She also thought stress was a contributing factor and my stress reduced when my GI symptoms were improving. My situation is pretty unusual. So, people get confused. It's not direct cause that food A causes acne. But, when a person has a food allergy or food intolerance or a GI injury it can lead to acne. Perhaps it causes hormonal disruption as well.

    P.s. I hope it's not chocolate too, Op!!! ;-) ♥
  • Naley2322
    Naley2322 Posts: 181 Member
    Its dairy. Dairy causes cystic pimples on your chin, like crazy.
    Before I was a complete vegan, used to have some milk products that were in things like whole wheat bread in the form of whey, or protein bars with whey, or the occasional cheese or yogurt. Every time I would eat anything with any type of dairy, within 2-3 hours I would have a cystic pimple on my chin.

    Milk is meant to grow babies therefore, it has over 20 natural hormones (to cows) that can mess with your own. Humans aren't meant to have it after infancy anyways :/