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Help with severe acne!!

Hi everyone!  I was hoping I could get some help/advice for my acne.  I have been vegan now since Jan. 1st of this year (Yay!!!).  My diet is really good, I always make homemade everything and I exercise everyday.  I have suffered from acne for at least ten years now.  I am not talking about a little spot here or there, my acne is pretty bad.  I thought that once going vegan, it would improve my problem.  No such luck.  In addition to having horrible acne, I also suffer from melasma (dark pigmentation on the skin, I was told it was from the birth control I used to take) and rosacea.  Ugh.  I have tried just about EVERYTHING to help my issues.  I have seen so many dermatologists I want to scream.  No one has been able to help me.  I am convinced that a synthetic prescription is not the answer, obviously, they have not helped me.  Does anyone have any suggestions for products to try??  I would be very grateful for any advice! ( I am going to be 30 this year and I should not have to deal with this anymore!!!)

I'm going to recommend the only thing that ever worked for me: baking soda. I hopehope it can help you at least somewhat. I also had acne for many years, but baking soda keeps me fairly clear now. My baking soda is actually mixed with cornstarch because I also use it as deodorant, but I don't know if that matters. Splash face with water, rub in baking soda, rinse. Worth a try! I just wash about once a day, or if my face gets really sweaty....I no longer use anything else.

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Thank you!  I will try this!

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Is it cystic acne?

it can be insanely difficult to treat with topical products. Eating a "good diet" isn't always good enough--you might be eating too much salt, not enough water, a certain food might be making it worse, etc. I would try laser if you can afford it. I have a cousin who did the laser genesis treatment with AMAZING results. Her skin is flawless now, and it is one of the cheaper less extreme laser options. Other than that try using a really mild non-soap wash (I rinse my skin of with rosewater) and an at home glycolic acid peel (35%) 2-3 times a week and moisturize well (I like coconut oil). Use a zinc/sulfur cream for spot treatments and hopefully you can see some improvements.

If your skin is not oily I would not recommend the baking soda wash, that can be really drying and harsh on the skin. For some people it can make the overall condition of the skin worst even in really small doses (like myself--I have dry skin though).

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I just ordered a new face soap that I'm hoping will help - it's from Taylor Made Organics and is vegan.
I tried the baking soda, hoping to break my addiction to my non-vegan face soap, but it has made my face a pimply mess - sorry AC (I still love you)

So I'll keep you posted on this new bar - my fingers are crossed.

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Is it cystic acne?

it can be insanely difficult to treat with topical products. Eating a "good diet" isn't always good enough--you might be eating too much salt, not enough water, a certain food might be making it worse, etc. I would try laser if you can afford it. I have a cousin who did the laser genesis treatment with AMAZING results. Her skin is flawless now, and it is one of the cheaper less extreme laser options. Other than that try using a really mild non-soap wash (I rinse my skin of with rosewater) and an at home glycolic acid peel (35%) 2-3 times a week and moisturize well (I like coconut oil). Use a zinc/sulfur cream for spot treatments and hopefully you can see some improvements.

If your skin is not oily I would not recommend the baking soda wash, that can be really drying and harsh on the skin. For some people it can make the overall condition of the skin worst even in really small doses (like myself--I have dry skin though).

no, I don't have cystic acne.  My skin is combination, mostly more oily than dry.  I hope the baking soda doesn't make my skin worse, ahh!  I read a lot about baking soda and treating acne and it seems the reviews were more positive than negative.  I really don't have money for laser treatment, but maybe I will talk to a derm about it anyway.  Do you know how much laser treatments cost???  I am hopeful, there must be SOMETHING out there that can help!! 

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Is it cystic acne?

it can be insanely difficult to treat with topical products. Eating a "good diet" isn't always good enough--you might be eating too much salt, not enough water, a certain food might be making it worse, etc. I would try laser if you can afford it. I have a cousin who did the laser genesis treatment with AMAZING results. Her skin is flawless now, and it is one of the cheaper less extreme laser options. Other than that try using a really mild non-soap wash (I rinse my skin of with rosewater) and an at home glycolic acid peel (35%) 2-3 times a week and moisturize well (I like coconut oil). Use a zinc/sulfur cream for spot treatments and hopefully you can see some improvements.

If your skin is not oily I would not recommend the baking soda wash, that can be really drying and harsh on the skin. For some people it can make the overall condition of the skin worst even in really small doses (like myself--I have dry skin though).

no, I don't have cystic acne.  My skin is combination, mostly more oily than dry.  I hope the baking soda doesn't make my skin worse, ahh!  I read a lot about baking soda and treating acne and it seems the reviews were more positive than negative.  I really don't have money for laser treatment, but maybe I will talk to a derm about it anyway.  Do you know how much laser treatments cost???  I am hopeful, there must be SOMETHING out there that can help!! 

The medical spa that does laser genesis treatments near me always has specials (over the summer it was 40% off 3 or more treatments, last week they had a day where you could buy treatments for the neck, chest and face for $199, etc) so the price can vary--look for coupons, they are a lot more common than one would think and can save you hundreds of dollars. The internet tells me that you can get treatments as low as $150 though. Look around, but dont limit yourself to a dermatologist if you have reputable medical spas.

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Thank you!!!!  Laser sounds promising!!!  Looks like I need to start looking in the couch cushions for spare change....haha

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try giving up grains and see how that goes.

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Whoa, AC! What a simple, sound tidbit. I will have to try that one. Is there anything baking soda can't do????

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Whoa, AC! What a simple, sound tidbit. I will have to try that one. Is there anything baking soda can't do????

It can't clean rust like salt can! I think it's good for everything else, though.

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I have been using baking soda for the past week, and I have noticed some improvement!  I can't believe I wasted $200 for a prescription cream that did nothing except drain my bank account and I went to the store and spent 59 cents for baking soda and I have already noticed a difference. 

Has anyone tried steeping basil in water for a spot treatment??  Just was reading about it and wondering.....

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I think the science behind acne control is altering the body/skin Ph so that the environment is unfriendly for certain bacteria. Baking soda and use of apple cider vinegar seems good to me.

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yeah, ive heard rubbing apple cider vinegar on the acne really helps. ive never tried it, but you might want to!

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Hmmm....apple cider vinegar, I have some of that!!  Thanks for all the helpful tips everyone!! I have also been cutting out almost all sugar, ugh.  That is a hard one...

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I've had sever acne my entire life too.  Almost 30 now and still have some issues but not like before... never can get rid of it I heard if it's passed down from your parents.  Have you tried to have a hormonal test done?  Your normal doctor can do this to check to see if your hormones are out of whack.  It's a simple blood test.  It might be that your body just needs different nutrients to balance everything out and reduce your breakouts.

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i found that by drinking the recomended 8 glasses of water (2L) my acne has reduced quite dramatically  :) it has also reduced headaches

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I never had a problem with acne until I started on Depo birth control.  I developed such terrible acne.  I went to a dermitologist who insisted on putting me on antibiotics and prescribed me benzoyl peroxide which I found out I am allergic to (the hard way when my face started peeling off on a daily basis!).  She unfortunately would not even consider that my birth control had caused it.  So I proved it by changing my birth control.  Within a couple weeks of stopping the Depo shots, my skin improved and I haven't had much of a problem since.

I have also noticed my skin looks better when I use a really gentle cleanser.  I'm not a teenager anymore so using a cleanser made for teens confuses my skin.

I'd also suggest seeing a naturopath.  While I have not done this yet, I know people who have and they can often find very simple and natural solutions to what ails us.  My friend had a chronic condition that was resolved by eating a cup of blueberries every day.

Good luck!

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I agree about the gentle cleanser.  I love blueberries, so I am going to try to eat more of those too. 

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I totally hear you about the acne. I have dealt with it since I was 13. After trying every perscription under the sun, my doctor finally perscribed Accutane, which is like a kick in the pants for all forms of acne. It shuts down most of your oil-producing glands, but it also destroyed my digestive system (part of the reason I am vegan)...and my acne came back, only less severe.
So I would not reccomend accutane. Some things that have helped me are neutrogena foundations and powders, and sleeping with a clean towel on my pillow. I can't explain why, but the towel really works.

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My doctor was going to prescribe me Accutane, but since my husband and I are trying to have kids, thats not an option.  Also, I have heard horror stories about it.  Not to mention my digestive system is already awful, (thats one of the reasons I went vegan, too!!!  I have been suffering from IBS for almost 15 years now, ugh).  Never heard of the pillow thing, anything is worth a try.  I have been using Aveda products and they seem to have the best coverage, although kinda expensive.  I swear, there must be something that will help.  I had been using the baking soda as suggested, but it seemed too harsh for my skin.  I remain hopeful.... 

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