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Does fasting cure acne?

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  • Does fasting cure acne?

    Hey guys. I'm suffering from acne for many years now. Although the problem isn't the same as before, since I cut dairy completely, started primal, supplements, sun exposure, dandelion tea and cut back on the soaps, I'm still craving a total clear skin.
    I've tried accutane twice and many prescriptions before with no luck.

    It's worth mentioning I'm very strict. No veg oils, no wheat etc.
    Maybe the occasional beer once a week, but It's hard to believe that's the cause.

    I've noticed I get flares if I keep going high carb.
    I guess it's related to staying on high levels of insulin all the time, but I'm no expert.

    Thing is, I'm trying to gain weight and muscle

    I'm looking for advice, plus I've got a question for the fasting guys here. Did it help your acne? Was it 24h or IF?
    Last edited by Gilleh; 09-05-2012, 03:18 AM.
    Everything is bad for something - How do you feel today?

  • #2
    Which foods do you think flare up your acne? I've noticed a ton of improvement in my own acne since going primal. If I consume any grains, sugars (from desserts, not necessarily fruit), or vegetable oils, I get flare ups.

    Fasting helps regulate your digestive system which should also improve acne. But it may not be ideal if you're trying to gain weight/muscle (I'm in the same boat). Try to figure out your acne-triggering foods and then cut back or eliminate them from your diet.

    Edit: I'm wondering...how effective has dandelion tea been in reducing acne? I know there's a poster on these boards who's big on dandelions...
    Last edited by dirk41; 09-04-2012, 09:57 PM.
    Yes, the real Dirk.

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    • #3
      When I gave up wheat, my skin cleared up a lot, but when I gave up potatoes (and other nightshades in a moderate amount) several weeks ago, my acne has vanished. I've had flare-ups twice now. Both times the flare-ups came two days after I ate potatoes.

      Perhaps try walking away from potatoes or nightshades and see if it helps. If you're trying to gain, there are other carby things you can turn to. White rice, fruit, etc.

      Good luck!

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      • #4
        I also have problems with potatoes. When I eliminated them, my skin improved. I would eliminate all carbs (besides veggies and some fruit) for about a week or two, then reintroduce a certain carb (like potatoes or white rice) and see how you react.
        Yes, the real Dirk.

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        • #5
          Do you use milk products? A lot of people have reported great result from cutting out dairy.

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          • #6
            Oh I forgot to answer your question. No, I don't believe the acne can be 'cured' by fasting. I am strongly coming to believe that most acne is an allergic reaction, the body's way of telling us that it's not happy about something that we've eaten.

            The trick is that we're all so different. It might be dairy, it might be potatoes, it might be wheat, it might be *insert other food item here*. Only you can figure it out through experimentation.

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            • #7
              I gave up milk and milk products completely about 1.5year ago.
              Potatoes are my carbs.. Sadly.
              My only carbs besides fruit

              Dirk, the dandelion sucks the redness out and shrink the mess
              Last edited by Gilleh; 09-05-2012, 03:06 AM.
              Everything is bad for something - How do you feel today?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by lissee View Post
                Oh I forgot to answer your question. No, I don't believe the acne can be 'cured' by fasting. I am strongly coming to believe that most acne is an allergic reaction, the body's way of telling us that it's not happy about something that we've eaten.

                The trick is that we're all so different. It might be dairy, it might be potatoes, it might be wheat, it might be *insert other food item here*. Only you can figure it out through experimentation.
                +1

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
                  Do you use milk products? A lot of people have reported great result from cutting out dairy.
                  I'll second that motion, kill the dairy for a few months if you are using it and see if any improvements.

                  Don't think fasting will help for acne, but good for plenty of other things, so do it anyway.
                  If you haven't done any just do the 16/8 for a while before you jump into the 24 hours.
                  "There are no short cuts to enlightenment, the journey is the destination, you have to walk this path alone"

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                  • #10
                    Cutting dairy made a huge difference for me. It took a while for me to notice improvements, so it wasn't an instant change - I'd say it took about 2ish months. Every time I tried to reintroduce dairy, the acne came right back, regardless of the type of dairy (raw, goat/sheep, higher fat/lower fat).

                    When I've fasted for 1-2 days, I did notice that my skin seemed really clear and bright.

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                    • #11
                      This is only my $.02, but from what I've read the past few years, it seems to me that a healthy gut equals healthy skin. The more you focus on eating pure, clean foods, your skin will begin to reflect that. Fasting is a great way to give your gut a break, to "rest" and repair. I can only see benefits for you incorporating fasting into your regime.

                      It's possible you have problems with your digestion, that either bacterial or yeast overgrowths are causing the flare-ups. To my understanding, yeast overgrowth can occur when bacterial balance is out of check (or is it the other way around?) so a simple meat/veg/fat diet will probably be the most healing for you, when you break your fasts.

                      I'd stay away from chemicals and stuff designed to "cure" acne. It can only be cured from the inside out. Gut health will also improve your hormonal balance. I'm a female, but I have noticed incredible improvements in my emotions during "pms week" and I have had perfectly clear skin for months now. (I used to get a couple big zits right before my period, or regularly when I was eating SAD). It takes time and a lot of self-care with diet, lowering stress, getting good sleep, and in my experience, fasting and being on the SCD/GAPS diet with some additional restrictions is my answer for you.

                      Gut health equals skin health. Fasting improves gut health.

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                      • #12
                        I had terrible acne on my chin and it took a good year of eating primal for it to clear up and dairy was not the cause. Fruit makes me break out so I suspect sugar is the cause for me. Probably different for everyone, though. You may just have to give primal eating time to do it's job and experiment a bit with eliminating problem groups such as nightshades, dairy, simple sugars. Do one at a time for 30 days and then re- introduce and see how it affects you.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ennaejay View Post
                          This is only my $.02, but from what I've read the past few years, it seems to me that a healthy gut equals healthy skin. The more you focus on eating pure, clean foods, your skin will begin to reflect that. Fasting is a great way to give your gut a break, to "rest" and repair. I can only see benefits for you incorporating fasting into your regime.

                          It's possible you have problems with your digestion, that either bacterial or yeast overgrowths are causing the flare-ups. To my understanding, yeast overgrowth can occur when bacterial balance is out of check (or is it the other way around?) so a simple meat/veg/fat diet will probably be the most healing for you, when you break your fasts.

                          I'd stay away from chemicals and stuff designed to "cure" acne. It can only be cured from the inside out. Gut health will also improve your hormonal balance. I'm a female, but I have noticed incredible improvements in my emotions during "pms week" and I have had perfectly clear skin for months now. (I used to get a couple big zits right before my period, or regularly when I was eating SAD). It takes time and a lot of self-care with diet, lowering stress, getting good sleep, and in my experience, fasting and being on the SCD/GAPS diet with some additional restrictions is my answer for you.

                          Gut health equals skin health. Fasting improves gut health.
                          I agree... I here is a link about gut health and acne and eating sauerkraut before bed everynight...

                          The site is down for mainentance, but do a search on google for weston a price acne and it's the first link.

                          Chris Kresser is doing a series on healthy skin:
                          http://chriskresser.com/nutrition-fo...hy-skin-part-1
                          http://chriskresser.com/nutrition-fo...hy-skin-part-2

                          Hope this helps!

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                          • #14
                            I've definitely noticed that my acne is related to sugar/grains. I don't have much problem with dairy.

                            I know you said you reduced soaps... so ok, I AM a crazy hippy now. About a month and a half ago I decided to stop using soaps, shampoos, or lotions of any chemical kind on my skin. Full stop, cold turkey.

                            Since then I have experienced the following:

                            Face: shrinking pores, eliminated dry patchy areas, blackheads reduced, no acne aside from PMS week, NO OIL! (i have been oily my whole life, my face is no longer oily and i no longer need to carry blotting paper)

                            Hair: NO OIL! It took about 2 weeks of feeling like a bit of a mess, but then smooth sailing from there. Also seen huge reduction in scalp acne. (Yes, I was gross)

                            Body: ALL my skin is smoother. I smell better. My body acne (gross again, sorry) is healing. My dry elbows and foot calluses have all but disappeared.

                            All I did was stop using soap, shampoo, lotion, and makeup. I still wear mascara to work and I used beeswax lipbalms and that is it.

                            Note: i DO shower once, usually twice a day. warm water first, scrub myself all over with just water (sometimes i use sea salt if i feel i want a little grit), massage my hair and scalp with the warm water. then i rinse myself for a long while in progressively cooler water, including my hair. I "wash" my face a couple times a day with water in the sink at work and home. I still wear deodorant (not anti-perspirant). i DO wash my hands after the bathroom and as my hands are the only things that get action with soap via that and lots of dishwashing, they are pretty dry.
                            Last edited by qqemokitty; 09-05-2012, 10:04 AM.
                            yay!

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                            • #15
                              I think sugar and grains were my problem! Still had acne when I was a grain-free vegan so dairy wasn't the culprit for me.
                              Even just fruit seems to be an issue for me
                              Stopped using any commercial skin-care products, that seemed to help. Only use natural stuff now like... putting food on my face haha
                              “There is immeasurably more left inside than what comes out in words…”
                              — Fyodor Dostoevsky

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