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Acne For 47 Years!!! Food Allergy Cause

Posted In: Medical Stories 29 Replies
  • Posted By: blue_skies
  • August 17, 2008
  • 07:25 PM

I had acne for 47 years!!! From 11 years old to 58!!! I suffered immensely, wore thick make-up and refrained from socializing. In my 58th year, I wanted to lose weight for my 40th high school reunion. I went on a diet replacing all meals with a popular diet drink (chocolate). I lost 30 lbs and my acne. As I carefully replaced my diet drink with real food, I slowly became aware that breakouts started the day after I ingested certain acids; onions, scallions and citric acid.

My acne was actually precipitated by a food allergy. I had heard of breaking out in a rash or hives as a result of a food sensitivity, but never big, red, painful acne pustules. I had gone to many doctors, and none of them ever brought up the possibility that my skin could be reacting to what would otherwise be considered healthful, nutritious food.

I completely eliminated from my diet all onions, many fruits and anything with citric acid on the label or in the ingredients. I can eat apples, bananas, peaches, cantaloupe and even tomatoes; but not oranges, grapefruit, lemons, nectarines, honeydew, blueberries, etc. I don’t know why I can eat some fruits and not others. It is probably related to the amount of citric acid that the fruit contains. But onion (a very ubiquitous vegetable!!) is the worst offender.

All of this all has made me very careful as to what I eat, especially in restaurants. I'm in my 60's now, and my skin is totally clear. It is such a relief to look in the mirror at a face that is not ravaged with disgusting pimples and pustules! I have a few lines (ha ha!), but my skin feels strong and healthy and my face DOESN'T HURT ANYMORE! And I never wear make-up. An added bonus: dark chocolate makes my skin glow!

Others with an acne problem may not have the same cause as mine did, but I really want those sufferers to consider that the cause might be a food that offends their particular system–where, for everyone else, the same food is just healthful and nutritious. I hope my experience can help others who are suffering from this ego-crushing and life-limiting malady.

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29 Replies:

  • It is not "allergy" it is the way your body can assimulate and store certain acids. Doctors did not know about this many years ago and just called food allergies. Am so glad you found relief. Too bad it was not sooner in life. I have metabolic issues and am fighting really bad bad bad facial and body sores right now, I know it is something that is totally irritating my liver. I am not sure what but will have to juice to stop it....
    Abbydoodle 138 Replies
    • August 19, 2008
    • 06:47 PM
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  • Dear Blue_Skies, You seem to have such great knowledge about acne, I would like to ask you for advise. My question is if you think that my acne also could be caused by food intolerance.My story is a bit different from yours. I never had acne as a teenager. When I was about 25 I started with birth control pills and took them for 10 years. When I stopped, I developed severe acne. I went to my gynaecologist and she asked me to consider going on the pill again, since I was young and would soon surely have a new boyfriend. Which I did. When I was 45 I had my ovaries removed because of risk for cancer which runs in our family. Consequently I stopped taking the pill. Then the acne problems started again, worse than ever. I am 52 now and it’s getting worse and worse. I am not speaking of occasional pimple, they are more like abscesses. For many years they were only on my right cheek, but now they have slowly spread to both chin and left cheek.I am positive that citrus fruits make things worse. In winter, when it’s citrus season I look like a monster. Whenever I take antibiotics they disappear completely, but they always come back. I have tried ointments with antibiotics; they had only a slight and temporary effect. I love fruits and vegetables and can’t live without them. I eat onions of some sort every day. Do you think that I too could get rid of the acne with your diet? I would be grateful for your advice.
    Felsen 510 Replies
    • August 22, 2008
    • 06:22 PM
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  • Blue Skies are you there?
    Felsen 510 Replies
    • August 27, 2008
    • 07:32 PM
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  • Hi,Skin experts and practitioners recommend several natural acne treatments: 1. Avoid touching your face. Stop putting your hands by your face! I am often guilty of this resting my hand on the side of my head while reading. Also rubbing or bracing your chin is another common problem when thinking. Avoid rubbing, touching, or itching your skin with your hands. Your hands contain a lot of bacteria that can cause acne flare-ups. It is probably one of the most difficult things to avoid since much of the hand to face contact throughout the day we are unconscious of. Make it a habit to avoid hand contact and be conscious of it during the day to avoid bacteria. 2. Wash your face twice a day (thrice at most) with gentle and unperfumed cleanser. Avoid using soaps as they contain harsh chemicals and ingredients that can damage your skin. 3. Avoid the temptation to pick, ****k and squeeze your acne. This will send the infection deeper into the skin and can cause severe scarring. For mild to moderate acne, you can use over- the- counter topical ointments, solutions, lotions or gels that contain benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid or azelaic acid as an alternative to benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide is best at killing P. acnes and may reduce oil production. Resorcinol, salicylic acid, and sulfur help break down blackheads and whiteheads. Salicylic acid also helps cut down the shedding of cells lining the follicles of the oil glands. 4. Tea tree oil is a natural antibiotic and antibacterial agent and has a drying effect on the skin. It keeps the P. Acnes bacteria at bay along with decreasing facial oiliness, which makes this oil a worthwhile investment. 5. Topical antibiotic solutions and lotions can also be applied. 6. Sulfur helps to heal existing blemishes by unblocking pores. 7. Alpha or Beta Hydroxy Acids (AHA or BHA) works by keeping the skin exfoliated. Glycolic acid, the most well-known of the bunch is a useful adjuvant therapy for mild acne. Mandelic acid, a lesser known one, but one that combines the keratolytic properties of glycolic acid with natural antibacterial properties that help reduce the presence of P. acnes, may be considered a more effective alpha hydroxy acid in treating acne lesions. It is also much less irritating than glycolic acid, a factor that may be very important to those with sensitive skin who are unable to use other agents such as Retin-A, benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, or salicylic acid. It is effective in treating mild cases of acne on its own, and can be used successfully with other therapies on moderate acne.CheersCharles
    charlesbrooke 1 Replies
    • September 10, 2008
    • 07:43 AM
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  • Thank you for all the advice. Unfortunately I have learned that rosasea (grown-up's acne) is not caused by P. acnes. Or am I wrong?
    Felsen 510 Replies
    • September 10, 2008
    • 10:11 PM
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  • Hmmmmm I work in a derm office & the food caused "acne" does sound much more like Rosacea & well can cause just redness to some small acne all the way to bad scaring cystic acne like break outs same as hormonal issues can. You can also have a mix of acne & rosacea too. You can read a lot more about causes of Rosacea from their website www.Rosacea.org & maybe that would give you some idea on what you can do. You can break out from MULTIPLE things & just off & on or all the time. It can flare whenever even go away for yrs & come back later in life. Stress can also be a BIG factor too as well as the different foods! Also Accutane can help for the terrible cystic forms of rosacea or acne & prevent scaring.
    PitLover58 6 Replies
    • September 11, 2008
    • 00:27 AM
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  • Every one's skin requires certain minerals and salts to avoid some skin allergies. The best solution for skin allergies, acne, psoriasis patients, and for people with seborrhea is Dead Sea products. This Dead Sea Products are made with premier Dead Sea minerals, carefully purifies your skin, to get rid of any environmental bits in the pores. The minerals also work to tighten the skin and reload its ordinary moisture levels, and keep it well and glowing.-----------
    Anonymous 2 Replies
    • September 19, 2008
    • 10:13 AM
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  • I am 33 yrs old and never had severe acne, just the occasional pimple or two once a month in High School. About 2 years ago I went off the birth control pill and WHAM chin acne was abound-not little whiteheads, the "undergrounders" that take weeks to go away. It got to be really painfull and a started using more make-up than I ever had. I went to a dermatologist and they said to clean my cell phone regularly and put me on some retinoid. NOTHING HELPED. I am what my friends refer to me as a "health nut"! I eat a lot of fruit and veggies-living in FL I get the best and most ripe fruit. I do eat red meat, just focus my diet on fruits and veggies. Long story short...my husband and I went on vacation for 8 days and when we returned home our schedules didn't allow to make a quick run to the grocery store. I went two weeks without friut...and my chin immediately started to clear up. I thought nothing of it and just thought I got lucky for a week or so. WEnt to the store started my usual diet, pears and nectarine for breakfast, sometimes an apple, and some cantaloupe (whatever is on sale :). MY skin was pimply and normal like I was used to. Then something made me just stop fruit all together...that was a month ago and my skin is the most beautiful I have ever seen! The most appreciative thing is that the pain is gone! I was told to introduce fruit one type at a time to determine which fruit causes this...can't believe more doctors don't realize this, especially my dermatologist! Just wanted to add this info-foods DO CAUSE ISSUES even though it isn't a "fatal" type of allergy.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 3, 2008
    • 01:43 PM
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  • J-cotton, your story is absolutely amazing and a replica of mine. But how will I ever manage without fruit??? I love fruit so much!
    Felsen 510 Replies
    • November 3, 2008
    • 11:16 PM
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  • Yes, food allergy is very real and can cause acne and also headaches. Just think of poison Ivy, you don't even have to eat it to break out from it. I know that black pepper makes me break out on my inner upper leg. I know this from years of trial and error. Also peanuts make me break out, and especially chocolate and peanut butter cups. When I used to eat them every day for lunch in juinior high school, I had bad acne, but I believed it when I read that food does not cause acne, so I just kept eating them unknowingly.I NOW know that certain foods DO cause me to break out!!The only way to fix the root cause of acne is to change your diet. But acne can also be from using synthetic lotions like petroleum jelly. I use Extra virgin olive oil on my face instead of lotion and it has never made me break out.There is a lot of lies put out by the cosmetic industry to keep you buying their acne drugs.They don't want you to find the truth about what is causing your acne, so I think they just pay people to write articles saying that " food does not cause acne". That is b.s. Certain foods do cause acne in some people and everyone's body will react differently to certain foods.I just took a 7 day free mini-course by email that explained what i instinctively knew all along, that acne is caused from not eating the right foods.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 29, 2008
    • 11:30 PM
    • 0
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  • I had acne and infected folicles for years. I'm 60 now. My skin cleared up wonderfully a few years ago when I corrected my vitamin b12 and other deficiencies. Now nothing causes me a problem instead of almost everything. Come on over and look at the reasoanbly complete list of symptoms posted a couple of weeks ago and discuss all your symptoms. http://forums.wrongdiagnosis.com/showthread.php?p=135786&posted=1#post135786
    Freddd 3576 Replies
    • December 31, 2008
    • 11:29 PM
    • 0
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  • I suffered from acne for 25 years, and stumbled upon food alergies as the cause by accident. I went to an ear, nose and throat specialist for chronic sinus infections, and he informed me my sinus issues were due to allergies. They drew blood and tested 12 different foods that I frequently eat, and a couple of them came back as having high levels of allergens within my blood. Dairy products, wheat flour and brewer's yeast being the worst. I try hard to cut these products out, and my skin (and sinuses!) have never been better. Two weeks ago we went out for dinner, I decided I was hungry/didn't care, and ordered a cheese burger and a beer. The burger came on a whole wheat bun, and I ate the whole thing, and drank 3 beers. I could barely breathe my sinuses were so bad by the time I got home. In the long run, my stupidity caused me 3 huge, painful zits, my neck and chest were broke out for days afterwards. I have watched my diet closely again, and today my skin is the clearest it has been in years. Just thought I would toss my experience out there, some people say allergies can not cause acne, but my experience tells me that for my body, yes they do!
    Kristianne 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • I just wanted to say that I have suffered with severe acne caused by all milk products. I had severe acne from about 10 years old up to 22 years old until I read in a home remedy book that milk may cause acne. I took it out of my diet and my acne cleared up. I deal with occasional small breakout now when I can't resist pizza or a some cheese. I did find out that organic milk products doesn't seem to affect me though.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • For me my problem is wheat. I went to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist for sinus problems and wound up having blood work to find out specific food allergies that I may have had. The tests came back showing I was allergic to wheat products and I decided to try and cut it out of my diet to see if it helped my allergies. The Dr. told me it would probably help my skin, and in all honesty, my first thought was "What a quack!" but I figured it wouldn't cost me anything to quit eating bread and pasta, so it was worth a try. I haven't had wheat in 2 years and I haven't had a break out since then either. I used to have acne all down my neck, my back and chest, and my face was so bad it actually hurt. It is all clear now and it is completely because I cut out wheat products. The last time I had a break out it was because I ordered a chicken dish in a restaurant that I didn't realize had breading on it made from flour. I ordered it and had to eat it, and I paid for it! Within 48 hours I had the big cyst-like bumps on my chin, above my eyes and my neck was partially covered. I know the difference between rosacea and acne, and my problems were acne, no doubt about it. To think the years that I spent trying every medication and topical solution out there, the money spent and drying effects to my skin, and all along it was a wheat allergy. I would have never believed it if it didn't happen to me....Congrats to everyone else that was able to find the answer to their problems!!!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 12, 2009
    • 02:59 PM
    • 0
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  • Thank you for sharing your story, you give me hope.I am 38 years old and suffer from breakouts since age 12.I am so frustrated and tired of it and dream of leaving the house without make up!I started looking into the possibility of food allergy as a connection to my skin problem because nothing ever works.Seems like any cream I try may work for a bit but never cures it for good.Did you go to a Dr to get ELISA food allergy testing?I've heard it tests over 100 kinds of foods.I hope I will be able to find out and cure my acne.I am sorry it took you so long to find out, Dr. really should know better, specially when nothing cosmetic related works.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 30, 2009
    • 10:40 AM
    • 0
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  • I'm 39 and hardly had any acne as a teenager. My chin, jawline and a little bit of my forehead started breaking out several months ago. I'm trying to figure out more or less when. At first I thought it was hormonal since I had a baby a year ago and stopped breastfeeding about 4 months ago. I thought it might be linked. I went to see two dermatologists. The first one gave me Dalagis and made a joke by saying that I'll have pimples for the rest of my life... not funny. The second thought that it was hormonal (I had an ovarian cyst at the time, but it's gone now). I used tea tree oil (bought in Australia and really good quality),but the 2nd dermotologist said not to use it. The medication he suggested ended up burning my chin, it took 3 days to peel, so I stopped using it after 5 days. I'm back on the tea tree oil. My acne is not the yellow type, it's more red bumps underneath the skin, there's just one yellow one actually on my cheeck. And it's only on my face, nowhere else. I somehow stumbles across "gluten allergy" on the net and then food allergies, ending here. I'm now starting to think that it's possible that I may have a food allergy.Thanks for everyones posts, it's helped me a lot!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 3, 2009
    • 07:06 PM
    • 0
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  • Hi allThanks for all of your sharing!!!!!I just found out my acne is food intolerance acne-"Dairy Products". In the past year, I had acne grew on my chin, my back and my chest to neck. They are big, red, deep in my skin, some of them are itchy and painful :( It's been over a year.........Since this Nov, after a month and a half of avoiding all dairy products, I am now chest and chin acne free, there are still some on my back. May be more than just dairy products I am allergic to....but I am already very happy with this result and feel that I can live a normal life again....as least I know I am not cursed!!!!!I would like to share this link, this doctor wrote in details, how to do a elimination diet to figure out the culprit(s), i find it very useful: http://alternative-medicine-and-health.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=136&Itemid=74He/She also mentioned on the Acne Condition page that in his/her experience most of the adult acne are caused by food allergy....now I am so believe in it.Hope we will all be totally acne free soon.Female from Hong Kong
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 17, 2009
    • 09:27 AM
    • 0
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  • Thanks all for sharing,This has helped me more than you all know. I didn't have much acne as a kid, but I hit 30 and Blam! It has been 9 years of suffering, I was literally on the phone last week crying with my dermatologist and didn't want to leave the house. I looked like a monster...it was really bad. Breakouts that made my face swell up all along my chin and under my nose. On my back it has been really bad too, but at least I can hide that with clothes.For two years I have been taking Docyclene (sp?) and using EpiDuo like creams. EpiDuo is like $300 a tube and the pills felt like I had drank battery acid...every day. Before that, I would bake in a tanning bed a couple times a week because that would be the only thing that helped. I realized that I was going to look like a prune by the time I was 45 and that is when I started down the dermatology road which has not helped one iota in two years, besides of course lightening my wallet considerably.I talked to my dr. about it when I had an appointment for something else a few weeks ago. She (is mid 40's) said that food allergies are overrated and grabbed her perscription pad. I said no thank you. I also threw all of the scripts from my dermatologist away (I was done with the last tube of EpiDuo anyway) and decided I was going to eat or not eat whatever it took to get to the bottom of this once and for all.I asked both my dermatologist and doctor for a food alergy test. They both reccomended against spending the money (insurance wouldn't cover it) and said if I wanted to do that I would need to go to an allergist. My dermatologist finally said at the end of the call that she agreed with my doc, food allergies were overrated in relation to acne, but rarely, some people had an issue with milk and milk products.So I decided to start the elimination diet, someone in this forum linked to. I knew it wasn't soy (thank goodness) and I decided I couldn't give up caffeine and coffee/caffeinated tea. Othere than that I am following it to the letter. Certain fruits, lots of veggies, rice and oats and nuts. Believe it or not Dates - the big juicy kind are almost as satisfying as a cookie! And chips - I think it is the crunchy thing, well I don't feel deprived, there are pea pods, carrotts and apple chips when I get the crunchy craving. It is much easier than I thought, but you have to like rice. That $30 Wolfgang Puck rice cooker steamer i got for Christmas has really paid for itself! Today is the beginning of my sixth day of the diet. Other than a tiny little surface bump betweeen the brows, and one on the back of my neck, I have gotten nothing new...for me that is amazing. I also had stopped using lotions on my face years ago because I thought it could be them making me break out. So now I am washing with Cetaphil, and using a mild Aveno face lotion. It is glorious to have face skin that isn't dry and cracked and makes me look 50 at 39! I look healthy, and because of the diet I think, my head feels clearer, added unforseen benefit. I personally think its the milk, my husband thinks its citrus fruit because I was eating a grapefruit a day when my skin was at its worst.The worst part is...it hurt so bad! Not only did I have physical pain but emotional pain and basically no self esteem. Well, so far, so good. I am going to give it a good 14 days before I start introducing "challange" foods. My face, 6 days later still looks bad because of all the stuff that is in the process still of clearing up - it was the worst I ever had, but it improves every day with nothing new added. All the perscription drugs are gone and I have actually lost four pounds because of the elimination diet. I hope it continues and it is a food allergy, so I can get to the bottom of this once and for all.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 12, 2010
    • 01:35 PM
    • 0
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  • I had similar case before. I did a research before re: recurring acne problem and I found out about (soya is rich in copper), or imbalance in our system. Too much of copper in our system may result in breakouts or even worse acne. I went to an endocrinologist to have me tested, and I found out I have an imbalance. He suggest to reduce my soya intake & have a fruit diet.2 years after my diagnosis, I'm now acne free.
    tetStevens 2 Replies Flag this Response
  • i have suffered from spots for about 10 years i have tried many things to clear them they got really bad and i got antibiotics from doc that never helped at all i was on them for a year untill a few weeks ago i tried all the shop remidies none of them helped either i realised a few weeks ago that the spotts were inflamed and itchy more after eating certain foods i cut wheat out of my diet and within a week and a half my skin was clear i went out for a meal the other day and chanced eating some food with wheat and my face broke out again and got verry spotty and itchy soo i diagnosed myself and it has worked it feels like a miracle cure although its hard cutting out wheat i found that supermarkets sell wheat free products witch taste exactly the same although a little pricey hope this helps x
    jfinsgirl 1 Replies Flag this Response
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