Yesterday I wrote about how the Paleo Diet was able to completely eradicate my allergies…..however, this subject is something that Paleo wasn’t able to solve for me. You see, when I was a teenager, I had horrible acne…..horrible! My face was literally covered by ugly, angry looking, puss filled pimples. My entire face was red and inflamed, and it was apparent that my skin was producing way too much oil.
Other kids made fun of me constantly. I got called “pizza-face”
on a daily basis, and none of the girls I was interested in, would even give me a second glance. They couldn’t see past the wreck that was once my face. My self-esteem was at an all time low, and I was desperate for something to be done.
I tried all of the usual face washes, acne scrub pads, all of the extra strength acne cream I could get my hands on, and I was on antibiotics for over a year, but nothing worked. Sadly, no-one was around back then to tell me about any possible dietary interventions, so instead I did what I’m sure many teenagers did….I went to see my Doctor. The Doc put me on a drug called Roaccutane.
Roaccutane (Isotretinoin) is a very effective, yet very harsh drug that works by significantly reducing the production of oil from sebaceous glands in the skin. Over the course of the treatment, I was subjected to frequent blood tests, to be sure that the drug was not harming my kidneys. I suffered severe side-effects, like headaches, cracking and bleeding skin and lips, dry eyes, dry mouth, and daily nose-bleeds. However, after about six months, my acne was GONE. Surprisingly, I don’t even have any scaring to speak of. If someone doesn’t know that I ever had chronic acne, they would never guess by looking at my skin now.
Was it all worth it? Well, it did what it was supposed to do, but in hindsight, I think I may have decided against the drug, if I knew then what I know now. A few years after the Roaccutane
treatment, I was diagnosed with a supposedly congenital heart defeat called Wolf Parkinson White syndrome, which I am now beginning to believe, may actually have been caused by the Roaccutane drug. The link is weak, but it’s there, and it’s ironic that I never displayed any symptoms of the syndrome until after my Roaccutane treatment.
So, what about the Paleo Diet and acne?
Yep, this is another one of those grey areas that is not directly supported by scientific data. There’s no study out there yet that says, “Paleo Diet Provides Relief From Acne”. As usual, what we do have is a ton of anecdotal evidence from people who cleaned up their face, at the same time as they cleaned up their diet.
Here’s a relevant scientific study or two:
If you eat crappy food everyday, you’re not nourishing your body, and when your body is not nourished, it reflects in all areas of your body, including your skin. Oxidative damage, free radical production, and glycation are all things that can affect toxins both in and on your skin. Another thing that can keep your skin in less than healthy condition is eating too many polyunsaturated fats…..you know, the kind that every fast food joint in town fries all of their food in. Generally speaking, the Paleo Diet tends to be a lower-carbohydrate diet….lower than the S.A.D anyway….which means that it is a lower-glycemic index diet, just like the ones they spoke about in those studies I linked to.
Once again, if you want to see how it works, give the Paleo Diet a try for 30 days and see what happens. I haven’t had much acne since I’ve been an adult, but I will say that my body acne has been greatly reduced or even eliminated since I started walking down the path of the Paleo Template.
They may not be terribly scientific, but here are a few interesting links on the subject:
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Barry Cripps is a Paleo-based, Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, who operates out of Bowling Green, Kentucky.
For more information please visit: www.undergroundnutritionist.com