Hi everyone,

I am about at my wit's end and would love some opinions.  My problem is with my skin, but I actually have two separate issues here (that are probably somehow related.)

Acne- I have had acne since I was in middle school, and it turned extremely severe sophomore year of high school.  Senior year, I finally went to a dermatologist, who put me on two topical creams and an antibiotic.  This cleared up my skin almost completely, and I was on it for a year until I decided that taking this much medication must be unhealthy and decided to just stop it.  It was around that same time that I went through an extremely stressful family situation that is still continuing, although not as stressful now as it was then.  It has been a year now since I was on any medication for my skin.  My digestion has been bad since I was a little kid; I always thought I had IBS but was never officially diagnosed with it.  I have tried so many different diets, from a candida diet, to paleo, to an anti-allergenic one.. And cannot figure anything out.  About a month ago I started eating a vegan diet that is also gluten and soy-free and have been feeling a lot better, and my skin actually seems a lot better as well, but it definitely hasn't cleared up completely or anything like that.  Am I expecting results too quickly?  The main purpose for the vegan diet is because it makes me feel "clearer" spiritually.  I also think my acne is probably related very closely to stress (along with my digestive issues) because I notice a correlation there.  I think the root cause might be psychological.  I have been muscle tested for food sensitivities and came up as sensitive to basically everything, but really couldn't bring myself to cut out all fruits and vegetables because that just doesn't feel right.  

In addition to this, I have a very strange rash on my legs that I remember getting for a few months a couple years ago, but came back this past August when I was doing the candida diet and it has not gone away since.  It has been progressively getting worse.  Early last year I did a week-long juice fast and I remember it flaring up randomly for a day or two and then going away again.  Because of that, I feel like it's related to something in my diet, but I have no idea what.  I did see a doctor who said it was a type of fungal thing and offered to give me a cream.. But my feeling is that the cause of it is something inside me, so I want to fix that, not just treat the symptoms.  It is sometimes itchy and gets worse when my skin is dry, and it keeps spreading bigger and bigger.  I am attaching 3 pictures of the rash, because rashes are pretty difficult to just describe.

If anyone has any information that could be helpful, please tell me!  I really do not know what to do anymore about any of this.  Thank you so, so much.  

Demetra

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I had acne my whole adult life until I started using natural progesterone.  If I am not using enough, I can tell (for other reasons too) but my skin breaks out.  Thats the only thing that worked for me of everything I had tried ( all those miracle acne products and such, all non-toxic face care products, supplements, etc.)

I could not open the photos, the program wasn't recognized. Did the derm say anything about ichthyosis? That is a scaly type rash that often occurs on the legs.

Are you familiar with Ayurvedic medicine?

I also had acne as a teen (it was cystic and pretty severe) and used Accutane which cleared it up (very serious medicine- this was before the net so didn't have many resources!). Then for years I would develop rashes but they quickly went away so I never worried. It was a huge relief from the acne. Now just this past week I believe I had a flair up with rosacea.

According to Ayurveda, I am predominantly Pitta dosha, which is prone to inflammation and yes, stress and psychological factors play a huge role.

For me, the rosacea was triggered by anger, stress, along with other triggers: corn chips (not organic so probably gmo, cold weather, excess salt.

First I used neem oil right away as the properties include being antimicrobial and there is a correlation with rosacea. That didn't really help so I switched to jojoba oil, which is very much helping with the inflammation, redness and pain.

So, I share my story in the hopes that it may trigger something for you. I was thinking about starting a skin issues group on here as they are so interconnected with emotions, digestion and stress...Also Ayurveda is extremely helpful as it offers dietary, lifestyle and herbal recommendations. All of my health issues are pretty typical for my dosha so I know there is deeper stuff to work on.

Oh, and since the flair up I've been removing myself when I feel the anger and doing a combination of EFT and deep breathing, feeling the feelings and breathing through them until I feel calm, centered and in control again.

I am a little familiar with Ayurvedic medicine, and am also predominantly Pitta.. I don't really eat according to it though.  Do you now?  How did you realize you were sensitive to corn chips?

My rash is more of a fungal thing, I think.  One doctor said it was ringworm, but another said it wasn't ringworm but was in the same family.  I don't know why the pictures didn't work- I'll try again!  

I have been recommended Accutane many times, but I don't want to take anything that isn't natural.  I'm more concerned with what is causing the problem.. I know it is definitely, definitely related to stress, but I don't think that's really the root cause.

I think a skin issues group is a great idea!

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Skin is a detox pathway. It is our largest organ and when we overload our blood circulation with toxins, either through food ingredients, medication chemicals, or through "cleansing" too fast, the body protects us by excreting excess toxins through our skin. The skin is a first line of immune protection too, so broken skin increases exposure to environmental toxins when applied on it.

Toxins can come from our skin care products (soaps, lotions, creams), laundry detergent, cleaning products, etc. Whenever we have a rapid shift in our gut ph through extreme diet changes, cleanses, antibiotics or large doses of probiotics - we have microbials which "die-off" and dump their toxins too. Those toxins must be excreted rapidly (or stored) or they would build up in our blood.

Stress increases our nutrient needs; detoxification increases our nutrient needs. So, when we have nutrient deficiencies and stress, our detoxification system becomes overloaded and our body protects us by pushing toxins out through our skin and "storing" toxins into organs, brain, gut (fetus and breastmilk too).

The key to breaking this cycle is to address nutrient deficiencies first with whole foods to optimize detoxification pathways. Absorbing nutrients requires adequate stomach acidRebalancing gut microbials strengthens our immune system and improves nutrient absorption.

What we put on our body is absorbed into our body. Suppressing skin rashes just pushes the toxins into our body which causes other more sensitive mucus membranes to become inflamed: lungs, mouth, stomach, esophagus, intestines. That inflammation causes further issues with nutrient absorption.

#1 is to improve stomach acid
#2 increase bio-available whole food nutrients

Our body is AMAZING and can rebalance itself given nutrient-dense foods. Avoiding inflammatory foods is important when we already have an inflammatory process going on. Stress, as you noticed, increases the *appearance* of the imbalance.

#3 decreasing stress sure helps, and there are many ways to support our ability to release stress.

Acutely, coconut oil, lavender essential oil (diluted), raw Manuka honey are nourishing and healing alternatives to consider topically for relief. Epsom salt baths or compresses can help the body to detoxify more effectively due to the magnesium sulfate.

Pre-formed Vitamin A, and Vitamin D from the sun are key nutrients to strengthen our immune system. Magnesium is critical to 300+ biological processes in the body, especially detoxification.

I linked several discussions for more information. 

Pat

Okay, I am going to start adding some of those things in.  So are fermented foods the best way to increase stomach acid?  Is there anything else I can do for that?  Thank you!

Pat Robinson said:

Skin is a detox pathway. It is our largest organ and when we overload our blood circulation with toxins, either through food ingredients, medication chemicals, or through "cleansing" too fast, the body protects us by excreting excess toxins through our skin. The skin is a first line of immune protection too, so broken skin increases exposure to environmental toxins when applied on it.

Toxins can come from our skin care products (soaps, lotions, creams), laundry detergent, cleaning products, etc. Whenever we have a rapid shift in our gut ph through extreme diet changes, cleanses, antibiotics or large doses of probiotics - we have microbials which "die-off" and dump their toxins too. Those toxins must be excreted rapidly (or stored) or they would build up in our blood.

Stress increases our nutrient needs; detoxification increases our nutrient needs. So, when we have nutrient deficiencies and stress, our detoxification system becomes overloaded and our body protects us by pushing toxins out through our skin and "storing" toxins into organs, brain, gut (fetus and breastmilk too).

The key to breaking this cycle is to address nutrient deficiencies first with whole foods to optimize detoxification pathways. Absorbing nutrients requires adequate stomach acidRebalancing gut microbials strengthens our immune system and improves nutrient absorption.

What we put on our body is absorbed into our body. Suppressing skin rashes just pushes the toxins into our body which causes other more sensitive mucus membranes to become inflamed: lungs, mouth, stomach, esophagus, intestines. That inflammation causes further issues with nutrient absorption.

#1 is to improve stomach acid
#2 increase bio-available whole food nutrients

Our body is AMAZING and can rebalance itself given nutrient-dense foods. Avoiding inflammatory foods is important when we already have an inflammatory process going on. Stress, as you noticed, increases the *appearance* of the imbalance.

#3 decreasing stress sure helps, and there are many ways to support our ability to release stress.

Acutely, coconut oil, lavender essential oil (diluted), raw Manuka honey are nourishing and healing alternatives to consider topically for relief. Epsom salt baths or compresses can help the body to detoxify more effectively due to the magnesium sulfate.

Pre-formed Vitamin A, and Vitamin D from the sun are key nutrients to strengthen our immune system. Magnesium is critical to 300+ biological processes in the body, especially detoxification.

I linked several discussions for more information. 

Pat

I agree with many of your suggestions Pat; however, I have one of the cleanest diets that I know and a skin issue is manifesting. Demetra, you asked how I knew about the corn chips and that is because it was the first time I ate them and then the rosacea kicked in! I am eating more according to my type, at least the heaviest foods midday and more vegetables. Your rash looks like a tinea fungus.

So, being that my diet is whole, pure, organic, etc. I attribute 2 more causes to skin issues:

1) there is not one diet for everybody (for me, I've eliminated gluten and sugar, some people are not sensitive to those).

2) emotions form toxins just like fake foods

I think it is all connected, detox the body and the emotions follow, work on emotional issues and the body follows.

I agree with that.  The main problem is that I cannot figure out what I'm sensitive to!  I have even tried an elimination diet and I never see results that make me think it is a certain food in particular.  I have only done special diets for a month at a time... So I could have not waited long enough, but I just feel like I should have noticed something more drastic.  

Emotions definitely contribute.  I do a lot of yoga, but not sure what else I can do to help emotions.  I have been under a ton of stress in the past year (my brother was in a bad car accident, had a brain injury, and is slowly recovering) so I know there are emotional issues from that.  I've experienced emotional releases during yoga, but haven't found anything else that helps

Michelle Czolba said:

I agree with many of your suggestions Pat; however, I have one of the cleanest diets that I know and a skin issue is manifesting. Demetra, you asked how I knew about the corn chips and that is because it was the first time I ate them and then the rosacea kicked in! I am eating more according to my type, at least the heaviest foods midday and more vegetables. Your rash looks like a tinea fungus.

So, being that my diet is whole, pure, organic, etc. I attribute 2 more causes to skin issues:

1) there is not one diet for everybody (for me, I've eliminated gluten and sugar, some people are not sensitive to those).

2) emotions form toxins just like fake foods

I think it is all connected, detox the body and the emotions follow, work on emotional issues and the body follows.

With the emotions, maybe journaling or something like that would be helpful? Or I find it really helpful to notice emotional reactions to situations and then look into those (for example, anger would be one for me. Most of the time the situation at hand does not warrant anger- it is the underlying story I'm telling myself).

That is interesting that you don't notice any changes.You mentioned you are vegan- are you eating whole foods or processed foods? Any soy products?

That is when using a system based on types is helpful I think, just to have some guidelines in place. I like to combine the wisdom from these ancient systems (Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, traditional foods) with my intuition. In following Ayurveda for instance, according to my type I would basically be eating beans, grains, vegetables and fruits. Being that I don't eat that many grains and I like to eat locally/seasonally (and think that is more appropriate energetically), it would be beans and veggies. Then they say no "big" beans, so basically lentils and mung. That is just way too restrictive to me and I don't believe appropriate for wintertime in a northern climate with European genes. So I still eat some meat, just eating it midday when digestion is highest. And cooking fruits like apples and pears for a snack. Simple adjustments that seem to be helping. I feel good at least!

It does get confusing. For instance, I have read that apple cider vinegar is good for increasing stomach acid...but then being Pitta (prone to inflammation) anything that is fermented or sour supposedly aggravates that.

Yes, exactly... Everything seems to contradict each other!  I'm eating all whole foods.. I'm eating vegan but have also cut out gluten and soy.  I've been doing this for the past month and a half, and I think my skin got a LITTLE better, not much, and I also don't get headaches or get tired after I eat anymore, which I used to.  But I'm nervous with cutting all of these things out because I don't want to end up with deficiencies.  I have started taking ACV, lemon water, and something called triphala every morning, which has helped my digestion a lot.. but hasn't done anything for my skin, yet at least

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