Friday, January 10, 2014

Adult Acne - My Story and (Hopefully) Cure

Every picture I've posted of myself online is a lie. Either it turned out decent by some fluke of technology, or I photoshopped it a little. Or a lot. For example:

These pictures ... I like how they look, but I don't feel they represent reality, especially not the reality in my head (which may or may not be reality at all). I had my share of adolescent acne, not the super severe kind, just the normal stuff that keeps teenagers humble. In my 20's, and especially after having kids, my face got worse.

I'm not talking about adorable, little pustules; I got huge, underground, painfully obvious, Monster Zits that never really developed a proper head which can be conveniently popped. I would dig at them, begging them to release their toxic waste, and just be healed.

I went to a dermatologist once. I had half a dozen huge ones and hated my stupid face to death. He shot each lump with an antibiotic of some sort, and gave me a prescription that wouldn't cause birth defects (because the best acne drugs do). There was moderate success, but I nothing close to the perfection I wanted.

I researched the topic of adult acne tirelessly, trying a variety of over-the-counter methods, homeopathic stuff, vitamins, scrubs, oils, creams (everything OTC, vinegar, baking soda, honey, olive oil, aloe vera, etc.). I would take torturous selfies in the hopes that I would be able to document my eventual cure.

Nothing was working, I spent a ton of time and money trying to deal with and cover up the issue. My children would touch the bumps and open wounds with compassion, "Owies."


I think I may have found a cure. For me. And if it helps anyone else out there, I don't care who sees my ugly face pics.

One article I read talked about how acne on the forehead is stress related acne and acne around the mouth is hormone related. My chin is usually my war zone, especially just before my menstrual cycle starts. In my study of diet and nutrition, I learned that too much sugar/carbs in the diet makes the pancreas work overtime producing insulin and there is often an imbalance of other hormones as the body struggles to handle all the sugar. I read and watched countless articles and YouTube vids. All interesting, but nothing worked for me.

This past November kicked my butt. I binged like a fiend on Halloween candy. I ran out of my favorite vitamins and, for no good reason, just stopped taking vitamins altogether. I grew increasingly lethargic (sleeping most of the day and night), was constantly nauseated, irritable, and completely unmotivated to do anything beyond getting my kids to school and fed.

After 2 weeks of this, I went to my doctor, mostly because I feared I was somehow pregnant (like maybe my IUD expired; I never checked for an expiration date). Also, maybe cancer (that's always my go to diagnosis).

Blood tests showed a few things off, mainly my cholesterol was a bit high and I was low on iron and potassium. The doctor recommended a daily vitamin with iron, resuming my B12 vitamins, taking pro-biotics, and avoiding dairy and wheat if they seems to cause problems. She gave me a prescription for anti-nausea pills and an acid reducer (the prescriptions gave me horrible stomach cramps and I gave them up after a few days). I decided to go back to my sorta-strict gluten-free diet, take all my vitamins, and give up REFINED SUGAR.

My energy levels are back up, as is my will to DO stuff, like live life. BUT, and this is the best, my acne is clearing up.

It's certainly not perfect skin, but it a helluva lot better than it has been in like 15 years, and no side-effects or birth defects. It's still healing and I have a lot of scarring; I'm using baking soda paste and lemon juice to lighten them. There are some small zits and I'm treating them with Clearasil Daily Clear pads (after washing with Neutrogena face wash) and some good old 10% benzoyl peroxide. I use CereVe moisturizing lotion (it's light and effective). 
I love candy, LOVE it. But my love for candy is overshadowed completely by my hate for my stupid acne. I really hope this no-sugar thing works long term, I will of course, keep y'all posted.
SO! If you are an adult person suffering with acne, unable to find relief, just TRY giving up refined sugar (keep in mind that your body turns carbs into sugar; eliminating all refined sugar and highly processed carbs has helped me the most). Take vitamins, eat natural foods, drink lots of water, keep your face clean, don't pick at it.
I know you are desperate; this one costs nothing to try.
Best of Luck!


  1. Thanks for posting this!! My skin is awful and I will take your advice!

  2. Fruit hasn't seemed to cause any problems. Also, Stevia and Sucralose seem to work for things like making my smoothies a bit sweeter. I hope it helps.

  3. Brandy, are still one heck of an AMAZING woman! You never cease to impress me!

  4. Thanks for the tip! For some people, acne can be very hard to deal with. It’s a good thing that you finally found a solution that can help deal with your acne problem, hopefully for good. But it's still a good idea to keep your regular consultations with your dermatologist, so you would know if the effects are good for your health or not.

    Byron Brewer @ Knight and Sanders