Carb Counters - Carb Face: Myth or reality?

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10-12-2010, 10:45 AM
Morning chicks!!! I have a question to you guys...
Have you ever heard about “carb face”?:?:
I read it on a book once and didn’t really gave much attention to it.
But now, after low carbing for a while and starting to have few “cheat days” I noticed that my face gets really swollen after I eat bunch of carbs (and other many “forbidden” food). I can see the difference not only at the mirror, but also in pictures... and it takes few days on LC to my face get back to normal.
Am I dreaming or it really happens? Or could be any other product that I eat while in the “cheat day”, like sugar, which I totally ban while on my food plan too?
If it does exist, why does it happen?
I was thinking that if I stop with the LC for good, my system would get used to carbs again and would stop swelling whenever I eat it.:?:

catie b
10-12-2010, 01:11 PM
That is so weird, I have never heard of "carb face" before, but just a few minutes ago I was looking in the mirror and thought my face looked a lot slimmer. I've only been on a low carb diet for about a week. I don't think I have lost enough weight to constitute my face looking slimmer yet, so 'carb face' must be true!

10-12-2010, 06:26 PM
I have never heard of "carb face" but I've experienced it. If I eat very, very high carb (or if I eat wheat at all), I get a horrible skin reaction that starts with swelling of the skin (so much swelling, that some areas of my face take on the texture of an orange - the pores very large and visible). If I don't get my prescription steroid cream onto my face at this stage, it gets much worse. First the skin turns pink (then fucshia and then deep red - though I don't ever let it get to that stage anymore). I'll have "face dandruff" scaliness at the pink stage, but at the red stage, the pores actually leak fluid turning my face into a giant impetigo like open sore that crusts over and itches and burns unbearably (I want to scratch my face off), especially around the nostrils and upper lip. Hubby calls this lovely stage "face rot" (which describes it pretty well. Going out in public is an ordeal at this stage, because people stare as if I've got some terrible communicable disease).

Thankfully I (knock on wood) haven't experienced anything beyond the fuchsia/mildly itchy, flaky stage since my dermatologist prescribed the steroid cream and told me to use Head and Shoulders as my face soap and to use zinc oxide for mild flares.

Still, if I have a high carb day, I do see it in my face the next day. Especially around the nose. I look like Rudolph if I eat wheat or overeat other carbs.

10-12-2010, 07:39 PM
I have Rosacea and it has improved significantly since I lost weight & lowered my carb levels 60-75 net carbs. When I was staying at a friends' house traveling, she made homemade mac/cheese. I hadn't had the white stuff in forever, ate a moderate serving, and my face got flushed. Could have been the plane flight, sitting near the window with sun streaming in nearby, or the white elbow pasta. I have not had that red flush since then but then I haven't had a cup of pasta since then either.

I was reading Good Carb Bad Carb on that trip too. Great timing for that read.

10-13-2010, 10:10 AM
My boss who is very lean and fit eats a very low carb diet. When she wants to look cut in a strapless evening gown she goes totally NO carb for a few days before her event... so yes, I could see the "carb face" thing happening.


10-13-2010, 11:40 AM
Dr Stephen Gullo talks about 'carb face' in his book The Thin Commandments... it's a while since I read it, but I remember the term.

10-13-2010, 03:17 PM
If I eat too many grain carbs, my face definitely gets poofy! I read somewhere that it's because carbs cause water retention.

10-13-2010, 03:34 PM
you've just convinced me never to try low carb. To me the only down side of weight loss has been that my face looks too thin to me, I want some of that "puffiness" back!

10-13-2010, 05:10 PM
you've just convinced me never to try low carb. To me the only down side of weight loss has been that my face looks too thin to me, I want some of that "puffiness" back!

Someone on the primal/paleo thread mentioned this ... her face looks less thin eating primal than when she was eating low fat/calorie. I am eating primal and I find that to be true for myself, as well. While my face is much more slender than when I was more overweight, it looks much less "haggard" than when I was trying to lose weight by eating low fat/calorie - felt I looked much older than I was. My neck, however, is more slender and for me that is a good thing because my neck got really fat when I hit my 40s.

My complexion is much better eating lower carb. When I eat too many grains, I break out again. Was loving the clear skin and all the other benefits of no grains, so I need to keep on that track.

Maybe "carb face" is a puffiness of the face due to water retention or something else, which is probably different from where one's fat is allocated on one's face. :)

10-14-2010, 03:36 PM
For me, it's not just harmless water retention. If it were just fullness of face, I wouldn't be as concerned, it's also broken blood vessels, spider veins, unusual shades of pink/red/purple, pimples, flaky, scaly face dandruff, itching, burning, bacterial infections, oozing and crusting sores, and swelling (to the point my pores are deep pits and my skin looks like the skin of a red orange and my nose swells to twice it's normal size).....

The lower carb and more wheatless, I eat on a regular basis, the worse the reaction when I do have carbs, especially wheat and refined sugar.

It's gotten to the point that my husband can tell whether I've had wheat or white sugar (and he's not the kind to notice subtle changes).

When I get to the point that I think my face is too thin, I'll still take that over face rot any day.

10-16-2010, 04:59 PM
I also totally agree with "carb face". When I eat any kind of grains I get a pinkish butterfly rash across my nose area and my skin does get flaky and oily. Since eating very close to primal (I'm on an anti-candida diet so no fruit and not even any dairy for me) my skin has improved to the point where my next door neighbour couldn't tell if I had foundation on at all. I ate crap for a week (ie sugar and white flour) and yep...back to the oil and starting to get flaky again. Nipping that in the bud asap!

10-16-2010, 07:19 PM
I also totally agree with "carb face". When I eat any kind of grains I get a pinkish butterfly rash across my nose area

OMG YES! I was half convinced I had lupus because of the malar (butterfly) rash until I learned it's characteristic of rosacea too. Rosacea is a somewhat more comforting diagnosis, except for the part about scarring and lumpy growths and deepening color, especially on the the nose being almost inevitable. I'm hoping the low-grain, low-carb diet will nip the skin scarring and discoloration in the bud.

11-11-2010, 02:44 PM
What is Carb Face?
Although dieters frequently complain about an expanding waistline or belly fat, often the most telling sign of weight gain is found above the shoulders. Usually the first indicator of weight gain is a rounder face.

According to Dr. Gullo, "If you've ever looked closely at a person who has put on a significant amount of weight or has binged on carbohydrates, his face often looks puffy and distended. This is what some of us who work in the field of weight management call the 'carb face.

Do Carboyhdrates Cause Facial Fullness?
Unfortunately some of the foods people love most can cause carb face. Refined carbohydrates are the main culprits because they cause water retention. Cookies, crackers, cakes, breads and pasta are all generally high in processed grains and sugars. And, according to Dr. Gullo, for every gram of carbohydrate, the body retains three to five grams of water.

Many snack foods, like chips and pretzels, are full of salt which also contributes to water retention. Much of the fluid retained in the body as a result of sugary, salty snacks can result in facial bloating.

so no cheat days...

01-31-2011, 03:07 AM
I also have rosacea, and it's getting a little bit better. :) I do see my face less poufy, I thought it was from losing weight, but I guess 2lbs isn't enough for that. :D

02-19-2011, 08:29 AM
I never knew there was a name for this but I have noticed the change when one goes "low carb"...the moon face dissapears not only to return when they go off their diet!!! Very interesting! WOW!!!