Carb Counters - Acne?

View Full Version : Acne?

05-02-2012, 08:17 PM
I watched the movie Fat Head and talked to a friend of mine who has researched nutrition pretty extensively and decided to try a low carb diet as a result. I just try to avoid bread, potatoes, pasta, etc. and instead opt for more meat, veggies, and fruit being careful to stay under say 80 grams a day although I think I'm going even lower than that without even really struggling.

Anyways, I've noticed some acne on my face recently that I can't seem to get to clear up. It's on my chin and is driving me crazy. The skin seems a little tinted too, a little red, even where there doesn't appear to be any acne. I tried running a search for whether my diet change could have caused this and all I really came up with was "avoid animal products" and "the hormones in the meat could cause it".

Any info on this at all? I'm trying to pinpoint the problem because I'm getting myself used to taking vitamins again, trying to drink more water, and am using products to try to clear it up and yet there it is... :( Has anyone else experienced something like this before?

05-02-2012, 09:21 PM
I don't really know the biology/chemistry behind it, but I do know that when I add more proteins to my diet my skin does tend to break out more often... I don't know if that helps at all :dizzy:

05-02-2012, 09:57 PM
I have the fewest skin issues when I eat low-carb, especially no wheat and low-grain. When I eat high-carb I have rosacea, mild cystic acne, seborrheic dermatitis, swollen inflamed skin and other rashes.

This of course makes me wonder whether it's a very individual thing. Another possibility is the source of my protein. I do eat some red meat such as beef, pork, and bison, but red meat isn't the only or primary source of my protein. I eat eggs, chicken (mostly dark meat because it's cheapest),turkey, all sorts of fresh, frozen, and canned fish and seafood, tvp (soy protein), fermented and aged dairy (yogurt, greek yogurt, sour cream, and cheeses both soft and hard), pumpkin and sunflower seeds, nuts, some whey protein (in smoothies)...

I have read that chicken (even factory raised chicken) isn't generally raised with hormones (antibiotics yes, but hormones, no). I don't know for certain this is true, but if it's the hormones in red meat that can trigger skin breakouts, this would make sense.

I've also read that the hormones in beef also end up in dairy, but while I eat dairy, it's also not my main protein. Chicken and fish are my main animal proteins. Soy also has plant estrogens, but again while I eat soy I don't eat it daily or even weekly.

It's also possible that you have an actual allergy or sensitivity. For me, wheat is my biggest breakout trigger. When I eat wheat, especially in a wheat/yeast combo like bread, I will break out with some type of inflammation or rash on my face. Either on the chin (the skin will be red or pink, and I'll have a lot of very tiny pimples), or a "butterfly" rash across the cheeks and nose, or my cheeks, nose and chin will actually redden and swell (so that the pores are very huge and the skin looks like the skin of an orange and the color will range from light pink to almost magenta). Sometimes I'll break out in large cyst like pimples across my forehead, or I'll get a weird flaking eyebrow "dandruff" (I'm told this is the seborrheic dermatitis).

When I went to a dermatologist, she recommended using Head and Shoulders type shampoos (with zinc pyrithione listed as an ingredient - I use generic brands) as my only shampoo and soap. I use it on my body, face, and hair (and usually use the one with the built in conditioner because the shampoo alone tends to be drying).

Between eating low-carb and using the Head and Shoulders, my skin hasn't been this clear since before puberty.

To find out which food(s) are causing your skin issues, I'd suggest a food journal and an elimination diet. If you suspect red meat, then continue to eat low-carb but avoid red meat and see if the skin issues improve. If it's not the red-meat, it might be another high-protein food. You might want to see an allergy specialist to rule out allergies.

I'd recommend the Head and Shoulders regardless, because it's been such a godsend for me that I recommend it to everyone.

05-14-2012, 06:18 PM
I had that experience but after being low carb for a while and trying to take a prenatal vitamin (to help make my hair grow). I've also always been told (not sure it's true) that zits on the chin mean hormone imbalance.

05-14-2012, 06:59 PM
Yea I've been experiencing that since i've gone low-carbs as well. I dunno, it doesn't seem to bother me as much as if I actually pick and scar it lol That's my real issue!!