I’ve struggled with my skin health since I was ten years old. I remember the red bumps that first appeared on my chin in the 5th grade. The other girls in my class didn’t have them and I remember thinking, why do I have this and they don’t? My pre-pubescent acne affected my confidence and made me feel ugly.
My diet was no different than the other kids I went to school with. Every dermatologist Id ever seen told me that the food I ate didn't have much to do with causing acne. When I was 12, I started taking prescription medications for acne. At 13, my parents spent thousands of dollars on microdermabrasion acne facials twice a months for 6 months! (which hurt like hell!!!) When I was 17, I started taking birth control pills and when that didn't work, I considered my last resort: Accutane.
At 18, I made my National Television Debut on MTV's True Life: I Have Acne. They documented the transformation of my skin on the controversial drug and after 6 months my skin cleared!!!!!! Accutane seemed like a miracle drug....UNTIL a year later, the cystic acne came back!!!! So then I was back to square one and my dermatologist put me on more prescription drugs: spironolactone (to dry out my sebaceous glands) & birth control (to regulate my hormones). I stayed on medication for another 4 years and while some days my skin looked clearer, I would often experience bowel discomfort, bad breath, fatigue, and depression. I thought about getting off the prescription drugs several times in the past 3 years, but I was always afraid. I didn’t want to spend the money on seeing a holistic skin doctor and it seemed like a foreign idea. I didn’t have support around me in NY to feel confident enough to face my underlying acne issues. I was honestly exhausted from trying to heal my skin and my breakouts would sometimes make me feel suicidal. I felt like my acne was the reason guys wouldn't ask me to be their girlfriend. I had never had a boyfriend, so I attributed my singleness to the red monsters on my face. So like any person trying to find an escape from their pain, I just kept poppin prescription pills hoping for a miracle that my cystic acne would one day stop.
This summer my magical Yogi Goddess friend Fern, invited me to sing at her Rooftop yoga classes. It was through her wellness community that I met other health conscious friends and gathered the courage to begin to consider holistic treatment for my cystic acne. Reflecting now, I feel really grateful that Fern reached out to me. She was like an angel sent my way.
Back in July, I performed my original songs at The Barn and Bail Theater. I loaded cover up on my face the day of the show because I had 3 large cystic zits on the left side of my chin. I often get large cysts on my face on the days of my shows and they make me feel extremely self -conscious. They also HURT like crazy!! This was a tipping point for me. My gut was literally screaming at me. I had IBS, bad breath, and acne—all signs that I had a leaky gut. The gut is the gateway to health. If your gut is healthy, chances are that you're in good health. However, there's a condition called leaky gut that can lead to a host of health problems.
9 Signs You Have A Leaky Gut
1. Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
2. Seasonal allergies or asthma.
3. Hormonal imbalances such as PMS or PCOS.
4. Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, lupus, psoriasis, or celiac disease.
5. Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia.
6. Mood and mind issues such as depression, anxiety, ADD or ADHD.
7. Skin issues such as acne, rosacea, or eczema.
8. Diagnosis of candida overgrowth.
9. Food allergies or food intolerances.
The bottom line is: Drugs don’t address the root cause of acne. My Acne is a sign that my body is having digestive issues. My body is having a difficult time eliminating waste and because it can’t purge through my digestive tract, it purges through my skin as acne. Now, this is way more complex to explain, so I'll explain more in my next blog post.
Im currently on a Paleo diet and my skin has been purging on and off. This is what my skin looked like on 27 Days Off Acne Medication.
Writing and talking about my acne helps me to actually heal. In fact a lot people have been reaching out on social media sharing that they are also experiencing troubles with their acne and health. Thank you to everyone who has supported me in this giant leap of faith toward healing my cystic acne naturally! I used to think I should hide my flaws. Now Im just embracing them.
In my next blog I will reveal more about what Im learning about my skin on my new diet and how I am addressing my Leaky Gut, from the Inside Out.