Vegetarian Diet = Skin PROBLEMS? - VeggieBoards

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#1 Old 03-01-2010, 04:15 PM
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I'm not sure which category to put this under, so I've arbitrarily decided that this is where I'm going to post it.

The Skin Problem

I used to have really great skin (rarely getting pimples). However, my skin has taken a turn for the worst. About the same time I started my vegetarian diet, I noticed that my skin was becoming texturized. i developed red bumps on my cheeks and forehead that looked like pimples, but definitely were not. I hate to go into detail but... It looked like there was a white head you could squeeze out but instead when I do try to pop the pimple, pus would come out. The worst part is that these bumps would develop into hyperpigmented spots that are extremely difficult to cover up. Previously, I had a dermatologist diagnose it as rosacea, however the ointment clearly does not work after 4 months of use.

Background Info - to better clarify my skin situation...

I've been a vegetarian for almost 1.5 years now (with the exception of cod liver oil pills my parents make me take every day). I still maintain dairy in my diet. I admit, I don't drink nearly as much water as I should (4+ cups a day). I lead a VERY active lifestyle involving 1 hour of cardio/strength a day. I wash my face every morning with "clean and clear shine control (w/ beads)" and use a "philosophy facial wash" every night. I moisturize every morning with a zinc-oxide (I believe) sunscreen and every night with the "clean and clear silver bottle acne moisturizer".

The Fundamental Question:

I'm debating whether I should go back to eating meat... horrible I know but, as any 18 year old girl will squeal... Prom is coming up.

Is there a correlation between my vegetarian diet and my odd skin problem?

or do you think my skin problems are derivative of any hormonal or lifestyle issues?
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#2 Old 03-01-2010, 04:28 PM
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There's NO REASON to ever eat meat. Period. All of your heath problems can always be corrected without meat!

My first thought was maybe its the cod liver oil! I know, personally, my complexion suffers if I eat too much fat or oil. Sweets & oils are a terrible combination for skin! And dairy is in that oily list too, since dairy is very high in fat! It *does* cause outbreaks!

So I would really suggest cutting out as much dairy as possible, and really limit your fats! Try this for a week or two and see how much it improves for you!

If you don't see any improvement, the next thing would be wheat, soy or other allergy. They can both cause outbreaks too..

And drink more water! Start drinking 8-10 glasses per day, starting now.. this will help more than anything! Water is so vital to our health and should never be overlooked, even for a day!

Good luck & I hope you enjoy your prom!

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#3 Old 03-01-2010, 05:08 PM
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Are you more stressed than previously? While stress might not be the root of your issue, it definitely won't help with anything! Have you started any hormonal medication? That could be a factor as well. I agree with drinking lots of water & just a thought, perhaps you are over-cleaning your face and stressing it out and not letting it naturally regulate?
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#4 Old 03-01-2010, 05:10 PM
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I'm suspecting that the cause is the fish oil tablets too. It's probably too much for your body to absorb everyday. To find out for sure if it is the tablets, I would advise you to stop the taking them immediately and apart from increasing your water intake, don't make any other changes to your diet, leave it exactly how it is for the next two to three months (which is the time it can take for pimples caused by supplementation to clear up). If the pimples are gone after that time, then you will know that the fish oil was the cause of the breakout. If they don't clear up, then you can begin to look at other things like your diet as a possible cause.
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#5 Old 03-01-2010, 08:04 PM
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I completely agree with the other posters. Cut out the tablets and if that doesn't show improvement cut out the dairy as well.

While I was a veg and still eating dairy my skin was horrible. I thought it was stress or hormones but it continued despite the good skincare products I use. I cut dairy out and 3 months later my skin is back to its previous glowing complection. I now will only notice breakouts if I've indulged too much in vegan sweets. Those rascally fats get me every time.
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#6 Old 03-01-2010, 10:22 PM
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thanks everyone!

i will...

a) DRINK MORE WATER - it was my new years resolution and i've been doing pretty good but i'm definitely going to increase the effort

b) cut out fats + those cod liver oil pills

thanks everyone! so much! truly, i've now discovered a fantastic forum community
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#7 Old 03-02-2010, 05:04 AM
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Too much soy makes me break out really badly. So I'm just a soyless vegetarian. :-) Actually I do eat it once in a while, but if I have it more than once or twice a week it's an instant break out. Also really greasy hair. Anyway, just a thought.
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#8 Old 03-06-2010, 04:46 AM
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You should check if you have any allergies. Maybe you are gluten intolerant? Many people are and don't know it. I've cut out gluten and my skin is so much clearer. I notice you still drink dairy. Dairy contain hormones which will mess with the balance in your body, causing skin problems like acne and rosocea.

Btw, don't use clean and clear. It dries your skin too much, and it's animal tested. Try to find more natural products which contain tea tree oil. Also, search for Azelaic acid. It really helps to clear your skin. I've used it successfuly. Best of luck!
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#9 Old 03-06-2010, 11:11 AM
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I would eat as much raw as you feel you can - fruits and green leafy vegetables.

More water as everyone said, but if you cut down on cooked foods and eat more fresh, your body will obviously be more hydrated.

Cut down on dairy or eliminate. Also limit or eliminate soy and grains or at least gluten.

Make sure you get enough zinc and sleep and clean pillowcases.
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#10 Old 03-07-2010, 08:50 AM
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Maybe running few allergy tests might help? I'm sure you included alot of "new" foods since changing diet to vegetarian. What you describe might be allergy reaction to one of them. Vegetarian diet does NOT cause rosacea (or similary looking diseases, such as lupus), cod liver oil does not cause it either, unless you are hypersensitive to animal form of vitamin A.

Anyway, experiment with your diet - exclude some "new" foods for few weeks and see what happens.
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#11 Old 03-07-2010, 08:52 AM
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Maybe running few allergy tests might help? I'm sure you included alot of "new" foods since changing diet to vegetarian. What you describe might be allergy reaction to one of them. Vegetarian diet does NOT cause rosacea (or similary looking diseases, such as lupus), cod liver oil does not cause it either, unless you are hypersensitive to animal form of vitamin A.

Anyway, experiment with your diet - exclude some "new" foods for few weeks and see what happens.
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#12 Old 03-07-2010, 12:15 PM
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I would try more "pure" cleansers as well and dry skin brushing. Jurlique and 100 Percent Pure are good brands.
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#13 Old 03-09-2010, 03:54 PM
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Also it's important to note that pimples/acne are a way for your body to rid itself of toxins. If you lessen the toxins in your life, your acne may lessen. If you simply suppress the acne with something, the toxins will be released elsewhere.
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#14 Old 03-09-2010, 04:08 PM
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I agree, allergy tests. I found out I have a soy allergy when I ate a package of Mori-nu in a day and had horrible itchy and huge pimple like blemishes all over my back the next day.
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#15 Old 03-09-2010, 08:51 PM
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I don't think it's your diet or the cod liver oil. I think your issue is your skin care regimen. Those products you use are full of chemicals, you are literally rubbing chemicals and toxins into your pores. Twice a day. Every Day. Your body is trying to purge them. My suggestion is simple - stop using them! All of them! Wash your face with a natural product (I use a really nice avocado facial bar by Rocky Mountain Soap Co.) moisturize with a natural moisturizer. And thats it. Just wash, dry, moisturize. Don't over do it. And PLEASE look for a good natural product.

This is a link that shows how awful those products are, please check it out! It can also help you find a good natural one

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#16 Old 03-15-2010, 09:12 PM
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Your body can only eliminate something once you stop putting more of it into your body. Your lymph system is eliminating the junk that has accumulated over years of eating meat. The problems you are getting with your skin are a wonderful thing because it is a sign that your body is finally ridding itself of the wastes that have built up in your body.

When you eat meat, nothing in the meat can leave your body because it is "clogged". This also happens when you fast, you eat nothing, and therefor eliminate everything.

Keep it up, it may seem like you are paying a price, but you're actually doing just the opposite.
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#17 Old 12-02-2011, 09:23 PM
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Hi, i am an esthetician with many vegan and vegetarian clients.

I have seen first hand what being vegetarian with out taking supplements can do to your skin. In older vegetarian clients I have seen these repetitive traits, sunken eyes, dark circles, and sagging skin. The sagging is very common and every vegi client I've ever had has had an elasticity problem. There skin has no/very little retraction. Like when doing massage there skin should stay were is is with little movement, but it just stretches all around and retraces abnormally slow.

But I believe your problem is a lack of lipid barrier, your stopping your skins natural layer of protection by using the clean and clear. It's inflamed papules are consistent with rosacea but if the cream doesn't help then it is just exposed un protected and dehydrated skin. Some skin care brands I'd recommend for you are, pai a uk based organic line designed for extremely sensitive skin. Or something I personally use and which is Astara, they are a raw vegan line that uses antimicrobial essential oils to fight acne their blemish prone line might be to harsh for you but I recommend their basic care kit for normal skin then buy their blue flame purification mask, I think the scrub once a week in conjunction with their normal skin care products will help with the scaring and will help you shed dead skin cells which is always a big help with any kind of break outs, wether they are induced by oil or oil dry skin, I believe these will change your life and skin immensely, and only wash your face at night rinsing with cool water in the morning is more then enough for your your skin over washing is bad as well.
I really hope you take this into consideration it really will change things for you from what I imagine your skin is like from your description.

For future skin problem avoidance I recommend omega3 supplements you need lipids to protect you skin from free radicals dirt and dribri.

Good luck I hope this helps you.
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#18 Old 12-02-2011, 09:28 PM
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Holy Old Thread Alert!
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#19 Old 12-02-2011, 09:33 PM
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Sorry about the typos I'm on an iPad so the keyboard is strange, but id also like to add I did join this website just to tell you what I know about this.

Also meat does not cause acne that person has no clue what they are talking about acne a is caused by a build up of dead skin cells sweat oil dirt and p-acne bacteria. Not toxins that are found in meat......

A gluten allergy is also a possibility ive heard of and witnessed people that have had that same problem.

Try the Astara it's your best chance at a good price with out being controversial to your life style choices.
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#20 Old 06-15-2015, 01:27 PM
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Eat more!

This is very interesting discussion. I had no meat more than 10 years. Half of that time I spent living in India and never coming across skin related problem. Once I came back to Europe, with it's cold and dry winter I am suffering with variety of skin problems. I have developed red circles of flanky skin around my nose and on the skalp. This can be called serboic dhermatitis, but then another problem. Small warts on my arms. First looked as an allergy and then I've connected the whole problem to a weak immune system. Getting not enough minerals and vitamins because of skiping meals and eating not enough at a meal.
Since I've returned to eating whatever I wish and plenty of it (still only vegetarian, but this time more milk products) it looks like my skin starts getting better.
I think it is only a question of time when all vegetarians realize if their diet plan is ok or not. It took me more than 2 years of experimenting with diet changes till I've arrived to the conclussion that on has to eat more of everything and more variety of everything. My body gets slowly in the normal. I just can't believe the answer was so simple.
Eat more of the good stuff, don't be scared of more milk and nuts and anything your body asks. And above all listen cause it may be late if you don't.
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