I finally went to the doctor six years ago for the painful breakouts I had been getting on my face. I requested to see a dermatologist. I never had serious acne on my face as a kid, but entering my mid-thirties meant almost daily inflamed skin.
My doctor told me to put petroleum jelly on my pimples.
I asked if I could please have that referral to a dermatologist. She went into the hall and came back a minute later with another doctor.
This is a dermatologist, she said. He happened to be passing through.
He looked at my face and told me it was pimples, and not to worry about it.
I didn’t go to the doctor for my skin anymore, but that didn’t mean it got any better. Makeup inflamed my skin. Sunscreen inflamed my skin. A light breeze inflamed my skin. I reduced my skin care routine to a cleanser and lotion so mild it’s basically made of air. My mom orders it for me online, probably from faeries.
Then a year and a half ago I went on a severe low-carb diet (there was a big prize at stake for a Biggest Loser competition at work, ok? Don’t judge.) with no sugar or wheat products at all for three months. My skin cleared within days.
It was such a relief to not be in skin pain all the time. When I fell off the wagon, the sensitivity and blemishes all came back. I thought it was the sugar.
Reader, it wasn’t the sugar. A series of experiments (I’ll spare you the details) has made me know that wheat products are the culprit.
There isn’t a ton of information online about wheat allergy beyond gut issues. There are a few studies that suggest the very notion of a wheat allergy is a load of hooey.
Sure, okay. I’ll just put Vaseline on my face and hope for the best then.
I’m writing this post because if I could have read in a magazine at any point along the way that my skin problems could have been caused by a basic food I was eating every day, I would have been saved embarrassment and pain. Since giving up wheat, not only has the acne disappeared, but so has a growing case of an eczema-like situation on my elbows and scalp. It’s all just gone.
Unless I have even one bite of any thing with wheat. Then I get plague-level eruptions on my lips and that’s just to start with. Believe me, you don’t want to know.
I wish I could go back in time and tell myself to consider my skin was reacting to inflammation in my body. Eating clean means moving my body out of an inflamed, acidic state and into balance. I’m so grateful there was a solution to my problem within my grasp all along, even if it took me so long to realize it.
Getting healthy has been so much about subtraction. I remove what doesn’t serve me. My doctors never thought to wonder about the effects of diet on my problem. I figured it out myself.
I feel so much better.
So can you.
- Are there chronic, annoying physical problems you are experiencing? Consider going to a doctor about it and being more insistent than I was about getting help.
- Try omitting a food from your diet that you suspect is ailing you. Take a record of changes you notice in your body and mood without it. Is there a difference?
- Are you eating at least five to seven servings of whole fruits and vegetables a day? If not, try doing so for an entire week and note how you feel.
- What has your past been with healthy eating? Do you resent healthy eating, and consider it a punishment from what you would rather be having, or do you enjoy it?