T Nation

Opinions on following Acne treatment.

Ok guys, I’ve USED the search engine found on this site to gather information on acne remedies. And so far I havent found one that has worked for me. I’m 27 yo, and have to get on Accutane every year or so to keep me lookin purdy;) Anyways I’m trying to take care of this problem “naturally”. I found a site that recommended the following, I’m just not sure if its safe do to the extremely high Vitamin A content… Oh! and before I list the recommendation does anyone know if such a high dosage of Vit-A compare to accutane? Alright, thanks guys/gals. Recommendation “Brewer’s yeast—Take 1 tbsp 3 times daily.
Chromium—Take 400 mcg daily.
Flaxseed oil—Take 1–2 tbsp daily.
Selenium—Take 200 mcg daily.
Vitamin A—Take 100,000 IUs daily. Toxicity to Vitamin A can occur at doses of 20,000 IU daily; therefore, use vitamin A only with a physician’s supervision. It is possible that the acne may return several months after discontinuing vitamin A.
Vitamin B-6—Take 50 mg 3 times daily.
Vitamin C—Take 1000 mg daily.
Vitamin E—Take 400 IUs daily.
Zinc—Take 50 mg daily (particularly for males).” PS: Oddly enough they also suggest a very high/low carb/moderate fat diet.

hookmeister, I’m 23 and had some problems and such… anywho here’s an interesting tidbit, while on the fat fast I had all of my son of a monkeying acne clear, I was like wtf? not enough calories to produce oil? then I went off of the fat fast and acne appeared again, then I started with the flax oil again and it settled down once more… interesting eh? now I see that you will make sure go get 1-2 tbspoons of the stuff with your anti acne insanity. Coures in addition to flax, I take b vit, c vit, e vit, ala, panthogenic acid, zma. Tho none of em seemed to kick in while flax oil produced a noticeble difference.

Hey man, how many “cycles” of accutane have you been on and what were their durations? When I went to the Dermotologist the said that the most people have to go on are 2-3 “cycles”.
This stuff is liver toxic and has some other really nasty side effects(as you probably already know). Maybe you should talk to your doc and see if they can go more agressivly on the treatments. I was on it for 5mos, 20mgs(I think), 2xs/day. Works wonders, but once was enough of a pain in the ass for me. Good luck man.

I have read Vitamin B6 and B12 can do the reverse and cause breakouts. Do a Google search on Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) and acne. Seems to be helping alot of people. Dosages are pretty high though.

You might wanna take a look at your diet to see if you have any food allergies. Sometimes these can be subtle but potent enough to make you hold water or even enflame your skin. I have had some problems with acne also, and I have found that Evening Primose Oil to help out quite a bit.

your protocol sounds good. wouldn’t worry too much about the toxicity of vitamin A - it has been overrated. yes, don’t exceed 30,000 without a liver function test, or if you have concerns about cholesterol, but toxicity doesn’t kick in until 300,000iu for a 200lb man, and you’ll see it coming a mile away if it does - ie. much the same side effects as accutane (dry skin etc). As far as comparisions go I found 60,000 iu of vitamin A is equivalent to 20mg of accutane, ie. not that great. but 100k sounds about right, and just be patient while it builds up in your system. maybe back the zinc off by 10- 15mg, or you might throw out your copper levels.

Do a search of “B5 Acne” on Google or Yahoo and you’ll get good links including message boards which actively discusses the B5-acne issue. r100proof is right in that you must take high dosages of B5 to get results, about 10 grams a day for the first few months and then you can take 2 or 3 for maintenance. This method is backed up by a good study. Incidentally, on their web site, Swanson Vitamins sells the cheapest B5 under their brand name.

To answer your question: I’ve been on 4(or 5) accutane cycles. The first time was at 40mg for 4 months. I had crystal clear skin for 2 years. I then used some topical antibiotics until they lost effect. My other accutane cycles were at 20mg for 4 months. They positive effects would last less then a year before I started using topical antibiotic creams again. Side Note: Drying agents make my acne worst, vitamin Bx hasnt helped me. Diet: I eat very high protein, low carb, mod fat diet. Carbs come mostly from lactose, and fruits. I take ZMA, guggul. One time I got on a ketogenic diet for 6 weeks straight and my acne had cleared up completely. The problem is that I dont want to live permanently on this diet.

yeah accutane, as well as it works, is a bitch. dried me up. i couldnt even get my contacts in at times because my eyes were so dry. had to put drops in like 2-3 times a day. once is definetely enough.

I had a severe case of acne all over my shoulders and back, since i cut completely on milk and started using an good quality over the counter soap most of it went away, i still have a few zits, but it’s not comparable to what i had before. Why don’t you try and cut the milk? If it doesn’t work try eliminating other foods one at a time for a couple of weeks and see wich one/s is causing it.

I’m 26 and have had some problems too with acne. With extensive reading, I did find many of the same recommendations of this first post. I also discovered that increased iodine contributes to acne, which is why some of the posts talk about cutting back on milk, which contains a good amount of it. Chocolate and fast food also contain copious amounts of iodine, so some of those myths from our adolescent years actually have some truth to it. Anyway, try it out and see what happens. Good luck with it.

Oh yah i forgot one very important thing. After I washed my face with head and shoulders (after a shower) I would rub vaseline on my face(extra strength). Vaseline is a good healing agent and it’s very important to keep your face moisturized after using head and shoulders.

The fact that your acne cleared up completely when you went on a ketogenic diet could indicate food intolerances may be what’s causing it for you. Dairy could be a culprit as could possibly grains, wheat, and any other non fruit or vegetable type of carbohydrate. It might be worth a try eating purely paleo for a while and see how you respond. It could also be that your Testosterone level was suppressed on the ketogenic diet and this is what cleared it up.

Wow, this is an old post. Anyways, just to update those interested I’ve had GREAT results using vitamin A. At first I took 80 000 IU per day for a week and my acne cleared up. Just ensure it was the vit-A clearing my acne I stopped taking it completely and my skin started feeling oilier within a week. I’ve since played around with the dosage to find the minimum needed. I’m currently doing very fine at 30 000 IU per day.

Avoiding milk products have cleared my face of acne. A week ago I had some dijon( strong mustard) with my meat and a few hours later zits started popping out like mushrooms. Avoid strong peppers!

Whoever is prescribing you the accutane is not doing a very good job. 20 mg or 40 is supposed to be the STARTING dose. If I were to prescribe it, I would start at 20 and then cycle you up to 60 or even 80 for the last couple of months… by the 7th month you’d be good to go. YOu should have been hit with more potent doses… not that I think that’s the best thing for your body, but that’s what does the trick.

Does this all apply if I wanted to treat the face?

hmmm my first post never got posted! so my other post doesn’t make sense.
Anyways ill give you a brief summary of what i said. How did i get rid of my acne? I did the following. 1.) cut out milk 2.) took 320mg of saw palmetto extract a day 3.) took at least 2 tablespoons of udos choice oil each day 4.) washed my face with head and shoulders shampoo 5.) Used vaseline as moisturizer. I recommend that you only wash your face 1-2 times a day, no more than 2.

Someone already mentioned Pantothenic acid/Vitamin B5, but I feel I should give my results.

A year ago I had fairly bad acne, now I have none. I went on a dose of 2.5 grams four times a day to make 10 grams per day. I started in April and went it took about six months for my acne to be cleared up. However, I noticed improvement within a week. I also took 50 mg zinq and 100 mg Vitamin C; these I started after the B5. I moved down to 8 grams a while back and this reminds me to cut back to 6.

I still have scars and a few whiteheads on my forehead, but I cannot remember my last “zit”.