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 Post subject: What the fork is causing my acne?!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:59 pm 
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Brain Made of Raw Seitan
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Over the past few months I've been having an unusually high number of acne breakouts, and I can't for the life of me figure out what's causing them. Prior to that I had pretty normal combo skin with the occasional PMS spot or two. I've been trying to backtrack and think about what (if any) lifestyle changes I've made recently, and one of them is that I started taking biotin supplements. Could it be connected or am I just being paranoid? What else causes the random onset of acne? My insurance will not cover a visit to a dermatologist for this, so I'd really like to figure it out on my own.

Other changes in my life... I've lost a little bit of weight (but nothing extreme). No major changes in diet other than the addition of the biotin supplement. I moved to a new apartment, but I don't see how moving a couple of miles could revert my skin to its teenage state. I'm definitely not pregnant, not on birth control or any other hormonal meds, and I'm only 30 so probably too young to be going through menopause. Are there other things I'm not thinking of that would affect my hormones?

I've been able to keep the breakouts from getting too fierce by using acne-friendly skin care products, but that doesn't really solve whatever the root of the problem is. Help?


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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is causing my acne?!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 5:23 pm 
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Huffs Nooch

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First of all; sorry you are experiencing this!
Do you supplement with large doses of b12? My levels were mega low, so I had to get four intramuscular shots within 8 days, and a few weeks after my skin broke out in the worst acne ever! It lasted three months, where my face and chest were covered in spots. It stopped when my levels were normalised and now i just take normal supplements instead, which doesnt cause it.
I've heard that very large doses taken orally over time can cause acne as well. Could that be the source?
Also I did a quick google search, and it seems that lots of people get acne from biotin.


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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is causing my acne?!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 5:38 pm 
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Brain Made of Raw Seitan
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Yes, I do take a large dose of B12 a couple times per week. I suppose that could also cause problems? When you say you take "normal supplements" and they don't cause problems how large of a dose are you talking about?


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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is causing my acne?!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 5:47 pm 
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Limone wrote:
Yes, I do take a large dose of B12 a couple times per week. I suppose that could also cause problems? When you say you take "normal supplements" and they don't cause problems how large of a dose are you talking about?


Here is a post from Jack Norris, RD, about B12 and it's potential relationship to skin conditions (acne and rosacea): http://jacknorrisrd.com/vitamin-b12-and-acne/


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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is causing my acne?!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:45 pm 
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Huffs Nooch

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Limone wrote:
Yes, I do take a large dose of B12 a couple times per week. I suppose that could also cause problems? When you say you take "normal supplements" and they don't cause problems how large of a dose are you talking about?

When I say normal supplements I mean pills that I can buy without a prescription as opposed to injections.
The ones I take now have 720% RDA and I take them around 3-4 times a week, because I forget them some days, not because I have a good reason to.


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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is causing my acne?!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:59 pm 
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my skin went crazy around the time i turned 30, and i think it was just because i was turning 30 and i'm one of those unlucky people whose hormones fork up their lives more as they age. you might be in the same boat, but i hope you're not, because it's no good. i'm sure you've thought of this, but have you been using anything with an spf in the past few months that you weren't using before it got warmer?

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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is causing my acne?!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:18 am 
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Brain Made of Raw Seitan
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I'm using the same face creams and SPF and cleanser as last summer. I'm also getting some mild body acne too, mainly just some little bumps on my arms and chest. If this is just a natural result of getting older then... crepe! Nothing goes better with crow's feet than some random acne.


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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is causing my acne?!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:27 am 
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I hit 30 and my skin thought I was 13 again. I ended up having to go on Dianette to help my acne.

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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is causing my acne?!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:20 am 
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acr wrote:
my skin went crazy around the time i turned 30, and i think it was just because i was turning 30 and i'm one of those unlucky people whose hormones fork up their lives more as they age. you might be in the same boat, but i hope you're not, because it's no good.

yeah this. For me it was 25/26 when my skin freaked out, now I'm 35 and it's fine but I'm afraid to stop using birth control pills because I'm positive it will start freaking out again.

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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is causing my acne?!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:30 am 
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Are you using a new shampoo, conditioner, laundry detergent or fabric softener? Have you washed your pillows and bedsheets recently? (Not judging! I only wash mine about once a month these days.)

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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is causing my acne?!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:11 am 
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ohhhhhhhhh! the cyanocobalamin link is interesting. (it'll be tough trying to stop eating stuff fortified with it though.)

interestingly, i stopped taking my weekly 5000% sublingual only because i started taking a "thyroid support" pill that happens to have methyl. i'm not completely clear, but it is a little better than before.

milks in my house (all shelf stable):
wholefoods' 365 has cyano
almond breeze isn't fortified
almond dream doesn't specify (but this website says it's cyano. i'll write them to be sure.) http://tracker.dailyburn.com/nutrition/ ... l_calories
veggieboards says silk has cyano, but that was from 2011, so it might have changed.

and i have an e-mail out to lesaffre yeast inquiring about the source of B12 in red star vegetarian support.

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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is causing my acne?!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:52 am 
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I'm confused, in the comments from the Jack Norris article are they saying that cyanocobalamin could be linked to acne? I didn't see a clear statement of that, just B12. I take methylcobalamin now, but I'm just curious.

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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is causing my acne?!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:58 am 
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yeah, some people were saying they had a reaction to cyano, but not methyl.

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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is causing my acne?!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:09 pm 
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Interesting. I actually started taking methyl because although I know you need higher doses of it to be effective, it's difficult to find small doses of cyano, even though it is effective at much smaller doses. So it seems like you're always getting wayyy too much cyano. If that makes sense.

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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is causing my acne?!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:15 pm 
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totally.
in my googling, it looks like cyano is like 10x cheaper than methyl, so chances are most fortified foods will be made with cyano.

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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is causing my acne?!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:19 pm 
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My vitamins do contain cyanocobalamin, but the thing is I've been taking that type of B-12 for longer than I've been having the acne symptoms so I don't know how likely it is to be the cause. I went vegan in early 2010 and have been supplementing and/or eating B-12 fortified foods since then. Or would it build up enough in your system over time to cause problems?

I am using the same laundry detergent and washing my sheets regularly. I do use a different shampoo, but these breakouts are different than the shampoo-related ones I've had in the past.... normally when I've had a bad reaction to shampoo I just got little bumps on my cheeks and jawline. I don't really have that, but my skin is noticeably oilier and I'm getting more blackheads/big juicy pimples in the T-zone. Ew? Yes, ew. Anyway, shampoo can make you break out but I don't think it makes your skin oilier.

And Quarantined, for what it's worth: I started taking BC pills in my late teens because I had terrible acne, then I went off them for other reasons in my early 20s and my skin didn't freak out. It wasn't AS perfect - my skin was pretty much flawless when I was on the pill, but after I went off I just got a couple spots right before my period or if I was bad about washing my face. Pretty normal stuff. Anyway, I had about 7 years of clear skin after going off the pill so there is hope!


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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is causing my acne?!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:23 pm 
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Limone... I was totally the same! When I went on BC at 18 my acne cleared up. My skin was flawless until about last Sept/Oct then early this ear acne just erupted. I had been BC free for 3 years. Hate been back on it but my acne is definitely clearing up and isn't anywhere near as oily as it had been. I also used a cream with benzoyl peroxide for a few weeks and it helped get things under control too.

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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is causing my acne?!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:17 pm 
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Limone wrote:

And Quarantined, for what it's worth: I started taking BC pills in my late teens because I had terrible acne, then I went off them for other reasons in my early 20s and my skin didn't freak out. It wasn't AS perfect - my skin was pretty much flawless when I was on the pill, but after I went off I just got a couple spots right before my period or if I was bad about washing my face. Pretty normal stuff. Anyway, I had about 7 years of clear skin after going off the pill so there is hope!

Thanks, that does give me hope. I'm toying with the idea of stopping BC before I have my next annual physical in December, so that I could discuss other options with the doctor. Unfortunately I don't deal well mentally with bad skin issues, which seems ridiculous.

ETA: Some history- had bad acne as a teen, then it was better by early 20's, started BC and no real change, stopped BC in mid-20's and about 3 months later skin started freaking out. Went back on BC but it was a couple years before things calmed down.

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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is causing my acne?!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:48 pm 
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I am 23, so maybe it's of less concern, but I felt the need to add that Niacin and Zinc deficiencies can also be linked to acne. I had such problems with acne recently that I went to the dermatologist, and she gave me a prescription for Nicotinamide, which I've been taking and has been helping remarkably. I was probably deficient in Niacin since going gluten-free, but it's done the trick while I'm too busy to adjust my diet.


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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is causing my acne?!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 3:14 pm 
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Limone wrote:
My vitamins do contain cyanocobalamin, but the thing is I've been taking that type of B-12 for longer than I've been having the acne symptoms so I don't know how likely it is to be the cause. I went vegan in early 2010 and have been supplementing and/or eating B-12 fortified foods since then. Or would it build up enough in your system over time to cause problems?

everything i've read said that because it's water soluble, any extras will be excreted. BUT because cyanocobalamin has to be turned into methyl in order to be usable, that means there's a byproduct of cyanide, and i have no idea what happens at that point.

i've had spotty skin for the entire nearly 20 years i've been veg.

another vitamin deficiency that could cause acne is D.

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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is causing my acne?!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:02 pm 
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I also take a daily calcium + D supplement. I think niacin and zinc deficiency is unlikely, given what I eat and that my multivitamin contains a bit of each. To me it seems more likely that the acne would be caused by an abundance of nutrients, not a deficiency, because I really do take a lot of supplements regularly and eat fairly well. But I'm just guessing. Does ingesting oil have an effect on the skin? I don't sit around drinking the stuff, but I'm not shy about using it in my cooking.

I was lacto-ovo vegetarian before going vegan and didn't have any skin problems then. So either it's a coincidence or maybe it's the extra B vitamins or maybe it's those famous "vegan superpowers" you hear about turning against me.


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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is causing my acne?!
PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:06 pm 
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Why not stop all supplements (if that makes you uncomfortable, do you have/could you get just a basic, fairly low-dose multi?)? Wait several weeks to see if your skin changes. If it clears up, you could start very slowly adding them back in one at a time, and identify the culprit that way.


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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is causing my acne?!
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 3:18 pm 
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lesaffre got back to me. the B12 in red star nooch is cyano. this'll be tough. i'm pretty sure the only nooch i have easy access to is red star.

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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is causing my acne?!
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:30 pm 
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oink wrote:
Why not stop all supplements (if that makes you uncomfortable, do you have/could you get just a basic, fairly low-dose multi?)? Wait several weeks to see if your skin changes. If it clears up, you could start very slowly adding them back in one at a time, and identify the culprit that way.

Yes, an elimination diet makes sense, I'm just trying to see if there are any things others have had bad experiences with so I can try them first. I'm also not dismissing the idea that it could be hormonal or environmental, because other than the biotin I've been taking the supplements for longer than I've had acne problems. I'm also wondering if there are certain types of foods that make you prone to acne, or is that a myth? I remember back in the day everybody said that chocolate made you break out, but then later it came out that that wasn't really true.

BTW, in case anybody else is looking for a multivitamin with a low-ish amount of B12, Deva "tiny tabs" only have 6 mcg per tablet (the bigger ones have 100 mcg, for comparison). They're also quite small, which is good if you have trouble swallowing massive pills. I'm not sure what kind of B12 it is though because it doesn't say on the label. The B12 in the regular-sized Deva vitamins is cyano, and their sublingual tablets are methylcobalamin, so I don't know what's in these. Anyway, link: http://www.drugstore.com/deva-vegan-vit ... tid=180675


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 Post subject: Re: What the fork is causing my acne?!
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:16 pm 
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Could it be related to an allergy of some sort?


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