More after the jump...
I considered writing this blog only after I had gone 3 month's without any sight of folliculitis, but I figured I'd get information out there that has helped me and create a place for others to exchange their own treatments, successful and unsuccessful.
I got my first zits sometime in 2001, from use of hair gel. Just a few spots on the forehead. I got into Acne wash then, and had relatively clear skin until about 2003 when my acne got worse, probably due to a combo of puberty, topical abuse, and poor diet. It was around then that Proactive came out, so I bought into it. That cleared me up for about a month, till the cleanser pretty much destroyed my sensitive skin. From there on I went through numerous topicals, Tetracycline (a big mistake that reared it's ugly head in the future), and Vitamin Regimes (B5 overdosing).
At my juinor year of high school, 2006 I got fed up with all the time and money I was wasting on acne topicals, and went on Accutane after a friend did the same. Big Mistake.
Of course it worked, I cleared, upped the dose, had the initial breakout with each increase, till the biggest mistake of my life came... On a ski trip my skin was so sensitive to the harsh weather due to the Accutane, that I wore a ski mask over my face and globbed on some heavy moisutizers. I also upped my dose of Accutante to 50mg. So came clogged pores and big cystic type acnes. To be honest, if I would have left them alone they would have cleared. But I decided to shave over them.
Big mistake. Over the next few days my skin got worse and worse. My whole face and neck was literally covered with red, angry acne. Probably the worst my skin had ever looked. It really was that bad. When I got home from work one evening about two days after the shave, I noticed a swelling sensation on my face. I looked in the mirror and I had a boil on my cheek. I freaked, popped it, and over washed my face, then put a band aid on it.
What I should of done was told my parents, not popped the boil, and gone to the hospital the next day. But I knew noting about staph then.
The next morning before swim practice at 6am, I noticed another one forming in the car. Instead of telling my mom, I just ignored it and went in the pool. How no one noticed it I have no idea because it was very apparent. I covered it with a band aid after and went to school. Thankfully, I did not spread it onto anyone else in the pool.
I went to the derm that week and she gave me some antibiotic that cleared the majority of the skin, but a week later I got another boil. I would get them from time to time and would pop them, cover them and they would heal after a week or so.
When I realized in May, at the end of my Accutane presciption, that my skin was clear except for the area's where I had the boils, I began to realize that this was something more than acne.
I found out about folliculitis, got another antibiotic but it did not work, and continued to manage it with Benzyl Peroxide for about a year. I would see a very small boil about every 4 months or so in the area.
When I moved to California (was previously in the UK) for University, I found a new derm. She didn't want to hear anything about folliculitis and prescribed me prescriptions that I never used, knowing they wouldnt work. Eventually in June, I convinced another derm at the same office to get me a culture and a sensitivity test.
We did that, and for once, my skin cleared. I combined Doxycycline with Hibiclens and some neutrogena lotion and for a whole summer I had perfect skin. Around that time, I began the Primal Diet via Mark Sission's Blog (a diet based of meat, vegetables, fruits, and nuts and some dairy... no grains or legumes, low carb high fat)
I had struggles with the diet initially, over consumption of nuts and pasturized dairy gave me some acne after the antibiotics wore off, but no reoccurence of folliculitis.
It wasn't until I tried the Oil Cleansing Method, after realizing how harsh Hibiclens was on my skin, that my folliculitis returned, and returned way worse. This time is went from just isolated to a small patch on each of my lower cheeks, almost unnoticable, to my upper lip/moustache area.
I gotta say, I could have handled managing at just my cheeks. It wasn't always flaring, and perhaps if I knew what I do now back then, I could have gotten rid of those small patches for good... because god damn the moustache folliculitis was way more persistent and prone to flare ups than the cheek folliculitis. It was more apparent and really crushed me. I became a social recluse. Despite being in a fraternity and having great friends, I pretty much locked myself away. I was pretty depressed.
So I tried an all meat diet after finding Owsley Stanley's (also known as The Bear) famous post about how he has been living off of nothing but meat for 47+ years and enjoying perfect health (debated by some). That worked on and off, but I was never convinced of the idea of an all carnivorous diet, and I wasn't really thriving on it. Felt like shit mostly.
So I went back to the primal diet, but without nuts and dairy, knowing they made the inflammatory symptoms worse. I found some new products and put Hibiclens back in my regime. I remained clear for about 3-4 weeks. During that time I met my significant other, and my skin become more of a concern.
It came back after I stopped the hibiclens, and I tried various products until I found the Cyclic Nano Silver Soap. I decided to quit everything and just use the soap. It really cleared me up, but only if dairy and nuts were not part of my diet. I stuck with it, till I had a bad flare out of no where and got on another antibiotic.
It was around this time that I realized that the problem wasn't that folliculitis couldn't be cured, but that I was going about it the wrong way.
So I learned about probiotics, gut health, leaky gut, raw milk, all the good stuff. I realized I needed to do more to correct my health and get rid of this.
So now, I am about 95% clear, by following the diet outlined in my first post (Meat, potatoes, raw diary, vegetables, fermented foods, animal fats and probiotics) and NOT WASHING MY FACE (only letting water hit it in the shower).
You might say that my the "do nothing" regimine (or water-only) is what is clearing it... but it's not solely that. I tried that before that it did not work. It is the combo of healing my gut and doing some serious probiotic megadosing, combined with leaving my skin alone, that is making the difference.
I also have done the 30-day raw milk diet which contributed to healing my gut and clearing alot of the infection, but I didn't do it 100% right, and cannot afford to do so for awhile, I imagine if I followed the rules more specifically (which I will go over in a future post), along with dropping topicals (I was yo-yoing topicals during the diet), I could have cleared it 100%.
More on the raw milk diet, the probiotics I am taking, topicals that I got benefits from, as well as the science behind using water only on your skin in future posts.