Vegan, Jane Austen student, Minimalist, Reader, Librarian

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Environment & Acne

I follow several vegan doctors on their web sites and through their published literature including Neal Barnard, Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr., T. Colin Campbell, and John MacDougall. All of them endorse a vegan diet to manage and prevent chronic disease and all of them are looked upon warily by the general medical community. Why? Because their patients get better through diet, not just through prescription drugs.

Farmers' Market offerings, South Haven, Michigan

Dr. MacDougall once said that if you have a skin irritation, you can put some healing cream on it. But if you continue to scratch it, no amount of cream is ever going to help. Until you stop scratching the skin, it will never completely heal. In other words, if you're damaging your body, no amount of medicine will help if you don't find the source of the problem and stop the damage in the first place.

I learned this recently. For the past year, I have been suffering from acne in the form of severe blackheads on my face. I have NEVER had blackheads to this extent before. I occasionally suffer from the random cystic blemish during my monthly cycle (due to hormone fluctuations), but these blackheads were very hard bumps on my face that lingered for months only to come to a painful head which left dark spots on my face.

I was at my wit's end. I went to see a dermatologist and, of course, they gave me some topicals. But I also wanted to find the ROOT of the problem, so I visited a homeopathic physician as well. She prescribed supplements. Okay. But the problem was still there.

I love books, but the dust can be a problem

I decided to take matters into my own hands as I have several times before in my life--years ago I suffered from insomnia and solved my problem through research and experimentation. Through the years, I have often kept a written log when I have had problems and it helps me see patterns. This was no different.

But it was my husband who first suggested an environmental cause. I work in a very old library in Pittsburgh where the upper stacks have seen years of coal dust settle onto its books. When I was working in these areas of the library, as I would pull the books down from the shelves, the coal dust was falling onto my face, over and over again, clogging my pores, filling with dirt, and forming blackheads.

Libraries are VERY dusty.

As an experiment, I decided to stop working in this area for one month. I didn't get a single new blackhead and this has allowed my skin to finally heal. I use an exfoliant and a topical prescription to keep the hormonal cystic acne under control so I do realize the benefit of some prescriptions. I also put fresh aloe vera gel on my face to help fade the dark spots.

So what am I doing in my job? I'm having the books brought to me instead of pulling them myself, keeping myself well away from the damaging toxic dust.

How about you? Are you suffering from a chronic ailment that no amount of medicine is helping? Have you discovered what the problem is? How did you do it? I'd love to hear from you.

No comments:

Post a Comment