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Accutane and other prescription acne treatments may be covered by insurance, but don't think it's free. It's precisely this kind of indulgence that's driving up health care costs for everyone. If people focused on prevention instead of treatment, our health care system would be a lot better off, not to mention cheaper.

The genetic argument is bogus. The genetic variation among western populations is the same as the variation among populations in other parts of the world. Genetics make you predisposed to certain diseases and conditions, but environment and lifestyle have a far greater impact. There have been studies that looked at people who immigrated from countries with a low incidence of acne. What they found is that these individuals developed acne after coming to the U.S. and adopting the western diet.

I don't know where you got the idea that acne has been around a long time. Acne is a relatively recent phenomenon that only came into prominence in the early 20th century. In fact, you'll find that most of today's biggest health problems were not major issues prior to the 20th century. And 100 years is hardly enough time to see a significant genetic change in the population so we can toss out the genetic argument.

The truth is one doesn't need to spends years, even months, experimenting to figure out what foods cause acne. I just did it to confirm what I had already suspected. And it's really just common sense. We're eating processed food that our bodies were not designed to handle and acne is just a reflection of all the internal damage that food is doing. I've had acne for nearly 20 years and all the pills and creams and other treatments may have helped treat the problem, but none ever cured it. Now it's so blatanly obvious what the problem was. The medical establishment won't admit the connection between diet and acne because it's not in their best interests to do so. Your dermatologist makes a ton of money by prescribing accutane as do drug companies. Imagine how much money would be lost if people could prevent acne just by eating healthy or any other disease for that matter.

Your attitude about being able to eat what you want and then running to the derm to get more accutane is what's wrong with America today. People are unwilling to live a healthy lifestyle cause it would mean having to give up their favorite foods and they feel like it's too much work to do so. And the health care industry feeds off of it. Why eat healthy when you can take a pill to lower your cholesterol or treat acne?

If you think acne is just a skin problem, you're kidding yourself. Acne is a reflection of what's going on inside you. Accutane may treat acne, but it doesn't address the root cause. And I guarantee you that the food you're eating that does cause acne is doing other damage as well that may take years to show up.

It is not a herculean effort to eat healthy, it doesn't require spending years figuring out what foods to eat and what to avoid, and it doesn't mean depriving yourself of the foods you enjoy. You can still eat those foods, just not as often. I feel very liberated cause I know how to eat to stay healthy, it doesn't require a lot of effort, and I'm not wasting time and money running to the doctor's office.
Diet is not only the cure to acne, it's the cure to so many of today's leading health problems. I've met doctors who admitted that if people just ate right, exercised, didn't smoke, didn't do drugs, didn't drink too much, and got adequate rest every night, people like him would be out of business. Your problem is you have too much faith in modern medicine to cure your acne when the cause is rooted in your own behavior. I know it's politically incorrect to blame someone for their health problems, but the sad fact is that we're a culture who's made ourselves ill through our own behavior.

You don't need to embark on any quack diet. The only diet you should follow is one based on common sense. A diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, fish, lean meat, and nuts is what millions of years of evolution has conditioned our bodies to eat. We weren't designed to eat cookies and donuts or even dairy. Can you think of any animal that consumes the milk of another animal? I'm willing to bet you never stuck to such a diet. Most people will eliminate one or two bad foods while continuing to eat other bad foods, probably cause they don't realize what's bad. Their acne won't go away, they conclude that the diet failed, and off to the dermatologist they go. As for why some people can get away with eating more of the bad foods, it's like I said above. Some people are more genetically predisposed to certain health conditions. But that's no reason to not eat healthy. I could be more genetically predisposed to develop heart disease than you. But if I eat healthy and exercise, I won't have to worry.

Now you can go and eat your bowl of cookies and ice cream, then take accutane to contain your acne. Too bad all the refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and trans fat will increase your chances of developing heart disease and Type II diabetes. But hey, at least down the road when you have a heart attack, you'll have clear skin.

A healthy diet leaves plenty to eat and you can still indulge in the occasional treat. It doesn't require eating nothing but twigs the rest of your life. I'm still able to eat all the foods I enjoy. I just use moderation when it comes to the foods that I know are bad for me. This approach has not only allowed to cure my acne, it's also improved my overall health. I never get more than the occasional cold, never got the flu or felt the need to get a flu shot, have never needed to see a doctor, don't take any prescription drugs, and I'm in better health than most people my age. People comment that I look healthy too. Skin problems are just a reflection of what's going on inside you. Accutane just covers up the problem. The bad foods may no longer give you acne, but they're doing plenty of other things that are slowly killing you.
Out to Lunch - you have hit the nail on the head.... but you'll never convince people like Jason that you're right. I really admire you for trying though!

I know you are right because I've experienced what you're saying first hand. I stuck to a paleolithic diet (meat, fish, fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds) for months and had clear skin. It empowered me to learn that and know that I can pretty much control how bad my skin will be by what I choose to eat. Now, I can eat ice cream or a candy bar knowing I'll break out 2-3 days later, but it's a trade off I'm willing to make.

Jason - I know you'll never believe us, but let me tell you this... I took Accutane back in the day when I believed dermatologists when they told me that diet didn't cause acne and that accutane "cured" 80% of the people that took it. Those odds sounded good to me, so I took accutane for 5 months. I only stayed clear for about 2-3 months, and my acne came back, just like it does for many people that take it. I am now 28 years old (should have "grown out of" acne by now, and I'm still waiting), and it wasn't until last year that I finally learned how serious an effect diet had on my skin. I only wish I had learned that sooner in life.

People expect pills to cure everything. It's so much easier to take a pill to loose weight, a pill to have clear skin, a pill to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, then to have the self-control and discipline to eat right and excercise. And honestly, the pills help the symptoms but they don't treat the cause, and most of the time the pills have side effects that you'll eventually end up taking another pill for. Trust me, I work in the drug industry and I know how it works.

People shouldn't come to this post to criticize something that they've never tried nor plan to try in the future. For the people that come to these boards swearing that they've tried everything and have found nothing that will improve their acne, maybe this is an option that they've never tried before and want to consider. Keep an open mind!

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