Introduction To Healing Cystic Acne

By Christine Kobzeff - April 19, 2019

How To Heal Cystic Acne

Healing cystic acne, yes it's possible for even the most severe cystic acne cases to heal and have clear glowing skin. Cystic acne is a symptom, we're not treating the symptom, the goal is to solve the problem that's causing the symptom. Cystic acne comes from the inside out. It's not a skin issue it's an internal issue. Your body wants to heal but it needs your help.

Did you know the global acne treatment market is worth over 4.5 billion dollars and is expected to grow to over 7 billion dollars by 2025. Acne, the gift that keeps on giving... to those who profit off others pain. After all they aren't in the business of caring, they're in the business of selling. No one cares about the source of the problem when they can just keep selling you treatments for the symptoms.

If you've battled acne, I know you've been there deep in the trenches, you know... the acne treatment section of the skincare aisle in your local drugstore, searching for the miracle product to clear up your breakouts. My dear comrade, I was there too many years ago. Well I have good news and bad news for you. First the bad news, you can stop looking because there is no miracle skincare product. Acne treatment products are made to be antibacterial and to dry out your skin, that's it. Remember cystic acne comes from the inside out. Treating acne topically is the least effective way to go. Now the good news, the best treatment for cystic acne is your diet. Yes, the produce section of your grocery store is the real skincare aisle!

I decided to write this series because I was shocked to see how little information there was on the internet about healing cystic acne from the inside out. Often the articles on acne are just the same basic information and misinformation which is then repeated over and over again throughout the internet and offer little to no help for those suffering from cystic acne.

After 20 years of fighting my own personal war against cystic acne, I've learned some valuable lessons and experience. Which I'm grateful for because now I have the opportunity to help you and anyone else suffering from cystic acne.

My Background

In my teenage years I was told, "It's just your hormones it'll pass." In my early twenties, still no change, the breakouts actually seemed to be getting worse. I started going to a dermatologist, she prescribed me antibiotics and topical creams. Even back then I knew it was coming from the inside, the dermatologists were treating the symptoms but were clearly uninterested in finding the cause. I recall specifically asking them if something in my diet could be causing the cystic acne breakouts, they said, "No, diet has nothing to do with it." My dermatologist kept me on antibiotics for a year. During this time my acne cleared but only temporarily. The antibiotics created even more damage to my gut microbiome, when I stopped the antibiotics my cystic acne came back with a vengeance more inflamed than ever. I ended up with a lot of uneven skin tone, texture, acne marks and scars mostly on my cheeks and chin. If only I knew then what I know now.

This was in the early 2000s before we had the wealth of information that is Google, Google Scholar, NCBI, National Library Of Medicine, PubMed and at our fingertips. So I was often at the local library searching for information but very little was available on the topic.

Did you know nutrition isn't taught in most medical school curriculums, on average medical students get one 1-hour course. And like our parents, doctors can't teach you what they don't know so often times you're on your own.

How I Started Healing My Cystic Acne

Ultimately I began using myself as a guinea pig (sorry piggies, we're cruelty free here at Modern Bohemian but you know what I mean). I started a food journal, recorded everything I ate each day and made detailed notes on my cystic acne breakouts, their location and severity. Soon I discovered several food triggers and could even predict where a particular food would break me out.

Some trigger foods I cut out of my diet completely (dairy and gluten for example) and others I stopped eating temporarily but was able to reintroduce them into my diet again later on. Trigger foods not only turn up different places on your face and body but they produce different types of breakouts. For example, a gluten breakout is very different than a pepper breakout. (We'll discuss trigger foods in the next post of this series.)

Being a science, biology and physiology nerd, combined with my slightly obsessive single-minded laser beam focused nature, wasn't too great for my social life but finally it came in handy! It propelled my research and quest for how to heal my body from the inside out. Solving my problem skin ignited a passion for studying the effects food has on the body and skin. The result was pure bliss to have clear skin that wasn't in pain anymore. I've become very in sync with my body and skin over the years and my mission is to help others do the same.

Our bodies are all a little different, there isn't going to be a one-size-fits-all answer. I can't just say, "Eat a whole food plant based diet." Because there's more to it than that, other factors need to be examined in your diet. That's why I'm here to take your hand and walk you through the steps that lead to clear skin. The path you need to take might look a little different than the next person.

Think about it, if 10 people were lost in different areas of the Amazon jungle or the Australian Outback, I can't give you all the same map that says *You Are Here* (like in the mall) because your bodies aren't all in the same exact place. Also it's hard to find your way out all alone but if you have a tracker who's lived there for 20+ years and knows their way around, it makes navigating and getting around so much easier.

This post is just meant to give you a little background before we begin. There's too much information for me to fit into one post, breaking it up into sections will be easier to take in. Discovering your food triggers is the first step and it takes time. But if you're serious about healing your body from the inside out, changing your diet is the where you'll need to begin.

This healing cystic acne series is going to be different than what you'll see out there on the internet. This is not for everyone. This is for those who are struggling with chronic inflammation, recurring inflamed cystic acne and you don't know the cause or how to get rid of it.

Please note, this information is based on my personal experience and everything I've learned about cystic acne over the past 20 years. I'm continually learning as I go, I still experiment with testing new foods. I'm not a doctor but rather a research student slightly obsessed with the gut microbiome, the liver, lymphatic system, enzymes, nutrient absorption and the nutrition-skin connection.

Please feel free to leave comments or questions below and I'll do my best to reply as soon as possible.


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  1. Hi Christine Ive been watching your YouTube series on clean plant based diet and I've noticed you make lots of smoothies. What blender do you use?