Folliculitis - searching for a natural cure - help!
I previously had mild cystic acne. Went through accutane and during my course I developed "folliculitis", which worsened throughout the treatment. The nurses thought it was part of the initial break out, until all of my acne healed and I was left w/ only the "folliculitis"...which spread and worsened as time passed. It's located on the back of my scalp as well as on my upper arms, stomach, and on one side of my upper back. The bumps are deep, painful sores that repeatedly swell, crust over, do not go away, and spread. They are not like acne in that they are painful, they have red (not white) centers, and the fluid inside them is not thick - it's blood or a combination of blood and clear fluid.
I had a culture and a scoop biopsy done, however neither showed any fungal or bacterial growth. The scoop biopsy led to a diagnosis of ulticaria (hives - allergicic reaction). After browsing hundreds of photos of ulticarial reactions I was unable to find even one photo that even somewhat resembles my condition. I have, however, found countless photos and descriptions of folliculitis that mirror my condition. I'm wondering if it's possible to have folliculitis without bacterial or fungal presence?
This has been going on for nearly five months and I'm worried due to the worsening severity of it.
Regardless of my uncertainty re: my diagnosis, I've stopped seeking dermatological treatment due to being prescribed countless antibiotic and steroid treatments. After doing endless research, I've come to believe that having been on antibiotics for over 10 yrs straight has led to dysbiosis - an unhealthy imbalance of the good and bad bacteria within my intestines, which leads to gut permeability (aka "leaky gut"), which is the cause of nearly all inflammatory, allergic, and autoimmune issues. Research it! Hippocrates was ahead of his time and is still ahead of THIS time. A very small sector of modern medicine is beginning to use probiotics to treat infections by balancing microbiota flora (instead of using antibiotics to kill the good with the bad for some temporary relief), and I think this healthier and long-term approach will trend up with time.
I'm attempting to fix my issues from the inside out, instead of continually and unsuccessfully treating the symptoms with prescribed suppressive therapy. Although the process is lengthy and requires significant ongoing lifestyle changes, I'm hopeful that rebalancing the flora within my microbiome will effectively treat my skin issues while simultaneously improving other things for me. I got a new water purifier/alkalizer, just bought a shower filter and I'm using Nizoral shampoo, which is sulfate-free. I don't eat dairy, and a little over a week ago I cut out gluten and Sugar
(aside from fruit). I realize that only removing those triggers will not improve the permeability issue. I'm beginning to take supplements to help heal and seal the tight junctions within my guts while restoring the healthy bacteria that keeps the bad bacterial/fungal invaders within my guts in check. These supplements include pure organic powder forms of: L-glutamine, MSM, and collagen, plus liquid ingestible probiotics. I'm taking these things on an empty stomach. I'm also fighting from the outside by using sprayable probiotics that I mist on to the affected areas of my skin. Anti-bacterial/anti-microbial products cannot be used while doing this, because doing so would counterproductively kill the probiotics.
So far, after about a week, I've seen noticeable improvements in all areas that are affected. This is somewhat relieving, as compared to how I was feeling about the uncontrollable spreading. Unfortunately, I'm unsure about what exactly is helping since I made various simultaneous changes.
Additionally, I have a hypoactive thyroid and want to avoid prescribed medication to fix that issue. I want to start supplementing for that too in hopes of naturally regulating my hormonal imbalances, which likely contribute to my inflammatory skin condition. In combination, I definitely need to decrease my very high stress levels, and that job is ALL on me...although the relationship is cyclical in that this condition exacerbates my stress while lowering my self-confidence, which in turn increases both stress and inflammation. I'd really like to have a food sensitivity test done, but I'm a Kaiser patient and I can only see an allergist for life-threatening allergic reactions...it would be beneficial to know exactly which foods to avoid in order to help decrease these inflammatory symptoms. I'm also considering visiting a naturopathic MD/Nutritionist down the line to assist me on this frustrating journey, if need be. I may exit the Kaiser network in the next few months as well...time will tell.
PLEASE share with me any relevant information out may have!
Thank you :)