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Curing Your Skin With Food


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Presentation I gave at the 2011 European Quantified Self conference in Amsterdam. Describes how I used self-experimentation to cure my own skin problems.

Curing Your Skin With Food

  1. 1. Martha Rotter @martharotter
  2. 2. How did I get here?
  3. 3. What happened? A new country – Stress! A new job – Stress! A lot more beer drinking – Stress! Lots of potatoes – Stress! Lots of travel – Stress! Less sleep – Stress!
  4. 4. First attempt: Go to my hometown dermatologist (December 2008) Result: prescribed antibiotic course for a year plus a monthly prescription bill of over $600 for pills & creams.
  5. 5. Side note: ProPublica
  6. 6. Second attempt: Talk to a food allergist (June 2009) Result: diagnosed as having allergy to soy and chicken, cut both out of my diet; no effect on skin  * But now I had an idea
  7. 7. Third attempt: Take matters in to my own hands (January 2010) Result: over a year of experimentation
  8. 8. Method (Or, How You Can Do This Too) Record, record, record Simple is best Make time to make connections
  9. 9. Result! In December of 2010 I decided to try giving up all dairy. By New Year’s Eve, my face was my own again. Why dairy? Why now? I have no idea. Maybe my body changed, maybe it’s something about Irish dairy, maybe ???
  10. 10. Summary Don’t let anyone tell you that what you put in your mouth doesn’t affect your body – the famous “Acne & Chocolate” study was found to be badly executed but many dermatologists still go by this advice. Be wary of people telling you to spend a lot of money to cure your condition (even the food allergist wanted me to spend a lot of money on pills & vitamins!) Everyone is different, you may have to try several variations until you figure out your own personal trigger.
  11. 11. Questions? Find me on Twitter: @martharotter Or on my blog: You can download my free, experimental app to keep track of your own food intake at: Or fork it / build on top of it at: