This is What Fluoroderma Looks Like

11 Nov

Fluoroderma isn’t a condition you hear about everyday –most people still think fluoride helps keep the cavities away.  Few of us suspect it could be clogging up our lymphatic system, leading to pesky skin conditions like cystic acne and cellulite.  Some CI readers suspect they may have fluoroderma, too, so I am posting a few pictures to show my experience.

The pictures where I am wearing the pink shirt were taken about a year ago, soon after I moved to a fluoridated town in South Florida.  You can see how the acne traces the path of the lymph vessels down the sides of my mouth and neck.

I took the pictures with the blue shirt a few days ago.  I made a concentrated effort to avoid fluoride over the past several months and you can see the difference on my face.  My neck is completely healed and most of the red marks that remain on my chin are called Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH).  They should fade in 3 to 12 months.

Here is another angle of the fluoroderma.  It pains me to post these pictures on the Internet(!) but hopefully it helps someone out there who might be dealing with this embarrassing problem.

My skincare routine hasn’t changed at all in the last year.  I wash my face once a day, before I go to bed, using California Baby’s Super Sensitive Shampoo and Bodywash.  Sometimes I use a homemade toner made from diluted Apple Cider Vinegar or Proactiv’s sulfur mask as a spot treatment. [Read here to know why I had to stop using Proactiv's other products even though they worked on my acne].

I know the pictures aren’t the best.  I took them using the built-in webcam on my Mac. But I hope they give you a better idea of what fluoroderma looks like and the healing that is possible, even without  medication.

Most dermatologists, including the ones who developed Proactiv, are often quoted as saying that there’s no cure for acne.  I don’t think this is true.  Every effect has a cause.  Saying that acne is caused by overactive oil glands is like saying that being drunk is caused by too much alcohol in the blood system.  It is, but that answer isn’t satisfying.  What caused the excess?  In the case of being drunk, it was one too many martinis.  In the case of my acne, it was ingesting toxic levels of fluoride over the years.  Now, every time I consume fluoride, my lymphatic system goes into overdrive trying to flush it out of my body.  I can truly say I am thankful for my acne because I realize it is a protective mechanism.

If you can determine the true cause of your acne and eliminate it from your system, your body will heal itself.  It’s a slow process, but it’s worth doing the right way.

*This post is a part of Prevention not Prescription Tuesday hosted at The Kathleen Show,  Works For Me Wednesday hosted at We Are THAT Family, and Fight Back Friday hosted at FoodRenegade.

A Cellulite Investigator Update

Thanks for stopping by The Cellulite Investigation.  Things are a little quite around here at the moment.  I’m taking an extended break as I get married and settle into married life and a new home.  Don’t worry, I’ll be back soon!

Comments

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missmessy says:
11/11/2009

My husband has gone through a similar journey. He has had this condition since they moved into a new house when he was 13. His face started breaking out and since he was 13 his parents assumed it was just teenage acne. He still had this condition at 39 years old and was so frustrated! He had tried every acne treatment he could find, over the counter, prescription, holistic, etc. Last year, we went to a detox spa retreat. We fasted and cleansed for 10 days, and had extensive blood testing done. The blood testing was very interesting! He was diagnosed with fluoroderma. We were sent home with a strict warning against all flouride, and milk thistle tea and capsules. My husband has been faithful over the last year by staying away from flouride, taking the milk thistle, jumping on a mini-trampoline to stimulate the lympathic system, dry skin brishing, and cleansing with mild Castile soap only. His skin is completely 100% clear now. It took a good 6-8 months. Hallelujah!

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Wow! You don't know how exciting this is for me! I've never met anyone else with this condition, and only know about it through what I've read on the Internet. I hope you don't mind if I ask a few questions (you can email me at analyst(at) celluliteinvestigation (dot) com if you don't want to post this all on the blog.

Does he have problems with any particular food? My worst outbreaks were after eating real chicken stock (made from chicken bones). I also had a bad reaction to an organic grass-fed beef hot dog.

Did they diagnose the fluoroderma through traces of fluoride in his blood samples?

Do you still live in a house with fluoridated water? Has he noticed any problems with showering in fluoridated water? Have you found an effective way to filter the water for drinking or cooking with?

I'm sure I've already overwhelmed you, so I will stop there. Thanks so much for your comment. It is wonderful to hear that his skin cleared completely!

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Laura says:
11/5/2012

I am a CIPROFLOXACIN victim, a fluoride based antibiotic. I am trying to learn how to detox from this terrible situation, but you have helped me to also realize that I suffer from acne and it could be a symptom of fluoride consumption. What maybe I can share with you is that i have learned in the last two weeks is to avoid processed foods, such as de-boned chicken and beef, as the bones carry fluoride from their diets. Maybe you know this already, but I noted in several of your comments, and one of your diet meals is bone broth. Try avoiding meats in general, and i have heard that fish, minus the bones, can help detox.

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Rosy says:
11/11/2009

You may want to stop using soap products that have detergents in them such as sulfates. I would recommend the Aubrey Organics line for affordable and really organic facial care, shampoo, soaps and lotions. If you want to try something a little more pampering I would suggest The Vital Image line of products, they are only sold on line. California Baby's isn't as great for the skin. The striping nature of detergents makes it easier for your skin to absorb unwanted things, such as fluoride. Using real soap should help your skin build a natural oil barrier that protects skin, with out feeling like nasty. I had really bad acne that looked close to what you are experiencing, however mine was and allergy to petroleum products.

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Thanks, Rosy! I was focusing on avoiding fluoride, but I never thought about whether or not a product might make my skin more susceptible to fluoride. I know my online retailer of choice (Vitacost) sells the Aubrey Organics line, but I might try the Vital Image one first. My face could use some pampering.

But until I order that, Missmessy mentioned mild castile soap. I have the Dr. Bronner's organic pure castile liquid soap, which I've been diluting and using in our hand soap dispensers. Any idea how that would be as a face soap? Thanks!

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Rosy says:
11/12/2009

I use Br. Bronner's bar soaps as a body soap. The liquid is good for everything, but hair. Don't use it on your hair. If you look online for recipes for at home facial care you will find that Dr, Bronner's would work well as the base for a lot of these. You could try a tea(find an herb that works for your skin, or just Chamomile,) honey, Dr. Bronner's cocktail to pamper your complexion, however they should be kept in the fridge and don't use after a week.

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Sweet -I'm going to try it tonight. I love anything with honey. I use straight raw honey as a lip balm before I go to bed. My lips have never been more smackable.

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Anonymous says:
11/14/2009

Thanks for courageously posting your pictures. I have the same condition. The same acne started appearing on my neck a few years ago. I would get flare-ups and then they would go away. I am battling it again on my face and neck. You have given me hope. I am going to do all I can to avoid fluoride. Bless you and keep up the good work.

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Thanks so much for your kind comment. Your encouraging words are very much appreciated. I am surprised how many people I've connected with already who have fluoroderma.  Everything I've read about it says it's a rare condition, but I think that's only because it is so difficult to diagnose (which is because it is so difficult to avoid fluoride these days in order to make the diagnosis). I saw many doctors over the years about my acne, and none of them ever suggested it was from the fluoride.

Yes, keep up hope! Acne is certainly curable. All you have to do is figure out what is causing it. Once you eliminate the cause, your body will heal itself. Maybe it's fluoride, or maybe it's iodine or bromine. Maybe gluten or petroleum products. This website helped me to determine the source of my fluoride outbreaks.

http://www.fluoridealert.org/f-sources.htm

Best of luck in your journey to healing!

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Muslfetish says:
3/16/2010

OMG, that's exactly what mine looks like!!! I've never even heard of this. I feel like I have been hitting my head against a brick wall. It totally makes sense. I drink nothing but bottle water that is delivered to my house…yet whenever I go on vacation my acne goes away everytime and I'm like wtf when I get home and it comes right back. I'm like acne on my neck…seriously wtf! And it's not little pimples either. They are big, painful and embarrassing. Thank you so much for writing about this. I will now be calling my water supplier.

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Awesome! So glad you found these posts useful. Dealing with fluoroderma is difficult when you live in a fluoridated house. Drinking water is easy enough to control, but it's all the showering and hand-washing that makes it impossible to avoid the fluoride. Let me know if I can help out at all with your fluoroderma recovery effort. Good luck!

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Anonymous says:
5/11/2010

Hello- this is fascinating. after living abroad, i returned to the states this past fall and within two months of living in the city (and yes drinking fluorinated water, and i drink tons of water), I started to develop horrible cystic acne on my chin and around my mouth. these were no ordinary cystic pimples, however (note to reader: graphic content). take your normal pimple, for instance: you squeeze it, puss comes out, and within a couple of days, the pimple heals. once the nastiness has been expunged, the inflammation recedes and the pimple heals. yet, what scares me is that this new breed of inflammatory cysts that are presently populating my chin seem a different breed altogether. they don't go away. i dare squeeze them, for it I do, nothing comes out and the cyst turns to an inflamed mass. But when this new breed of pimple–the genetically modified variety–does yield, it is not the yellow or white pus we are accustomed to; instead, it is a brown and red jelly-like substance. I am terrified and am at a loss as how exactly to deal with this. Melisa, would you find this consistent with your own experience? Aside from cutting fluorine our of your life, did you have to do any thing to confront the acne, or did it just go away with time? my derm wants to put me on accutane, but i can feel that there is something toxic going on in my body that i would much rather resolve without the aid of another toxin. ideas? how can i get my fluorine levels tested? Thank you! Matt

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thinx2damnmuch says:
4/7/2011

Matt, this is EXACTLY what mine are like too. “Inflamed mass” is a very good way of putting it. Sometimes it’s like the cells in that inflamed mass have all disconnected from each other and turned to cellular jelly, so to speak, so that once the mass it works its way to the surface, it’s then this oozing open sore with no structure to it at all. It takes forever to scab over and fill back in. Sometimes it inflames again and again until, I imagine, it finally rids the area of the fluoride? Finally it takes days and days to eventually heal, and that’s ONLY if I’m not eating anything with fluoride in it that whole time. So painful, embarrassing, etc. I miss eating chicken.

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My fluoroderma breakouts used to take about two weeks to heal. Whenever I had a another bout, I knew my skin would be a mess for the next two weeks. It seemed like the initial round was always followed by a second round of breakouts a bit further down the lymphatic pathway. They weren’t as bad, but still not pretty.

I find I am okay eating white chicken breast, especially if it is free-range organic. Even if I order a dish with chicken breast at a decent restaurant (meaning it’s not organic), my skin doesn’t breakout. I didn’t venture to try this though until my skin was well on the path to being healed. I make an effort to avoid any fatty parts (including dark meat) and skin. Ground chicken and of course chicken soup are the worst!

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Matt, thanks for your question. I know how maddening cystic acne can be so I'm always happy to help someone in this situation. I've been reflecting on your question all day and instead of posting a reply here, I'm working on a full blog post on the issue. In the meantime, here are a few thoughts.

First, you're really smart for wanting to avoid Accutane. I didn't even know they were still using that stuff. I thought it had been taken off the market because of all the negative side effects they are uncovering. It's just common sense that if you had no problem with acne before you moved back to the States, chances are something in your new living situation is causing the problem.

As for your question about extractions (the term aestheticians use for pimple-popping), your experience is somewhat consistent with mine. I found that the cysts took a week or more to develop. I could often feel them underneath the skin long before they were visible. They always surfaced and eventually opened, but it wasn't pretty if I tried to rush the process along. I did not notice a brown or red substance, but I think that would depend on what substances are swishing around in your lymphatic system.

I should have that blog post up tomorrow morning, so please check back and if you get the chance, let me know if it's helpful or if you have any further questions.

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Kat says:
7/22/2010

I've seen this post before and didn't think it was what I had. Today I re-read it and a few things jump out at me.

"You can see how the acne traces the path of the lymph vessels down the sides of my mouth and neck."
That's exactly what mine is like. The sides of my face, down my neck right on top of lymph nodes.

Also, I have tried everything for acne, including natural and medical, but nothing gets rid of it. In fact the worse it gets is when I steam or rinse with just water. Now I'm starting to think it IS the water. Whenever I go on vacation it gets better and even starts to go away.

Now to figure out how to avoid Fluoride, which is in my drinking/shower water. :(

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Ugh, avoiding fluoride is difficult while living in a house with fluoridated water! I managed to do so with limited success, but didn't see complete improvement until I moved out. But everyone is different. Maybe I'm particularly sensitive to it because of all those fluoride pills I had as a child.

I've written several posts about avoiding fluoride, but the trickiest part for me was avoiding fluoride in various foods and beverages. This guest post I wrote for DearThyroid.org covers several sources of fluoride that are less well know. It's a slow process, but it was so satisfying to see my skin continually improve as I gradually cut down on my fluoride exposure.

Best of luck, Kat! Let me know if I can be of any help with your effort!

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Kat says:
7/22/2010

Did you never find a good filtration system to remove the fluoride? That's what I'm going to try first. I have seen your posts about fluoride in food, but I'm certain I'm doing everything I can already in that area.

Just wondering do you think someone can recover from this without removing the fluoride source, just by getting healthier overall? I am recovering from Celiac disease and getting healthier every day, but the acne has not even begun to go away. Just thinking as one gets healthier, shouldn't the body be able to handle fluoride more effectively?

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I've often wondered that same thing. Certain foods (containing iodine) are supposed to help eliminate fluoride from the body, so it makes sense that sensitivity to fluoride would decrease if there wasn't so much of it built up in the system. I also thought I might be less sensitive to it once the cystic acne around my chin completely healed, but that hasn't been the case so far –I still have an outbreak after one bad meal. Maybe I just haven't given it enough time…

Reverse osmosis is said to remove 95 percent of fluoride. My skin improved a lot when I had one installed, but it was still pretty bad. I saw a marked improvement when I installed a simple carbon filter in the shower, too (I use Aquasana).

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Pingback: The Fluoride File

Christy says:
3/7/2011

WOW!! I’ve never heard of this and have been at a loss for my cystic acne nightmare. Good to know…thanks so much for posting.

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I hope it helps, Christy. Avoiding fluoride can be tricky at first, but if you have fluoroderma it is completely worth it. It’s been over a year since I wrote this post and my acne is now completely healed. Let me know if you have any questions about it. I am happy to share what I’ve learned through this experience.

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thinx2damnmuch says:
3/8/2011

Yup you’ve got this figured out. GENIUS! For me like the others here, huge neck cysts for weeks that come from waaay under the skin. For me, iodine seems to cause it too. story goes on the internet that the thyroid stores the bromine and fluorine instead of the iodine and then when the real iodine gets ingested the thyroid releases the other two poisons back out and that’s what causes the skin destruction as your body rids it out (slowly and painfully.)
http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-the-effects-of-an-iodine-allergy.htm

for what it’s worth. seems to happen with me.

BTW- Aquasana shower filter works! cleared my back acne (“bacne” as I call it) right up.

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Yes, I noticed outbreaks from iodine, too. If I have a hefty dose of iodine, my skin breaks out in 2-3 days. The fluoride reaction only takes a few hours, though. It does seem the iodine is releasing fluoride from my system. Some other minerals, such as boron, will have the same effect (the basis of my current beef stock theory).

I saw significant improvement when I installed a shower filter, too. It wasn’t enough to clear my acne completely (“bacne,” that’s funny!), but it definitely helped.

Thanks for your sharing your experience!

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Jane says:
3/12/2011

I am so glad I came across your blog. I have been struggling with “bacne” for over 10 years. I installed a shower filter and it has decreased dramatically. Now I am just waiting for the red leftover spots to disappear. I was so close to taking Accutane. I am going to hold off on that.

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So glad you found us, Jane! Accutane is not something you want to mess with. Comments like yours make me so happy.

I’m in the midst of writing an informational guide about Fluoroderma, to help spread the word about fluoride-induced acne and how to heal it. If you’re interested in learning more about this little-known condition, keep an eye out. I hope to complete it within the next few weeks.

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Bethany says:
3/18/2011

Where in the world did you move to find a house that is not fluorinated? I wonder if Radiant Life’s whole house filtration system removes fluoride.

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That is kindof a funny story. I actually moved to Maryland, which is the most heavily fluoridated state in the country. Fortunately, my realtor was able to find the perfect place for me: it has well water! I moved in sight-unseen. I got really lucky with this little house. I love it!

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thinx2damnmuch says:
4/7/2011

My dr now, and nearly every dr I can think of that I’ve had, is a frump and an idiot. Is it just me here or do you all go see the dr and find out that you know more about different topics than they do?? When I see the guy bust out google on his little laptop during our discussion, I get mad. I DID that part already! Anyway…I can’t get these guys to take me seriously on this, even though I print this out and bring it, and show them my skin, and tell them which foods make me break out exactly like this. I want to get some special testing or whatever you got medically. How do I get officially tested for Fluoroderma, and officially diagnosed so I have something to prove it? Thank you for the amazing amazing work here. THIS SITE HELPED ME!

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It struck me as hilarious when I read the word “frump” in your description. Thanks for that!

I think you are going to like this fluoroderma guide that I am putting together. It’s almost done (just one short chapter left) and then I will try to remember to send you an advanced copy. Once I am satisfied it is ready, it will also be available here on the site, too. It includes a chapter on diagnosing fluoroderma. Basically, it is extremely difficult to get a doctor here in the U.S. to perform a test that will help diagnose fluoroderma. One CI reader told me her “detox” spa diagnosed her husband’s fluoroderma with a blood test, but that is the only account I’ve heard of it. There is a blood test they’ve used in India where fluoride poisoning is rampant, but from what I’ve read it is very expensive and uncommon in the U.S.

Fortunately, you don’t need to prove to your doc that you have fluoroderma in order to heal it. Still, I understand it would be satisfying to have that kind of approval, or to be able to work with your doctor to heal the condition (imagine that!). Once this last chapter is finished, I am going to put together a Fluoroderma Fact Sheet designed for potential fluoroderma sufferers to present to their medical professional. It will include some key facts surrounding fluoride and it’s effect on the skin, each with a reference to a study published in a respected peer-reviewed journal. It will be our job to start educating the healthcare community on this condition. Hopefully, eventually, they will start taking it seriously.

I’m so encouraged by your comment. Makes it worth it to be spending all my free time on this book. I am so excited to get it out there. I suspect there are many people like us who have fluoroderma and don’t even know it.

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Rebecca says:
7/12/2011

This is a nice discovery I have made in regards to treating this sort of acne, you can try as my daughter and I have using a tiny dab of tincture of iodine on each zit. My own theory is I believe a tiny bit applied to the surface of the zit, the iodine tincture 2% (the small bottle or antiseptic you find next to band-aids at the drug store) displaces the bromide or fluoride acne that is in the skin and drys the zit out completely in a day or two with no excessive drying and peeling. Heals right up! The reson I tried this is because I was trying to test my skin to see if I was iodine deficient, so I had the bottle on my nightstand and I just thought to myself I wonder if this will heal my acne. It did! I am planning to iodine load testing very soon too! Thanks for the information on that.

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Very interesting, Rebecca! If you don’t mind being a bit more graphic, what type of breakouts did you use the iodine on? When I get a fluoroderma breakout, it is a deep welt that I can feel under the skin several days before it comes to the surface. Were you able to try it on something like that? In any case, thanks for the tip!

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thinx2damnmuch says:
8/24/2011

Hey I learned something today that might help everyone. I totally have the breakout pattern on my face from fluoride as this page shows. But sometimes I was getting similar breakouts when I knew I was being fluoride-free. But I’m also allergic to nickel (more women have this problem than men but such is life for the few guys like me.) I know to wear plastic sunglasses instead of metal frame, and similar other non-nickel techniques, but didn’t realize that part of the metal faceplate border on my cellphone had nickel in it. Duh! Not sure how I missed that but I did. Hold it to my face for a phone call that’s too long and guess what? Breakouts around my ear and cheek. Another piece of the puzzle solved! Hopefully you all don’t have both disorders like me, but if so you can go get tested for nickel allergy from your dermatologist (or just a nickel plated watch for a few hours adn you’ll probably find out soon enough.)

BTW this page helped with scientific backing:
http://dermatology.cdlib.org/1606/3_case_presentations/9_10-00190/rajpara.html

Be strong everyone. Change the world and their stupid use of chemicals.

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Wow! Great detective work, thinx! I’ve never heard of this. Makes sense, though. Thanks for sharing.

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thinx2damnmuch says:
9/13/2011

Another fluoride find: many countries add it to salt.

http://www.gaia-health.com/articles51/000081-Fluoridated-Salt.shtml

Check out the graph in the middle of the page showing fluoride falling in between LEAD and ARSENIC in toxicity! Then the comment:

“The chart on the right is an easy-to-see representation of the relative toxicity of lead, fluoride, and arsenic. In light of this, it’s incomprehensible that the EPA justifies these allowances in public water supplies:
Arsenic: 10 ppb
Lead: 15 ppb
Fluoride: 4000 ppb
Fluoride is a chemical that is known to be more toxic than lead. The maximum amount of lead allowed in drinking water in the US is 15 parts per billion, and there are concerns that even that amount may be too high. Yet, the US actually adds fluoride to drinking water.”

It’s just crazy.

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Good point, thinx. I just returned from a trip to France last night and I had to be careful to avoid table salt while I was there. I also noticed some of the bottled water contained fluoride (although it wasn’t common).

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Michael says:
3/22/2012

Dear Thinx, I feel you should alter your view that the addition of flouride to drinking water is crazy. Everything that we are deliberately dosed with is to keep us confused, weak and sick. The politicians and industrialists who do this to us and our loved ones are possessed by malignant interdimensional entities which do not share human values with us. This is not insanity, but the very face of evil. Thank you for considering this with an open mind. Most Sincerely, Michael

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Hi, Michael. I respect your viewpoint here and admit there is a “possibility” that the politicians and industrialists are indeed possessed by malignant interdimensional entities (this would explain a lot). However, I’ve had the opportunity to see how the government works from the inside out and from my viewpoint it’s MUCH more probable that public water fluoridation is just another example of bureaucratic ignorance.

I do value your contributions here on the site. I hope you won’t be offended if I tease you from time to time about being an internet crazy. ;)

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Rbca says:
2/21/2012

I’ve lived with un-fluoridated water for most of my life, and although my skin has never been great (oily and prone to blackheads and a pimple here and there), it has never been as bad as it has been in the last 7 months. I moved from a city with 0.2 mg/L fluoride (said to be naturally occurring), to a city with 1.0 mg/L fluoride. Only a few weeks after moving here, I started getting breakouts along the sides of my chin/jawline.

I had heard bits and pieces about the negativities of fluoride in the past, and had read that toothpaste with fluoride can cause breakouts along the chin. I changed my toothbrush and began using fluoride-free toothpaste. I saw no improvement, however, so I continued searching for other causes, and spent plenty of $ on various “adult acne” washes and creams. Again seeing little/no improvement, I revisited the fluoride idea. This was only a few weeks ago. I hadn’t really thought about all of the fluoride I was ingesting by drinking the water, but we are what we eat, so it made sense that it could be affecting my skin in that way as well.

I spend only half my time here (M PM – R), and the other half (F – M AM) at my parents’ house, which has .2 mg/L of “naturally occurring” fluoride in the water. I’m only 2-3 weeks in to my fluoridated water-avoidance project. The first week (M-R) I drank water I brought back from my parents’ house, and added 1/8 t. Borax per liter. The second week M-R I drank their water without the added Borax. By this point Monday (after the added 3 days over the weekend of showering in & drinking .2 mg/L fluoridated water) I was seeing definite improvement in my skin. However, after a few days of showering in (but not drinking) 1.00 mg/L water, my skin was starting to go downhill a bit again by Thursday. This was less than a week ago, and in the last several days I’ve had a bit of a breakout again. However, I’ve also eaten chicken on 3 occasions in the last several days, so perhaps that is partly to blame.

My routine as of now is to shower here in the 1.00 mg/L only 3 days a week T-R, and to not wash my face in the shower, but rather to heat the .2 mg/L water on the stove to wash my face with. I think I will start buying jugs of totally un-fluoridated water for all of my drinking and face-washing needs. I didn’t have any fluoroderma issues when I lived in the .2 mg/L water environment, so I’m partly assuming that drinking and showering in that water will help improve my skin. But like I said, I’d like to really get my fluoride intake down, so I’m going to start spending a few dollars each week on jugs of water with no fluoride.

The breakouts that I get start out as a sore bump underneath the surface of the skin. It usually only takes a day or two for them to come to an obvious head. To push on them, it feels like a sharp little point underneath the skin where the pimple originates. When they pop it tends to be kind of a long “core” of sorts, and not just liquid puss. (Sorry, gross, I know)! They’re usually on the sides of my chin and jawline (just like the pics you posted), with only a few on my neck/near my ears.

I’m anxious to get this all cleared up. I’ll post again with an update as things improve.

So anyway, I’m going to continue drinking bottled water and washing my face in bottled water. And also will avoid chicken until I get this sorted out. Oh, and I plan on moving in June to an un-fluoridated city. Only 4 months, I can make it…

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hi, Rbca. Thanks for your comment! It sounds like you are definitely onto something here. Good move to go with the bottled water, at least for a while. It should make it easier to figure things out. Just be sure to get a brand that doesn’t contain fluride (Fiji tricked me on more than one occasion!).

If you haven’t seen it yet, our Pocket Guide to Fluoride Sources contains a list of all the common sources of fluoride exposure. Things like black tea, wine, and fruit juices are other culprits to look out for.

About the description of the breakouts, yep, that is exactly what mine were like. They start as a welt under the skin and could take over a week to come to the surface. So painful! They were always white heads and often produced a hardened “core” (good word for it) of white waste. I often wondered what a lab would find if they examined it. Would it contain crazy high amounts of fluoride? It seems like such a simple test that would reveal a lot about the nature of acne, but it would probably be exceedingly difficult to get a researcher to conduct a test like that.

Please do let us know how your experiment goes! We can learn a lot by sharing our experiences with each other, so thanks again for sharing yours with us!!

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mark says:
3/20/2012

WOOO im so glad i found this article. Well actually i think i read it on a hollistic website for acne. Anyway im a freshman in college and my acne got HORRIBLE when i came to college. The water here has fluoride in it and i drink like 70 ounces a day thinking its helping my acne. It just made it worse. When i read this article i went and bought fluoride free toothpaste etc. I have never had acne around my mouth and neck like this before so i know its fluoroderma. It always gets better when i go home for breaks. Do you all know if smartwater has fluoride in it? I called them and the lady said she didnt think it did. Should i get my face wet in the shower if the water has fluoride in it?

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Yay! I’m glad you found it, too! Looking back, I remember a lot of people complaining they developed acne at my college. I wonder how much of it was because of the fluoride. The fact that is gets better when you go home for break is a strong sign that it’s fluoroderma. Docs will tell you it’s because you’re stressed at school or you don’t eat as well, but seriously…

It looks like your okay with SmartWater. Their water quality report says no fluoride was detected. You can download it here: http://glaceau.com/ (click on information about water quality and source)

I try to avoid getting my face wet in the shower if it’s fluoridated. Now that my fluoroderma is well under control, I don’t worry about it so much. My water at home is no longer fluoride so I only have to worry about it when I’m traveling. In that case, I take quick showers and wash my face with bottled water. It can be difficult in the beginning though when you are still trying to heal your skin. My skin didn’t heal completely until I moved out of my fluoridated condo. Everyone is different though. Some people see complete healing just by using non fluoridated toothpaste. I say, cut out as much fluoride as you can and see if you notice an improvement. You’ll figure it out from there.

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Mark says:
3/20/2012

Also i am almost positive i have this i just took the questionnaire and scored very high. I recently ate sushi and drank soda and had a horrible breakout. Where do i go to check the fluoride levels in my area? Also my lymph nodes are always swollen so is this another indicator.

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Yes, swollen lymph nodes are a sign that your body is having trouble processing all the fluoride you are consuming. You can call your local water treatment plan to ask about the fluoride level in the water, or check their website (google the name of your town and “water utility” or something to that effect). They are required by law to have this info available. Usually they will post the water quality report on their website.

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mark says:
3/20/2012

Yeah its definately not because of my diet. I overhauled my whole diet and went paleo and saw no results and that was for at least 2 months. Thats when i knew something was up. But i stopped using fluoride toothpaste in january and started drinking only smartwater and distilled water and for the most part my fluoroderma settled down alot but in the past week ive gotten back from home its gotten alot worse. Noticeable after i ate that sushi the other day. How do i post pics on the forum i didnt see any ways of adding stuff

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Sushi will do it because of the water in the rice. I’m fine with sushi as long as the restaurant is in a town that’s not fluoridated.

To post a pic in the forum, click on the button that looks like a tree. It’s near the middle of the toolbar.

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Miranda says:
3/29/2012

Wow. I’m really glad I stumbled here. I was actually googling for connections between lead and acne, worried that it was because I work in a very old building downtown. But I have been having trouble for much longer than I’ve worked here. In fact, I have had acne since I was very young. I tried everything, three different antibiotics, two rounds of Accutane (I regret it, it helped initially, but the side effects literally made me into a monster…I think I’m not the same at all since I took it). Both times I went on Accutane I was clear for about six to nine months and then it came back. This time it’s been coming back badly.

I began to wonder about my soap, my shampoo, my lotion. Nothing is making a difference, no matter what I change. I use organic, sulfate and sulfite free everything. I’m vegetarian, mostly. I haven’t had chicken in years. Then I began to worry about my water. Because the problems I have aren’t limited to my face. And, exactly like your photos, the problems are around my neck under my jawline, around my mouth, and at the back of my neck. Following the lymph nodes.

Also, I was subjected to high fluoride concentrations in water as a child, which actually lead to discoloration of my teeth, when I was around 7 or 8. I wonder if this may possibly be linked to what could be fluoroderma.

I have to ask, when you had these flare-ups, did it feel like your skin was inflamed, almost “irradiated”? The areas that are breaking out are kind of itchy and very sensitive. And like some others have noted, the pimples are not normal, and many of them cystic. Fussing with them always makes it worse.

Thank you for putting this out there, and even more so for continuing to answer people in the comments. I have gotten so frustrated after years and years of trying to eliminate my acne. I think I’ve tried every herb, dietary, and medical treatment under the sun and I’m nearly 31 years old…there’s got to be a way to stop it.

Aside from shower filters, what’s helped you the most where you can’t escape fluoride in the water? And do water filters for drinking water eliminate fluoride?

Thank you!!

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Michael says:
3/30/2012

Michael Dear Miranda, What you described is exactly what I have had for decades. The burning and tingling of the fluoroderma sores is maddening, and only in the past week has nature of the disease process become clear to me. 29 years of very strict vegetarianism left me with high copper levels because of the lack of a proper level of zinc in the typical vegetarian diet.The resultant high copper state led to more assimilation of fluoride from food and the water supply. Stay away from oysters, lobster,crab, and avocados, all toxic to those who have a copper imbalance.(Oysters have a lot of zinc, but also a lot of copper.)Vitamins have to be checked for copper also. Make sure you get an adaquate water filtration system, supplement with boron, saturate your thyroid with iodine, which blocks further uptake of fluorine. Fluorine is taken in by your thyroid as it mistakenly thinks it’s iodine. Iodine can make you feel sick if you take too much.The dose is very small. The Illuminati wants us kept sick, weak, and confused. Good luck.

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I don’t seem to have a problem with copper. I eat a ton of avocados and never have a reaction to them. I eat oysters, crab, and lobster, too–just not as often as I would like. What type of reaction do these foods provoke for you?

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Miranda says:
4/2/2012

Thank you, Michael.

I’ve ordered a shower filter, and I filter my drinking water with a PUR pitcher before drinking. Is there anything else you’d recommend? I’m looking at a bathroom sink filter and a bath ball filter, too…

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Hi, Miranda! Yes, my skin most certainly felt “irradiated” as you put it. The term that best described it for me was “raw.” It just felt raw and inflamed. It was awful.

The shower filters actually didn’t help that much. I noticed a slight improvement but the thing that made the biggest difference was reducing the amount of fluoride in my diet. I saw a big difference when I stopped drinking fluoridated water, and then my skin steadily improved as I learned what other foods to avoid. It took about 2 years of trial and error before I felt like I really had my skin under control. Everything I learned is distilled in my free e-book on fluoroderma. I also created a quick one page “pocket guide to fluoride sources.” You can find them both at this post: Everything You Need to Know About Fluoroderma. I hope this info is helpful. Keep us updated!

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Miranda says:
4/2/2012

Yes, raw and inflamed. That is exactly it. I used to have it covering my entire back all the way to my waist, my shoulders to my mid-arms, and my chest to my bra line. Some of that has gone away since the Accutane, but it’s coming back now and it scares me. I don’t want to feel like I have to hide myself again.

I did go ahead and order a shower filter, even if it only helps a little, it’s worth it to me. I also think that here in Chicago there is a high level of chlorine in the water which irritates my skin as well.

I use a PUR water filter pitcher for drinking water. And what’s interesting is that lately when my skin flared up I had gone much farther past the date to replace the cartridge than I usually do. I am sure that was at least some part of it. I will see about some bottled water possibilities, but since I don’t have a car in the city, dragging it home can be a bit difficult. Still, it will be worth it if I can clear my skin up.

Thanks for your book, I’m in the process of reading it now. I am going to try very hard to eliminate any of the problematic foods. Thank you for providing such a detailed documentation of your journey!

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Miranda, the PUR water filters don’t remove fluoride. There are several other types of water filters that do though if you don’t want to resort to bottled water. You could always try drinking fluoride-free bottled water for two weeks to see if it makes a difference before investing in a more expensive filter.

I hope you like the e-book and find lots of helpful into in it. Would love to see your fluoroderma success story up here soon!

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PS–It’s funny that you were googling about connections between lead and acne. That was one of my theories for a long time, until I figured out the fluoride thing. I knew my acne had something to do with the water and I assumed it was caused by “old lead pipes or something.”

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Liesl says:
10/6/2012

Fluoroderma isn’t rare. Dermatologists don’t diagnose causes of acne. They just determine that it is acne and prescribe an antibiotic or istotretinoin or other prescription acne treatment. This is why dermatological solutions rarely work or work a little while then stop working. They don’t treat root cause.

So the fact that it rarely appears as a diagnosis only means that dermatologists don’t diagnose root cause. In all the years that I saw derms not one of them offered a hypothesis for the reason I was having outbreaks. They just prescribed me different medications which never worked.

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Guggie says:
12/17/2012

I wanted to encourage you to check this post! It talks about why the bone broth might be causing problems for you:

http://www.lovingourguts.com/the-difference-between-bone-broth-and-meat-broth-or-stock/

MSG is a big issue for some people regardless of gut health. I count myself as one, and my brother. We simply have to avoid it, period.

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Very interesting article! Thank you! I didn’t know the difference between meat stock and bone broth. I need to share this with my fellow cellulite investigators. Thanks again!

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ceej says:
2/16/2013

I found your link through CHEESESLAVE’s article http://www.cheeseslave.com/top-10-dangers-of-fluoride/, and WOW! I struggled with large cystic “acne” throughout my teens and early adulthood and it was only during my 1st pregnancy (3 yrs ago) when I radically changed my grooming regimens and disposed of all commercial chemicals I put on and in my body. Lo and behold, I lost the cysts and regained a smooth complexion. It make so much sense that the fluoride problems would show up on your jawline and neck! Thank you for the visuals as well. I’ve still been on the err side as to whether or not i should go back to using conventional toothpastes but you have shed light on me :)

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NewVeggie says:
5/22/2013

I’m glad I read this! I have had problem acne my whole life but it has become worse as an adult. Thanks to some of the suggestions in the comments I looked up the fluoride levels in NYC and found that during the years I lived there they had a problem delivering too much fluoride into the water supply. Coincidentally my acne was at its worst then. Where I live now it is supposedly at .7 levels.

Via one of the links, I read that tea is a common carrier of fluoride but it sounded like they were primarily talking about bottled iced tea. Do you know if chamomile tea bags would also be carriers? (When I make tea I use tap water instead of Poland Spring, which probably contributes too.)

I’m going to start a food diary to see if things get worse when I eat certain foods (like salads which get rinsed in tap water).

I get acne all along my jaw line, next to my ears, along the temple/eyebrow, but especially (constantly) on my chin. They always start out itchy and rarely build to a head; they are just painful and will not go away until I over-use my prescription topical meds and overdry my skin. Then I have to over-moisturize and the cycle repeats. Over the past 4-5 years the acne has turned into cysts along the chin and jawline. I have found that Jason body wash helps my back.

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Laura says:
5/23/2013

Yes, new veggie, the reason u have acne in those areas is because that is your lymph nodes system is located along those areas. Your lymph system and your skin work together to remove toxins from the body and when over loaded bubbles up through the skin. (Read more about the lymph node system, it explains how/why they work) The kind of teas that carry natural fl. are green tea and black tea. Other teas should be fine, and even can assist in removing fl from the body: milk thistle is a great one, and I swear to god that if u start taking chlorella supplement you will notice a difference. It is my miracle.

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NewVeggie says:
5/29/2013

Thanks, Laura! I will look into milk thistle and chlorella; I’ve never heard of them before.

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Michelle says:
6/29/2014

Thank you for this post! I am researching iodine supplementation, and ran across this, and another piece of the puzzle fell into place for me: I have this too!

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