Cystic acne can be extremely debilitating for sufferers and it can often feel as though there’s no end in sight.
Nutrition student, Nicola Inger Scruby, 28, from Brisbane, Queensland, started to suffer severe acne high school which then became even worse when she reached adulthood.
But she has now figured out how to clear up problematic skin and is helping others do the same.
‘Having acne, particularly as an adult, affected my confidence levels significantly,’ she told FEMAIL.
‘Some days I wouldn’t even leave the house or socialise. I’d sit in front of the mirror and pick at my skin until it was even more red and inflamed.’
Nicola Inger Scruby, 28, from Brisbane, battled acne for years (left) until she discovered that clearing her skin was about working out the root of the problem (right)
‘Having acne, particularly as an adult, affected my confidence levels significantly,’ she told FEMAIL
Her first cystic breakout started when her doctor put her on a new contraceptive pill in her early 20s.
‘The pill I had been on since high school had been contributing to some mental health issues so my doctor decided to put me on a different type,’ Ms Inger Scruby said.
The result was painful cystic acne around her jawline, chin and cheeks that never came to a head.
To try and combat this she would try a variety of face masks but would instead end up with big scabs on her face that would take weeks to heal.
Her first cystic breakout started when her doctor put her on a new contraceptive pill in her early 20s
To try and combat this the business owner would try a variety of face masks but would instead end up with big scabs on her face that would take weeks to heal
Every morning she would wake up and place her hand on her face to check whether her skin had miraculously become less inflamed overnight.
‘I was obsessed with Googling how to “cure” my acne and would spend hundreds of dollars on skincare, supplements, health professionals and medication,’ she said.
‘I would wear makeup to bed when I was in a relationship and it got to a point where I wouldn’t even look those closest to me in the eye because I thought they were staring at my acne.
‘As someone who has experienced mental health issues, I can honestly say acne had the most significant impact on my state of mind.’
Over time Ms Inger Scruby realised that no cream or pill was going to ‘cure’ her acne as at this point in time, a cure doesn’t exist.
Ms Inger Scruby has now passed on her wisdom to other women who are suffering from severe cystic acne (woman pictured has used her program)
Ms Inger Scruby explained that she had to take a holistic approach, which involved visiting six different health professionals, both conventional and alternative (woman pictured has used her program)
What changes did she make to heal her acne?
– Ms Inger Scruby followed a specific acne dietary protocol created by a dietitian for a period of 28 days which involved cutting out dairy and following a low refined carbohydrate diet.
– She started taking a B5 supplement and also took a gut health supplement.
– The 28-year-old spoke to a psychologist about how to reduce stress and anxiety and found that a combination of journaling and deep breathing has helped. Morning exercise and group training also helped her overcome a lot of her anxiety.
– She also followed a ‘super simple’ skincare routine so as to not irritate her skin. She uses a gentle cleanser, lactic acid cleanser, a moisture defence daily moisturiser and a night time face oil.
In order to manage her skin she needed to get to the bottom of why her acne was occurring so she could stop it in its tracks.
Ms Inger Scruby explained that she had to take a holistic approach, which involved visiting six different health professionals which were both conventional and alternative.
She also taught herself everything she needed to know about acne and implemented certain pieces of advice from each expert which she eventually turned into an online program.
‘I took a five-pronged approach which is now the exact method I use in my online program,’ she said.
‘I followed a specific acne dietary protocol created by a dietitian for a period of 28 days, spoke to a psychologist about how to reduce stress and anxiety and followed a super simple, consistent, skin care routine.
‘I started taking a B5 supplement and also took a gut health supplement to help my bowel movements as I suffered with IBS.’
Ms Inger Scruby understands the pain of trying to heal acne and not seeing any results so she decided to take the newfound knowledge she had and create a program to help others who are suffering (woman pictured has used her program)
What are the five things to investigate if you have acne?
Nutrition: Some people need a science backed acne-friendly diet plan and need to pay attention to dietary triggers.
Hormones: Hormone testing, the contraceptive pill, going off the contraceptive pill and tracking your cycle can all have an effect on acne.
Stress: There is a connection between stress and skin so implementing daily stress and anxiety management strategies with a psychologist can be useful.
Conventional medicine: There are a variety of different techniques doctors may recommend but it is important to know the side-effects of certain medications, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome classification and how to get a referral to a dermatologist.
Skincare and skin treatments: It is important to know which skincare ingredients are beneficial to the skin as well as understand your skin’s microbiome.
The dietary changes she made were removing dairy and following a low refined carbohydrate diet while her body was in a state of inflammation.
She has found that gratitude journalling and breathing exercises really worked for her.
‘Every morning before I started the day and when I would often feel the most stressed or anxious, I would sit down and write down the things I was grateful for,’ she said.
‘Stress has so much impact on our digestion and gut health so being mindful when you are eating is very important.
‘Morning exercise and group training also helped me overcome a lot of my anxiety.’
Ms Inger Scruby also went from using five to six products on her face to using a gentle cleanser, a lactic acid cleanser, a moisturiser and a night time face oil.
‘As I now have my hormones and gut health under control, I find eating certain foods don’t trigger a breakout in me anymore,’ she added.
Although to some it may sound simple, Ms Inger Scruby said it took a lot of work and education.
Out of everything the 28-year-old has tried, such as antibiotics, the pill, herbal supplements, skin treatments, every type of skincare, topical retinol and strict diets, she said that knowledge is power when it comes to acne.
She understands the pain of trying to heal acne and not seeing any results so she decided to take the newfound knowledge she had and create a program to help others who are suffering
All up it took her six weeks to see a complete transformation in her skin.
However, she did start noticing a difference at the 10 day mark when she started stress management and changed her diet.
Ms Inger Scruby understands the pain of trying to heal acne and not seeing any results so she decided to take the newfound knowledge she had and create a program to help others who are suffering.
This is what led her to start F.ACNE, which is a $112 program that encourages people to analyse the root cause of their acne by looking at their own individual case.
As soon as someone buys the program they are given unlimited access to an online platform with five modules.
Each module contains questionnaires to determine every individual’s triggers, PDFs of information and video interviews with trusted health professionals.
They thoroughly explores the scientific link between acne and certain factors, such as nutrition, hormones and stress, and teaches users how they can manage or determine their own acne triggers.
‘We do the research for you so you can stop Googling and spending money on random cures or spending your days trying to find a health professional that you can trust,’ she said.