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  1. 32/f. First post. I've had acne since my teens, but the older I get, the more frustrated I am that I can't seem to get rid of it. I just want clear skin, and preferably before I get wrinkles. Background: I feel like I've tried every variety of OTC topical medication , and a ton of different prescriptions (both topical and oral). Most recently I was on retin-a 0.1% along with trimethtoprim 100mg/2x day and clindamycin 1%. It felt like absolutely no changes. I could see that the retin-a was possibly reducing previous scarring, but I was still breaking out just as much. I was on that combination for about a year (most of 2016) I have PCOS, so I know there's hormonal issues involved with my ance. I've read a ton about how there's not really any medication (save for accutane) that can really get rid of hormonal acne. Someone randomly mentioned spironolactone as an acne medication, and I did quite a bit of research, and then basically begged my dr. to put me on it. He was concerned because I had previously said I didn't want to do accutane (children are not forthcoming this second, but potentially soon, and the side effects of accutane are enough to scare anyone regardless.) He made me promise not to get pregnant, and said we'd have to check my potassium levels to make sure it wasn't elevating them too much. I'm now on spiro, in addition to doxycycline (new), and I'm still doing the topicals retin-a 0.1% and the clindamycin 1%. For the first month, I did 50mg 1x/day, and now I'm in the middle of the second month, 50mg 2x/day. And -- I think I see a difference! I know I feel like there's one, at least. I'm not breaking out as much (though possibly getting slightly more blackheads, but not at any level of concern). Nothing cystic! What's interesting is that before spiro, most of my blemishes were around my chin /mouth / lower cheeks (as is consistentt with hormonal acne), and since being on it, I've had pimples appear on upper cheek, forehead, hairline. Not incredibly troublesome, just not really expected. I may have had a small amount of "extra" breakout from starting spiro, but not anything crazy. Doctor tested my creatinine and my potassium, results came back today. They were both also tested in June of last year, which I'm using as a "control" of sorts for myself. Creatinine stayed the exact same, 0.7 (normal is .4 - 1.0). Potassium did increase, from 4.0 to 4.7 (normal is 3.6 - 5.0). Worried that my doctor won't keep me on the higher dosage if my potassium is too high. How high is too high? Questions for spiro people: How long until you saw a significant difference in your skin? I was also excited to see potential decrease of body hair / facial hair, but no difference so far. How long until you saw a difference there? And, for me, spiro is not going to be a long-term thing, because I plan to get pregnant in a year or so. Were the effects lasting at all? How long should I plan to be off before trying to get pregnant? if anyone stopped then started back again, did it work just as easily? I'll also need to get off of retin-a and doxycycline before pregnancy, though from what I can tell, there's no reason to get off clindamycin. Thoughts?
  2. A little more than a year ago I was prescribed Spironolactone for cystic acne. I had it very deep around my chin and mouth. Before, I of course had very oily skin. It was basically uncontrollable. I had tried a few things for it, but my derm basically jumped straight to the Spiro. A couple months before, I was also put on Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo. I had a good year with this combo. I literally don't have any acne left, but there is a huge problem, my hair is literally just falling out. I have never ever in my life had this problem. I am a 21 year old female with zero family history of hair loss. I saw my derm back in July and she denied that Spiro could cause this. Back at that time, the hair loss was noticeable to me, just because i know my body and when something is right and wrong. Well, I was forced to sort of put it behind me because she said that it wasn't possible. Obviously I was frustrated, but there wasn't much i could do, as my potassium, iron, and thyroid were all checked and all fine. Anyways, here I am in October with HORRIBLE shedding! I mean, when I comb my hair after a shower, clumps are falling out. I take vitamins and stay as healthy as possible. Even during the day my hair is falling into my lap and all over my arms. It is quite irritating and also mortifying. I am trying not to stress about it, as i know that will make it worse, but its a bit hard to stay positive about this. So i just saw my derm and she did a pull test. It wasn't good... a few pieces came straight out with the plugs on the end. On top of hairloss, my scalp is TERRIBLY itchy, but there is NOTHING. No dandruff, no rashes, nothing. She told me to stop taking the Spiro, so i did. She said she's never met a person who had hair loss caused by a medication that is prescribed FOR IT, but that I might be the exception. I guess the ultimate question is, has ANYONE been on Spiro this long and experienced this? i would really appreciate it if maybe someone could shed some light on this situation. I stopped the Spiro and I know it's too soon for the hair loss to stop as that was just 4 or 5 days ago. Any thoughts?
  3. I've been taking spiro for just about 3 months, currently taking 100 mg. My acne is clearing up but I don't know how well the spiro works. I still get some random smaller cysts, Not nearly as bad as what it used to be like. Usually I always get cystic acne in Winter, I started the spiro in December i also have PCOS so thanks to that cause my acne Here's I thing, I don't see many reviews of girls who taken spiro just alone, no birth control. I don't take birth control because it either has worsen my acne or my mental health. Mainly because it takes a toll on me mentally I refuse to take Bc. How has spiro worked for people who haven't taken bc with it ?
  4. Okkkkkk so I've never posted on a forum but feel the need now. I've had no acne ever and after the age of 30 I started developing huge cysts that were scarring my face. It was ruining my life. I finally got on aldactone or aka spiro. I'm a nurse and know this isn't for everyone. Keep following cause I have an alternative. So the spiro has been amazing for me. I don't even have to wear makeup anymore. My gf couldn't stay on it because she has normally low blood pressure and she was getting to dizzy. We are both ER nurses and one of the doctors overheard us talking one day. He said his wife also suffers from hormonal acne and couldn't tolerate spiro. Well she happens to be a pharmacist and she did some research. Spearmint is actually a natural androgen blocker and she started taking this. It's worked for her for years with no side effects. My gf decided to try it before she went to accurate. Well she's now four months in bf acne free. No more cystic acne. I'm going to get off the spiro and start spearmint as soon as my prescription is gone. Also, might be too much info but I've suffered with chronic bv about the same time the acne started. I've tried everything and I mean everything to try and fix it. Started spiro and suddenly it's completely disappeared. I think my BV was caused by too much testosterone or something. Wish you all the best of luck and hope this helps some people!!!
  5. Hi, Cut a long story short I was taking spiro for my cystic acne and had been on it for about 8 months. I have now had to come off it as I was experiencing hair loss. My doctor said about dianette the birth control pill, as it is similar to spiro as it's an anti-anodgren blocker. I am apprehensive to start it because I I had to come off the pill last year as my doctor suspected I had phlebitis and after coming off the pill was when I got my lumps on my forehead. I haven't taken any spiro for about a week and I am due on next week, I am concerned my legs will hurt again if I take pill, I Â concerned if I start the pill my hormones will be up in arms again, the pill may not work and what if I stay off All medication that my cysts could be gone fir good? I don't know what to do can someone give me some advice on what they would do if it were them? Thanks, CharlotteÂ
  6. Hi there, You may remember me from some months back, I was dealing with hormonal acne in my 30s. I have been off this site for a while because I now have clear skin and I wanted to update on what I've done and what worked. I have been on generic Yaz for about a year, it improved my skin but I wasn't clear until I added 50mg of Spiro daily that i saw a dramatic change. It took about 3 months( from June to August) to see results but once it worked, my skin became normal as opposed to very oily, I stopped getting hormonal cysts and white heads and pretty much now, my skin is clear and I'm extremely happy with it. The only other things to mention are while no topicals really helped my acne, green tea extract and over the counter retinol( not Retinol A) have been the best topicals I've used. Green tea helps with too much androgens and inflammation and retinol helps your skin cells shed and renew faster, the retinol isn't nearly as harsh as Retinol A but still helps. I buy green tea extract at the health shop and mix it in with moisturizer. I also wash my face with crushed oatmeal( I put dry oatmeal in a blender). It is moisturising without drying out my face. I do try to eat healthy but since the meds have kicked in, the only thing that ever affects my skin is dairy. It really caused inflamed acne before but now, it might cause a small pimple or two but they go away in 1-2 days. I haven't been on simply because since my skin has cleared I have not thought about it much. Its awesome to have normal skin that isn't breaking out in ugly, red, and painful bumps and feel like my face is an oil slick. I have been depressed in the past and borderline suicidal, and I'm not going to say my life is suddenly perfect, but its a huge improvement in my mindset and I feel " normal". I haven't had any noticeable side effects from either med, except lower blood pressure and the absence of periods from time to time, which is fine by I have gained weight from the antidepressant I take but I'm trying to wean off it since I no longer have many of the mental issues, including acne. I hope my advice might help someone, of course it won't work for everyone( Spiro and birth control won't work for males) but the important thing is to keep trying and don't give up. And love yourself no matter the state of your skin because you are the same person inside no matter what so don't get to the point where you feel your acne makes you less of a person ( like I did). Its a medical condition like anything else not your fault. Best of luck to everyone, if anyone has questions about my regimen I'll be happy to answer.
  7. I am brand new to this acne stuff at 33 years old. Had a blood test that was suggestive of PCOS even though my testosterone levels are great. One ovary is polycystic so im guessing I do indeed have it, even thought the gyn wasn't so sure. Finally saw the derm who put me on Spiro. I can't believe I am almost 3 weeks in and the little pimples have stopped coming up. I did have about 3 cystic ones pop up and go back down quickly. Strange. About 2 weeks in, my breasts feel like I have PMS or I am pregnant. It's neither of those things so I know spiro is causing it. Will this side effect go away? I haven't had the side effect of using the bathroom more often but I do get dry lips and skin. Trying to drink more water.
  8. I appreciate this has probably been posted a million times but I can't find a recent post about this. Acne/Med History I have always suffered with hormonal acne which was controlled for many many years by Dianette. I was taken off Dianne due to mental health issues and put on several different antibiotics (lymecycline/minocycline). After doubling the dose the doctor gave me, my acne was 'manageable' but I then developed loads of tiny spots all over my forehead (which I had never experienced before in my life), massive pores on forehead and around nose, excessively greasy. Also during this period - from December 2014 to June/July 2015, I noticed my skin seemed thicker, particularly on my forehead. It wasn't red or anything, just thicker. Maybe leathery. I feel I have aged a good few years in 6 months. I do not believe it is rosacea. Can antibiotics cause premature ageing? I'm 33. Present Day Started on Yasmin a few months back. Currently, 5 days into 3rd cycle and have taken no breaks in packets. Started on Spiro 2 weeks and 2 days ago. I got the dreaded initial breakout on Yasmin about 2/3 weeks in. I broke out in tiny bumps with a few cysts here and there all over my back and chest and face. Oil production reduced significantly. Skin was still bad when I started Spiro and I appear to be having an initial breakout on these too. I'm worried about scarring for the first time in my life. I have massive pustules, mainly on cheeks. Still covered in tiny bumps, there must be hundreds! The one positive I have noted since Spiro is the skin on my forehead is not as thick. The lines are less pronounced so I guess it's doing something. However, my skin is at an all time low. It is the worst it has ever been. Everyone close to me has commented that it is the worst they have ever seen it. So my questions are as follows: How long were your initial breakouts on Yasmin? How long were your initial breakouts on Spiro? When should I expect to start seeing improvements? Advice on when I should stop if not seeing improvements? I'm at my wits end. I feel after nearly 3 months it should be improving if only very slightly but it's just getting worse and worse. Please, any advice would be amazing x
  9. Hello all, I'm 18 and just started my freshman year of college which should be fun and exciting right? Wrong. I have always had the occasional pimple pmsing, but in the past 6 months I have had the most terrible onset of hormonal acne and I'm losing hope and feel incredibly insecure. Backstory: I noticed my hormonal acne appearing after I stopped playing competitive soccer (which I had played all my life). It appeared slowly, progressively getting worse. 5 months ago I went to a dermatologist for the first time ever, where she then prescribed me Spiro 50mg in the morning and at night. I expected an IB and I sure as heck got one. After three months of Spiro and very very little difference if any I went back to the derm and she increased my dosage to 100mg in he morning and 50 mg at night and retin a. Still no difference, just really dry skin. Another month goes by and I'm still getting deep painful cysts on my jawline, I go back to my derm and she gives me Loryna BCP which have currently been on for 2 and a half weeks. I am healthy, I tried changing my diet, I don't get as much excersise as I did playing soccer but I enjoy going hiking and surfing (which I do not do as much anymore because of my skin sensitivity). ALSO: I've always had a regular and normal cycle, but ever since i strted Spiro I have not had period. Which is fine by all means lol, but it feels wrong. Why is it like this? Is this common? It's not even irregular just completely nonexistent? I never realized how conceited of a person I was until I had this severe, relentless, cystic acne I am now suffering from. I've read countless forums saying how these medications take time but I'm losing hope and feel like I may becoming slightly depressed. I cry so much now and hate myself for reasons I can't control and my skin is too sensitive to enjoy the beautiful sunny outdoors of socal. Any insight on when these medications will start working if at all? I was thinking of giving it 2 more months before accutane, which scares me and is a last resort. thank you!!!
  10. Feeling a little hopeless

    I'm beginning to feel a little hopeless and not sure what to do. I've always had "meh" skin, until I started birth control in college. My acne pretty much disappeared. A few years ago, though, I started noticing some facial pigmentation that the doctor later told me was melasma. It's mostly above my upper lip so, despite having pretty much no hair there, it looks like I have a mustache. It's very embarrassing, to say the least. Two years ago, my doc switched me to a different BC to see if that'd help with the melasma. It didn't, but it did give me progressively worse cystic acne (which I'd never really experienced before that). It took me a whole year of topicals/antibiotics to realize it was the hormones from the pill switch that was the problem. I switched back to my original BC and started taking 100 mg of spiro. Within a few months, my acne was totally cleared and stayed that way. Unfortunately, going back on this regimen (in addition to moving from Chicago to Florida) caused my melasma to increase tenfold. I tried everything... lightening creams, peels, etc. Nothing worked. So I decided to see what would happen if I gave up the BC and spiro (since hormones are a huge factor in melasma). Well, I stopped the pills two months ago and so far, the melasma is the same if not darker, and my face is breaking out (which I guess is to be expected). For what it's worth, I also continued using a retinol product I'd been using for a while and started taking some supplements (MSM, vitamin C, pycnogenol, and zinc mainly). I don't really know if I'm looking for advice or someone to vent to, but I just feel so hopeless. I feel like, in terms of BC, I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't. I guess the melasma is better than the acne because at least the melasma doesn't hurt, but I'd still look at the mirror and cry sometimes because of the melasma, so it's not great. I'm going to my doctor in a few days but honestly, I'm not expecting much. I don't want to give up, because I'd love to look at myself and not feel like crying, but I'm beginning to lose hope that that will ever happen.
  11. Okay, so i have horribly oily skin. I started getting acne in 8th grade. I never noticed oily skin in 8th grade or 9th grade. However, last year (10th grade) i went on Birth Control for acne/periods on top of the other antibotics and topicals i was on. From then on ive noticed that ive had very oily skin... i have to blot multiple times during school. Then about this time, last year, i went on accutane. Obviously, my skin dried up and the oiliness went away, it was amazing, except that rather than being oily my skin was red and dry. Now i have been off Accutane for 6 months and right away the oily skin came back. Its unbearable. I even notice shine 15 minutes between each time i blot and im sooo sick of it. Its more embarassing than acne. (i still break out, like a pimple or two or 3 constantly) But i just want to know, Does Brith Control cause oily skin? When i googled it, some said it causes it and some said it doesn't. If it does cause oily skin, should i go off of it? I would do anything to get rid of my oily skin.. but im scared to go off the pill because, im not sexually active now, but in a few years i probably will be... Lastly, i went on Spiro about 2 months ago. My derm thought it might help the little acne i get now and help the oily skin. Ive been on 25mg for the first 2 months and i noticed no change whatsoever. Now ive been on 50mg for about a week. Is 50mg too small? or does Spiro not help with oily skin? P.S i also just changed to Differin 0.3 from Tazorac because Tazorac was just too oily and harsh. Sometimes i wish i was on accutane again. :/
  12. Hello everyone, I'm new here, having read the boards for sometime now before posting. Because I've read just about everything I can find about Spiro and its effects, I know there are several posts about initial breakouts. I'm trying to absorb as much info as I can on this particular topic, for I am dealing with what I *think* is a terrible IB from Sprio. A quick history of me...I just turned 36, and have been dealing with moderate acne, occasional cysts, and extremely oily skin since I was about 12. The only thing that ever really helped was Accutane, which I took in my early 20s. However, during my second course (I returned to oily skin and breakouts fairly shortly after my first course) my cholesterol and liver levels rose too high for me to complete the cycle. Shortly thereafter, I went on Ortho-Cept, which I remained on until 2 years ago. During this time, my skin was pretty decent. It was never perfect, but it was pretty good. Still, it was always oily, and I always lived in fear of a breakout. Proactiv worked beautifully for a while, but then ceased to do so, as so many others have experienced. Once I stopped the BCP, all hell broke loose. Since that time, my skin has been much worse. I finally started 50 mg of Spiro on June 30th. My Dr. wanted me to ease in a bit, and not start right off on 100 mg. Since I did fine on 50 mg I bumped up to 100 mg 1 week ago. My skin is now the worst I can remember seeing it. I don't know WHAT to do to help it. I began taking 100 mg of doxycycline on Thursday, 5 days ago now. It doesn't seem to have had any effect. I am just so horrified by this. I know its bad when even my husband, who always tells me I look beautiful and is the soul of support, asked me "What's up with your skin?". I have had a terrible break out along my upper lip (the "mustache area, were I male) and on my chin and cheeks by my nose. The latest attack is not directly on my chin, but to the one side. My question is, does anyone know exactly WHY the breakout occurs? I shouldn't be "purging", as I had previously been on REtin-A for almost a year. Is it just a matter of balancing hormones? I still am not clear why that would cause such a reaction. I am at wits end. I am going on vacation next week, and I can't believe I will have to deal with my skin looking so terrible. I am so down about it..I can't even express. Every time I think, "OK, its easing up"... I discover a new pimple lurking and ready to make my life hell. Any insight, encouragement, or similar experiences would be very welcome and appreciated! Thanks so much!
  13. I have been on OCPs for a long time (ortho tri-cyclen low) and while my acne was not under control with the pill only, the addition of spiro about 1year ago really helped (skin almost perfectly clear). Now about a month ago I stopped the OCP because I wanted to give my body a break but kept going with the spiro 100 mg/day; I am already noticing that my skin is a bit olier than before. My breakouts are still controlled but I am afraid to start breaking out again. Had anyone had a similar experience? I hope the spironolactone alone will be enough to fight my acne and the oliness will normalize with time...
  14. Well I am back, mostly to share my new journey and document it a bit and hopefully learn from others on here. I have been on birth control pills for most of my adult life, hmmm about 17 years and due to increased complex migraines with aphasia I have been doctor ordered to never take birth control again. GULP Basically last year I had horrible adult acne, diagnosed with PCOS, got completely clear on Spiro 75mg and Yas together. Have been clear since May 2014. What a blessing. So imagine my horror when my doctor told me I had no choice or I could have a stroke. I quit cold turkey about 3 weeks ago and upped my Spiro to 100mg. And of course started praying to the gods that I would not see a setback. So far I have not had another breakout from the increased dose and besides being slightly more lethargic and having to pee again like a race horse since I upped it last week, things are status quo. Sprio has been a life saver. I was anxious, miserable, couldn't sleep, was breaking out like crazy (Spiro did make this much worse before it got better). And by April/May I had my life back and even better. Now that I am off the pill, I am interested to hear if anyone else here has quit Birth Control Pill completely? What did you try after? How about Copper IUD? I need to look into alternative BC methods since I am banned from the pill for life. Thank you! xo
  15. Well, let me just say that I am a few days away from my 2 month mark of taking spiro. It honestly feels like it should be way longer than that! I really haven't seen much change. I have noticed that I am gradually getting less oily, which is great because I HATED my oil production, but it's still not my dream of clear baby soft skin. I never really realized how bad my acne has gotten over the years until I recently looked at old pictures. I remember thinking it was bad then when I was in high school, well I would die to have the "acne" I used to have. It's a little discouraging to look at myself and not really see much change. I know its a long road and it takes time. I try to be consistent with taking my BC and spiro, but I did go through a weekend where I did not take my spiro, and I could notice a very very small difference. It's hard to say if I did truly experience the "initial breakout" phase when I first started spiro, but I still get breakouts- big and small. I will say that my face has not been swollen like it was before I started spiro. That is when I really knew I had to do something more. I felt so uncomfortable in my skin, it was painful. I am really hoping for better days really soon. I just know that it will get better, and I am trying to be as patient as I can be. I have also added a hair, skin, and nail vitamin just 2 days ago that my boyfriends grandma swears by, and I hope to see improvement by adding that to my nightly vitamins. After messing up with my dosage and missing pills of spiro, I have recently added all my medication to a reminder app on my phone so that I can be more consistent with taking it at the same time. Does it ever get better?!
  16. Hello, Oh I have written so many posts I am beginning to just, loose it. Of course I had a pretty large break (about a 5 year break) from coming on this website because I was 99% clear on BeYaz Birth Control and 100mg of Spironolactone. But I am now 25, and about a year ago, something happened, and it just started coming back. The big giant cysts, but this time also, something else different - a ton of under the skin tiny whitehead bumps speckled all over my face. Immediately I just lost it, and as the months went on (and me trying EVERYTHING, I mean everything. Everything the dermatologist threw at me and I even tried the whole natural side and worked with a naturopath, getting off all meds -) it just continued to get worse and worse. So here I am about a year later, I stopped working with the naturopath and it has been a few months now back on BeYaz Birth Control & Spironolactone 150mg (I took it up 50mg). And NOTHING. I'm even on Clindamyacin, and I am waiting about another month to start a retinol. What is really worrying me is that I am also on 200mg of Doxycycline, for 2.5 weeks now, and I have absolutely no change. This used to be my last resort drug that I have taken a few times when I had a random flare up of cysts, and they would IMMEDIATELY flatten without 2 days. At first, I thought possibly just all of my hormones have changed (I have been tested: I have low Estrogen, normal Progesterone, and high Testosterone.) Which makes sense why the Spironolactone worked wonders, for me for 5 years, and the BC helped bump up my Estrogen. I still think possibly a hormonal change could have been why my skin has changed and become so bad again just like high school. Its very odd that my Estrogen is so low, but could make sense because I was tested 2.5 months after I came off birth control, but it is also odd that my Progesterone was normal, as THAT should have been at 0 for months after coming off birth control, which makes me think maybe I'm having too high Progesterone now. My skin is clearest a few days before my period, and during my period (When Progesterone is at its lowest, and Estrogen is higher). And my skin is at its worse during the middle of my cycle (when Progesterone is at its highest). So yea, along with my Testosterone being high, maybe now my Estrogen and Progesterone are just so messed up - BUT, the antibiotic doesn't work anymore. This is an odd clue, because it really should, and it has brilliantly before. This makes me think, either I have become resistant to Doxycycline, and possibly the whole Cycline family. Or what is causing my constant breakouts is viral. The strangest symptom I have also been noticing is very sore joints, especially in my knees, and my elbows. It is a sort of burning radiating ache, that is the worst at night, and sometimes wakes me up because I have to move them to another position. I thought this could be from the low Estrogen, but I have been back on the Birth Control pill for over a month now, that should not be a problem any longer, and honestly to be 25 and actually have joint pain from that low of Estrogen there is something pretty wrong about that - BUT I am thinking maybe the inflammation in my joints is being caused by something else, some type of viral infection. So, can anyone give their advice/story on what happened to them when their antibiotics no longer worked? Did you ever find out why? What are you doing now? Thanks!!!!!!
  17. Ortho Cyclen + spiro

    At 24 I am not new to adult hormonal acne but after starting hormonal birth control about 6 weeks ago I am having the worst hormonal breakout of my life. I started taking Lo Loestrin FE and switched to Ortho Cyclen after 1 pack because I was getting so many cysts on my jawline. I am almost at the end of my second week on Ortho Cyclen and am still breaking out daily. My derm has started me on spiro - I am taking 75 mg daily (started 4 days ago) - and I am also taking 100mg doxycycline since 6 days ago. Day 11 I think the last two days have been a small improvement. I still have 5 or 6 active spots but most are healing. One that came up this morning already came to a head by tonight. Everything feels less inflamed - I think taking a break from tretinoin is helping. My routine is bare bones now- CeraVe Foaming Cleanser and CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion. Derm recommended I switch out the moisturizer so I ordered Sebamed Clear Face Gel. I'll start my new Curology formula (sans tretinoin) 3x/week once it arrives. My skin has been so oily since starting the Ortho Cyclen... I have had oily skin for a couple years but I think it has gotten worse on this pill. Hoping it will adjust. It sucks because my makeup looks great in the AM but by afternoon is gross from the oil. My skin feels tight and dehydrated after I cleanse. I might switch cleansers after I make sure the new moisturizer doesn't break me out. Spiro has been good so far. I am more tired than usual. Need to remember to drink more water - I am bad about that. The most noticeable side effects of the Ortho Cyclen have been decreased appetite and increased vaginal discharge. I am hoping the first one stays and the second one goes away... lol. I pretty much have forgotten about food unless it's in front of me. Tonight I had dinner with my dad and it was really the first full meal I've eaten in a few days. Seeing my boyfriend for the first time in nearly two weeks on Mon or Tues because we have both been away. I am literally praying my skin doesn't get worse before then. With makeup it looks okay-ish, aside from the bumps. Without makeup... total horrorshow tbh.
  18. breakouts week after placebos

    I'm currently experiencing breakouts during the end of of week one on birth control (week after placebos). My doctor indicated this is probably the after effect of the monthly shift from the pill to placebos. She suggested three things...taking the pill continuously to avoid the shift, taking minocycline the placebo days and into the first week of the new pack, or moving on to accutane. I'm on orthocyclen, only take 4 placebos instead of 7, as well as 100 mg of spironolactone. I use epiduo and clindamycin phosphate topical. Im on a lot of medication and still not getting consistent results. I also have PCOS and endometriosis. The breakouts are not inflamed or cystic, just enough to drive me crazy. I'm thinking of just going with accutane, but worried it will be a waste as my issues have always been hormonal. Anyone have experience with anything I'm going through? I'd love some advice!
  19. Spiro - stopped working.

    Hi. I am at my wits end with this. I have been on Spironolactone 100mg for almost 5 years. Along with Beyaz, for a little over 8. I had large cystic acne, within a few days of starting Spiro, it just flattened all my acne, and it just stopped. It was a miracle. My hair wasn't oily anymore, my life completely changed. Now, I am 25 years old - and within the past several months all of my acne is coming back, this time on top of cysts + medium & under the skin pimples. They will not stop, around my hairline, forehead, a little on my cheeks and the big area is my freaking chin. My skin is mildly greasy, extremely inflamed (my laugh lines are deep and red) and new zits pop up literally every couple hours. My hair is so greasy, clean hair lasts about 6 hours. I eat very well - I don't do dairy, I don't like meat, I stay away from grain. Although I absolutely know no matter how PERFECT I ate, my skin would not change - this is hormonal, 100%. I've researched it all - foods allergies, foods to stay away from, foods to take, studied hormones, supplements, natural topical treatments. I've tried just washing my face with water. I've tried Doxycycline, I've tried different diets. I CAN NOT TAKE IT ANYMORE. I do not leave my apartment, I work from home. It is painful, and maddening and I have already went through all of this once, I can't believe I have to go through it again. Why would Spironolactone stop working - yes resistance possibly. And if it has, will stopping the Spiro HELP or HURT? I know there are at least a MILLION variables that could be the case but I haven't drastically changed anything for this to happen. Is the most obvious to me the actual problem, that my body has changed - and BC & Spiro are now working against me. PLEASE. Has this happened to someone else, your Spironolactone has quit on you after being on it for multiple years - and if yes, HOW did you fix it again. - Sara
  20. Acne, Im gonna kick your ass

    Hi this is Snarky girl. I've been meaning g to start a log for my own benefit and for anyone else who is interested in sharing ideas. I've had acne since age 10 more or less and I'm 32 now. Enough is enough! I've tried the usual in the past: Minocycline on and off, which worked for a while but I don't want to take it anymore because of the side effects and killing off good bacteria. Last time I took it I got a yeast infection and my stomach felt bad. Doxycycline: just NO, makes me sick Proactive, benzol peroxide( works somewhat but dries out skin and bleaches my eyebrows!) Salicylic acid( nothing!) Juicing...not any noticeable effects on acne but did lose weight. Starving myself( EFF that, life's too short!) So here's what I'm going to be attempting g now: Yaz and Spiro 50mg. I've been on them for a bit longer than 2 months and my skin is a lot less oily. I may eventually go up to 100mg but for now I'm satisfied. Supplements I'm taking: chelated zinc, resveratrol, cod liver oil, magnesium, vitamind D3, E, and C, tart cherry juice, selenium and silica. I'm taking recommended doses, nothing goods going to come from megadosing imo.I may take probiotics but I haven't as of yet. Not eating: grains like pasta, bread, cereals, cookies, biscuits etc out of my diet. I'm not obsessed but most days I try not to have these. If I do its at one meal. Junky, sugary stuff,processed food and or sugary drinks or soda. I do t smoke and I only drink rarely so that's not really an issue( if I do drink its blush or rose wine). Eating: sweet potatoes, red, purple, yellow potatoes( any other than white), most fruits, greens, limited meat and only organic eggs, cold water fish not farm raised, oysters, sardines, coconut and vegetables like squash, a bit of corn and celery. I'm also trying to drink green and herbal teas but I'm not a big fan. Sparkling water and pomegranate or cherry juice for me. I'm eating gelatin and bone broth. Toically I've stopped the duac because its just too drying and again, I dont like to keep using antibiotics .I've been using ground oatmeal to wash my face , I was using a bar soap with triscolan but I read it has hormone disruptors. If I wear make up I'll have to figure out how to remove it but I've only been using concealer. Im using green tea and sea buckthorn extract twice per day. If I go in the sun I use DML lotion.I plan on adding a mild retinol but haven't started that, I'm not sure which one I want to try. Any suggestions? I don't know how quickly this will work but my skin is a lot better than it was 2 weeks ago. I plan on updating and adding pics and letting you know if anything makes a good change. This is a pic of my lovely spots from about 2 and a half weeks ago. My skin is a lot less inflamed now, even though I just accidentally wiped my nose with a greasy napkin my son had potato chips on lol. The second is just now, the thing on my cheek is a mole and I only have 1 active spot. I'll update every few days, bye for now
  21. Metformin For Acne

    I've exhausted all options. Tried spiro and it worked great but the side effects were terrible. Considering metformin now. I have pcos except im lean. Recently had my glucos checked and it came back normal. I know this med is for diabetes but heard it works great for acne. Willing to try anything at this point. Anyone who has tried this with normal glucose levels who had success please let me know.
  22. A couple of questions for any of you who have used spironolactone or differin... I visited the derm about 4 days ago and he started me on a brand new combo of stuff. I'm taking 200 mg of doxycycline and 100 mg of spironolactone a day, plus using differin cream at night. I'm feeling REALLY depressed, and I am wondering if it has something to do with the spironolactone screwing with my hormones. Have any of you on spiro experienced depression that seemed to be linked? Although the depression could just be due to the fact that i don't think any of this is working.... Also, my skin has been noticeably more oily since I started all the new stuff. Like, glistening on my forehead a couple of hours after washing my face. My skin was very dry before. Could this be due to the differin? I thought maybe since the differin was opening and unclogging my pores, it was allowing the oil to actually come out on my skin's surface as opposed to being trapped in my pores and clogging there. I have no idea though... Anybody had any similar experience?
  23. Almost Four Months

    I can't believe it has almost been four months! Thank you for the comments and direct messages I have received, by the way!! So I am still on 100mg of Spiro. Now, I am taking it right before bed with my birth control and I am finding that none of the side affects are bothering me anymore. I was taking it right with dinner and sometimes I would get a little light-headed by the time I drove home from work (around 11pm-midnight). My skin has still remained fairly clear. I did get a really random pimple on my cheek around 4th of July that really annoyed me but it was gone in a few days. I still have some redness/pinkness that I see slowly going away but as we have probably all heard, takes some time. The term told me that if I don't see it gone in a year I can start thinking about laser treatments if that's what I want to do. Overall my confidence has gone up A LOT. Buying makeup is actually a really fun experience and I have been more willing to try bolder colored blushes, lipsticks and eyeshadows which has really been fun. I don't mind going out with out make up so I am back in the gym and feeling really great. The LUSH routine I mentioned before is still my go to and it's been pretty sweet.. Morning: splash water on my face, use either Breath of Fresh Air toner water or Eau Roma toner water, then imperialis moisturizer. Night: ultrabland cleanser, one of the toner waters with a cotton pad to remove excess makeup, imperialis moisturizer and an eye cream. Once or twice a week I'll use the sea salt scrub from LUSH which makes my skin super soft. Hope everyone's journey is going just as well as mine
  24. How To Take Spironolactone

    This is written specifically for women on spironolactone, though it can also apply to women on high doses of herbal DHT inhibitors such as saw palmetto. This covers how to take it most effectively, what side effects to expect, and what side effects should worry you. This assumes you have already read and understand Split your Spiro in two doses each day. Your body can only utilize so much at one time. Most doctors prescribe it so you have to anyway. I take a 50mg pill morning and a 50mg pill in the afternoon. Take the Spiro with a full meal and plenty of water. You're going to have digestive issues if you take them with just a granola bar, or just a fruit smoothie, or an an empty stomach. Full meal. Something with a mix of protein, fat, and carb. And a full glass of water. Take your second Spiro dose no later than 3pm. Your androgen and thyroid levels are the highest earlier in the day. Taking it later in the day won't do as much good for your hormones, and it is more likely to cause headaches, sleep disturbances, and other side effects later in the day. Drink water like it's going out of style. Spironolactone is a diuretic. You are going to get headaches unless you are consciously drinking water, even when you don't "feel" thirsty. It also helps to eat whole fruits with a lot of water content. (I don't recommend straight up fruit juices or gatorade-style drinks because it's too much fruit sugar in one sitting and wreaks havoc on your insulin. It's also a lot of potassium, which isn't good on spiro. Keep reading...) Watch your potassium and salt like a hawk. Spironolactone affects your potassium and electrolyte levels. It is a potassium-sparing diuretic, which means it makes you pee a lot but you don't get rid of the potassium in your pee like you would normally. This means you cannot consume too much potassium. Too much salt can also pose a problem. • Cut out dairy. Besides the bad hormonal effects it has, dairy is fortified with potassium. • Watch potassium-rich foods, such as: Tomatoes Too many salted foods Beets Most beans Soy, soybeans, soybean oil (found in most vegetable oils, sauces, salad dressings, mayonnaise...) DAIRY Frozen or prepared foods (many have added potassium but aren't required to put it on the label) Fruit juices (many have added potassium but aren't required to put it on the label) Gatorade-style drinks (many have added potassium but aren't required to put it on the label) I'm having irregular periods, spotting, longer cycles, shorter cycles--in general I'm having period trouble? This is normal and may go on for months on spiro. If it doesn't stop at about the 6 month mark, you will need to do one of the following: Add birth control pills to regulate your menses OR Reduce your spironolactone dosage to 50-75mg daily OR Use spironolactone for 21 days each month and then cycle off for 7 days. The 7 days off should be the same week as your period. Okay, at what point SHOULD I be worried about side effects? In general, what I see over and over again, is that we try too hard to analyze the results during the treatment process. If we get a new pimple, "it's not working." If our periods are irregular, "it's not working." If we gain a few pounds, "it's not working." If we shed more hair in the shower, "it's not working." Do you get the picture? You need to expect ALL of these side effects, and expect that your body is going to experience a lot of ups and downs for about a year before they level out. But there are some people who don't succeed on this treatment and you may be one of them. How do you know? Here i have split up "reasonable" side effects with "unreasonable" side effects. This assumes you are already doing EVERYTHING in the steps above as well as all the diet changes I list in REASONABLE side effects: New pimples for up to 6 months New pimples coming up at different depths and different locations An "initial breakout" Oily skin and hair for up to 8 months Increased bloating and water retention (more than you normally get from your menstrual cycle) for up to 4 months Irregular periods, some skipped periods, or spotting up to the first 8 months Temporary increased head hair shedding A permanent state of minor to moderate thinner head hair. Many women with acne have thicker than normal head hair. This thins out to medium or fine texture as the acne goes away. Less facial hair and body hair. Up to 10 pounds of weight gain on the scale Change in fat distribution (bigger breasts, softening of facial edges, fat deposits in hips) Minor to moderate increased bruising, temporary and/or permanent Headaches that subside with proper hydration and nutrition Changes in libido Changes in mood UNREASONABLE side effects (this is when you should be worried) If periods are completely absent for 4 consecutive months or more Actual bald spots Gaining 15 pounds or more with no change in diet/exercise Bruising all the time from very light touches More facial or body hair Constant headaches that don't subside with meals and hydration Skin that keeps getting oilier than when you started without any letup Full-on depression (suicidal thoughts that did not exist before treatment) Can't I get the best of both worlds by taking an antibiotic while on spiro? Many people have followed the logic that, well if it takes 8 months to get clear on spiro, I'm going to take an antibiotic for the short-term to keep me from breaking out. Then when I wean off the antibiotic, my hormones will be in perfect shape. It's a nice thought, but I've never seen this approach actually work. So I don't personally recommend it. It's really hard to compare my experience (which was spiro only) to someone who's adding a lot of other factors in. So you don't recommend taking anything else? No creams even? Nope. I quit everything full stop. No benzoyl peroxide, no retinoids, no acids. I washed my face once a day with distilled water, CeraVe Cleanser, and then use CeraVe Moisturizer. Very, very simple. Once the active acne is gone, you can try adding in products to clean up your skin texture, clogged pores, and scars. But I really don't recommend it while you still have lesions. What did you do about exploding whiteheads? I don't believe that letting pus sit out on your face is a good idea. Before my daily face wash, I would gently extract the pus out of "exploded" lesions, then disinfect them with an antiseptic. Then wash as normal. I did not apply any treatment creams on the zits. Soybean oil is in EVERYTHING!! What do I replace it with? I replaced vegetable cooking oil (usually "vegetable oil" is just soybean oil) with safflower oil and canola oil. I buy a mayonnaise based on olive oil. It tastes great. I buy a margarine blend instead of butter or normal soybean oil margarine. It is one of the Smart Balance blends that has very little soybean oil. Salad dressings are a little harder, but just check the labels. Some of the brands don't use soybean oil.
  25. Spiro Not Working! :(

    Hey guys... So I've been on a low dose of 0.25 mg twice a day(0.5 mg total)…It's now been 2 months exactly and I've seen no improvements at all. My skin is extremely extremely oily, and I cannot control it. Should I be moving up a dose? Does it take longer to work? If it doesn't work for me does this mean that my androgens aren't the issue? Any advice please... Thanks