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Lithium-induced acne log

vitamin d vitamin b vitamin b1 vitamin b2 vitamin b12 folic acid calcium selenium aha alpha hydroxy acid

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#1 Addie

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 08:19 AM

Ah lithium...
I have acne because of lithium. I had some natural acne, but lithium took it to severe. That was in 2007. Now my acne seems to be moderate, even when I do very little to treat it, so I think I would be clear if it wasn't for this medication. I love what lithium does for my brain, but hate what it does for my skin.

There isn't a lot of research on how lithium causes acne, but from the studies I've read, the main way lithium causes acne is by increasing sebum production. One of the neurotransmitters that lithium magically increases in the brain also stimulates the sebaceous glands once it gets to the skin. Judging by how incredibly oily my skin is, this is a compelling theory.


Facts about acne and I:
1) I've tried a bunch of prescriptions to no avail. Although
2) the combination of twice daily BHA and Tazorac cleared me. Although
3) my skin is very sensitive, and Tazorac proved just too harsh. Additionally
4) I have limited prescription coverage and am on some very expensive brain meds, so I don't want to "waste" that money on skin meds.
5) I'm allergic to benzoyl peroxide. I'm testing if I'm still allergic to benzoyl peroxide.

Current facial regimen:
AM
Wash with 3 pumps of Acne.org Cleanser.
~Wait 15 minutes.~
Apply 1/4 of a (small) finger of Acne.org benzoyl peroxide (BP).
~Wait 15 minutes.~
Apply a larger than dime-sized amount of Goddess Garden Natural Sunscreen.
PM
Wash with 3 pumps of Acne.org Cleanser.
~Wait 15 minutes.~
Apply 1/4 of a finger of Acne.org BP.
~Wait 15 minutes.~
Apply 3 pumps of Acne.org Moisturizer with 18 drops of Acne.org Jojoba Oil.

Regimen for back and chest:
AM and PM
Wash with Acne.org Cleanser
~Wait 5 minutes.~
Apply a palm-sized glob of Acne.org AHA+.

So this started out as a vegan-oriented log. If you want to read more lithium-oriented posts, skip to the second page.

I've been vegan for five days and suddenly my acne cleared up, which made me think of starting a log, even if the acne clearing is just temporary. I'm thinking the main source of clearing in a vegan diet would be the lack of milk. Although I'm keeping this log, I'm doing this vegan thing for animals and the environment, not so much for health or acne reasons. I will keep this lifestyle even if it has no affect on my acne or even if it makes my acne worse.

I also use BHA and other products from Paula's Choice, which is not a vegan company, but the specific products I use (see signature) are vegan. Paula's Choice does not test on animals. BHA decreases the severity of my acne, but does not clear me.

I'm currently taking a calcium supplement (the Tums without milk ingredients) and will be taking a vegan supplement called Veg1. It contains vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin D, folic acid, iodine, and selenium, which are hard or impossible (B12) to get from a vegan diet.

Edit: Vegan burritos from Chipotle are awesome!

Edited by Addie, 28 January 2011 - 06:38 AM.


#2 Addie

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 04:47 AM

I broke out with three tiny pustules. I always break out in tiny pustules when I forget to wash my face. I'm taking a break from studying for finals right now, but that's why I didn't wash my face last night. The bigger pimples are still healing.

#3 Addie

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 04:34 AM

I washed my face last night and this morning, so there is no new acne and everything is healing.

#4 headtrip_honey

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 08:18 AM

Yayyy!!

(thanks for the birthday wishes, btw...I've been kinda insanely busy at work lately...go figure!)
My Regimen:

Started Accutane 1/12/10! Done as of 7/10/10!

Cleanser:
Neutrogena Foaming Facial Cleanser (AM&PM)
Moisturizer: Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 15 (AM)
Topicals: Paula's Choice 2% BHA Gel (PM)

Other Pills: Velivet, Zinc, Vitamin E, Biotin, Glucosamine/Chondroitin, B Complex vitamins and Iron

Makeup: Lately, none, but when I do:
Meow Cosmetics Frisky Ocicat foundation
and whatever blush, eyeshadows, I deem necessary to wear.
Also, L'Oreal black eyeliner always.

Current Status: Face looking pretty darn good.

#5 Addie

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 04:28 PM

I'm breaking out a little, but I've also been ultra busy and not washing my face as much I should, so that's to be expected.

#6 Addie

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 03:55 PM

I have lots of clogged pores, but I'm not really breaking out too badly for this time of the month.

#7 Wynne

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 03:12 PM

Wishing you well and thinking of you. wub.gif

Take responsibility for your health; read the full prescribing information for any medication you take and understand that not all risks or potential side effects will likely ever be fully known.

=Regimen: Cetaphil Sensitive Skin Bar & Avon Anew Advanced Clinical Retexturizing Peel every day & Queen Helene Mint Julep mask weekly=
*Glycolic Acid Product Recommendations *What to do with a cyst/pimple/zit

Wynne 2.9Beta Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

Please ask questions on the boards, not via PM. That way all benefit. Thanks!


#8 Addie

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 12:32 PM

I'm pretty clear. I think once I'm off lithium, I won't have to worry about acne anymore. As for those comedonal acne on my forehead, I think they were from wearing a hat so much at archaeology field school. I scheduled a facial with extractions that might get rid of them.

#9 Addie

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 11:29 AM

If you wonder what I do eat, like a lot of people seem to do, you can read my blog (now defunct). I post about dinner every day I have something new and previously posted about what I usually eat for breakfast and lunch. (Breakfast = banana with peanut butter and oatmeal. Lunch = leftovers until I get a new cookbook about vegan lunches.)

Edited by Addie, 28 January 2011 - 06:14 AM.


#10 Addie

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 07:52 AM

Well, I went through a depressive episode from coming off lithium and stopped washing or medicating my face and neck. Now I have moderate acne clustered around my mouth, chin, and neck. I feel better back on a full dose of lithium, and I'm hoping cleansing, 2% BHA, and my continuing abstention from milk will clear me up again.

#11 Wynne

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 08:26 AM

I am positive you'll clear up again. Keep that thought in mind: you WILL clear up again.

Take responsibility for your health; read the full prescribing information for any medication you take and understand that not all risks or potential side effects will likely ever be fully known.

=Regimen: Cetaphil Sensitive Skin Bar & Avon Anew Advanced Clinical Retexturizing Peel every day & Queen Helene Mint Julep mask weekly=
*Glycolic Acid Product Recommendations *What to do with a cyst/pimple/zit

Wynne 2.9Beta Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

Please ask questions on the boards, not via PM. That way all benefit. Thanks!


#12 Addie

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 12:48 PM

I'm adding in Aqua Glycolic Facial Cleanser twice a day instead Paula's Choice Hair and Body Shampoo. It helped a little in the past. Let's see what it does now.

#13 headtrip_honey

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 01:11 PM

Good luck!
My Regimen:

Started Accutane 1/12/10! Done as of 7/10/10!

Cleanser:
Neutrogena Foaming Facial Cleanser (AM&PM)
Moisturizer: Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 15 (AM)
Topicals: Paula's Choice 2% BHA Gel (PM)

Other Pills: Velivet, Zinc, Vitamin E, Biotin, Glucosamine/Chondroitin, B Complex vitamins and Iron

Makeup: Lately, none, but when I do:
Meow Cosmetics Frisky Ocicat foundation
and whatever blush, eyeshadows, I deem necessary to wear.
Also, L'Oreal black eyeliner always.

Current Status: Face looking pretty darn good.

#14 rawfoodist

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 04:32 PM

I just wanted to say way to go with the vegan diet. I was already vegan when my severe acne came back, so I went 100% raw. As long as I'm on the raw diet, I'm completely clear. But now that I'm back to being just vegetarian, my acne is back. (I hear gluten is bad for your skin too.) I want to go raw again, but I find it difficult to stay raw, even though I know people who have been raw for years. Anyways, keep it up! eusa_angel.gif

#15 Addie

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 04:23 AM

Thank you guys!

I love being vegan. I feel like I'm making a difference in the world just by what I choose to eat/wear/use. And I think it helps my acne a little bit, too. The food is also delicious. Who knew cheese wasn't mandatory?

The inflammation went down over night. I think it might be the interaction between the BHA and AHA. Perhaps the AHA clears the way, so the BHA can work better, since BHA is related to aspirin and so can help with inflammation. My face is also less oily. Maybe the Aqua Glycolic cleans the oil off better than the Paula's Choice.

#16 Addie

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 03:20 AM

My face looks great today! I used extra BHA last night (like The Regimen, except with BHA) along with washing with the AG. I don't know if it'd make a difference that quickly, but my face sure does look nice today. I just have red marks and mostly healed acne. I'm also on my period, so I'm not breaking out from PMS.

#17 Addie

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 03:22 PM

I've decided to stop picking. I've done so before, but then I'd see my mom, and she'd complain about how I let pustules just sit on my face... Well, I'm not going to let her affect me anymore. Let's see just how much my acne can improve from a purely behavioral change.

As a side note, when I was on Adderall, I got a real picking problem. I'd pick at each pore until it bled. There were wounds from it all over my face and body. I'd wake up several times a night just to go pick. I'd spend hours and hours in front of the mirror just trying to get that last bit of blackhead or pus out. What I'm talking about now is more casual. P.S.: It was the Adderall. The overwhelming urge to pick died after I came off of it. I was also down to tweezing individual hairs off my legs, and that urge died, too. And the urge to chew on my lip so badly, my dentist recommended surgery to remove the scar tissue.

Edited by Addie, 28 January 2011 - 06:15 AM.


#18 Addie

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 03:28 PM

Three pimples were really itching and bothering me, so I picked them. At least I didn't touch any of the other ones that weren't itching or hurting. That's when I usually attack pimples: when they itch or hurt.

#19 headtrip_honey

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 06:26 AM

QUOTE (Addie @ Oct 25 2010, 04:20 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My face looks great today! I used extra BHA last night (like The Regimen, except with BHA) along with washing with the AG. I don't know if it'd make a difference that quickly, but my face sure does look nice today. I just have red marks and mostly healed acne. I'm also on my period, so I'm not breaking out from PMS.


When I first started using BHA I definitely noticed an improvement in inflammation, so that could definitely be a reason why your face looks good!
My Regimen:

Started Accutane 1/12/10! Done as of 7/10/10!

Cleanser:
Neutrogena Foaming Facial Cleanser (AM&PM)
Moisturizer: Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 15 (AM)
Topicals: Paula's Choice 2% BHA Gel (PM)

Other Pills: Velivet, Zinc, Vitamin E, Biotin, Glucosamine/Chondroitin, B Complex vitamins and Iron

Makeup: Lately, none, but when I do:
Meow Cosmetics Frisky Ocicat foundation
and whatever blush, eyeshadows, I deem necessary to wear.
Also, L'Oreal black eyeliner always.

Current Status: Face looking pretty darn good.

#20 Addie

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 09:02 AM

I've been using BHA forever... or maybe just a long time. I started the AHA on the 22nd, though. Thank you for the support!