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#21 annaw

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 08:32 PM

day 24

wow! congrats on your marathon! that is such an accomplishment! 13.1 felt like a bunch to me..can't imagine doing it twice back to back..! i am thinking of trying a duathlon next (short course, then maybe long?), then maybe a triathlon. saw PT today, and he told me that continuing running/exercise will not interfere with healing the joint/muscle issues i have through PT..however, PT's expensive if you go as often as they suggest! dunno if i can afford all this..

anyway, felt pretty good today. not stressed. kinda tired from <6 hrs sleep last night (sad.gif), but felt good. maybe low on energy, because i didn't do anything active when i got home, and i ate junk food instead of cooking. i need to meal-plan again. helps me eat right, which helps me exercise.

skin's still not struggling too much with pimples..the ones i have right now are around my chin and jawline. most of them are actually tweezing-related (actually ingrown hairs or something that are resembling pimples). sooo i feel that on day 24, i can say that the pills have made a difference by diminishing the amount of pimples i'm getting, especially cystic ones. what's funny is that i noticed that difference after only a few days! remember i thought it was too soon to actually be seeing results? i thought it was a fluke that the acne was slowing down so soon and that it would return to a normal level before slowing down for real. maybe it's still too early, but there has not been pickup at all since the acne slowed down right when i started the pills...yay!

my face-skin is super flaky right now. my PT was cute and single, and i was embarrassed about my dry face-skin in front of him, hehe. i think this is seasonal for me. i need to exfoliate, but i hope i'm not too harsh on my skin when i do it. left the apricot-scrub that i like in another city, and i'm too cheap to replace it (i have an irrational feeling that i will somehow get it back, along with my phone charger), so i have to be creative in regards to exfoliation right now.

no improvement in excess hair. might even venture to say it is worse on my face..sad.gif however, it may have thinned out on my arms over the course of using those other BCP's, because it seems to have grown out again fully (i waxed it a few months ago), and it looks pretty normal. the only part that doesn't look normal is on my upper arms, where the hair's not supposed to be dark and long, but it still is, so i waxed it off! biggrin.gif i used to have some dark hairs under my belly button too, but they seem to be gone. i hated those BCP's, but maybe they did help a little with body hair, although i cannot say the same for facial hair sad.gif

okies, i think i will shower, play with cats, and meal-plan before i go to bed. although, i'm betting i will only actually accomplish 2 out of those 3. byees biggrin.gif

#22 AAV9186

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 09:15 PM

QUOTE (annaw @ Nov 16 2010, 08:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
day 24

wow! congrats on your marathon! that is such an accomplishment! 13.1 felt like a bunch to me..can't imagine doing it twice back to back..! i am thinking of trying a duathlon next (short course, then maybe long?), then maybe a triathlon. saw PT today, and he told me that continuing running/exercise will not interfere with healing the joint/muscle issues i have through PT..however, PT's expensive if you go as often as they suggest! dunno if i can afford all this..

anyway, felt pretty good today. not stressed. kinda tired from <6 hrs sleep last night (sad.gif), but felt good. maybe low on energy, because i didn't do anything active when i got home, and i ate junk food instead of cooking. i need to meal-plan again. helps me eat right, which helps me exercise.

skin's still not struggling too much with pimples..the ones i have right now are around my chin and jawline. most of them are actually tweezing-related (actually ingrown hairs or something that are resembling pimples). sooo i feel that on day 24, i can say that the pills have made a difference by diminishing the amount of pimples i'm getting, especially cystic ones. what's funny is that i noticed that difference after only a few days! remember i thought it was too soon to actually be seeing results? i thought it was a fluke that the acne was slowing down so soon and that it would return to a normal level before slowing down for real. maybe it's still too early, but there has not been pickup at all since the acne slowed down right when i started the pills...yay!

my face-skin is super flaky right now. my PT was cute and single, and i was embarrassed about my dry face-skin in front of him, hehe. i think this is seasonal for me. i need to exfoliate, but i hope i'm not too harsh on my skin when i do it. left the apricot-scrub that i like in another city, and i'm too cheap to replace it (i have an irrational feeling that i will somehow get it back, along with my phone charger), so i have to be creative in regards to exfoliation right now.

no improvement in excess hair. might even venture to say it is worse on my face..sad.gif however, it may have thinned out on my arms over the course of using those other BCP's, because it seems to have grown out again fully (i waxed it a few months ago), and it looks pretty normal. the only part that doesn't look normal is on my upper arms, where the hair's not supposed to be dark and long, but it still is, so i waxed it off! biggrin.gif i used to have some dark hairs under my belly button too, but they seem to be gone. i hated those BCP's, but maybe they did help a little with body hair, although i cannot say the same for facial hair sad.gif

okies, i think i will shower, play with cats, and meal-plan before i go to bed. although, i'm betting i will only actually accomplish 2 out of those 3. byees biggrin.gif


I'm glad to hear that the spironolactone is working for you! I have decided to go ahead with the progesterone therapy. I got my lab results back today, and all of my hormone levels were extremely low, especially the estrogen. Numerically, it was an 8 when it should have been somewhere around 150. The hormone replacement therapist explained why natural progesterone is more beneficial than birth control pills in treating acne. The synthetic progestin in bcp's can actually cause acne, while the progesterone that we make naturally combats it. Also, estrogen is synthesized from natural progesterone. She seems to think that this will help not only with acne, but also with my moodiness (especially mid-cycle) and sleep disturbances. I mentioned in an earlier post that it was a cyclic course of progesterone; the hormone replacement therapist wants me to take it daily to begin with because my estrogen levels were so low.
My appointment with the dermatologist is in 2 weeks- I am anxious to hear what she will say when I go for my visit. I think my skin has recovered from the horrible initial breakout, but like I said before, I'm still getting a new pimple or two every few days. I also have a nasty one left over from last week (which was the week that I was on my period)- however, I think the progesterone is supposed to help with pimples that arise during that time of the month as well.
Are you giving yourself a few days of recovery after the half marathon? I am not running this week and doing yoga and cross-training instead. I know I'll be getting the itch to go for a run soon though!
I will keep you updated on this progesterone therapy- I hope it works!

#23 annaw

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 09:07 PM

QUOTE (AAV9186 @ Nov 16 2010, 09:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm glad to hear that the spironolactone is working for you! I have decided to go ahead with the progesterone therapy. I got my lab results back today, and all of my hormone levels were extremely low, especially the estrogen. Numerically, it was an 8 when it should have been somewhere around 150. The hormone replacement therapist explained why natural progesterone is more beneficial than birth control pills in treating acne. The synthetic progestin in bcp's can actually cause acne, while the progesterone that we make naturally combats it. Also, estrogen is synthesized from natural progesterone. She seems to think that this will help not only with acne, but also with my moodiness (especially mid-cycle) and sleep disturbances. I mentioned in an earlier post that it was a cyclic course of progesterone; the hormone replacement therapist wants me to take it daily to begin with because my estrogen levels were so low.
My appointment with the dermatologist is in 2 weeks- I am anxious to hear what she will say when I go for my visit. I think my skin has recovered from the horrible initial breakout, but like I said before, I'm still getting a new pimple or two every few days. I also have a nasty one left over from last week (which was the week that I was on my period)- however, I think the progesterone is supposed to help with pimples that arise during that time of the month as well.
Are you giving yourself a few days of recovery after the half marathon? I am not running this week and doing yoga and cross-training instead. I know I'll be getting the itch to go for a run soon though!
I will keep you updated on this progesterone therapy- I hope it works!


yes, please keep me posted on that - it sounds like a more direct way of treating the problem. that's interesting to hear that all your hormone levels were low too. how does this happen?! my doctor thinks i am have a low desmolase enyzme level (just a hypothesis). that's associated with NCAH when it's severe..but maybe mild deficiencies just cause a mild form of NCAH (which is relatively mild when compared to CAH).

day 25

started off-brand yaz (gianvi) placebo pills today. actually, i don't even take them. maybe i would for the routine's sake if i were actually also using it for birth control purposes, but i am not.

noo big changes in skin or hair today. nothing to report.

ate better today - cooked a nice dinner and such. but still didn't get around to exercising - i am feeling directionless with the completed goal of half marathon behind me. i am really interested in doing a duathlon next (run-bike-run), but i'm kind of in revving-up mode, making sure i really can and want to. found a good training plan today..think i may start that soon and be exercising regularly again. i believe i have given myself TOO much rest since the race (11.7). it's been 10 days, and i have only exercised once since then (light recumbent biking and walking). sooo it's time to resume!

that stress/anxiety thing has lessened quite a bit since last week when i felt it the most. that's funny..it was the third week again, just like the first time it happened to me on yaz. maybe feeling anxious is just normal adjustment stuff for me in the third week?

alright..not much to ramble about tonight. biggrin.gif bye!

#24 AAV9186

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 09:35 PM

QUOTE (annaw @ Nov 17 2010, 09:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (AAV9186 @ Nov 16 2010, 09:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm glad to hear that the spironolactone is working for you! I have decided to go ahead with the progesterone therapy. I got my lab results back today, and all of my hormone levels were extremely low, especially the estrogen. Numerically, it was an 8 when it should have been somewhere around 150. The hormone replacement therapist explained why natural progesterone is more beneficial than birth control pills in treating acne. The synthetic progestin in bcp's can actually cause acne, while the progesterone that we make naturally combats it. Also, estrogen is synthesized from natural progesterone. She seems to think that this will help not only with acne, but also with my moodiness (especially mid-cycle) and sleep disturbances. I mentioned in an earlier post that it was a cyclic course of progesterone; the hormone replacement therapist wants me to take it daily to begin with because my estrogen levels were so low.
My appointment with the dermatologist is in 2 weeks- I am anxious to hear what she will say when I go for my visit. I think my skin has recovered from the horrible initial breakout, but like I said before, I'm still getting a new pimple or two every few days. I also have a nasty one left over from last week (which was the week that I was on my period)- however, I think the progesterone is supposed to help with pimples that arise during that time of the month as well.
Are you giving yourself a few days of recovery after the half marathon? I am not running this week and doing yoga and cross-training instead. I know I'll be getting the itch to go for a run soon though!
I will keep you updated on this progesterone therapy- I hope it works!


yes, please keep me posted on that - it sounds like a more direct way of treating the problem. that's interesting to hear that all your hormone levels were low too. how does this happen?! my doctor thinks i am have a low desmolase enyzme level (just a hypothesis). that's associated with NCAH when it's severe..but maybe mild deficiencies just cause a mild form of NCAH (which is relatively mild when compared to CAH).

day 25

started off-brand yaz (gianvi) placebo pills today. actually, i don't even take them. maybe i would for the routine's sake if i were actually also using it for birth control purposes, but i am not.

noo big changes in skin or hair today. nothing to report.

ate better today - cooked a nice dinner and such. but still didn't get around to exercising - i am feeling directionless with the completed goal of half marathon behind me. i am really interested in doing a duathlon next (run-bike-run), but i'm kind of in revving-up mode, making sure i really can and want to. found a good training plan today..think i may start that soon and be exercising regularly again. i believe i have given myself TOO much rest since the race (11.7). it's been 10 days, and i have only exercised once since then (light recumbent biking and walking). sooo it's time to resume!

that stress/anxiety thing has lessened quite a bit since last week when i felt it the most. that's funny..it was the third week again, just like the first time it happened to me on yaz. maybe feeling anxious is just normal adjustment stuff for me in the third week?

alright..not much to ramble about tonight. biggrin.gif bye!



I am starting PA school in May, and I was doing some research in some of my old textbooks from A/P and Pathophysiology (knew they would come in handy one of these days!) regarding fluctuating hormone levels in females...in a lot of cases, exercise can actually decrease estrogen levels. It will not necessarily cause testosterone (the hormone responsible for acne) to rise, but in relation to estrogens, testosterone will seem high. This could be the problem in both of our situations since we both were recently training for long distance races- just a theory.

Anyway, I know what you mean about not having any direction since your race! I was following a pretty strict training plan for 16 weeks up until my marathon- I am not sure whether I am going to miss my early Saturday morning long runs or if I should just relish in being able to sleep late! I think my next event will be a half marathon in February. I may even go for another full marathon in April! I have definitely enjoyed several days off from running since the race, but I'm getting the itch to run again. I think I will probably hold out as long as I can just to prevent injury.

I am a little nervous about this progesterone therapy because I am terrified that if I make any changes my skin will get worse. I am willing to give it a try though, since everything else just seems to treat the symptoms and not the underlying process. Anyway, progesterone therapy is all about achieving hormonal balance- so maybe once I reach that, some of my issues will be cleared up!

Will keep you posted, hope you have a good rest of the week!

#25 annaw

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 08:19 PM

hmmm that's interesting about exercise lowering estrogen levels! that kinda sucks too. it seems like it doesn't affect most women though, or all female athletes would have acne, and i meet so many who have perfect skin. maybe some women have lower levels to begin with and exercising just makes it too low.

day 26

not much to report. still is still pretty clear, mostly just have a few healing pimples and lingering red marks from old ones. it's still very dry and flaky too. haven't gotten around to that exfoliation, hehe.

mood-wise, i was fine for most of the day, except for right after i got to work for a couple hours. i was working 12-8 instead of the normal 8:30-4:30, and i walked into a bunch of busyness. i am off tomorrow and only had a little time to accomplish a lot of work today..which proved to be impossible. i guess i let it go at some point though, realizing that the world would not fall apart, and i would just work to catch up next week. then my mood got better.

i am still dreading those fasting blood tests tomorrow morning :'( i had to move them even earlier into the morning, because i have another appointment that was conflicting..so i am leaving my house, starving and without caffeine at 7 am tomorrow to arrive at 7:30 and be tortured by phlebotomists who jostle needles in my arms for up to 20 minutes because the blood will not flow. :'(

i looked at my arm hair again today heheh biggrin.gif unless it hasn't finished fully growing out yet, i think i can say that it looks even better than it did in jan 2008, when i had some problems, but they hadn't begun escalating yet (like they did when the cystic acne started later that summer). that seems pretty good to me. could be all in my head though.

okay that's all! bye! biggrin.gif biggrin.gif

#26 AAV9186

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 07:32 PM

QUOTE (annaw @ Nov 18 2010, 08:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
hmmm that's interesting about exercise lowering estrogen levels! that kinda sucks too. it seems like it doesn't affect most women though, or all female athletes would have acne, and i meet so many who have perfect skin. maybe some women have lower levels to begin with and exercising just makes it too low.

day 26

not much to report. still is still pretty clear, mostly just have a few healing pimples and lingering red marks from old ones. it's still very dry and flaky too. haven't gotten around to that exfoliation, hehe.

mood-wise, i was fine for most of the day, except for right after i got to work for a couple hours. i was working 12-8 instead of the normal 8:30-4:30, and i walked into a bunch of busyness. i am off tomorrow and only had a little time to accomplish a lot of work today..which proved to be impossible. i guess i let it go at some point though, realizing that the world would not fall apart, and i would just work to catch up next week. then my mood got better.

i am still dreading those fasting blood tests tomorrow morning :'( i had to move them even earlier into the morning, because i have another appointment that was conflicting..so i am leaving my house, starving and without caffeine at 7 am tomorrow to arrive at 7:30 and be tortured by phlebotomists who jostle needles in my arms for up to 20 minutes because the blood will not flow. :'(

i looked at my arm hair again today heheh biggrin.gif unless it hasn't finished fully growing out yet, i think i can say that it looks even better than it did in jan 2008, when i had some problems, but they hadn't begun escalating yet (like they did when the cystic acne started later that summer). that seems pretty good to me. could be all in my head though.

okay that's all! bye! biggrin.gif biggrin.gif
thi

I know what you mean. It does seem that if that were the case, more female athletes/runners would have acne. Most of the female athletes and runners I know do not suffer this problem. I'm not sure why this happens either- like you said, it could be because some females have lower estrogen levels to begin with, or maybe due to a higher sensitivity to changing hormone levels.

#27 annaw

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 07:45 PM

day 28

today is the last day of my first full cycle of off-brand yaz! somehow i still have one day of spiro left...don't know why only 29 come in a bottle.

went to refill both rx's today, and i found out that since yaz has a generic now, i would be charged $35 instead of the $20 i used to pay before the generic were around. i only pay $10 for the generic (until my copays possibly increase in january), so a $25/mo increase did not seem worth it at this point. i did not experience any significant problems during this first month of gianvi, except for the anxiety, but i also experienced that on name-brand yaz. so for now, i will continue with gianvi.

these pharmacists ALSO gave me a hard time about taking spiro and yaz together. one of them didn't seem fully knowledgeable though, because she kept saying that taking yaz is the equivalent of taking 23 mg of spiro..and i kept agreeing and saying that it wasn't enough, so that's why i was taking 100 mg spiro on top of it. i DID get my blood tests done (surprisingly easily) yesterday, so i promised her my potassium levels are being monitored, and i will stop taking them together if it proves to be dangerous. i expect to get my blood test results sometime next week.

acne is still much better. skin is even looking 'good' now - like i feel proud of the way most of my face looks, except for the few marks & little pimples around my chin and mouth. no improvement to facial hair.

mood is good, energy is about a 7.5 out of 10. mm can't think of anything else to report on. can't believe it's only been a month so far though. this past month has been a long one! i hope to see more improvement in my skin this next month, as well as the anxiety symptoms remaining absent. still seems to early to hope for improvement in hair, but you never know! biggrin.gif

#28 annaw

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 10:59 PM

day 31

mm slight downward progression sad.gif a few new, inflamed pimples on the left side of my face along my jawline. it's either from the four days of placebo pills that would've corresponded with the period i didn't have (days 25-28) or from my pillowcase hehe. oh OR it could be from resuming exercise & sweating!

not too bothered by it. anxious to hear back from doctor concerning results of bloodwork - maybe i should call them tomorrow. sometimes they forget about me sad.gif my vision's been kinda weird - i injured my head a couple yrs ago (tongue.gif), which makes one of my eyes get blurred vision under stress or fatigue. i wasn't really feeling either of those today though..maybe it's the potassium! heheh i'm such a hypochonriac - i just don't wanna miss anything though!

energy's been weird - i have felt like crap the past couple mornings and called out sick both yesterday and half of today. i did have a couple late nights over the weekend (not drinking or anything..just up late), but i thought i'd made up for with extra sleep. maybe it's the potassium!! heheh biggrin.gif

okay, speaking of staying up late, i better go to sleep! i have to get up early again for PT, then drive for hours to see family for thanksgiving, remain in family-mode for almost 48 hrs, and drive back friday morning to work at 11 am. (please help me, God biggrin.gif)

#29 AAV9186

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 11:24 AM

QUOTE (annaw @ Nov 23 2010, 10:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
day 31

mm slight downward progression sad.gif a few new, inflamed pimples on the left side of my face along my jawline. it's either from the four days of placebo pills that would've corresponded with the period i didn't have (days 25-28) or from my pillowcase hehe. oh OR it could be from resuming exercise & sweating!

not too bothered by it. anxious to hear back from doctor concerning results of bloodwork - maybe i should call them tomorrow. sometimes they forget about me sad.gif my vision's been kinda weird - i injured my head a couple yrs ago (tongue.gif), which makes one of my eyes get blurred vision under stress or fatigue. i wasn't really feeling either of those today though..maybe it's the potassium! heheh i'm such a hypochonriac - i just don't wanna miss anything though!

energy's been weird - i have felt like crap the past couple mornings and called out sick both yesterday and half of today. i did have a couple late nights over the weekend (not drinking or anything..just up late), but i thought i'd made up for with extra sleep. maybe it's the potassium!! heheh biggrin.gif

okay, speaking of staying up late, i better go to sleep! i have to get up early again for PT, then drive for hours to see family for thanksgiving, remain in family-mode for almost 48 hrs, and drive back friday morning to work at 11 am. (please help me, God biggrin.gif)


At the advice of my mom, I have decided not to proceed with the progesterone therapy at this time. She, along with everyone else, seems to think that consistency is best and that I should just stick with the birth control pills. I am going to give the bcp's another few cycles, and if I still don't notice any improvement, I am going to try the progesterone therapy.

Last week my skin was actually pretty clear- so clear in fact that I went several days without makeup! No leftover red marks, and no new pimples either. Of course that was short lived, as this week I have three nasty new unwelcome visitors on my face.

I am going to the dermatologist on Wednesday for my second appointment. At this point, I don't really feel like any progress has been made with my skin- the only difference I noticed was the initial breakout, which was definitely not a good difference. I feel like my skin is just back to where it was before I started treatment. I have noticed that my skin has been relatively clear in it's normal breakout zones (along right jawline and chin) since the initial breakout. I now just have three spots in random places. I am interested to see what the dermatologist will say, but mostly, I am just sick and tired of dealing with breakouts.

#30 AAV9186

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 10:21 AM

QUOTE (AAV9186 @ Nov 28 2010, 11:24 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (annaw @ Nov 23 2010, 10:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
day 31

mm slight downward progression sad.gif a few new, inflamed pimples on the left side of my face along my jawline. it's either from the four days of placebo pills that would've corresponded with the period i didn't have (days 25-28) or from my pillowcase hehe. oh OR it could be from resuming exercise & sweating!

not too bothered by it. anxious to hear back from doctor concerning results of bloodwork - maybe i should call them tomorrow. sometimes they forget about me sad.gif my vision's been kinda weird - i injured my head a couple yrs ago (tongue.gif), which makes one of my eyes get blurred vision under stress or fatigue. i wasn't really feeling either of those today though..maybe it's the potassium! heheh i'm such a hypochonriac - i just don't wanna miss anything though!

energy's been weird - i have felt like crap the past couple mornings and called out sick both yesterday and half of today. i did have a couple late nights over the weekend (not drinking or anything..just up late), but i thought i'd made up for with extra sleep. maybe it's the potassium!! heheh biggrin.gif

okay, speaking of staying up late, i better go to sleep! i have to get up early again for PT, then drive for hours to see family for thanksgiving, remain in family-mode for almost 48 hrs, and drive back friday morning to work at 11 am. (please help me, God biggrin.gif)


At the advice of my mom, I have decided not to proceed with the progesterone therapy at this time. She, along with everyone else, seems to think that consistency is best and that I should just stick with the birth control pills. I am going to give the bcp's another few cycles, and if I still don't notice any improvement, I am going to try the progesterone therapy.

Last week my skin was actually pretty clear- so clear in fact that I went several days without makeup! No leftover red marks, and no new pimples either. Of course that was short lived, as this week I have three nasty new unwelcome visitors on my face.

I am going to the dermatologist on Wednesday for my second appointment. At this point, I don't really feel like any progress has been made with my skin- the only difference I noticed was the initial breakout, which was definitely not a good difference. I feel like my skin is just back to where it was before I started treatment. I have noticed that my skin has been relatively clear in it's normal breakout zones (along right jawline and chin) since the initial breakout. I now just have three spots in random places. I am interested to see what the dermatologist will say, but mostly, I am just sick and tired of dealing with breakouts.



I went to the dermatologist this morning, and she definitely agreed that after nearly 8 weeks of treatment, there has been no improvement in my skin. She switched my topical medication from differin to tazorac, and she gave me a prescription for spironolactone. 75mg/day. I think spiro is going to help, and I hope I see results as quickly as you did. I will keep you updated!

#31 annaw

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 07:40 PM

QUOTE (AAV9186 @ Dec 1 2010, 10:21 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I went to the dermatologist this morning, and she definitely agreed that after nearly 8 weeks of treatment, there has been no improvement in my skin. She switched my topical medication from differin to tazorac, and she gave me a prescription for spironolactone. 75mg/day. I think spiro is going to help, and I hope I see results as quickly as you did. I will keep you updated!


yay, now we're both on spiro! biggrin.gif i hope it works well for you too biggrin.gif keep me updated! and i'm glad to hear you're on 75 mg - i always feel bad when i see someone on 25 mg, bc i imagine they would not be able to see as many results as they would on a higher dose.

day 41

posts are fewer and farther between these days, sorry. but i'm still here! hmm how's my skin? well i guess i feel like it's about a 7/10 right now. it had worsened between cycles, but it's back to being pretty good, with a small number of new pimples and some recovering ones too. haven't gotten anymore cystic ones since the in-between-cycles outbreak, which is great. those hurt. my skin is still dry and flaky. maybe the weather, maybe the spiro (i haven't been drinking water..!!). still don't have much of an oily-face problem like i did before.

i'm pretty happy with my skin right now though, because even though i have some pimples, my skin's clear where it matters most to me, and the pimples i have aren't painful or colossal. my forehead and cheeks look great. chin and jawline are still struggling some.

ohh i almost forgot to include something significant. soo last year when i first started yaz, i lost my appetite, lost 5 lb, couldn't sleep, and felt queasy sometime during the second month. i have dealt with that this time too (this being my second month). none of it bothers me too much (i kinda like losing weight) except for the insomnia - that's super annoying because i just lay there all night feeling irritable, itchy, and insane hehe. since i'm a vegan, and i stopped taking my b-vitamins a couple months ago (which vegans have to take), it's possible that this is being caused by a b12 deficiency. i will go buy some more vitamins soon.

the insomnia and lack of appetite could be caused by excitement, because i've been starting a relationship with a guy i've liked for some time, and i get that way when i'm excited. OR it could be caused by the yaz (gianvi), which is why i thought it was worth mentioning. it didn't last long last year when it happened, and so far this has lasted two weeks..which seems longer and is making me want to attribute it to the excitement.

mood-wise, i've been great - pretty stable and happy. i have not been angry and irritable like i was during the end of the first month, yay! conditions at work have improved, but there's been some stressful drama surrounding this new guy, so i still have stressors, but i think i'm better-able to handle them right now, which also makes me think the yaz really was causing the anxiety and irritability during the first month.

energy-wise - well, the insomnia is making me tired, and i was spending a bunch of time hosting guests and fostering a stray dog over the past couple of weeks, so i only exercised once. i need to get back into that. despite not getting around to exercising and not getting sleep, i have not been feeling too lethargic, so i think my energy is okay. you gotta watch out for depression on these hormone-pills though!! that's why i always talk about this stuff biggrin.gif

hair - no improvement to report. i was all happy about my arm hair a few posts ago, because i thought it had fully regrown and looked sparser than in the past, but alas, it appears it had not finished growing out, and it looks how it did before hehe. oh well - i am not supposed to be expecting results on this front until april or so, but i notice my hair everyday, and it makes me impatient.

okay, hopefully i'll write again soon biggrin.gif

#32 annaw

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 07:41 PM

ohhhhh i forgot to include something big!

got bloodwork results, and for the first time EVER, ALL of my levels were normal!! hormones, potassium, everything!! so i can keep taking spiro for now, and apparently, my hormones are reacting well to it biggrin.gif

#33 AAV9186

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 05:33 AM

QUOTE (annaw @ Dec 5 2010, 08:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
ohhhhh i forgot to include something big!

got bloodwork results, and for the first time EVER, ALL of my levels were normal!! hormones, potassium, everything!! so i can keep taking spiro for now, and apparently, my hormones are reacting well to it biggrin.gif


The spiro is making a huge difference in my skin! I definitely have not had broken out since I've been on it, and I haven't really had any significant blemishes come up either. I am really amazed at how quickly it works. I go back to the dermatologist in early January, and I think she will be pleased with the results I have had so far!

#34 annaw

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 06:41 PM

11 weeks, 1 day (day 78)

hello! whew i have gone a long time again without posting - sorry! i was so busy over the holidays, and i have been traveling every weekend for a couple months now.

anyway - AAV9186 - i'm glad to hear that you are having success - did you go to the doctor this month? did your doctor acknowledge your progress? are things still going well?

things are still okay over here..but just okay i guess. i feel like i haven't made any progress since the first couple weeks when i noticed that immediate improvement. i've pretty much stayed at that level ever since. i hardly ever have any cystic acne appearing anymore, and my pimples are reduced (from pre-spiro/yaz) and pretty manageable.

i have begun to suspect my tweezing as the culprit behind my pimples..i mean..i guess i always have suspected that. i tweeze my chin/jawling area at least once a day, and as a result, i end up with a lot of irritation, hyperpigmentation, ingrown hairs, and also some real pimples. but they all look like pimples if you just look at me and don't think about it.

i guess i've always chosen tweezing for a few reasons - it completely removes the hair for at least several days, leaving it smooth; it has a reputation for not causing your hair to grow back thicker (like shaving..though i hear that's a myth); and it seems easier and less painful to me than options like waxing or depilatory creams.

well i was reading tonight that tweezing facial hair is like the worst option for women with PCOS (me)! since our blood's hormone levels are already whack, when we tweeze, causing blood to flow to the hair follicle, it messes the follicle up even MORE and make the hair even more manly.

and also, it causes all those things i complain about - hyperpigmentation, ingrown hairs, irritation, and pimples.

this is why i'm not simply satisfied with a pill that reduces acne..i need a pill that also reduces excess hair, because even if all my pimples are decreased/gone, my chin/jawline will still have the appearance of having acne if i'm still having to tweeze it all the time.

i used a depilatory cream tonight, and i think i might try to transition over to doing this instead of waxing until my excess hair situation improves significantly. my skin is sensitive, so i have to be careful (my face is itchy and tingly and a little painful and irritated right now), but i HAVE experimented with depilatory creams in the past, and i know if i just use them sparingly, my skin will be able to handle it.

my hope is that the way my hair grows in will change a bit, because instead of tweezing daily and having all different hairs regrow at different times, i will be addressing ALL the hairs at once on a regular schedule, and they will regrow together and not require me to pay attention to them every day, due to them all growing on different days (due to being tweezed on different days). dunno if that makes sense.

also, i am hoping that the hyperpigmentation, ingrown hairs, etc (everything that resembles acne) will go away, and i will be able to look at my face and actually feel like my acne is gone. cuz right now..it's pretty much gone, but it doesn't really look that way with my chin/jawline situation.

sorry..i know this whole site is devoted to acne, but i'm going to talk just a little bit more about the hair (since acne hasn't changed much and isn't even bothering me very much).

i think i HAVE noticed a slight change in my body/facial hair. my stomach is still pretty hairless compared to the past, and my thighs even look a little better (slightly lighter hair). my arms look a little better too (could be imagining it). but on my face, the change is funny. i think the hair strands are getting just a little bit thinner, and because of how terribly i tweeze my face and the thick skin that's developed on my chin over time, the thin hairs are having a hard time growing in right through the skin.

so i'm getting MORE ingrown hairs, which looks worse. but it's actually making me hopeful. because even though it looks bad now, the ingrown hairs work themselves out usually, and since the hairs are thinner, i won't need to remove as many of them over time (i'm only worried about the thick/dark ones). so the quantity doesn't seem to have decreased, but the thickness does, and that makes me happy.

as for mood and energy level, my mood has been great and stable. i really attribute that to the yaz, because this is how i felt the first time i took yaz (i'm seeing a correlation biggrin.gif). (oh and i'm still on the off-brand yaz (gianvi), but it's easier to say yaz, cuz no one will recognize 'gianvi' (or hardly anyone).

my energy is only decreased in how it relates to my exercising. i was an exercising fiend before..running the half marathon and all. i remember the other time i was on yaz, i was also less motivated to exercise, and when i did exercise, i kept it light. i almost feel like my heart just doesn't want to do anything too rigorous. i don't mind, except that i was getting interested in the idea of doing more running or biking races, and i don't feel up to it. i also don't want to lose my tone. i was proud of my muscles before.

i HAVE lost about 10 pounds on this combo of yaz/spiro. i guess it's mostly water weight, but my body looks a little different - my legs are leaner, and my pants fit a lot looser. the combo of not exercising (losing muscle) but simultaneously losing weight has made my body composition different from before. i'm smaller and skinnier, but also a bit pudgier in ways..like my arms are squishy, and i feel like i see more fat on myself. overall, i probably look just a little bit better, but i wish i could keep my tone.

i messed around with the weight loss to see how profuse it is..over the holidays (and even this week/today), i ate soooo unhealthily - carbs, sugar, carbs, sugar, and more sugar. i've had like 2x the recommended amount of fat each day, but i'm still not gaining any weight back. so that's making me think the weight loss is very profuse. even eating TONS of junk for a month did not reverse it. i wonder if i would've lost even more weight if i'd been eating healthily during that time. i guess i could test it by starting to eat healthily again..i've been meaning to get around to it hehe.

i'm not used to having to buy new clothes because my clothes are too BIG though. i'm already kinda small. i started around 118, and now i'm between 106 & 111 depending on when i weigh myself (fluctuates during the day). i don't want to lose too much weight, or then i have to spend a bunch of money on all new pants!

sorry..i didn't have much to say about the acne. and i hope no one felt obligated to mull through the rest of the rambling i included, but it's helpful and enjoyable for me to be able to keep a record of my thoughts and progress in this way (even if i'm not being as consistent as i'd hoped).

i hope i can remember to update again soon! biggrin.gif

#35 annaw

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 08:45 PM

20 weeks + 2 days (day 142)

helloooo! updates! sorry, but i was not strong enough to test out my non-tweezing theory. that required letting hairs grow in, and i really feel too uncomfortable if i do not remove them daily!

but as for my skin, it's pretty great! little to no pimples, and my face looks so much clearer in general. i am hardly wearing any makeup compared to before (just a little powder in the morning).

i found out a month ago that i have MONO! AND i've had it since november! i didn't know what was wrong for the longest time (i've had sooo many different symptoms, it's ridiculous), so i wasn't resting at all. it about killed me, literally, but i'm doing much better now.

that weight loss i was mentioning was most likely all due to mono (not spiro/yaz), since i weighed my least at its worst & and now gaining most of it back as i'm almost feeling normal again. mono actually permanently damaged my vision though sad.gif hard to explain, but it basically caused my eyes to swell so badly at one point that it caused a posterior vitreous detachment.

as for my energy, well..i cannot make any comments about how yaz/spiro are affecting that until the mono is gone - i just feel tired a lot & have for awhile now. my spirits are good though!

i haven't had a period since i started yaz/spiro in october. that's not healthy, so the dr. told me to start skipping my spiro pills during the four inactive yaz days each month & see if that makes my period return.

back to my skin, i went through a period when it was really dry all the time. i previously attributed that to the spiro/yaz, but now that my skin is not as dry anymore, i'm wondering if it was actually just correlating with having mono. mono dehydrated me to the point of hospitalization. my skin's fine now - hardly any dryness.

as for the excess hair, i still feel like i have seen mild improvement on my thighs, arms, and stomach (well especially stomach..that's still looking good). but my chin/face is still bothering me. i almost wonder if i've tweezed and messed with the hairs so much that they are at a point of no return, and they are permanently 'terminal' now. i still have hope though, since i was told to not even expect improvement until the 6-month mark. i have not yet hit the 5-month mark. they said it was because it took 6 months for a hair cycle to complete & the new hair to grow in.

i wonder if anyone reads this. at least i have a little bit of history to look back on and track my own progress. for anyone considering yaz or spiro, i am still satisfied with them at this time and don't feel that i'm experiencing any negative side effects (besides no period) - i would still recommend them! biggrin.gif

#36 annaw

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 08:49 PM

22 weeks + 6 days (day 160)

wow, it's only been 2 weeks, and i'm posting again already! that mono really wiped me out for awhile. i'm finally feeling well again & have walked twice this week for light exercise (first exercise in months!).

i wouldn't have thought to update except that i was looking in the mirror today and noticed that my skin looked pretty nice. AND yesterday, someone was looking at me in the car (which is a scary spot for me with the sunlight shining in on my face), and they told me i had really nice skin...! i was like "WHAT?! ME?!"

i remember the last time i took yaz, people would compliment me on my skin too, which was so absurd to me. even though there's been such great improvement, and i'm mostly clear now, i still think of myself in my head as a bad-skin person.

did i mention the weird red, rough patch of skin that has been growing on my cheek last time? i think it started at the very beginning of my mono, and it's gotten bigger. it's a dark, dented looking spot covered in rough, dry skin, and it looks like it has some faint red dots in it that are latent pimples or something. it's still very small, but it has grown from being about the size of a pea to the size of a dime. i googled like a hypochondriac and found everything from rosacea to skin cancer. it's not very noticeable (my boyfriend swears he can't see it, but i think he's lying), but i'm so OCD about this stuff. just thought i'd mention it.

hair issues are the same. the end of this month will mark 6 months, the 'earliest' point at which i am allowed to expect improvement on that front. i still feel like my arms and legs are better. not my face though. sad.gif

#37 asar

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 07:45 PM

QUOTE (annaw @ Apr 4 2011, 08:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
22 weeks + 6 days (day 160)

wow, it's only been 2 weeks, and i'm posting again already! that mono really wiped me out for awhile. i'm finally feeling well again & have walked twice this week for light exercise (first exercise in months!).

i wouldn't have thought to update except that i was looking in the mirror today and noticed that my skin looked pretty nice. AND yesterday, someone was looking at me in the car (which is a scary spot for me with the sunlight shining in on my face), and they told me i had really nice skin...! i was like "WHAT?! ME?!"

i remember the last time i took yaz, people would compliment me on my skin too, which was so absurd to me. even though there's been such great improvement, and i'm mostly clear now, i still think of myself in my head as a bad-skin person.

did i mention the weird red, rough patch of skin that has been growing on my cheek last time? i think it started at the very beginning of my mono, and it's gotten bigger. it's a dark, dented looking spot covered in rough, dry skin, and it looks like it has some faint red dots in it that are latent pimples or something. it's still very small, but it has grown from being about the size of a pea to the size of a dime. i googled like a hypochondriac and found everything from rosacea to skin cancer. it's not very noticeable (my boyfriend swears he can't see it, but i think he's lying), but i'm so OCD about this stuff. just thought i'd mention it.

hair issues are the same. the end of this month will mark 6 months, the 'earliest' point at which i am allowed to expect improvement on that front. i still feel like my arms and legs are better. not my face though. sad.gif


Hey there smile.gif
I am exactly one month behind you with spiro. I am glad its working out for you. Its going alright for me as well. I am specifically just taking it for my silly monthly acne due to periods. Like yourself, I consider myself an OCD and a hypochondriac. lol Also, I am a bad picker, if nothing else I would just pick off my dry skin. I am kind of going through the same with a bigggggg pink extremely flakey mark on my cheek but mine was after mindless picking. which left a huge nail mark cut on my skin, and then of course I totally forgot to put any antibiotic ointment on it. And it ended up getting infected. So here I am, even if I am not getting pimple, I am giving myself stupid marks. I wish it would just end soon.
I wish you luck. And sorry for renting on and on...


#38 Miss CP

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 02:07 PM

Why not try laser hair removal for the hair on your face? I had it done on my Armpits and Bikini line and it's fantastic, I no longer get ingrown hairs and red bumps in those places smile.gif

#39 annaw

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 08:29 AM

Miss CP - thanks for the suggestion! i've read a lot about laser hair removal, and i have been regarding it as my last resort for several reasons.

1) for me, the excess hair and acne are signals of an underlying problem related to PCOS & an enzyme deficiency. i am trying to cure them by treating the cause (through medication & diet) if possible.

2) it is too expensive for me right now.

3) not everyone seems to have as much success as you experienced.

it's encouraging to hear that it worked for you though, and if i still have this problem in a few years (when i have more money & have tried everything else), then i will definitely pursue it!

asar - thanks for your message. i'm a bad picker too (and always have been). i didn't start to improve in that area until i read stuff on this website about how touching and picking make acne worse. i still have problems with from time to time i have found that putting ointment on a pickable spot helps to heal it more quickly and to moisten it so much that it's not tempting to pick anymore (no longer flaky & such).

25 weeks + 2 days (day 177)

next monday marks 6 months! my skin still looks incredibly better, but i actually got my first cystic pimple in ages this week! it's painful and swollen on my right cheek. i have a theory that i caused it from sleeping on an unclean pillow case. or...my boyfriend has exzcema, and i believe that the lotions he uses on his face clog my pores when our faces touch and have caused pimples on my face at least a few times. this could also be his lotion's fault!

i know i'm always talking about my excess hair, but i can't help it. it's the only area that i'm really still looking for significant improvement to happen in. i wish i had close-up pictures of my arm hair from several months ago. i swear it looks different to me now than in the past, but i have no way of knowing for sure whether it's just in my head or not. it looks blonder and lighter. i had very obvious, darker hair on the backs of my upper arms before too. i still have hair there, but that also seems lighter and sparser to me now.

starting next monday, i can presumably start looking for and expecting to see excess hair improvements. i think by 9 months (july 26), i will be able to make a real call on whether or not spiro/yaz have done anything for my hair problems.

i am moving to another city 3 hrs from here on may 6. i suddenly got a job there, and they gave me one month to pick up everything and go there. i'm super excited (especially b/c i was blessed with a $1400/mo luxury townhome all to myself for $450/mo through july 31), but moving, leaving a job, and starting a new job are all stressful things. pray for me! biggrin.gif

#40 annaw

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 05:59 PM

36 weeks & 4 days (day 256)

as far as acne is concerned, mine is pretty much completely cleared up now! the other day i realized i didn't have a SINGLE pimple anywhere. i still get 1-2 pimples during the placebo-pill days when i'm not actually on the meds, but that's it. i haven't had a cystic pimple in a LONG LONG time!

as for my excess hair, my arms and stomach still look considerably better than they did in the beginning. the darker hair appears to be being replaced gradually by blonde hair. i THINK my legs have improved a little, but it's hard to tell, and i'm still not seeing any difference on my face. in fact, i wonder if it's gotten worse. but i'm still tweezing, and i don't think people can tell. the tweezing does leave irritation and ingrown hairs, and i think that part is noticeable, but it's pretty subtle.

as for energy & health - well i thought i was over mono when i started having extreme digestive problems for 2-3 weeks. then i got a UTI. i was put on antibiotics, which made me feel like crap. right after the antibiotics, i had a sore throat, headache, and fever for about a week. i've been unusually tired for the last month or so. i've even been feeling depressed.

i asked my pharmacist this week about the possibility of spironolactone acting as an immunosuppressant (due to something i'd read on wikipedia). she said she'd need to research it & call me later, and i got a voicemail from her saying that spiro might actually weaken the immune system in the same way that long-term steroid use weakens it. THAT would explain why i have been sick with something almost NON-STOP since two weeks after starting the spiro.

the pharmacist said spiro can also cause fatigue & weakness, which would explain why i still haven't been able to pick my exercising back up. i just feel so weak now everytime i try to exercise, and i've only been able to run maybe a dozen times since i started spiro. i was running ALL THE TIME until i started spiro - remember the half marathon?

so am i going to stop taking spiro? no, not at this point. i am not yet convinced that spiro is the cause of my poor health since november. i'd like to give it more time so i can see the full extent of its benefits (as they apply to hair at this point) and so i can see if my malaise/illnesses will eventually stop. i suspect that having contracted mono & getting beaten up by that for months could be independently predispose my immune system to a lot of the trouble i've experienced recently.

oh and i haven't been to the doctor in a long time because of the move. i didn't get a chance to see her in march as i'd planned, and now that i've moved & have a new job, my good health insurance won't begin til sept. i'm on some cheap, crappy interim health insurance in the meantime. come september, i'd like to find a doctor in the new town i live in, get their opinion, and have some labs run. smile.gif