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Reaching Out To Adults That Perhaps Have Gone Through Similar Things?

birth control adult acne topicals

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#1 Ukulala


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Posted 25 June 2012 - 07:06 PM

Hey, friends. So I had this thought - perhaps I'd reach out to this community and see if anyone has gone through a similar thing as I am, in hopes of learning more of what my body is trying to tell me, find out what worked for others, and get my skin clear! I know I can do this... I just have to find what works for me. :}

A quick background.

25 now, went through the usual acne stuff in my teens, but had it 100% under control with whatever topicals the derm prescribed. Never had any issues at all, honestly - a rogue pimple here or there, but I barely thought about it. Went on birth control at 18, and spent the next 5 years basically beating my skin up (now that I know, that is; at the time, I had no idea) with absolutely no consequences. Used whatever face wash, applied Differin most nights, and was compleeeetely fine. Ate like hell, too! Ate all sorts of awful things. Heaps of sugar, dairy, refined carbs, you name it. I've never been a fast food kind of gal, and for a college kid, I ate okay ... but I definitely wasn't very healthy. Again - rogue pimples here or there, but no biggie.

Started traveling at 23 and had some breakouts, but they went away quickly (likely because of the differin? I used it for yeeeears); was prescribed epiduo not long after to keep even those at bay (funny, because when I look back, I can see the cause of the slight breakouts and how I could have fixed 'em myself, but I had no idea at the time).

Anyhow, I came off of BC at the end of 2010. No issues, at least for a moment. 5-6 months later, I stopped taking an antidepressant I had taken for years and years (lexapro, an SSRI). About six weeks later, I started breaking out; my period stopped coming, I gained a BUNCH of weight in only the midsection, and I was moody and crazy.

Two months into that, and no cycle, my skin EXPLODED. I mean just went WILD. Deep, cystic bumps like I had never seen before; I was breaking out in a capacity I was absolutely unfamiliar with. That's when I joined this site and started desperately doing research. I figured it was a combination of liver and hormones messing me up and attempted to fix the problem myself.

...To no avail, really. Thankfully, my cycle evened out after a bit, I dropped the weight, and I got my moods back in order. (Also did a liver cleanse under the guidance of a naturopath who I don't think really fully listened to me) But the breakouts persist! They're not nearly as bad as they were during the worst of it, but they are most definitely persistent. I finally broke down in May and went to a derma, who prescribed me the usual rigamarole (retin-a, clindamyacin topical and a sulfur face wash). Of course, it's too soon to tell how that's working (bleh), so I'm still on the lookout for .... better things.

I have an appointment with a (totally different) naturopath on Friday, who I hope upon hope will help me figure this out. I am positive I can attack this naturally, I just have to figure out how, and, exhausted from seemingly trying every damn thing in the book, I went for the chemy route recently - but I hope to drop that someday.

Sorry that's a bit long, but I figured I'd reach out to the expertise present around here and see if anyone has any ideas? I'm a pretty darn healthy girl nowadays - no dairy, no refined carbs, whole foods diet, (good) meat about once a week, and I exercise and get plenty of sun and etc. This stuff is making me crazy! So here's hoping I can fix it, eh?

Onward and upward! Thanks, folks.
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

#2 *Emily*


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Posted 26 June 2012 - 08:18 AM

Hi Ukulala

Good luck with it all. My situation isn't quite the same, but not too far off ( I have a long thread titled something like "at a loss after 24 years").

My skin flared up really badly a couple of years ago after being put on Mirena (progesterone coil) and though I have been off it over a year now my skin hasn't recovered. I am also seeing a naturopath and taking a mix of herbs and supplements prescribed by him, and have cut wheat, dairy and sugar out of my diet. I have seen an improvement, but still break out every other day, so there's always something horrible somewhere on my face (but not over whole huge areas of it anymore!)!

Have just gone back to the dr and been prescribed nicotinamide and got a referral to a dermatologist.

Sorry, I don't really have any suggestions, I just wish you good luck, and keep trying things that you find have worked for other people on here.

If I have any breakthroughs I will share!
Skincare routine:
am: wash with water only, BP, tiny amount of Dan's moisturiser if needed.
pm: wash with Dead Sea sulphur soap, BP

Diet: wheat, dairy, sugar free

Pre/probiotic, 2 fish oil caps, 2 starflower caps, zinc, multivitmin

#3 Green Gables

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 01:54 PM

Birth control affects hormones. Antidepressants affect hormones. You were on both for so long that your body may never go back to its nice state of hormones where you didn't have acne.

I think your options now are go back on birth control (a moderate to high estrogen pill, more estrogen = less acne, why you could "beat up" your face before), or go on spironolactone.



I don't get notified of your response to my post unless you QUOTE my post.

Please only quote a small portion of the post so it doesn't clutter up the thread. 


How to Treat Hormonal Acne

Good and Bad Birth Control Pills and Implants for Acne

How to take Spironolactone

List of Doctors Who Prescribe Spironolactone

Topicals for Hormonal Acne



Spironolactone (anti-androgen drug)

Betaine HCL with each meal

Avoiding silicones and occlusives in skin/hair products




#4 Ukulala


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Posted 26 June 2012 - 05:42 PM

Hm. I'm hoping the naturopath can help me get back in balance naturally, but my thought is if I go through that and the topicals I'm on right now don't work, yes, I will consider other hormonal options.

I'd rather not, though ... and I really think I can do this without more medicines!! SO THERE, UNIVERSE.

Oh - and thanks for both responses, by the way!
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

#5 cvd



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Posted 29 June 2012 - 11:35 AM

I hope you can go natural and that it works! It never worked for me and I tried everything...sorry! I was told by my derm that some people, especially women, are very sensitive to androgens. Upsetting hormones (stopping BC, etc.) can trigger even more sensitivity. But that said you may just be sensitive in general. This means that it helps for you to take something that blocks androgens. Spiro is really good for this without affecting hormones in other ways. It is a really old drug, is relatively simple in design (gentle diuretic) and safe to use longterm. I really like the regime I'm on (below). A key element of it is monthly microdermabrasions. I think they make a huge difference in my pores staying open.

Hope this helps!

Status - 99.9% clear

Morning - Panoxyl 4 Cleanser (BP), Cleocin-T, DML Lotion, Physician's Formula SPF 30 Mineral Pressed Powder, Spiro 50 mg (weaning off)

Night - Cetaphil Antibacterial Bar, DML Lotion

Monthly - Professional microdermabrasion

Diet - Whole high nutrient unprocessed foods.  Avoid oils, dairy, sugars, bread, nuts, alcohol, caffeine, and fermented foods.

Supplements - Opti l-zinc, citrical + D3

Daily - Walk, breath deeply, meditate and do yoga daily, wear hats for sun protection 



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