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Hormonal Acne At 26

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#1 mammasay

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 05:55 PM

Like most of you, I've tried everything for my acne. Topical prescriptions, antibiotics, Accutane, everything available over-the-counter, sun exposure, light therapy. Birth control is the only thing that has ever worked in the slightest, and it actually worked pretty well, but it impacted my moods so negatively that I was about as unhappy on the pill with clear skin as I am off the pill with horrible skin. My mood swings on birth control made me unbearable for others to be around. And I've tried several different pills over the years (Ortho-Tri Cyclen, Yaz, Nuvaring, etc.) I went off Nuvaring a few months ago, because of how it effected me emotionally and because I no longer have health insurance, indefinitely. My skin was actually fine for almost 3 months, which I'm assuming is just a result of my hormones adjusting gradually to the change. Now my skin is basically the worst it has ever been. I have dozens of huge painful pimples and cysts all along my jawline, chin and neck. I actually don't have a single pimple anywhere above the bottom of my nose. I've been on a low-glycemic diet for over a month and haven't noticed any improvement. I consume very little dairy. I drink an enormous amount of water every day. About a week ago I just started taking 1000mg of Milk Thistle twice a day and steaming my face for 15 minutes every night. I also take a vegetarian Multi Vitamin every morning. No matter what I do in my skin cleaning regimen, it doesn't help. I take better care of my skin than anyone I know. That is not the problem, so I'm not even going to bother elaborating on it.

I guess my main question (and please be honest) is: Is there ANY chance that something else will work? Like other supplements, exercise (exercise is the one thing I don't do, because I'm naturally thin and don't inherently enjoy it), the oil cleansing method, a naturopath or some kind of food allergist, etc. I'd take supplement suggestions if they've actually given you an improvement. But I have like, basically no money. Most months I can't afford my rent, so I really can't go out and spend $100+ on supplements that don't do anything. But if it'll actually work, I'd do it. Or is there just no chance that anything but birth control is going to work? I don't have health insurance (or money) right now so that's not even really an option until one of those two changes, but I'd much rather be resigned to that instead of wasting my time and money and energy on anything else that doesn't fix this.

Thanks, and sorry for my horrible attitude. I'm just so fed up.

#2 HelloLovve

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 07:02 PM

Oh do I feel you!!!! I'm 25 (aka too old for this nonsense), I'm also broke (rent was due 5 days ago) and BP was the only thing to help me. Generic Yaz was the only thing that ever cleared me up....I tried Ortho Tri Cyclen, Lo Estrin, Yaz, etc. and nothing worked for me. I went off the BCP's bc I lost my insurance & my fiance got demoted to part-time (gotta love the economy) and couldn't afford to pay for them every month. I started using TCA peels and was getting really good results. Burning off the skin seemed to keep my skin stable, which makes sense because whenever I would get a sunburn my skin would be awesome. Have you ever tried TCA? They are amazing and relatively cheap....$25 for a bottle that I still have and bought about a year ago. They don't hurt. I know some ppl are weary they'll burn themselves, but honestly, it's so easy if you just follow the directions to a T. If you decide to go this route, get them from the Makeup Artist Choice website. I started with the 15% TCA. I have sensitive skin and this was perfect for me. 1 downside to TCA: Your face will look like snake skin and it will peel off. If you don't mind going into public like that, more power to you. I usually wait to do the peel until I have a three day weekend. Day 1 & 2: your face will just be red (ok to go into public), Day 3: Your skin will turn brown and scaly, Day 4: Start to peel, Day 5: Peel city. This was how it worked for me. If you don't want to peel, get a lighter peel, like an 8% or even get a Glycolic peel. Good luck! And know someone is in the exact same boat. Posted Image

Edited by HelloLovve, 05 September 2012 - 07:04 PM.

My Regimen

Morning:
*Apply Olay Regenerist Micropurifying Foaming wash & use Clarisonic
(Love, love, love this thing!!)
*Estee Lauder Day Wear Moisturizer

Night:
*Olay Regenerist Micro-Purifying Foaming Cleanser
*Olay Regenerist Night Recovery Cream

Miscellaneous:
*Yaz BC *TCA Peels (15%) *Steam treatment *Psyllium Husk Caps

Current Status: Clear


#3 alexisc

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 07:46 PM

Have you tried Spirocalone? (spelling might be wrong) I know you say you have tried everything but if you haven't tried that it is an option to consider. It is an anti-androgen that affects your hormones. I haven't tried it myself but based on your post and what I have read from other users it works quite well if your acne is hormonal.

It is my personal opinion that eliminating food allergies is a huge step towards clear skin. Even if you think your acne is hormonal it is all tied together in the body with inflammation. If your body is reacting to a food allergen it could cause inflammation which then affect your hormones. I would suggest doing an elimination diet. You eliminate all common allergens from your diet until you notice a difference in your skin. (should be 1 to two weeks) Then week by week you add in one of the allergens and see if your skin reacts. I know it seems difficult to avoid many foods but it really isn't as hard as it sounds and you will be thanking yourself when your skin clears. Common allergens are: dairy (especially if you have cysts), citrus fruits, nuts, gluten, corn (and any products with corn in them like corn syrup, corn starch), processed sugar and caffiene. Another option is to follow the paleo diet and see if that helps things as well. You could try the paleo diet and then go into eliminating the food allergies. Good things for healing your stomach are meat and fish, bone broth soups, fats, and natural probiotics like yoghurt.

I never would have guessed I'm allergic to corn and gluten so even if you think it can't be an allergy it always can be. My problem area was my chin too. The skin is a huge part of the immune system. Also with the milk thistle, I know it is used to detoxify the liver so if you notice your skin getting worse it is probobly just getting rid of toxins that are stored there.

Love and accept yourself for exactly who you are right now. 

 

25, female, moderate acne since age 12. 

Accutane at least 6 times.
Intolerances: corn & wheat & alcohol.

100% clear, if I follow the diet.

"the absence of flaw within beauty, is itself a flaw."


#4 linali26

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 08:35 PM

I also got on the generic form of yaz. It has worked for me. I also started using dans products. Loving it so far. BTW I am 27. I also eat lots of fruits and veggies daily(bought a Nutribullet) so I can intake more fruits and veggies :). hope this helps. Good luck!

Edited by linali26, 05 September 2012 - 08:36 PM.


#5 Green Gables

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 11:41 PM

Please look at the post in my sig. The big link.

The fact that BC worked for you is great evidence that your acne is hormonally based.

I also did not want all the extra hormonal effects of a hormonal BC. So I have a paraguard IUD for birth control.

For acne, I take spironolactone. It is basically the only simple way to treat hormonal acne if you don't want birth control. Spiro is not BC. It is an anti-androgen. Short version: Excess androgen activity = acne. Spironolactone mutes your androgen receptors and clears your skin.

photo-152109.gif?_r=1345837784?__rand=0.

 

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

 

HOW I STAY 100% CLEAR:

Spironolactone (anti-androgen drug)

Betaine HCL with each meal

Avoiding silicones and occlusives in skin/hair products

 

 

 


#6 HelloLovve

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 04:07 AM

Please look at the post in my sig. The big link.

The fact that BC worked for you is great evidence that your acne is hormonally based.

I also did not want all the extra hormonal effects of a hormonal BC. So I have a paraguard IUD for birth control.

For acne, I take spironolactone. It is basically the only simple way to treat hormonal acne if you don't want birth control. Spiro is not BC. It is an anti-androgen. Short version: Excess androgen activity = acne. Spironolactone mutes your androgen receptors and clears your skin.


Like the OP, my acne is also DEFINITELY hormonal. BC is the only thing that has ever worked for me. Did you just ask your doctor to be put on the Spiro? Everytime I went to the derm they prescribed the same old garbage (Benzaclin & Differin) which is so frustrating because I know it's hormonal, but they wouldn't listen to me. Thanks.

My Regimen

Morning:
*Apply Olay Regenerist Micropurifying Foaming wash & use Clarisonic
(Love, love, love this thing!!)
*Estee Lauder Day Wear Moisturizer

Night:
*Olay Regenerist Micro-Purifying Foaming Cleanser
*Olay Regenerist Night Recovery Cream

Miscellaneous:
*Yaz BC *TCA Peels (15%) *Steam treatment *Psyllium Husk Caps

Current Status: Clear


#7 Green Gables

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 11:38 AM


Please look at the post in my sig. The big link.

The fact that BC worked for you is great evidence that your acne is hormonally based.

I also did not want all the extra hormonal effects of a hormonal BC. So I have a paraguard IUD for birth control.

For acne, I take spironolactone. It is basically the only simple way to treat hormonal acne if you don't want birth control. Spiro is not BC. It is an anti-androgen. Short version: Excess androgen activity = acne. Spironolactone mutes your androgen receptors and clears your skin.


Like the OP, my acne is also DEFINITELY hormonal. BC is the only thing that has ever worked for me. Did you just ask your doctor to be put on the Spiro? Everytime I went to the derm they prescribed the same old garbage (Benzaclin & Differin) which is so frustrating because I know it's hormonal, but they wouldn't listen to me. Thanks.


Yeah, what I did was call a few derms on the phone and ask them specifically if they have treated hormonal acne with spironolactone before....before I paid for an appointment.

If you don't want to do that, go back to your derm, tell them you are really interested in spiro because it worked great for a friend (that friend can be me Posted Image ) and bring this printed out for good measure: http://acne.about.co...ronolactone.htm

Edited by Green Gables, 06 September 2012 - 11:38 AM.

photo-152109.gif?_r=1345837784?__rand=0.

 

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

 

HOW I STAY 100% CLEAR:

Spironolactone (anti-androgen drug)

Betaine HCL with each meal

Avoiding silicones and occlusives in skin/hair products

 

 

 


#8 mammasay

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 12:40 PM

Thanks so much for your responses everyone. It's nice knowing I'm not alone. One of the most isolating things about my skin is that I don't know ANYONE else who has this problem. I'm surrounded by friends and family and coworkers with perfect skin who can't possibly understand what I'm dealing with and it makes me feel so much worse.

Have you ever tried TCA? They are amazing and relatively cheap....$25 for a bottle that I still have and bought about a year ago. They don't hurt. I know some ppl are weary they'll burn themselves, but honestly, it's so easy if you just follow the directions to a T.


I've never tried a peel but I'd definitely be open to it if you had such great results! Thanks so much for this suggestion. How long did it keep your skin clear for/how often did you have to do them?

It is my personal opinion that eliminating food allergies is a huge step towards clear skin. Even if you think your acne is hormonal it is all tied together in the body with inflammation. If your body is reacting to a food allergen it could cause inflammation which then affect your hormones. I would suggest doing an elimination diet. You eliminate all common allergens from your diet until you notice a difference in your skin. (should be 1 to two weeks) Then week by week you add in one of the allergens and see if your skin reacts. I know it seems difficult to avoid many foods but it really isn't as hard as it sounds and you will be thanking yourself when your skin clears. Common allergens are: dairy (especially if you have cysts), citrus fruits, nuts, gluten, corn (and any products with corn in them like corn syrup, corn starch), processed sugar and caffiene. Another option is to follow the paleo diet and see if that helps things as well. You could try the paleo diet and then go into eliminating the food allergies. Good things for healing your stomach are meat and fish, bone broth soups, fats, and natural probiotics like yoghurt.


I've been wondering if an allergy could be to blame as well, since I've read/watched videos from several people who had "hormonal acne" and once they eliminated something it went away. Just out of curiosity, is this something an allergist could test for or is the elimination diet the recommended way to go about it? Not that I can afford an allergist right now anyway, but I ask because I am notoriously BAD at figuring out what my body is trying to tell me, and that whole process seems like something I would just be terrible at and not get any answers from.

As for the paleo diet, I'm sort of on a modified paleo diet as it is. I stopped eating grains, starches and sugar (except fruit, sparingly). The problem is I don't eat meat, except some seafood here and there, and don't really want to start again. Could beans be the problem?

I also eat lots of fruits and veggies daily(bought a Nutribullet) so I can intake more fruits and veggies Posted Image.


Do you like the Nutribullet? I've been wanting to get a juicer for a long time and have recently seen ads for the Nutribullet and couldn't decide which would be best (again, when I have the money).

For acne, I take spironolactone. It is basically the only simple way to treat hormonal acne if you don't want birth control. Spiro is not BC. It is an anti-androgen. Short version: Excess androgen activity = acne. Spironolactone mutes your androgen receptors and clears your skin.


Thanks! I'm pretty sure my acne is caused by excess androgen. I'd definitely be open to Spiro when I get health insurance again if nothing else works. My hesitation is, like BC, I don't really like the idea of being on a prescription drug for the rest of my life. Being on birth control solely for my skin when I hated all of the other side effects made me feel like a prisoner to the drug, and I didn't like that feeling. Maybe I'm stubborn but I'd rather try every other alternative first. Had you tried any alternatives along the lines of diet/exercise/supplements before Spiro and they didn't work? I guess I'm curious if there are legitimate non-prescription ways to control one's androgen levels.

Edit: Oops, nevermind. Didn't actually read your post until after I responded. Sort of disheartening, but good to know Spiro is an option when I get insurance again! I guess I'll try peels in the meantime.

(I hope I did all of these replies right! Sorry in advance if it's all wonky.)

Edited by mammasay, 06 September 2012 - 01:20 PM.


#9 HelloLovve

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 02:23 PM

Thanks so much for your responses everyone. It's nice knowing I'm not alone. One of the most isolating things about my skin is that I don't know ANYONE else who has this problem. I'm surrounded by friends and family and coworkers with perfect skin who can't possibly understand what I'm dealing with and it makes me feel so much worse.


Have you ever tried TCA? They are amazing and relatively cheap....$25 for a bottle that I still have and bought about a year ago. They don't hurt. I know some ppl are weary they'll burn themselves, but honestly, it's so easy if you just follow the directions to a T.


I've never tried a peel but I'd definitely be open to it if you had such great results! Thanks so much for this suggestion. How long did it keep your skin clear for/how often did you have to do them?


When you're first starting out you can do the peel one time every 3 weeks; then 1x every 4-6 months. I did a full face peel the first time, then spot treatment 2 weeks later. My peel was good for about 8 months, then I did another one. SO SO worth the down time.

My Regimen

Morning:
*Apply Olay Regenerist Micropurifying Foaming wash & use Clarisonic
(Love, love, love this thing!!)
*Estee Lauder Day Wear Moisturizer

Night:
*Olay Regenerist Micro-Purifying Foaming Cleanser
*Olay Regenerist Night Recovery Cream

Miscellaneous:
*Yaz BC *TCA Peels (15%) *Steam treatment *Psyllium Husk Caps

Current Status: Clear


#10 linali26

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 06:33 AM

Thanks so much for your responses everyone. It's nice knowing I'm not alone. One of the most isolating things about my skin is that I don't know ANYONE else who has this problem. I'm surrounded by friends and family and coworkers with perfect skin who can't possibly understand what I'm dealing with and it makes me feel so much worse.


Have you ever tried TCA? They are amazing and relatively cheap....$25 for a bottle that I still have and bought about a year ago. They don't hurt. I know some ppl are weary they'll burn themselves, but honestly, it's so easy if you just follow the directions to a T.


I've never tried a peel but I'd definitely be open to it if you had such great results! Thanks so much for this suggestion. How long did it keep your skin clear for/how often did you have to do them?

It is my personal opinion that eliminating food allergies is a huge step towards clear skin. Even if you think your acne is hormonal it is all tied together in the body with inflammation. If your body is reacting to a food allergen it could cause inflammation which then affect your hormones. I would suggest doing an elimination diet. You eliminate all common allergens from your diet until you notice a difference in your skin. (should be 1 to two weeks) Then week by week you add in one of the allergens and see if your skin reacts. I know it seems difficult to avoid many foods but it really isn't as hard as it sounds and you will be thanking yourself when your skin clears. Common allergens are: dairy (especially if you have cysts), citrus fruits, nuts, gluten, corn (and any products with corn in them like corn syrup, corn starch), processed sugar and caffiene. Another option is to follow the paleo diet and see if that helps things as well. You could try the paleo diet and then go into eliminating the food allergies. Good things for healing your stomach are meat and fish, bone broth soups, fats, and natural probiotics like yoghurt.


I've been wondering if an allergy could be to blame as well, since I've read/watched videos from several people who had "hormonal acne" and once they eliminated something it went away. Just out of curiosity, is this something an allergist could test for or is the elimination diet the recommended way to go about it? Not that I can afford an allergist right now anyway, but I ask because I am notoriously BAD at figuring out what my body is trying to tell me, and that whole process seems like something I would just be terrible at and not get any answers from.

As for the paleo diet, I'm sort of on a modified paleo diet as it is. I stopped eating grains, starches and sugar (except fruit, sparingly). The problem is I don't eat meat, except some seafood here and there, and don't really want to start again. Could beans be the problem?

I also eat lots of fruits and veggies daily(bought a Nutribullet) so I can intake more fruits and veggies Posted Image.


Do you like the Nutribullet? I've been wanting to get a juicer for a long time and have recently seen ads for the Nutribullet and couldn't decide which would be best (again, when I have the money).

For acne, I take spironolactone. It is basically the only simple way to treat hormonal acne if you don't want birth control. Spiro is not BC. It is an anti-androgen. Short version: Excess androgen activity = acne. Spironolactone mutes your androgen receptors and clears your skin.


Thanks! I'm pretty sure my acne is caused by excess androgen. I'd definitely be open to Spiro when I get health insurance again if nothing else works. My hesitation is, like BC, I don't really like the idea of being on a prescription drug for the rest of my life. Being on birth control solely for my skin when I hated all of the other side effects made me feel like a prisoner to the drug, and I didn't like that feeling. Maybe I'm stubborn but I'd rather try every other alternative first. Had you tried any alternatives along the lines of diet/exercise/supplements before Spiro and they didn't work? I guess I'm curious if there are legitimate non-prescription ways to control one's androgen levels.

Edit: Oops, nevermind. Didn't actually read your post until after I responded. Sort of disheartening, but good to know Spiro is an option when I get insurance again! I guess I'll try peels in the meantime.

(I hope I did all of these replies right! Sorry in advance if it's all wonky.)


I loove the Nutribullet. It's not messy. It's worth the money. You can.get it at Target or Walmart if you have one ( for $ 100.00). it comes with a book, with lots of great recipes. I just make up my own. You put it 50 % veggies 50% fruits. Check it out!

#11 linali26

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 06:33 AM

Thanks so much for your responses everyone. It's nice knowing I'm not alone. One of the most isolating things about my skin is that I don't know ANYONE else who has this problem. I'm surrounded by friends and family and coworkers with perfect skin who can't possibly understand what I'm dealing with and it makes me feel so much worse.


Have you ever tried TCA? They are amazing and relatively cheap....$25 for a bottle that I still have and bought about a year ago. They don't hurt. I know some ppl are weary they'll burn themselves, but honestly, it's so easy if you just follow the directions to a T.


I've never tried a peel but I'd definitely be open to it if you had such great results! Thanks so much for this suggestion. How long did it keep your skin clear for/how often did you have to do them?

It is my personal opinion that eliminating food allergies is a huge step towards clear skin. Even if you think your acne is hormonal it is all tied together in the body with inflammation. If your body is reacting to a food allergen it could cause inflammation which then affect your hormones. I would suggest doing an elimination diet. You eliminate all common allergens from your diet until you notice a difference in your skin. (should be 1 to two weeks) Then week by week you add in one of the allergens and see if your skin reacts. I know it seems difficult to avoid many foods but it really isn't as hard as it sounds and you will be thanking yourself when your skin clears. Common allergens are: dairy (especially if you have cysts), citrus fruits, nuts, gluten, corn (and any products with corn in them like corn syrup, corn starch), processed sugar and caffiene. Another option is to follow the paleo diet and see if that helps things as well. You could try the paleo diet and then go into eliminating the food allergies. Good things for healing your stomach are meat and fish, bone broth soups, fats, and natural probiotics like yoghurt.


I've been wondering if an allergy could be to blame as well, since I've read/watched videos from several people who had "hormonal acne" and once they eliminated something it went away. Just out of curiosity, is this something an allergist could test for or is the elimination diet the recommended way to go about it? Not that I can afford an allergist right now anyway, but I ask because I am notoriously BAD at figuring out what my body is trying to tell me, and that whole process seems like something I would just be terrible at and not get any answers from.

As for the paleo diet, I'm sort of on a modified paleo diet as it is. I stopped eating grains, starches and sugar (except fruit, sparingly). The problem is I don't eat meat, except some seafood here and there, and don't really want to start again. Could beans be the problem?

I also eat lots of fruits and veggies daily(bought a Nutribullet) so I can intake more fruits and veggies Posted Image.


Do you like the Nutribullet? I've been wanting to get a juicer for a long time and have recently seen ads for the Nutribullet and couldn't decide which would be best (again, when I have the money).

For acne, I take spironolactone. It is basically the only simple way to treat hormonal acne if you don't want birth control. Spiro is not BC. It is an anti-androgen. Short version: Excess androgen activity = acne. Spironolactone mutes your androgen receptors and clears your skin.


Thanks! I'm pretty sure my acne is caused by excess androgen. I'd definitely be open to Spiro when I get health insurance again if nothing else works. My hesitation is, like BC, I don't really like the idea of being on a prescription drug for the rest of my life. Being on birth control solely for my skin when I hated all of the other side effects made me feel like a prisoner to the drug, and I didn't like that feeling. Maybe I'm stubborn but I'd rather try every other alternative first. Had you tried any alternatives along the lines of diet/exercise/supplements before Spiro and they didn't work? I guess I'm curious if there are legitimate non-prescription ways to control one's androgen levels.

Edit: Oops, nevermind. Didn't actually read your post until after I responded. Sort of disheartening, but good to know Spiro is an option when I get insurance again! I guess I'll try peels in the meantime.

(I hope I did all of these replies right! Sorry in advance if it's all wonky.)


I loove the Nutribullet. It's not messy. It's worth the money. You can.get it at Target or Walmart if you have one ( for $ 100.00). it comes with a book, with lots of great recipes. I just make up my own. You put it 50 % veggies 50% fruits. Check it out!