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It’s really awesome to have this log to update on, cuz even tho I’m not on spiro I feel like I’m going through a lot of the same things u guys are.

Ha, so as far as the cupcakes/ice cream/pizza/coffee increasing testosterone—it’s kind of a few degrees of separation thing but there actually is a biological link in the way it played out. But don’t fear—if you put a cupcake in your mouth you’re not going to directly knock your testosterone through the roof…doesn’t work quite like that. It takes a lot more time and basically results when your body does not burn the sugar that you are consuming. So basically, when you’re consuming really high sugar things often, and especially not being super active (I was working on my feet eight hours a day but unfortunately that’s not quite enough), there’s an increased risk of building up insulin in the blood, because that’s what (unused) sugar is converted into. Insulin is actually a hormone. So now you see the start of the hormonal issues. Blood sugar will rise over time as well if this is happening. I wasn’t even probably consuming that many more calories than I did previously, its just that a lot more of them were coming from simple sugars (literal sugar and white flour based things). I had never paid that much attention to nutrition cuz I’d always been really healthy, so I didn’t realize this change in eating was having these kind of effects. Put simply: I used to exercise a lot, and eat a loss sugar, then I stopped exercising, and like doubled or tripled my sugar intake.

Anyway, most things about pcos say it takes place usually as a (build up) result of insulin resistance. I don’t want to box anyone in and say this is the case for all ppl, some ppl might have such a strong genetic component that no matter what they do they wind up with the symptoms…but for a lot of girls, like myself, mine was definitely a combination of nature vs nurture, in that I helped pull the trigger (kind of dislike that expression but it works). But so back to the hormones, the insulin literally builds up in your blood, and your body isn’t able to use all of it for energy, cuz it’s in excess, and then the free insulin ends up working on your other hormones. So basically being on bcp’s, like others have experienced, can be kind of a cover for a lot of pcos symptoms. The bomb doesn’t go off until you stop taking the pills, because basically you’ve been supplementing with “good” hormones (estrogen and progesterone) and when you pull those out of the equation, the testosterone is allowed to shoot upwards because it doesn’t have those female hormones competing for dominance in the mix anymore.

From here you’re basically just screwed because the testosterone becomes dominate very fast. It sends signals to the pituitary gland in complicated ways that I don’t know about which basically creates more testosterone. You stop ovulating etc. Your estrogen/progesterone get very very low. And like skindeep mentioned, you crave carbs really bad. Sugar and bread basically. These things do, esp in a hormonally unstable environment, increase testosterone as well. I hope I am not writing too much here so maybe I’ll bring it to a close but there is a really loose interpretation of how I’ve gleened things to work after speaking to the gynocolegist and hitting up Wikipedia a number of times (as well as reading a fair amount of ‘questionable’ science on the interweb J). If you have anything to correct, add, or personal experiences let me know. Oh and you mentioned it took 18 months after bcp’s for your androgens to get elevated, so that sounds like it means you’re body had a lot easier time fighting to maintain the estrogen and progesterone as dominate, but as time progressed, the androgen slowly crept up a little. I don’t think doctors are quite alarmist enough about elevated androgens because a lot of women, especially those dealing with acne, probably have an androgen sensitivity issue. Like, being on the low end of the testosterone spectrum is probably what your body prefers, so for you, or whoever, even slightly elevated androgens are a problem, even though you fall within the “normal” range.

ok for all my tech saviness I can't figure out the best way to upload a photo. The image button didn't work.

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Hello Miss Stacey!

I'm just checking in. How are you today?

I wanted to tell you that it's now mid week 9 on spiro and I have noticed a change in my acne. My pimples are going away faster, they seem smaller and less inflamed. Exciting stuff, right?

I also wanted to tell you (and anyone else who reads) about something I did that really helped me emotionally this week. First, I wrote a letter to that part of me who is always critical, telling me I'm ugly and unworthy and that my skin will never improve. It's telling me "f--- it!" Just give up, eat a bunch of sugar, don't exercise, don't hang out with your friends, and don't strive for happiness in general. I know, sounds harsh, but that's how I talk to myself and even worse sometimes.

So I wrote basically a piece of hate mail to this voice inside that is always bringing me down. I just let it ALL out. I wrote things like "How dare you rob me of my God given right to happiness?!" And "You have no right to say the things to me that you do. You are a bully!" Etc. There was a lot of CAPS and "!!!" involved... Then I read it, took a match, burned it, and flushed it down the toilet. I immediately felt hugely relieved! I didn't realize how much anger and resentment I had for this person, who really is just a part of me. But getting it all out took a lot of weight off my shoulders. I also plan on writing to that same critical voice again, this time sending it a love letter.

The next day I took myself to Sephora and the beauty expert there helped me find a really great concealer and foundation. She spent a long time finding the perfect makeup for me and we got to talking about acne. Her skin actually looked a lot like mine and we got into this deep conversation about all things acne related. It was honestly fantastic to meet someone who genuinely understood exactly what I was going through and to finally just have an open conversation about it.

And, the makeup is great! It doesn't seem to clog my pores, and it covers really well. I'm not flawless or anything, but it's the best I've looked in months! I feel more self confident and actually take pride in dressing up again. It's something I realize that I had sort of given up, but taking back my feminine beauty through great makeup has been really significant for me.

Anyway, I'm longwinded as usual, but I really wanted to share that story. Don't forget to treat yourself to beautiful things and go ahead and get dressed up! You don't have to wait until your skin is perfect.

Sending lots of support your way!

Sierra

skindeepstory.wordpress.com

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Whew I clicked the wrong button and my post deleted itself, maybe this one will be more excitingsmile.png. Sierra-thats very interesting and bodes quite well for you...high insulin levels are one of the crappier parts. I am fascinated by the scientific aspect as well and feel empowered by it too...thank you for telling me that, I had kind of framed it as a spectrum in my mind, now I see it even more so. I don't think my body has a super strong ability to naturally produce that much estrogen/progesterone. But the testosterone definitely added insult to injury weeeeh.

I'll have to read your guys most recent updates on see how spiro is going. My skin is alright....the black soap is definitely making the acne, how do I say this, come out through my skin. I guess you've probably read that it purges your skin. Kind of like turns the acne inside out, lol. It actually sort of looks "worse" but I don't really care because I'd rather have it doing something than hiding beneath the surface forever. Some lights are worse than others....ugh. The light at the ymca I go to is so fluorescent I pretty much ran out of the bathroom.

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Misssac-

Hmmm thats interesting to me because your skin trouble began more after you started your period. Hormones are so complex. I guess even that slight elevation of testosterone when you're menstruating can brew trouble down to the skin level.

From what I read, exercising, even with weights, shouldn't increase your testosterone really! The only circumstances would be like if you were a professional athlete, and even then, probably not that much, or a weightlifter. If anything exercise helps hormones by putting insulin/blood sugar to use, revving your metabolism, etc. so maybe even if you had continued to exercise you would have started menstruating anyway, it's just that you had the injury and it seemed to happen as a result. The whole time I exercised I had a regular period, when I stopped bcp, and became inactive, it stopped. Did your doctor have a theory on why your period came so late?

My regimen: Morning, wash with water or black soap. Sometimes i'm not quite ready for the black soap in the morning so I wait till the afternoon. It's kind of intense! Either way I wash with it twice a day, and on my back too, where there's some acne (fun!). I also use salycilic acid pads once or twice a day on my face (2%) depending if I feel my skin is too irritated or not. the black soap has a very slight burn to it, but not scary like from a chemical. its made from burnt leaves so i guess its just burning plants. I use a little shae butter sometimes because that was recommended with the black soap, it's pretty greasy but I don't think it exacerbates acne at all. mostly around my eyes.

Ah so you've done no dairy before? I'm still doing it, its not quite as hard as I expected. Eating less fruit and chocolate is harder than no dairy. oh and your skin might be gurgling from the probiotics in yogurt if its not doing it from other dairy. which, if from the probiotics is a good or at least harmless thing :). unless it hurts bad.

ps-never done spiro. the gynocologist was adamant i try bcps before anything else. seems spiro is kind of just "extra" bcps. even some birth control has higher hormones than spiro from what I thought I saw on wiki

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omg u guys. i just googled 'acne conglobata'. i feel like i need to be more grateful wow.

& if u guys know how to upload pics ill post em from my cellphone.

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Day 28 (week4) 25mg

Hey guys I will reply to your posts soon, I just wanted to really vent. I feel so so shitty right now, like Ive just finished crying, I think I'm finished. I'm just having a really really bad day. My skin is TERRIBLE TERRIBLE TERRIBLE today - Im not even kidding. Im so fucknig sick of looking this ugly, I have clogged pores all over basically and little raised spots on the tops of my cheeks on each side, my chin is worse and my forehead IS the worst.

I had this thing today at college where we went to a High School to be ambasadors for this "Science Squad" thingy, and I went to the bathroom there - it had those horrible fluorecent lighting (the ones that seem to show EVERY imper-fucking-fection) - and honestly the state of my face is disgusting. I want to burn it off and just like re-new it or something, Im actually fed up of it. I don't know if its the Spiro or what but I used a facemask last night so it could be that, however I've never had this reaction to the facemask before.

Anyway, Im sorry to be total depressed and stuff but its only fair that I post about my bad days too. Well this is a bloody bad day. I look horrible honestly. I took pictures too so Im gonig to upload them. Hopefully it works.

gallery_181655_12790_114814.jpg

gallery_181655_12790_143694.jpg?13631096

gallery_181655_12790_42347.jpg

UGH. Just UGH. The bumps are honestly everywhere! It looks so horrible, sooo horrible. I know there must be a reason why I have acne, why WE have it..a lesson we must learn from it, but the fact that its making me feel this THIS shitty, it really isn't worth it, not today - I just don't want this today.

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Hey-- agh im sorry for the shitty day...I know the feeling...esp when you have a few shit days in a row, not cool. the red marks and bumps are very surface level so look like they will not leave marks. just keep positive and try to keep anything harsh away from them since they are still in the healing phase. what antidepressant are you on? Because that can really be a big factor in this. I actually just went back on a low dose of one I was on previously, prozac. I was not enamored with the decision cuz i'd rather be on nothing, but after 10 months being off of it I had to be honest that I was not doing well with anxiety and depression. But if you find a good one for you, at the right dose, it can help a lot, esp with things like sleep. if you want to talk about that at all, i'm kind of like a non-expert expert, a lot of ppl in my family have been on them.

"Isn't Spiro ment to help regulate hormones? Or is that if you take it alongside a BCP?" it seems spiro should do some regulating of hormones...i just read about it on wiki and along with anti androgene properties, it has weak progesterone and indirect estrogen effects. sucks that its taking this long tho. r u not wanting to do bc again?

I really think black soap might help you. I know you've probably heard of like 1000 things that "might help you" but yeah, it really takes control of those pores and dries them up. theres a great link of a thread on here i should post.

im gonna post some recipes of good things to eat when you're craving sugar cuz i have a lot of time on my hands right now..

Smoothie:

one cup coconut milk/flax milk/soy milk (I use unsweetened cuz you don't need as much sugar with banana)

one yellow banana or 1/2 banana

1/2 cup raspberries

three tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

one or two tablespoons soy creamer or coconut cream (can get in can from grocery store)..this makes it creamier

one or two teaspoons chia seeds or finely chopped nuts to put on top for crunch

...i make that smoothie a lot and the cocoa powder provides a little caffeine. theres lots of variations of it you can make too

pancakes:

one egg

mashed yellow banana

earth balance (soy butter)

chopped nuts

blend the egg and mashed banana together. cook like a normal pancake in some earth balance. when finished put more earth balance and nuts on top.

Sigh..hope everyone is having a good day.

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Hello Miss Stacey!

I'm just checking in. How are you today?

I wanted to tell you that it's now mid week 9 on spiro and I have noticed a change in my acne. My pimples are going away faster, they seem smaller and less inflamed. Exciting stuff, right?

I also wanted to tell you (and anyone else who reads) about something I did that really helped me emotionally this week. First, I wrote a letter to that part of me who is always critical, telling me I'm ugly and unworthy and that my skin will never improve. It's telling me "f--- it!" Just give up, eat a bunch of sugar, don't exercise, don't hang out with your friends, and don't strive for happiness in general. I know, sounds harsh, but that's how I talk to myself and even worse sometimes.

So I wrote basically a piece of hate mail to this voice inside that is always bringing me down. I just let it ALL out. I wrote things like "How dare you rob me of my God given right to happiness?!" And "You have no right to say the things to me that you do. You are a bully!" Etc. There was a lot of CAPS and "!!!" involved... Then I read it, took a match, burned it, and flushed it down the toilet. I immediately felt hugely relieved! I didn't realize how much anger and resentment I had for this person, who really is just a part of me. But getting it all out took a lot of weight off my shoulders. I also plan on writing to that same critical voice again, this time sending it a love letter.

The next day I took myself to Sephora and the beauty expert there helped me find a really great concealer and foundation. She spent a long time finding the perfect makeup for me and we got to talking about acne. Her skin actually looked a lot like mine and we got into this deep conversation about all things acne related. It was honestly fantastic to meet someone who genuinely understood exactly what I was going through and to finally just have an open conversation about it.

And, the makeup is great! It doesn't seem to clog my pores, and it covers really well. I'm not flawless or anything, but it's the best I've looked in months! I feel more self confident and actually take pride in dressing up again. It's something I realize that I had sort of given up, but taking back my feminine beauty through great makeup has been really significant for me.

Anyway, I'm longwinded as usual, but I really wanted to share that story. Don't forget to treat yourself to beautiful things and go ahead and get dressed up! You don't have to wait until your skin is perfect.

Sending lots of support your way!

Sierra

skindeepstory.wordpress.com

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hey missac17 i really feel for you. i was breaking out really bad before i started spiro with cysts and nodules and then when i went on spiro i kept breaking out really bad for a while. i am almost 13 weeks in and it will get better i can promise you. the first few months i was getting my period like every 2 weeks which caused me more acne than i would have normally had (i get the worst acne before my period) and it seemed like every pore around my chin and jawline was broke out and very inflamed. i went to a wellness doctor who had me take a blood test to find out that i am allergic to eggs, dairy, wheat, gluten, barley, rye, beet etc. i stopped eating all that stuff for 2 months and my face only got worse so now i eat those things in moderation. i dont even know how reliable those tests were since the doc said that most people clear up completely when they stop eating all the stuff they are allergic to.i really do think for me its just a hormonal thing. if i was allergic to dairy i dont think i would have been able to eat it like all summer and be clear ya know? anyway after 8 weeks of being on spiro i asked my pa for another antibiotic called keflex. within 3 days i had no more cysts and my face is clearing up really well. it totally get rid of the redness too so you could try asking for that.

i was on 100mg of spiro and my pa is going to up it to 150mg and keep me on the keflex for at least another 3 weeks or so then slowly wean me off in the hopes that the spiro would have kicked in by then. i only get 1 period a month now so i think things are starting to get back to normal for me but if the acne comes back i am getting right on accutane and my pa says if i take it and stay on spiro i shouldnt have a relapse after i get off of it. just try to stay strong and workout if you can because it will help you mentally. i went through a bad couple of weeks where i literally wanted to die i never felt so low in my life and i have been through a lot of shit but you know what, it will get better. it can only go up from here. if you ever need to talk pm me. i am here for you!

one more thing my endo said spiro can take up to 6 months to work so keep your chin up. how long have you been on it now?

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Hi Stacy, I just wanted to write and say I hope its going well. The bcp's have helped things generally I think, a lot of the weird side effects I felt related to pcos have subsided. I did have a really rough time emotionally the first three days, cuz of the effects of the new hormones i'm imagining, but that improved. I felt/feel pretty moody and emotionally up and down but pcos made me moody too so maybe thats just my state hah.

glad to hear you were able to feel better after having your periods return from amenorrhea. wow that took me a long time to google that and make sure i got the right word. i feel your pain on the restricted eating, in high school i was exercising constantly and restricting what I was eating a lot. definitely stopped having my period for awhile. I was underweight for my height and remember being really hungry a lot. like starving feeling. the shitty part is, I was kind of proud of myself in my 20s when i started eating normal......and then i guess i took it slightly too far and ended up with shitty health problems. its like theres a tiny margin for being healthy; you're either dieting too much and its terribly unhealthy or you're being too glutenous and its wreaking havoc on your system.

I really hope the spiro starts working for you, from the changes i've already seen from bcp's, and the anti-androgene supplements, I really think it will work for you. weight fluctuations, from personal experience, strongly affect hormones, which are then stubborn and lag behind other changes in the body. But once they start to shift I think you will see things get better fast. It seems there's no harm in continuing and if you give up that will prob just confuse your body more right? its hard i know just trying to say words of encouragement, the last like four days have been a mix of a lot better, and really shitty so this post is kind of cathartic.

Before I start talking about emotional stuff I’ll finish up talking about acne. So despite the roller coaster, the thing that is improving right now is actually my acne. I know I’ve said this like three times before but seriously: African black soap is saving my life right now. My skin gets a little better every single day. Every day, 3-5 previous clogged pores, which had been there for months and just wanted to make a real zit, completely dry up and dislodge themselves from the pore. That sounds kind of intense, but it happens very, very softly and literally ever clogged pore that has surfaced and then just fallen to the wayside, has left zero mark. The pore is not even enlarged. It’s actually amazing. I was squeezing the shit out of my pores before, or an estatician was. And now that they’re closed its like they’re closed permanently; everytime I would extract, within five days the same pores would fill right back up and potentially turn into white heads/acne.

I’m going to really get serious about black soap here because it is the ONLY, the ONLY thing I have ever put on my face that has affected my acne at all. That is saying a lot right? Oh and it cost me $3.49. I spent at least $200 in the last year on aveda. Let that sink in. I washed my face with aveda the other day out of curiosity and it left my skin feeling almost dirty compared to the black soap.

I know you guys are super cautious about what you put on your skin which I understand more than anything, but this is pretty much as natural as it gets. And when pores are clogged, I just didn’t know what else to do to heal them besides wait like years. I’ve had some of them for a long time. If you use it once a day, it mostly has just a tingly feeling. If you use it two or three times and leave it on longer than 20 seconds, it has a tiny burn to it. Pretty much like salycilic acid if you’re using that often, which never unclogged my pores btw even tho I still use it cuz I spent like $80 on fancy aveda pads. But yah I totally understand if ppl aren’t ready to jump on ship with something new, but if you do find yourself saying, I’m ready to unclog these bitches and see some movement, it is the stuff you need. It is not as effective on cysts/badly inflamed pimples although it does help big white heads calm down, and it makes smaller whiteheads go away FAST. I still usually extract bad whiteheads (gently..) if they’re aggressive enough and not going away on their own. but all whiteheads started as a clogged pore so my science mind is saying its preventing new ones. Here’s some graphic proof: on a lot of my previously clogged pores there is a little clear/yellowish “seed” hanging off the skin. That is really gross. But its like it literally turned it inside out, from being clogged on the inside to being falling off on the outside. Okay I’ll stop now…

Oh yeah I made a big mistake of taking melatonin last night and it made me feel depressed as hell this morning; I woke up really early and tossed and turned and basically freaked out and just thought about all the negative aspects of my life and all the mistakes I’ve made over and over and over. Should probably likewise write them down and burn it. Never taking melatonin again.

After melatonin funtimes, I saw the holistic counselor this afternoon and made sort of an idiot of myself. She took my full history and I got overwhelmed by trying to explain…my whole life…to a stranger…and talked too much but really vaguely and jumped from topic to topic and even confused myself. I used to be so much better at articulating myself, especially verbally. I feel like I just verbally vomited on her and left her to clean it up. And the most intense part, which I guess Ill admit is that when I left, I looked at her notepad and I am 99% I saw that she wrote “hard for her for me to see her struggle” or something along those alones. You might have to read that a few times but I think u will get the idea. And it is very true. So at least I know she is smart haha.

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Hi Stacy, I just wanted to write and say I hope its going well. The bcp's have helped things generally I think, a lot of the weird side effects I felt related to pcos have subsided. I did have a really rough time emotionally the first three days, cuz of the effects of the new hormones i'm imagining, but that improved. I felt/feel pretty moody and emotionally up and down but pcos made me moody too so maybe thats just my state hah.

glad to hear you were able to feel better after having your periods return from amenorrhea. wow that took me a long time to google that and make sure i got the right word. i feel your pain on the restricted eating, in high school i was exercising constantly and restricting what I was eating a lot. definitely stopped having my period for awhile. I was underweight for my height and remember being really hungry a lot. like starving feeling. the shitty part is, I was kind of proud of myself in my 20s when i started eating normal......and then i guess i took it slightly too far and ended up with shitty health problems. its like theres a tiny margin for being healthy; you're either dieting too much and its terribly unhealthy or you're being too glutenous and its wreaking havoc on your system.

I really hope the spiro starts working for you, from the changes i've already seen from bcp's, and the anti-androgene supplements, I really think it will work for you. weight fluctuations, from personal experience, strongly affect hormones, which are then stubborn and lag behind other changes in the body. But once they start to shift I think you will see things get better fast. It seems there's no harm in continuing and if you give up that will prob just confuse your body more right? its hard i know just trying to say words of encouragement, the last like four days have been a mix of a lot better, and really shitty so this post is kind of cathartic.

Before I start talking about emotional stuff I’ll finish up talking about acne. So despite the roller coaster, the thing that is improving right now is actually my acne. I know I’ve said this like three times before but seriously: African black soap is saving my life right now. My skin gets a little better every single day. Every day, 3-5 previous clogged pores, which had been there for months and just wanted to make a real zit, completely dry up and dislodge themselves from the pore. That sounds kind of intense, but it happens very, very softly and literally ever clogged pore that has surfaced and then just fallen to the wayside, has left zero mark. The pore is not even enlarged. It’s actually amazing. I was squeezing the shit out of my pores before, or an estatician was. And now that they’re closed its like they’re closed permanently; everytime I would extract, within five days the same pores would fill right back up and potentially turn into white heads/acne.

I’m going to really get serious about black soap here because it is the ONLY, the ONLY thing I have ever put on my face that has affected my acne at all. That is saying a lot right? Oh and it cost me $3.49. I spent at least $200 in the last year on aveda. Let that sink in. I washed my face with aveda the other day out of curiosity and it left my skin feeling almost dirty compared to the black soap.

I know you guys are super cautious about what you put on your skin which I understand more than anything, but this is pretty much as natural as it gets. And when pores are clogged, I just didn’t know what else to do to heal them besides wait like years. I’ve had some of them for a long time. If you use it once a day, it mostly has just a tingly feeling. If you use it two or three times and leave it on longer than 20 seconds, it has a tiny burn to it. Pretty much like salycilic acid if you’re using that often, which never unclogged my pores btw even tho I still use it cuz I spent like $80 on fancy aveda pads. But yah I totally understand if ppl aren’t ready to jump on ship with something new, but if you do find yourself saying, I’m ready to unclog these bitches and see some movement, it is the stuff you need. It is not as effective on cysts/badly inflamed pimples although it does help big white heads calm down, and it makes smaller whiteheads go away FAST. I still usually extract bad whiteheads (gently..) if they’re aggressive enough and not going away on their own. but all whiteheads started as a clogged pore so my science mind is saying its preventing new ones. Here’s some graphic proof: on a lot of my previously clogged pores there is a little clear/yellowish “seed” hanging off the skin. That is really gross. But its like it literally turned it inside out, from being clogged on the inside to being falling off on the outside. Okay I’ll stop now…

Oh yeah I made a big mistake of taking melatonin last night and it made me feel depressed as hell this morning; I woke up really early and tossed and turned and basically freaked out and just thought about all the negative aspects of my life and all the mistakes I’ve made over and over and over. Should probably likewise write them down and burn it. Never taking melatonin again.

After melatonin funtimes, I saw the holistic counselor this afternoon and made sort of an idiot of myself. She took my full history and I got overwhelmed by trying to explain…my whole life…to a stranger…and talked too much but really vaguely and jumped from topic to topic and even confused myself. I used to be so much better at articulating myself, especially verbally. I feel like I just verbally vomited on her and left her to clean it up. And the most intense part, which I guess Ill admit is that when I left, I looked at her notepad and I am 99% I saw that she wrote “hard for her for me to see her struggle” or something along those alones. You might have to read that a few times but I think u will get the idea. And it is very true. So at least I know she is smart haha.

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Hi, I got it at the natural co op in washington where I live. if you have a comprehensive co op with a big beauty/supplement section, they should have it. mine had about 6-8 different kinds, including black soap shampoo? I got the Ylang Ylang "flavor". I have also seen it rampantly online, and I think that's where you can get the really good stuff. I've heard in a bar is a good form, also heard ppl say "not all black soap is created equal". a few whole sections of clogged pores/bumps on my forehead have dried up and flattened out this morning..seriously crazy. if i exfoliated right now a lot of stuff would come off. and a small cyst on my back is almost gone. were you guys able to check out that link of of the photo log a girl posted about black soap? anyway.....wanted to mention I really enjoyed reading ur post and a little of ur blog sierra...thank u!

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Hi, I got it at the natural co op in washington where I live. if you have a comprehensive co op with a big beauty/supplement section, they should have it. mine had about 6-8 different kinds, including black soap shampoo? I got the Ylang Ylang "flavor". I have also seen it rampantly online, and I think that's where you can get the really good stuff. I've heard in a bar is a good form, also heard ppl say "not all black soap is created equal". a few whole sections of clogged pores/bumps on my forehead have dried up and flattened out this morning..seriously crazy. if i exfoliated right now a lot of stuff would come off. and a small cyst on my back is almost gone. were you guys able to check out that link of of the photo log a girl posted about black soap? anyway.....wanted to mention I really enjoyed reading ur post and a little of ur blog sierra...thank u!

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Hello Spiro Friends,

Wanted to share a little week 10 update. I have good news...

My skin has definitely been improving a lot this past week! I was almost nervous to write that - maybe I would jinx it or something. But, it's undeniable. I'm getting less amounts of new acne. Most of the new acne I am getting is from bumps or clogged pores that are several weeks old and never came to fruition. When they do make an appearance they seem smaller and quicker to disappear. I'm certainly not flawless, but it's nice that the areas where I have a lot of scarring have kind of had a break so they are starting to fade.

And, the big exciting thing is that yesterday I put on a ton of makeup (that's the only way to cover up the blemishes and hyperpigmentation) and I was out all day - well over 12 hours. I was so nervous about washing my makeup off and to my surprise...nothing! No new bumps. I thought for sure this morning I would see something, but no. That, to me, is a miracle.

As a note, I have been exercising almost every day, being really careful about my diet, and 5 days ago I added the pill Metformin. I was on 500mg the first 4 days, and then bumped to 1000mg. No side effects at all. I don't know if it's what made the difference in my skin or just the passage of time on spiro.

Aside from the few active pimples and the scarring, the other thing I am still dealing with is bigtime dryness and redness! I think it's a combo of the spiro plus my topicals (HQRA and Acanya). I know if my skin were super hydrated my acne would look a lot better, so, begrungingly, I'm going to be skipping my topicals a few nights a week and just hydrating like crazy.

If anyone has any tips for a good heavy duty (but non pore-clogging) night time moisturizer or mask, that would be amazing!

Oh!! And I wanted to share a link to a girl's youtube vlog about her journey with spironolactone. She documents a year on it and it really made me feel secure about my progress. There are going to be ups and downs on this medicine, but in the longrun, we are making progress!!

Here's the link to her first video. I watched all of her videos last night. Felt like a youtube stalker, but God bless her for sharing her story!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZh3XU8gGkA

Have a lovely day everyone!

Sierra

skindeepstory.wordpress.com

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Hey that is so exciting!!!! It really sounds like the spiro is kicking in full force. 2 1/2 months sounds intuitively right for hormones having a substantial opportunity to shift. And some people haven't seen significant improvement until 4 or 6 months so yay for you!! That's so cool you went out and about and didn't have to find troubled skin afterwards. Yesterday I walked around downtown and it was the first day I didn't feel like I had pretty bad acne. I didn't feel the need to hide my face as much or worry about the clogged pores just growing bigger and more numerous.

Wow I'm really intrigued to hear you're on metformin. Good for you for being open to trying new things. I actually thought metformin was going to be something I might take but they did not bring it. Did your doc suggest it? I've heard it works super, super well for people. I went on antidepressants about five days ago and they have helped me tremendously.

The best moisturizer I have found that doesn't clog my pores is shea butter in its most rudimentary form with no additives etc. It is literally the best moisturizer I've ever used (it works better for eczema than hydrocortisone cream which is like a steroid) but it is quite thick and I guess you'd have to be careful that you knew it wasn't clogging your pores.

xx

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hey missac17 i really feel for you. i was breaking out really bad before i started spiro with cysts and nodules and then when i went on spiro i kept breaking out really bad for a while. i am almost 13 weeks in and it will get better i can promise you. the first few months i was getting my period like every 2 weeks which caused me more acne than i would have normally had (i get the worst acne before my period) and it seemed like every pore around my chin and jawline was broke out and very inflamed. i went to a wellness doctor who had me take a blood test to find out that i am allergic to eggs, dairy, wheat, gluten, barley, rye, beet etc. i stopped eating all that stuff for 2 months and my face only got worse so now i eat those things in moderation. i dont even know how reliable those tests were since the doc said that most people clear up completely when they stop eating all the stuff they are allergic to.i really do think for me its just a hormonal thing. if i was allergic to dairy i dont think i would have been able to eat it like all summer and be clear ya know? anyway after 8 weeks of being on spiro i asked my pa for another antibiotic called keflex. within 3 days i had no more cysts and my face is clearing up really well. it totally get rid of the redness too so you could try asking for that.

i was on 100mg of spiro and my pa is going to up it to 150mg and keep me on the keflex for at least another 3 weeks or so then slowly wean me off in the hopes that the spiro would have kicked in by then. i only get 1 period a month now so i think things are starting to get back to normal for me but if the acne comes back i am getting right on accutane and my pa says if i take it and stay on spiro i shouldnt have a relapse after i get off of it. just try to stay strong and workout if you can because it will help you mentally. i went through a bad couple of weeks where i literally wanted to die i never felt so low in my life and i have been through a lot of shit but you know what, it will get better. it can only go up from here. if you ever need to talk pm me. i am here for you!

one more thing my endo said spiro can take up to 6 months to work so keep your chin up. how long have you been on it now?

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Hi Stacy, I just wanted to write and say I hope its going well. The bcp's have helped things generally I think, a lot of the weird side effects I felt related to pcos have subsided. I did have a really rough time emotionally the first three days, cuz of the effects of the new hormones i'm imagining, but that improved. I felt/feel pretty moody and emotionally up and down but pcos made me moody too so maybe thats just my state hah.

glad to hear you were able to feel better after having your periods return from amenorrhea. wow that took me a long time to google that and make sure i got the right word. i feel your pain on the restricted eating, in high school i was exercising constantly and restricting what I was eating a lot. definitely stopped having my period for awhile. I was underweight for my height and remember being really hungry a lot. like starving feeling. the shitty part is, I was kind of proud of myself in my 20s when i started eating normal......and then i guess i took it slightly too far and ended up with shitty health problems. its like theres a tiny margin for being healthy; you're either dieting too much and its terribly unhealthy or you're being too glutenous and its wreaking havoc on your system.

I really hope the spiro starts working for you, from the changes i've already seen from bcp's, and the anti-androgene supplements, I really think it will work for you. weight fluctuations, from personal experience, strongly affect hormones, which are then stubborn and lag behind other changes in the body. But once they start to shift I think you will see things get better fast. It seems there's no harm in continuing and if you give up that will prob just confuse your body more right? its hard i know just trying to say words of encouragement, the last like four days have been a mix of a lot better, and really shitty so this post is kind of cathartic.

Before I start talking about emotional stuff I’ll finish up talking about acne. So despite the roller coaster, the thing that is improving right now is actually my acne. I know I’ve said this like three times before but seriously: African black soap is saving my life right now. My skin gets a little better every single day. Every day, 3-5 previous clogged pores, which had been there for months and just wanted to make a real zit, completely dry up and dislodge themselves from the pore. That sounds kind of intense, but it happens very, very softly and literally ever clogged pore that has surfaced and then just fallen to the wayside, has left zero mark. The pore is not even enlarged. It’s actually amazing. I was squeezing the shit out of my pores before, or an estatician was. And now that they’re closed its like they’re closed permanently; everytime I would extract, within five days the same pores would fill right back up and potentially turn into white heads/acne.

I’m going to really get serious about black soap here because it is the ONLY, the ONLY thing I have ever put on my face that has affected my acne at all. That is saying a lot right? Oh and it cost me $3.49. I spent at least $200 in the last year on aveda. Let that sink in. I washed my face with aveda the other day out of curiosity and it left my skin feeling almost dirty compared to the black soap.

I know you guys are super cautious about what you put on your skin which I understand more than anything, but this is pretty much as natural as it gets. And when pores are clogged, I just didn’t know what else to do to heal them besides wait like years. I’ve had some of them for a long time. If you use it once a day, it mostly has just a tingly feeling. If you use it two or three times and leave it on longer than 20 seconds, it has a tiny burn to it. Pretty much like salycilic acid if you’re using that often, which never unclogged my pores btw even tho I still use it cuz I spent like $80 on fancy aveda pads. But yah I totally understand if ppl aren’t ready to jump on ship with something new, but if you do find yourself saying, I’m ready to unclog these bitches and see some movement, it is the stuff you need. It is not as effective on cysts/badly inflamed pimples although it does help big white heads calm down, and it makes smaller whiteheads go away FAST. I still usually extract bad whiteheads (gently..) if they’re aggressive enough and not going away on their own. but all whiteheads started as a clogged pore so my science mind is saying its preventing new ones. Here’s some graphic proof: on a lot of my previously clogged pores there is a little clear/yellowish “seed” hanging off the skin. That is really gross. But its like it literally turned it inside out, from being clogged on the inside to being falling off on the outside. Okay I’ll stop now…

Oh yeah I made a big mistake of taking melatonin last night and it made me feel depressed as hell this morning; I woke up really early and tossed and turned and basically freaked out and just thought about all the negative aspects of my life and all the mistakes I’ve made over and over and over. Should probably likewise write them down and burn it. Never taking melatonin again.

After melatonin funtimes, I saw the holistic counselor this afternoon and made sort of an idiot of myself. She took my full history and I got overwhelmed by trying to explain…my whole life…to a stranger…and talked too much but really vaguely and jumped from topic to topic and even confused myself. I used to be so much better at articulating myself, especially verbally. I feel like I just verbally vomited on her and left her to clean it up. And the most intense part, which I guess Ill admit is that when I left, I looked at her notepad and I am 99% I saw that she wrote “hard for her for me to see her struggle” or something along those alones. You might have to read that a few times but I think u will get the idea. And it is very true. So at least I know she is smart haha.

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Day 31 (week4) - feel terrible.

Hallooo people. Just a wee quick update today. I have had a reeeally busy week with college, honestly. Had alot of experiments (like making salt from a metal and acid - fun stuff like that), also went to the university of Edinburgh for a lecture on Stem Cell Research. It was pretty interesting I must admit.

Ive had ALOT OF BAD bad skin says this full week really, my skin is such a contrast from last week, it is just really inflamed and I ahve spots, new and some old just scattered all over my fucknig face. I swear it is making me feel really low. And I am trying keep my head up. That is my period now 2 weeks late, I dunno if maybe the whole breakout is because of this or what? I just want to know what to do you know. I keep dwindling and wodnering whether to maybe up the Spiro to 50mg? Or should I wait a little longer, or should I even stop it? I have made a conscious decision also that I should go on a BCP if I do decide to stop it, like Dianette again or maybe even try and get Yazmin.

I have also noticed my hair is thinning a little, definately. Not too much but I can tell. I have been having a really really dry throat lately, and wake up alot through the night for a drink of water. Recently, just this week I have been getting alot of Mucus coming out of my nose and mouth EVERY morning, I think I have a small cold/flu thing though, but the mucus is all green and some splurts of blood have been in it too. I have the doctor on Wednesday so hopeully she can tell me what it is.

I am also considering getting the Azelaic Acid again which I ahd in August and stoppped in the end of October. I just feel maybe I do need a topical because these spots are reeeeally bad. I hate my appearance right now and just can't look in mirrors.

I love this song smile.png

Ps!! I want to know, why do people (some) who take Spiro ALSO take a hormonal birth control? Does this make it more effective or something? And because I don't take a BCP will the Spiro therefore effect me differently? Or am I being dumb lol

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I don't have answers to your questions but i just wanted to stop by and lend my support. You are not alone. Why not slowly up your dosage of spiro slowly and give it it 4-6 months to see if it helps. A topical may also be a good idea.

Keep us posted and keep your head up. I took a look at your pictures and you are definitely beautiful

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Hi stacy! agh shitty to hear your skin is acting up. i know the feeling. that's awesome you're getting into some cool science in college tho. so hmm yeah i was thinking about what you mentioned in your post. i know i should probably refrain from giving you suggestions or saying what i would do in your situation, since i am no doctor but im going to blab anyway cuz maybe it will help at least support wise.

Periods can be irregular, esp when you deal with any hormonal issues and you're young and not on bc, that's pretty normal. So that's prolly what's going on with your cycle and maybe is aggravating your skin too. To answer your last question, I would say ppl take spiro w/hormonal bc to further regulate and stabilize hormones. Does anyone else know other reasons this is done?

Bc is literally introducing estrogen/progesterone into your body, while spiro, as far as I understand, 1 helps block androgens, which will promote estrogen/progesterone balance and increase them, 2 contains weak progesterone properties, and 3 contains indirect estrogen boosting effects. So when you really think about it, spiro is a lot like birth control, the method of controlling hormones is just different. bc doesn't specifically block androgens like spiro but both reduce testosterone and promote a functional balance of female hormones. Using both would essentially provide a stronger defense in balancing hormones, imho. I would probably up my spiro to 100 mg and consider introducing a bc, but again, just me, you have to do what feels intuitively right! anytime you're changing anything, upping spiro, introducing bc, it is still a change that can have effects, but my attitude is kind of like, if they're shitty now, why don't I try something and see if it helps. Have you spoken to your doctor about upping spiro? from what i've understood, you might have to be on quite a bit more before you see improvements.

As far as your mild hair loss, this happened to me quite a bit with pcos, and I hated it, and maybe thought I was dying. But it was temporary (my hair is a lot better now) and for me is a lot less of an issue than acne. I have heard that when testosterone lowers, your hair gets less thick because testosterone encourages thicker hair and more hair growth, so try to look at it as a natural thing--you're not losing hair cuz you're sick or anything, its just adjusting with your hormone levels (?) (pseudo science alert). Once things stabilize and your body gets used to spiro, I would imagine the hair loss would not become an issue.

From looking at your skin, it is very similar to the acne I have, except I think I have more bumpy clogged pores. For me, I had to start putting something stronger on it because it just was not budging and actually getting worse by the day either not washing or just using something very mild like aveda green science. Treating whats going on inside is so important, but at some point treating the outside starts to look pretty appealing too, IF you find the right thing. For me like i've said a bunch of times african black soap helped my skin tremendously; maybe getting some tropicals (lol just realized i wrote tropicals...topicals) would help..even salycilic acid and a good cleanser could calm things down.

I know this is kind of out there but have you been checked for vitamin d or iron levels? If those two things are low it can make you feel shitty...those are two supplements i feel have quite a bit of efficacy. I read some psuedo science thing about low levels of vitamin d exacerbating/causing excessive sebum production, cuz your skin is trying to produce vitamin d on its own, idk. i've been taking 5,000-10,000 IU's a day and I like it.

Wooh how's everybody doing?

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Hey! I started Spiro August 2011 which seems like forever ago now that I think about it. Anyway, I had cystic hormonal acne and I was on 150mg for a long time and it worked wonders! After about 4 weeks I could tell my skin and hair were less oily. I used to have to wash my hair like twice a day. It was awful. I had really clear skin with mild breakouts around my somewhat random periods. Then in the summer of 2012 my face got bad again. ALmost as bad as it was. So my doc upped my scripts to 200mg a day with 200mg of doxycycline. It was alright, but didn't seem to do much. I also stopped getting my periods when it went up and I felt icky all the time. Just like I was constantly PMSing. I also had to pee like ALL the time. So, I said screw it and backed down to 100mg of both meds (which I should have consulted my doc, but whatever), It was like a miracle, after about 2 months my periods became regular again and my face cleared up. So I've been clear again for about 4 months or so. Very few break outs. Mostly just scaring. I just wanted to share my story with you and hope that my success story might make you feel better. After the first month and a half I noticed a difference and by the end of month 3 I saw a huge difference. I didn't have welts on my skin anymore. I hope this works for you. It's been great for me so far.

GOOD LUCK!!!

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I don't have answers to your questions but i just wanted to stop by and lend my support. You are not alone. Why not slowly up your dosage of spiro slowly and give it it 4-6 months to see if it helps. A topical may also be a good idea.

Keep us posted and keep your head up. I took a look at your pictures and you are definitely beautiful

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Hi Tracy, thank's for writing smile.png I really appreciate hearing about your experience. So it has took 13 weeks you say for you to start seeing good reults then? Did you ever get like tiny small spots? This is what Im dealing with right now, its actually totally knocking me back for six, I feel so disgusted by myself and I do keep wondering I should just suck it up and be patient you know. Its really hard. Its hard to block my ego self from thinking "the world and people around me are staring at me and think Im a monster" kind of thing.

I know exactly what you mean that if you can eat dairy and not break out, then why would it affect me now? I think though sometimes in our womanly cycle we are much more sensitive to certain chemicals and hormones, especially in milk. I'm not sure though. Did you just take Spiro or did you take BCP too?

Thankyou! If I need extra support I'll be sure to pm you, and you too btw. When your breakout was at its worst, how long would you say it lasted?

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Hi stacy! agh shitty to hear your skin is acting up. i know the feeling. that's awesome you're getting into some cool science in college tho. so hmm yeah i was thinking about what you mentioned in your post. i know i should probably refrain from giving you suggestions or saying what i would do in your situation, since i am no doctor but im going to blab anyway cuz maybe it will help at least support wise.

Periods can be irregular, esp when you deal with any hormonal issues and you're young and not on bc, that's pretty normal. So that's prolly what's going on with your cycle and maybe is aggravating your skin too. To answer your last question, I would say ppl take spiro w/hormonal bc to further regulate and stabilize hormones. Does anyone else know other reasons this is done?

Bc is literally introducing estrogen/progesterone into your body, while spiro, as far as I understand, 1 helps block androgens, which will promote estrogen/progesterone balance and increase them, 2 contains weak progesterone properties, and 3 contains indirect estrogen boosting effects. So when you really think about it, spiro is a lot like birth control, the method of controlling hormones is just different. bc doesn't specifically block androgens like spiro but both reduce testosterone and promote a functional balance of female hormones. Using both would essentially provide a stronger defense in balancing hormones, imho. I would probably up my spiro to 100 mg and consider introducing a bc, but again, just me, you have to do what feels intuitively right! anytime you're changing anything, upping spiro, introducing bc, it is still a change that can have effects, but my attitude is kind of like, if they're shitty now, why don't I try something and see if it helps. Have you spoken to your doctor about upping spiro? from what i've understood, you might have to be on quite a bit more before you see improvements.

As far as your mild hair loss, this happened to me quite a bit with pcos, and I hated it, and maybe thought I was dying. But it was temporary (my hair is a lot better now) and for me is a lot less of an issue than acne. I have heard that when testosterone lowers, your hair gets less thick because testosterone encourages thicker hair and more hair growth, so try to look at it as a natural thing--you're not losing hair cuz you're sick or anything, its just adjusting with your hormone levels (?) (pseudo science alert). Once things stabilize and your body gets used to spiro, I would imagine the hair loss would not become an issue.

From looking at your skin, it is very similar to the acne I have, except I think I have more bumpy clogged pores. For me, I had to start putting something stronger on it because it just was not budging and actually getting worse by the day either not washing or just using something very mild like aveda green science. Treating whats going on inside is so important, but at some point treating the outside starts to look pretty appealing too, IF you find the right thing. For me like i've said a bunch of times african black soap helped my skin tremendously; maybe getting some tropicals (lol just realized i wrote tropicals...topicals) would help..even salycilic acid and a good cleanser could calm things down.

I know this is kind of out there but have you been checked for vitamin d or iron levels? If those two things are low it can make you feel shitty...those are two supplements i feel have quite a bit of efficacy. I read some psuedo science thing about low levels of vitamin d exacerbating/causing excessive sebum production, cuz your skin is trying to produce vitamin d on its own, idk. i've been taking 5,000-10,000 IU's a day and I like it.

Wooh how's everybody doing?

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