Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

227 posts in this topic

I'm SOOOOO happy for you Stacey! Woohoo!!! Soak it in and enjoy the freedom. You absolutely deserve it.

I just read the comment above from breakthehabit8 and I love what she said: "The thing I've noticed about Spiro is that it's a roller coaster healing process for sure... but fortunately, the overall trend is up!" I think this is so true. At least it's been the case for me.

Is there anything in particular you think is starting to make the difference in your skin? The higher dose of spiro? Just being on it for a longer period of time? How many weeks has it been now?

I also love that you're going on dates and looking for someone who will accept you just as you are. Having such bad acne has really helped me see that my friends, family and boyfriend genuinely love me no matter what I look like or how depressed and antisocial I may be. It's been a real blessing in that department.

It's been a while since I gave you an update but my skin is looking UH-MAZING! Okay, amazing for someone who is still covered in acne scars...but still! I can't believe it. I barely have any pimples and the ones that exist are small. I haven't had a cystic pimple in a week. Not ONE! I knew going in to this process that spiro takes time to do its magic, but somewhere along the line I lost faith. My initial breakout was so horrendous and LONG I was having doubts. Well, my faith is renewed!

One thing I notice is that even though my skin is improving dramatically, I am still in the mindset of someone that is covered in pimples. I get nervous about wearing makeup and eating things that will break me out. I still don't go out as much as I want to because I'm worried about my skin. I still avoid mirrors somewhat and look for shadows to stand in when I'm in public or hanging out with friends. It's strange... I compare it to someone who just lost a lot of weight but still sees themselves as that overweight person.

Anyway, I'm planning on doing photos every four weeks so I'll post new ones next week when I'll have been on spiro a full 16 weeks. I'm actually excited to take them this time smile.png

Again, I'm so happy for you Stacey. Stay optimistic and trust that things are looking up!

xo

Sierra

skindeepstory.wordpress.com


 

Limited dairy/gluten - everything in moderation - lots of healthy fats, fruit and veggies.

Going full Paleo in January 

-------------------------------------------------------

Differin - week 21

Duac


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi ladies. Thought I'd chime in as I"m also on Spiro (the brand name Aldactone) and just passed the 12 week point. You all seem really nice so hope you don't mind me tagging along:) To give a brief history - I have had acne ONLY around my chin since I was 19 (I'm 32). I also have facial hair. But the wierd thing is that my testosterone is very low. So the endocrinologist thinks it might be high testosterone circulating just in the skin so Spiro may still work. So I have to say that 12 weeks in I am not really seeing anything good. I am still oily and I feel like my sex drive is HIGHER, which could mean Spiro is stimulating the androgen receptors instead of blocking them (which can happen if you don't have enough testosterone for it to bind with). My endo says it takes 6-9 months for it to work so I'm going to hang on. I have a follow up appointment with him on Friday and I'll see where my hormones are. Does anyone else here have low tesosterone?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Im going to check out the links of the products you purchased and maybe ask questions if I fancy them, the High Frequency thingy sounds very intriguing. One thing though, if I do still have active acne would these prosucts maybe not work for me? Like, do you need to just have Hyperpigmentation marks and stuff?

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Sierra! Wow it gives me hope that Spiro is working for you. Interestingly, I really thought I noticed a reduction in oil the first couple months but now when I blot there is certainly a lot of oil. I am just confused by this. I also got one painful flare up, and I never get the painful under the skin ones. It was always the painless bumps that would go away after a few days, or the ones with white heads that would pop and subside. I am also on minocycline since starting Spiro and that has helped with the acne (I started it right before the Spiro so that' show I know it is the mino working). I will let you know about my estrogen on Friday when I get my results - that wasn't included in the original bloodwork I did. However when I was pregnant they had a hard time getting my estrogen and progesterone high enough (we did IVF). I have diminished ovarian reserve. So I think this may also be a piece of the hormonal puzzle. Frustratingly, my endo says no one really knows how all of this effects the skin so it is all trial and error. Ugh. So glad to touch base with you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I GOT A PERIOD TODAY!! Omgoodness. I am pretty darn chuffed right now. This is my FIRST period since being on Spiro, so thats like what..59 days in and my last period was the 2nd Feb which is 70 days ago, holyfuck.

You know what's weird though? This is the 12th of April and my period came back on the 12th April 2012..strange isn't it, or is it infact just another of life's little coincedenses smile.png

I actually have a date today, soon..and I'm freaking out. I am worried how he will react to my skin and things you know, obviously. I am actually petrified about it. But trying so hard not to think about it. I will let you know how it goes.

Hi ladies!!

So my spiro got upped to 150mgs last week, and I have to say I think it's making a world of difference!! I'm also at 13 weeks, so I'm assuming that's helping too, but other than a two minor cysts this week, things have really calmed down!! If you're questioning whether to stay on it or not, I would suggest upping your dose if you can.

I was thinking a lot about the whole drinking thing this week because I'm going out this weekend for my birthday and I just kind of want to let loose. I'm curious to see how my body responds next week... I'll let you know.

Also, I've been doing some research into mario badescu products, because I've heard lots of good things about their buffering lotion--it's meant specifically for cysts! The best part is, the company will send you free samples of any of their products if you call and do a skin consultation with them. I figure it's worth a shot since all the reviews have been positive. Have any of you used the mario badescu products before??

Hope everyone is doing well... keep me updated on your progress!

Xoxo,

Theresa

So glad you are feeling better Theresa! I don't know if my doctor would let me take 150mg, she is pretty cautious. I've still to tell her that Im taking 50mg lol.

Are you experiencing any other symptoms with such a high dose?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Spiro Friends!

Just checking in. Hope everyone is doing well - maybe your skin is improving?!

I also wanted to tell you how much I love these Salicylic Acid Peels. I've gotten two now and they really have worked wonders for my skin. You look pretty tragic for about a week after (peeling like crazy) but they've really helped knock out all my acne, fade my acne scars a bit and evened out my skin texture. My face is actually soft again! It's been a while since it felt like that...

Maybe it's something you might consider? I got my first one done at the dermatologist's office and the second one by an esthetician. Happy with both results. If you're interested and in the Los Angeles area I'll put you in touch with my esthetician because she is AMAZING :) Seriously, she's one of those estheticians that actually takes the time to extract every last blackhead - even the ones you didn't know about.

Anyway, wishing all of you a warm and sunny Monday :)

Sierra

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey! Just wanted to update on my hormone results. My testosterone is super low - below normal range. My estrogen is also super low - it is at menopausal levels. This makes sense as to why I haven't had my period since giving birth 9 months ago. My endo is really concerned about bone loss and wants me to start some sort of estrogen - either hormone replacement therarpy or the birth control pill. The pill seems to have broken me out in the past, but maybe now that I am on the Spiro it will not have this effect? I am hoping the Spiro will bind with any testosterone created in my skin as a result of the pill. It is so crazy to have facial hair and acne and super low testosterone - but as my endo says " we don't know what's happening in the skin". So I might have overactive enzymes in the skin converting T to DHT - the more potent form of testosterone. Anyway, it gives me hope that you also have low testosterone and estrogen and Spiro is working for you. Do you know your exact numbers? I am curious if they are as low as mine. My T was a 5 and normal is 7-48 and my estrogen was an 11 - I think it should be at least 40 and gets to as high as 400 around ovulation (although I don't ovulate).

Im going to check out the links of the products you purchased and maybe ask questions if I fancy them, the High Frequency thingy sounds very intriguing. One thing though, if I do still have active acne would these prosucts maybe not work for me? Like, do you need to just have Hyperpigmentation marks and stuff?

Thanks Stacey!

Skinoren sounds really interesting! Looking forward to hearing how it works for you.

As for the two products I mentioned, I wouldn't use the PMD (Personal Microderm Device) until your acne has mostly cleared. It's not good to use on active acne but it's great when it comes to scarring and evening skin tone and texture as well as preventing breakouts.

However, you can definitely use the D'Arsonal Professional Grade High Frequency Device on active acne. It's really gentle and effective, specifically on active breakouts. So far I'm still in love with it!

Another device you might look into once your cystic acne is gone is the Clarisonic. It's kind of similar to the PMD in that it exfoliates, reduces wrinkles, uneven skintone and helps prevent breakouts. They have a Clarisonic that is specifically for acne and I've heard great things about it, but I've also read that it's best for mild to moderate acne, not severe or cystic. I just got the Clarisonic Mia 2 with a "delicate" brush brand new on ebay for $67 (normally $149)!! I'll let you know how it works. I

Here's the link to Clarisonic reviews from acne.org: http://www.acne.org/clarisonic-skin-care-brush-reviews/421/page1.html

smile.png

Sierra

P.S. So sorry about being tagged on FB with a bad photo. That's like my nightmare...I totally understand. Hope you untagged yourself. If you're really uncomfortable maybe you can request that the person take it down.

P.P.S. So interesting to hear about your history with anorexia. I also have a history with binge eating and anorexia (not bulimia thank goodness - could never figure out the throwing up thing). I really wonder if there is a connection with acne, PCOS and disordered eating because I've heard it come up from several people on acne.org. I think it has to do with the perfectionist nature of who we are that perhaps has something to do with causing these "imperfections" like acne, weight gain, etc. Also, my breasts have grown at least 1/2 a cup size too, but my bf seems to like it so I'm not so worried. Just trying to focus on the fact that he still thinks I'm beautiful. I did notice that I have to work harder to keep my weight down since starting spiro. I was at 115, now more like 120, but I look totally different/curvier.

>Hi ladies. Thought I'd chime in as I"m also on Spiro (the brand name Aldactone) and just passed the 12 week point. You all seem really nice so hope you don't mind me tagging along:) To give a brief history - I have had acne ONLY around my chin since I was 19 (I'm 32). I also have facial hair. But the wierd thing is that my testosterone is very low. So the endocrinologist thinks it might be high testosterone circulating just in the skin so Spiro may still work. So I have to say that 12 weeks in I am not really seeing anything good. I am still oily and I feel like my sex drive is HIGHER, which could mean Spiro is stimulating the androgen receptors instead of blocking them (which can happen if you don't have enough testosterone for it to bind with). My endo says it takes 6-9 months for it to work so I'm going to hang on. I have a follow up appointment with him on Friday and I'll see where my hormones are. Does anyone else here have low tesosterone?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Michi-

wow i'm really surprised you could have symptoms that you do and have really low T. hormones are mysterioushuh.png My estrogen and progesterone were very low too-and I also was not ovulating for about 7 months. back on ortho tri cyclen lo so things are normal. I am surprised your estrogen was so low if you are on spiro? isn't it suppose to raise estrogen for a lot of women...? and I thought if you had low T spiro could actually raise it. must b different for everyone. its funny that your endo said we don't know what's happening in the skin--seems to be pretty much true. I do know when I had high T and low estrogen/progesterone it was seriously no bueno for my skin so there's that. being back on birth control is strange in that this time I have been having very vivid dreams that I am pregnant ever since resuming it. I've had I think 4 but each time it is so intense and I actually psychologically believe I am currently pregnant until I wake up. very scary. It must be the flux in hormones, even though I never ever had this being on birth control before. I think it was bcuz my hormones shifted so drastically, going from high T, low E and P to ovulating again within just one month. It was rocky restarting the bc emotionally as well.

How is everyone else doing? Stacy are things going okay? how is your skin...time is passing so hopefully better in regards to spiro smile.png my skin is okay. I got like 5 sizeable whiteheads around my period and there is still one stubborn one still in white head form. I am really happy about my decision to not touch my face whatsoever in terms of squeezing and extracting and blah blah blah. BUT, leaving whiteheads to resolve themselves is quite the dramatic saga. some are gone in a day and dry up well, others linger for DAYS. like the one on my forehead. its slowly drying up I think (ew) but it is stubborn, and it is kind of a painful one. I also had to go to the dentist with a sizeable whitehead above my mouth--this is how much I sort of don't care anymore. One good thing about getting older. In some ways acne has made me care more than ever about my appearance and it some ways its made me say F it. but yeah they had to clean my teeth and everything and when I left and looked in the mirror I was like ugh. and my forehead was greasy.

I have been blasting my face with african black soap and salicylic acid...the whiteheads came up when I wasn't washing my face very diligently sad.png. I also think stress/anxiety induced some of the zits. I can't really tell if the salicylic acid is even doing anything, it's only 2% and it def never did anything in the past until I started using it in conjunction with black soap. I know it increases cell turnover but I feel like maybe I need a slightly higher percentage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know it is a mystery, but it must be something happening at the skin level and not in my blood. Most likely the 5 alpha reductase enzyme is converting T to DHT. Spiro is supposed to slowly suppress this enzyme over a long period of time. I have a theory that this is why it takes sooo long to work for some people. With lower DHT you can have higher T because less is being converted. I am afraid though because Spiro needs T to work, otherwise it actually stimulates the androgen receptor - not good! Yes it is interesting with hormones and dreams. In my first trimester I had tons of crazy dreams! (and lots of sex dreams)

Hi Michi-

wow i'm really surprised you could have symptoms that you do and have really low T. hormones are mysterioushuh.png My estrogen and progesterone were very low too-and I also was not ovulating for about 7 months. back on ortho tri cyclen lo so things are normal. I am surprised your estrogen was so low if you are on spiro? isn't it suppose to raise estrogen for a lot of women...? and I thought if you had low T spiro could actually raise it. must b different for everyone. its funny that your endo said we don't know what's happening in the skin--seems to be pretty much true. I do know when I had high T and low estrogen/progesterone it was seriously no bueno for my skin so there's that. being back on birth control is strange in that this time I have been having very vivid dreams that I am pregnant ever since resuming it. I've had I think 4 but each time it is so intense and I actually psychologically believe I am currently pregnant until I wake up. very scary. It must be the flux in hormones, even though I never ever had this being on birth control before. I think it was bcuz my hormones shifted so drastically, going from high T, low E and P to ovulating again within just one month. It was rocky restarting the bc emotionally as well.

How is everyone else doing? Stacy are things going okay? how is your skin...time is passing so hopefully better in regards to spiro smile.png my skin is okay. I got like 5 sizeable whiteheads around my period and there is still one stubborn one still in white head form. I am really happy about my decision to not touch my face whatsoever in terms of squeezing and extracting and blah blah blah. BUT, leaving whiteheads to resolve themselves is quite the dramatic saga. some are gone in a day and dry up well, others linger for DAYS. like the one on my forehead. its slowly drying up I think (ew) but it is stubborn, and it is kind of a painful one. I also had to go to the dentist with a sizeable whitehead above my mouth--this is how much I sort of don't care anymore. One good thing about getting older. In some ways acne has made me care more than ever about my appearance and it some ways its made me say F it. but yeah they had to clean my teeth and everything and when I left and looked in the mirror I was like ugh. and my forehead was greasy.

I have been blasting my face with african black soap and salicylic acid...the whiteheads came up when I wasn't washing my face very diligently sad.png. I also think stress/anxiety induced some of the zits. I can't really tell if the salicylic acid is even doing anything, it's only 2% and it def never did anything in the past until I started using it in conjunction with black soap. I know it increases cell turnover but I feel like maybe I need a slightly higher percentage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Spiro Friends!

Just checking in. Hope everyone is doing well - maybe your skin is improving?!

I also wanted to tell you how much I love these Salicylic Acid Peels. I've gotten two now and they really have worked wonders for my skin. You look pretty tragic for about a week after (peeling like crazy) but they've really helped knock out all my acne, fade my acne scars a bit and evened out my skin texture. My face is actually soft again! It's been a while since it felt like that...Th


 

Limited dairy/gluten - everything in moderation - lots of healthy fats, fruit and veggies.

Going full Paleo in January 

-------------------------------------------------------

Differin - week 21

Duac


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DAY 71 - week 10 - 50 mg

Alrighty guys this is WELL overdue.

As they say though, no news is good news, right? :D

Well, anyway I guess that is partly true for me. Everything in my Signature is EXACTLY what I am doing right now. However I have recently been taking the 50mg of Zinc every second day just because I feel it is alot that Ive been taking.

My skin is actually looking okay. Its far from perfect but it isn't a disaster :) I don't have any huge cysts or papules and the spots I do have are small whiteheads situated aroung the corner of my mouth and forhead - I still have alot of bumps and SMALLER papules on my forhead. However I've not had any pustules in a long time.

When washing my face I only use COLD water, and I think it does help to not dry out the skin. Ive also been doing well at not having any dairy, I am liking drinking my tea black now! I notice that on the off chance I do have anything milky, eg a Latte or Cappachino or Mocha (heaven in a cup)my stomach gurgles...so it makes me think theres some kind of dairy intolerance thing going on.

Now for the bad news - My weight is upsetting me, immensley guys. I hate my body, and its sad saying this. I mean I know Im not fat by any means, but being a bit more curvier and having a bit more "junk in the trunk" and slightly bloated breasts...I can't handle it. And to be honestit is seriously driving me to quit Spiro...although I do not want to, I really want to give it a chance. I am trying my best to eat healthy, and I think I need to try harder which I will...so after a couple weeks 'dieting' I will see how I feel. I have not weighed myself but I think Ive gained a few. I am just wanting to know though if this is because of the E or is it something else?

I also do keep toying with the idea of going on BC. And it would probably be Dianette probably. But I don't know how my body will react?? So I am so so so confused with this..it sucks I wish I just had a wee tool in my house that I could breath into and it could tell me what my hormone levels are!!!

Also recently Ive been noticing pain in my heart area like sharp pains when breathing in. This mostly occurs during exercise. I have actually noticed less of her falling out and I haven't been extremely thirsty like I did at the beginning.

So mixed reviews right now but there's a good wee update for you's :)

I hope to hear more good news for everyone and hope everyone else is doing good too, if your not here is a big *hug* from me and just remember to think positive and know that you are loved.

x


 

Limited dairy/gluten - everything in moderation - lots of healthy fats, fruit and veggies.

Going full Paleo in January 

-------------------------------------------------------

Differin - week 21

Duac


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey! Just wanted to update on my hormone results. My testosterone is super low - below normal range. My estrogen is also super low - it is at menopausal levels. This makes sense as to why I haven't had my period since giving birth 9 months ago. My endo is really concerned about bone loss and wants me to start some sort of estrogen - either hormone replacement therarpy or the birth control pill. The pill seems to have broken me out in the past, but maybe now that I am on the Spiro it will not have this effect? I am hoping the Spiro will bind with any testosterone created in my skin as a result of the pill. It is so crazy to have facial hair and acne and super low testosterone - but as my endo says " we don't know what's happening in the skin". So I might have overactive enzymes in the skin converting T to DHT - the more potent form of testosterone. Anyway, it gives me hope that you also have low testosterone and estrogen and Spiro is working for you. Do you know your exact numbers? I am curious if they are as low as mine. My T was a 5 and normal is 7-48 and my estrogen was an 11 - I think it should be at least 40 and gets to as high as 400 around ovulation (although I don't ovulate).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sierra - you don't know how utterly glad I actually am to hear that things are going so well for you. I think I would just be a bit scared to try the Salycilic Acid Peels (SAP - new abreviation? haha) How bad exactly is the drying and flaking of the skin? Did you moisturise afterwards?

Its sad that I don't live anywhere near LA, otherwise I would have totally went to the same one smile.png Im still trying my best to find a GOOD Naturopath up in Scotland.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow we really are hormone twins! You don't have excess facial hair do you? Were those levels taken before you were on the pill or after, and before you were on spiro or after? Also how much estrogen is in the birth control you take? Now I'm thinking I should do the same thing as you and add a b.c. pill. I am only on 100mg of Spiro and I wonder if I need more, since you are on 200. Did you ever take just 100mg? I think it is interesting you are on Metformin. My Endo said I don't need it because my insulin is totally normal. But I thought I remembered something about it being helpful even if you aren't insulin resistant. What did your doc say about this? Sorry for the 20 questions - I'm just so excited to have found someone like me. I was diagnosed and then un-diagnosed with PCOS - they feel I don't have it because of my low tesosterone and insulin and because I'm thin and don't have cystic ovaries. But PCOS is really just a grouping of symptoms - of which I have acne, facial hair, anovulatory cycles and infertility (we conceived with IVF).

Hey! Just wanted to update on my hormone results. My testosterone is super low - below normal range. My estrogen is also super low - it is at menopausal levels. This makes sense as to why I haven't had my period since giving birth 9 months ago. My endo is really concerned about bone loss and wants me to start some sort of estrogen - either hormone replacement therarpy or the birth control pill. The pill seems to have broken me out in the past, but maybe now that I am on the Spiro it will not have this effect? I am hoping the Spiro will bind with any testosterone created in my skin as a result of the pill. It is so crazy to have facial hair and acne and super low testosterone - but as my endo says " we don't know what's happening in the skin". So I might have overactive enzymes in the skin converting T to DHT - the more potent form of testosterone. Anyway, it gives me hope that you also have low testosterone and estrogen and Spiro is working for you. Do you know your exact numbers? I am curious if they are as low as mine. My T was a 5 and normal is 7-48 and my estrogen was an 11 - I think it should be at least 40 and gets to as high as 400 around ovulation (although I don't ovulate).

Hi Michi!

Here are some of my numbers:

Estradiol: 21 - That is in the menopausal range and I'm 29 years old sad.png

Testosterone Total: 8 - Actually that is on the low range of normal which is 8-48 according to my lab

Prolactin: 4.3 - It's low, normal is 4.6 - 37.0

Not sure if you're interested in any more numbers but I have plenty smile.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow we really are hormone twins! You don't have excess facial hair do you? Were those levels taken before you were on the pill or after, and before you were on spiro or after? Also how much estrogen is in the birth control you take? Now I'm thinking I should do the same thing as you and add a b.c. pill. I am only on 100mg of Spiro and I wonder if I need more, since you are on 200. Did you ever take just 100mg? I think it is interesting you are on Metformin. My Endo said I don't need it because my insulin is totally normal. But I thought I remembered something about it being helpful even if you aren't insulin resistant. What did your doc say about this? Sorry for the 20 questions - I'm just so excited to have found someone like me. I was diagnosed and then un-diagnosed with PCOS - they feel I don't have it because of my low tesosterone and insulin and because I'm thin and don't have cystic ovaries. But PCOS is really just a grouping of symptoms - of which I have acne, facial hair, anovulatory cycles and infertility (we conceived with IVF).

Hey! Just wanted to update on my hormone results. My testosterone is super low - below normal range. My estrogen is also super low - it is at menopausal levels. This makes sense as to why I haven't had my period since giving birth 9 months ago. My endo is really concerned about bone loss and wants me to start some sort of estrogen - either hormone replacement therarpy or the birth control pill. The pill seems to have broken me out in the past, but maybe now that I am on the Spiro it will not have this effect? I am hoping the Spiro will bind with any testosterone created in my skin as a result of the pill. It is so crazy to have facial hair and acne and super low testosterone - but as my endo says " we don't know what's happening in the skin". So I might have overactive enzymes in the skin converting T to DHT - the more potent form of testosterone. Anyway, it gives me hope that you also have low testosterone and estrogen and Spiro is working for you. Do you know your exact numbers? I am curious if they are as low as mine. My T was a 5 and normal is 7-48 and my estrogen was an 11 - I think it should be at least 40 and gets to as high as 400 around ovulation (although I don't ovulate).

Hi Michi!

Here are some of my numbers:

Estradiol: 21 - That is in the menopausal range and I'm 29 years old sad.png

Testosterone Total: 8 - Actually that is on the low range of normal which is 8-48 according to my lab

Prolactin: 4.3 - It's low, normal is 4.6 - 37.0

Not sure if you're interested in any more numbers but I have plenty smile.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Greetings---

Sierra I looked at your pics and was loling at the carb craving comments...haha definitely had those!!! I've found theyve gone down with bc, and I was thinking back to when I was on bc before or just when I was feeling better in general, and I craved savory foods almost predominantly. I mean I still liked fruit and occasional sweets, but mostly I would be like yum dinner, savory food etc. Whereas now i'm like thinking about sweets based things, even though I really try to eat mostly savory food. it's definitely hormonal/acne related for me. I hope they continue to go down. Have sugar cravings gone down with spiro or bc for you?

stacy to answer your question my skin is kind of shit right now. I even started second guessing myself about not popping a few of these pimples...like am I somehow making it worse by not taking the thing out of its misery?? I am still for not touching my face but it seems to be testing me. If I had a splinter on my hand I would prolly dig that thing out so i hope i'm not making the wrong choice. idk. dermatologists ALWAYS (or at least to me) say don't touch your pimples etc. I honestly avoid mirrors a lot. especially before washing my face. it's not that washing like instantly cures my acne but for some reason my skin look so much better after i've washed; I think the oil makes my skin look really rough. I looked in the mirror yesterday at some randomn time and was like oh shit my skin is bad! and then I washed my face and was like oh it's not that bad. so wtf. i've concluded it's averagely bad. I do think it's a phase i'm coming out of though and getting worse before it gets better is all part of the process.

that's really intense about your body changes-ugh that would be freaking me out but i really think you will find a solution, it's a trial and error process. a healthy body and no acne are not by any means mutually exclusive-it will prolly just take more experimenting. I actually had that (fuller figure) when I 1. had high testosterone and 2 started a higher hormone bc than I was used to which I hated (mononessa). ortho tri cyclen lo is like a miracle for me, i've been losing weight and feeling way better, hopefully my old body is coming back. I still have bad anxiety so all is not perfect and I keep reading health stuff that just makes me more anxious. example, in the new york times today I read that ppl who have lower heartbeats/minute live way longer and are less prone to disease and blah blah. And I started freaking out about my heart rate not being low enough, and me not being in shape enough, and that made my heart beat faster haha. I feel like i've turned into a little bit of health-freak but not in a good way. in the literal sense that I freak out about my health.

honestly as far as deciding about birth control, i know it's rough and it can sound like a bad/scary option in certain situations. that being said, in certain times/hormonal states it can actual help us out a lot. I used to go on and off birth control with zero problems, but I was in a different health state/phase in my life. during a time of stress and run down health, going off bc was an obvious nightmare. my point is that going back on birth control is not necessarily a life sentence, if you find its the right thing to do. it just helps to put some of that negative fear thinking to rest if you do go on the bc because at least in the short term, it will help you. I kind of look at it like antidepressants-sometimes you need it and hey life is kind of short when you think about it. and it's also hard enough that we don't need to make it even harder on ourselves. oh and I was going to say, I had low P and E but HIGH T when I was not ovulating, so classic explanation of no periods. Apparently you can have low of all three and still not ovulate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Sierra - You are not ranting! Thank you for answering all my questions and being thorough. Ok I have one more question for you. Last time you were on Spiro were you also on the birth control pill? I'm wondering whether for us it is necessary to add in order to be clear. In light of this new information about my estrogen my doctor did recommend the pill, or hormone replacement therapy, to stave off bone loss. When my issue was just acne he didn't recommend it because I told him how my acne was at its worst for years when I was on the pill, and I had no idea it could be related. So I'm nervous about adding it back in. Another thing I'm wondering is if it really helps because it's not pure estrogen but rather a derivative. Like you are on the pill and your estrogen is only 21 - so I wonder if it is helping to bring it up at all? Or it's possible the estrogen in the pill can't be picked up in blood tests. I'm going to ask my endo about this at my next appointment. I am leaning towards being on just regular estradiol, but they have to cycle you with progesterone otherwise there is a risk for cancer. In any case it's not really a choice - I have to do SOMETHING because of the major risk of early on-set osteoporosis with such low estrogen at such a young age (I'm 32). How old are you?

Kelsey - That's good the ortho lo is suiting you well. I think when you have high testosterone the solution becomes more clear - bring down testosterone. The pill is good for this especially when it's testosterone produced by the ovaries which circulates in your blood. Since I don't have that problem I am sort of shooting in the dark here. I think the spiro will work for you though - hang in there!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kelsey -

Can you tell me more about how the African Black soap is helping you? I went to look it up as I was interested, but then realized it has shea butter and all kinds of vegetable oils in it. Does the one you use have this? My dermatologist told me never to use anything with oil in it because I have very oily clog prone skin. Several months ago I tried using grapeseed oil and it made things a lot worse for me. You haven’t noticed it clogging our skin?

Day 60 - week 8 - 50mg -- Holy Bajeesus

Brace yourselves...

my skin looks good today. I am overwhelmed about it, mostly underneath my eye area on both sides is CLEAR and my cheeks are looking good. Even though I can still feel bumps on my cheeks, like maybe 6/7 on the right and 12/13 on left it looooks good. I have a redness/rosy tinge actually, maybe Im flustered? Maybe its the fact I have my period? I don't know. All I know my skin doesn't look bad at all, I guess its a good day with it today, I mean its faaar from perfect but it doesn't look as inflamed or anything you know?

Although I do have a bit more SMALL underskin bumps around my jaw area than I normally do. I also have a cyst at the corner of my mouth which is taking agessss to heal.

Just a quick update there to say that really AND also let you know that my date last night went well. He was a nice guy, we chatted and got on really well, made each other laugh etc...but I can't see us being anything more than friends. So Im still on the hunt for a man, and one that would accept all my flaws, especially my skin smile.png

I'm SOOOOO happy for you Stacey! Woohoo!!! Soak it in and enjoy the freedom. You absolutely deserve it.

I just read the comment above from breakthehabit8 and I love what she said: "The thing I've noticed about Spiro is that it's a roller coaster healing process for sure... but fortunately, the overall trend is up!" I think this is so true. At least it's been the case for me.

Is there anything in particular you think is starting to make the difference in your skin? The higher dose of spiro? Just being on it for a longer period of time? How many weeks has it been now?

I also love that you're going on dates and looking for someone who will accept you just as you are. Having such bad acne has really helped me see that my friends, family and boyfriend genuinely love me no matter what I look like or how depressed and antisocial I may be. It's been a real blessing in that department.

It's been a while since I gave you an update but my skin is looking UH-MAZING! Okay, amazing for someone who is still covered in acne scars...but still! I can't believe it. I barely have any pimples and the ones that exist are small. I haven't had a cystic pimple in a week. Not ONE! I knew going in to this process that spiro takes time to do its magic, but somewhere along the line I lost faith. My initial breakout was so horrendous and LONG I was having doubts. Well, my faith is renewed!

One thing I notice is that even though my skin is improving dramatically, I am still in the mindset of someone that is covered in pimples. I get nervous about wearing makeup and eating things that will break me out. I still don't go out as much as I want to because I'm worried about my skin. I still avoid mirrors somewhat and look for shadows to stand in when I'm in public or hanging out with friends. It's strange... I compare it to someone who just lost a lot of weight but still sees themselves as that overweight person.

Anyway, I'm planning on doing photos every four weeks so I'll post new ones next week when I'll have been on spiro a full 16 weeks. I'm actually excited to take them this time smile.png

Again, I'm so happy for you Stacey. Stay optimistic and trust that things are looking up!

xo

Sierra

skindeepstory.wordpress.com


PM - Clean face with water and cotton rounds. Spot treat with Finacea.
AM- Wash face with Aveeno Gentle Foaming Cleanser and apply Sanitas Oil Free moisturizer
30mg Absorbica for 8 months


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi lifeinfaith--I should go get my black soap to see what it has in it. okay it doesn't say but from the etsy store: water, shea butter, shea tree bark ash, cocoa pods ash, plantain ash, coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil, & brown sugar. however I think the oils have been sort of "converted" into soap cuz there's nothing oily feeling about the cleanser (soap is made from oil).

I haven't had any experience with black soap clogging my pores, in fact that is the number one problem I was using it for...I had about 100 or so clogged pores between my chin, nose, eyebrows/between eyebrows, forehead, temple and even ear. something needed to be done because they were bumpy and out of control. To answer your question, I dont think black soap is a pore clogger...it is more of a PURGER, so you have to be ready for that. It's actually the only thing i've ever used that's properly or aggressively purged my skin. I used to use salycilic acid to try and achieve this and I never saw any results (purging) or I manually extracted each and every one of my clogged pores. The second I started using black soap, i noticed it eliminated all the oil on my face, seem to sort of like suck it up or dissolve it completely. and it also seemed to lift and draw out any clogged pores I had. This is a slow process, it usually takes about a week for a pore to fully unclog once it starts coming to the surface, even if its really small. But yeah its hard to describe unless you use it.

As far as applying oil on your face, I tried that too with jojoba oil, and it didn't seem to wreak havoc (so many of my pores are ALREADY clogged) but at the same time it definitely made me kind of nervous. I never stuck with the using oil method long enough to see if it worked; I was applying it after black soap in the hope it might help some of the pores unclog/loosen but I find just using black soap and some SA (2%) feels better. If you do get some, I would suggest using it only once a day for a little while, or even every other day if you're skin is easily aggravated, and see how it feels because when you use it twice a day, it will purge faster. most of the purging for me happened w/o causing a zit, but some pores that unclog may come up as a whitehead.

Sometimes I think I should stop using any cleanser or SA and just try the oil cleansing method, because it sounds "gentler", but I don't know if I have the bravery/stamina for that.

The etsy store I got it from is blackbutterfly621, and just search black soap. I also use african shea butter on my face with zero pore clogging problems, so I may have the kind of skin that clogs from its own oil (yay) but not from external products as much. best of luck to you!!! there's lots of good info on this log as well.

Hi Michi-

I almost wish I could test my hormone levels daily out of curiosity to see how much the bc has affected them, how much testosterone is down etc. I think stacy said that too. It's been almost 3 months and I can tell things are different than they were the first or second month, I think it took THIS long for appropriate shifts to really start happening. the first and second month back on bc sucked. I've actually never tried spiro; the gynocologist just prescribed bc which seems fine for now IF it starts kicking in more and more like I'm hoping. I know what you mean about shooting in the dark-my digestive system got messed up throughout this process and even before, and no one had any good explanations and it was confusing. the best thing I did was just try to stay afloat in the dark and be willing to try any and all suggestions from a doctor I trusted. do you think you're going to go on bc?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Sierra - You are not ranting! Thank you for answering all my questions and being thorough. Ok I have one more question for you. Last time you were on Spiro were you also on the birth control pill? I'm wondering whether for us it is necessary to add in order to be clear. In light of this new information about my estrogen my doctor did recommend the pill, or hormone replacement therapy, to stave off bone loss. When my issue was just acne he didn't recommend it because I told him how my acne was at its worst for years when I was on the pill, and I had no idea it could be related. So I'm nervous about adding it back in. Another thing I'm wondering is if it really helps because it's not pure estrogen but rather a derivative. Like you are on the pill and your estrogen is only 21 - so I wonder if it is helping to bring it up at all? Or it's possible the estrogen in the pill can't be picked up in blood tests. I'm going to ask my endo about this at my next appointment. I am leaning towards being on just regular estradiol, but they have to cycle you with progesterone otherwise there is a risk for cancer. In any case it's not really a choice - I have to do SOMETHING because of the major risk of early on-set osteoporosis with such low estrogen at such a young age (I'm 32). How old are you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Greetings---

Sierra I looked at your pics and was loling at the carb craving comments...haha definitely had those!!! I've found theyve gone down with bc, and I was thinking back to when I was on bc before or just when I was feeling better in general, and I craved savory foods almost predominantly. I mean I still liked fruit and occasional sweets, but mostly I would be like yum dinner, savory food etc. Whereas now i'm like thinking about sweets based things, even though I really try to eat mostly savory food. it's definitely hormonal/acne related for me. I hope they continue to go down. Have sugar cravings gone down with spiro or bc for you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

that is a great tutorial! I've basically heard that from the esthetician I saw, who was awesome EXCEPT for the fact she caused a small scar once sad.png I think it will go away completely over time but still........and that was when I asked her to extract very lightly. anyway, I do think in some instances it's better to pop the zits. i mean...it's sort of like minor surgery. if we didn't do surgery for people in real life, they would die. that being said, i feel like some kind of freaky addict cuz I seriously won't even pop one. I'm like all or nothing. I'm afraid if I relieve one...i might start getting encouraged and then it would be on to all the others. If it's an inflamed clog pore aka a pimple, and its totally ready like u said, i think its fine and even beneficial to pop. what I have noticed with non inflamed clogged pores (closed comodones, blackheads, whatever else) then I've found more success with leaving them IF I have something effective topically that draws them out. Whenever i would extract my own non inflamed clogged pores they would often fill back up in the same spot, but when they've purged on their own they haven't come back at all. this is still mostly a theory but i'm curious to see the end result of not having squeezed pores for so long.

my acne actually got worse BECAUSE of this I figured out. I use to basically maintain my mild/moderate acne for the last year by continually giving myself all over extractions. while "effective" it just sort of masked the problem. now my acne is worse but it feels like it's actually healing or something. idk. time shall tell. it's doing better today but, I have not been staring in the mirror or anything, quite the opposite. I actually decided to take a break from washing as well, cuz so many of my pores are unclogging right now that I don't even feel the need to keep encouraging my skin to purge, I just need these ones to finish purging. for example, I have this large (sorry...) blackhead on my nose. it's more just that i can tell it's deep and normally i would have extracted that shit in a heartbeat. but this time, the blacksoap drew it out (very quickly, thank god) and it's like a blackhead scab on the side of my nose. i let all my scabs fall away naturally (i think this is an even worse crime than popping a zit--picking a scab. big no no shake.gif ) so we'll see what happens with this guy.

And while we're at it i'll just get more in detail. so that dumb zit on my forehead that I DIDNT pop (which probably would have gone away much better if I did) is like so nuts. its formed blood under it (!!?!??!?!) I've never really had a zit do this. i mean of course i've had zits bleed, after popping them tho. never have i had a whitehead stay there, form blood under it, and just like keep existing strangely. it sort of itches too so i hope that means its healing. the rest of my forehead continues to purge and there are spots that are flatter with less clogged pores, but it still looks bumpy to me and my eyebrows are kind of acting out right now.

omg carb cravings. sigh. i mean, i think everyone has these to one extent or another. carbs give us energy blah blah. but yeah, I love a really good sweet. ironically i don't like things overly sweet, so that just means i like expensive stuff or fruit based pastries like muffins. I can TOTALLY see how metformin would take away carb cravings. from my memory of googling it weeks ago, it like puts insulin to use directly into your cells or something crazy, cuz IR means your body is not able to use all the free insulin. i probably just heinously butchered that explanation but i'm too lazy to open another browser. I knew I had some level of IR previously, but birth control and getting my health together is helping that a lot. Did you ever get your glucose levels measured. mine were def below pre diabetic but still higher than I want. 5.1 was the number last time i got blood tested (don't have the units right here). I know you said your levels were really good and thats why the doctor said it was unecessary, so hopefully bc will help you in the long run too. Do you think you are craving carbs cuz you are thin and ur body wants to put on weight or is it prolly hormonal?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, thanks for the clarification. Yes so it's tough to know what had the most impact of if it was both combined. I think that's so interesting that Yaz broke you out because it's a derivative of Spiro and Spiro works for you. As much as we try to figure this stuff out it's all a mystery isn't it? Are you planning on getting your hormones rechecked at any time? I just got mine redone this morning again - even though I did it 3 weeks ago the Endo wanted a second look before he refers me for an MRI (for insurance purposes and just to make sure). I'll find out my results in 2 weeks. Oh and the reason for my MRI is because it boggles his mind how my estrogen can be so low yet my FSH is also low - the pituitary gland in our brain sends a signal to raise FSH to try to in turn raise low estrogen and that is not happening for me. What was your FSH?

Hey Sierra - You are not ranting! Thank you for answering all my questions and being thorough. Ok I have one more question for you. Last time you were on Spiro were you also on the birth control pill? I'm wondering whether for us it is necessary to add in order to be clear. In light of this new information about my estrogen my doctor did recommend the pill, or hormone replacement therapy, to stave off bone loss. When my issue was just acne he didn't recommend it because I told him how my acne was at its worst for years when I was on the pill, and I had no idea it could be related. So I'm nervous about adding it back in. Another thing I'm wondering is if it really helps because it's not pure estrogen but rather a derivative. Like you are on the pill and your estrogen is only 21 - so I wonder if it is helping to bring it up at all? Or it's possible the estrogen in the pill can't be picked up in blood tests. I'm going to ask my endo about this at my next appointment. I am leaning towards being on just regular estradiol, but they have to cycle you with progesterone otherwise there is a risk for cancer. In any case it's not really a choice - I have to do SOMETHING because of the major risk of early on-set osteoporosis with such low estrogen at such a young age (I'm 32). How old are you?

You're very welcome!

Last time I was prescribed spiro I didn't start taking birth control until after about 4 months. I can't tell if it was the combination that worked, or just the spiro because my skin didn't clear until I started taking birth control, right around that 4 month mark. But, that could have just been the spiro taking it's sweet time to start clearing my skin... I know, it's confusing.

The estrogen level I listed was actually taken pre-birth control. I started taking the pill right after I did those labs, but at the time of the blood test I had been off of the pill for 9 months. So maybe my estrogen is higher now? I assume it is but haven't had my hormone levels checked since I started spiro and BC.

As for birth control, before I started spiro I had experimented with a few different brands to clear my skin and my experience is that some really helped my acne and some made it TERRIBLE. I remember Yasmin (which so many people raved about for controlling acne) made my skin horrendous. But it totally works for others. I was just shooting in the dark without a hormone tests so maybe since you actually have your hormone levels your doctor would be able to prescribe the right birth control that wouldn't make you break out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have any of you guys tried chemical peels or microdermabrasion for helping clear clogged pores? Sometimes I feel like the retin a is making it worse not better and I've been on retinoids for almost 4 months!


PM - Clean face with water and cotton rounds. Spot treat with Finacea.
AM- Wash face with Aveeno Gentle Foaming Cleanser and apply Sanitas Oil Free moisturizer
30mg Absorbica for 8 months


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i did a few tca peels and they dried up my existing acne but didnt really clear out my pores too much. best thing i did was get a facial and then everyday in the morning i use thayers alcohol free toner with aloe and then in the evening i use proactiv toner with glycolic acid. that really helps to keep them clear along with my benzaclin too. glycolic acid helps with red marks too so its a win/win. it can dry out your face though so sometimes after i use the toner i rinse my face with water.

a salicylic acid peel would clear out those pores though and clear up your acne too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites