hi fellow Org members,
I had joined this site about a year ago hoping to learn and share acne information. Ive had acne since I was around 12, which has gone through better and worse stages over the years. I never really knew why some people get it and some dont. After reading a lot of posts on here, I was thoroughly confused...is it food allergies? Toxins, genetics, bad make-up? Hormones, the water I shower with, parasites, candida, ect ect.
Ive tried a lot of over the counter products, including salicylic acid which seemed to burn my skin (I have an aspirin allergy) benzoyl peroxide (which seemed to dry out my skin) masques, mositurisers and all the rest.
In early 2012, my mild-moderate acne seemed to be getting worse no matter what I did, I went on a juicing diet, with no results except unwated weight loss, I gave up all sugar and gluten and dairy, again with no results except for feeling deprived. I had large cysts on my face and was getting them on my back and my skin was super-oily. I always felt dirty and diseased. Finally desperate, I asked to take Accutane. It was relatively easy to get the prescription, though the process was annoying and caused me lots of stress. Almost from the beginning, I felt unwell and in a cloud, each day I took the pills I began to feel deader and more depressed...after a month, my skin was pretty cleared up and oil-free but my mental state was terrible and my lips were a mess. In August after only a month on accutane, I mixed xanax with vikodin with near tragic results, I attempted to harm myself and was committed to a mental hospital for 6 days. Though I was released I constantly thought of ways to harm myself while obsessing over my skin, I was terrified the oiliness and acne would return once the Accutane left my system. My gyno put me on aldactone, which is supposed to help with hormonal acne (having recently been diagnosed with PCOS didnt help my mood either) but I found it made me tired and my blood pressure was dangerously low.
I went to another specialist, who recommended taking Yaz birth control. I was willing to try, I also began looking up every kind of natural remedy for PCOS and hormonal acne.
To my great suprise, after including various herbs and vitamins and after 3 months on YAZ my skin has cleared so dramatically I no longer needed make up and I was wearing my hair back. YAZ has the same risks as any other birth control pill but for me I have no side effects and I am feeling better than ever.
I have come to believe that for men and women with adult acne, it is almost always hormonally caused. Not to say diet doesnt play a role--I eat minimal gluten sugar and dairy but I havent cut it out entirely. I just try to eat mostly healthy, non-processed foods with green vegetables, brown rice lean protein and fruits and nuts. I will have treats on occasion and I do eat yogurt and chocolate (at least 70% cocoa). The biggest change other than the YAZ for me is as follows:
I drink at least 4 cups of water per day, no crazy amount. I do drink green tea and coffee but NO soda and not much fruit juice.
I dont eat things with cellulose or a lot of preservatives. They arent good for anybody.
I take in omega three fatty acids, (I cant stand the fish or flaxseed pills so I eat walnuts, sunfloerr seeds and salmon and sardines). But pills are just as good.
I dont overwash my face, I do it twice a day with a gentle cleanser and I use 2.5% benzoyl peroxide VERY sparingly once a day and also a non-comedogenic moisturiser. Mind you, I was using a lot more of bp before with little results but I still use it as part of my regimen.
I take the following supplements:
an anti-DHT formula. DHT is the "evil" form of testosterone which causes acne, male pattern baldness, prostate problems ect. I believe most men with acne have issues with this hormone as well. The product I take contains regular vitamins like zinc, a, b, c, selenium and silica along with natural herbs like saw palmetto, nettle, green tea and wild yam. The one I take is specifically for women but they make them for men as well.
Next, I take two spearmint capsules a day, you can drink the tea if you like but I prefer it in capsule form as its easier and quicker. 500mg. They are cheap and freshen your breath too.
I take probiotics and I also take calcium/magnesium. Thats it.
I believe that DHT is the underlying cause in most adult acne, perhaps food allergies also for some people. DHT in women causes hormonal upset such as acne, increased body/facial hair and thinning head hair, all of which can be treated by taking an anti-DHT formula. The YAZ and the spearmint reduce oil production Ive always had oily skin, now its what Id consider normal (thank god!) I know men cant take birth control but they can safely take saw palmetto, nettle and a lesser amount of spearmint. The formula I use is called
Hairomega 3-in 1 (actually meant for hairloss but treats acne as well) they have several brands such as Nioxin and Shen Min at health stores.
Lastly, Id say after half a lifetime of struggling with the physical and emotional aspects of acne, I feel satisfied now. I am much happier and feel normal, clean and pretty again. I dont always have 100% clear skin, but my skin is 95% clear about 90% of the time. I no longer have body acne at all, acne along my jawline and chin and I can wear no makeup. If I do get a pimple once in a great while, its usually from too much sugar or skipping my supplements. I only use concealer for the old marks and they are fading.
I sent this message hoping that many of you will at least try hormonal treatments before doing something drastic like Accutane which was almost the death of me. Anti-biotics are no real help Id been on and off them for years, till they stopped working and just gave me yeast infections. I recommend YAZ for women, and for those who cant/dont want birth control, try the anti-DHT pills and the spearmint, it certainly cant hurt you. Same for men, hey maybe it will prevent you from baldness as well thats only a plus.
Im not claiming this will work for everyone (though I wish it would!) but if you are desperate know there is hope, there are other ways to treat acne and there are people like me who finally at 30 years old, conquered the acne demon which has plagued my life since I was a pre-teen.
God bless you all and I pray one day acne will be eradicated forever .
The only things I avoid are deep fried foods, peanuts, pure sugar, soda, full-fat inorganic dairy and fatty red meats. And despair, if you let it get a hold on you, you will go down fast. Hope, pray and do something about it. I thank God that I didnt succeed in harming myself when I was at my lowest because I hope this will help at least a few people. All Ive said is true and I have no motives but to inform.
Farewell, good luck and if you have any specific questions Ill try to answer them. <3