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At The End Of The Rope With Aldactone; I Have Raised Androgens Even Three Years On Them And Need Bcp Advice

aldactone birth control bcp birth control pills spironolactone elevated androgens

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#1 bizz

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 11:17 PM

I'm looking through the archives but I was hoping to get some advice through this.
 
I've posted about this before, but I've been on 50 mg (100 for a while) since September 2009, when I was 23. Now I'm 26, on 50 mg, still get cysts, nodules, and papules on my cheeks (especially around my period), and worse, I feel the recurring zits never really heal...just shrink between periods.
 
My skin is horribly inelastic (all over--limbs too, not just face. Cuts, bruises and makes all take too long to heal. My undereye dark circles are worse and where I don't have acne I have purple or faded pink spots/broken capillaries. I think this has weakened my skin A LOT). It's also horribly thinned my hair. I'll be honest--at the risk of being gross, it's made my breasts sag, too. It's made my face saggy/swollen and calves swollen despite exercising the same way and consuming the same amount of salt and calories as I did when on Accutane (perpetual water weight/swelling of tissues, it seems) and while this might be due to the 10 mg of methylphenidate I'm on per day, I feel like this is contributing to muscle soreness/fatigue. I got off Accutane to avoid it.
 
I never dealt with this on Accutane.
 
I've just found out that even on 50 mg for these past several years, I have elevated androgen levels (I'm sorry to say that I forget whether it was DHT or DHEA). The endo prescribed dexamethasone, but I have yet to take it and I'm angry he prescribed a steroid instead of birth control. 
 
I take zinc (broke me out years ago, made me oily-now it's working) and vitamin K for the capillaries/acne marks, use retin-a, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and am very careful about what I put on my skin, but if there's even a mildly comedogenic ingredient (or dimethicone) five or six ingredients into, say, a sunscreen, I get cysts and red, irritated flaky patches despite using fragrance-free stuff. I read labels religiously to ensure there's no comedogenic ingredients or irritants like lactic acid, but it's hard. Everything I put on my face, no matter how mild (e.g. Lily of the Desert aloe) irritates and dries me out or breaks me out.
 
 
I am taking a low dose of the aldo because this genuinely seems to have thinned my hair horribly over time and made me achy/made my skin both sickly and uneven. Yet saw palmetto, neem, horsetail, and a hair, skin and nail supplement with PABA broke me out in angry cysts that never came to a head. 
 
 I am currently undergoing laser hair removal, so I can't go back on Accutane for at least another two months, but I'm wondering if I should just skip it. 
 
I'd like to treat the scars I experience in skin that seemed to thin and weaken specifically on this drug, and I'm worried I can't do that on Accutane, which leaves BCP. I'm scared to couple this with aldactone--worried this will make my acne, mood swings, scars, and perma-bruises/marks worse, worried it'll make the periods aldactone has made extra miserable even more miserable. Is there an inevitable purg, or will being on aldo forestall that? (It sure as hell didn't help when I took a single capsule of herbs meant to treat acne.) 
 
 
Can someone that has experienced elevated androgen levels and has hormonal acne 0advise me? Note--as said, even on 50 mg, having spent three years on this, I had elevated androgens. I don't want to go on a higher dosage of a drug that I don't think is that great and which I see as worsening mood swings during my periods. 
 
Does anyone have any thoughts on Dianette, Diane-35, etc.? (I tried the former long ago in high school when I attempted to get off Accutane, trying it by itself--worthless. Still got awful acne and particularly nasty, rubbery big cysts/papules when I menstruated.
 
Is hoping BCP will round out what aldactone can't do asking for trouble? 


#2 Green Gables

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 12:35 AM

You can get topical spiro over the counter...might help the acne without giving the systemic effects of oral spiro. I made a recent post with links on where to get it.


Edited by Green Gables, 08 March 2013 - 12:35 AM.


#3 LillyRose7

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 12:51 PM

the medication your doctor prescribed is for high DHEA. High DHEA is also the so called 'acne' hormone. When its elevated you can have breakouts. I took saw palmetto and waited 3 months, and my DHEA went from 577 to 273 which is normal range. But my acne didn't ever go away, just reduced and i also noticed i broke out mid cycle and the last week it got bad. Taking BCP can really help check Green Gables list, the ones at the top are all good for acne.



#4 bizz

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 06:53 PM

But do any of you aldactone takers have something to share or similar experiences? Did you stop taking spiro, add to it, etc.? 

 

Hell, I've been using Clean and Clear Persagel (thin coat, no isopropyl or weird fillers that I know of in it, even though there's a lot of crap in much BP) or .04 Retin-a too and I still have a face, back and shoulders studded with blackheads, whiteheads, oil plugs, cottage cheese, and broken capillaries. Plus, gaping pores around hair follicles, of course, which doesn't help with the zit production, and a few (hard,stretching-my-skin) cysts of medium size/depth. This is so f---ing frustrating. I never had to deal with this on Accutane. I feel like this has been going on since last summer and if anything I've pared down my skin routine, I've stopped taking the additional herbs...I don't know what to do. 

 

I'm wondering it Adderal has something to do with it--I take 10 mg or less per day but I've taken it for a while (more than five years). I read somewhere it contributes to testosterone. 

 

@LillyRose: I know aldactone is for hormonal acne but in addition to being underwhelming in its efficacy it makes me bruise horribly...including on my face.



#5 Green Gables

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 12:48 PM

But do any of you aldactone takers have something to share or similar experiences? Did you stop taking spiro, add to it, etc.? 

 

Hell, I've been using Clean and Clear Persagel (thin coat, no isopropyl or weird fillers that I know of in it, even though there's a lot of crap in much BP) or .04 Retin-a too and I still have a face, back and shoulders studded with blackheads, whiteheads, oil plugs, cottage cheese, and broken capillaries. Plus, gaping pores around hair follicles, of course, which doesn't help with the zit production, and a few (hard,stretching-my-skin) cysts of medium size/depth. This is so f---ing frustrating. I never had to deal with this on Accutane. I feel like this has been going on since last summer and if anything I've pared down my skin routine, I've stopped taking the additional herbs...I don't know what to do. 

 

I'm wondering it Adderal has something to do with it--I take 10 mg or less per day but I've taken it for a while (more than five years). I read somewhere it contributes to testosterone. 

 

@LillyRose: I know aldactone is for hormonal acne but in addition to being underwhelming in its efficacy it makes me bruise horribly...including on my face.

 

Easy bruising is often an underlying hypothyroid problem. Yet another factor in the hormonal syndrome is the thyroid. If your thyroid is not functioning properly your hormones won't function properly either. Many are "subclinically" or "type 2" hypothyroid meaning they may show up normal on a blood test, but their cells cannot use thyroid hormone properly. Go to http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/ . You will find many with the same symptoms you are experiencing.



#6 LillyRose7

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 02:10 PM

dexamethasone is usually given short term to bring the inflammation down. They give it to people with CAH (which can have similar, late onset symptoms rather similar to PCOS) and it usually works out well but i understand you are reluctant to take it because its a 'steroid'. Some BCP is even considered as steroids so you have to consider the best option. Is accutane going to take care of all your other symptoms? It might be better to tackle this on the hormonal side. BCP can work out well. I took Diane when i was 16, but stopped because it didn't suit me but now i take a pill called belara, on my 4th month and i am bout 90% clear and i was considering accutane.Basically i had all these hair and skin issues and this pill has helped so much, i couldn't deal with the acne and pcos symptoms anymore. very easy bruising and scars/wounds and spots that take ages to heal  is also linked to very low zinc levels.



#7 SendMeAngels

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 07:01 PM

I know that some have success with Metformin, which, again is frequently used for people with PCOS. For some it does clear acne. If you can't tolerate a higher dosage of Spironolactone, I would consider that. Try visiting the SoulCysters message board. It's for women with PCOS. Even if you don't have PCOS, I bet they can give you some great advice on elevated androgens and acne. 



#8 LillyRose7

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 02:24 PM

i have pcos and i took metformin. it made my acne go from ok to terrible.

however, it does clear people up well, it just didn't agree with me.