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Plan B Induced Acne

#hormones #balance # planb spironolactone

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#1 lalasprint

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 11:45 AM

I’m a 23 year old female with a story.  Growing up I rarely had a pimple despite my mom’s history of cystic acne and oily skin. I was one lucky girl, but karma got me back big time.

 

My freshman year of college I started to break out (minimally) and just attributed it to stress factors, including my mom’s breast cancer diagnosis. After a round of Soloden and topicals that didn’t work, I finally put myself on Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo and I was completely clear in 3 months, never thought about my skin again (2009).

 

In May 2011 I went off the BCP for a few reasons and went almost 2 YEARS with hardly a blemish, ( most woman have horror stories about going completely off the pill especially after almost 2 years).  Naturally I have dry skin, never oily, and a fair complexion so I always attributed a random zit to my cycle and carried on with my life. This past summer I got involved in an unhealthy sexual relationship and was put in a position where I chose to take Plan B twice within 30 days of each other ( Sept 2012) . I had no immediate side effects except my period twice in one month and by the end of Oct I had my first cluster of breakouts on my lower chin. I thought nothing of it and continued on with life and slowly but surely my acne got worse and worse and was comprised solely to the chin area.  Moved to a new city to start a new job and saw my new GYNO,  in November 2012 and told her my Plan B story and she prescribed me Yasmin and told me I probably threw some things out of whack and that Yasmin should help.

 

By December I had full blown inflammatory pustule acne all across my chin. The Yasmin appeared to make things worse, and I was devastated. Waited until Feb. 2013 to see a dermo, and as soon as the doctor entered the room she said “textbook hormonal inflammatory acne” and prescribed 100mg of Spironolactone and 2 topicals.  I began to research EVERYTHING related to hormonal imbalances caused from Plan B and found that levonorgestrel the active synthetic hormone in Plan B is highly androgenic  and I had my acne answer.

 

I’m approaching 2 months on Spiro and I absolutely saw an initial breakout, I started seeing pustules on my checks in clusters and I think I’m on my way out of the initial breakout phase and hoping that im on track for hormonal balance. My breakouts have become less inflamed and more small whiteheads that pop and go away in a day. Its month 4 on yasmin and I’m giving it til 6 months to make a decision about switching.

 

I’m doing everything in my power to help myself. I don’t eat diary, I take Fish Oil, Vitamins D, E, Zinc, and an Omega 3 pill ( all things ive read about on Acne.org that are supposed to help.) I’m hoping that Spiro does its job at reducing my androgen levels  and I can go back to normal soon.

 

To any woman out there with a similar story, I’d love to hear about your experiences and any advice you have.  I feel guilty everyday that I did this to myself by taking the Plan B, but at this point I can only move forward and learn from my mistakes. 



#2 Bobtail

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 02:46 PM

Hey there,
Your experience hit close to home so I had to make an account to comment and let you know you're not alone, as there are very few results I've found to be informative when I google acne and plan b.

I had perfect skin (same as yours, on the dry side, very pale so unfortunately every pimple is even more obvious :( ) all my life and had taken plan b once when I was 17 with no effects. However, last June I had to take another one and I have been paying for it ever since. The first 6 months my cheek was always broken out in angry red papules and pustules, and I even had a few cysts on my forehead. I figured perhaps the reason I had such an adverse reaction to plan b this time around was because my lifestyle had changed quite drastically. Last year when I took plan b, my body was already stressed from 2 years of awful eating, heavy alcohol abuse, and other bad drug and smoking habits. As soon as I realized this I decided I was going to do everything to help my liver recover and rebalance the hormones that plan b might have messed up. I began vegetable juicing 5+ days a week, cut down on my dairy and wheat intake, stopped eating junk/fast food, as well as taking a multivitamin daily. I saw little progress until january of this year, when I started drinking lemon juice daily too, taking fish oil, and soaking my face in dead sea salt. Now I am about 85% clear (with LOTS of red/pink/brown marks that have to fade), but I still have several small whiteheads on my cheeks, skin that is a bit oilier than I'm used to, and big pores. I believe the key is patience, as well as working to heal your body by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and hopefully your body will even itself out.

I forgot to add that I was never on birth control and after this plan b disaster I'm too paranoid to touch the stuff for fear it might throw my hormones off again.

This has been an awful experience for me that runs much deeper than the surface of the skin. I regret having taken that stupid pill and destroying my perfect skin, and have developed severe depression because of it, which I am now VERY slowly recovering from with the help of therapy. On the bright side, this has helped me learn the importance of taking proper care of my body, and learn to not be so quick to judge others by their appearance.

Best of luck to you. From the little information I've found online about this topic, most everyone seems to clear up from plan b induced acne after a year or so, so have hope!

Oh, I forgot to add that to help my body clean itself out, of course I quit smoking and abusing drugs, and stopped drinking alcohol until January 2013 when my skin started to improve, after which I drank only for rare occasions when I was celebrating something

#3 lalasprint

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 09:00 AM

Hi Bobtail,

 

Thank you for making the account and responding. You are absolutely right, there is hardly anything out there in terms of "scholarly literature" about the effects of Plan B and acne, I found 1 medical journal and a few less respected sites with some articles. I dug back through Acne.org and found some other girls with the same situation but their posts were from 2009.

 

I'm happy to hear that you've started your re-balance. I commend you for re-balancing the natural way, as opposed to flooding your body with hormones like me. I will say however that im starting to see drastic improvements with my skin, its been about 6 months since I last took Plan B, and its 4 months on yasmin and 2 months on Spironolactone- which specifically blocks androgen testosterones from the body. It took awhile to realize that balancing hormones isnt an overnight thing, you're right patience IS key, and it sounds like we're both helping ourselves in every way humanly possible.

 

I'm happy to hear that you're feeling better about things rolleyes.gif.  I used to cry every time I got out of the shower, but now i've learned to accept that I cant change a damn thing about it! This was a learning experience for us, let's just take the good with the bad and learn something from our mistakes. On a final note, the medical journal I read about Plan B and acne said that mostly every female WILL clear in 1 year like you previously had mentioned. Sounds like you're almost there!  



#4 FMLx

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 05:30 PM

man I thought I was the only one suffering from this! I took the pill in April 2012 so more than a year ago and boom I had developed bad acne by June.. and my skin was perfect before. I had like 2 pimples a year, people were always complimenting my skin. I also went on yasmin it did help a little but after 2 months I was stupid enough to come off of it.. Well the acne got even worse and I was put on dianette. And that was when it got really severe. I had IB from hell, bad inflamed pustules all over my face, back and chest. Now that I've been on it for 9 months it's calmed down a lot nowhere near clear though and even if I was I have so much scaring my skin is ruined.. I regret taking the pill every day! I used to be outgoing and fun loving person but now I just stay at home b/c my face is so terrible..

Im switching to yasmin next month to see if it worked better than diane and am also taking antibiotics. I'm starting to think that I'll never be clear again it's been so long..

Oh and I know a lot of ppl who got no side effects from the plan b pill and it's not very well advertised that it can cause something like this. It didn't even say anything in the package. I would never ever have taken it had I known this...



#5 whoartthou1

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 02:23 PM

what exactly is Plan B?



#6 FMLx

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 06:36 AM

It's an emergency contraceptive pill



#7 rarrrgh

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 12:22 AM

I feel my horrible breakout was also caused by the generic plan B called Next Choice.

After antibiotics and a bunch of other failed rx things i began treating my body with natural and beneficial supplements rather than harsh killers like minocycline and sulfer topicals.

Began researching candida and since i have used anti-fungal remedies my face has cleared tremendously over the last 2-3 weeks. Grapefruit seed extract, nizoral shampoo, raw garlic and plenty of probiotics have been wonderful to me and i hope i can spread some advice and offer someone else a new angle of treating their breakouts. Candida/yeast overgrowth is more common than you think especially among us acne sufferers who are on antibiotics (known to cause and worsen candida infections and hormone imbalances)

#8 NowHimalayan

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 08:05 PM

i'm on the same boat!! not as severe as everyone but these massive cystic pimples are coming and going... some weeks my skin is CLEAR and right now I have four HUGE pimples all over my face and more coming up. Its been almost a year since plan b and i'm on birth control, and the birth control did help... I'm still hoping this will all pass!!!

 



#9 WishClean

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 09:00 PM

Check the Hormonal Acne forum, there is another thread on plan B and acne. 



#10 k3tchup

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 01:57 AM

Uhm, im not surprised. Any emergency contraception works by increasing the hormones to prevent the body from ovulating or prevent a fertilized egg from adhering to the uterine wall. Of course this is done with a SURGE of hormones via oral pill. The expect side effects are acne as a result.

 

While its okay to take it within 30 days twice..its not preferred for more than just the use of what the pill is for. There is a possibility that it caused a hormonal imbalance that your body is trying to correct.

 

Oh life... a bunch of choices..






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