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.