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Please Help! At My Wits End!

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#1 John457

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 12:30 PM

Like many users on here, I have tried everything but to no avail. I am too afraid to try Accutane but am experimenting with light therapy. Every year is worse. Sure some months are better than others but prolonged acne just leads to more and more scarring - physically and emotionally. Even if today I had no more painful cysts, I would still be challenged with removing and fading years of subtle acne scars. Beyond that I feel as if acne has transformed me into a very paralyzed, anxious, and all around toxic person. Negative thinking dominates my mindset. Having missed out on numerous opportunities with friends, my sense of social intelligence is very rudimentary. Every day is a challenge to complete, something to survive and get through, and I feel as if I am constantly hiding. Literally, every decision I make is based on the current condition of my skin. Do I want to talk to my manager today? How bad is my skin? Do I want to leave my desk and walk across the office? How bad is my skin? You get the idea. Acne just sucks the living life right out of you. There are some days where things just seem so horrifically hopeless that I can scarcely move from bed. It is an awful feeling - the feeling of being young and throwing away your youth.

I am a 24 male with sensitive combination skin and persistent cystic acne. My body chemistry absolutely bewilders me. I have very dry eyes, dry legs, dry hands, but predominantly oily skin on my face. I am very hesitant to take Accutane because of the horror stories on both here and abroad but also because I had LASIK surgery last year and now my eyes are very sensitive and almost constantly dry and bloodshot. Also, the isolated accounts of how Accutane can permanently effect one's testosterone levels and sexual ability in men is equally unnerving. I have taken Doxycycline, Bactrim, and Solodyn, separately, for extended periods of time, but like all antibiotics, they are not a cure, and they have their limitations. I also do not like the idea of being on these kinds of medications for prolonged periods of time, as the chances of killing the good bacteria in one's gut are increased.

Right now, I try to eat as healthy as possible. I do not drink soda, dairy milk, or sugary artificial drinks. Instead I prefer almond milk, mineral water, carrot juice, and other fruit and vegetable juices. I will sometimes drink coffee or tea. I also try to prefer, as much as possible, whole wheat gluten-free grains. I have tried to start eating more fruit as well. Dark chocolate is my only weakness but I cannot say if it actually makes my skin worse. I never eat fast food or junk food. I take fish oily, zinc, and sometimes vitamin B5 or a multi-V daily. I am not a particular fan of mega-dosing because I feel it may be dangerous though I am open to consideration.

In the morning I use a CeraVe cleanser for normal to oily skin and then a CeraVe AM moisturizer. In the evening I use a sacyclic and glycolic acid cleanser from my dermatologist, then a CeraVe PM moisturizer, and Epiduo (a Benzoyl Peroxide topical). Sometimes I will use a 10% Benzoyl Peroxide spot treatment.

This week I have a second PDT session and chemical peel. The PDT treatment I receive uses red light and Isolaz technology. I am very interested, however, in asking my dermatologist about more intense light therapies, such as the ones that involve the chemical topicals and are designed to permanently shrink or kill the subaceous glands. I also really want to look into a home blue light kit (probably one from Tanda) for managing cystic formations. Any insight on light therapy would be greatly appreciated. Finally, does anyone know much about drinking off-the-shelf, combined fruit and vegtable juices? I know a lot of people on here have claimed success with drinking smoothies and juices they made from a juicer but what about simpler, easier alternatives, such as juice that is already prepared?

I made the horrible mistake of picking at my face and now it looks like someone took a golf club to my forehead. As a result, my anxiety is particularly high going into the coming work week, especially considering how many meetings and office functions I have to attend. In the interim, any words of wisdom, advice, or comments are greatly appreciated.

Edited by John457, 19 May 2013 - 12:36 PM.


#2 Ruweyda

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 12:44 PM

green smoothies are really good but mix veg n fruits together :)



#3 WishClean

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 11:48 PM

Did you ever get your hormones tested? That might give you an indication to the cause of your problem. Also, allergy testing might be helpful if your acne is caused by food allergies. As for juices, I would suggest going for mostly vegetable rather than fruit because too much fructose can trigger inflammation if you are sensitive to that. If you find the root(s) of your acne issue, then you can begin to fix it slowly. It could be your gut, could be your liver, could be your hormones....a number of factors contribute to acne.

Btw, I didn't do well on fish oil supplements, and some multivitamins break me out. You could ease up on the supplements if they are not helping you.


Edited by WishClean, 19 May 2013 - 11:49 PM.


#4 John457

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 08:00 PM

Did you ever get your hormones tested? That might give you an indication to the cause of your problem. Also, allergy testing might be helpful if your acne is caused by food allergies. As for juices, I would suggest going for mostly vegetable rather than fruit because too much fructose can trigger inflammation if you are sensitive to that. If you find the root(s) of your acne issue, then you can begin to fix it slowly. It could be your gut, could be your liver, could be your hormones....a number of factors contribute to acne.

Btw, I didn't do well on fish oil supplements, and some multivitamins break me out. You could ease up on the supplements if they are not helping you.

 

No but thanks for the reminder. I just saw my doctor yesterday and am going to get a blood test to check my hormone, thyroid, vitamin-D, and some other levels. I guess if everything comes back normal I'll look into getting a food allergy test. I think I might also try keeping an acne log so as to try and correlate anything in my diet with the state of my skin.



#5 WishClean

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 09:11 PM

Sounds like a good plan. There is a lot of information on the holistic forum about liver cleanses, diets, and supplements if you decide to go that route. whatever you do, do not take antibiotics. Doctors love to prescribe those for an easy fix, but all they do is mess up your gut flora and your liver, especially if you take them without a good probiotic to repair the damage.



#6 optimistsmile

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 07:08 PM

Hi, it sounds like my skin is sort of similar to yours.  Dry hands, dry legs, oily face (my eyes don't bother me, though).  I know for sure that there is a hormonal component to my acne, because before and during my period, my breakouts get worse.  I have had so many hormonal issues with so many different diagnoses... Now I have a doc that I trust (who is also a highly regarded endocrinologist).  She did a saliva test that revealed that my cortisol levels are way off.  They are too low in the morning and too high at night.  She diagnosed me with adrenal fatigue.  She told me that it is imperative that I improve my sleep habits.  Right now I fall asleep after 2 am and wake up between 10 and 11.  Not exactly ideal hours.  On top of that, I am vitamin D deficient, so I am taking 5000 IUs daily.  Can't say that there's been much improvement, but I really need to correct my cortisol levels if I hope to see improvement.  ANYWAY, I mention this because I think you need lab results to figure out what's going on with you.  Get blood tests and, if possible, a saliva test.  p.s. I am also gluten intolerant, so maybe consider that as a culprit as well.

As for the anxiety... I hear you.  Facing people can be brutal, especially with the crazy cysts I get (not to mention the scarring).  I have learned that negative thoughts really accomplish nothing; plus, I would never say those things to someone else, so why would I say them to myself?  Smiling helps, as absurd as that may sound.  I work in retail, and absolutely have to maintain a positive demeanor with customers.  On a really bad skin day, I'll pretend to myself that everyone in my line has terrible vision.  It sounds odd, but do whatever you have to do to get through it.  Though this has nothing to do with acne, exercise just helps put me in a good mood and makes me feel better overall about my body and myself, so I suggest finding an exercise program that you like (if you haven't already).  Good luck and keep posting.  smile.png



#7 JohnH

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 07:39 PM

Note, I have posted similar advice on a couple other threads in response to people asking for advice and suggestions, so I apologize if someone is seeing this multiple times.

I too have sensitive combination skin, so my input may prove to be useful for you. Your diet sounds pretty good so far. Personally I would never consider trying Accutane, but that's just my opinion. For others, I would strongly suggest only considering it as an absolute last resort.

Generally speaking, I'd suggest eating anti-inflammatory and antioxidant rich foods, drink plenty of water, cut refined sugars and processed foods and drinks, exercise, use a gentle non-drying facial cleanser, a non-drying treatment like AHA and/or low concentration BP, a toner like Thayer's, and be sure to moisturize. This will do wonders for your skin.

Contrary to popular belief, diet has a huge impact on your skin's health, and obviously your overall health. Acne is largely caused by free radical formation and subsequent oxidative stress and inflammation at a cellular level.

The only way I finally got clear skin was to take a holistic approach, instead of viewing acne as an isolated, singular, external "disease" like I did for so many years. A combination of exercise, strict healthy diet, natural and gentle topical treatments, and supplementing vitamins and herbs finally allowed me to be acne-free.

Basically, for anti-inflammatory and antioxidant rich foods, I'd suggest more or less a paleo-based diet with little to no grains, eggs, or dairy, which are highly inflammatory. Lean meats like chicken and fish, some nuts and seeds, healthy fats like olive oil, and plenty of veggies. This is how I eat and it worked very well for me. Aim for fresh, not processed; as close to the food's original state as possible. Grain-fed meat (most meats in the US and almost all meat at restaurants) like steaks and hamburgers are extremely inflammatory. Grass fed beef on the other hand would be ok in moderation.

Try to eat more fish, especially salmon, which is very anti-inflammatory due to its omega-3 content.

Drink plenty of water to keep your body, and consequently your skin, hydrated, and helps detoxify the body.

Anything white like potatoes, pasta, grains, and sugar are highly inflammatory. Dairy is extremely inflammatory too, so I would definitely recommend cutting milk and cheese. I like almond milk and hemp milk.

Cook with organic extra virgin olive oil if using low heat, which is very anti-inflammatory, and grapeseed oil if using high heat (it is tasteless and has a very high flash point). I actually take a shot of olive oil every morning (weird I know). Spices like oregano, rosemary, thyme, cayenne, garlic, clove, black pepper, and turmeric also have potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties so I try to incorporate them whenever possible.

For natural topical treatments I'd suggest aloe, sulfur, tea tree oil, sea buckthorn oil, olive oil, lemon juice, evening primrose oil, and/or AHA. Here are my specific suggestions for topical products that are great for oily, acne-prone skin:

Cleanser - Alpha Hydrox Foaming Face Wash
Toner - Thayer's Cucumber Witch Hazel
AHA - Alpha Hydrox Oil-Free Treatment
Moisturizer - I use natural oils like almond oil, jojoba oil, and evening primrose oil.

Most cream/lotion moisturizers actually end up clogging pores with all their emulsifiers, sulfates, and fillers. If you do prefer a cream moisturizer, the best I ever used was Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture for Combination Skin. They also have a "regular" version and a version for "sensitive skin" but I would argue all the versions would work for sensitive skin. The excess oil your skin is producing may be caused by clogged pores from your topicals or from dryness and irritation.

 

The 10% BP may be irritating and drying your skin. If you're set on using BP I'd strongly recommend switching to a 2.5% concentration like the one offered here on Acne.org

I also like to use cinnamon and raw honey masks, but don't use them if you're hungry because they are very tasty and you'll lick it off. Sometimes I throw in some witch hazel, lemon juice, and a little turmeric powder and leave for 20 minutes.

What specific types and brands of multi and supplements do you take? You need to get multivitamin that is bioavailable (I use Source Naturals Life Force Multiple, which is highly bioavailable; most OTC brands like Centrum are worthless because the forms of the vitamins they use are cheap and not bioavailable.) for starters, and then consider adding extra vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, alpha lipoic acid, krill oil (omega 3's), evening primrose oil (omega 6's), astaxanthin, chromium, selenium, MSM, and/or niacin/niacinamide.

For supplementing natural herbs and spices, I'd suggest neem leaf, sea buckthorn fruit powder, burdock root, bee pollen, propolis, milk thistle, licorice root, cayenne, green tea extract, rosemary, ginger, gotu kola, alfalfa, chlorella, spirulina, and/or turmeric.

All of the above things have natural antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and detoxification/cleansing properties that help heal and prevent acne and improve your skin's health and your overall health.

I like to get my supplements almost exclusively from Amazon from the following trustworthy companies: NOW Foods, Source Naturals, Nutrigold, Jarrow Formulas, and Nature's Way, in that order of preference.

For organic herbs and spices, I usually buy in bulk from MountainRoseHerbs.com and make my own capsules or use the powders (like turmeric) for facial masks.

Hope this helps! Good luck!


Edited by JohnH, 18 June 2013 - 07:40 PM.


#8 sidearmsalpha

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 10:21 PM

I wouldn't knock the Accutane. I'm 40 and this is the first time I have gone through a full treatment and the results are definitely worth the side effects! I have been suffering from cystic acne on my chest and back since I was in my early 20s, but for various reasons, I was not able to get on Accutane before or go through a full treatment. I can honestly admit that low self-esteem brought on by my acne problem severely set back my life. I wish I had been able to go through a full Accutane treatment before. If I were you, I would give it a try. I'm about 5 months into it, and I'm cyst-free except for the occasional one that goes away quickly. The years I did not get it treated has left me with some hypertrophic scarring that I would like to get treated or covered up with some tattoos at some point, but we'll see if I can afford that. The side effects I suffer from are mild in my opinion, but they will pass once the treatment is over. I can deal with dry lips, skin, and nostrils as long as I can finally get rid of this mentally-debilitating condition! I would not wish cystic acne on my worst enemy!



#9 John457

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 01:40 PM

Thanks everyone for the feedback. I had some bloodwork done recently and discovered that my Vitamin D levels are very low (18 out of a possible 100). Upon discovering this news, I actually became very excited, thinking that I had finally pinpointed the cause of my acne. And maybe I still have but so far (3+ weeks of Vitamin D supplementation) I have experienced virtually no relief. Still, I have read that it can take anywhere between 3 - 12 months to notice results. There have been posts on this site as well from others learning that they were Vitamin D deficient and then controlling their oily skin through supplementation. My own Vitamin D deficiency also explains, I think, why I've felt and still feel so tired and lethargic all the time. I need 8-10 hours of sleep to really feel rested.

Anyway I've been taking 50,000 IU of D2 once per week. I've also been taking 1,000 IU of D3 and now recently 2,000 IU. I have been doing this for about 3 weeks now and honestly haven't really noticed much difference. But like I said I also haven't really noticed a difference in energy levels either so maybe I just need to give things more time. I go back for a follow-up blood test in 4 weeks.

The only time my skin begins to approximate a healthy and even complexion is when I get some sun. Yes, being fair skinned and having acne, I have to be careful that I don't get burnt and that I don't become oilier from being burnt, but having a little color makes my skin look so much healthier and alive. My only complaint really is that my scars sort of exhibit hyper pigmentation and appear more red. I think I'm going to get some Aloe Vera though (both in juice and topical form) to see if that helps with reducing the redness from scarring.

#10 WishClean

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 10:54 AM

Thanks everyone for the feedback. I had some bloodwork done recently and discovered that my Vitamin D levels are very low (18 out of a possible 100). Upon discovering this news, I actually became very excited, thinking that I had finally pinpointed the cause of my acne. And maybe I still have but so far (3+ weeks of Vitamin D supplementation) I have experienced virtually no relief. Still, I have read that it can take anywhere between 3 - 12 months to notice results. There have been posts on this site as well from others learning that they were Vitamin D deficient and then controlling their oily skin through supplementation. My own Vitamin D deficiency also explains, I think, why I've felt and still feel so tired and lethargic all the time. I need 8-10 hours of sleep to really feel rested.

Anyway I've been taking 50,000 IU of D2 once per week. I've also been taking 1,000 IU of D3 and now recently 2,000 IU. I have been doing this for about 3 weeks now and honestly haven't really noticed much difference. But like I said I also haven't really noticed a difference in energy levels either so maybe I just need to give things more time. I go back for a follow-up blood test in 4 weeks.

The only time my skin begins to approximate a healthy and even complexion is when I get some sun. Yes, being fair skinned and having acne, I have to be careful that I don't get burnt and that I don't become oilier from being burnt, but having a little color makes my skin look so much healthier and alive. My only complaint really is that my scars sort of exhibit hyper pigmentation and appear more red. I think I'm going to get some Aloe Vera though (both in juice and topical form) to see if that helps with reducing the redness from scarring.

 

My skin does better in the sun too, so I tried supplementing with vitamin D3 but broke out worse. The issue was not the vitamin D itself, but the fact that D supplements include some kind of oil or fat to help with absorption. If you are not good at digesting fats and/or oils, your best bet for getting vitamin D is going out in the sun. In the wintertime, maybe try blue light therapy or even a tanning bed that has UVA/UVB protection (only as a last resort).



#11 theskinguru

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 10:50 PM

hey it seems you are stressing your self and that can be a factor of acne this is what you do stop take a breath calm down a carry on also take a yoga class when you sweat your body rids toxins and yoga has benfits for skin also it will calm you down also try natural remedies thats what i do and i have perfect skin just take a breath youu deserve it 



#12 WishClean

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 09:53 PM

Thanks everyone for the feedback. I had some bloodwork done recently and discovered that my Vitamin D levels are very low (18 out of a possible 100). Upon discovering this news, I actually became very excited, thinking that I had finally pinpointed the cause of my acne. And maybe I still have but so far (3+ weeks of Vitamin D supplementation) I have experienced virtually no relief. Still, I have read that it can take anywhere between 3 - 12 months to notice results. There have been posts on this site as well from others learning that they were Vitamin D deficient and then controlling their oily skin through supplementation. My own Vitamin D deficiency also explains, I think, why I've felt and still feel so tired and lethargic all the time. I need 8-10 hours of sleep to really feel rested.

Anyway I've been taking 50,000 IU of D2 once per week. I've also been taking 1,000 IU of D3 and now recently 2,000 IU. I have been doing this for about 3 weeks now and honestly haven't really noticed much difference. But like I said I also haven't really noticed a difference in energy levels either so maybe I just need to give things more time. I go back for a follow-up blood test in 4 weeks.

The only time my skin begins to approximate a healthy and even complexion is when I get some sun. Yes, being fair skinned and having acne, I have to be careful that I don't get burnt and that I don't become oilier from being burnt, but having a little color makes my skin look so much healthier and alive. My only complaint really is that my scars sort of exhibit hyper pigmentation and appear more red. I think I'm going to get some Aloe Vera though (both in juice and topical form) to see if that helps with reducing the redness from scarring.

How is the D2 working for you? My doctor also prescribed D2, but double your dose. What was your level? Mine was 28, so I think my dose might be a bit too high because the doctor wants to see results quicker (not sure if that's the best approach, but I'm going with it for now). Have you seen an improvement in your skin?



#13 John457

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 09:35 AM


Thanks everyone for the feedback. I had some bloodwork done recently and discovered that my Vitamin D levels are very low (18 out of a possible 100). Upon discovering this news, I actually became very excited, thinking that I had finally pinpointed the cause of my acne. And maybe I still have but so far (3+ weeks of Vitamin D supplementation) I have experienced virtually no relief. Still, I have read that it can take anywhere between 3 - 12 months to notice results. There have been posts on this site as well from others learning that they were Vitamin D deficient and then controlling their oily skin through supplementation. My own Vitamin D deficiency also explains, I think, why I've felt and still feel so tired and lethargic all the time. I need 8-10 hours of sleep to really feel rested.

Anyway I've been taking 50,000 IU of D2 once per week. I've also been taking 1,000 IU of D3 and now recently 2,000 IU. I have been doing this for about 3 weeks now and honestly haven't really noticed much difference. But like I said I also haven't really noticed a difference in energy levels either so maybe I just need to give things more time. I go back for a follow-up blood test in 4 weeks.

The only time my skin begins to approximate a healthy and even complexion is when I get some sun. Yes, being fair skinned and having acne, I have to be careful that I don't get burnt and that I don't become oilier from being burnt, but having a little color makes my skin look so much healthier and alive. My only complaint really is that my scars sort of exhibit hyper pigmentation and appear more red. I think I'm going to get some Aloe Vera though (both in juice and topical form) to see if that helps with reducing the redness from scarring.

How is the D2 working for you? My doctor also prescribed D2, but double your dose. What was your level? Mine was 28, so I think my dose might be a bit too high because the doctor wants to see results quicker (not sure if that's the best approach, but I'm going with it for now). Have you seen an improvement in your skin?

If I remember correctly, my Vitamin D level was an 18 (13, D3 and 5, D2). I was taking 50,000 IU of D2 per week and 2,000 IU of D3 daily. I am finished with the 8 weeks of D2 but still take the D3 for maintaining my levels. I still need to schedule another blood test to see where my levels are at now, but overall, while noticing some increase in my energy, I've noticed very little difference in my skin. My skin is still constantly oily though I haven't had any cystic formations in a week or so, which is extremely rare for me.

#14 WishClean

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 01:08 PM

 


Thanks everyone for the feedback. I had some bloodwork done recently and discovered that my Vitamin D levels are very low (18 out of a possible 100). Upon discovering this news, I actually became very excited, thinking that I had finally pinpointed the cause of my acne. And maybe I still have but so far (3+ weeks of Vitamin D supplementation) I have experienced virtually no relief. Still, I have read that it can take anywhere between 3 - 12 months to notice results. There have been posts on this site as well from others learning that they were Vitamin D deficient and then controlling their oily skin through supplementation. My own Vitamin D deficiency also explains, I think, why I've felt and still feel so tired and lethargic all the time. I need 8-10 hours of sleep to really feel rested.

Anyway I've been taking 50,000 IU of D2 once per week. I've also been taking 1,000 IU of D3 and now recently 2,000 IU. I have been doing this for about 3 weeks now and honestly haven't really noticed much difference. But like I said I also haven't really noticed a difference in energy levels either so maybe I just need to give things more time. I go back for a follow-up blood test in 4 weeks.

The only time my skin begins to approximate a healthy and even complexion is when I get some sun. Yes, being fair skinned and having acne, I have to be careful that I don't get burnt and that I don't become oilier from being burnt, but having a little color makes my skin look so much healthier and alive. My only complaint really is that my scars sort of exhibit hyper pigmentation and appear more red. I think I'm going to get some Aloe Vera though (both in juice and topical form) to see if that helps with reducing the redness from scarring.

How is the D2 working for you? My doctor also prescribed D2, but double your dose. What was your level? Mine was 28, so I think my dose might be a bit too high because the doctor wants to see results quicker (not sure if that's the best approach, but I'm going with it for now). Have you seen an improvement in your skin?

If I remember correctly, my Vitamin D level was an 18 (13, D3 and 5, D2). I was taking 50,000 IU of D2 per week and 2,000 IU of D3 daily. I am finished with the 8 weeks of D2 but still take the D3 for maintaining my levels. I still need to schedule another blood test to see where my levels are at now, but overall, while noticing some increase in my energy, I've noticed very little difference in my skin. My skin is still constantly oily though I haven't had any cystic formations in a week or so, which is extremely rare for me.

 

My doctor didn't tell me how low my D2 and D3 levels were, she just gave me a cumulative number so I'm not sure if my D3 is lower than my D2, but all I'm taking is D2. What brand of D3 are you taking? I haven't found a single brand that doesn't break me out unfortunately, so it seems that I'm having better luck with the prescription.



#15 John457

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 04:30 PM


 



Thanks everyone for the feedback. I had some bloodwork done recently and discovered that my Vitamin D levels are very low (18 out of a possible 100). Upon discovering this news, I actually became very excited, thinking that I had finally pinpointed the cause of my acne. And maybe I still have but so far (3+ weeks of Vitamin D supplementation) I have experienced virtually no relief. Still, I have read that it can take anywhere between 3 - 12 months to notice results. There have been posts on this site as well from others learning that they were Vitamin D deficient and then controlling their oily skin through supplementation. My own Vitamin D deficiency also explains, I think, why I've felt and still feel so tired and lethargic all the time. I need 8-10 hours of sleep to really feel rested.

Anyway I've been taking 50,000 IU of D2 once per week. I've also been taking 1,000 IU of D3 and now recently 2,000 IU. I have been doing this for about 3 weeks now and honestly haven't really noticed much difference. But like I said I also haven't really noticed a difference in energy levels either so maybe I just need to give things more time. I go back for a follow-up blood test in 4 weeks.

The only time my skin begins to approximate a healthy and even complexion is when I get some sun. Yes, being fair skinned and having acne, I have to be careful that I don't get burnt and that I don't become oilier from being burnt, but having a little color makes my skin look so much healthier and alive. My only complaint really is that my scars sort of exhibit hyper pigmentation and appear more red. I think I'm going to get some Aloe Vera though (both in juice and topical form) to see if that helps with reducing the redness from scarring.

How is the D2 working for you? My doctor also prescribed D2, but double your dose. What was your level? Mine was 28, so I think my dose might be a bit too high because the doctor wants to see results quicker (not sure if that's the best approach, but I'm going with it for now). Have you seen an improvement in your skin?
If I remember correctly, my Vitamin D level was an 18 (13, D3 and 5, D2). I was taking 50,000 IU of D2 per week and 2,000 IU of D3 daily. I am finished with the 8 weeks of D2 but still take the D3 for maintaining my levels. I still need to schedule another blood test to see where my levels are at now, but overall, while noticing some increase in my energy, I've noticed very little difference in my skin. My skin is still constantly oily though I haven't had any cystic formations in a week or so, which is extremely rare for me.
 
My doctor didn't tell me how low my D2 and D3 levels were, she just gave me a cumulative number so I'm not sure if my D3 is lower than my D2, but all I'm taking is D2. What brand of D3 are you taking? I haven't found a single brand that doesn't break me out unfortunately, so it seems that I'm having better luck with the prescription.

Source Naturals