Almost a year ago, I posted about my "acne success story" because I had seemingly defeated my acne. Unfortunately now I have a "Part 2" because my acne came back
It all started when I stopped taking birth control pills. I had been on doxycycline for a few months, but decided to stop taking it because a) it got expensive and b) I wasn't comfortable being on antibiotics long term. I didn't have any adverse side effects after stopping, so I am glad I did because it must not have been helping that much.
When I stopped taking birth control though, all hell broke loose. I didn't even stop taking it on purpose, really - I just ran out and hadn't been back to the doctor to get more prescribed. I read some pretty negative things about BC pills, so I just decided not to bother getting another prescription. Unfortunately in less than two weeks, I went from having clear skin to waking up every day with new pimples (cystic, of course) on my lower cheeks and forehead. At first I thought it was just my body adjusting to not being on BC, but over the next month or so it gradually got worse and worse until finally my acne was back, full blown, even worse than it had been last year.
This obviously told me that my acne was hormonal, so I tried some natural remedies for hormonal acne to avoid getting back on the pill. Nothing worked - I tried Vitex, milk thistle, drinking dandelion root tea several times a day (ew), no dairy, and many other things. I continued this for a couple of months because where acne is concerned, everything seems to take a long time before it starts working.
To make a long story short, I ended up getting back on birth control and also started spironolactone at 50 mgs per day. I am up to 100 mgs per day now and it has been AMAZING. It took a couple of months before I noticed any real improvement, but now I've been on it for about 4 months and my skin looks wonderful. I also switched up my products a bit - I'm using Paula's Choice products pretty much exclusively and I have nothing but great things to say about these products. And since spironolactone isn't an antibiotic and has no negative effects if taken long term, I have no intention of ever NOT taking it. And with my insurance, I don't have to pay anything for it.
Anyway - this may have been a boring anti-climatic story, but I know there are a lot of women with hormonal acne so someone may find it helpful or interesting.