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Stumped With My Hormonal Acne

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#21 jlcampi

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 10:26 PM

Heitea,

I'm sorry if I offended you with my comment. There is nothing wrong with your face. You are very attractive. I too am in the science business and can be very matter of fact. It comes off as arrogant and condescending at times.

The sign of hertoghe is a thinning of your outer eyebrow. If you don't know what to look for, it will won't even be noticed.

As far as the sub-orbital edema, that too is very mild.

It's just a thought.

If you really want to know about the cortisol comment I will reply. What sucks for us, is that there is a huge amount of information on the endocrine system that our docs have chosen to ignore.

#22 brennaj

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 12:12 AM

 

 

90% of the testosterone (metabolized from DHEA) you produce is from the adrenal system.  The balance is from the ovaries.  

 

DHEA is released from the Adrenals at the same time as cortisol.  

 

Obviously something happened right after your trip.  Were you on vacation in Italy?  If so, then most people are relaxed and experience a period of low stress.  

 

Looking at your first photo, it looks like you may have a mild cortisol deficiency.  If you can back to high stress situation and your adrenals couldn't keep up, then you may have overproduced DHEA that converted to testosterone.  

 

If this is the case and you are cortisol deficient, then dexamethasone may help.  It will replace cortisol and decrease androgen production.

I was not really vacationing, although it felt like a vacation. I was on an internship there teaching English, and helping with various programs. I had stress there, trust me--speaking your second language all the time is super stressful when you are constantly around people (especially when you are introverted like me é_é). 

I have a question: how can you tell from my first photo that I am cortisol deficient? I am interested for your response!

I just went today to have my DHEA, testosterone, estrogen, and vitamins tested. I will get the results in a week. will be keeping all posted on this :)



#23 brennaj

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 12:54 AM

I wish dermatologists could identify correctly what type of acne each person has, that would make things a lot easier. I have seen a LOT of hormonal acne photos, and yours might not necessarily be hormonal. Have you looked up leaky gut/ candida and high histamines? Did some supplements/ foods make your skin worse? It looks like the reaction I got when I tried milk thistle, so maybe something you are taking is detoxing your liver too rapidly and your body is unable to get rid of all the toxins the proper way. 

I get reactions from things that trigger a histamine reaction....so for me, it could be anything from body lotions & shampoos (sulfates/SLS) to tomatoes. I tested my IgG and IgE for food allergies and intolerances, which might be something you can try too. 

I would definitely recommend checking your vitamin D levels as well as your hormones (saliva testing is more reliable for hormones than blood testing - I did blood twice and it didn't show much, yet I get hormonal acne the same time each month). Right now I'm taking inositol for hormonal acne and following a low histamine diet. But I had to  do a lot of trial and error before I found this combo, so you need to see what works for you. In my case, I get different types of acne...I even had folliculitis at some point, so I have to treat each cause differently to keep it under control. Finding an understanding doctor or naturopath is the first step. 

I have looked up leaky gut and candida... but I don't know if that is my problem. The high histamines I missed, but I think I have stopped eating all of the high histamine foods for the most part... after looking them up. I do eat spinach though. Maybe I should omit that? I have really itchy acne sometimes--and it gets really exasperated by heat, like when my scarves or hats or hair touches my face, I get really hot and then itchy. Even when there is nothing on my face, when my face is hot and throbbing, it will start to itch. Would you recommend benadryl? (it is an antihistamine, right?) I bought a clear, fragrance free detergent for my clothes... let's hope it helps.


I am so discouraged today. The doctor I saw really treated my issue as if it were nothing. It was like she wasn't even listening to my symptoms. I said I wanted to get my blood checked for possible hormonal problems or vitamin D deficiency--it was like pulling teeth. She was like, "well, all my other patients have had success with a combination of topical and oral antibiotics, birth control, or accutane... I don't think there is even a reason to do a test. Your periods are regular and light." I also asked her if they did saliva hormonal testing, and she said in a really condescending tone: "We don't do those kinds of 'holistic' tests here," like I was some kind of joke! I felt like even I knew more than her about hormones and diet being related to acne than she did. She just poo-pooed everything like I was a joke hypochondriac! UGH this is why I hate visiting doctors! SOOO know it all and close-minded! And, she completely ignored my concerns about a possible thyroid issue. Anyway, I am getting my androgen, estrogen, DHEA, and vitamins checked. Maybe the results will shed some light.


I even have all the same [hormonal] symptoms that you do, and I honestly thought that I had estrogen dominance, as well. I don't have excess hair, but I have excess acne, dangit! That's a sign of a problem! Well, I started taking Beyaz in August...and my skin has been improving ever since. I know you don't want to go on a birth control, but it has seriously helped me. I feel weird about altering my hormones, but sometimes that's what you gotta do. I actually just started 25mg of Spironolactone about 20 days ago, too. I tried doing it "naturally" with all the supplements, but it didn't work. I'll include a before and after picture...the "Before" is after it started getting better. It was a lot worse than this picture, and you can't see the tiny cysts ALL along my jawline and my neck in the before, either. It's not perfect, but a definite improvement.

 



 

 

 


It is not that I am against any prescription drugs, but I want to get to the root of the problem before I take any big action against my acne. I don't want to take birth control for the reason that I don't want to have to be on the pill all the time. I don't want to risk getting a really bad flare up if I quit it all of a sudden. It has only been 6 months. And I know that sounds like a long time, but I don't want to throw in the towel and take a drug that may mask my symptoms, but might not get to the root of the problem. I want to know what my body is doing and why it making my hormones out of balance. I want clear skin just as anyone else, but I am not looking for a quick fix. I am looking for a cure! And hopefully, I will find that cure! :) You are gorgeous by the way! So happy that you got rid of your skin probs and hope I get success like yours! :)
 


I've been where you are. I've done every strange diet imaginable (and nearly starved from some of them), and I've developed rigid washing and cleaning rituals. And like you, I've tried my fair share of supplements. But for some people (me included), those things don't work. My acne didn't respond to any of my "healthy" life changes, and I found that I spent more money and stressed so much more when I did them. And whenever I added a new product to my regimen, my skin exploded with angry red pimples. So I decided to stop worrying about it, eat normally, wash normally, and take a simple multivitamin. And my acne didn't get worse, if anything, it improved. I think that when we overload our faces and bodies with products (even healthy ones) we can really do some damage to our skin. And not everyone's skin reacts well to certain products. For example, I break out terribly on probiotics of any kind. 

 

If I were you, I would consider using a more simple regimen. Many people (myself included) have good results using CeraVe AM and PM moisturizers, and the Dove Beauty Bar for washing. That's it.  For some people, diet may play a role in acne, but for others it does not. And in my opinion, your type of acne likely isn't caused by the foods you are eating. If I were to guess, I would say you either had a hormonal imbalance, or are like me and simply have lousy luck. In any case, you may consider seeing a dermatologist AND endocrinologist. You have options like Spironolactone (which works wonders for many women with hormonal acne) and Isotretinoin, which is what I am currently using.

I have begun a new, simple, and nourishing regimen with a fragrance free, moisturizing sensitive skin cleanser, a cream based organic serum (not used every day), and a high moisturizing oil free moisturizer made for sensitive skin types. Again, I am trying to avoid strong prescription drugs like isotretinoin. My mind is not completely closed to the idea of prescription hormone treatments, but I am really trying to avoid them if possible because I want my body to balance on its own... I took a hormone and vitamin deficiency blood test today, and am waiting for the results. We will see how it goes!



#24 WishClean

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 11:42 AM

I eat spinach too, it doesn't seem to bother me. Tomatoes are one of the worst histamine triggers, so if you can avoid those or have them in small quantities, it can help. Try to get the FULL hormonal panel (including cortisol and thyroid T3 AND T4 - doctors usually omit comprehensive thyroid testing) preferably saliva or urine. I did the blood test twice and it was nearly useless. You can plan it so that you get blood tested on a day where your hormones fluctuate the most (I believe day 21 - jcampi wrote about it somewhere), but most of us here are in the "normal" range. The normal range is very broad and doesn't take into account whether the body is sensitive to androgens on a skin level. That's why I think saliva testing would be more indicative of an imbalance. You can get saliva testing in certain places, depending on your area, and naturopaths in particular offer it. Ask for vitamin D as well, and maybe selenium, magnesium, and zinc. 

If you want to supplement while waiting to order tests, the most harmless vitamin to supplement with is vitamin C, anywhere from 500mg to 1500 (no megadosing) per day. Make sure all supplements you are using are coloring-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, etc...just to be on the safe side. My current multi is herpanacine, and I also add vitamin C daily for good measure. I haven't had a full blown cold is years, and I never get those stupid flu shots. 

I am totally with you on wanting to find out the cause before you take any medication. Most doctors will use birth control or antibiotics on a trial and error basis anyway. I don't think those are the only options available. Most mainstream doctors have a very limited knowledge of how acne is caused and the remedies for it because it's not considered a top medical priority. You need to be inquisitive and do your own research. I have had more luck with herbs in the past and now with supplements and lifestyle changes. Stress is the biggest trigger if you have a hormone sensitive condition. Even if you try to minimize stress now, it will take months for your body to fully release pent-up stress. 

Try to listen to your body and pay attention to your acne patterns to see if flare ups happen during particular times of the month or 24-48 hours after eating certain foods. 

I disagree with what was said above about all acne being hormonal. There are some types like folliculitis (often mistaken for acne vulgaris) and comedogenic acne that can take place on the surface of the skin. I would advice you to put less stuff on your skin, even if it's "natural." Using filtered, spring, or distilled/ de-ionized water to wash your face can help balance your skin's PH. It looks irritated right now, and putting lots of things on it won't help the situation. Let it breathe every day. Check the .org for posts on skin PH and water quality.

Lastly, avoid anything that is supposed to detox. If your liver is weak, then detox herbs/ supplements can do more harm than good, especially if you take more than the lowest dose. 


Edited by WishClean, 12 December 2013 - 11:44 AM.

Supplements: inositol, DIM, digestive enzymes [don't need them every day anymore, only on cheat days], herpanacine & vitamin C with rose hips [not every day], regular sun exposure for vitamin D3.

Lifestyle & Skin Care: Low histamine diet, avoiding unnecessary stress, balancing skin's PH (using Image Ormedics), using distilled/ filtered water to wash face, occasional high frequency facials... (although I have been slacking lately)

** Find the cause, find the cure **

 


#25 hitea

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 12:01 PM


It is not that I am against any prescription drugs, but I want to get to the root of the problem before I take any big action against my acne. I don't want to take birth control for the reason that I don't want to have to be on the pill all the time. I don't want to risk getting a really bad flare up if I quit it all of a sudden. It has only been 6 months. And I know that sounds like a long time, but I don't want to throw in the towel and take a drug that may mask my symptoms, but might not get to the root of the problem. I want to know what my body is doing and why it making my hormones out of balance. I want clear skin just as anyone else, but I am not looking for a quick fix. I am looking for a cure! And hopefully, I will find that cure! smile.png You are gorgeous by the way! So happy that you got rid of your skin probs and hope I get success like yours! smile.png
 

Yeah, knowing what's happening in your body and treating it permanently is so much better than a quick fix! I needed to get clear quickly (ish) though because I'm going to basic training in February and there's always the off-chance that they could disqualify me based on acne. I'm really terrified of the day that I come off birth control to conceive or something-- I dread the breakout which is undoubtedly going to happen. One day, after basic training and tech school, I'd like to explore the holistic route again and really try to find a way to permanently fix it. I guess for now, I'm good with the superficial fix... lol Good for you for digging deeper! I hope you do find your cure! biggrin.png


Edited by heitea, 12 December 2013 - 12:03 PM.


#26 JennaBean

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 01:35 PM

You should check into Spironolactone. The pattern of your acne looks 100% hormonal

All acne is hormonal.

Wow! I honestly feel like I could have written this-- besides going to Italy. haha. First of all, you are so incredibly beautiful!! In all the pictures!

I wish I could comment on every single thing you wrote in this post because it has ALL happened to me. Including the eating whatever, not washing face much, but being ridiculously happy-- and having clear skin. Then I found thelovevitamin and tried the holistic route...where I was still ridiculously happy...and I thought that washing my face with Manuka honey and only putting aloe on my face afterwards was giving me clear skin. I also thought that my 20 minutes of sunlight and smiling and reading all the time was giving me clear skin. Nope, it was being ridiculously happy because it was summertime and I had a different perspective on life...lol Then it all went to poop, and I ended up depressed and hey! all the acne came back. This was about 2 years ago. I have taken every single pill that you've taken. The worst my skin has EVER been was trying to be "paleo" and taking borage seed oil, flaxseed oil, saw palmetto, and zinc. My skin was covered in cysts...covered. No end in sight type-- with no head. My jawline...tiny cysts in every pore. Oh man, it was terrible. Then I started taking Burdock root. AHHHH. Omg. 16 cysts in one day...on July 4. I was so freaked out. All I could do was cry.
I even have all the same [hormonal] symptoms that you do, and I honestly thought that I had estrogen dominance, as well. I don't have excess hair, but I have excess acne, dangit! That's a sign of a problem! Well, I started taking Beyaz in August...and my skin has been improving ever since. I know you don't want to go on a birth control, but it has seriously helped me. I feel weird about altering my hormones, but sometimes that's what you gotta do. I actually just started 25mg of Spironolactone about 20 days ago, too. I tried doing it "naturally" with all the supplements, but it didn't work. I'll include a before and after picture...the "Before" is after it started getting better. It was a lot worse than this picture, and you can't see the tiny cysts ALL along my jawline and my neck in the before, either. It's not perfect, but a definite improvement. 

 

Have you had your thyroid levels checked? It looks like you have the "Sign of Hertoghe" as well as suborbital edema. Translation.  The sign of hertoghe is the loss of the outer 1/3 of the eyebrow.  Suborbital edema is swelling of the lower eyelids.  It's actually myxedema or waste products that accumulate causing swelling.  Both point to hypothyroidism.  The symptoms of hypothyroidism are always exaggerated in the morning.



ALL acne is NOT hormonal. There's acne that's caused by certain products, certain makeups can cause acne, and there's even acne rosacea. Her pattern of acne looks hormonal due to its location (anywhere a man would grow a beard is typically hormonal).

#27 WishClean

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 02:02 PM

I agree that the location of your acne corresponds to hormonal breakouts, but I'm looking at the type of acne too, and it looks more than hormonal. If your body is trying to get rid of toxins (including excess hormones) too rapidly, that tends to cause that type of acne. It's almost rash-like...perhaps fungal or bacterial. eusa_think.gif  Not to say that hormones can't cause that type of acne, but it might be better if you cut out some of the things you are using and taking. 

Start by cutting these out:

- Cod liver oil...especially if you are sensitive to oils.

- ACV - it broke me out, always at the same spot with red and hard pimples. 

- Vitamin A at a low dose is ok, maybe add some vitamin C if you want to take vitamins.

- Vitamin E - if it's the dry form it might be ok. If you are sensitive to oils, avoid capsules.

- zinc can break some people out, it depends on the form and quantity. Get tested for deficiency to see if you need it.

- Probiotics: it's best to start with just acidophilus, low dose (Can cause purging - be careful with high doses/ billions)...if that breaks you out, most likely probiotics are not for you. 

Make sure all your supplements are as pure as possible...usually it's the additional ingredients that cause problems, not the vitamins themselves. Avoid colorings, gluten, dairy, yeast,casein, etc. 

 

Water is great for your body...just make sure it's filtered/ bottled, not tap. 

 

When you say you are taking vitamin B, do you mean a b-complex? B-complexes break some people out due to the high % of biotin and/or B12, compared to all the other Bs. I am only taking inositol, which is technically B8, and it works as a type of  prohormone (kind of like vitamin D, but serves a different function) that helps regulate ovulation and PCOS. I also take herpanacine, vitamin C, and digestive enzymes. I learned that less is more when it comes to supplements. If you introduce too many things at once, you won't know which one is working and which ones are not.


Edited by WishClean, 12 December 2013 - 02:03 PM.

Supplements: inositol, DIM, digestive enzymes [don't need them every day anymore, only on cheat days], herpanacine & vitamin C with rose hips [not every day], regular sun exposure for vitamin D3.

Lifestyle & Skin Care: Low histamine diet, avoiding unnecessary stress, balancing skin's PH (using Image Ormedics), using distilled/ filtered water to wash face, occasional high frequency facials... (although I have been slacking lately)

** Find the cause, find the cure **

 


#28 jlcampi

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 08:24 PM

You should check into Spironolactone. The pattern of your acne looks 100% hormonal

All acne is hormonal.

Wow! I honestly feel like I could have written this-- besides going to Italy. haha. First of all, you are so incredibly beautiful!! In all the pictures!

I wish I could comment on every single thing you wrote in this post because it has ALL happened to me. Including the eating whatever, not washing face much, but being ridiculously happy-- and having clear skin. Then I found thelovevitamin and tried the holistic route...where I was still ridiculously happy...and I thought that washing my face with Manuka honey and only putting aloe on my face afterwards was giving me clear skin. I also thought that my 20 minutes of sunlight and smiling and reading all the time was giving me clear skin. Nope, it was being ridiculously happy because it was summertime and I had a different perspective on life...lol Then it all went to poop, and I ended up depressed and hey! all the acne came back. This was about 2 years ago. I have taken every single pill that you've taken. The worst my skin has EVER been was trying to be "paleo" and taking borage seed oil, flaxseed oil, saw palmetto, and zinc. My skin was covered in cysts...covered. No end in sight type-- with no head. My jawline...tiny cysts in every pore. Oh man, it was terrible. Then I started taking Burdock root. AHHHH. Omg. 16 cysts in one day...on July 4. I was so freaked out. All I could do was cry.
I even have all the same [hormonal] symptoms that you do, and I honestly thought that I had estrogen dominance, as well. I don't have excess hair, but I have excess acne, dangit! That's a sign of a problem! Well, I started taking Beyaz in August...and my skin has been improving ever since. I know you don't want to go on a birth control, but it has seriously helped me. I feel weird about altering my hormones, but sometimes that's what you gotta do. I actually just started 25mg of Spironolactone about 20 days ago, too. I tried doing it "naturally" with all the supplements, but it didn't work. I'll include a before and after picture...the "Before" is after it started getting better. It was a lot worse than this picture, and you can't see the tiny cysts ALL along my jawline and my neck in the before, either. It's not perfect, but a definite improvement. 

 

Have you had your thyroid levels checked? It looks like you have the "Sign of Hertoghe" as well as suborbital edema. Translation.  The sign of hertoghe is the loss of the outer 1/3 of the eyebrow.  Suborbital edema is swelling of the lower eyelids.  It's actually myxedema or waste products that accumulate causing swelling.  Both point to hypothyroidism.  The symptoms of hypothyroidism are always exaggerated in the morning.


ALL acne is NOT hormonal. There's acne that's caused by certain products, certain makeups can cause acne, and there's even acne rosacea. Her pattern of acne looks hormonal due to its location (anywhere a man would grow a beard is typically hormonal).

I understand what you are saying and products can trigger a response. There is always an exception or two and possibly toxicity, however without elevated free testosterone sebum production will be low. Solve the hormonal problem and you make significant improvements in acne.

I can't speak to the etiology of rosacea, although I've had that too.

#29 Green Gables

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 08:32 PM

Can't you order saliva testing yourself now without a doctor? I could've sworn there are testing labs in the U.S. that do that sort of thing.

 

Also wanted to add, that with the exception of folliculitis which isn't acne anyway, there is almost always a hormonal component to acne. Hormones can also increase the viscosity of sebum. If you have thick sebum, it will clog with nearly anything you put on your face. If you have thin sebum, that likelihood reduces dramatically. 

 

I can sleep in stage makeup (the worst, thick, pore-clogging kind) now and not even get a clogged pore. Before changing my hormones, I had to be sooooo careful about products on my face...I felt like I was navigating a land mine just applying a moisturizer or choosing a foundation. 

 

Yes, we should be careful about weird crap we put on our face, but the hope is that once you fix the internal stuff going on, you don't have to be so limited in your facial product choices. 


Edited by Green Gables, 12 December 2013 - 08:37 PM.

photo-152109.gif?_r=1345837784?__rand=0.

 

I don't get notified of your response to my post unless you QUOTE my post.

Please only quote a small portion of the post so it doesn't clutter up the thread. 

 

How to Treat Hormonal Acne

Good and Bad Birth Control Pills and Implants for Acne

How to take Spironolactone

List of Doctors Who Prescribe Spironolactone

Topicals for Hormonal Acne

 

HOW I STAY 100% CLEAR:

Spironolactone (anti-androgen drug)

Betaine HCL with each meal

Avoiding silicones and occlusives in skin/hair products

 

 

 


#30 brennaj

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 11:55 AM

Hello all! 

 

Thanks for all your suggestions and insight. I have decided to stop researching for a little while, to see if the "remedies" are just exasperating my condition. I have taken all your advice in, and will continue eating a very clean diet, exercising, reducing stress, and drinking a lot of water. But as far as supplements and home remedies go, I am going to stop them all. I am going to see what my results are, talk to my doctor, and see my options. If my doctor decides to prescribe me a pill to balance my hormones or take birth control, then I will certainly take what she says into consideration. As of now, the acne has started to spread to a couple spots on my chest and shoulders, and it has been the tipping point for me. I think the stress of seeing all the possibilities of what is causing my acne is not making me live a normal life, and causing me to break out even more. I am going to try all my options, including hormonal treatment if necessary. I haven't been closed to prescriptions, I just have wanted to see if I could clear my acne by letting my body heal itself, or change my diet in order to do it. However, for my lifestyle, I don't think it is possible for me to do all the dietary changes, like omitting certain healthy foods from my diet because they might be affecting it. I don't want to feel guilty anymore for wanting a square of dark chocolate every once in a while, or for eating a couple dried figs--these are things I have eaten all my life and they have never once made me sick or given me allergic reactions. I don't want to deny myself pleasures and a social life if I can take one pill a day and get rid of my acne. For all of you who have suggested the dietary route: I am so respectful of you for finding a natural route to clear your acne, and have the self discipline to not eat caffeine or sugars, etc, or do a candida diet, but for me, I don't think that it is possible as a busy college student who is about to live in a place where having a special grain free, low salt, dairy free, sugars free, fruit free, caffeine free diet would be impossible and probably cause me to be ostracized by students who don't understand. Again, I am not looking for a quick fix--I never was. I was just looking for something that would fit my lifestyle as a poor college student who is scared to do anything drastic with her skin. 



#31 hitea

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 01:45 PM

Good plan! :D Honestly, researching gives me anxiety...there was a time where I was spending hours looking up remedies-- only to find myself picking the heck out of my skin later on in the day due to those anxieties. You have a great attitude about it all, and I'm sure you'll find your cure soon! Good luck at the dermatologist! I hope it all goes well!



#32 jlcampi

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 09:11 AM

Hello all! 
 
Thanks for all your suggestions and insight. I have decided to stop researching for a little while, to see if the "remedies" are just exasperating my condition. I have taken all your advice in, and will continue eating a very clean diet, exercising, reducing stress, and drinking a lot of water. But as far as supplements and home remedies go, I am going to stop them all. I am going to see what my results are, talk to my doctor, and see my options. If my doctor decides to prescribe me a pill to balance my hormones or take birth control, then I will certainly take what she says into consideration. As of now, the acne has started to spread to a couple spots on my chest and shoulders, and it has been the tipping point for me. I think the stress of seeing all the possibilities of what is causing my acne is not making me live a normal life, and causing me to break out even more. I am going to try all my options, including hormonal treatment if necessary. I haven't been closed to prescriptions, I just have wanted to see if I could clear my acne by letting my body heal itself, or change my diet in order to do it. However, for my lifestyle, I don't think it is possible for me to do all the dietary changes, like omitting certain healthy foods from my diet because they might be affecting it. I don't want to feel guilty anymore for wanting a square of dark chocolate every once in a while, or for eating a couple dried figs--these are things I have eaten all my life and they have never once made me sick or given me allergic reactions. I don't want to deny myself pleasures and a social life if I can take one pill a day and get rid of my acne. For all of you who have suggested the dietary route: I am so respectful of you for finding a natural route to clear your acne, and have the self discipline to not eat caffeine or sugars, etc, or do a candida diet, but for me, I don't think that it is possible as a busy college student who is about to live in a place where having a special grain free, low salt, dairy free, sugars free, fruit free, caffeine free diet would be impossible and probably cause me to be ostracized by students who don't understand. Again, I am not looking for a quick fix--I never was. I was just looking for something that would fit my lifestyle as a poor college student who is scared to do anything drastic with her skin. 


I also think this a good plan. When you step away from the research also leave the a anxiety and self conscious thoughts behind. The reality is that the vast majority of people don't care if you have acne. Someone as beautiful as you with such a great attitude will not have problems if you choose not to give others the power to control how you feel.

I have 2 cents that says your problem is elevated DHEA that is likely amplified by stress. Really think about not giving others power over you by incessantly worrying about what they think or say. You really have no idea what they think or will do, so ruminating over this is a pointless stress inducing exercise.

If you can master this, it is such an empowering and liberating experience that will impact the rest of your life positively. Good luck.

#33 brennaj

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 02:57 PM

UPDATE:

So, the blood test results for my hormone levels came back normal. My doctor suggested Differin for me (as sort of a trial and error thing), but as I look at the reviews from people, it doesn't seem to be much of a miracle worker (purging, excessive dryness, bad for sensitive skin and inflamed acne like mine, etc) As you guys may know, I have really good skin in the summertime. Is stopping then starting Differin a good idea? I don't want to have to avoid the sun in the summer, and I am scared that if I take it, I will have to keep taking it forever. After taking everyone's advice of doing a gentle skin care regimen and washing with distilled water, I have seen improvement of my skin. It is less red and the breakouts are no longer painful. I am using right now  neutrogena sensitive skin facial cleanser with MyChelle cream based serum, and a sensitive skin moisturizer. I do have a LOT of hyperpigmentation which really is annoying (looks like a giant rash on my cheeks). Does differin work for people with hyperpigmentation? I'm thinking of trying it for a while to see results. I would like to hear other people's experience :)



#34 Green Gables

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 05:16 PM

I really don't know anyone who was cured permanently on retinoids, which is what Differin is. 

 

If you are no longer pursuing the hormonal course of action, you will get more help on the other categories on acne.org. 


Edited by Green Gables, 16 December 2013 - 05:19 PM.

photo-152109.gif?_r=1345837784?__rand=0.

 

I don't get notified of your response to my post unless you QUOTE my post.

Please only quote a small portion of the post so it doesn't clutter up the thread. 

 

How to Treat Hormonal Acne

Good and Bad Birth Control Pills and Implants for Acne

How to take Spironolactone

List of Doctors Who Prescribe Spironolactone

Topicals for Hormonal Acne

 

HOW I STAY 100% CLEAR:

Spironolactone (anti-androgen drug)

Betaine HCL with each meal

Avoiding silicones and occlusives in skin/hair products

 

 

 


#35 WishClean

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 05:58 PM

post on the prescription forum for that kind of advice.

Everything you say about your skin & the sun points to a vitamin D deficiency. Do a search for vitamin D threads, it has helped a lot of people. It might be all you need really.


Supplements: inositol, DIM, digestive enzymes [don't need them every day anymore, only on cheat days], herpanacine & vitamin C with rose hips [not every day], regular sun exposure for vitamin D3.

Lifestyle & Skin Care: Low histamine diet, avoiding unnecessary stress, balancing skin's PH (using Image Ormedics), using distilled/ filtered water to wash face, occasional high frequency facials... (although I have been slacking lately)

** Find the cause, find the cure **

 


#36 brennaj

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 09:41 PM

Thanks guys! 

I actually decided to wait on the Differin thing as I did more research. I still think that my body will heal itself and that my acne is starting to go away. I am having few breakouts, so I must be doing something right. 

 

post on the prescription forum for that kind of advice.

Everything you say about your skin & the sun points to a vitamin D deficiency. Do a search for vitamin D threads, it has helped a lot of people. It might be all you need really.

Will definitely look more into the D deficiency thing... but the doctor said that my blood test was negative for a D deficiency :/ 



#37 Green Gables

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 11:10 PM

Thanks guys! 

I actually decided to wait on the Differin thing as I did more research. I still think that my body will heal itself and that my acne is starting to go away. I am having few breakouts, so I must be doing something right. 

 

post on the prescription forum for that kind of advice.

Everything you say about your skin & the sun points to a vitamin D deficiency. Do a search for vitamin D threads, it has helped a lot of people. It might be all you need really.

Will definitely look more into the D deficiency thing... but the doctor said that my blood test was negative for a D deficiency :/ 

 

Might want to look at The Vitamin D Council's articles. To have a "deficiency" as defined by the typical test range, basically means you are at risk for rickets. A healthy D level would be much higher. 


photo-152109.gif?_r=1345837784?__rand=0.

 

I don't get notified of your response to my post unless you QUOTE my post.

Please only quote a small portion of the post so it doesn't clutter up the thread. 

 

How to Treat Hormonal Acne

Good and Bad Birth Control Pills and Implants for Acne

How to take Spironolactone

List of Doctors Who Prescribe Spironolactone

Topicals for Hormonal Acne

 

HOW I STAY 100% CLEAR:

Spironolactone (anti-androgen drug)

Betaine HCL with each meal

Avoiding silicones and occlusives in skin/hair products

 

 

 


#38 jlcampi

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 01:45 PM

Can you post your lab results? Docs are notorious for claiming levels are normal when they aren't.

The lab reference range is just the 95% confidence interval of the lab's reference group. Every lab must form their reference range from a reference group, typically a representative sample of their patients. This is why every lab has a different reference range. Since young healthy people don't typically get their labs run, the data is skewed toward the ill, elderly and sick. To be outside of their reference range, your results must be in the low or high 2.5%. To have levels lower than those those, your results must be more than 2 standard deviations from the mean.

The bottom line is this: having results in the lab's reference range does not necessarily mean you don't have a hormonal imbalance.

#39 PatientTin

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 02:09 PM

You should take accutane that could scar

#40 brennaj

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 03:17 PM

You should take accutane that could scar


hmmmm.... well seeing as that is a "last resort" kind of drug, has crazy side effects, and doesn't always cure acne--and seeing that I am already seeing results from diet/lifestyle change and gentle skin treatment and haven't tried many other prescription oral or topical products---that is going to be a big NOT GONNA HAPPEN. I would only take it if my acne got really giant cysts and wasn't improving. I already have scars, but that was inevitable. Accutane doesn't reduce scarring--it reduces severe acne. I'm not trying to sound rude, but I just feel really strongly about those kinds of acne treatments.



Can you post your lab results? Docs are notorious for claiming levels are normal when they aren't.

The lab reference range is just the 95% confidence interval of the lab's reference group. Every lab must form their reference range from a reference group, typically a representative sample of their patients. This is why every lab has a different reference range. Since young healthy people don't typically get their labs run, the data is skewed toward the ill, elderly and sick. To be outside of their reference range, your results must be in the low or high 2.5%. To have levels lower than those those, your results must be more than 2 standard deviations from the mean.

The bottom line is this: having results in the lab's reference range does not necessarily mean you don't have a hormonal imbalance.

I think I will go check with medical records to see the results for myself, and maybe see if someone on the forum can help. That is a really good idea. I still think it is a hormonal imbalance, but if I don't know what is dominant or excessive, then I don't want to exasperate the problem by self treatment of the wrong type--does that make sense? 






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