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Stumped With My Hormonal Acne

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#81 jlcampi

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 05:18 AM

Hey there.
I never do this but signed up specifically to share my story in hopes it may help some other frustrated hormonal acne sufferers. I have had hormonal acne for 10 yrs. For me, i get cystic acne the week before my perios. i tried yaz which helped but made me pyscho and have me chronic yeast infections. I tried loestrin which made things worse. I tried spiro but had the same yeast problems as with yaz (they are chemically very similar). I tried ortho tri cyclen which works for me and helped but not completely. I have also tried pretty much every combination OTC and prescription topical a dermatologist can recommend.
I tend not to buy the homeopath stuff, but SAW PALMETTO changed my skin! I take one capsule in the morning and one in the evening from gnc. Its the standardized kind which I've heard is the only kind that works. 160 mg i think.
First month was pretty rough. I did have an initial breakout, which makes it hard to keep going. But now 2 months in my skin is improving every day. Haven't had a new zit since and definitely nothing cystic.
I also quit the harsh prescription and OTC stuff. I use adapalene (differin) sometimes but this is more bc I'm anal about wrinkles and i think it will help fade my acne scars.
But in terms of face wash i just use cetaphil and tea tree oil (which i then rinse off, its pretty harsh) and make sure to moisturizer. I like in a very dry climate and my favorite is the plain cerave lotion.
Hope this helps! The problem with hormonal acne is that topicals really won't work. Its not about dirt or excess oil on top of your skin. Its about internal hormones telling your skin to produce excess sebum, which it will do no matter what unless you get your hormones under control. I also don't really prescribe to the foods matter thing. I eat whatever i want really.
I also recommend spearmint tea (a natural anti androgen like spiro or saw palmetto or yaz), green tea (i don't know if it helps but its a great antioxidant) and LOTS of water.


Acne is caused by elevated free testosterone and secondarily insulin. Testosterone metabolizes to either estradiol or DHT through the aromatase or reductase pathway respectively.

Saw palmetto has mild reductase inhibition properties. Taking this herb decreases conversion of testosterone to dht and pushes the reaction toward estradiol.

Estradiol opposes testosterone and balances the side effects of elevated free testosterone on sebum production. You could also ask your doc for a prescription of estradiol gel and place a thin layer in areas where you breakout. Keep in mind that you generally must also supplement any estradiol treatment with progesterone.

#82 WishClean

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 11:47 AM

According to my research, it's possible to have high free testosterone and low DHT if testosterone metabolizes towards estrogen more than DHT. 

Saw palmetto can make estrogen dominance worse if you already have high E2. 



#83 jlcampi

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 02:15 PM

According to my research, it's possible to have high free testosterone and low DHT if testosterone metabolizes towards estrogen more than DHT. 

Saw palmetto can make estrogen dominance worse if you already have high E2. 

Yep.

 

Most of you will know if you are estrogen dominant.  It's characterized by excessive breast development (greater than Tanner Stage 5) and swelling.  8-10 years prior to menopause progesterone starts dropping faster than estrogen.  This is where many of the women with estrogen dominance will land.  It can happen at puberty though...



#84 WishClean

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 09:35 PM

According to my research, it's possible to have high free testosterone and low DHT if testosterone metabolizes towards estrogen more than DHT. 

Saw palmetto can make estrogen dominance worse if you already have high E2. 

Yep.

 

Most of you will know if you are estrogen dominant.  It's characterized by excessive breast development (greater than Tanner Stage 5) and swelling.  8-10 years prior to menopause progesterone starts dropping faster than estrogen.  This is where many of the women with estrogen dominance will land.  It can happen at puberty though...

 

I don't know about the breast development, but I noticed that since starting DIM my breasts seem to be less swollen....could be related to my cycle more than anything else though. The mid-section weight gain seems to be a clear indication, especially when one is thin. I used to think I had cushing's syndrome based on the fat distribution in my body and thinning skin. Now I think it's more related to estrogen than cortisol, but I'm sure my cortisol is also elevated due to prolonged stress.



#85 jlcampi

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 10:29 PM


According to my research, it's possible to have high free testosterone and low DHT if testosterone metabolizes towards estrogen more than DHT. 
Saw palmetto can make estrogen dominance worse if you already have high E2. 

Yep.
 
Most of you will know if you are estrogen dominant.  It's characterized by excessive breast development (greater than Tanner Stage 5) and swelling.  8-10 years prior to menopause progesterone starts dropping faster than estrogen.  This is where many of the women with estrogen dominance will land.  It can happen at puberty though...
 
I don't know about the breast development, but I noticed that since starting DIM my breasts seem to be less swollen....could be related to my cycle more than anything else though. The mid-section weight gain seems to be a clear indication, especially when one is thin. I used to think I had cushing's syndrome based on the fat distribution in my body and thinning skin. Now I think it's more related to estrogen than cortisol, but I'm sure my cortisol is also elevated due to prolonged stress.

The classic symptom of cushing's are long, violet stretch marks. If you are stressed frequently and it's been for a long period of time, then you may have a cortisol deficiency. This would also explain the allergy/histamine issue you have mentioned.

It would be unusual to have true estrogen dominance and not have large breasts. Why? Unopposed estrogen results in breast development. It also increases the number of aldosterone receptors resulting in excessive water retention and swelling. Lastly estrogen causes the stereotypical, fat distribution pattern.

If you are thin, have average to under average breast development and are not significantly swollen, then estrogen dominance wouldn't fit.

#86 WishClean

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 10:46 PM

I never had large breasts to begin with....they just get larger on certain times of the month and also when I used to be on birth control. Doesn't stress increase cortisol, which in turn can cause mid-section weight gain to happen? Anyway, the fat distribution on my body wasn't even at all...most of it was around my waist and hips, but then my androgens got too high and I lost most of it but gained more excess hair. 

I think the histamine reactions might be related to estrogen though...I haven't been able to find anything conclusive online about it. I also read that excess hair can be linked to high estrogen levels, and that by reducing "bad"/xeno estrogens, fewer are converted into androgens. Not sure if this is valid, but that might explain why some women clear on DIM


The classic symptom of cushing's are long, violet stretch marks. If you are stressed frequently and it's been for a long period of time, then you may have a cortisol deficiency. This would also explain the allergy/histamine issue you have mentioned.

It would be unusual to have true estrogen dominance and not have large breasts. Why? Unopposed estrogen results in breast development. It also increases the number of aldosterone receptors resulting in excessive water retention and swelling. Lastly estrogen causes the stereotypical, fat distribution pattern.

If you are thin, have average to under average breast development and are not significantly swollen, then estrogen dominance wouldn't fit.



#87 jlcampi

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 11:30 PM

I never had large breasts to begin with....they just get larger on certain times of the month and also when I used to be on birth control. Doesn't stress increase cortisol, which in turn can cause mid-section weight gain to happen? Anyway, the fat distribution on my body wasn't even at all...most of it was around my waist and hips, but then my androgens got too high and I lost most of it but gained more excess hair. 
I think the histamine reactions might be related to estrogen though...I haven't been able to find anything conclusive online about it. I also read that excess hair can be linked to high estrogen levels, and that by reducing "bad"/xeno estrogens, fewer are converted into androgens. Not sure if this is valid, but that might explain why some women clear on DIM


The classic symptom of cushing's are long, violet stretch marks. If you are stressed frequently and it's been for a long period of time, then you may have a cortisol deficiency. This would also explain the allergy/histamine issue you have mentioned.
It would be unusual to have true estrogen dominance and not have large breasts. Why? Unopposed estrogen results in breast development. It also increases the number of aldosterone receptors resulting in excessive water retention and swelling. Lastly estrogen causes the stereotypical, fat distribution pattern.
If you are thin, have average to under average breast development and are not significantly swollen, then estrogen dominance wouldn't fit.


There is an easy way to distinguish between estrogen dominance and progesterone deficiency.

Estrogen dominance impacts the entire cycle. Progesterone deficiency will only be noted the last half of the cycle.

So, if you have painful/swollen breasts only during the later half of your cycle, then that's progesterone deficiency.

#88 missC1990

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 11:33 PM

Complicated! But isn't cushing very rare? So if you're thin, you can never have too much estrogen? Damn... I'm skinny and have an A cup. So what would you do to lower free testosterone? 



#89 jlcampi

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 11:44 PM

Wishclean, I didn't answer your question regarding stress and cortisol.

Cortisol has 3 main functions.
Regulate glucose
Regulate immune system
Regulate blood pressure.

This is a very important hormone. When we are stressed, cortisol is released, blood pressure rises, glucose is made available and the neurotransmitter dopamine is stimulated. This prepares you to handle the stressor. Over time the adrenal system can become fatigued from constant stimulation and a deficiency results.

Those with a cortisol deficiency don't handle stress well.

#90 jlcampi

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 12:00 AM

Complicated! But isn't cushing very rare? So if you're thin, you can never have too much estrogen? Damn... I'm skinny and have an A cup. So what would you do to lower free testosterone? 


This is the easiest scenario to resolve. You are most likely estrogen deficient. You would need an evaluation and blood work (21st day of cycle). If estrogen deficiency is the diagnosis, then your doc might add something like this:
2.5 - 3.75 g of Transdermal Estradiol 0.6 mg/g on days 5-25 in the morning; and
100 mg micronized progesterone on days 15-25 before bed.

The nice thing about this for you is that estrogen protects you from the side effects of testosterone. So, adding estrogen/progesterone may be all you need to resolve the acne issue.

These are bio identical hormones and provide no protection from unwanted pregnancy.

Just to be clear, I am not an authority and not a doc. Please don't try this without supervision. It can get messy if you make incorrect assumptions.

#91 missC1990

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 01:54 PM

Thanks!! I know I should get my levels checked first before doing anything. Last time I quit diane there was not even a cycle.. still I had no 'male' symptoms' besides severe acne and lacking periods (by severe I mean I felt like it was severe)

Complicated! But isn't cushing very rare? So if you're thin, you can never have too much estrogen? Damn... I'm skinny and have an A cup. So what would you do to lower free testosterone? 


This is the easiest scenario to resolve. You are most likely estrogen deficient. You would need an evaluation and blood work (21st day of cycle). If estrogen deficiency is the diagnosis, then your doc might add something like this:
2.5 - 3.75 g of Transdermal Estradiol 0.6 mg/g on days 5-25 in the morning; and
100 mg micronized progesterone on days 15-25 before bed.

The nice thing about this for you is that estrogen protects you from the side effects of testosterone. So, adding estrogen/progesterone may be all you need to resolve the acne issue.

These are bio identical hormones and provide no protection from unwanted pregnancy.

Just to be clear, I am not an authority and not a doc. Please don't try this without supervision. It can get messy if you make incorrect assumptions.



#92 missC1990

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 01:37 AM

Also interesting what you mentioned about cortisol. I can't handle stress at all. I'm always afraid to fail or to not be good enough. It has been like this for all my life. 



#93 JacquiJaimes

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 05:41 PM

Brennaj,

Okay I am new to this forum, but really find a lot of emotional support reading posts from others who I feel I can relate to. Ah relief, it's not just me. I have had acne off an on since I was in gradeschool. I won't tell you my whole story as you can imagine I've tried everything from hollistic to Acutane. (Btw accutane works but is incredibly harsh and all my acne came back about 2-3 years after) currently I am seeing an aesthetician (because I'm tired if dermatologists prescribing me harsh chemicals to glob all over my delicate face and paying them hundreds if not thousands for their 5-10 minute consultation, sorry Docs reading this but that's been my experiences) ANYWAY. I am using a product line by Wilma Schumann that's seems to be helping. I've been using it for two weeks now and it's a slow process but I am noticing slower developing breakouts and clearing of existing ones. I develop pimples in clusters that turn into big blemishes and lots of hyper pigmentation. I know how you feel I had beautiful! Clear! Skin two years ago, then I started getting really stressed. Hated my job and town etc. and the breakouts haven't backed down since. I like how people don't know how to act freaking normal to someone with acne, recently an old man said to me, your how old? You shouldn't be breaking out anymore. Then gave me a look of disgust.- Thanks butthole. I'm aware. (I'm 27). When I complain about my skin my boyfriend tells me I'm beautiful, but it feels forced to me, I say thank you but now I ask him to just listen, the compliments don't really make me feel better even though it's very sweet of him. I can't tell you how relieved I am to talk on here, clear-skinners just dot get it! Ha. The wilma Schumann product line is great but a bit pricey and can only be ordered through a salon. I wish I could help you more. I feel a lot of weight lifted just being able to vet here. So thank you all. Love yourself. J.

Edited by JacquiJaimes, 03 February 2014 - 04:02 PM.


#94 jlcampi

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 02:27 AM

MissC.

Cortisol is responsible for maintaining:
1. Glucose levels
2. Blood pressure
3. Immune system.

It also helps you to handle stressful situations. If you have a cortisol deficiency, you are more likely to feel incapable of handling normal daily stress. You will be more likely to see yourself as a victim. When you are exposed to high levels of stress, you may need to lay down and rest or you may be inclined to have a very short temper, have periods of screaming and yelling followed by a a need to lie down and rest for a period of time.

If you feel as though you don't have sufficient confidence and are overly passive, then that's more likely a testosterone deficiency.

#95 nuckingfuts

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 09:31 AM

Brennaj

 

i've been having cystic acne for 25 years and while my cysts are not as numerous as yours in the photos, they were much bigger !

 

i've tried all the vitamins and supplements to not much effect but recently things improved about 90-95% for me, this is what i do.....

 

 

glycolic cleanser (12% glycolic acid) and i let it sit for 15 mins before washing off..............dry off and i apply sulphur cream thinly and let it sit for 15mins then wash off............i'll apply aloe vera gel on any pimples (you can try to apply ice on the pimples beforehand)

 

but what i believe really makes the biggest difference is my daily intake of 12 drops of 2% Lugol's iodine + 200mcg selenium + sea salt in distilled water...................i also try to sun my face for 15 mins...........

 

i also take 30mg zinc and chromium after a lunch/dinner but the iodine is the main thing.

 

of course, reduce gluten (wheat) and sugar as much as possible - used to break me out badly but not so now with iodine.



#96 Nilya

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 09:19 PM

Hi

I'm sorry for your struggle. I'm 31 and I also struggle from hormonal acne. I've been on accutane 3 times and now I'm on 100mg of Spiroloctane. Accutane works like a miracle, however 6-8 months after treatment the acne comes back. My first year on Spirolactone my face cleared up beautifully now it's cunning back. I have an appointment this up-coming Friday with my dermatologist. Honestly I'm tired of spending all my extra money on medications that don't work. It's so frustrating. But I'll tell you one thing being on accutane did not make me depressed. I was actually happier once I started seeing results after the 2-3 week.

#97 5beauty

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 01:31 AM

Dear girl. This thing on your picture seems like staphylococci to me. It a derm infection that has a similar outcome to acne. I have not read all the posts here, and i dont know if someone else has mentioned it. Please check the staphylococci on google or wikipedia, and discuss it with a dermatologist. I think it is cured with antibiotics, but not acne related antibiotics. Good luck, you re still a gorgeous face!!!!

#98 5beauty

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 01:47 AM

Not to forget. Check on cassandra bankson on utube. She has exactly the same, she is a beautiful girl at your age, and a model. Anyway she has a way to cover all this very good. Check it out. At least you will have the confidence to socialize until you exterminate it...




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