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Plan B Acne Plus Cleanup Story

plan b hormonal acne

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#21 5beauty

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 11:09 AM

Hey again! How are you doing? Dont be afraid of saw palmetto. Actually, DIM suggested above is not familiar in my country, so i cannot evaluate it. I am still on vitex and sp. I have absolutely no side effects. In fact in my previous cycle pms was WAY better. I also notice no water retention. My weight is at its lowest even a day before my menstrual. On face, i am very calmed now, twenty days in a row, just two pimples, but their quality is different. They are very small, with make up on like tiny moles. Anyway, give sp a try!

#22 RacingheartZ

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 12:42 PM

Hey again! How are you doing? Dont be afraid of saw palmetto. Actually, DIM suggested above is not familiar in my country, so i cannot evaluate it. I am still on vitex and sp. I have absolutely no side effects. In fact in my previous cycle pms was WAY better. I also notice no water retention. My weight is at its lowest even a day before my menstrual. On face, i am very calmed now, twenty days in a row, just two pimples, but their quality is different. They are very small, with make up on like tiny moles. Anyway, give sp a try!

Thanks 5beauty!  This is good to hear.  I'm going to give it a try since my mom purchased it for me and am hoping I have the same luck that you do :-)  It's good to know there are many herbs and supplements to try that different people have had success with.  



#23 RacingheartZ

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 08:28 PM

Feeling frustrated today.  My skin always starts to clear up during the first half of my cycle and then all hell breaks loose from the moment I ovulate onwards.  Trying to stay positive because I have an appointment setup with a great doctor to review my health history and my current situation!  In 2010, I was REALLY sick with a parasite infection and she believes that I may have had an underlying condition already which is why I got so sick.  Parasites are opportunistic little F'ers!  The underlying condition is causing my hormonal acne.  

 

Here's a smiling face mask picture to keep the optimism going today!  Tired of all the somber acne pics in my forum posts.  Sometimes I think it would be nice if all the people with acne did their hair and makeup (no cover up though) and had sexy photo shoots baring it all ... bumps, cysts, scabs, etc.  I'm not quite there yet ... still don't leave the house without coverup!  But someday I will :)

Smiles + Face Mask!
 
I tried Saw Palmetto over the weekend and it made me feel really hypoglycemic as well as hypotensive ... it seemed like my blood pressure was extra low as I almost blacked out upon standing.  Didn't feel right on it at all so I stopped after two days.  I'm going to hold off on trying any herbs for now until after my doctor's appointment next Wednesday.
 
I've pulled back on the Chinese herbs too and am now just taking a multi-vitamin for Acne from Designs for Health (Acnutrol), a fish oil, and a calcium/mg/D3 supplement.  


#24 WishClean

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 09:04 PM

I had the same pattern...ovulation was the worst. Honestly, blood tests won't tell you much, unless your hormones are abnormally high. 

For me, inositol and DIM worked because I had issues during ovulation, low progesterone, estrogen dominance, and high androgens. I had to do a lot of trial and error, but I'm glad I finally found the right combo because this is much better than taking meds.

Saw palmetto lowered my blood pressure too....did you start low? I recommend taking 1/2 the recommended dose to start with, it can be strong.

Herpanacine is a good acne multivitamin btw. Have you tried honey and yogurt masks? I love them, and they are so cheap.

Personally, fish oil and D3 made my skin worse...then I discovered why (oils, lanolin, yeast). 



#25 RacingheartZ

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 09:46 PM

Yea I will talk to the doctor about inositol and DIM on Wednesday when I go see her for sure.  I've taken inositol before and never felt bad on it but it's possible I wasn't taking an amount high enough to see any effects either.  I took the SP at the recommended dose on the bottle, it didn't seem like a lot in comparison to some of the amounts I've read, but my body tends to react strongly to anything that messes with my hormones.  

 

I just had a blood test and my DHEA levels are really high.  They were also high on a urine test a few months ago but are now considerably higher.  I've had a lot of random issues for years now but I'm hoping she will help me piece it together.  It's definitely some kind of endocrine dysfunction ... it's just a matter of figuring out which gland needs addressing!!  



#26 WishClean

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 11:32 PM

Good luck! My doctor had no idea about any of the supplements I was taking, but she did say it's possible I have estrogen dominance (my DHEA was in the high "normal" range, but too high for my body type I think). She recommended myomin for me, which is a Chinese herb, but I chose to go with DIM to address the same symptoms and it worked. I was already seeing improvements with inositol, but not for the estrogen balance. 

I hope your doctor is more knowledgeable than mine...



#27 5beauty

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 05:14 AM

So sorry the sp didnt work for you! I think the best is to cut all suplements untill your appointment with the doctor, since it is close. Maybe your acne is an allergic reaction to the paracite after all.

P.s. The mask is enhancing your eye color!!

#28 RacingheartZ

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 10:27 AM

Update as of 4/24/2014:

 

Hmmm a lot has happened since my last post.  I stopped taking any herbal remedies including the Chinese herbs.  About a month ago, I had a blood test and my DHEA was super high and my Vitamin D levels were slightly low.  I saw a doctor and we are doing a few things:  scanning my adrenals to make sure everything is okay, she re-ran a CBC with diff and a few other panels (waiting on results), re-running a micronutrient test from Spectracell to see if I'm absorbing nutrients, and doing a salivary cortisol/DHEA test.  

 

We went through all of my old labs and found that it's likely I have pernicious anemia so I have started b12 shots and also have been taking 10,000IU of D3 daily.  My energy levels are starting to get a little bit better (after 8 b12 shots ... have to give myself 1 every day for 30 days then once/week then once/month most likely for life).  While the B12 is taking care of my energy, I think the 10,000 IU of D3 is REALLY helping my skin.  As I upped my D3 dosage, I noticed my skin getting better and better (will post pics soon).  It's still not back to the pre-plan B level, but it's definitely looking so much better and I'm really grateful and happy!

 

I don't have any answers yet as I'm still waiting on a lot of results.  What I'm learning is that the acne is trying to say something ... trying to alert me in a very aggressive way (Helloooo I'm right here IN YO FACE!) that something needs addressing internally.  I'm not sure why the plan B triggered this reaction and the only thing I can think is that if my hormones were already out of balance and I took plan B twice in one year (once in March 2013 and once in Sept 2013) that I threw fuel on a fire.  That, however, is all speculation!  Sometimes we don't have the luxury of understanding exactly what is happening with our bodies ... we just listen to the symptoms and try to work together.  

 

As frustrating as this year has been, I have to say that I'm super thankful that the plan B brought all of this to my attention.  Hoping to resolve all of this (or at the very least have a better understanding of my body) in the near future.  Will keep posting updates as I learn new things from tests.  Keep working with and listening to your bodies! 



#29 WishClean

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 08:24 PM

Good luck! It seems like you were deficient in vitamin D if your body is improving on it. B12 injections can cause acne in some people, but maybe since you are deficient due to anemia your body is responding well to them.

I have a question: were the adrenal scans and tests expensive? I have been meaning to do them as well just to make sure everything is ok, but I'm worried about the cost since my insurance doesn't cover it.

Can you post the tests and panels you have been doing? It sounds like you found a doctor who is helpful...mine just waits for me to tell her which tests to order.


Edited by WishClean, 25 April 2014 - 08:25 PM.


#30 5beauty

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 07:15 AM

Good news, friend.
In the meantime i discovered two wonderful face masks working wonders on scars and red marks. Licorice and turmeric. I use the powder form mixed with yoghurt and honey. Optionally i add some drops of lemon or vinegar.
Latest i read on a post that if vitex is lessening the pms symptoms means it is working. So, for two cycles in a row my pms is going better. As the sp didnt work for you, have vitex in mind, just in case....

#31 RacingheartZ

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 02:11 PM

Those facemasks sound yummy!  I wouldn't know whether to put them on my face or eat them hahaha!!  I've heard such great things about the yogurt masks.  Glad to hear they work on your scars!  Most of my red marks are now scars instead of pimples.

 

@WishClean, she originally ran a blood hormone check which I suspect is what someone would run to check for PCOS and that's when my DHEA came back super high and my D was a little bit low from that blood work as well (covered by my insurance).  6 months prior, she ran a micronutrient test on me (see link) which checks your intracellular levels of your vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids.  The micronutrient test is not covered by insurance and is a $190 co-pay plus the cost of an appointment for interpretation.  The following vitamins & minerals were low for me:  calcium, magnesium, D, glutathione, zinc, chromium, and I think there was one more; a few other levels were borderline like vitamin C, b12, and folate.  Luckily, I work for the doctor so I got a discounted price and we just re-ran another micronutrient test to see if my levels have come back up and will know the results of that in a few weeks.

 

My blood tests from previous years indicated the anemia (and my symptoms) and it was interesting that my b12 was still borderline low in the micronutrient test even though I take a high dose of sublingual b12 so right now I'm doing b12 injections.  Definitely noticing better energy and a lessening of some of my other symptoms (tingling, twitching, etc).  I was nervous about the b12 injections causing acne but so far it's still going down, so I think it's more likely the high dose of D helping reducing the inflammation in my body.  The doctor that I work for also thinks that my skin is bouncing back quicker from the high level of zinc I've been on for the past 6 months.  

 

She re-ran a CBC/with differentials which measures your red blood cells and white blood cells and should be covered by insurance -- that can check for anemias and infections.  We also did a salivary cortisol/DHEA test from Genova/Metametrix, I think that one was $95 or $99.  I will get the adrenal scan on May 7th just to make sure everything is OK.

 

I got my salivary cortisol/DHEA test back and my DHEA was normal but my afternoon cortisol was slightly high.  We're not sure why my DHEA was normal on this test when it was so high on the other test ... that might need further evaluation.  Hopefully the salivary cortisol/DHEA test was right because those numbers were much better ;-)  The adrenal scan is just a co-pay of $60 for me and I don't think it will cost anything further as insurance should cover it.  



#32 RacingheartZ

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 05:37 PM

Update as of 5/19/14 ... Almost 8 months since taking plan B and having a breakout 

 

I'm a month in to taking 10,000 IU of Vitamin D with K and a daily B12 subcutaneous injection.  I've also been taking ubiquinol (CoQ10) and D-ribose to help with my energy levels along with my usual friends:  magnesium glycinate, EPA/DHA fish oil, acnutrol multivitamin for acne, B complex, and occasional vitamin C.  At some point in this journey, I stopped washing my face with the Neutrogena kit as I realized whatever was happening was not so much topical as a response to something internal.  I switched back to a gentle non-soap organic cleanser and using a mixture of jojoba/vit E/witch hazel and more as a moisturizer.  I keep putting a vitamin A/E serum under my eyes to undo the aging from the benzoyl peroxide.  I do put BPO on my face at night still but might consider stopping soon.  

 

OK now that that's out of the way!  The ultrasound didn't reveal any growths on my adrenal glands (yay!!) and I have a doctor's appointment this Wednesday so I'm not sure what all of that means in terms of my DHEA levels.  My skin has actually been getting better and better since being on 10,000IU vitamin D and daily injections of B12.  Since I started both of them at the same time, I can't say for certain which one is clearing my skin but considering Vit D's anti-inflammatory properties and all of the warnings on the internet about B12 injections causing acne, I'm assuming the vit D is working it's magic!  Part of me wonders if the high DHEA was my body's response to the plan B ... curious if this has happened to other women.  Also, considering how much my acne is going away I'm wondering if my DHEA levels are returning to normal.  

 

Check it out, my chin is completely cleared and my cheeks are *mostly* scars:

May 2014
May 2014
 
Makeup does a pretty good job of covering everything and I've slowly been able to reduce the amount.  Mmmm I'm always ambivalent about covering up my acne like I have something to hide, but ya know what?? For now, coverup makes me a much more smilely and sociable person.  Maybe one day I'll be able to face the world scars blazing!!!  I see it as a metaphor for my self-acceptance and my journeys of letting go of perfectionism ... when I can face the public world without makeup, it will be some kind of gauge of progress hehe!  
 
Hello world!
May 2014
 
It has been so long since all of this started that I can't rule out time as a confounding variable ... maybe after 8 months my skin finally settled down from the plan B.  But I must tell you, there were DRAMATIC results in the past month on the vitamin D and B12 so I do feel like they had a profound effect.  I also have to say that I think a lot of the other vitamins I've been taking (like Acnutrol) have helped to reduce the amount of scarring.  My face was worse than it had ever been and I don't feel like any of my scarring is irreversible.  I'm pretty sure after some good products, a few facials, and steaming my face with sea salt and water I'll be able to reduce a lot of the hyperpigmentation.  
 
Holy moly what a journey!  All of this has definitely sparked a renewed interest in working on my self-compassion.  Nothing like a bout of acne to awaken the inner critic so that you can hear that voice LOUD AND CLEAR!  I did much better this time than I have in the past ... I didn't get angry at my acne as I continuously saw it as a logical response to an internal imbalance.  I did, however, lose a little bit of the zest in my self-esteem and I haven't quite reclaimed it yet but I'm on my way.  
 
I'll continue to post updates and anything helpful that I find in terms of skin care/reducing hyperpigmentation.  Suggestions welcome!  
 
Keep loving yourselves through it!
 
 

 


Edited by RacingheartZ, 19 May 2014 - 05:42 PM.


#33 5beauty

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 10:13 AM

You are back!!!
Excellent improvement. Besides the scars you can look flawless in foundation. Now, if you have only scars stop the bp to help them heal faster. Put as many natural masks as possible. Honey is perfect eveywhere you add it. I have seen soooo good progress in my face with the eating masks lol!!! If you are not sensitive you can try a lactic peel also. Love!

#34 WishClean

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 10:54 AM

wow, your skin is improving a lot! You are right about letting go of perfection. Acne forced me to do that too, and now I try to focus on other things rather than trying to be perfect in everything appearance-wise.  I have some scarring still, but it's getting better with time. I do honey masks, yogurt masks, and sometimes I mix in some turmeric with yogurt....I stopped buying expensive face masks, I just make my own fresh ones.

What is acnutrol btw?



#35 RacingheartZ

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 02:35 PM

5beauty and wishclean you have both convinced me enough to try yogurt masks ... I've been scared because eating dairy makes my face breakout so I wasn't sure how it would be putting it on my skin.  Thanks for your support along the way to both of you, it is really helpful and has made me feel less alone!  

 

Acnutrol is a multi-vitamin from a company called Designs for Health.  Here's a writeup on the ingredients and why they are in there.  I had a micronutrient test done in October that told me that I was deficient in zinc, chromium, D, magnesium, calcium, and glutathione (antioxidant).  I liked the acnutrol vitamin because it had the zinc and chromium in it to help me replete my micronutrient levels.  I really do think taking the acnutrol has helped lessen the scars & hyperpigmentation. 



#36 RacingheartZ

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 12:44 PM

Wooo my face is getting better and better this summer! I'd even argue that, while my skin still has scars that are healing, my skin itself is looking healthier than it has EVER.  Now that I'm not breaking out anymore, I've been able to use my clarisonic brush for exfoliating (a few times a week).  Before, my acne was too inflamed to attempt any kind of exfoliation ... it only made it worse ... my skin needed gentleness.  I've also been using honey/lemon masks and this Diva Stuff Acne Scar lotion from amazon.  A few notes:  I tried honey/yogurt masks but the yogurt makes me break out around my mouth for some reason (same reaction if I eat dairy).  So I switched to just honey and lemon.  I also tried honey/lemon/aloe and got a little bit of a rash around my eyes so again went back to just honey and lemon -- seems to be good enough for me, nothing fancy.  The acne scar lotion works amazingly on my cheeks and I don't really put it elsewhere because I don't really need it.  

 

Does anyone know if manuka honey really makes a difference??  

 

This month is my clearest luteal phase since taking plan B.  I will post pictures sometime later!!

 

I've been told if I add a zinc oxide lotion it will make a huge improvement and have heard good things about MyChelle's zinc oxide.  I'm just waiting to finish my diva stuff cream before trying something new ... there's always that hesitancy to mess up a good regimen and also to waste money on products that won't work for me.  I will also start steaming my face with sea salt water again soon, I've just been lazy with that but I had really good results with clearing scars in the past by steaming a few times a week. 

 

Overall, I'm super happy and proud of my skin for making it through a difficult period!!  We are resilient (meaning all of us here on our personal acne & health journeys).  I've still got some health issues going on and have some more testing lined up but overall, I feel way better than I did in the Fall in terms of mood, health, and of course skin health!  

 

Supplements I'm still taking:  liquid liposomal methyl B12, magnesium glycinate, d-ribose, b complex, 10,000IU vitamin D ... moving down to 5,000IU soon, fish oil

 

Face wash routine:  Nutribiotics non-soap cleanser, diva stuff acne scar cream for my scars -- not currently using a moisturizing since my skin is naturally moisturized these days, clarisonic brush for exfoliating, honey/lemon masks for continued care. 

 

Wishing you all continued success!!  



#37 5beauty

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 09:01 AM

So glad you see significant difference. My face is also 99% clear AND spot free. I still use the masks and just a drop of bp at night.

I havent used manuka honey. I just use raw greek honey and it gives great smoothness to the skin. I think manuka is kind of the same. Since you are allergic to yoghurt, better avoid it. Try to mix the honey/lemon mask with turmeric or licorice. Great for scar healing. If you get a little yellow from turmeric dont worry, it leaves.

I am waiting for your pics. If i knew how to upload i would post mine too. All my love!

#38 RacingheartZ

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 01:48 PM

I'm so glad you are 99% clear 5beauty!  That's great to hear.  You're right about turmeric ... I was using it before but stopped because it was making my face so yellow.  When you mix it with the yogurt it doesn't make your face as yellow but I can't use the yogurt.  I will try mixing a little bit of turmeric though to see how it goes!  then maybe I can steam my face after and that might help get rid of the yellow.  Thanks as always for your support and helpful solutions! 

 

Here are my pictures:

June 2014
June 2014
 
My scars keep getting better by the day and I swear it has to do with this Diva Stuff Acne Scar lotion from amazon.  I'm not sure of the whole list of ingredients but it has Fenugreek, tomato, cucumber, lavendar, lemon butter, grapefruit and more.  Smells yummy too! It smells very organic.  
 
Take care!


Amazing that only 2 months ago my face looked like this:

April 2014
April 2014

 

I really think the Vitamin D3 and the B12 helped the most and I think the Acnutrol vitamin helped to stop me from getting severe scars.  All speculation though ;-) 



#39 5beauty

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 10:45 AM

WOW! This is getting better!!!

For the yellow hue just wash your face with baking soda and it will go! Make a paste of the soda and some water drops, apply smoothly and rinse off!




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