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Hormonal Acne Story

cystic acne whiteheads cheeks skincare period

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#1 monki

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 02:56 AM

Hi guys.

I'm new to this forum, but I've read a lot of posts here, and now I feel like it's time for me to share my own story. I'd really appreciate any advice from you.

So, in my teens I had minor "problems" with acne, can't really call what I had then acne. But you know, a few small whiteheads and zits in the mouth area, mostly around period. Even if I popped them on occasion they didn't scar, so nothing severe.

Then, when I was 19 going on 20, something happened. I started getting the evil kind of pimples mostly on my cheeks. Two weeks prior to period it would start and get to its worst a few days before menstruation. Some months I'd have and still have up to three cysts on my cheeks and even in the cheekbone area. They do go away after period, but it takes time. So what's most frustrating is that I'll be pimple free for like a week if I'm really lucky. And these cystic monsters scar and leave bad red marks so I'm really sick of it.

Like many of you I've tried a lot of stuff in the past.
A few years ago I tried antibiotics, topical prescription creams and gels, BP, Yasmin.
None of the topicals really helped, they just dried me out. The antibiotics made me purge like hell, so never again. Same with Yasmin, I gave it two months, and those two months ruined my skin with cysts all over my cheeks, and now I'm dealing with lovely leftover boxcar and icepick scars. I also bled constantly during that time, so it didn't work for me.
Accutane doesn't feel like the right thing to do, so I'm not trying that.

In november 2013 I decided to try the natural way by going gluten and dairy free, and also adding omega3, magnesium and vitamin D supplements (we don't get much sun here in Sweden during winter). I've always been pretty healthy, but I wanted to go all the way. It has probably helped me pretty much, but I can't seem to keep clear when it comes to period and ovulation. I also get a few pimples on my back now and then, which I didn't get like a year ago.

My skincare routine now (and how it has been for the past year):

Morning:
Gentle facial wash
Light moisturizer from Kanebo

Evening:
Gentle facial wash and makeup remover if needed
Dermalogica microfoliant (BHA exfoliant)
10% glycolic acid gel (2-3 times a week)
10% benzoyl peroxide on spots and smaller affected areas (not every night)
Moisturizer

Also, a few days ago I had my second IPL which has reduced my red marks a great deal. Anyway, I'll be having my period soon, so I'm anxious to see what my skin has in store for me this time...

So guys, what do you think about my acne problem? Have any of you found a way to keep clear even during the time of the month? Do any of you recognize yourself in my long and boring story? Please comment, I'd love to talk to someone who's been there or is in the same spot as me now.

#2 WishClean

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 09:14 AM

Taking inositol and now also DIM, along with a clean diet and exercise, has helped me keep my acne under control and has eliminated my ovulation breakouts.



#3 5beauty

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 11:25 AM

Breaking out before your period is so typical hormonal acne. It is weird the bc pill didnt work for you. I also pick my pimples but they dont scar. They only leave the red marks behind. So, i use vitex and saw palmetto. They need time to work. Still have not seen any major difference on face, though my recent pimples are smaller and just two on jaw line. I noticed a huge improvement on my pms in my previous cycle. No water retention and no breast tenderness, less cramps. I assume its the supplements working at last and i am waiting to see the improvement on face too. For the red marks i use many many many things. A fast worker is a snail cream. You can also try a turmeric cream ( search ebay, they come from india or close countries).

#4 monki

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 09:23 AM

Thanks for answering guys! smile.png
 

Yeah, I probably needed to give the bc pill more time (but those two months on it were living hell) for it to work. But my gynecologist told me it was probably best to get off the pill if it had not improved or had worsened my skin during that time and I felt like it was the safest thing to do. My skin calmed down remarkably in the first week going off the pill...

 

Glad you've both found things that have helped.

 

So, I'm curious, have you noticed any "bad" side effects with saw palmetto and vitex? Did you feel it got worse at first? And how long have you been on it?



#5 5beauty

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 10:31 AM

Its always best to avoid the pill, so as your gyno suggested so, you should try the supplements. I take saw palmetto since mid november, i NEVER noticed any side effect. In fact, now that it shows it is working after so many months I notice a GREAT improvement in my pms. I have no breast tenderness and no water retention and my cravings for chocolate are lessened. I am on vitex only for 40 days, so I think it has not made its presence yet. But it is a good combination. I think there is also improvement in acne. I have no active acne at the moment and my pimples are rare and small. I am left with the red marks, and a week before my period I dont tend to form a new pimple. Of course I use SO MUCH STUFF on face, but I guess the supplements have done some work there as well!!



#6 monki

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 10:41 AM

Sounds pretty amazing. I'm on a few supplements as well which have indeed decreased my acne, but as I said earlier, the pimples I get from month to month before/during period and ovulation can be so bad that I forget about the improvements. Anyway, I'm definitely going to try saw palmetto and vitex and I hope it could be my "cure" as well. Thanks for the advice!



#7 5beauty

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 02:19 PM

Wish you the best of luck!

#8 mikito

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 06:17 AM

Monki, I´m writing this post because I think my experience can help you. I´m 44 years, female, suffering from cystic acne since I was 15 years. I have tried everything including accutane, BCP, yazmin, antibiotics.... 1 year ago I came across this forum, and there was a person, I don´t remember the nickname ( when I remember I will tell you) who has a great success with spiro . I tried spiro, but I could,t take that drug for more than 15 days, because I had low pressure and I fainted.

That person share her experience with spiro with us, and study other natural antiandrogens like saw palmetto, nettle, and other stuff. I tried saw palmetto and after a year  I am not free acne, but saw palmetto has improved my acne. I still have pimples and red marks, but finally I got rid of those painful internal pimples around my jawline.

 

I think you can try Spiro, or as me if you don`t resist spiro, you can try Saw palmetto 320 mg/ day.



The nickname of the member that I was talking about. was GreenGable. I really recomend you to read her post, its very helpful information.



#9 monki

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 06:14 PM

Mikito, thank you. I will look into that. :)

 

And I'm probably going to try saw palmetto to see if I can achieve any improvement. The thing is though, right now I'm a experiencing a longer than ever break from those few but evil cystic flare ups that I usually had around the time of my period and ovulation. Maybe it's an effect from my IPL treatments, maybe it's my healthy lifestyle and even more strict but gentle skincare routine finally paying off. I don't know, but I'm going to give it a while and see what happens.

 

I'm glad you were able to get rid of those painful internal ones. They're just so hard to accept.

 

Anyway, if my acne does come back, I will surely give saw palmetto a try. I've read mostly positive stuff about this supplement, so I'm pretty excited about trying it.



#10 5beauty

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 11:01 AM

I agree with mikito about greengables. This person is very well informed. Check out his/her posts.




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