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#3424146 Spironolactone Has Been A Godsend, But I Want To Stop Taking It.

Posted by hearts on 03 April 2014 - 01:12 PM

Spironolactone cleared up my skin beautifully after having suffered with acne from ages 12 to 27. Last year, I got a Mirena (hormonal) IUD and slowly started to break out again. After a year and a few other hormonal side effects I finally decided to have it removed. It's been out for over a week now and I'm already starting to clear up and have no new breakouts since.


Well, I know the Spiro still works for me, but seeing the negative effects that the hormones in the IUD (levonorgestrel, a synthetic progestin) have had on me I'd like to try switching to natural progesterone cream, and DIM which I've read works well for those who have had success with Spiro.


My question is... how do I transition from Spiro to progesterone cream/DIM? How much of each do I take? Is it safe to be taking both at once, in lower dosages of Spiro and higher of the cream until I fully switch?


Are you having side effects on spiro? I don't really understand why you want to discontinue using it unless you are just trying to get off pharmaceuticals all together... spiro doesn't contain progestin. If you are going to take DIM or something else, you are still messing with your hormones.


DIM worked similarly to spiro for me without the side effects, but I didn't start taking it until I was fully off of spiro. I really don't know if it would be a good idea to use both. I used natural progesterone for a few months while still weaning off spiro and had no problems with it. 


The standard dose for DIM is 100mg, and I took 150mg at one point to clear faster. The normal dose for natural progesterone cream is 20-40mg (the actual amount of cream depends on the strength of the cream), but you can use much more if needed. I started even lower than 20mg and worked my way up, but I did have the 1-2 week estrogen dominance wake-up phase. I'm not sure if just starting with the correct dose to begin with would help or prevent that.


With all that being said, you may not even need both if spiro worked for you. I'm pretty certain DIM would have cleared my skin alone, but I had many estrogen dominance symptoms caused by taking spiro and even birth control in years past that I also had to fix — which is why I chose to use NPC first.

#3423910 Loryna (Yaz) Log

Posted by hearts on 02 April 2014 - 11:31 AM

Really? I didn't realize it was okay to do that unless as an additional emergency contraception when you skip a pill. I'll definitely think about. Thanks! One thing though, would you still get a period? If I don't i might just freak out im pregnant lol. 


Yeah, it's safe to do and I've even heard of some doctors recommending it for certain women. And it just depends on the person... some say it they do skip periods while others say they still bleed anyway. You could talk to your doctor or derm about it and see what they think. If you're consistent in remembering to take the pills then there is no need to worry about pregnancy. (: Again, just an idea... I'm not trying to push you into anything!

#3423505 Loryna (Yaz) Log

Posted by hearts on 31 March 2014 - 11:04 AM

Good luck with it, I really hope it works again for you! (:


One question... have you considered skipping the placebo/sugar pills? It's fine to do this and it may help your hormones stay a little more consistent so that you don't get such a bad breakout next time. Just something to think about.

#3423039 Breaking Out After Coming Off The Contraceptive Pill...?

Posted by hearts on 28 March 2014 - 10:28 AM

If you think you've stopped breaking out again after only a month of returning to the pill, that is a good sign... I always tell people to wait at least 3-4 months to see results from hormonal treatment. I know it's difficult but try to be patient for a few more months to pass and see if you clear up completely again.

I would not recommend evening primrose oil as it has caused some women to breakout. I would just be gentle with your skin while you are waiting. Try to stay calm and not stress out, use gentle cleansing, and try to stay positive. You really can't "rush" hormones along, but they do adjust with time. A big mistake I see on these boards all the time is people quickly add a bunch of junk to their regimen because they think more is better. It's possible that the birth control alone will clear you again, so why take extra stuff that you don't need? (: Also, sometimes addilng stuff makes it confusing to tell what is helping and what is actually making the acne worse or stick around.

I disagree with the above post... although zinc and other vitamins and minerals do help some they don't always. For example, some vitamins/minerals help my skin but if I take that much zinc I breakout. I have also heard of people breaking out from probiotic supplements. Everyone is different, though!

#3423035 Androgen Sensitivity. Warning: Possibly Explicit

Posted by hearts on 28 March 2014 - 10:14 AM

I'm not super familiar with your situation but I can offer my two cents... By the way, your profile states that you are male so I was confused by your post until I read the part about birth control. I assume now that you are indeed female! (:


You could still have excess androgens but the birth control could also be raising your estrogen to the point where you don't feel like you did before. Perhaps the birth control that you are on or birth control in general doesn't help your imbalance, specifically. It's not a cure-all for all women.


I had a very similar experience before and during birth control... before starting any I had high libido, was very thin and muscular, and had a masculine personality. However, I did have acne. I tried probably a dozen different brands and they all raised my estrogen and gave me many side effects (changed the traits I mentioned among others) but didn't help with my acne at all.


The most commonly prescribed medication for androgens in women is spironolactone. Depending on your location it can be a little tricky to get it prescribed for your skin but I didn't have any trouble at all. I was on it for 2ish(?) years and at 6 months I was completely clear from my pretty severe cystic acne for the first time in my life. However, spiro can also be estrogenic and I had too many side effects to keep going with it. I then turned to natural anti-androgens and progesterone to deal with the estrogen dominance which worked extremely well for me.

#3422417 Hormone Help?

Posted by hearts on 24 March 2014 - 07:19 PM

Hey thank you so much for your response. Yes I saw that list like 2 weeks ago and I wish I would have seen it three months ago! Basically I got screwed taking two of the worst forms of birth control in regards to skin issues. And yeah I decided against the Vitex because I am unsure where my hormonal issue actually is. I read that high androgens cause overly active sebaceous glands while I think (correct me if Im mistaken) low progesterone causes tighter pores. I don't know I may be totally off with that. But yeah really kind of desperate to figure out why I am getting all of the closed comedones and whether they all develop into pimples or not. Granted like I mentioned the oily skin has gone down a lot but not enough..and now since on the regimen I can add flaking to this mix. Its like I have oily dry flaking skin..if that makes any sense sad.png


No problem... I hope it clears up for you soon! (: It's a good thing that the oily part has improved — again it has only been a month so it could just take a little more time. I think the mistake was to start a second birth control and upsetting your hormones even more without letting them calm down from the first pill. What's done is done though, so now it's just time to be patient and let your body recover.


You're correct about excess androgens in most cases but I'm not sure about low progesterone and tighter pores... using natural progesterone cream does make my skin feel very soft, though.


Knowing that you've never had acne before taking the pill definitely makes me think it is hormonal so topicals won't do much at all; it could even cause more irritation. One of the mistakes people make with oily skin is drying it out too much which causes the skin to overcompensate. I would just take it easy on adding anything or changing your routine too much.  Try to stay positive and relax... if you stress about your skin it will only make it worse! Good luck and I wish you the best! (:

#3422314 Hormone Help?

Posted by hearts on 24 March 2014 - 10:46 AM

Hello All,


So Im new here but need some help figuring how to attack this acne issue.. So a little background I never had acne 3 months ago. I started taking Lutera and about two weeks in my skin became really oily in fact I started having severe night sweats. Weird right? So I switched about a month into it to Microgestin. My oil production was still pretty bad and pimples started to form on my cheeks and forehead. So I stood on this for another month until a month ago I decided to call it quits. So a total of two months jacked up my skin and possibly hormones . So anyway Ive been off of bc for a month and granted my skin is not as oily or getting night sweats my skin is still weird. Im getting a lot of whiteheads and my skin is still oily. Is this a sign of low progesterone? I started taking saw palmetto for a little over a week and haven't seen any change. I am considering Vitex to help regulate my hormones but I am unsure. Also Ive been on Dans regimen but even the oil free moisturizer leaves me oily and Ive tried a few he suggested including his! Can anyone offer any advice Id greatly greatly appreciate it. Thank you.


If you read this post, it suggests Lutera is a bad birth control for acne... Microgestin is also on the list you should avoid.


It's possible that this is just a temporary upset — it could take a few more months but your hormones could level themselves out again without assistance. My advice is to be a little more patient before starting to take a supplement or medication. Hormonal treatments are a commitment and it will still take at least 3-4 months to see full results.


In my case, even the smallest amount of estrogen caused side effects. I couldn't handle any birth control and even spiro gave me problems. However, progestin-only pills and some forms of progestin can cause acne too — progestin is synthetic and not the same as natural progesterone.


If after a few more months nothing changes, then you can start looking into your options. It's still just too early to say if you actually need to make a change in your hormones to clear up... and now if you clear up or keep breaking out it will be difficult to tell if Saw Palmetto is helping or hurting without waiting even longer.

#3420287 Anyone Low Progesterone/high Testosterone- Spiro And Pregnenolone?

Posted by hearts on 14 March 2014 - 11:34 AM

Hi Hearts!  So my natropath recommended Pregnenolone since that is the precusor and that is SUPER low as well in my tests.  Do you know anything about that?  Also, where do you purchase your Progesterone cream from, looking online and can't seem to find the best!


You could definitely try pregnenolone out... it is a precursor to progesterone but the problem is that it is also a precursor to DHEA so it could go either way. If your skin gets worse or you get more side effects on it (after enough time), you might want to try progesterone cream instead since you are just trying to raise that. I don't want to scare you though — I have read anecdotes of people's acne clearing on pregnenolone.

There are a lot of different brands of NPC out there that are good... I started with Emerita because of availability in my area at the time. Here is a link on Amazon. Emerita also sells it in single use packets which is nice if you're just starting out. They sell NPC in most health/natural food stores like Whole Foods, Sprouts, Vitamin Cottage, etc. Other brands I've tried are Natpro and Kokoro.


One other thing I want to mention is that you might want to make sure that you are getting enough vitamin D, as it supports progesterone and regulating hormones. Boston isn't the warmest place and even people who get a lot of sun can be deficient.


I'll send my before/after pics to you to follow. I really hope pregnenolone works for you! Please keep us updated. (:

#3417042 Low Progesterone & High Androgens- Acne Culprit?!? Any Experience?

Posted by hearts on 27 February 2014 - 11:06 AM

From what I understand, taking progesterone orally isn't as effective because it is mostly destroyed by the acids in the stomach and also the liver.  It's better to apply it topically on thinner-skinned areas. If you were given oral progesterone, you could potentially break the capsules/tabs and mix it with a regular lotion.


I personally used natural progesterone cream while on spiro for a while and had no problems. It relieved some estrogen dominance symptoms that were caused by spiro but my goal was to get off spiro all together.

#3415751 Inositol's Impact On Hormonal Acne

Posted by hearts on 21 February 2014 - 02:29 PM

I'm sorry to hear that you are struggling with breaking out, even while on spiro. Another user on this forum — brenmc, has also had issues with spiro becoming ineffective/wearing off after some time. At 6 months that should not be happening... 6 months is when a lot of women clear up (including myself when I took it.)


The problem is, everyone is different so it's difficult to say what exactly would be causing you to breakout now. You are also taking and using quite a few things so it's even more difficult to narrow it down. Have you been taking Apri and thyroid meds the entire time you've been on spiro? Were you more clear on spiro alone if you weren't? Birth control can take several months to regulate — so if you just started it you could be having side effects that may go away with time. Another thing to consider is not all birth control is equal... some help some women with acne when others don't, and sometimes women don't find any that actually help.


When did you start Doryx and Aczone? If your acne is hormonal (which it sounds like) and not bacterial, I doubt antibiotics or Aczone will do anything significant.


Vitex and DIM could be good things to try, but I would taper off some other things before adding more to your regimen. Clearly the cocktail of meds you are taking isn't working or hasn't had enough time to. DIM helps with estrogen metabolism and is an anti-androgen. However, it can have interfere with some thyroid stuff (not sure on the details so you might need to google it) so that is something to consider before starting it. Vitex helps with prolactin and progesterone, so if excess androgens are your problem it might not help too much. Saw Palmetto is also an anti-androgen but can increase estrogen from what I understand. Inositol could also be beneficial and is probably the safest to combine with your other meds... but it would be difficult to analyze results with taking so much other stuff.


I really don't know about combining any of the herbs with spiro or birth control, sorry! I stopped taking spiro before starting DIM. I did use natural progesterone cream while on spiro with no problems, but that is something different.


If you do choose to stop any of the things you're taking, I highly advise to not just stop — but to wean off slowly. Stopping abruptly will only make your hormones more upset. After that you can add one thing in at a time, giving each one plenty of time (3-4 months minimum) to show full results. Another very important thing to do is to try not to stress out or get upset about your skin... that will only make it worse as well. Try to stay happy and distract yourself as much as you can, even though it is difficult. Hope this helps, good luck! (:

#3415745 [Pics!] How I Cleared My Hormonal Acne Naturally

Posted by hearts on 21 February 2014 - 01:58 PM

OMG what is a face spatula?! That sounds like a torture device!!! I hope your skin has recovered, WishClean! 150mg of DIM is a good amount, I took that much and saw quicker results than on 100mg. Now I am only taking 50mg as of the last week or two and my skin is still doing fine. I hope that I can stay on a lower dose with inositol and b complex... maybe I'm just weird but I don't like to take more of something than I have to.


I have no idea about hair products you can buy in the store — I just never buy anything like that, sorry! ): My hair routine is 1. wash with shampoo 2. sometimes condition ends 3. let air dry naturally 4. go about my day! I don't even brush often because my hair is very wavy/curly and pretty coarse.


When I used to read long hair forums, I remember a lot of girls were crazy about using coconut oil. Some use it only on the lower half of their length and leave it in, and some use it on their whole head and then wash it out after a while. You can read more here or a quick search. You don't need very much as a little goes a long way.


Here is another hair mask that I found on pinterest recently. And here are more... I've never tried any of these though. I bet some are better than others! (:

#3413494 Prolactin And Acne

Posted by hearts on 11 February 2014 - 12:11 PM

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't prolactin suppress estrogen? Estrogen levels are much lower during breastfeeding... Not all women break out from excess estrogen but some do — I imagine the drop in estrogen during that time could help some women clear up.

#3413491 Spiro User, Need Encouragement!

Posted by hearts on 11 February 2014 - 11:51 AM

No problem. (: My acne was pretty severe, I would mostly breakout on my jawline, neck, and upper back... but I would get acne pretty much anywhere. It was very large cysts especially on my jawline and back.


Spiro did a good job clearing me. I stayed on it for a couple years but I don't take it anymore — I had way too many negative side effects from it. Don't let that scare you though, there are plenty of women who take it for a long time and are just fine.


Just my two cents, but I strongly advise to not go down the accutane route if you decide to stop spiro. Accutane will clear you temporarily but if you really do have hormonal acne (which it does sound like) it will eventually come back. Accutane is incredibly harsh on your system and can cause a myriad of other health problems. Also, if you are already prone to depression, accutane has a high chance of making it much worse. It only kept me mostly clear for a couple years but it did come back and I think it caused my skin to scar more easily.


There are a lot of other methods including natural treatments if spiro doesn't work out. I would give it a fair chance, though... it may work out perfectly for you! (:

#3410162 [Pics!] How I Cleared My Hormonal Acne Naturally

Posted by hearts on 24 January 2014 - 03:20 PM

Well,my love-hate relationship with vitex continues. The first 2 weeks I was taking it, my skin felt more radiant, no new breakouts, reduced allergies, and my melasma seems to have faded a bit....I had some stomach upset but that's normal at first. If I weren't on a tight budget this month I would get more probiotics to take with it to help with the stomach issues, but they went away by week 3. Week 3, I got a kind of reaction (small red bumps and some little white ones) on my lower cheeks. It happened the same day I switched foundations though, and the foundation I have to use now (for a beauty review) has freakin' sulfates so that might be why. Otherwise, maybe I should only take vitex during the first half of my cycle like some women do....have you come across anything about rotating vitex? The first time I took it, I was consistent and I noticed continuous improvement, but the second time towards the end of the course I was thinking of rotating it because I had dramatic clearing for half the month, and then some breakouts the other half (can't remember exactly what phases of the cycle). 

The other possibility is that my digestive issues can't tolerate vitex...the tincture is diluted in alcohol, and I never had issues with it before but now I also get IBS sometimes so I'm in worse shape compared to last time I took it (sorry for TMI). 

So basically I stopped vitex for a few days and continued using the foundation to see if the reaction persists. I added the DIM a few days ago....I'm worried about an IB though. If I do get one, does it happen the first few weeks or afterwards? because with vitex, I seem to have gotten the IB 2 weeks into it, while at first I saw a huge improvement in various symptoms. eusa_think.gif


Oh btw, I have been reading about hair loss and I came across this guy's theory (not about DHT and masturbation, the next part about the way we sleep affecting the production of DHT at night) http://www.godlikepr...sage1758872/pg1

Is this crazy or does it make sense? hmm


That's strange... perhaps it is the foundation, though. Either that or maybe DIM, unfortunately. Did stopping vitex help? If not maybe try ditching that foundation for a while if you can!


From what I've read, most women who take vitex either take it consistently every day through their cycle, or take it during either half. I've also read that some take it every day except when actually menstruating. I guess it just depends on the person... most NPC instructions say to use it days 12-28 but that just didn't work for me at first... I needed it daily.


Was the vitex you took before the same "kind"? Tincture diluted in alcohol? That could also be a factor.

I don't know about the initial breakout since I didn't have one, but I am guessing that it happens immediately, not later. The only IB I experienced was on spiro, which did happen right away and lasted for a while. I hope that's not the cause for you. I don't know your skin but my hope is that if they are small bumps it is caused by foundation.


That post about hair loss is interesting. I imagine sleeping habits, etc. have impact on hormones but how much really? I would never give up sex and a comfortable nights' sleep just in hopes of lowering my DHT, lol! (: There is a certain point where it's not worth giving up quality of life, imo. It is interesting, though!


Hi all, I began taking estroblock for my chronic cystic acne about a week ago and have had no side effects thus far and have had no new acne! I know I need a full 3 months before I can claim it's working but good news so far! smile.png will keep you all posted.


That's awesome, Smoothie! (: (: I'm so happy for you! I hope that you continue to see improvement and achieve perfectly clear skin! Please keep us updated! (:

#3400500 Clearogen: Anti-Dht Topicals?

Posted by hearts on 12 December 2013 - 12:11 PM

So basically this is a BP treatment. 


My thoughts exactly. A very expensive BP treatment with a little saw palmetto thrown in there. You could probably make your own saw palmetto topical for a lot cheaper.