- Are you eating more dairy, sugar, soy, or caffeine than you did at home?
- Is your sleep schedule more irregular?
- Do you have more stress?
- Are you more sexually active and/or physically active?
Most college students do...all are triggers for acne.
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Posted by Green Gables on 17 December 2013 - 08:01 PM
Most college students do...all are triggers for acne.
Posted by Green Gables on 17 December 2013 - 12:31 PM
My "permanent redness" is the classic rosacea butterfly pattern on the face. My flushes make my whole face go red as well as the whole neck/chest and even shoulders.
I haven't used SLS/fluoride/peppermint/wintergreen/anything irritating in my toothpaste/mouthwash for ages, and it's not concentrated around my mouth anyway.
I don't get any spots anywhere on my body since using spiro, though I only got acne outside my face very very rarely anyway. I don't recall ever getting hives, if that's what you mean.
If the redness isn't really rosacea, and if it turns out not to be from the MTHFR, really all I have left is lupus, but frankly if I have lupus maybe I don't want to know.
You can improve methylation pathways through some various lifestyle changes and also specific forms of some B vitamins. Apparently if you can't methylate you can't process B vitamins because they're not in the most active form. So for example you can test for B vitamins and show a really high serum level, but your cellular level will be really low because you're not utilizing it properly. Like how some people need D3 because they can't properly convert D2.
You can get some of the B vitamins in the "active" form over the counter. There are also a few prescriptions, such as Deplin, which offer that as well for MTHFR folks.
All this stuff also effects stuff like Sam-e and serotonin, so you get the fun of depression/anxiety tendencies thrown in the mix.
You can read Dr. Lynch's Basic MTHFR Protocol.
Posted by Green Gables on 16 December 2013 - 05:27 PM
One recent study shows green tea increasing DHT by 194% and testosterone by 74%.
This applies to not only green tea, but most traditional teas with caffeine content, or other caffeinated beverages such as coffee.
If you've read anything about the relationship between DHT/testosterone and acne, this is a pretty big deal.
Posted by Green Gables on 16 December 2013 - 05:25 PM
A quick question about the initial breakout (IB) some people have been experiencing with Spiro...
Is the IB a reaction to the change or do you think it is just your body purging (as a result of the change) what was already on the verge of coming out anyway? Just wondering if anyone have heard anything from their derm about this or if they happen to know.
I've been on it for about a week and a half. I wouldn't call it an IB but there has been no change for better or worse. Just old ones VERY SLOWLY healing and new ones popping up here and there.
For some, any hormonal change (even a good one) can both speed up the release of old zits and also cause a few new ones until the hormones stabilize.
Posted by Green Gables on 15 December 2013 - 10:54 PM
I will make certain people on this board upset by saying this, but there is not a lot of evidence that shows that estrogen causes acne. Too much estrogen can cause weight gain and some other side effects. But in general, estrogen does wonderful things for the skin, such as counteracting androgens, increasing the skin's ability to stay hydrated and supple, and decreasing sebum viscosity. The baby soft, poreless skin we associate with women is because of the estrogen. The grizzled, coarse skin we associate with men is because of their higher androgen levels.
You really need to give a good anti-androgen protocol (such as using Ortho Cyclen) a chance before worrying about "estrogen dominance." For most women, countering the androgens is what ultimately solves the acne.
I know you're in a difficult place right now, but you're only going to halt your progress by trying to research every possible avenue. Get the Ortho Cyclen. Give it a few months. Don't focus on the acne for a bit. In a few months, come back and re-assess where you're at.
When I started spironolactone, I tried to just ignore the acne, take my pill, and live my life. I didn't even visit these boards much. I think if I had obsessed about my "progress" or "is this really the right course of action", I would have given up on spiro and not be enjoying clear skin right now.
Posted by Green Gables on 12 December 2013 - 08:19 PM
From just reading around, it seems female hormonal acne comes around their periods. But what about for guys? How do we identify if it's hormones causing acne or something else?
Sorry if it sounds like a stupid question.
Most acne is "hormonal" in nature, and it doesn't always fluctuate with periods. For some people, just lifestyles that spark androgenic activity (for example, intense athletic activity) is enough.
It's not a stupid question, but I do think there is this misconception that there is "acne" and then "hormonal acne". For most people, men and women, hormones play a key role in the development of acne. We don't talk about the hormonal component in men very often, and most doctors just shunt men onto Accutane, which is unfortunate.
Posted by Green Gables on 11 December 2013 - 11:12 PM
Dermablend was designed to be "corrective" and cover up facial issues.
Posted by Green Gables on 10 December 2013 - 04:18 PM
Histamine and Hormones
Histamine-intolerant women often suffer from the symptoms listed above, especially headaches and menstrual pain, during certain phases of their menstrual cycle. Histamine levels tend to fluctuate with the level of hormones, especially oestrogen, at ovulation and just prior to the onset of menstruation. In contrast, many women with both allergies and histamine intolerance find significant relief of their symptoms during pregnancy; this is because the placenta makes a great deal of DAO, the enzyme that breaks down histamine. The result is that the level of histamine no longer exceeds the woman’s tolerance threshold, and she remains blissfully free from her symptoms throughout her pregnancy. Unfortunately, the symptoms tend to recur once the DAO from the placenta is no longer available after the birth of her child.
Pain and Inflammation. A low progesterone to estrogen ratio is associated with increased levels of molecules that cause inflammation. These molecules are called kinins. Estrogen increases kinin levels, and giving progesterone can decrease them. Kinins occur naturally in the body but promote the release of histamines. In conditions of allergic inflammation, kinins are elevated. High levels of kinins are linked to asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and a number of bowel diseases.
Histamine stimulated a dose-related increase in estradiol secretion with a maximal stimulatory effect at 10(-3) mol/l.
- Progesterone promotes myelination, which is one of the pathways the body uses to break down histamine (primary pathways are DAO in the gut and HMT on the cellular level).
- Unopposed estrogen increases histamine overall, which is why some women feel better on progesterone, even if their progesterone is not actually low.
- Histamine stimulated estrogen secretion. Catch-22? Estrogen increases histamine, increased histamine also increases estrogen...
- Estrogen increases kinins and progesterone decreases them. Kinins promote inflammation. If you have a histamine issue, progesterone may help by decreasing the kinins.
I'm not making any blanket statements here. So no one get their panties in a twist if progesterone was your miracle cure. But it's an interesting discussion to get going.
Posted by Green Gables on 10 December 2013 - 11:51 AM
I feel like your stressing over this and that's what is making you break out and not the 'vitamins'. And why do you resort to vitamins so much? Just curious. Oh and on topic, the vitamin d the sun provides is the body the body absorbs completely. It's free and would only take you around 15 minutes every day (by the color of your skin tone).
The entire D3 conversion process to "active" D3 occurs largely in the oils of the skin. This conversion process takes roughly 48 hours. If you bathe or shower, you lose the benefits to that sun exposure.
If you have dry skin, your ability to process D3 from the sun is also inhibited.
In certain parts of the northern hemisphere, you can't even get the appropriate UVB rays that stimulate D3 from about October to March.
Most people shower at least once every 48 hours. People like Mercola suggest that you only wash your private parts and keep showering/bathing to a minimum, but most people in this century will not cease bathing for the sake of D3.
There was a study on outdoor runners in California where they found vitamin D deficiency in these guys who ran multiple hours a day in the sun. I would bet that most of them rinsed off after a hot sweaty run.
I used to think as you do, until I realized that there are several pretty big factors inhibiting "natural" D3 production.
Also, WishClean lives a pretty dang healthy life and has also gone the elimination diet route to cure her acne. She is just looking for something to clear her skin since the typical "natural" methods have failed her.
Posted by Green Gables on 09 December 2013 - 06:17 PM
I would just like to mention that there are many reasons that you can end up with low stomach acid, low digestive enzymes, and low DAO.
You may find that supplementing with Betaine HCL, digestive bitters, a broad spectrum enzyme supplement, and/or a DAO supplement, may solve food "intolerances" that only exist because your gut does not have the factors necessary to properly sterilize and absorb food.
I suffered for many years from severe IBS, and the use of a Betaine HCL Pepsin supplement cured years of IBS after only 6-8 months of supplementation.
The way I see it, you can take the defensive approach and not eat anything that possibly raises inflammation. Or you can take the aggressive approach. For example, betaine HCL is the body's natural food sterilizer. DAO is the body's way of degrading histamine in foods. Enzymes (protease, amylase, lactase, cellulase, etc.) help you break down food properly. The positive too, especially about betaine HCL pepsin supplements, is that they stimulate your natural production, so many people do not need to take them forever.
I'd prefer to kill my enemies rather than huddle inside a wall while they try to knock it down. Huddling in the cold castle is the elimination diet approach
Posted by Green Gables on 09 December 2013 - 01:37 AM
If I was going to reduce your Italy trip to bullet points, this is what I gathered
- Slightly better fatty acid ratio in your diet
- Somewhat less processed foods
- Daily exercise outdoors
- Reduced stress
Anything I'm missing?
I would not take Estroblock. For most women, more estrogen helps acne. You are skinny. Less fat = less estrogen storage. Yes, skinny people can be estrogen dominant, but unless you have some confirmed evidence that you actually are, I always assume that skinny with acne tends toward androgen issues. Since estrogen does all sorts of beneficial things for the skin, such as increasing skin hydration and counteracting androgens...in most cases blocking estrogen will only make the problem worse.
Posted by Green Gables on 27 November 2013 - 08:30 PM
How old are you and are you male? I started my son on DIM. He is taking 2 tablets. It did not clear him at all but there was minor improvement. He's now also taking saw palmetto as well, 320 mg one per day.
I am curious what dose DIM are you taking that cleared you? My son is 13 so I don't want him overdoing it.
You should get your son off that stuff if you want him to develop properly.
On the flip side, you want to help control DHT now, unless your son wants to be bald at 16.
Please, if you have nothing more to add than the "oh my gosh don't mess with testosterone even if it's causing problems", just don't say anything at all. It is a very shallow and uninformed comment to make. 320mg of saw palmetto is not going to inhibit proper male development in the slightest.
Posted by Green Gables on 26 November 2013 - 02:21 PM
WishClean, honestly I would do the boring, tedious thing and make a log for the next month. Stay consistent on whatever you are taking (inositol and anything else). Same dosage, same time each day. Then log when you
- Get acne
- Acne continues forming
- Acne disappears
- When you feel bloated, tired, etc.
- When you feel normal
- When you feel too androgenic / pumped with testosterone
If you have the patience for it, I would also log when you get up and when you go to sleep each day.
Sometimes the only way we can make hormonal stuff work is to change our supplementation with our cycle. For example, some doctors cycle spironolactone dosages. But this only works if we start with a good picture of what your body is currently doing. So you really need a log so you can see EXACTLY when your hormones are swinging up and down.
Posted by Green Gables on 26 November 2013 - 02:12 PM
Most studies suggest that excess estrogen is not going to cause acne. Stay with me NPC folks, because I agree that NPC can help acne in a lot of cases. Read on.
- Thins out sebaceous secretions
- Reduces size of sebaceous glands
- Reduces sebaceous activity
- Estrogen increases cell turnover in the basal epidermis (without increasing collagen)
- Upregulates hyaluronidase, which increases skin's ability to retain water
- Increase cell turnover in basal epidermis, but also increase collagen at the same time. Sometimes a good thing, but remember that more collagen = stronger but also coarser "male" skin. The baby soft skin we associate with women is from estrogen and hyaluronidase. A lot of collagen also means thicker skin around the openings of the follicles. Read on to see why that's an issue.
- Increase hair growth
- Without adequate levels of estrogen, your sebum becomes more viscous (thick)
Okay, let's talk about some things that androgens do. They simulataneously increase cell turnover in the basal layer while also producing more sebum. This THICKENS the skin around the opening of a follicle and then also tries to push more sebum through a tighter hole. So you get more blockages = acne.
So, okay, how does someone with estrogen dominance have acne? There isn't a lot of conclusive research on this. But this is what I hypothesize:
- Estrogen dominance from low progesterone means your body is not properly regulating estrogen. So your estrogen is FLUCTUATING as your body fails to control the levels.
- Just the mere fact that your estrogen is fluctuating up and down can cause acne. The body does NOT LIKE extreme hormonal fluctuations. Yes, women cycle, but in the ideal body that cycle is subtle, not invasive.
- Estrogenic effects are slow to manifest in the skin. So you need a constant flow of estrogen to see the softening and brightening effects. If your estrogen is up one minute and down the next, it doesn't have the time to get to your skin. When it swings up, you will bloat and feel tired, but it doesn't make it to your face before it swings down again.
- So, with all the fluctuations, your estrogen is swinging up just enough for you to feel heavy and tired, and swinging down just enough to let androgens (which manifest very quickly in the skin compared to estrogen) cause a pore blockage which develops into acne before your estrogen swings back up.
Personally, I believe progesterone supplementation can work so well simply by keeping estrogen at a more constant level. But that's an important distinction to make...it is typically not the estrogen itself that is causing acne, but the fact that your body cannot maintain a regulated, healthy level of it.
As you know, I am supplementing NPC, but in another post jlcampi said that it can contribute to acne (I can't find where that was written so I apologize if this is a repeat) but what do you make of this?
Progesterone is regulatory and is also a precursor. Precursor means it can contribute to the formation of something else.
Here is the precursor chain:
Progesterone -> aldosterone -> 17-hydroxyprogesterone -> cortisol
Progesterone -> aldosterone -> 17-hydroxyprogesterone -> androstenidone -> testosterone, estrone, and estradiol
So, if you think about, progesterone has the capability to convert into both testosterone and estrogen. If you have a lot of excess progesterone, it may be doing just that, which could wreak havoc on your skin.
It can also convert into cortisol, which can cause some of the symptoms we typically associate with estrogen dominance. If you live a stressful lifestyle and also use progesterone cream, it's possible you're just reinforcing the cortisol pathway and actually making things worse.
Posted by Green Gables on 26 November 2013 - 01:15 AM
Note that DIM is NOT an aromatase inhibitor, i.e. it does not inhibit the CYP19 enzyme.
DIM upregulates CYP1A1, CYP1A2 and CYP1B1 enzymes. This increases the speed at which you clear active estrogen from the body, or in other words converts estrone and estradiol (two types of estrogen) into estrogen metabolites. DIM generally gives you more "good" estrogen metabolites (2OH and 4OH) than "bad" estrogen metabolites.
However these metabolites that DIM promotes are still estrogenic. What is the benefit? Well, the metabolites are not as estrogenic as estradiol. So the hope is that you reduced your overall estrogenic activity a little bit. Here is where the effects of DIM will vary from person to person.
No reduction in estrogen from DIM can occur because:
1. In some, the increase in estrogenic activity from the increased estrogen metabolites is roughly equal to the reduction of precursors estradiol and estrogen. So DIM didn't do much for this person.
2. DIM requires certain cofactors in the body to work. We don't really know what all these cofactors are. DIM's results can vary from person to person without a clear answer why.
Increase in free testosterone:
Increased estrogen metabolites from DIM can increase free testosterone by knocking them off binding proteins. Generally in someone with more bad metabolites than good, adding DIM will increase good metabolites but will also increase free testosterone. However...
Decrease in free testosterone:
Some people already have high levels of "good" estrogen metabolites, or 2OH and 4OH. Raising these levels further with DIM creates negative feedback on testosterone that outweighs the estrogenic effects of the estradiol and estrone you had before DIM.
Now, as interesting as this all is, it's not an easy thing for the average person to determine if DIM will have the desired effect.
In my opinion, DIM does not work very well if you are trying to decrease androgenic and estrogenic activity at the same time. If you don't care about a possible rise in androgenic activity (e.g. if you think you mostly have a progesterone/estrogen balance problem, not an androgenic problem), then go for it.
But for those of us who clear primarily on anti-androgens, DIM is a poor choice. Personally, it made me break out while still on 100mg of spiro after a very long time being clear.
We can go on for pages and pages about all the possibilities here, but in the end, you can either spend a lot of time finding a practitioner who gives a shit, and has actually looked at research since they graduated from medical school, and then paying them an arm and a leg to take some tests. And hopefully between the two of you, those results will give you something that can be translated into take this drug -> clear your skin.
Or you can take the cheap way and just try something, and record how you feel and how your skin fares. It's not terribly scientific, but it doesn't cost an arm and a leg, either.
So if you just want to inhibit estrogenic activity, honestly I would go for an actual aromatase inhibitor, not DIM.
There are over-the-counter compounds that are supposedly aromatase inhibitors, if that's a route you're interested in going.
If you have estrogen dominance, though, it's worth noting that spironolactone is not the way to go either. Estrogen dominance is not going to be solved by taking an anti-androgen with some estrogenic properties. For estrogen dominance you're better off with progesterone supplementation.
I also want to note that DHT itself inhibits aromatase. But I haven't seen conclusive evidence showing that inhibiting aromatase through other means (drugs, supplements) does the reverse and increases DHT.
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