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Member Since 06 Nov 2011
Offline Last Active Oct 18 2014 04:18 AM

#3456524 Hormone & Vitamin Tests

Posted by WishClean on 18 October 2014 - 03:34 AM

I might have an idea. I follow High on Health on facebook, and she gives skype consultations about acne problems. Then she recommends supplements & diet based on your status. How about that? Fran, the owner of the website, is reliable, as far as I know, and also certified. I used to watch her videos on youtube.

Why not try that??? And maybe also when you have the skype appointment, do it with makeup-free skin so she can really see what your issues are and give you feedback. 

http://highonclearskin.com --> click on Get Help to see the options she offers.


I still do not have access to a naturopath, and my doctor has no suggestions for me since spiro stopped working, except to go back on birth control—which is my LAST resort.

Let me know if you find anything about mail-in hormone testing for Canadians. There are many options for Americans, even right from amazon; however, these are not available in Canada.

brenmc, on 18 Oct 2014 - 03:19, said:


#3456390 How To Live Your Life Despite Acne?

Posted by WishClean on 17 October 2014 - 06:16 AM

You won't find much psychological advice on acne online (apart from forums like this one), but you could broaden your search to body/skin disorders/dysmorphia, and to positive thinking. I have been hearing repeatedly from people recently that negative thoughts attract negativity, so perhaps changing your outlook on life and yourself could help you improve your lifestyle. It's definitely not easy, since we are all socially conditioned to accept certain ideals as the "norm," so you will need to gradually re-train your brain to accept what you now see as a flawed version of yourself...and that version will then become the norm. You have to learn to accept imperfections and go about your life. If anyone judges you for it, then f**k them..it says more about them than you. Life is short, why live it in misery?

#3456389 How ya feelin' about your acne today?

Posted by WishClean on 17 October 2014 - 06:11 AM

This was the one and only place I felt safe expressing myself... The whole reason I signed up for this site was for emotional support. Bye.

You shouldn't let someone's negativity affect and discourage you. You can post whatever you want here, and if someone doesn't like it, then they don't have to read it.

#3456314 Hormone & Vitamin Tests

Posted by WishClean on 16 October 2014 - 02:37 PM

Can you recommend an affordable and reputable online source for hormone testing?

I wish I could...I haven't used one yet. You said there aren't any good homeopaths/ integrative doctors in your town? 



I've been reading the Facebook PCOS support group, and they post interesting discoveries about PCOS which can also relate to hormonal balance in general, not just PCOS. The page that's linked to the facebook group is this one: http://www.massattack.com.au/  and they do hormonal testing.  They are based in Australia. The hormone tests they do are for people who want to lose weight by regulating their hormones, but I guess those hormonal tests could help with acne as well. 


And here's another new test for PCOS, taken from the PCOS support group. 

New blood test for PCOS

Recently published research shows that elevated levels of anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) can be used as a new diagnostic marker for PCOS (1-3). Serum levels of AHM were significantly elevated in women with PCOS (7.34ng/mL) compared to women without PCOS (2.24ng/mL) in recent studies. (1-2)

What is AMH?
Anti-Mullarian Hormone is a hormone produced by the granulosa cells of the early developing antral follicles. These are the immature eggs that wake up from their dormant state and develop into mature eggs. AMH levels are generally used to assess the ovarian reserves of a woman: the higher the levels of AMH, the more eggs a woman has left. However, as this new research shows, it can help diagnose PCOS as well.

AMH is typically elevated in women with PCOS. Elevated levels can reduce the production of progesterone and reduce the expression of Luteinizing Hormone receptors, thus further interfering with ovulation and potentially aggravating PCOS (4), even though more research is still needed in this area to clearly establish cause and effect.

Testing for AMH
AMH levels can be tested through your GP or through specialized labs. In Australia, this test costs on average AU$60, but prices can vary per country. If you suspect you have PCOS but tests are inconclusive, ask your GP or fertility specialist about testing for AMH levels.

#3456309 Dim Update -- 8+ Months Later

Posted by WishClean on 16 October 2014 - 02:22 PM

Hey WishClean! I just wanted to thank you for sharing all of this helpful information, especially about inositol, which I had never heard of. Particularly because I have some really embarrassing and unfortunate body hair that has been a daily bummer for me for the last five years, and it seems like this could help me. I've never been tested for PCOS because I'm skinny with regular periods. (It doesn't convince me, but it does convince my doctors...) 


Anyhow, I have been under the impression that the only thing I can do for my "male pattern" body hair is laser treatment. I'm going to do some more research on inositol for excess body hair, but I'd love if you could share some more about how inositol has influenced your body hair growth. Feel free to send me a message if you'd rather. 


Thanks! Have a great day


Hey, I'm glad this is useful. I'm sure there are tons of other things we haven't heard of and doctors don't want us to know (or they don't know themselves). 

I'm normal weight with regular periods too, but have PCOS...not all PCOS women have the same symptoms. You would need to get an ultrasound to verify. There's also just polycystic ovaries without the "syndrome" (i.e. the side effects of polycystic ovaries)..

I noticed a steady reduction in facial and body hair when starting inositol. It hasn't completely disappeared, but I don't think it will because once the hair follicles are active, they continue to grow hair. Inositol made my excess hair finer and more manageable.

I had laser done on my legs with good results, but when I tried laser on my face, it turned my fuzz into actual dark hairs! It was the worst! So now I get electrolysis every month, which is much safer for facial hair than anything else I've tried. As for body hair, laser worked also on my bikini line, armpits, and kind of on the stomach...but, I made the stupid mistake of getting it done on some fuzz I had on my breasts and the hair grew back coarser after my treatments were finished. I have to do electrolysis in that area too now, and it's painful! So, I don't advice you to do laser on areas where hormonal hair grows..electrolysis is much more effective for those areas, and you don't run the risk of turning fuzz into hair with red light stimulation. Sorry for the TMI, I hope this helps! 

#3456111 Really So Desperate And Depressed Now

Posted by WishClean on 15 October 2014 - 02:10 PM

Looks like you are using too many products.

Take away the sulphur, and also remove any products (Esp. cleansers) with SLS/sulfates in them. That should help the redness go down.

The redness around your mouth could be due to SLS and/or fluoride in your toothpaste and/or mouthwash. I had something similar until I switched my toothpaste and mouthwash.

#3456109 How ya feelin' about your acne today?

Posted by WishClean on 15 October 2014 - 02:00 PM

<p>My friend sent a text and it said &quot;acne&quot; instead of &quot;can&quot; in a sentence. He then sent another text saying &quot;stupid auto correct.&quot;&nbsp;</p>
<p>Even though I know for a fact that it was auto correct, it didn't stop me from obsessing for about an hour of whether or not he was making fun of my acne. Two decades of having people blatantly make fun of and insult me because of my acne has made me so paranoid that I now think some people are making fun of me when they're not.</p>

I know what you mean, but think of it this way. If anyone is making fun of something as superficial as acne, it says more about them than you. 

#3455611 Dim Update -- 8+ Months Later

Posted by WishClean on 12 October 2014 - 10:41 AM

great post, great input....thanks for coming back with an update


the blood test is something I haven't done but that histamine test along with vitamin D, and other vitamin levels should be the first thing that derms do...but sadly they do not


so we have to figure out our own path, if we want to avoid antibiotics and accutane


congrats on making it this far in your journey!

That's true...histamines should be checked along with vitamin & mineral levels. I wish all derms did that first before prescribing heavy duty drugs and antibiotics.

Thankfully, there are people here (like you!) who are receptive to alternative, holistic ways of approaching acne. I'm here to show people that we don't have to be extreme in treating acne as long as we treat its underlying causes. It takes a lot of patience, some trial and error, and persistence! 


Great update. I'm glad your skin is healthy and clear. Obviously I'm still piecing together my puzzle. Nodular acne is especially challenging sad.png.

Thanks brenmc. Well, I'm not always 100% clear..I still have occasional flares, red marks and irritation (e.g. from dust), but compared to the mess my face was in 2013, I'll take what I can get.  Good luck, I'm sure you'll find a solution....it took me a while to piece everything together myself. 

Btw, I read some reviews on amazon about Nature's DIM, and one person said it took her 4+ months to see results, so if it's not hurting you, I say keep taking it.

#3455610 Do You Think All Acne And Health In General Can Be Made Better?

Posted by WishClean on 12 October 2014 - 10:35 AM

You mentioned pre-diabetes...that's an indication that you have insulin problems. Limiting processed sugar is important...for pre-diabetes, you also have to limit fruits because they contain natural sugar as well. But don't completely cut them out. You can have, for instance, a banana on an empty stomach in the morning to give you energy... yes, the GI index of bananas might be a bit high, but I find that eating fruit on an empty stomach is better for their digestion.

I take inositol for insulin balance, that might help you as well. 

Perhaps an integrative doctor can help you, since they are open to holistic methods and can also order blood tests for you.

And I will say this again...my acupuncturists actually diagnosed me with health issues way before blood tests and traditional doctors discovered my issues! If you can find a good acupuncturist (that doesn't charge too much!), they might point out some underlying issues you didn't even know you had. I found out I had blood deficiency/ anemia through an acupuncturist way before blood tests confirmed it. They also figured out some of my digestive issues, and helped me manage stress. 

And yes, yoga can help too! You can look up specific poses for blood circulation and hormonal balance.

Thanks Wish Clean!  I am so happy that you have found your center again and still manage to come back here and encourage others.  I always thought my prediabetes had something to do with  my acne but even when i improved my a1c levels and cut back and virtually all processed sugars and limited carbs, my acne is still rampant.  I actually saw an accupuncturist for a while but i didn't find it useful.  In any event, i am starting over.  I have found a wonderful holistic person who used to be a nurse and is all about the scientific testing but holistic pathway so we'll see how it goes.  I will take your advice from the other blog and not focus on my skin so much but on more important life things.


Thanks again.  I have faith that given time and patience, my skin and my health can make a turn around.


Hey leelowe,

Well, I'm still working on finding my center, but I'm getting better at it. It looks like you are doing all the right things and being health-conscious. Acupuncturists can be helpful or useless...I was lucky to find some very qualified ones, but I had some clueless ones too. I hope the new holistic person you found is the right fit for you! Keep us updated on your progress! 

#3455062 Dim Update -- 8+ Months Later

Posted by WishClean on 08 October 2014 - 01:59 AM

Hi everyone,

I read a lot of posts recently about people wanting to try herbs and supplements for their acne, and some give up before they give their regimen a real chance. I want to give you an update on how I'm doing 8+ months after adding DIM to my regimen, in addition to a year being on inositol (read my other thread here: http://www.acne.org/...nal-acne/page-6 ) and answer any questions you might have.

I had severe cystic acne for about a year, starting in 2013, in addition to allergic reactions (hive/ welt-like acne, rash, swelling, redness). This is what helped me...it was NOT an instant cure, more like a gradual progress, and now I'm at the stage where my acne has become manageable and I no longer stress out about breakouts. Some of you have seen my before and after photos. I don't want to repost them, but if you want to, I will. 

- I removed sulfates & preservatives (as much as possible) from my cosmetics, cleansers, and diet. Ask me if you want product recommendations for US and EU products. In my case, acne products just irritated my skin, so I stopped using them. 

- I'm following a low histamine diet (see my other posts on histamines and their impact on skin) after doing an elimination diet  --> I try to only eat high nutrient foods and avoid junk, although I occasionally have cheat meals (I take digestive enzymes for that to minimize any food intolerances).

- I worked hard to fix my digestion...I took probiotics (veg. PB8) and still take them on and off as needed.

- I took an herbal multivitamin (see my signature for a list of everything I take)

- I'm taking inositol most days of the month to regulate ovulation and manage excess body hair

- I added DIM last January/ February, and am still taking it

- I occasionally get facials and sometimes a lactic peel to facilitate cell turnover and boost collagen. It's very important to find a good, non-aggressive esthetician who knows how to properly extract zits without leaving scars. Ask me if you need recommendations on what type of facials could work for your acne (hint: NOT acne-specific facials...try something for skin clarity, anti-aging, etc instead and avoid harsh retinoids). 

- I try to minimize stress as much as possible. Yoga, pilates, walking, and acupuncture help a lot with that!


Ok, now specifically for DIM. I take Olympian Labs DIM because it mainly contains DIM. I didn't want to risk taking any DIM complexes because I wanted to test DIM on its own, and for me it works well.

I tried to get off DIM for a few days, and have gotten some cysts, so I'm still taking it every day but sometimes I take only 50mg instead of 100mg (I empty half the capsule). I take inositol in the morning (just 1/8 teaspoon...no more is necessary), and DIM in the evening now.

I noticed that some days, closer to my period, I get a bit of bloating, but it could be from PMS. On those days, I just try to take less of both supplements and try to drink plenty of water and avoid junk food and too much salt.

DIM is an antioxidant, and I noticed that my skin has been looking healthier since I started taking it. It wasn't an instant change, but a gradual improvement. I was patient enough to research my symptoms and address other health issues in order to find the right regimen for me. It takes patience and persistence. If you don't know where to start, I recommend visiting a naturopath/ integrative doctor/ acupuncturist who specializes in skin and/or female issues...not just a generalist because, even though they might be good, they might also be clueless at dealing with acne and hormonal issues. 

- We still do not know the LONG TERM impact of DIM, and whether it helps to take it forever. I'm posting my 8 month update here, and will hopefully update every year or so until I decide to go off it. As far as  I know, it is safe to take long term at a dose of about 50-100mg, and do a hormonal panel every year (saliva or urine..blood tests are not accurate) to see if everything is on track. I would much rather take DIM than be on birth control or other medication for the rest of my life or until menopause. This is my personal choice. 

- I didn't take DIM with liver support...some people recommend it, but I only took calcium d-glucarate (for liver support) for a few days and didn't stick it out long enough to decide if it helped. It initially caused some detox acne, so I backed off and just used DIM on its own instead. Perhaps niacin would work well with it, but I'm not sure. I was drinking a lot of vitamin zero water when I started DIM, which contains niacin and other nutrients, so maybe that was all I needed personally.

I also recommend getting a histamine blood test (a general blood test should suffice) to see if you have high histamines in your blood. If you do, it means that your body is "reactive", which increases your chance of allergic reactions to triggers. 

#3455059 Treating Hormonal Acne The Natural Way?

Posted by WishClean on 08 October 2014 - 12:47 AM

Sorry to tell you this, but there is no "6 month course" of spiro...if you truly have a hormonal imbalance --specifically androgen-related -- then you have to continue taking the drug until you hit menopause. Once you stop taking it, your acne will return. 

The natural route can take more trial and error, but it is addressing the issue at the core, not finding a crutch that goes against your body's natural way of functioning. Just my 2 cents here.

I know that what I meant was he gave me 6 months dose and after that I'll have to go see him again to check in and see how it's going.

I wish there was an easier way but for now I'm so depressed about my skin that I don't really care anymore. I'll probably regret it later on but oh well.. I've waisted enough years on things that only made my skin worse and now I will have scars for the rest of my life. I just want this to be over. Spiro might not even work but I have to give it a try.

Sorry you are going through this. I know it seems like a last resort to you, but I'm sure there are other options out there. It's hard to find a qualified naturopath or integrative doctor, but if you have that option I suggest you go for it before jumping on the spiro bandwagon. Also, look up long term side effects of spiro and all the complains people post on this forum. It might work in the short term, but it is ultimately a blood pressure medication, not an acne cure. 

About the scarring, don't worry too much about it. I had poke mark-like scarring a year ago, and now it's filling in on its own. Skin can bounce back once the acne is gone.

#3454980 How ya feelin' about your acne today?

Posted by WishClean on 07 October 2014 - 01:57 PM

Hi everyone...I've been MIA for over a month now, but now I'm back. I just want to say that if acne is your (and mine) biggest issue, then you will be fine. The reason I was absent from acne.org was because other life problems took up an enormous amount of energy and left me with no time to obsess about my skin. Which, in the end, was a positive thing because now I don't freak out if I get a breakout because I have bigger things to worry about. Not to say I'm not insecure at times, but I try to appreciate myself every day because if I don't, nobody will. 

In terms of practical advice, the best thing I did for myself these past couple of months was simplify my life. I removed things and situations that were causing me unnecessary stress, such as financial issues, and I have to say that a huge load has been lifted. Not only am I sleeping better, my skin is regaining its glow and my allergic reactions have lessened significantly (could also be due to the fact that I left the land of preservatives and GMOs).

So, my advice would be to try and simplify your life. Cut out unnecessary stress and toxic relationships....life is too short for that. 

#3454975 Finally Took The Step...

Posted by WishClean on 07 October 2014 - 01:30 PM

Hey missC,

Good luck! I already gave some advice a few months ago regarding diet and supplements....also try to keep your stress levels low and enjoy life whenever possible!

#3448613 Now What?

Posted by WishClean on 23 August 2014 - 12:45 PM

Yes, I was/am concerned about DIM losing its effectiveness, but I found that if I up the dose by 50mg when I hit a plateau then it keeps working...and then I lower it back down to 100mg. I tried 50mg for a while but I think 100mg is the right dose for me right now. 

Also, I had lowered my inositol to about 200mg-400 per day, and noticed that the melasma was getting darker...now I upped it to the regular dose (about 800mg) and the melasma seems to have faded a bit. It's crazy how my body reacts to hormonal supplements & herbs. It seems that I need both inositol and DIM, which is fine since I'd rather take those than birth control or anything else. 

I've also been minimizing grains lately, and if I had more discipline, I think it would help my skin a lot more. The optimal PCOS diet doesn't have many grains anyway (perhaps except rice and millet), so I'm trying to stick to it as much as possible. I still have some little bumps under the surface of my skin, but I noticed they got much better when I upped the inositol to 800mg...I've also been wearing less makeup and did a lactic peel recently, which could have helped too.

#3448282 Now What?

Posted by WishClean on 21 August 2014 - 11:16 AM

Good luck on the move, WishClean! I hope everything goes smoothly for you! (:

Thanks hearts! I'll be checking in with you ladies here and there, then will be more regular as of the end of the month when I finally make the big move. Hope everything is well with you!


No worries about the delay WishClean. I just thought I’d bump my post to the top of the page to ensure it would be seen. Congratulations on your new endeavour; moving to Europe sounds very exciting. I hope you’ll still check in with acne.org now and then, as your research and experience is invaluable.

I don’t know if DIM Plus used to have a higher concentration, as I’ve only been taking it for less than a month. However, the label on the US version states that each dose contains 100mgs of DIM Complex, while the Canadian version states it contains 12.5mgs of DIM per capsule (so 25mgs of DIM per dose).  I emailed the company and they said that the US and Canadian versions are the same but labelled differently due to national regulations. My bottle says manufactured in the US and distributed in Canada, as well. So your brand is not a complex, it’s pure DIM? I have upped my dose to three per day and am awaiting, hopefully positive, change.

In reading reviews, many people claim the effects of DIM ware off in time. Here is a comment from this website: http://thelovevitami...block-dim-acne/:

“Katrina says

January 26, 2014 at 12:39 pm

Estroblock worked like a dream for me for about 3 months, and then just stopped working! It was very shocking to start seeing large hormonal breakouts, nearly all month long too. (Not limited to just the pre-period week.) I’m taking liver support supplements, and just ordered Calcium D-glucarate to see if that helps but I’m sort of at a loss as what to do. I was so happy with it that I ordered a bunch of the product so I feel like I want to continue at least with the bottles I have. I had started with a different DIM product and then moved to regular strength (3 a day) and now take the extra strength (2 a day). I also take Vitex, zinc, and probiotics, and eat a fairly clean diet (no dairy, etc.). Have you heard of this happening to anyone or have any advice for me? It is hard to be in my 30s and still suffering from this.

Thanks so much for all your helpful articles and advice.” Do you know why this would be? Do you think DIM is losing effectiveness for you generally or just because you vary your dose?

Half way down the comments section a commenter named Lisa talks about having melasma as well:

“Lisa says

January 18, 2014 at 10:53 pm

Hey Tracy!

I have a question for you, I hope you can help me out. I have signs of androgen excess (facial hair/excess body hair, thinning hair on my scalp), and high estrogen (mid-section weight gain, melasma). I had success with vitex & EPO in the past, but it made my hirsutism worse. Anyway, I decided to go back on vitex again, and so far my skin is worse. I added DIM (Olympian Labs brand) a few days ago, and my breakouts seem to be getting worse! Should I stick it out, knowing that vitex has worked in the past?

Btw, I tried saw palmetto and other DHT blockers with no luck, so I know that it’s not the way to go for me.

I also had a nasty allergic reaction to milk thistle, so I’m scared to take any detox supps/ liver support while taking DIM and vitex. Do you think I can go without the liver detox supplements while on this regimen? I really don’t want to take too many supplements, and I already know I react badly to anything that causes a detox reaction too quickly.” I don’t know if this helps at all because we don’t know if she was saying that vitex and EPO was helping with her acne or her melasma. But it might be worth looking into further. She also takes the same brand of DIM as you.

The Estroblock brand of DIM is affiliated with the website that I linked to, so biases must be considered when reading through the website. Estroblock contains I3C as well, which hearts explained is more volatile than DIM alone. Here is a link to the formula: http://www.amazon.ca...r/dp/B0073W96PS. It contains fairly high concentrations per dose, but we don’t know if the formula contains lots of DIM or lots of I3C. Regardless, I’m still confused as to how much DIM I should be taking, as 12.5mgs per pill (and now I’m taking three pills) seems low.

I’ve weaned down to 87mgs of spiro for a month and decided yesterday to make the bold move of dropping to 50mgs. I had dropped to 75mgs for a couple days prior but then decided it would be best to just go for a larger decrease (I had planned to wean very slowly, by like 10mgs per month). I did so because I’m concerned that spiro could be muting the potential positive effects of DIM by just adding more estrogen. I’ll know shortly—if my acne gets much worse—that I need to increase my dose of spiro. The other reason why I decided to decrease my spiro dose is because my skin is already bad, so it won’t matter as much if I get another breakout from doing so.

I am also wondering if you could tell me how many milligrams of inositol is in your daily dose? I know you measure by teaspoons but does it say on the bottle how many milligrams are in each teaspoon?

Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to explain myself thoroughly and link in those quotes. Thanks WishClean!

oh wow, the 2nd quote sounds very similar to my situation. I also read some posts on one of those beauty forums about DIM helping melasma. Some women were recommending it along with other supps like vitamin C and NAC. But for me, only inositol helps with melasma, DIM seems to intensify it. It's so bizzare. Which just goes to show that everyone reacts differently to supplements and other treatments.

btw, the lovevitamin website sometimes contains unfounded generalizations...the founder, Tracy, is not that knowledgeable on HOW supplements work. She just describes what worked for her, but when it comes to explanations, she can't really offer much or explain things in a clear way. I know we don't know for sure how some supplements/herbs work either, but at least we try to understand the various possibilities. But as you pointed out, some of the comments her website gets can be useful in trying to figure out what works and what doesn't. Perhaps I can try EPO again..it used to make my skin glow, but after my digestion issues got worse, nothing seemed to work and I also got a reaction to vitex :/ I think my body just can't handle too many things at once anymore.

Ok, so what I have been taking most days:

100mg of DIM...sometimes I'll add another 50mg if I had a cheat meal or am under a lot of stress.

Inositol in the morning on an empty stomach,I guess it's around 600mg. Sometimes I'll go up to 800mgs. The bloating comes and goes depending on the time of the month...but so far I can handle it. I'll up the exercise when I move and see if that helps...my body usually snaps back with a little discipline.