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bradmanda

Member Since 16 Jan 2012
Offline Last Active Aug 14 2015 07:08 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Weaning Off Of Spironolactone

12 August 2015 - 10:33 AM

Hey everyone,

Lately I’ve received a lot of private messages asking for updates regarding my skin after weaning myself off of spiro. I decided to provide a more public, candid summary here of how I have achieved clear skin. Besides, I also feel like ranting a bit, spinning my acne yarn….I emboldened my main talking points so you can easily scroll to the parts that you find the most relevant.
 
About Me

My skin is essentially 100% clear. I am a half-Filipino female, 27-years-old, and tend to have hyperpigmentation that sometimes takes months to fade. But besides the marks, there is no active acne on my face.

If I were to list the top factors that have shaped me as a person, acne would, sadly, be up there. It really robbed me of my confidence as a teenager, and to an extent as an adult. The psychological damage that acne can wreak should not be under-estimated! Especially in our image-obsessed society, etc., etc. Initially, my teenage-years dermatologist did not take my skin issues seriously because she claimed to treat other patients that had more serious ailments to deal with- as if the inner suffering caused by external, skin-related issues is relative! If you encounter a dismissive expert that is supposed to use their expertise to help you, but ends up gas-lighting you, do not go back. Anyways…
 
What Has Worked
 
My skin has had its ups and downs, but for the past 3 months or so it's been clear except for the occasional, manageable pimple, usually the result of a hormonal breakout, lack of sleep, or a night of heavy drinking and paired with a lack of sleep. I can usually reliably track them to a concrete cause.

I'm very happy that I am no longer dependent on spiro, birth control, or other oral medications or supplements. Spiro resolved a lot of my bad skin problems but it did do a number on my body. Birth control also made me a bit crazy. I was terrified to wean myself off of spiro because acne has been such a constant problem for me and spiro made me look so much better and gave me peace of mind. However, I've found other means that have kept my skin clear and probably made me healthier, too. To give you a quick list, this is what I believe has helped the most:

1. Diet: Avoiding most dairy products except butter, ghee (clarified butter), and some goat cheeses.  Watching my carb intake (blood sugar/glucose levels). Eating more fruits and veggies in general. I do indulge in the occasional slice of pizza or other yummy junk food item with cheese but with no breakouts to report. I use to be gluten-free, but re-introducing wheat into my diet does not seem to make a noticeable difference in my skin appearance or otherwise general health. Ditto for eggs: I stopped eating those for a while but now enjoy eating them again.

2. Exercise: I get about 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day which, for me, tends to leave me in a better mood and my skin less oily. Sometimes I do yoga, which lasts an hour. I do my errands by bicycling around town. My belief is that the main culprit is not to remain sedentary, to reduce your overall stress and anxiety levels, and to improve digestion.
 
And, related to digestion and diet: Do not get constipated! I find joy in monitoring my daily BMs because a good BM for me usually means that I’ve been active and eating well, and in turn can count on good skin days. I’ve found that when my BMs are irregular or if I’m constipated, my skin erupts! I was traveling with my partner once in a country that serves mostly carbs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We both got very constipated for days, and my skin became a mess! Lesson learned.

3. Hair Products: I use to be a loyal user of Pantene Pro V conditioner until I noticed that when I went through periods of being without it, the acne around my hairline would disappear. I think shampoo and conditioner in general can equally affect the skin beyond the scalp, perhaps leaving a residue. In any case, I no longer use Pantene and no longer get the same type of hairline breakouts. 

4. Skin Products: I started to invest in higher quality skincare products, with low PH levels and which tend to have glycolic acid. I also have become a huge fan of primarily Japanese and French skincare products. There may be less expensive options out there but this is what works for me.
 
Skin Routine AM:

1. Wash face with cold water (no cleanser or face wash)
 
2. Apply light layer of Biore Aqua Rich sunscreen
http://skinandtonics...reen-spf-50-pa/

3. Apply light layer of Biologique Recherche Dermopurifiante
http://theblackpanti...ients-list.html

4. Spot treat hyperpigmentation marks and discoloration with MAC Studio FX Foundation, and dust it off with Neutrogena Mineral Makeup pressed powder. Neither seem to have contributed to my breakouts directly, unless I don’t wash my makeup off at night, which is a different issue.
 
Skin Routine PM

1. Gently steam off face makeup with warm wash cloth.
 
2. Oil cleanse: Apply jojoba oil on face and let it sit there for about 1-2 minutes.
 
3. Double cleanse: Sop off jojoba oil with wash cloth and apply face cleanser. I have been using Burt’s Bees Cream Cleanser, which seems to be gentle and effective. I also have success with face washes containing lactic and glycolic acids, although I’m currently out of those at the moment. If I were to make a change in this routine, I would slowly reintroduce a glycolic or lactic acid face wash.
 
4. Every other night I use my Mia Clarisonic to exfoliate my skin. Rediscovering my Mia, and realizing that I don’t have to use it every day for it be effective, has really been a game-changer! My pores look smaller, and I feel that it prevents any unmanaged build-up on my skin.

5. Apply glycolic acid gel on face.


5. Professional Help: I tend to have deep pockets of gunk underneath my skin. Like, blackheads that I would cover up with foundation and call it a day. I then went to see an experienced esthetician that specialized in acne and blackhead extractions using steam. That really boosted my skin to another level! I think acne clinics with this type of expertise are becoming more popular as alternatives to dermatologists.
 
6. Scientific Fluency: I am a researcher by profession and so have some fluency in reading scientific articles, but I think most people can read and comprehend the research out there on acne, nutrition, cosmetics, etc. once they get past the technical language.  Understanding the underlying mechanisms for myself has really enabled me to find the right treatments and lifestyle changes that work for me.  


Conclusions
 
I am much happier now than I was a year ago with my skin and general health. In my opinion, you have to treat acne internally and externally. Topical products are just as important as nutrition and exercise. I am also much more at peace with my appearance, and no longer obsessively jump around trying to find that silver bullet solution to my acne. It is possible to have good skin after spiro, Accutane, or whatever you consider to be your crutch! 

In Topic: I'm A Believer! How I'm Curing My Acne Caused By Yeast

04 October 2014 - 07:39 PM

Not to discount your experience, but "Now, waking up after an overnight application of the Lotrimin, my acne I would say is 50% better". 50% of your zits went away in one night?


Why yes, actually. The right side of my face had a particularly stubborn patch of zits which started to relapse after just one application of Lotrimin. 



Besides the 

 

46yo male here and I have recently come to a similar conclusion. Been using BP for years, and while it has helped it has never been completely effective no matter how much I used. Recently started using Nizoral too and significantly cleared up.

Unfortunately I started using erythromycin and BP at about the same time, so I can't say conclusively which is working, but my gut tells me I have a combination of acne and some kind of fungal acne / folliculitus so both medicines are helping.

Clearer skin so far!


Great! I've been meaning to buy Nizoral too, because of its potential to clear up fungus and acne, but haven't been able to find it in my local pharmacies. 



Update:

My skin is completely clear, except for hyperpigmentation. I am also starting to take Solaray Yeast Cleanse supplements. 


In Topic: I'm A Believer! How I'm Curing My Acne Caused By Yeast

27 September 2014 - 10:20 AM

* I was on birth control and spironolactone for a year, which I have been off of since late August. This change may be responsible for my recent yeast flare-ups. 



I also discontinued my use of Retin A Micro. 


In Topic: Allergy To Eggs

27 September 2014 - 09:24 AM

That's great! I was red around the eyes, raccoon-like, from eczema caused mostly by eggs. (Now I'm suspecting also caused by yeast.)

After eliminating eggs, the eczema went away! As did much of my acne. 


In Topic: Allergy To Eggs

24 July 2014 - 11:09 AM

Exactly. The elimination diet will save you time + $ + agony, and give you solid conclusions...I wish I had known about nutrition and eliminating problematic foods when I was younger.