Hey--just reading through this whole thing. wow, so much to say here. First, it can make you more obsessive but i think its a good idea to get those lab results. I was blown away when I got mine. And like someone just said, you have to be really defficient or too high for a doctor to say anything. its totally possible to be in the normal range for androgens or testosterone, but still react to them. its all about what's normal for your body. for example, my mom has "never" had a too high or too low lab result in her whole life, including all hormonal tests, but yet shes struggled with hormonal, mild cystic acne for about 45 years (she still gets zits after menopause). so clearly, there's something hormonal going on, its just subtle. you basically have to have pcos before they can tell something is wrong with your hormones. Same with vitamin D like others have said. For me, acne was a combination of about a hundred things, not just vit d deficiency or just this or that. that said, adding a vit d supplement was just one more part of the puzzle that made me feel better. it also contributes to mood, obviously, which for me, along with hormones, explains all my skin issues (i also get ezcema sometimes). anyway, blah blah, but i know its overwhelming when you first get a lab. however, right on the lab they will have the highs and lows indicated near your score. so for vit d it will say e.g. a score of 50 (i forget what the units are) and then show you that the healthy range is 30-90, or whatever. so you would see you are in the middle ish. for someone like u who is so affected by sunlight, i would think it best to get your vit d pretty high. I think I heard above 50 is ideal. I totally get the whole diet thing and not being able to restrict your diet that much and truly most people's acne is a problem far larger than diet. that said, i never in my life had acne until i started consuming larger amounts of sugar. i went thru a period of depression and happened to be working at a bakery, and ate much more sugar than normal for ~2 years. then i decided to go off birth control and anti depressants after my 2 year sugar party, and broke out for about 8-9 months. so diet did affect my acne...but not in the way I thought. I still eat basically what I want, but I avoid things that have gargantuan amounts of sugar and minimize dairy products (i tested as having a medium dairy allergy). at first i went way crazy with the food stuff and felt like i was coming down with a full blown ED, but i've since rellllllaxed and realized you have to just eat a combo of healthy food you like and junk food you love, 80/20 or whatever.
you've probably already heard all this. but i wish you the best it sounds to me like you are going to get right to the bottom of this. just keep going, even when it sucks, and you'll find your way through. i just showed my mom pics on my phone of my acne when it was at its worst and we laughed and said omg. at that time, i couldn't have imagined being where i am now. that said, i have a shitty zit on my chin which drug me back here--its like igniting all my ptsd around acne and worrying it could scar. so i went straight to acne.org. XXXXX
I wrote all this before reading the third page. so 53 is pretty good. you could still take a supplement, it would hurt nothing. 1,000 or 2,000 IU a day is a small normal amount that doctors frequently prescribe (my mom's doctor just told her to take 2,000 iu a day). I take a lot more and she thinks i'm crazy. As for the DHEA one, I'm not sure how dhea directly relates to testosterone, i know its responsible for helping produce testosterone and estrogen. So possibly your DHEA could be normal but there still could be a hormonal component. Did you get your free testosterone checked? mine was clinically elevated and therein lied most my probs.
Oh and one more thing--I think the fact that you hate where you live speaks volumes. I HATED where i was in my life, for really the first time, when all these problems started brewing. Anxiety is also heavily correlated with my acne. I think I already said that but i can't emphasize it enough. There is some weird holistic stuff which i take with a grain of salt that says acne is a representation of anger and frustration, something like that. you've seen thelovevitamin--you know what i'm talkin bout. i do think there's some truth to that stuff tho---if you contrast your experience in italy w/living in a small town you dislike, its pretty evident. hopefully when you move to chicago that will be much better for your mind and skin! I was so f'd up I had to move home to heal myself, and still had acne for several months here until it calmed down and i felt at home.