this is a going-off-the-pill SUCCESS story, for anyone combing through these threads for hope like I was a year ago. I promised myself I'd come back!
A year ago I found this thread via google search, depressed and trying to figure out what was causing my horrific acne, hair loss, weight gain, and mood swings after getting off Ocella (generic Yasmin) after 4 years of use (before that, 2 years of Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo). I was on the pill from ages 17-23, and am 24 now. (Went off May 2012).
I could find NO success stories of women who controlled their acne, ANYWHERE. It was so upsetting. I figured they were all off being happy that they were better! But I hoped to come back and share if I improved, because it would have meant a lot to me.
I lost about 1/3 of my hair, including noticeable receding hairline around the temples. I had to wear my hair up for work and it looked so scraggly and thin. I had to grow out my bangs because they became so wispy. Also, HORRIBLE dandruff, and about 10 gray hairs (again, I was 23! My mom didn't get grays till late 30s) that sprung up seemingly overnight. It took 6 months for the shedding to stop, but it slowed down at about 3 months. It does take a while for some people, but it does stop. It is all growing back, it seems, I have tons of "baby" hairs about 2.5 inches long now. Head & Shoulders Clinical nixed the dandruff.
I had horrible migraines--like, couldn't get out of bed--for about a week. I got off the pill initially because they were causing these migraines, and my doctor said that that meant I was at risk of the Pill giving me a stroke! An MRI showed that something, likely the Yasmin had caused a "spot" on my brain. Scary or what?? Yikes. I also cried out of nowhere and felt CRAZY. After that, my horrible migraines stopped and haven't come back.
But worst of all--the acne. Horrible, horrible acne--cysts that started on my chin and just spread from there. Painful. Depressing. I cried all the time and missed out on a lot, all while feeling guilty about caring so much about something shallow. Wanting to go a natural route after my bad experience with conventional medicine with the Ocella, I went to a naturopath and tried:
A strict Paleo diet (basically, only eating lean meats, vegetables, eggs, limited fruit, and a few nuts and seeds--no grains, dairy, sugar, etc.)
Tons of supplements (Fish Oil, chaste tree berry, EPO, olive leaf extract, green tea, cleanses, gut repair complex, cod liver oil, b vitamins, the list goes on)
Honey masks, dead sea salts, apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, witch hazel, benozyl peroxide, salycilic acid.
Lots of yoga, running, drinking tons of water
Guess what all that did, after a solid 6 months? SQUAT. Acne worse than ever, and MISERABLE from not being able to enjoy things like eating in a restaurant, going out with friends, and constantly feeling deprived and like i was doing something awful if I snuck a bite of whole-wheat toast or a bite of dark chocolate or had a beer or glass of wine.
Finally, I stumbled on ONE success story, on Makeup Alley, someone who tried Atralin (tretonin .05 percent, a brand of Retin A known for being gentle but effective) after hormonal Yaz issues and had success.
I tried it... and it WORKED!!!! It took about 3 months to work, which is typical.... but it did. Probably, regular generic tretonin would have worked too. It cost me $25 with a coupon, and I STILL have the same tube. No more $100s of supplements, and I can eat whatever I want!!! I can be spontaneous and fun again. I use it with Dermatopix glycolix 10-2 pads in the AM, cetaphil hydrating cleanser, and a clarisonic (disinfected with every use). I'd also recommend using clean towels washed in mild detergent, washing pillowcases often and making sure your shampoo, conditioner and makeup aren't breaking you out. Clean those brushes!
Sorry it took me a while to get to the point. But please, don't mess around with random stuff on the internet, trying everything under the sun and making yourself nuts. The natural stuff most likely to work--and with the only proven scientific evidence-- is eliminating dairy and sugar, and perhaps gluten, but ONLY if you had acne PRE PILL. Otherwise, don't stress about it if you eat a pretty healthy diet already--the stress is probably worse!! If you are living off sugary crap and eat tons of conventional skim dairy and processed foods, yeah, your diet probably isn't helping. But eliminating every possible food until you are sitting at home alone with a chicken breast and steamed broccoli every night will just make you more upset and won't help. Find a trustworthy dermatologist, and take their advice with a grain of salt--trust your instincts, avoid more pills. DONT LET THEM TALK YOU INTO SPIRO OR MORE BC PILLS, THEY'LL TRY...it's the same stuff that's in the yaz! and try time-tested, proven stuff like tretonin. Look things up before you put them in your body...I wish I had pre-yasmin! Good luck <3
PS a retinoid will also smooth wrinkles and keep your skin nice as you age, as opposed to acne products that dry you out and age the skin like BP. I wish something natural would have worked... but i'm also secretly glad I can enjoy cheese guilt and zit- free again