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I've battled acne for more than 20 years and until recently, the only treatment that worked for me at least partially was birth control pills, specifically, Yasmine. I could no longer stay on it, and after a few months, acne returned in full force, primarily the hormonal, cystic type around my mouth and chin. I did some research and also had my hormone levels checked. I concluded that my issue is DHT (dihydrotestosterone) conversion and sensitivity at the skin level. (By the way, no doctors have been of much help - mostly dismissing my concerns, writing prescriptions that could not address the root cause, etc. They also would not agree to run a hormone test, so I had to do that on my own.) I made several changes and incorporated supplements into my diet, and here are my findings. I hope this can be helpful, but since everyone is so different, it may take some investigation and experimentation to find out what works for you. There is science behind all of this, related to blood sugar levels, insulin sensitivity, and inhibiting production of DHT. None of this worked immediately. It may take weeks, so prepare for that, to see any positive results. In my case, my patience finally paid off after 6 - 8 weeks and I think I have finally turned the corner on clearing my hormonal acne.
I have restricted dairy from my diet, in particular, I no longer drink milk and have substituted almond milk
I have restricted sugary sweets from my diet
I have restricted certain starchy foods such as potatoes, bread, white rice
Saw Palmetto, this I think is the main performer: I take 320mg of standardized Saw Palmetto each evening. (The standardized part is very important.) It has some side effects, make sure to take it with food as it can upset the digestive system. It also makes me feel sleepy which is why I take it at night. The side effects should diminish over time. This supplement inhibits the conversion of testosterone to DHT.
Zinc (OptiZinc with Copper) : I take 30mg each evening with food. (OptiZinc is important because it contains a type of zinc that is highly absorbed by the body.) As with Saw Palmetto, it can be hard on the digestive system. Consider splitting a table and taking twice a day if you find it is causing problems to take it all at once). This supplement helps with inflammation, healing, inhibition of DHT, and increases the effectiveness of Saw Palmetto.
Pumpkin Seed Oil : 1000mg each morning. This works synergistically with the Saw Palmetto to inhibit the effects of androgen hormones.
Vitamin A : 10,000 IU each evening
Vitamin D3 : 1000 IU each evening
Topically, i am currently using Clearogen products. This line also addresses the DHT issue.
My skin is no longer breaking out. The oiliness is reduced, but certainly not gone especially in the t-zone area. I think I can live with that.
I had the contraceptive Implanon implanted for about 1.5 years. It worked as a contraceptive, however it sneakily ruined my skin. Slowly I began to get spot after spot until a few months ago I had the worse break out of my life. I have never had more than a tiny blemish before and then found myself with cystic hormonal acne all over my chin, jawline, and forehead. I tried giving up dairy (I already ate primarily whole foods and absolutely no processed junk), exercising, different supplements, every OTC product, dermatologists, and just found myself terribly depressed.
Finally I found out about Saw Palmetto. I knew the Implanon promoted androgen activity, and the night after taking a day's dose of Saw Palmetto I finally woke up without a new cycst. I take 160mg standard extract twice-morning and evening. I had been on Doxy and Saw P blew that right out of the water within a week. I have been taking Saw P for two weeks now and my last active pimple is finally healing. I also got my Implanon removed yesterday so I hope to finally get my clear skin back after healing my scars.
I would recommend trying Saw Palmetto if you suspect your acne is related to your birth control being high in androgen activity. It really gave me back my confidence in my skin :)
The only reason I gave it four stars is because I am only two weeks in, and I suggest using it with other topical products suggested by a Dermatologist. Saw Palmetto, in my opinion, helps on the inside, but you also need to pair it with topical help. I hope this helps someone else, I only wish I had found out about it sooner!
Ok I'm totally confused - literally feel like tearing my hair out (sorry for sounding really dramatic). I've been reading up on Saw Palmetto and PCOS acne. How there's a possibility that it can help to treat acne! I've been on antibitics for a good 4 years and now my next step is accutane! Honestly don't want to go down that route ;(.
I was thinking of trying SP and after doing lots of research I found that GNC standardised SP 160mg twice a day seemed to work a lot for most people (so that's a total of 320mg per day). The problem is that in the UK GNC only stock 320mg! So now I'm thinking shall I take 320mg twice a day (so that's 640mg a day) or just take one 320mg a day? Will this decrease the affect. Ekkkk. Just don't know what to do.
Please can someone advice me xx
I had the same exact problems on saw palmetto as on spironolactone. Both cleared up my acne at exactly 8weeks. However I exams very dehydrated on both, both gave me sunken in eyes with very dark circles, both triggered overly dry skin and eczema, and also have me lots of burst blood vessels (but those healed fast luckily). I quit taking saw palmetto at the end of December and am becoming very oily now but I welcome it and just want my old acne back. wish I would never have taken spironolactone or saw palmetto. But especially saw palmetto because my skin had recovered from Spiro and the I decided to try saw palmetto once all the acne came back.
I had a really bad breakout that wouldn't go away for months after I stupidly tried the oil cleansing method. I went to an esthetician who specializes in getting rid of acne. My skin started getting better with the chemical peels she would give me twice a month and using benzoyl peroxide and mandelic acid at home, but I was still not completely clear on my cheeks. She then told me about how saw palmetto can be very effective against acne because it is a DHT inhibitor. I was curious and I did some research on it, and this has been confirmed by several independent studies over the past few decades. I'm still not exactly sure how this happens, but testosterone can be converted to DHT and this can lead to hair loss and acne. Since both of those run in my family, I am taking this for the rest of my life! I take about 900 mg/day. It's been about three weeks and I am completely clear. I just have red marks on my cheeks now.
I am a 51 yr old female and have suffered acne since I was 12. It has waxed and waned over the yrs but is now waxing with the onset of menopause. 2 yrs ago I started taking sp along with DIM, and my acne cleared and everything was great. Then this past summer I stopped taking everything and I am experiencing one of the worst breakouts ever. Very resistant to treatment. I think I am going to up my dosage fr 160 to 480 and see if that helps. Also it's necessary to watch your sugar and dairy intake, and get some excercise and keep your stress levels in check.
Great to use while giving up smoking to regulate the de-tox effects on the skin. I used this along side agnus castus for a couple of months and it really helped clam down my breakouts.
At 25, I have tried everything to clear my acne, which has predominantly been on my chin/jawline. I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 11 after irregular periods, weight gain, and bad acne, which was also confirmed by blood tests. I've seen an endocrinologist for years and have been on birth control since my diagnosis (I was on Dianette and then switched to Marvalon 28 when the studies on Dianne came out). Over the past two years, I have been using a variation of Dan's regimen (cleanser, bp, and moisturizer- Cetaphil and Persagel 5). However, although following this same routine, this year my acne has been constant- always 4-5 + pimples, mostly cystic on my chin and jawline. I started researching natural remedies and revisited Acne.org. I read some interesting posts on Saw Palmetto. I know that my acne is hormonal because of the PCOS and remembered that my testosterone was always high while I was off the bcp because my endocrinologist mentioned it during a few visits. I started taking Saw P. once a day on March 23rd (160 mg standardized 85-95% Webber Naturals brand from Walmart). The first time I took it I had a bad headache, so I now take it with food. Within a week, I noticed that I had no new deep pimples, only surface whiteheads, and that my old pimples were drying up. I also noticed that my skin was less oily. After a few wks, I doubled my dosage to two pills a day (320 mg total) because I had a breakout while off bcp during my period. **Note: saw. p is said to reduce the effectiveness of birth control, so if you are sexually active right now, you should use another form of protection**. Now, it is April 20th and my skin is entirely clear. I know it's only been a month, but I plant on continuing with Saw P and I hope that I've beat this acne for good! Definitely give this a try.
I am an adult male in mid 30s. I have suffered from acne for 25 years and tried everything from laser, antibiotics, retinoids, topicals, red/ blue light, tanning etc.
I have been on 5 courses of roaccutane/ isotretinoin and while this works for adult acne even at low doses (10-15mg /day) oily skin returns for me if I stop using it and the forehead spots and folliculitis follow inevitably.
Saw palmetto has been discussed at length on acne forums as an anti-androgen and supposedly has the ability to reduce testosterone production. This in turn reduces oil and the spots that follow.
I have been using this for approx 11 weeks having come off another medium term low dose course of roaccutane. The oil came back quickly so I tried saw palmetto as a herbal/ supposedly safe alternative to isotretinoin without the side effects.
I am taking 320mg per day x 2 capsules with food. After approx 10 days use the oil production was normalised and no new spots formed.
I purchased the saw palmetto from Healthspan.
I plan to stick with this as a daily routine long term as it is the only solution I have found other than roaccutane and that drug has potentially serious side effects.
For women, spironolactone would achieve a similar result and seems to work but it is not recommended for men.
I do not know what the long term side effects of saw palmetto use are but studies seem to be favourable.
I am writing this to offer help to other male adults with very oily skin / forehead acne who are at a loss with standard therapies. It really is working for me and I had given up hope prior.
I started taking this after having an awful breakout after stopping the birth control pill. It's been almost a year that I have been taking saw palmetto and although my face isn't nearly as bad as it used to be, it's still not as great as it was when I was on the pill. Overall, it was ok, but I'm probably going to go back on the birth control pill. It didn't do much for my breast tissue, either. All in all, I had high hopes but I probably wasn't being as realistic as I should have been.