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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.
After completing a regime of isotretinoin, I was assaulted by a sudden outbreak of acne on my face, back, and neck. I became a nervous wreck because I knew a second course was out of the question. After hours of online research, I stumbled upon a forum member mentioning saw palmetto and how it affected hormonal reactions. I was convinced that my acne was hormonal, so I did even more research, mostly focusing on this supplement. To my surprise, it seemed like this extract's effects on testosterone made perfect sense. Enzymes synthesize DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) in the hair follicles, and this is known to increase the activity of the sebaceous glands. If your face is oily and you have a lot of facial hair, your body may be producing too much of this sex hormone. That was the case with me. After a week of supplementing with saw palmetto extract (standardized - 85% fatty acids), I received amazing results. Over the past few months, I have gotten only two small pustules. I still take this supplement and will probably continue to do so for a few more years.
I use the 900mg. It's hit or miss with this brand though. Sometimes I feel it works and sometimes not. I noticed taking more than 900mg/day didn't work but just one to two a day did. I have severe acne. the huge big cysts. This prevented them, but the best prevention was staying away from processed foods, sugar, milk, and caffeine...and eating apples with more water.
I have never posted on a forum like before but I had such a good experience with saw palmetto that I wanted to share it with other acne sufferers. I've had acne since being a teen and it's continued into my 30's. After coming off the pill (Dianette) I had very oily skin and lots of spots. I'm talking about huge, lumpy cysts with throbbing whiteheads. I decided to try saw palmetto (GNC standardised version) and I've been surprised and delighted with the results. My skin is so much less oily in the past 2 weeks that I've been taking the tablets and I've had almost no new spots. It's a huge relief! If you have hormone-related acne, I definitey recommend giving this a try. But look for a good brand with at least 85% active ingredient.
So after researching forever on the internet aboutthis supplement, skeptical because it is used for prostate cancer, out of desperation due to all the cystic hormonal acne I had on my chin, I decided to give it a try. I have been using the standardized kind for under a week now, 1 pill at breakfast and one before bed, and almost all my acne is clear. I am actually so amazed my skin feels as soft as a babies bum, and I havent had skin this clear since....before I started puberty. I am 22 years old now. Even people are complimenting me on how nice my skin looks. The only side effects I had on this though are the feeling of extreme hunger even though I eat with the pill. Also slight constipation. I am going to take this for maybe another week, then ween myself off of it. I dont like that there is little research on it so you never know if there might be long term effects. I am really hoping my acne doesnt come back after I do so. But if you are frustrated with your skin and youre a female, I highly reccommend trying this.
After reading how many women with cystic acne from pcos have had success with Saw Palmetto, I read up on the supplement. It supposedly acts as an anti-androgen.
However, the information I read
indicated it lowers estrogen. If it does in fact lower estrogen, wouldn't androgens then register higher, and acne would still exist or worsen for women taking it?
This is an update to a review I posted over a year ago about saw palmetto:
Saw palmetto is a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor. Some people experience brain fog and sexual dysfunction from inhibiting the conversion of testosterone to DHT. I've read that the mechanism of saw palmetto - even though it's natural - is similar to finasteride, a drug that has proven seriously dangerous for some men. Although I am a woman, I want to let everyone know that while saw palmetto may not bring you harm, taking it for a month has become the single biggest regret of my life. I realize how dramatic that sounds. But the brain fog I developed with it has never fully subsided, and my libido is low and nowhere NEAR what it used to be. Slow cognition and slow sex drive? Not worth it. Please think long and hard before deciding to try this. I'd give anything to go back and un-take it. Best of luck to all of you!
I'm a women and I have had Acne every since I was a teenager. It was really bad when I was in High School and off and on my adult life (I'm 31). I tried store brand acne products, and I tried a few natural things but never saw results. The only time my acne seemed to get better was in the summer. So I recently researched what the cause of acne was and I read: "Experts believe the primary cause is a rise in androgen levels - androgen is a type of hormone. Androgen levels rise when a human becomes an adolescent. Rising androgen levels make the oil glands under your skin grow; the enlarged gland produces more oil. Excessive sebum can break down cellular walls in your pores, causing bacteria to grow." And that lead me to research natural antiandrogens. And I came across Saw Palmetto. I got some right away at Walmart and started taking 160mg Standardized Saw Palmetto twice daily. At first I noticed a mild headache but that went away. In about one week I noticed my skin was not as oily and I wasn't getting any new acne and my old zits were healing. I doubled the dose to 320mg twice daily for two days and my skin got super dry, so I went back to the 160mg. It has been two weeks and 5days and I have not one zit! I still have my scarring, but I can deal with that. But I am so happy to have found the cure to my acne. I have had little zits break out during this but they have healed overnight. Its really such a blessing!
used this as prescribed for over two months and saw little change in my skin. Didn't have any changes in my breasts or libido either, though I did have frequent mild headaches. Switched to "Perfect Skin" by Genuine Health and saw IMMEDIATE results, and also using Neostrata as I am severely allergic to BP. Perfect skin and Neostrata have worked wonders on my adult acne.