Jump to content
Acne.org
Search In
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
katya_katerina

HORMONAL acne?

I'm 25. I've had recurring mild/moderate acne for nearly 5 years now.

My problem zones are sides of my cheeks, jawline. Occasionally I get pimples on my forehead too.

The pattern is like this: my face flares up in the MIDDLE OF MY CYCLE. It gets better as I get closer to getting my period. During or right after my period I barely ever get a new pimple.

I use Salycilic Acid and Sulfur (on the spot). And it works fine...UNTIL THE NEXT BREAK OUT!!!

So, I haven't been 100% clear in 5 years: I either have pimples, or red marks from the last break out.

From reading different info on the web, I figured it's gotta be hormnal imbalance.

I've heard some types of oral contraception help. But I'm trying to get pregnant now...And also, once you're "off the pill" you might have even bigger problems with your skin AND hair.

IF YOU HAVE SIMILAR PROBLEM, PLEASE, TELL ME HOW YOU DEAL WITH IT?

Thanks everybody.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm 25. I've had recurring mild/moderate acne for nearly 5 years now.

My problem zones are sides of my cheeks, jawline. Occasionally I get pimples on my forehead too.

The pattern is like this: my face flares up in the MIDDLE OF MY CYCLE. It gets better as I get closer to getting my period. During or right after my period I barely ever get a new pimple.

I use Salycilic Acid and Sulfur (on the spot). And it works fine...UNTIL THE NEXT BREAK OUT!!!

So, I haven't been 100% clear in 5 years: I either have pimples, or red marks from the last break out.

From reading different info on the web, I figured it's gotta be hormnal imbalance.

I've heard some types of oral contraception help. But I'm trying to get pregnant now...And also, once you're "off the pill" you might have even bigger problems with your skin AND hair.

IF YOU HAVE SIMILAR PROBLEM, PLEASE, TELL ME HOW YOU DEAL WITH IT?

Thanks everybody.

Well on the upside you shouldn't have a hard time concieving. That midcycle breakout is caused by ovulation. I can almost tell when I ovulate by what my skin is doing. Although I always have pimples throughout the month, ovulation brings with it a breakout in tiny whiteheads all over my face, nech and chest. Then in the days following ovulation, A crop of cysts pop up on my chin and jawline.

I also breakout in the same areas you do.....my cheeks, chin and jawline..........

It's hard to say what to do, birth control pill would probably help, but pregnancy may help too (or hurt).........there isn't much you can do as far as totally preventing that breakout.........even on the pill I had a mid cycle breakout (two weeks after the placebo week)......

I'm going on Accutane, which isn't an option for someone planing on getting pregnant. There is some contrversey about what medications are okay for pregnant women..........I think salicylic acid is okay.....

Do you use it all over twice a day. Salicylic acid isn't really a spot treatment, and it can do a decent job, if the product is formulated correctly (needs to have a pH of about 3 to work). Maybe combine the slalicylic acid with an alpha hydroxy acid like glycolic acid. Paula's Choice makes some really nice BHA/AHA comnbination products that are actually formulated at the correct pH range...........

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My hormonal acne seems to flare really bad the week before my period. Spiro/BCP haven't made much of a dif. for me, so its back to tane soon !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm 25. I've had recurring mild/moderate acne for nearly 5 years now.

My problem zones are sides of my cheeks, jawline. Occasionally I get pimples on my forehead too.

The pattern is like this: my face flares up in the MIDDLE OF MY CYCLE. It gets better as I get closer to getting my period. During or right after my period I barely ever get a new pimple.

I use Salycilic Acid and Sulfur (on the spot). And it works fine...UNTIL THE NEXT BREAK OUT!!!

So, I haven't been 100% clear in 5 years: I either have pimples, or red marks from the last break out.

From reading different info on the web, I figured it's gotta be hormnal imbalance.

I've heard some types of oral contraception help. But I'm trying to get pregnant now...And also, once you're "off the pill" you might have even bigger problems with your skin AND hair.

IF YOU HAVE SIMILAR PROBLEM, PLEASE, TELL ME HOW YOU DEAL WITH IT?

Thanks everybody.

Wow. That sounds EXACTLY like my skin. I couldn't figure out why I was breaking out mid cycle vs. during! I am also 25, and have been battling this for about 5-6 years. I finally decided to go on Accutane. I've got an appointment with the derm next month!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>>It's hard to say what to do, birth control pill would probably help, but pregnancy may help too (or hurt).........

Yeah, I'm actually a bit scarred to find out how my skin is going to react. But...what'ur gonna do?...

>>Do you use it all over twice a day. Salicylic acid isn't really a spot treatment, and it can do a decent job, if the product is formulated correctly (needs to have a pH of about 3 to work).

I use it once a day: after I wash my face in the evening I use exfoliating pads with salicylic acid.

And then Sulfur on the spot (over night).

>>Maybe combine the slalicylic acid with an alpha hydroxy acid like glycolic acid.

Is glycolic acid something you should use every day? Or once a week/ month? I never tried it, but isn't it very harsh on the skin? May be I'm wrong.

My hormonal acne seems to flare really bad the week before my period. Spiro/BCP haven't made much of a dif. for me, so its back to tane soon !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow. That sounds EXACTLY like my skin. I couldn't figure out why I was breaking out mid cycle vs. during! I am also 25, and have been battling this for about 5-6 years. I finally decided to go on Accutane. I've got an appointment with the derm next month!

My condition is not that bad, so I would go on Accutane.

I came to understand, that the problem is global: you need to "fix" not just your skin (bacteria and such), but to "fix" the imbalance in your body. I'm trying to figure out the way to do this.

Some say "cleansing" the system. That it all in the liver etc. I heard some good things about acupuncture and traditional chinise medicine...But, again, all these tratments are very qestionable and noone can tell you for sure that it will work....And it's not covered by insuarance, so it costs a fortune.

Any other ideas, ANYBODY?! :shifty:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I came to understand, that the problem is global: you need to "fix" not just your skin (bacteria and such), but to "fix" the imbalance in your body. I'm trying to figure out the way to do this.

Some say "cleansing" the system. That it all in the liver etc. I heard some good things about acupuncture and traditional chinise medicine...But, again, all these tratments are very qestionable and noone can tell you for sure that it will work....And it's not covered by insuarance, so it costs a fortune.

this thread is fascinating to me. i randomly posted a question on another site the other day, asking if anyone had their acne in the same spots as me: on the chin, and encircling the mouth (pretty much the same areas as Dan). incidentally, the rest of my facial skin is actually almost perfect -- which contrast drives me crazy... :wall: my areas with the acne have mostly been mild to moderate over the years (though i have suffered some ghastly breakouts at times). anyway, someone replied to that post by saying that chin/mouth-encircling pimples were a "classic sign" of hormonal acne. i had never heard of that before, and was surprised. (which i shouldn't have been, since my acne cleared up considerably while i was on the pill a few years ago.)

anyway, right now i am on the CSR, but am experiencing some upsetting skin discoloration (if you're interested, here's that thread). besides that, the prospect of being on Benzoyl Peroxide until i hit menopause (i'm 28) is less than favorable to me, especially considering the recent buzz about its being banned in Canada, and possibly carcinogenic and all that.

what i would love to know is, what exactly is the "imbalance" in the body that causes hormonal acne? i mean, is it an actual dysfunction? or is this "imbalance" normal? also (as katya asked) are there ways of "fixing" this, other than being on the pill?

hugs to everyone else battling this!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before my horribe breakout I would get about four or five nice sized bumps the week before my period. I would look at my skin like WTF..then lo and behold...period. Then the week of my period I would get a maybe one or two more.

The thing is I would like to get pregnant. I would like to start within the next 6 mths...but I am leery of Accutane because we would have to use two forms of birth control. Condoms wouldn't be a issue..but because I have eplilepsy, birth control pills get canceled out by my medicine. That includes Depro-Vera and the like because they include the same indgredients as the pills do.

So my question is what would be my other form of birth control? And would a doctor even give me Accutane?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before my horribe breakout I would get about four or five nice sized bumps the week before my period. I would look at my skin like WTF..then lo and behold...period. Then the week of my period I would get a maybe one or two more.

The thing is I would like to get pregnant. I would like to start within the next 6 mths...but I am leery of Accutane because we would have to use two forms of birth control. Condoms wouldn't be a issue..but because I have eplilepsy, birth control pills get canceled out by my medicine. That includes Depro-Vera and the like because they include the same indgredients as the pills do.

So my question is what would be my other form of birth control? And would a doctor even give me Accutane?

Without referencing my iPledge materials directly...

My understanding is that iPledge requires either an absitenence pledge or 2 forms of birth control - a primary and a back-up. The primary form should be hormonal (because when used correctly, hormonal bc is extremely effective) the secondary form is generally a barrier method (ie a condom) used with some sort of spermicide.

I had to jump through some hoops because artificial estrogen makes by blood pressure rise a bit, and I'm allergic to latex. But, we got it figured out.

I know it would be a hard choice, but if you absolutely can not have artificial hormones, abstinence is always a choice... (though a hard one)

We were planning on 'trying' soon, until my doctor offered accutane. For me, the prospect making it through pregnancy without extreme breakouts sounded glorious. I am willing to put our starting a family on-hold to make sure that I'm as confident and happy as I can be.

I hope you find something that works for you, good luck!

~Becca

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Abstience?

For two months..even three months I think I could do that for clear skin.

But I am not even gonna lie here....6 months with denying my husband sex? Na'll....that is just not going to cut it. Plus isn't there some sort of step down procedure? I mean I couldn't finish Accutance one month....then the next month start trying to get pregnant?

And being 30 going on 31 with epilepsy....it is just not feasible to keep putting my baby planning on hold much longer.....I really want to start right now but can't because I just started a job.

I was thinking of going on birth control knowing that my medicine would cancel it out anyway BUT I know that those hormones have to have some type of affect on a growing baby.

It just sucks to have these type of conditions....but such is life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Abstience?

For two months..even three months I think I could do that for clear skin.

But I am not even gonna lie here....6 months with denying my husband sex? Na'll....that is just not going to cut it. Plus isn't there some sort of step down procedure? I mean I couldn't finish Accutance one month....then the next month start trying to get pregnant?

And being 30 going on 31 with epilepsy....it is just not feasible to keep putting my baby planning on hold much longer.....I really want to start right now but can't because I just started a job.

I was thinking of going on birth control knowing that my medicine would cancel it out anyway BUT I know that those hormones have to have some type of affect on a growing baby.

It just sucks to have these type of conditions....but such is life.

I know we couldn't make it 6 months either... But just thought I'd offer up that as an iPledge option.

And as far as 'step down', the iPledge program says that you can start trying to get pregnant (stop using bc) one month after taking your last accutane pill. My doctor told me that realistically, all the accutane is out of your system within two weeks, the month is just to be on the safe side.

~Becca

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before my horribe breakout I would get about four or five nice sized bumps the week before my period. I would look at my skin like WTF..then lo and behold...period. Then the week of my period I would get a maybe one or two more.

The thing is I would like to get pregnant. I would like to start within the next 6 mths...but I am leery of Accutane because we would have to use two forms of birth control. Condoms wouldn't be a issue..but because I have eplilepsy, birth control pills get canceled out by my medicine. That includes Depro-Vera and the like because they include the same indgredients as the pills do.

So my question is what would be my other form of birth control? And would a doctor even give me Accutane?

What about a copper IUD ?(as long as you don't have Wilson's disease and you aren't allergic to copper). It's not a hormonal metho so there's noting for the meds to interfear with, and it counts as a primary form of birth control. I'd hate the idea of it, but if I were in your situation I'd look into it.......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ditto what labgirl suggested. My derm said the 2 options for primary birth control were BCP or and IUD so maybe an IUD would be a good option for you. BTW, I also delayed starting a family because I went on accutane (I broke out horribly after going off the BCP and after 10 months of being off it, the acne was just getting worse). Although going on accutane and delaying baby plans is a really tough decision to make, I don't regret it for a minute. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A IUD....sounds like something I may have to look into.

I am in a "waiting phase" right now due to just starting my job. So I think I have about...6 mths to spare at least. So if I started on Accutane in Oct...that would be May to begin trying for a baby.

That is of course if the derm went along with my master plan. LOL....

Thanks for the suggestions everyone!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

what i would love to know is, what exactly is the "imbalance" in the body that causes hormonal acne? i mean, is it an actual dysfunction? or is this "imbalance" normal? also (as katya asked) are there ways of "fixing" this, other than being on the pill?

hugs to everyone else battling this!

http://www.acne.org/hormones.html

"There are several times in our lives when our hormones can become unbalanced and wreak havoc, including puberty, pregnancy, menopause, and, well, any other time they feel like it."

"Because of this, some birth control pills, in small doses and with other topical remedies, can be used to reduce blemishes by keeping androgens steady".

Also:

http://www.acne.com/prevention/hormones.php

You can just "google" it. There are a lot of sites that explain WHY you get harmonal acne, but so far I have found none, that had a good explanation of WHAT TO DO WITH IT. :(

And by the way:

I HAD THE SAME REACTION TO BP AS YOU DID!!

I used it off and on for ~2 years. And I remember having some discoloration around my mouth. It didn't look red, but more like a birthmark.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have hormonal acne too! And I also break out like crazy in the week or so leading up to my period.. then when I'm on my period, my skin is at its best. I've done so much topical shit since I was 11 basically. I'm done with topical stuff - I know it's hormonal, especially since I got my hormones checked out (my period stopped) and discovered that my DHEA-S was high. My Prolactin was also high and I'm now on medication for that. My DHEA-S is in the normal range now, but it's on the high end of normal, so I can't get medication for it. Also, they wouldn't know how to treat it anyway because at this point, there's no evident reason why the level is high. Grrrrr.

And I can't go on any oral contraceptive because it would counteract the medication I'm on for the Prolactin.

BOO!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have hormonal acne too! And I also break out like crazy in the week or so leading up to my period.. then when I'm on my period, my skin is at its best. I've done so much topical shit since I was 11 basically. I'm done with topical stuff - I know it's hormonal, especially since I got my hormones checked out (my period stopped) and discovered that my DHEA-S was high. My Prolactin was also high and I'm now on medication for that. My DHEA-S is in the normal range now, but it's on the high end of normal, so I can't get medication for it. Also, they wouldn't know how to treat it anyway because at this point, there's no evident reason why the level is high. Grrrrr.

And I can't go on any oral contraceptive because it would counteract the medication I'm on for the Prolactin.

BOO!

Same here. I've started up on diane now, on my third packet, and this month I decided to skip my period, and see what happens. I usually get pretty mild (4-5) breakouts the week before. I've got little bumps here and there, so it may be quite a while until my skin is 100% clear. Patience is all I need....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've posted about this a gazillion times already (however it was more than a year ago), but my hormonal acne nearly disappeared completely after consistently taking Vitex (aka Agnus Cactus, Chaste Tea). I took 500 mg daily and had to go through over 3 months of barely noticable improvement before it really started to work for me.

There aren't really any negatives. It's an herb that's very safe that works to restore the natural balance of certain hormones in your body. There's heaps of info bout it on the net and on this site, i believe. The only problem is that it's a fertility drug so you cannot be on a birth control pill at the same time.

Let me see if I can dig up one of my old posts with pictures...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vitex thread with pictures

This is the link for the thread where I posted my progress pics. Check them out, that's Vitex at work. If you do a search on this site for Vitex, heaps of my posts will come up and they'll explain everything, but if there are any questions, you can always PM me.

Oh, also.. it wasn't 500 mg of Vitex daily, it was 2 500 mg pills a day, making it 1000 mg of Vitex total. Sorry bout the mistake...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To Kataya:

I am 29 and also have hormonal breakouts... both during ovulation AND when I get my period, so I am constantly fighting mother nature! :wall:

Since you are trying to get pregnant, your options are limited. Make sure you discuss ANY course of treatment with your OBGYN. I, also, am trying to get pregnant with my second child. My OBGYN suggested I stear clear of salicyic acid, but gave me an o.k. on BP as long as it is used in moderation. I just use BP to spot treat. A very good substitute for salicylic acid is glycolic acid. It is 100% safe to use during pregnancy. Try Neostrata 15% gel or lotion or Alpha Hydrox 12% AHA souffle. They both work pretty well and much better than SA, anyway... IMO.

You may also want to start taking fish oil pills. I take 3 a day. Not only are these good for your skin, but they are also good for your developing baby's brain. Just be sure to buy a high quality fish oil in order to avoid mercury, which is NOT good for your baby. X-tend life is very highly recommended. Check out their website.

Unfortunately, since you are trying to conceive, medications that would fix the problem from the inside (probably the most effective) are not possible... birth control, accutane, etc.

During my first pregnancy, my acne was awful the first three months, but was nearly non existant after that point. So, you may have the same experience. Your hormones will COMPLETELY change once you are pregnant. Unfortunately, after having my son, my skin is as bad as it was in my teenage years. LOL...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hate to tell you gals this, but my OB put me on Loestrin 24 because of my terrible PMS, headaches, skin problems, etc.. She told me to skip having a period and continue the active pills back to back and hopefully I would experience any symptoms. It did not alleviate anything. I still got headaches, acne and mood swings. I did this for three months expecting it to be smooth sailing and it never got better. It is like my body is programmed to bloat up and have all this PMS no matter what.

On a different note, I have done some herbal research and it seems to support what Gullylips says about Vitex. It is supposed to even out hormones. I am all for that. Question, how did you get your hormones tested? My OB poopooed that and said I couldn't get it done. Help, I'd like to know if any of my levels are obscenely high. 100 mgs daily of Spironolactone is very helpful in inhibiting the testerone from reaching the surface level of the skin, though. I'd still like to have the testing done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hate to tell you gals this, but my OB put me on Loestrin 24 because of my terrible PMS, headaches, skin problems, etc.. She told me to skip having a period and continue the active pills back to back and hopefully I would experience any symptoms. It did not alleviate anything. I still got headaches, acne and mood swings. I did this for three months expecting it to be smooth sailing and it never got better. It is like my body is programmed to bloat up and have all this PMS no matter what.

On a different note, I have done some herbal research and it seems to support what Gullylips says about Vitex. It is supposed to even out hormones. I am all for that. Question, how did you get your hormones tested? My OB poopooed that and said I couldn't get it done. Help, I'd like to know if any of my levels are obscenely high. 100 mgs daily of Spironolactone is very helpful in inhibiting the testerone from reaching the surface level of the skin, though. I'd still like to have the testing done.

Talk to an endocrinologist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vitex thread with pictures

This is the link for the thread where I posted my progress pics. Check them out, that's Vitex at work. If you do a search on this site for Vitex, heaps of my posts will come up and they'll explain everything, but if there are any questions, you can always PM me.

Oh, also.. it wasn't 500 mg of Vitex daily, it was 2 500 mg pills a day, making it 1000 mg of Vitex total. Sorry bout the mistake...

Thank you. That is something new and looks interesting, I'll give a try. Though, I'm taking so many supplements now, that if something will help eventually - I wouldn't know what it was :))

To Kataya:

I am 29 and also have hormonal breakouts... both during ovulation AND when I get my period, so I am constantly fighting mother nature! :wall:

Since you are trying to get pregnant, your options are limited. Make sure you discuss ANY course of treatment with your OBGYN. I, also, am trying to get pregnant with my second child. My OBGYN suggested I stear clear of salicyic acid, but gave me an o.k. on BP as long as it is used in moderation. I just use BP to spot treat. A very good substitute for salicylic acid is glycolic acid. It is 100% safe to use during pregnancy. Try Neostrata 15% gel or lotion or Alpha Hydrox 12% AHA souffle. They both work pretty well and much better than SA, anyway... IMO.

You may also want to start taking fish oil pills. I take 3 a day. Not only are these good for your skin, but they are also good for your developing baby's brain. Just be sure to buy a high quality fish oil in order to avoid mercury, which is NOT good for your baby. X-tend life is very highly recommended. Check out their website.

Unfortunately, since you are trying to conceive, medications that would fix the problem from the inside (probably the most effective) are not possible... birth control, accutane, etc.

During my first pregnancy, my acne was awful the first three months, but was nearly non existant after that point. So, you may have the same experience. Your hormones will COMPLETELY change once you are pregnant. Unfortunately, after having my son, my skin is as bad as it was in my teenage years. LOL...

Just to make sure, is it this gel you were talking about:

http://www.beauticreams.com/neos15engel.html ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Personalized Advice Quiz - All of Acne.org in just a few minutes


×