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miss_thing

Endometriosis and Acne

I am a 31 year old female that has been struggling with painful, cystic acne for 3+ years. During my teenage years, I had great skin, no acne. So my acne is definitely adult onset. I was also diagnosed with endometriosis about 6 years ago. For all of this time with acne, I never knew what the deal was, I just kinda dealt with it. For the past year or so, it *really* has been bothering me, as now I have scars and red marks that really make my face look bad. I've tried BP(Dan's regimen), glycolic acid peels, hydroquinone, numerous cleansers, etc. and not much improvment. I finally, in the past week or so, figured out the cause of my acne. Now I know - my acne is from my birth control pill! I've been on Levlen (Levora) for years because it's low estrogen for my endometriosis. From what I've read, low estrogen=acne and high estrogen=bad flare-up of endometriosis. My question is...is there anyone out there that has endometriosis and has been able to control their acne with another brand of bcp? My next step is to try switching pills to a higher estrogen pill like Yasmin, and just deal with the endometriosis symptoms. That's how bad this acne affects me. Sometimes I just don't want to leave the house. I've learned so much from the Acne.org message boards, so any advice/input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Guest been13years

I'm so sorry about what you've been through- my best friend in high school had endometriosis so bad she had to stay home during her period because it made her throw up she was in so much pain. I would try Yasmin or Yaz if you want to try an anti-androgenic pill. Have you tried Spironolactone? I want to ask my derm about it for my hormonal breakouts. Also, what sort of painkillers do you use? I'm sure you know this but dosing on Aleve for about a week before your period can help reduce the hormonal acne and pain.

Good luck miss thing!

Sarah

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hey im in your boat. suffered from endometreosis since i was 16...i messed with tons of bcps and found that estrostep fe was the best for me. it is phasic and 20/30/35 mcgm of estrogen. Meaning 1 week at 20mcgm of estrogen, then the next week at 30mcgm and the third week at 35 mcgm of estrogen. Levlen has a constant 30 mcgm of estrogen so this is a little different and did the trick for me. it was a nice compromise. Estrostep did not clear my acne, but it subdued it. so estrostep in combination with csr has really helped my skin. but more importantly estrostep completely stopped the painful periods. it was miraculous. Yasmin is 30mcgm of estrogen just like Levlen so it wont be a change in estrogen. The difference between Levlen and Yasmin is the level and form of progestin. I am not sure what affect that has on endometreosis and acne. anyway...good luck with this!

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How do I know if I have endometriosis? My mom had it, so does this mean I have it? I have incredibly painful periods to the point where I would have to miss school as well. I wouldn't throw up though.

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How do I know if I have endometriosis? My mom had it, so does this mean I have it? I have incredibly painful periods to the point where I would have to miss school as well. I wouldn't throw up though.

You should see a gynecologist. An affected sister or mother doubles the risk...but my experience of endometriosis involves throwing up A LOT...almost every month until i got on birth control. i had sonograms performed and i cant remember if they took culture during a pap smear to diagnose me.

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Guest been13years

I don't think you have to choose between acne and children; the friend I mentioned above is gonna have kids someday. I think you just have to have a good ob-gyn that you can forge a therapeutic relationship with, so you can try different things to treat the endo and the acne while making sure you are going to be in ok shape to conceive (if that's what you want). I think a gyno looks for uterine cells in the abdominal cavity, since these are what causes the pain when they migrate.

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I also have endometriosis and the only way to definitely diagnose it is to have a laparoscopy which I have had two. I also have acne so I wonder if there is a connection between the two. I have stage 3-4 endo which is pretty bad and I never threw up. Everyones symptoms are different. I always had extremely painful periods with the pain radiating down my leg but just thought this was PMS not realizing it was much worse than others. I was only diagnosed after having trouble conceiving. FYI - I have had one child so you are not doomed for childbearing if you have endo. If you suspect you have it you really should check with your gyno on the appropriate trmt.

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It is much more likely that the progesterone component in your current pill is not an anti-androgen and is exacerbating the acne than that the lower estrogen is causing it. Yasmin and Yaz both have the same anti-androgenic progesterone component, with Yaz being lower estrogen than the original Yaz. If your current pill is a monophasic either of these would be a good choice. If your current BCP is multiphasic, then consider OrthoTriCylin.

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I remeber going to my (male doctor) about my incredibly painful, debilitatig periods and acne, for him to tell me to "deal with it"!!!

He said he'd put me on the mini-pill but that did nothing for my periods - think heavy flow, unbelivable pain, nausea etc and it just made my acne worse.

i now try and deal with the endometriosis (no official diagnosis thanks to my doctor) with heavy pain-killers, heat etc and the acne with BP

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Mini-pills only contain progesterone. They don't do anything for painful periods beyond supressing them with continued use. A combo pill with estrogen on the other hand can be very helpful in this regard. Without BCP i have terrible cramps and other PMS symptoms - so bad that i needed a handful of Advil and i had to take it at the very first sign or it was too late. Otherwise i would be curled up in a little ball of pain in the bathroom, only moving to get to the toilet and throw up.

On Yasmin - zero and i mean zero cramps.

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Mini-pills only contain progesterone. They don't do anything for painful periods beyond supressing them with continued use

*must poke doctor with pointy stick* Ive had 7 years of angonising pain because of that idiot grrrrrrrrrrrr

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These are two years old but i stumbled on it. I for the last 6 months developed horrible cystic acne on my jaw. My derm said it was hormones. At the the same time I had an apt with my gyno for severe pains during periods where a few times i went to er for pain mngmt!! I just found out I have endometriosis and trying to see if it is related and if once you got it treated it cleared out?? My doc gave me a depo shot to stop my periods and other tests from there??? Any help or advice from anyone out there??

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It is much more likely that the progesterone component in your current pill is not an anti-androgen and is exacerbating the acne than that the lower estrogen is causing it. Yasmin and Yaz both have the same anti-androgenic progesterone component, with Yaz being lower estrogen than the original Yaz. If your current pill is a monophasic either of these would be a good choice. If your current BCP is multiphasic, then consider OrthoTriCylin.

Yes, some progestins have more androgenic activity than others. There's a thread with links to good articles and charts of the various BC and their progestin types in the Hormonal Treatment sub forum.

BCP Comparison Thread

http://www.acne.org/messageboard/BC-compar...rt-t157870.html

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These are two years old but i stumbled on it. I for the last 6 months developed horrible cystic acne on my jaw. My derm said it was hormones. At the the same time I had an apt with my gyno for severe pains during periods where a few times i went to er for pain mngmt!! I just found out I have endometriosis and trying to see if it is related and if once you got it treated it cleared out?? My doc gave me a depo shot to stop my periods and other tests from there??? Any help or advice from anyone out there??

Hey there- I too have endo and acne on my jaw line. women with endo have an excess of estrogen in their system and this could be related to the acne. however- I have gotten rid of the pain associated with endometriosis, although the disease is lifelong. For 16 years I was on some type of hormonal treatment for endo and never had very bad acne (just a bit on my jaw)- although I was in horrific pain from the endo. Once I had excision surgery for endo (my 4th surgery and only succesful one), I got off the hormones and acne got worse. It is quite the conundrum- I'm so sick of the drugs but it seems without them I have acne. So, I can tell you how to get rid of the pain associated with endometriosis but not the acne. hormonal tx may alleviate the pain of endo but it is really just a band-aid; however it may help with the acne. I once had an eastern medical practitioner tell me that the break-outs on the jaw were related to an excess of estrogen- this certainly seems plausible to me. my face looks better in the morning but really starts looking worse throughout the day which makes me think it could be something environmental. Btw- 80% of women with endo are allergic to wheat. If I use a prodcut that has wheat in it (tons do) I break out very badly.

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miss_thing,

I'm sorry for your struggles. I urge you to visit the Holistic section of the boards and also to consider adding cruciferous, leafy greens to your diet, as they will help more than any other food to regulate your hormones. They cleared my skin in 4 weeks. There's a link about them in my signature. :)

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I wish I could find a link to the study I saw showing a diet improving PCOS symptoms. It mentioned endometriosis as well. It was, however, the basically the same diet they always use in studies on hormone related conditions including acne --Moderately low GI or GL and moderately low fat. And nutrient dense. It's always the same diet because of all the prior studies specifically on factors involved in acne and other hormone issues such as insulin and glucose metabolism, inflammation, and specific nutrients.

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I can fully sympathize! I have endometriosis (I had surgery but I think it's back anyway) and had to bitch relentlessly at my stupid male ob/gyn to do anything for three years.

I had all kinds of acne, especially the cystic/nodule kind. My period was very painful and lasted nearly two and a half weeks. I lost weight, threw up ,was incredibly depressed, etc. I was put on lo-ogestrel (generic for something else) and it didn't work. Orthotrycyclene made it much worse and I hated my period even more ( I would spot a bunch).

I had laparoscopic surgery to remove endometrial tissue and to make sure there was nothing else wrong. It has helped my periods but now I don't know when I'm having my next one. They are irregular and I stopped taking BC afterwards because I started getting really angry for no reason. I'll admit I'm not the happiest person on the planet but angry just isn't me.

I have not been back on birth control and use progesterone cream to level out when I feel anxious or stressed. I still have acne but I'm determined to get it under control.

If I ever get a boyfriend I don't look forward to getting birth control again. I really just think it's useless and too expensive. :snooty: No, I'm not going to have kids either - I just can't stand being around them and I wouldn't want to pass this on to any child of mine anyway.

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Hi Everyone,

This is my first post ever so please be gentle with me! I am looking for some advice on endometriosis and acne if anyone can help.

I was diagnosed with endo in 2002 after years of heavy, painful periods. At this time I had perfect skin. In 2004 I started with acne mostly on my cheeks and jawline which left terrible red scars. After trying dianette and microgynon 30 BCP and numerous antibiotics i was referred to a dermatologist who prescribed roaccutane in 2006. This worked for me and my acne stayed away for 18 months only to return again 4 months ago!

I have asked my GP and Derm so many times if endo is related to acne but they tell me no each time, yet they say it is hormonal! I'm confused!!!

Anyway I am trying to get pregnant at the moment so BCP is out of the question but can anyone offer any advice on what may work- I will try anything!!

I am due to spend £700 on n-lite laser treatment next week (thats how desperate I am!)

Any advice at all would be much appreciated and sorry for the length of this post!!!

KatyK xx

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Hi Everyone,

This is my first post ever so please be gentle with me! I am looking for some advice on endometriosis and acne if anyone can help.

I was diagnosed with endo in 2002 after years of heavy, painful periods. At this time I had perfect skin. In 2004 I started with acne mostly on my cheeks and jawline which left terrible red scars. After trying dianette and microgynon 30 BCP and numerous antibiotics i was referred to a dermatologist who prescribed roaccutane in 2006. This worked for me and my acne stayed away for 18 months only to return again 4 months ago!

I have asked my GP and Derm so many times if endo is related to acne but they tell me no each time, yet they say it is hormonal! I'm confused!!!

Anyway I am trying to get pregnant at the moment so BCP is out of the question but can anyone offer any advice on what may work- I will try anything!!

I am due to spend £700 on n-lite laser treatment next week (thats how desperate I am!)

Any advice at all would be much appreciated and sorry for the length of this post!!!

KatyK xx

Hi Katy-

I've slowly realized with the help of this board that a lot of my 'acne' is actually pityosporum- basically an overgrowth of yeast. This makes perfect sense because many women with endo also have an excess of candida in their systems. I have started the candida cleanse diet and noticed major improvments in my skin all on my cheeks and jaw line. I have only been doing the diet for a week now but I wake up with great looking skin, however, if I ingest something that is not on the candida diet (coffee and beer being the latest examples) I start to break out again on my jaw, neck and cheeks! I am going to do the cleanse for 2 more weeks and then slowly re-intorduce the banned foods to see what breaks me out- but the first step is getting the candida under control. maybe you want to try the same thing to see if it effects you? I don't think it could hurt.

Best of luck with the skin and the baby!

Megan

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