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rainydaze

Not sure where to post this - but here goes....(please advise)

Hi All

I apologise in advance for the long post - but I've been torturing myself with all these thoughts for days and just want to put it all "out there" to see if anyone can make any sense of it or offer any advice... so here goes...

I'm a 26 yr old female (slightly overweight - omnivorous/no seafood except fish) and I've had acne since age 11 when I hit puberty.

Also asthma since age 6 and have been on a few different corticosteroids to treat this, salbutamol and beclamethasone regularly since then.

I've regularly(last 4.5yrs) worn non-comedogenic cosmetics outside the house to cover break-outs and old scarring. I'm naturally very pale in complexion (peaky even) with dark rings around my eyes (not good at all)

My acne started out with blackheads and whiteheads on the t-zone area (exacerbated by oranges no-less) no cysts but then when I hit 15/16 I developed cystic acne on my smile line area, forehead and cheeks.

I saw my family doctor who tried me with...

Dianette (Made me really ill after only a few days dose - so had to stop)

Antibiotics:

Erythromycin (back pain - had to stop)

Oxytetracycline (photosensitivity - had to stop)

Doxycycline (no effects)

Topicals:

Clindamycin (no effects)

Benzoyl Peroxide (Only effective at high doses but didn't prevent cysts and caused sensitivity)

Fucidin H (Helpful with cysts - potentially using this again)

Then I developed Acne Rosacea during pregnancy and got the "butterfly" across nose and cheeks with inflamed Cystic Acne on cheeks once again.

I was post-natally referred to a Dermatologist for the first time, he then tried a Sulphur-Zinc ointment which stunk and just wasn't helpful.

I then bit the bullet and tried Roaccutane, it was slow to take effect and I had to be put on higher and higher doses, it got rid of my Acne for the most part but after a while the Acne came back this time on my neck and jawline/lower cheeks, so I had to be put on ANOTHER dose.

It was on this second course that my dermatologist advised that some people need a maintenance dose of Accutane 5mg per day pretty much forever :(.

Anyhow the second dose ended about 18 months ago during which time I've started getting

sparse coarse facial hair either side of my chin (which I have to remove daily)

mild hair growth recession (could be just being paranoid with this one)

small cysts in scalp (2 or 3 at the back - painless)

and now I've started getting cysts and inflamed white heads with each menstrual cycle (regular cycle length but moderate/heavy), this month one hefty inflamed cyst under my chin, one non-painful cystic bump on my jawline and 3 inflamed whiteheads on my upper cheeks.

I've been applying Tea Tree Oil in the evenings to cleansed skin and then adding Lavender Essential Oil to my non-comedogenic moisturiser during the day to help treat these with some success (they're not as painful or angry - but still there)

I'm worried about the Hirsutism and the possibility that the severity of the Acne will build with each cycle as my skin doesn't have chance to fight the monthly cysts before the next ones come along.

I'm seeing my family doctor tomorrow and have no clue what to ask for/complain about first. It's affecting my confidence and making me even more reclusive than usual :(

I did lots of research on herbal remedies on the internet over the course of the weekend - a lot of conflicting evidence around.

I've previously had Diabetes and Hormone tests at the beginning of the cycle and these seemed to come back OK.....I am toying with herbal ideas, seeing a homeopathic doc, getting referred back to my dermatologist or trying to push for investigative tests with my GP - does anyone think an endocrinologist would be able to help?

Thanks in advance xx

Edited by rainydaze

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Spironolactone! Read about it in the many posts here: http://www.acne.org/messageboard/Hormonal-...s-Spir-f51.html

Edited to Add: From what you describe, it really sounds like a hormone issue. Spiro blocks androgens from binding to receptors so you should see a decrease in unwated facial hair and acne while taking them.

Edited by Lady Odd Duck

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I forgot to mention I also saw good results with cortisone injections (given by the dermatologist - think that's what they're called)...

injected into the cysts and a few days later - poof! gone :)

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Being overweight, acne, hirsutism and diabetes all point to Polycystic ovarian syndrome. You may or may not have it, but your doctor needs to rule it out.

The treatment would be putting you on a birth control pill and spironolactone. Also, PCOS causes too much testosterone. Because the hormones are stored in fat, the symptoms decrease if you lose weight.

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