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dinaura

Weight loss causing acne to worsen?!

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Hi everyone -

I've had mild to moderate acne for most of my life (I'm 26). It has recently become pretty bad, like worse than moderate. I tried to really restrict my diet to treat my acne, and exercised a lot more, and in the meantime lost over 40 pounds. THIS HAS MADE MY ACNE SO MUCH WORSE THAN BEFORE! I dropped a lot of weight and leaned out through building muscle one other time in my life -- right before the first time I ever had cystic acne, at 17 years old. I wanted to look good for senior picures, so I worked out and dieted like crazy. My skin was decent before that. I eventually ended up taking birth control to combat the acne then, and my skin cleared up. However, I just realized I was finishing up my senior year in high school and then was off to college, so I basically gained some weight back and stopped working out so much. Even after I got off of birth control, my acne came back, but it was mild and manageable with topicals. Then came graduate school and weird weight fluctuations again. Then came the breaking out more often. Then I changed my diet and started losing weight and gaining muscle. Now my acne is back worse than ever!

So, basically, I'm concluding that my acne is being caused somehow by losing body fat. It also seems to be caused by gaining weight, too, but not so much as when I lose.

Has anyone else experienced this? Will my face calm down if my body gets used to being at this weight? I kind of like being this thin and really don't want to gain again. I don't want to go on BC, but that might be my only option if my face doesn't calm down soon :( Maybe I can use the BC to prevent acne until my weight stabilizes?

Does anyone have any good articles about how weight loss affects hormones? I tried googling and came up with a few other people with this problem, but it didn't really give me answers about why this is happening. I thought I was helping my skin but ended up hurting it :confused:

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"...so I worked out and dieted like crazy."

That to me doesn't sound healthy... Just curious, how long a timeframe are we talking here for the 40lbs lost? I don't mean this in a condescending accusatory manner, but to me, that almosts sounds like borderline eating disorder/dysmorphic diorder. And when you were "dieting" what were you eating? Vigorous exercise increases nutritional needs for your body. You need way more of the B-vits, minerals and others for effective recovery. There are tons of super nutrient-dense foods, that are still good for overall weight loss (combined with sensible exercise).

What were your underlying motivations? Was it to lose as much weight as fast as possible, or was it to improve your health and body?

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I myself feel like if I don't eat enough, when I do eat my body reacts more strongly to the food. For example, if I drink a bear on an empty stomach, my face will feel like crap soon after. But if I drink one with a complete meal, it has no or very little impact. Same if I eat cheese on its own instead of with a full meal, etc.

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I myself feel like if I don't eat enough, when I do eat my body reacts more strongly to the food. For example, if I drink a bear on an empty stomach, my face will feel like crap soon after. But if I drink one with a complete meal, it has no or very little impact. Same if I eat cheese on its own instead of with a full meal, etc.

If I drank a bear on an empty stomach, my face would feel like crap soon after, too.

Sorry, I know it was a typo but it was such a funny typo I started laughing. :P

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Body fat/muscle mass affects hormones in a number of ways. Visceral fat (around your middle) secretes hormones that impair insulin sensitivity. Muscle mass improves insulin sensitivity. Fatty tissues contain enzymes that convert testosterone to estrogen as well as the enzymes that convert testosterone to DHT. And hormones are stored in fat. So weight loss could be freeing up stored hormones.

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Body fat/muscle mass affects hormones in a number of ways. Visceral fat (around your middle) secretes hormones that impair insulin sensitivity. Muscle mass improves insulin sensitivity. Fatty tissues contain enzymes that convert testosterone to estrogen as well as the enzymes that convert testosterone to DHT. And hormones are stored in fat. So weight loss could be freeing up stored hormones.

So basically, it is better to be fat then skinny when it comes to acne? Because if you are fat and you lose the weight, your hormones go crazy and thus acne??

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Body fat/muscle mass affects hormones in a number of ways. Visceral fat (around your middle) secretes hormones that impair insulin sensitivity. Muscle mass improves insulin sensitivity. Fatty tissues contain enzymes that convert testosterone to estrogen as well as the enzymes that convert testosterone to DHT. And hormones are stored in fat. So weight loss could be freeing up stored hormones.

So basically, it is better to be fat then skinny when it comes to acne? Because if you are fat and you lose the weight, your hormones go crazy and thus acne??

yes

fat cells produce estrogen, the "opposite" to DHT.

DHT=the hormone that is responsible for oily skin thus acne.

fat=more estrogen=less dht=less oily skin=less acne

skinny=less estrogen=more dht=more oily skin=more acne

and by the way this is the same thing happend to me either, after i lost weight my acne exploded. now im back working on putting some fat on my body.

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Body fat/muscle mass affects hormones in a number of ways. Visceral fat (around your middle) secretes hormones that impair insulin sensitivity. Muscle mass improves insulin sensitivity. Fatty tissues contain enzymes that convert testosterone to estrogen as well as the enzymes that convert testosterone to DHT. And hormones are stored in fat. So weight loss could be freeing up stored hormones.

So basically, it is better to be fat then skinny when it comes to acne? Because if you are fat and you lose the weight, your hormones go crazy and thus acne??

yes

fat cells produce estrogen, the "opposite" to DHT.

DHT=the hormone that is responsible for oily skin thus acne.

fat=more estrogen=less dht=less oily skin=less acne

skinny=less estrogen=more dht=more oily skin=more acne

and by the way this is the same thing happend to me either, after i lost weight my acne exploded. now im back working on putting some fat on my body.

The same thing happened to me. After I lost 45 pounds, I started developing signs of too much DHT. (Acne, seborrheic dermatitis, prostate problems, oily skin etc.)

Now the question is: Will it stabilize the hormone imbalance if we gain more weight, or is it too late now that we have it???

I have a really hard time coming to terms with the fact that once we are broken, we can't fix it, we can only treat it.

Elvin

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Body fat/muscle mass affects hormones in a number of ways. Visceral fat (around your middle) secretes hormones that impair insulin sensitivity. Muscle mass improves insulin sensitivity. Fatty tissues contain enzymes that convert testosterone to estrogen as well as the enzymes that convert testosterone to DHT. And hormones are stored in fat. So weight loss could be freeing up stored hormones.

So basically, it is better to be fat then skinny when it comes to acne? Because if you are fat and you lose the weight, your hormones go crazy and thus acne??

yes

fat cells produce estrogen, the "opposite" to DHT.

DHT=the hormone that is responsible for oily skin thus acne.

fat=more estrogen=less dht=less oily skin=less acne

skinny=less estrogen=more dht=more oily skin=more acne

and by the way this is the same thing happend to me either, after i lost weight my acne exploded. now im back working on putting some fat on my body.

The same thing happened to me. After I lost 45 pounds, I started developing signs of too much DHT. (Acne, seborrheic dermatitis, prostate problems, oily skin etc.)

Now the question is: Will it stabilize the hormone imbalance if we gain more weight, or is it too late now that we have it???

I have a really hard time coming to terms with the fact that once we are broken, we can't fix it, we can only treat it.

Elvin

Well, if body fat is secreting the stabilizing hormones, then it would seem logical that gaining body fat would balance things out.

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Body fat/muscle mass affects hormones in a number of ways. Visceral fat (around your middle) secretes hormones that impair insulin sensitivity. Muscle mass improves insulin sensitivity. Fatty tissues contain enzymes that convert testosterone to estrogen as well as the enzymes that convert testosterone to DHT. And hormones are stored in fat. So weight loss could be freeing up stored hormones.

So basically, it is better to be fat then skinny when it comes to acne? Because if you are fat and you lose the weight, your hormones go crazy and thus acne??

yes

fat cells produce estrogen, the "opposite" to DHT.

DHT=the hormone that is responsible for oily skin thus acne.

fat=more estrogen=less dht=less oily skin=less acne

skinny=less estrogen=more dht=more oily skin=more acne

and by the way this is the same thing happend to me either, after i lost weight my acne exploded. now im back working on putting some fat on my body.

The same thing happened to me. After I lost 45 pounds, I started developing signs of too much DHT. (Acne, seborrheic dermatitis, prostate problems, oily skin etc.)

Now the question is: Will it stabilize the hormone imbalance if we gain more weight, or is it too late now that we have it???

I have a really hard time coming to terms with the fact that once we are broken, we can't fix it, we can only treat it.

Elvin

Well, if body fat is secreting the stabilizing hormones, then it would seem logical that gaining body fat would balance things out.

theres nothing to "balance", you see i write balance in quotes? its cuz it will only "balance" in a way that being fat means you produce less DHT and therefore less oily skin>acne.

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This totally makes sense with my personal experience. I have almost always been VERY active and I have always had severe acne. My freshman year in college I was so busy with school that I stopped exercising, gained the freshman 15. My acne was still there but it reduced a lot. That following summer I started an active lifestyle again and my acne worsened. This is even though I eat Paleo-like diet, low-sugar, dairy-free, etc. I also have a sister who has been quite chubby and sedentary her whole life, and she has never had more than a pimple or two.

For me, since becoming sedentary or gaining weight isn't an option, I turned to spiro (anti-androgen) which cleared me 100%.

Edited by Green Gables
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Here is an excerpt from a DHT discussion on HealthBoards, thought it might be useful:

Absolutely!

High androgen levels are responsible for probably 99% of all acne cases. The exceptions would be those that have an allergy to a food or skin care ingredient. In which case, inflammation will occur (cysts, pimples,etc), but it won't be due to androgens.

Those of us on this board, that have improved or cured ourselves through diet (and/or liver healing) did so due to an intolerance to foods (different from an allergy) and/or also by balancing our insulin levels.

If you are going through Puberty, being Insulin Resistant is a natural part of this process. Your body requires this in order to grow and bring you into adulthood. In order to do this your body needs to produce MORE Growth and Steriod hormones that unfortunately if produced in great excess, will actually cause more damage than good (everything in moderation). Some people end up gaining more wieght during this time, others end up with Acne, discover they are diabetic, or other hormonal imbalance problems. Many things can occur and what confuses most people is the assumption that everyone is the same and therefore must react the same way to the same foods, hormones, etc. If you just look all around you, we clearly are not the exact same. We are not clones of each other and so that line if thinking is highly flawed and is simply not true!

Unfortunately, it seems that more and more people are still having hormonal problems, such as acne prior to entering puberty, and even beyond puberty =( Some people deal with acne for 5, 10, 20, 30 years or more. I've come across people in their 30s, 40s and 60s that are still dealing with acne. If you are going to be one of these individuals (you won't know beforehand), the longer you wait to get treatment, the worse your health & hormonal problems will be.

In terms of acne, the kicker here is that it's usually Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) that's causing a lot of grief. Regular testosterone, is nothing compared to the super potency of DHT. You can have regular hormone levels and still have acne, because your sebaceous glands are still producing or are sensitive to DHT. This usually accounts for about 90% of acne sufferers. The other 10% are those like myself, that not only have a follicle sensitivity to DHT, but also produce too much testosterone (this is converted into DHT).

For women this is not a good thing because once our follicles gain a sensitivity to this, even with decreased tesoterone levels, we still need something to help us fight off excess body hair and hair loss that's also related to DHT =/ Not to mention, DHT overrides estrogen and so it not only can alter our secondary sex characteristics (more body hair), but it can also stunt our feminie growth as well (smaller breasts, irregular menstrual cycles, etc). A favorable product for inhbiting DHT is Spironolactone or the alternatives are Saw Palmetto or Beta Sitosterol.

Now, the above can also be used for men. In fact you should find a few topics here that discuss the use of the above for you. Just as with women, if males get too much estrogen (this can happen if you take too much of a DHT inhibitor and/or an Estrogen supplement), you can start to lose body hair, have a decreased libido, or end up with gynecomastia, but is reversable upon medication adjustment/elimination. However, what really concerns me and should concern all males, especially those that are still dealing with acne beyond puberty, is that of having Earlier or more Severe Prostate problems, possibly even prostate cancer. I know it's a touchy subject and doctors fear what could happen to males when it comes to this, but those that don't produce (enough) DHT, don't get prostrate problems.

If you are still going through puberty, blocking your DHT through prescriptions is a bad idea (you can do it safely & naturally through diet or some supplements). Because you are still growing, this will stunt a man's growth (and cause the above symptoms), but once you in your 20s and you've gone through your growth spurts, this is something you can think about. You can't have DHT without Testosterone, and this is something you can reduce overall through diet. Along with this, you will also decrease your estrogen because some testosterone is naturally converted into estrogen. So concerning a male's prostate, this is actually more complicated because Estrogen has it's role too, which may be why all DHT-Inhibitors (natural or drugs), also reduce/block the conversion of your testosterone into Estrogen ;-) Now they say that all males will eventually have prostate problems, but for those that are producing EXCESS Hormones, and thus excess DHT, how bad is it going to be for you?

What's wonderful is that what will improve or cure your acne, happens to handle quite a few other hormonal problems, especially prostrate problems. So if you can find a way to internally balance your hormones (natually), you will also decrease your chances of having prostate problems, or even male patterned baldness if that's a concern. Oh and for women, the sooner you are able to correct your hormonal problems, especially if still during puberty, you can prevent the above female symptoms from also occuring.

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That weird. The only time I can get my skin to clear up is when I get down to very low bodyfat levels and have a very small caloric intake. When I gain weight or maintain weight my skin gets bad, even eating the same foods, just more of them

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Body fat/muscle mass affects hormones in a number of ways. Visceral fat (around your middle) secretes hormones that impair insulin sensitivity. Muscle mass improves insulin sensitivity. Fatty tissues contain enzymes that convert testosterone to estrogen as well as the enzymes that convert testosterone to DHT. And hormones are stored in fat. So weight loss could be freeing up stored hormones.

So basically, it is better to be fat then skinny when it comes to acne? Because if you are fat and you lose the weight, your hormones go crazy and thus acne??

yes

fat cells produce estrogen, the "opposite" to DHT.

DHT=the hormone that is responsible for oily skin thus acne.

fat=more estrogen=less dht=less oily skin=less acne

skinny=less estrogen=more dht=more oily skin=more acne

and by the way this is the same thing happend to me either, after i lost weight my acne exploded. now im back working on putting some fat on my body.

The same thing happened to me. After I lost 45 pounds, I started developing signs of too much DHT. (Acne, seborrheic dermatitis, prostate problems, oily skin etc.)

Now the question is: Will it stabilize the hormone imbalance if we gain more weight, or is it too late now that we have it???

I have a really hard time coming to terms with the fact that once we are broken, we can't fix it, we can only treat it.

Elvin

same exact thing happened to me. I had some mild seborrheic dermatitis on my face (just eyebrows/scalp) and i went on a pretty rigid diet (eating only fruits/veggies anti candida etc etc) lost like 20 lbs (Went from 140 to 120) and bam seborrheic dermatits exploded all over face (and acne got worse on my body as well).

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Body fat/muscle mass affects hormones in a number of ways. Visceral fat (around your middle) secretes hormones that impair insulin sensitivity. Muscle mass improves insulin sensitivity. Fatty tissues contain enzymes that convert testosterone to estrogen as well as the enzymes that convert testosterone to DHT. And hormones are stored in fat. So weight loss could be freeing up stored hormones.

So basically, it is better to be fat then skinny when it comes to acne? Because if you are fat and you lose the weight, your hormones go crazy and thus acne??

yes

fat cells produce estrogen, the "opposite" to DHT.

DHT=the hormone that is responsible for oily skin thus acne.

fat=more estrogen=less dht=less oily skin=less acne

skinny=less estrogen=more dht=more oily skin=more acne

and by the way this is the same thing happend to me either, after i lost weight my acne exploded. now im back working on putting some fat on my body.

The same thing happened to me. After I lost 45 pounds, I started developing signs of too much DHT. (Acne, seborrheic dermatitis, prostate problems, oily skin etc.)

Now the question is: Will it stabilize the hormone imbalance if we gain more weight, or is it too late now that we have it???

I have a really hard time coming to terms with the fact that once we are broken, we can't fix it, we can only treat it.

Elvin

same exact thing happened to me. I had some mild seborrheic dermatitis on my face (just eyebrows/scalp) and i went on a pretty rigid diet (eating only fruits/veggies anti candida etc etc) lost like 20 lbs (Went from 140 to 120) and bam seborrheic dermatits exploded all over face (and acne got worse on my body as well).

So you cut out fat sources?

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Body fat/muscle mass affects hormones in a number of ways. Visceral fat (around your middle) secretes hormones that impair insulin sensitivity. Muscle mass improves insulin sensitivity. Fatty tissues contain enzymes that convert testosterone to estrogen as well as the enzymes that convert testosterone to DHT. And hormones are stored in fat. So weight loss could be freeing up stored hormones.

So basically, it is better to be fat then skinny when it comes to acne? Because if you are fat and you lose the weight, your hormones go crazy and thus acne??

yes

fat cells produce estrogen, the "opposite" to DHT.

DHT=the hormone that is responsible for oily skin thus acne.

fat=more estrogen=less dht=less oily skin=less acne

skinny=less estrogen=more dht=more oily skin=more acne

and by the way this is the same thing happend to me either, after i lost weight my acne exploded. now im back working on putting some fat on my body.

The same thing happened to me. After I lost 45 pounds, I started developing signs of too much DHT. (Acne, seborrheic dermatitis, prostate problems, oily skin etc.)

Now the question is: Will it stabilize the hormone imbalance if we gain more weight, or is it too late now that we have it???

I have a really hard time coming to terms with the fact that once we are broken, we can't fix it, we can only treat it.

Elvin

same exact thing happened to me. I had some mild seborrheic dermatitis on my face (just eyebrows/scalp) and i went on a pretty rigid diet (eating only fruits/veggies anti candida etc etc) lost like 20 lbs (Went from 140 to 120) and bam seborrheic dermatits exploded all over face (and acne got worse on my body as well).

So you cut out fat sources?

no now i eat a lot of fat. Before i just ate veggies/fruits..

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