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Hello, i have been reading numerous articles suggesting that the overproduction of sebum causes oily skin, thus the acne.

Well, i know there are poeple with dry skin who have acne, but frankly i dont understand it from all the articles i have been reading.

It seems like you need sebum to have acne, so maybe people with dry skin have sebum production but it stays underneath in the skin and never reaches the outside of the skin, the result you dont have oily skin.

I dont know just a guess, is there anybody know what the underlyne reason is to this question?????

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dry skin and high sebum production can occur simaltaneously...

in fact, ive read that dry skin will induce higher sebum production... thats why over-washing your skin can aggravate acne.

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acne is caused by three things:

- proliferation of bacteria in the pore and on the skin

- abnormal keratinization ie: thickening of the pore lining, clogging of the pore etc

- excess sebum

Abnormal keratinization is a real biggie for people with dry skin - obviously more so than excess sebum. People with dry skin - more frequently suffer from blackheads, millia etc. Where what sebum there is gets trapped within the skin. Remember dry skin is not because of a lack of oil - it is because of a lack of moisture

topic about dry skin and acne from a while back


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Then, since articles state androgenic hormones cause excess sebum production, thus the oily skin, is it sensible to think that people with dry skin who have acne, hormones dont play a role and is not one fo the factors causing it??

Please Answer Frances!!!! biggrin.gifbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gif

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Also ,i know this is true but how are there are people who produce a high amount of sebum and have oily skin but dont have acne since most articles state this the the real definitive cause.

Is there a difference between oil and sebum?? Maybe people who have oily skin and dont have acne dont have the bacteria build up (P Acnes) or the genetic presdispensation to be prone to acne, i know genes play a complex role in everybody's uniquneness.

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You are asking questions which are kinda beyond the scope of my knowledge. bb_eusa_wall.gifbb_wink.gif

No. I would say it is fair to say that ALL acne is hormonally motivated regardless of the pecularities of how it manifests itself in each indivdual.

The hormonal aspects they typically site as being the underlying cause for acne are...

Hormone changes in acne

High overall levels of sex hormones (mainly the androgen, testosterone).

Increased free testosterone because of low levels of circulating sex-hormone-binding-globulin (SHBG). Normally there is little free testosterone circulating in the blood as it is tightly bound by SHBG.

More active conversion of weaker androgens to stronger androgens such as dihydroxytestosterone (DHT) by the enzyme 5-reductase within the skin.

Higher sensitivity of the skin to DHT.

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I will pose this question to you also Frances since it seems you are really educated on many aspects of the body.

Im 19 yrs. old and dont have any noticeable adrogenic alopecia from what i see-just the formal name for male pattern hair loss. My family history is pretty good, my father in his 50's has pretty good hair although receded a bit and only 1 of my 4 sides this including my moms parents and dads parents had bad hair, the 3 other had good hair throughout.

I guess i am posing this question the wrong person but Frances have you found any articles or heard if there is any link or correalation between acne and hair loss? I ask because scientists suggest that one of the main reasons for both is the androgens the adrogenic hormones.

Your quote scared me a bit because they say free testosterone is one of the causes of hair loss. Testosterone alone doesnt cause hair loss but when the antagonist androgen level is low this causes free testosterone in the blood and thus the hair loss. Also 5 alpha reductuse is one the major players in hair loss. Where did you get that quote???

Last, they say check your mother's and father's father for hair loss. Along with your father. What about your mother's mother and father's mother, if they had brothers, would looking at them give you any indication what your future might hold for hair loss??

Its just that my teen years have been pretty crappy including high school , the acne constantly bothered me. Made an extrovert into a introvert, also i just didnt feel the same way i did before, like something was missing. Well, anyway the way i would rationalize things would be telling myself in these tough teenage years, just let these puberty years run their time, let the hormones die down. Then, move on with your life with the confidence and fillfil your potential. THis mentality is distorted, i would go out once and while but for the most part i was a recluse. I had the mentality that it would be Ok to shut down for 5 or 6 years and then just turn my life on again. WHatever you try to convince yourself, this is not true. YOu cant expect time lapse not to effect you, what i failed to realize is not only do you not grow as a person for the better, but the people and things you care about change and no longer are seeking you. I worry now after my acne calms down, my hair will start falling out. My biggest problem is that i worry about everything.

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philly #1

My quote comes from dermnet which I believe is the best of all the dermatological society sites. Cos it doesn't dumb it down and it provides lots of pictures.


I don't understand the inter relationships between acne, balding, hormonal levels, and higher conversion rate to dvt very well. And I don't think there is a "concrete" understanding to be had. When I have researched acne I have flown in all sorts of directions....insulin resistance, too clean theory, impaired immunity, allergy, candida, the dangers of antibiotics etc etc. I have never divined any linear sense to it. And I am wary of people who can - maybe they are just a whole lot smarter than I am smile.gif

But if you are asking do acne sufferers go bald in greater percentages than non acne sufferers I have never read such a thing.

Without a doubt the most knowledgable poster in the area of hormones/acne is SweetJade1980 (she posts often in the diet forum) and I suggest you search her posts crossed tabulated with keywords you are interested in. She is a proponent of quite a detailed and plausible theory about acne and insulin resistance...but I haven't really seen much evidence to believe that people following those protocols are on balance any better off than those who don't (my opinion!).

start with this lot - I have used "finastride" to narrow the search for you


I can't answer your questions about hairloss - cos I just don't have the knowledge

but here is some basic info http://www.dermnetnz.org/hair-nails-sweat/...rn-balding.html


My advice to you.

At 19 I think it is too early to assume that you will have adult acne or male pattern baldness. Your body is probably still full of puberty level hormones.

Beware Medical Students Syndrome. Investigating acne and attempting to understand it should make you feel empowered and constructive. If it becomes an obsessive struggle, which increases your anxiety...then that aint helpful. I am not trying to patronising with this - it is something I have worked through myself.

The "distorted" mentality of acne sufferers - we've all been there or are there. Personally, i think (many will disagree) many of our social/perceptual/psychological problems are elective to some extent. Or I think they may have happened anyway - but we attribute them to acne. Very un pc I know - bah shoot me. wink.gif But I actually feel that thinking like this liberates me to some extent ....cos I don't get to feel like I am cannibalising myself and that acne is holding me back. I now regret the times I didn't go out, I regret the photos I avoided having taken. And I don't plan to steal any more experiences from myself.

Don't get me wrong - I am not trying to invalidate (your or other peoples) feelings of depression, self hatred etc. Trust me - I have been there. And if you want more conventional support there are plenty of other people round here to provide it. But it seems to me, and I don't even know you, that you have got stuff to offer, you are smart, you are polite, you are eager to learn...do you know how many people out there arent those things? wink.gif

Good luck on your quest. smile.gif

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A lot of intersting info in this thread guys--thanks for a good read.

Philly--I do think there may be a correlation between acne and male pattern baldness as I experience both and both started in my early 20's. I also have a lot of body hair, which I believe is related as well. But I hope that you don't go bald, too. It sucks almost as bad as having acne.

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Thanks Frances for your kind thoughts. You opionions are sensible and many you state i agree with.

My whole feeling was that acne was the single cause of my problems as a early teen and throughout high school, but i now truly think there are and were more underlyne reasons for my unhappiness maybe that will never be answered. I was never clinically depressed and dont think i was a "real mess", i was definitly functional, i did well in school and built aquaintances with many people, but i can honestly say i dont think i had any "true friend". I did talk to people and socialize, so i wasn't a complete introvert but i did not have that "real comfortness" when talking too people if you know what i mean. THat feeling of when i was a kid, that intangible joy from just being around people, to generalize it "just really feeling great and sure of what you stood for, what your identity is now and what your aspirations are for the future. It seemed my teenage years have been foggy and hard to see everything concretly.

Maybe my misfortune was having a great childhood and feeling that freedom ,of which can never be bought for any amount of money. In some way, maybe i was "spoiled" and had a distorted view of what life is because i did not deal with significant hardships pre acne. So then acne came along i was not prepared for it, thus being overwhelmed and not knowing how to deal with it properly.

I am going to sleep now, i will post any more thoughts i have at a later time, TAKE CARE biggrin.gifbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gif

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THANKS for your kind thoughts 24 with acne. DO you have a family history of baldness????

I am currently a Finance Major but i am seroiusly considering changing it to pre-med and then become a doctor. Obviously, there is more to the knowledge i have learned to become a doctor. But because the info is important and relates to me, i think it might make sense to pursue medicine. I dont know, though, medicine is very complex and sometimes very hard to understand. I read articles about certain medical disorders and diseases and what their causes are and i am like"WHAT", i guess its that medical terminology.

I always joke around stating well there may be one positive thing about acne, if you research extensivley about the topic then you have a jump start from aspring dermatologists if that is of course what you decide to take interest in.

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My grandfather on my mom's side was bald and my dad is balding but I know my dad didn't start to go bald until he was about 40. Not sure how old my grandfather was when he started to lose it though. It's frustrating though because I have 2 older brothers and neither of them are losing their hair. One of my brothers had acne as a teen but outgrew it and the other never had acne ever. Kinda frustrating to know that I got the worst genes out of the 3 of us.

I can totaly relate to what you said about having a great childhood and being spoiled by that. The first 20 years or so of my life were bliss and I never realzed how good I had it until things started to fall apart. This last year has been the worst year of my life--acne is only one of several things that made this year so painful and difficult. My only hope is that life can get better again and that having been through these hard times will make me appriciate it when things are looking up again.

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I will release some info troubling and embarrassing info about myself because i think your worth telling and i will feel bettter to tell somebody. I dont take any meds for any disorders. I am not depressed but i do have anxiety and compulsions and have seen a shrink sporadically for the last 5 years but i was never given any meds because they told me my condition was not that bad. SO keep this in mind when you read it.


I have another question, they saw overwashing whether it is hard scrubbing for a long time or washing the acne area many times in a given day can actually cause the acne to get worse because it gets irritated and aggrivated. Now, most articles state can not does.

Well this was my situation, i started getting very mild acne in summer 1998, it progressed till the spring 1999. I had still mild-moderate acne with the worst on my chin but still it was not that bad. At this time, my dermo put me on emrymicin, this did not work and made me even more aggitated, anxious, and paranoid. That spring i was going out with a girl, who was really beautiful (she was 17, when i was 14!!!)))) ALso i was set to graduate 8th grade. I felt our relationship was built on looks and not really liking the person, i barely knew her before we started to go out and i had the perception she was with me because of my looks (NOT BRAGGING). But, lets be honest most girlfriend/boyfriend relationships are built on looks at that age, in high school, you actually start liking the person for who they are. SO, then the acne kept progressing little by little but it still wasnt bad.

At this time i started to get oil-build up, when i would get home from school, I would jump in the shower and just wash my face for like 15-20 minutes constantly, that's all i would do because of the compulsion. I continued this during the summer of 1999, it started to get worse. SO then i would take a shower, i would scrub my face for like 20-25 minutes in shower and that would be it, no ther parts of the body. I just rinse the rest of my body with hot water quiclkly. To explain why did not wash the rest of my body, would be too hard to explain. SO lets just say i was very compulsive and had anxiety about my face. It kept getting worse and worse, although i never had any cysts just pimples but everywhere on my face.

Well, before i entered my freshman year in H.S. i wised up and knew this was not good, so i stopped washing my face for a long time. At the same time, i started to take minocycline and my face got drastically better but marks were still left. My question is do you think it was the mino that calmed my acne down or was it simply me stop washing my face for a long time, thus i brought thh further acne on myself and suffered from bad acne i wouldn't of otherwise if i did not wash my face fiercly. Was it just a coincidence that my acne got better when i started to take mino, or was their a relation and link. BUt the reason, i think it might of been me over irritating the face thus making it worse is because they say antibiotics stop working after about a year because the bacteria gains immunity. Well, i stopped taking mino in the spring 2001 and discontinued my visits to the derm, because my acne was under control. From then until now, i never had any significant breakouts on my face that i had to deal with during that 2 month stretch in the summer of 1999, just the usual mild breakout here and there. BUt the damage was done and although it seems there will very mild scars, it left red marks on my face throughout High school, from this i was very self-concious.

The most troubling thought for me out of this is the possibility that i caused my own downfall in high school, if i just didnt overwash i would have had the normal or maybe alittle worse acne a teen experiences and never would of have the severe case of acne that left marks from those 2 months June-July 1999.

SO what do you think Frances, do you think i made it worse by overwashing or was my horrible flare-ups for 2 months were caused naturally from the hormones and genes. They say it can worsen acne if you overwash, but to what extent??? I had mild-moderate acne (some comedones and papules) and it turned into pretty severe acne(papules and pustules, but never any cysts, i think) spread all throughout my face.

Well, i poured my thoughts out, please respond, thanks

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Your acne, like everyone else, was caused by some series of hormonal cues. I can't possibly say whether you aggravated your acne with washing and frankly I don't know if it is a very useful question to ask yourself after the fact. The saying goes hindsight is 20/20. If you have at some point aggravated your acne you would be on par with every other sufferer out there! Particularly as the pharmaceutical industry still maintains and promotes a pretence that acne is related to hygiene.

Remember what I said to you before..."Investigating acne and attempting to understand it should make you feel empowered and constructive. If it becomes an obsessive struggle, which increases your anxiety...then that aint helpful." I don't see that you have anything to gain from feeling guilty about your past treatment efforts. We are all constrained by the information we have available to us at any particular time.

The mino would have probably reigned in the acne fairly fast. You changing your washing routine may have helped slightly. Essentially if you have seen reasonably clear skin over the last few years - great. Sounds like your acne is spontaneously resolving itself as it does for most people...but unfortunately not all.

As for washing. I have observed that some people are able to vigorously wash and others aren't. I can't cos I have dry skin. They general derm opinion is that over washing as possibly negative because it can encourage irritation. But IMO irritation seems quite relative from person to person. I for one could never use those C&C blue and scented scrubs that many people swear by.

My opinion on it is that your skin has a ph of 5.5 or so...water has a ph of around 7. It takes a while for your skin to restore its natural ph. The suspicion is that this acid mantle layer of the skin operates to protect your skin from infection. Most decent cleansers and moisturiser have a ph similar to skin. Which brings me round to ahas and bhas.... You are complaining about post acne marks - they're called macules they are a form of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Macules are not scars and they are not permanent. They fade with time - a long time. But you can use chemical exfoliants that will accelerate the skin shedding process. Perhaps you should look into including a light aha moisturiser in your routine.

Hope that helps.

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Although i dont get bad acne on my face, i have moderate acne on my back and also i have mild scalp acne sporadically, although it seems like its worst during the winter, right now the scalp is pretty good.

Do you have any suggestions for my back and head? I went to a derm. a few weeks ago concerning this and he gave me mino again and also ZoDerm 4.5% Bp. THe back is better than before so that's good.

One of the other things i that i had on my mind was that i was on the mino for a year and a half in the past, i am pretty sure it stopped being effective after about a year.

THey say antibiotics become ineffective after awhile because the bacteria becomes immune to it. WEll, my question is if my body rejected the mino after a year, would taking it again 3 years later make any difference. WHat i am asking is if the antibiotic becomes ineffective after a certain amount of time, then will it not work anytime in the future even if you discontinue it for a amount of time and then get back once again?Is a time lapse effective, or useless.

I dont want to be taking mino if its not necessary.

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* Usually you can go back onto an antibiotic after a a long break.

* the 4.5% bp on your back is probably ok.

* you could try a shampoo with tea tree/manuka oil in it...or add some oil to the shampoo you use. Some people say that anti-dandruff shampoos improve scalp acne as well.

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Actually 24withacne, i think hair loss is worse than acne because acne is temporary and usually regresses by around but not in your case unfortunately.

Hair loss just progresses and gets worse as you get older, so its constantly a battle in combating hair loss if you decide to take meds for it.

At least with acne there is usually hope for it dye down and eventually go away, but if someone starts loosing hair at 20, then they know it will just get worse and worse and worse, very crappy hand to be dealt.

I am not asking for John Kerry or Jay Leno hair in my 50's and 60's, i just dont want to start loosing it my 20's and be bald by 30, this really sucks!! I woulndt mind if i start loosing it in my 30's but not 20's/

In the 20's you are trying to meet new people and hopefully find someone you can have a family with. And in your 20's, you are probably the most self consicoius about yourself than any other time of your life.

I dont care if i have major hair loss in my 40's, i just dont want it in my 20's

24, i will pray for you, that really sucks to have both at the same time in your 20's and the thing that suprised me was the fact that you said you did not have acne as a teen or at least you did not suggest it.

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Frances, are you still there???

I want to ask you one more question and then i will leave you alone, thanks for all your help biggrin.gifblink.gifbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gif

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Just thought I'd add in my experience. I also have adult acne with dry skin - an infuriating combination as all those oil-removing products are just too harsh.

The best thing I've found so far is Cetaphil cleanser - must be to do with the ph, like you said. My acne was really terrible before I started using it and things like BP and Clean and Clear just didn't work - they just dried me out. But now I use cetaphil I am a lot clearer - I get the odd spot and quite a few around the time of my period but the rest of the time it's so much better.

I'm now looking for the product to add in that will finally make me completely clear and I'm sure the ph thing is the way to go, and also maybe natural oils?? I was thinking of trying emu oil but not sure...

Any ideas?? Maybe we can formulate a dry-skin-acne cure by working together?!

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Hi philly...I am always round and about bb_wink.gif

KT...woohooo ahnother dry skinned acne sufferer like me. There ain't many of us around.

Here are some products that work for me...


- cetaphil liquid cleanser - like you I think it is a mainstay. Doesn't irritate, doesn't cause any problems. But frankly there are two obvious ways that cetaphil can improve their product...put a humectant like glycerin at the front and switch the sodium Lauryl sulfate to a less iriitating alternative. Aquanil is very similar to cetaphil but had made these changes. I don't live in the states so I have never tried it. But the reviews are interesting. http://www.makeupalley.com/product/showrev...rand/Cleansers/

- Neutrogena Extra Gentle skin cleanser. So far the best cleanser I have tried. It is very moisturising and my skin and felt better since using it. But I think this could be problematic for someone who gets oily reactive acne and clogged pores from products. Reviews are more mixed http://www.makeupalley.com/product/showrev...gena/Cleansers/

But I'm sticking with it.

I have never really used oils very much but here is what I know:

- emu oil

- jojoba oil (probably too drying for you)

are the standard ones used by acne sufferers

- bio oil (light moitsurising oil - didn't really impress me with any results tho)

- camelia oil

- rosehip oil

are sometimes used by acne sufferers but with more mixed results.

Moisturisers is the category with which I am never very happy. I use Eucerin renewal during the day and I think that is a pretty good way to work in a bit of mild exfoliation.

Maybe some of that might be helpful to you.

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Hi Frances

Thanks for all the info. Like you, I don't live in the states either so am trying to make do with what I can get hold of. Am going to try adding emu and tea tree oil to my regimen and see what happens...

Will let you know

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KT - Manuka oil is more effective than Tea Tree (like 33 times more effective). See if you can get your hands on that instead. Good luck.

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Oh, that's interesting. Any idea where I can buy manuka oil? Last night I tried emu oil for the first time, with a bit of tea tree oil underneath - the emu oil also has added vitamin E oil, does that matter? No breakouts so far but I'll let you know how it goes...

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