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DrunkPickle

How to reduce sebum production?

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I've struggled with acne for about 2 years now. A few days ago I decided to focus on the main cause of acne, sebum. Most of you may know that DHT (a post product of testosterone) is responsible for triggering sebum production. Basically, testosterone is converted into DHT by 5-alpha reductase (type 1). So in theory, by reducing the amount of 5- alpha reductase in the body, we should be able to reduce DHT, thus reducing the amount of oil produced. I've noticed that a few hair growth products inhibit the production of 5-alpha type 2, however, type 1 is responsible for the acne. So, help me out, has anyone heard of anything that reduces the 5-alpha reductase type 1?

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As I've mentioned numerous times over the last few years, there was a fairly recent study that was done with Merck's experimental drug MK-386, which is a specific and potent 5a-reductase type 1 inhibitor. Unfortunately, it had no effect at all on the course of acne, in the human volunteers who were taking the drug. The authors of the study (which include many of the big names in the field of dermatology) had no idea why it failed.

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Bryan,

You have been citing this study for years (at least 7). There are WAY too many variables not being mentioned here for anyone to talk your word for it. For instance, was the drug applied topically? What are the pharmacokinetics of the drug? How did they determine the test subjects? What was the methodology of the study?

Furthermore, seeing as how you don't have an advanced science degree and no real training in biostatistics, research design, pharmacology, histology, dermatopathology, etc etc I'm not sure you are qualified to make any kind of determination about the conclusions reached in this drug trial.

Oddly enough one could accuse you of being guilty of the same unscientific reasoning you consistently chastise others for. The only difference is you are an autodidact (of sorts) and therefore aren't completely ignorant.

The problem is a little knowledge truly is dangerous and unless you've managed to educate yourself extensively in the many different disciplines that would be required for you to accurately cite a study you really aren't any better off the rest of the bewildered herd. You're just a bandwagon jumper that jumps on a different bandwagon.

In conclusion, I'm not saying you're wrong in asserting increased production of DHT doesn't play a role in the pathogenesis of acne, But I think that even you know that statistically speaking one failed trial doesn't prove anything.

If you are going to play the role of puritanical scientific inquisitor on every message board known to the English Speaking World at least go full throttle. It's obvious you have the spare time to. ;)

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I've struggled with acne for about 2 years now. A few days ago I decided to focus on the main cause of acne, sebum.

Sebum is not the main cause of acne. Cell hyperkeratinization/hyperproliferation is. But fortunately, keeping all meals, drinks, snacks low to moderate glycemic load helps both. More info: http://www.acne.org/messageboard/Good-Acne...es-t230714.html

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I beg to differ but sebum is almost always the number one reason behind acne.

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Yes it is. But of course, cell hyperkeratinization/hyperproliferation could worsen the acne.

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* This is an edit. Mrs. Grape doesn't live here anymore.

Cya, the Org.

Edited by Mrs. Grape

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Actually, the answer is both.

Fair enough. The thing is, some people tend to take themselves as an example. For example, just because their acne are not due to sebum, they believe that others aren't, and vice versa. Or just because they experience side effects from accutane, they insist that everyone will (I am suffering from accutane side effects, by the way), and vice versa.

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Yes it is. But of course, cell hyperkeratinization/hyperproliferation could worsen the acne.

No. Cell hyperkeratinization/hyperproliferation is the root cause except in the case of allergic reactions or pores clogged by topicals and is why people with dry or oily skin get acne and other related issues. And it is a genetically influenced tendency.

And allergic reactions worsen hyperkeratinization because chronic inflammation is worsens hyperkeratinization. You might consider chronic inflammation to be the real root cause, but everyone suffers from chronic inflamamation while the majority do not suffer from hyperkeratinization.

It isn't sebum that's clogging your pores. It's dead skin cells. Quality of sebum could worsen acne. But I repeat, the same diet habits help both.

And I'm using hyperkeratinization as a collective term for the whole process of hyperproliferation of cells, and delayed cell death that leads to the formation of rough corneaocytes that stick together and clog pores. It's not right, but I don't know of one term that describes the whole malfunctioning process. Hyperkeratinization is the hyperpoliferation of keratinocytes.

Edited by alternativista

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The thing is, some people tend to take themselves as an example. For example, just because their acne are not due to sebum, they believe that others aren't, and vice versa.

I am not using myself as an example. I am using scientific research.

And I had grotesquely oily skin until my diet improved it. But that doesn't mean the sebum is the cause. It's cells that stick together and do not exfoliate freely clogging pores. Sebum can worsen this, especially if it's a sticky sebum which is why I provide research and advice on that. But the sebum isn't the real cause. Which is why there are many people out there with dry skin and acne.

In fact, before my diet changes, many months of supplements that help with hormones/inhibit DHT made my skin much less oily and my acne improved, but I still had acne. But later, when I started keeping all meals low to moderate GL and eating more anti-inflammatory foods while cutting out the most inflammatory--things that help with hyperkeratinization, hormones, and just about everything to do with health and acne--my skin cleared completely.

Edited by alternativista

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There are so many people with dry skin who experience acne? How many are there exactly? And what do you meant by many people who have oily skin but experience no acne? Again, how many are there? And by the way, I didn't say that you are using yourself as an example. I had spoke to a dermatologist regarding acne and she agreed that most of the time sebum is the root of all evil when it comes to acne. I do agree that some people who have normal skin experience acne, but most of the time, it is due to that time of month (women) or some other hormonal problems.

Like what i am ashley claimed, "There is NO one main cause for acne that can be generalized across all people.", but you keep insist that you are right... indirectly. That is like saying that everyone who had taken accutane are bound to experience permanent severe side effects and everyone who drinks milk will experience acne. You need to think outside the box and remind yourself that everyone is different. And don't tell me things like "many people" this and that unless you can give me an exact numbers. Also, it seems that you have a tendency to link most of your threads to others. Does that make you feel better about yourself?

Funny how you claimed that you used scientific research. What and how did you do it? Do you work as a scientist and gets the chance to do human testing on a regular basis? Or did you learn what you know through online and books? Funny how Roche didn't mention that accutane could cause inflammatory bowel disease until someone got it and sued them big time. So how accurate exactly is the so called scientific research you were talking about?

I shall rest my case here. You can go on to be cantankerous behind the screen as you wish. Enjoy :angel:

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Like what i am ashley claimed, "There is NO one main cause for acne that can be generalized across all people.", but you keep insist that you are right... indirectly. That is like saying that everyone who had taken accutane are bound to experience permanent severe side effects and everyone who drinks milk will experience acne. You need to think outside the box and remind yourself that everyone is different.

I know everyone is different and there are many factors that influence acne. I say so all the time in nearly every post I make. That is why I've gathered info on the many factors that influence acne, including many that have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with me and my acne.

It's really ridiculous to even accuse me of this when I am one of the few people here that does not insist that what worked for me is exactly what will work for everyone. There are things that work for me that will help everyone though. Because they do affect everyone, whether or not that is all you need to do.

Nothing I have said is anything at all like any one of the many accutane remarks you keep making. I always think outside the box, that's the reason I chose the name 'alternativista' because I am all about alternatives. And I know everyone is slightly different and say so all the time.

And don't tell me things like "many people" this and that unless you can give me an exact numbers. Also, it seems that you have a tendency to link most of your threads to others. Does that make you feel better about yourself?

Huh????? Why am I required to give you exact numbers? There are posts here all the time from people with dry skin. That means they exist. And I know people with oily skin and no acne. I'm sure you do too.

And I link to other discussion threads because they are good threads full of great information that will help many people and shouldn't be lost. And because the search feature here sucks. That's why I began gathering the most helpful info in one spot. For a while, there were a lot of people here doing great research. That last remark really is a puzzler. ????

Edited by alternativista

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There are so many people with dry skin who experience acne? How many are there exactly? And what do you meant by many people who have oily skin but experience no acne? Again, how many are there? And by the way, I didn't say that you are using yourself as an example. I had spoke to a dermatologist regarding acne and she agreed that most of the time sebum is the root of all evil when it comes to acne. I do agree that some people who have normal skin experience acne, but most of the time, it is due to that time of month (women) or some other hormonal problems.

Like what i am ashley claimed, "There is NO one main cause for acne that can be generalized across all people.", but you keep insist that you are right... indirectly. That is like saying that everyone who had taken accutane are bound to experience permanent severe side effects and everyone who drinks milk will experience acne. You need to think outside the box and remind yourself that everyone is different. And don't tell me things like "many people" this and that unless you can give me an exact numbers. Also, it seems that you have a tendency to link most of your threads to others. Does that make you feel better about yourself?

Funny how you claimed that you used scientific research. What and how did you do it? Do you work as a scientist and gets the chance to do human testing on a regular basis? Or did you learn what you know through online and books? Funny how Roche didn't mention that accutane could cause inflammatory bowel disease until someone got it and sued them big time. So how accurate exactly is the so called scientific research you were talking about?

I shall rest my case here. You can go on to be cantankerous behind the screen as you wish. Enjoy :angel:

Just butting in here randomly, but I am a 'dry skin with acne' person ;)

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Dermatologists, like people, have different viewpoints, which may be backed by studies etc., but that doesn't mean that what they say is concrete facts. I've seen books by dermatologists, people with advanced degrees, who dismiss diet as a factor contributing to acne, and there's also books about how diet does affect acne.

Max, in her defense, It's not like she's linking her research, but threads that have research compiled from various sources and studies. And I do believe she's said that it's multifaceted, and not a singular issue. Those threads also have research from other members as well, and I think it's more about her linking them directly to the source, rather than just stating that the information is out there, and to look for it, which wouldn't be nearly as helpful.

DrunkPickle,

I've had success with GLA reducing the oilyness of my skin, and there are a handful of studies that support it's ability to inhibit 5-alpha reductase type 1. It's also anti-inflammitory. There are some topicals on the market that feature GLA containing oils like sea buckthorn and evening primrose, have you tried these? You could also take them internally, but it'd be a good idea to discuss this with your doctor and run tests to make sure that it's not affecting your body in a bad way. Here's some sources, good luck!

http://hairrecoveryclinic.com/active-ingre...clinic.html#GLA

http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/gamma-l...enic-000305.htm

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15221328

bahh, didn't realize that DrunkPickle posted this in March :lol: hope you're doing alright!

Edited by tim12

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Are you taking a zinc supplement? Taking between 30-90mg a day can help. I know I started being less oily when I did this (I take a 30mg pill with food twice a day). I think the effects were extra-helped when I started taking cod liver oil and evening primrose oil (to keep your omega 3:6 ratios in check). Evening primrose contains GLA, so does borage oil, but I believe borage oil is more expensive.

And be careful with taking too much zinc, as your skin might start to dry out if you're taking too much. Keep an eye out on how your body reacts, and try to introduce new things into your regimen one at a time and leaving at least a week between changes. This ensures you know exactly what the effects are.

Good luck!

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Max, in her defense, It's not like she's linking her research, but threads that have research compiled from various sources and studies. And I do believe she's said that it's multifaceted, and not a singular issue. Those threads also have research from other members as well, and I think it's more about her linking them directly to the source, rather than just stating that the information is out there, and to look for it.

Yes. And actually, it does make me feel good about myself to make sure that people who did the research and made great posts, get the credit.

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I just wanted to clarify that it wasn't like you link threads in order to gloat or anything like that, which was the gist I got from his post. Taking the time to read all the info there really makes me appreciate all the work that people have put into it, and it certainly makes it easier to figure things out for those who want too :)

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Bryan,

You have been citing this study for years (at least 7). There are WAY too many variables not being mentioned here for anyone to talk your word for it.

If you don't want to take my word for what I've said about it in the past, I strongly suggest that you get yourself to a medical library, and read it for yourself. I'll be intrigued to hear from you if you then believe what I've said about it! ;)

For instance, was the drug applied topically?

No. It was given orally.

What are the pharmacokinetics of the drug? How did they determine the test subjects? What was the methodology of the study?

You really want me to discuss the pharmacokinetics of MK386? :)

For the boring details of how they deterimined the test subjects and the exact methodolgy of the study (boring to the vast majority of the other readers here), go read the study yourself.

Furthermore, seeing as how you don't have an advanced science degree and no real training in biostatistics, research design, pharmacology, histology, dermatopathology, etc etc I'm not sure you are qualified to make any kind of determination about the conclusions reached in this drug trial.

Are you saying that you don't even believe me when I tell you that the trial using MK386 for the treatment of acne in human patients was a failure? If you don't even think I'm "qualified" to report that accurately, AGAIN I suggest to you that you go read it yourself. Maybe you'll just be satisfied with reading the abstract of the study, which is easily available on PubMed. Go read it, and then tell me if you still think I'm just making this stuff up.

Oddly enough one could accuse you of being guilty of the same unscientific reasoning you consistently chastise others for. The only difference is you are an autodidact (of sorts) and therefore aren't completely ignorant.

Thanks. (I think!) :D

The problem is a little knowledge truly is dangerous and unless you've managed to educate yourself extensively in the many different disciplines that would be required for you to accurately cite a study you really aren't any better off the rest of the bewildered herd. You're just a bandwagon jumper that jumps on a different bandwagon.

For the fourth time: if you don't believe what I say about that study, GO READ IT YOURSELF. The abstract is easily available. Report back to us afterwards if you agree or disagree with what I've been saying about it over the years.

In conclusion, I'm not saying you're wrong in asserting increased production of DHT doesn't play a role in the pathogenesis of acne, But I think that even you know that statistically speaking one failed trial doesn't prove anything.

I've told you repeatedly about the results of one carefully controlled trial of Merck's experimental drug MK386 for the treatment of acne, and there were some big names among all the doctors who took part. The precise role of DHT in acne (like a possibly increased production) remains to be carefully elucidated. Again: GO READ IT YOURSELF, if you don't believe my reporting of it. Sheesh.

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I've had success with GLA reducing the oilyness of my skin, and there are a handful of studies that support it's ability to inhibit 5-alpha reductase type 1.

How were you able to do that? Did you order GLA from a chemical company and then apply it topically to your skin, or did you apply some commercial acne product to your skin that contained the "free" form of GLA as an ingredient? Please give me all the details! :)

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I've had success with GLA reducing the oilyness of my skin, and there are a handful of studies that support it's ability to inhibit 5-alpha reductase type 1.

How were you able to do that? Did you order GLA from a chemical company and then apply it topically to your skin, or did you apply some commercial acne product to your skin that contained the "free" form of GLA as an ingredient? Please give me all the details! :)

Why? So you can yell at him to do his homework, and that sebum production can't be controlled by topicals? And then tell him to look up a study that you're unwilling to link? The guy has noticed reduced oiliness of his skin, is that so hard to comprehend? He says nothing about reduced sebum production. Many people have noticed that their skin becomes less shiny after using certain products (whether topical or internal), or after stopping them. You can call them fools for not understanding how sebum production works, but it is what it is, it says nothing about sebum production, only about the appearance of their skin.

Sheesh.

Exactly.

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GLA has the potential to improve the quality of sebum so that it makes your skin glow rather than being greasy and sticky and contributing to clogged pores. The improvement he experienced might not have had anything to do with 5-apha reductase or DHT.

Also, I've discussed this study with Bryan before. I don't recall much about it, but recall that the abstracts don't mention if the participants experienced reduced sebum. Only that they did not experience clearer skin. Probably because sebum isn't really the root cause of acne.

Edited by alternativista

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Bryan, I haven't methodically tested it with sebutape, and it was more anecdotal and theoretical than anything. I'd like to in the future, but to be more accurate, I was referring to my skin looking less oily, which frankly is good enough for me. I had hydrated, less oily looking, and less irritated/broken out skin, probably due to the improved quality as Alternativsta mentioned. I'm trying to find the article right now that talked about the benefits of EPA and GLA on reducing AA, and it's improvement on the participants skin overall, though it was only 5 participants. Sorry for the misconception.

And no, I did not use GLA topically.

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I've had success with GLA reducing the oilyness of my skin, and there are a handful of studies that support it's ability to inhibit 5-alpha reductase type 1.

How were you able to do that? Did you order GLA from a chemical company and then apply it topically to your skin, or did you apply some commercial acne product to your skin that contained the "free" form of GLA as an ingredient? Please give me all the details! :)

Why? So you can yell at him to do his homework, and that sebum production can't be controlled by topicals? And then tell him to look up a study that you're unwilling to link?

LOL!! No, so I can find out what he used to reduce his oiliness! Why in the world do YOU seem to have a stick up your ass?? I've quoted a great many studies over the years on various discussion forums, and I'm certainly not normally "unwilling" to link to them. Not by a long shot! I _am_ sometimes willing to yell at someone, if I think the person deserves it! :)

The guy has noticed reduced oiliness of his skin, is that so hard to comprehend? He says nothing about reduced sebum production. Many people have noticed that their skin becomes less shiny after using certain products (whether topical or internal), or after stopping them. You can call them fools for not understanding how sebum production works, but it is what it is, it says nothing about sebum production, only about the appearance of their skin.

He said in plain English that his skin was less oily after using GLA. I want to find out exactly what he used, how he used it, and where he got it. Is it okay with you for him to tell me that? :doh:

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