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Are Androgens The Only Cause Of Oily Skin?

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Hi everyone,

I'm a 23 year old male and get severely oily skin throughout the day- just after lunch I can feel it become a sticky layer on my face.

I'm fairly sure the amount of oil is contributing to a really dull and rough looking complexion. On a seperate note, my nose looks awful with large pores and peeling sections, which is still happening a couple of years after stopping using Retin-a Micro.

But back to the oil. I have been searching for the past year for both products to control the oil and treatments. Some of the things I have tried include:

  • Evening Primrose Oil

  • Vitamin B5

  • Vitamin A

  • Zinc

  • Milk of Magnesia

  • Pure peppermint oil

  • Peppermint tea

  • Aknicare

  • DHT inhibiting shampoos

  • Sana Fela

I've now put myself on 75mg of Spiro a day to try and reduce the oil (keeping an eye for the obvious side-effects). But after about two weeks, there is still no difference in oil production.

Is there anything apart from high levels/ sensitivity to androgens that can cause oily skin? I was convinced that if my oil was androgen related, the Spiro should have sorted it out.

Any advice? smile.png

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Besides spiro, Accutane is the only thing that can limit the oil secretion. But considering the side effects, it may not be the best option.

I have tried various high end moisturizers and matifiers, but none of them keep me oil free for more than 2 hours.

Which moisturizer do you use btw?

Neutrogena's Combination Skin

Neostrata Oil Free Matifying Fluid

Vichy Normaderm

Those are a few good ones.

They are non fragrant lotions, so its fine for men to use as well.

I would suggest that you use face power (transparent) to combat the oiliness, but im not sure if you want to do that. Some men do though.

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I only moisturise at night with Eucerin to help the peeling and dryness on my nose. I would rather have at least one hour oil-free in the morning, than use moisturiser during the day! My skin doesn't seem to let anything sink in properly, so there is always a greasy film when I moisturise.

I firmly believe oily skin is an internal problem so I have given up on topical treatments. I would be more than happy to go on Accutane, although there are so many stories of the oil coming back once you stop taking it.

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I agree with you samjr, oily skin is an internal problem. And you are correct, it is caused by androgen! More specifically, the androgen Testosterone when it is converted into DHT. Everyone has DHT just like everyone has testosterone, but an EXCESS of DHT is what causes the overproduction of sebum in the skin. So yes, oily skin is a hormonal issue just as acne is a hormonal issue at the root.

I have been searching for anti-androgens as well. Thus far I've only tried Saw Palmetto (which hasn't done anything for my oil production) and I'm trying a progesterone cream which is supposed to balance all hormones.

However, I've been also looking into hair loss. I do not have a problem with hair loss but I noticed when searching DHT, hair loss often popped up. That's because hair loss is also associated with excess DHT. So, if you're still following me, I began looking up natural hairloss pills and lo-and-behold! These hair loss pills work by inhibiting DHT production. So, I figure, maybe taking hair loss pills will in turn help the oil skin. If both problems are caused by the same issue, it makes sense, yes? I haven't found a single thread of anyone trying this which is the only reason I signed in to post.

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I do not have a problem with hair loss but I noticed when searching DHT, hair loss often popped up. That's because hair loss is also associated with excess DHT.

Hair loss isn't really associated with excess DHT; at least, not completely. Hair loss is associated with an excess sensitivity to androgens, even as levels of such androgens stay about the same. The sensitivity to DHT and other androgens has complicated genetic causes.

These hair loss pills work by inhibiting DHT production. So, I figure, maybe taking hair loss pills will in turn help the oil skin. If both problems are caused by the same issue, it makes sense, yes?

It depends on which specific "hair loss pill" you're talking about. DHT is produced by two different enzymes in the body: 5a-reductase type 1, and 5a-reductase type 2. Finasteride (Propecia) inhibits only the type 2 enzyme, leaving the type 1 enzyme mostly unaffected. That's why Propecia fights male pattern balding, but leaves sebaceous glands about the same (sebaceous glands are rich in the type 1 enzyme).

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I don't think it's as simple as androgens. I have very oily skin, and my androgens are on the low side according to blood tests. I also have some symptoms of low androgens that were partially addressed by supplementing my DHEA. I think excess androgens can exacerbate an existing oily skin problem, or in some cases create oily skin, but some people just have oily skin I think. I think I read before that in people with oily skin, our sebum glands are highly sensitive to androgens. But the answer isn't necessarily to reduce androgens or even DHT. Unless blood tests show they are actually too high, reducing either can lead to problems like low sex drive and feminization in males, among a million other things.

Yeah, I wish it were more straight-forward too.

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Oh, you took vitamin B5 but it didn't decrease oil production? It did with me, I am female so could be different, but I have too many male hormones too. Women who suffer from acne can take the contrceptive pill because it provides them with synthetic oestrogen. I came off the pill a month ago and suprise suprise many acne started coming back, but then I started taking B5 and it has all gone! I'm not taking mega doses either. Maybe you could take antibiotics initially, just to get your skin completely clear and start taking zinc, B5, vit A and E. Then when you come off the antibiotics continue taking these supplements.

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To the OP, how did milk of magnesia work out? im going to start using that as a primer. im not looking for a cure or anything, just something so i can blot less during the day and waste less money on blotting sheets lol

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My observations based on my own test

1) Avoided High GI Food (including Biscuits, Rice etc)

Oily production level was manageable.

My genetics is that I have a disposition to have Oilier Skin.

With High GI Food Consumed for the past 20 years..

Oily --> Very Oily

Tried Low GI for 2-3 Months, Skin became much less Oilier.

I realled at 21, after a shower, my face would be oily in 30mins time. No joke.

My back felt like "Ick" and my Hair was wetter than a wet carpet (due to Oil)

I decided to adopt Low GI Diet and tried Vitamins. It worked. Not to the extent I have oil free skin but to to one where expectations was well-met.

My father has oily skin but no Acne. My mum has dry skin with acne.

Their product (me) = Oily Skin with Severe Acne. Zz!

In the end, I think Genetics played a very large role in who is to have Puberty Acne or Real Severe Acne that persist into adulthood and further. Being in the latter category, I must be careful about treatments that worked for people with much less Acne Issues. Trust me, I was shocked to see Videos that claim they have Acne when it's only a couple of small Zits.

I believe most of us here have genuine Acne Issues. Less on the hand for very Severe Acne. Being on the Severe Side, I find it frustrating to see people dispense medical "truth" to make themselves feel good. However do keep a lookout for real information.

What worked for me was

1) Low GI Food

2) Exfoliation every 2 days (Whole Body. Dead Skin + Oil = Waxy Crap that clog Pores = Acne and Heads)

3) Liver Health (If you Liver is poor, hormones are likely to stay longer, however this is still disputable)

4) Exercise and Moderate Sunlight (Not sure if Sunlight helps but it sure gives me a better tone than pasty white)

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