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cvd

Going Back On Meds...diet Not Eneough :(

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My derm took me off antibiotics last spring and Spiro in Oct to see if I could maintain my almost clear skin with just using tretinoin cream. I was tested for allergies and hormones. Results showed I had a long list of food allergies, no unusual hormone issues but the endocronologist said that due to a possible sensitivity to androgens she recommended staying on Spiro...that it is very safe to use longterm. Regardless, my derm took me off it.

I started my allergy diet (similar to anti-acne and candida diets) and special suppliments in Nov with high hopes it would control the acne, along with using Tretinoin Cream. Everything was okay for two months but during this time I started getting more redness and a couple small pimples. No big deal...everyone breaks out a little over the holidays - right? I can handle the small stuff.

Last week 4 red inflammed lesions popped out one after the other. They are so red makeup doesn't cover them. One is a big red inflammed cyst on my cheek that had a big whitehead (lovely). Three are still here after four days. My skin has been getting redder and redder and I can feel it getting more inflamed and itchy. I know where this is going. Emotionally I'm devastated and depressed. I was so hoping the diet and topical treatment alone would be eneough. How many times have I hoped for this over the years? I'm so sad...I'm staying home today because I'm too embarassed to go out. Yeah --- I've done all the positive self-talk and de-stressors...but being home alone feels the best. Time to unwind and not worry about what others think!

In desperation I called my derm last week and there was a cancellation so I got in yesterday morning (amazing...I think someone upstairs is taking pity on me!). My regular derm was out so I was transferred to the head derm in that practice. It's usually impossible to see him! Maybe this was a blessing in disguise because he was much more thorough in his exam. He wore special magnifying lenses (my reg derm has never done this) and looked in my ears, on my back and the area of my chest near my throat. He spent a long time on my face. He said I have rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis, and hormonal acne. A wonderful combination...yes?

He seemed upset that my reg derm had taken me off spiro and launched into a scientific discourse on how good spiro is for people who are sensitive to androgens. I'm from a scientific background but even my eyes glazed over! He immediately put me back on 50 mg spiro and added Oracea...saying it is very good for both rosacea and acne. He says Oracea does not affect good bacteria nor does it impact the body other than it is a very effective anti-inflammatory. It can also be taken longterm.

He said my special diet is good for helping the skin stay healthy but in my case this kind of acne is a chronic inflammatory condition (...like eczema or psoriasis) and diet alone will not control it.

He said to stay on tretinoin cream, that it is very good for the skin.

He is having me start monthly microdermabrasions for 7 months on the "wimp" setting. Says this will recondition my skin and help it stay clearer. This is covered by my insurance (amazing...) because it is being done for resistant acne. Then he'll see how things are in 7 months.

Well, that's my long sad story. Not the best way to start 2012. I suppose it was good to see if I could maintain on just diet and a topical. And who knows?...maybe the microdermabrasions will help. In 7 months I will have been on the allergy diet for long eneough to really help my body, I will be another year into using tretinoin cream...perhaps I could maintain clear skin with the addition of maintenance microdermabrasions???

Hope this very long post will help others...it sure helps me to get it all out and to know that others care!

Edited by cvd

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A day at home doing nothing and 2 days of oral meds and the flare-up is calming down. I still have 2 red spots but they are healing - thank god. I just hate flare-ups...I get so depressed. But I'm feeling better now. Hope this good feeling continues!

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Hi CVD,

I've been reading your posts with much interest. I am in the same position as you with adult acne. I'm now 53 and since menopause my skin has been worse than dealing with PMS acne! My Doctor put me on natural Progesterone cream which made me depressed and made my acne worse, I am now on Retin A 0.05% cream and have been on that for over two months and my face is worse still and oily. I have blocked pores, zits and scabs and look terrible, I don't want to go out. Help - Please smile.png

Vyvyen

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Estrogen Dominance is a major reason for acne in women, even menopausal women. It is from xenoestrogens in our modern environment and also from over indulgence in foods that mimic estrogens (sugar, caffeine, soy). Progesterone is actually a hormone that balances the estrogen out. It prevents cancer, makes us women calmer and happier (pms and moodiness) and is a precursor horomne to cortisol (stress hormone) for men and women. (Why people are estrogen dominant easily is because they are also too stressed out which uses progesterone to make cortisol leaving you imbalanced in estrogen/progesterone levels.)

Often when women first start using Progesterone they can get worse symptoms of estrogen dominance. This is actually from your body's stored estrogen over reacting initially. It is reccommended to get the envioronmental xenoestrogens (man made estrogens) out of your lifestyle and diet for a couple of months then start the progesterone again. Because actually progesterone is amazing and can help your acne as well as many other aggravating symptoms such as moodiness/pms/hot flashes/belly fat, etc. Just look up estrogen dominance. Hope this helps!

Also, all of the issues of improper diet, candida overgrowth, stress, female issues causing acne, they ALL lead back to one thing... they cause EXCESS estrogen levels which cause inflammation in the body- hence acne. A safe way for the body to release toxic heat (chronic inflammation) is to release it out of the pores (skin). 1.) improper diet- substances that mimic or raise estrogen levels (caffeine, sugar) 2.) candida overgrowth - anything that feeds candida (sugar, processed flours) causes increase in estogen like chemicals in the body (hence why antiobiotics make some acne a LOT worse, means you need to watch diet instead of killing off good flora in gut causing candida overgrowth. 3.) Stress- uses too much cortisol, draining progesterone levels, causing estrogen/progesterone imbalance 4.) female issues- uterine cysts, etc. tissues produce excess estrogen can eventually cause ovarian and other gynecological cancers.

*Some tests will show normal estrogen levels so this confuses doctors and patients bc in all reality it is the balance between progesterone and estrogen that matters. You could be low in estrogen but even lower in progesterone. Or you could be okay in estrogen levels but too low in progesterone. These results can only be shown by comparing the two.

Progesterone should be taken in natural form. Birth Control Pills are mostly FULL of estrogens! They will make things worse in the long run.

Progesterone oil i natural form can be used as birth control if used every day through a cycle. If you are menopasual, take it every day. If you are menstruating- take it from day after ovulation to day before period (non birth control method).

Getting your hormones balanced is key to healthy skin. These hormones can build up in the liver acting like toxins so anything that helps flush the liver is good as well- exercise, lots of fiber from food. Make sure you are having daily bowel movements to clear out toxins- magnesium and/or fiber is wonderful for this. Good Luck and I hope this helps. I am a doctor of oriental medicine and this info can be trusted!

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Thank you for the reply Sheilam. Very interesting information. Our Vet is into Chinese medicines and has worked wonders with our very sick dog. The second Doctor I saw after the first one put me on Natural Progesterone cream took me off that and suggested cutting out dairy and eating soy products. I have done this also but still seem to be getting worse, so maybe it is estrogen dominance. I have never ever been able to take the pill or any synthetic hormones as they make me extremely depressed. It feels like my body is androgen dominant because of my terrible skin and hair growth on my chin - awful! Thank you again for your advice. Vyvyen

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Hi Vyvyen --- I'm sorry to hear you're having such a bad flare-up right now! It's very hard to go through this kind of thing at our age. We look like teenagers and stand out...so unfair! Are you seeing a dermatologist? I think Retin-A helps more surface acne but it takes a very long time to kick in and it seems to do very little for deep cysts...which is what I battle. And then there's the hormone issue. I'm scared to try progesterone. Spironolactone has helped me in the past and I'm back on it now...it blocks testosterone from the skin...and so blocks the androgens responsible for hair growth and acne.

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About 5 days into being on meds again (Oracea + Spiro) and my skin has calmed down. Next month I'll start 7 months of microdermabrasion. My new derm (the head derm at the clinic) feels that this will help and may even allow me to back off on oral meds in the future. We'll see. I'm hopeful that continuing with my diet + tretinoin cream for 7 months, along with the microdermabrasion and oral meds will set things back on track. Always looking for ways to be off the oral meds...may just need to give diet and tretinoin cream more time to work!

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Hey CVD i saw this post on this site and thought of you. You share so much with everyone thought i would share this with you. i often think of you and hope you find something that will work for you FOREVER. She also claimed she had deep cystic acne.

This is what was in the post:

Then I accidentally came across a Cosmetic surgery clinic, offering Acleara treatment. It's a new machine, just released in 2010 I believe. One treatment was $150 - I am usually suspicious but I decided to try it. I just finished my 6th treatment (completed them within 2 and a half months, last one was free). I saw results even after the first treatment and the results were like magic. I know this sounds like advertising, but I really have no words to describe how happy and relieved I feel. After the third treatment I was completely clear. But not just clear - my skin is totally smooth when I touch it. Nothing gross underneath, no bumps. The blackheads and whiteheads are pretty much gone. It's amazing. In between treatments I was getting a pimple or two, but very small ones, nothing like before. Now they are just gone.

The downtime is minimal. I started pretty severe and I was a little red for a couple of days. Now that my skin is clear, it only lasts an hour or two. I didn't get a lot of bruising, because they would adjust the strength to suit the sensitivity of my skin. There were some bruises at times from the suction, but that's only temporary and a small price to pay for the results. Besides, when there are no bumps, I could easily cover up with a little bit of powder or tinted moisturizer.

Edited by gia1

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I'm so happy to hear that Acleara is working for you! I read up on it and it sounds like something really new and pretty amazing!

I'm hoping microdermabrasion will have a similar effect because it opens the pores and sucks out the plugs. Then the tretinoin cream is supposed to be able to get in better. My new derm says that with my kind of acne (mild but persistent) that it will smooth out the skin and should help clear things up. Then I would get the microdermabrasions less often as part of a maintenance regime. The plan is to do this and then try getting off internal meds again in the future.

No one has Acleara in our area yet but I'm hoping the laser clinic I'm going to will get one in the future...they always seem to be upgrading their equipment. Wish me luck on the microdermabrasion.

Edited by cvd

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Good luck on the microdermabrasion cvd. I was reading about it on the mayo clinic web site, it said it really helps in combination with other treatments. :) Plus, I'm wondering since it smooths out the skin if it would make it look younger too as an extra bonus hifive.gif

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Thanks Melissa --- I really appreciate your support!!!

My skin is clear now. Have been taking Oracea + Spiro for 3 weeks and it seems to be helping. I also stopped eating flaxseed and nuts. My skin is much less oily. Will be talking with my dietitian soon about diet and suppliments to fine tune things. Interestingly, my regular doc is following my progress closely. He strongly believes that diet and suppliments should help and that I should be able to get off all oral meds. I guess that I hope for that too but it just hasn't happened yet...I still need the oral meds to keep clear. But maybe the microdermabrasion will tip the scales in that direction! Will have my first one next week....

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the new medical spa i go to in pittsburgh now as acleara but they also have the cool breeze laser that shrinks the oil glands and it is good for scarring too. i am going to be trying it out very soon but maybe you should check into that as well. it requires 3-6 treatments and then your good for a year i think. i have had 1 session of microdermabrasian and didnt notice any difference in my skin but i have heard you need a series of them. let me know how it goes.

Edited by Karen Howz

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Estrogen Dominance is a major reason for acne in women, even menopausal women. It is from xenoestrogens in our modern environment and also from over indulgence in foods that mimic estrogens (sugar, caffeine, soy). Progesterone is actually a hormone that balances the estrogen out. It prevents cancer, makes us women calmer and happier (pms and moodiness) and is a precursor horomne to cortisol (stress hormone) for men and women. (Why people are estrogen dominant easily is because they are also too stressed out which uses progesterone to make cortisol leaving you imbalanced in estrogen/progesterone levels.)

Often when women first start using Progesterone they can get worse symptoms of estrogen dominance. This is actually from your body's stored estrogen over reacting initially. It is reccommended to get the envioronmental xenoestrogens (man made estrogens) out of your lifestyle and diet for a couple of months then start the progesterone again. Because actually progesterone is amazing and can help your acne as well as many other aggravating symptoms such as moodiness/pms/hot flashes/belly fat, etc. Just look up estrogen dominance. Hope this helps!

Also, all of the issues of improper diet, candida overgrowth, stress, female issues causing acne, they ALL lead back to one thing... they cause EXCESS estrogen levels which cause inflammation in the body- hence acne. A safe way for the body to release toxic heat (chronic inflammation) is to release it out of the pores (skin). 1.) improper diet- substances that mimic or raise estrogen levels (caffeine, sugar) 2.) candida overgrowth - anything that feeds candida (sugar, processed flours) causes increase in estogen like chemicals in the body (hence why antiobiotics make some acne a LOT worse, means you need to watch diet instead of killing off good flora in gut causing candida overgrowth. 3.) Stress- uses too much cortisol, draining progesterone levels, causing estrogen/progesterone imbalance 4.) female issues- uterine cysts, etc. tissues produce excess estrogen can eventually cause ovarian and other gynecological cancers.

*Some tests will show normal estrogen levels so this confuses doctors and patients bc in all reality it is the balance between progesterone and estrogen that matters. You could be low in estrogen but even lower in progesterone. Or you could be okay in estrogen levels but too low in progesterone. These results can only be shown by comparing the two.

Progesterone should be taken in natural form. Birth Control Pills are mostly FULL of estrogens! They will make things worse in the long run.

Progesterone oil i natural form can be used as birth control if used every day through a cycle. If you are menopasual, take it every day. If you are menstruating- take it from day after ovulation to day before period (non birth control method).

Getting your hormones balanced is key to healthy skin. These hormones can build up in the liver acting like toxins so anything that helps flush the liver is good as well- exercise, lots of fiber from food. Make sure you are having daily bowel movements to clear out toxins- magnesium and/or fiber is wonderful for this. Good Luck and I hope this helps. I am a doctor of oriental medicine and this info can be trusted!

im confused why birth control pills like diane are usually perscribed for acne in woman if they create an estrogen dominance? im stuck taking it for now but i still have acne, never cleared me, only spiro worked for me. what are some good ways to lower estrogen naturally? i wanted to take progesterone ..or well the cream but my nutritionist advised against it because he didnt want me to mess with hormones directly.. :/

Edited by FSAS

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A reply to FSAS: I'm not sure why doctors are prescribing birth control for acne. Perhaps bc they feel their patients are androgens are high? Not all doctors are familiar with the estrogen dominance crisis and recommend estrogens to a lot of women, such as soy milk or estrogen therapy thinking it will help with women's issues such as menopause, etc. I have had success with an all natural progesterone oil called Pregestelle. Look up their website. It has lots of information and videos, etc. As far as taking a hormone directly, birth control is full of hormones. Progesterone is a precursor hormone to many other hormones. It is very safe but needs to be natural and without parabens or preservatives. Ways to naturally lower estrogen are first 1) get rid of stress and underlying anxieties or fears- these chronic issues reak havoc on our hormone levels. You'll have to find soemthing that works for you if this is a major issue. 2) avoid unnatural products- shampoos, detergents, soaps, make up- they are absorbed at great strengths into your blood stream. 3) if you have severe acne, avoid herbs and food that have phytoestrogens- lavender, pomegranate, tea tree oil, soy, etc. Hope this helps, I wish you the best!

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