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Green Gables

I Am 100% Clear. Severe Cystic Acne Cured With Spironolactone.

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Question: if you experiment with these hormone drugs and creams, could you possibly make things worse/throw things out of whack? Is there a definite way to see what you are deficient in? I did a hormone test but everything came back in range but i know that does not mean much

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Question: if you experiment with these hormone drugs and creams, could you possibly make things worse/throw things out of whack? Is there a definite way to see what you are deficient in? I did a hormone test but everything came back in range but i know that does not mean much

Just like with any treatment, there is always a possibility to make it worse. There isn't a way to know for sure except do your research, follow dosing instructions carefully, and watch for serious side effects. The problem with current hormone tests is they test your levels only. Some studies have concluded that people with acne have a receptor sensitivity to androgens, not an elevated androgen level. So their receptors just bind to androgens more easily. There's not a way to test for that.

If you've done Accutane already though, most of this stuff (safety-wise) is mild in comparison. It's like saying you won't try a diveboard after you've jumped off a waterfall because you're not SURE the diveboard is safe.

I just realized I had some leftover stinging nettle in my cabinet so I'll give that a shot. I've been on the saw palmetto extract for a month now but I was hoping for more improvement.

Well it took me 4 months to see any improvement. I mean literally my skin looked the same for the first 4 months. Yeah it is discouraging. Though combining natural anti-androgens works better for some people, so go for it.

Edited by Green Gables

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Thanks for replying Green Gables!

Yeah, I suppose I should get the hormone test before I go for anything hormone-balancing (also as posted above mentioned, that it might make things worse).

(Sorry to take this thread off topic slightly but..)

Looking at progesterone cremes, other than the 2 recommended, what do you think of the ones offered at Vitacost? http://www.vitacost....tt=progesterone I was just considering Vitacost since they have good prices, coupons every so often and their shipping to Canada isn't outrageous like many sites.

Like for example Source Naturals which seems well-reviewed (mostly by menopausal women though) and has 500 g per ounce as an article I read that should be at minimum. Though it appears that comes from soy vs wild yams. Is wild yams that much better? And is getting "bio-identical" required? I was reading through the product reviews and there was mention of acne clearing up. Plus, side note, I also get some horribly headaches around my cycle and maybe moodsings - according to other people - so maybe I should just try this whole progesterone creme even without the test.

And I assume when you use this progesterone creme, do you use it on a schedule as it relates to the first day of your menstural cycle? On some of these products it says: Menstruating Women: Begin 12 days after the first day of your menstrual flow. Continue through the 26th day.

Edited by rockthecasbah12

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I'm relatively new to the board and came across your great profile! It's awesome that you've found something that works for you. Especially since you can take it for a long time. Is it expensive?

I don't have severe acne. It's moderate (not too sure what that means haha) but i basically breakout daily with the cystic oozing things that look really gross. My question is, when i go see the derm in Nov (it will be my first time. I finally have insurance.) should i straight out ask to have my levels tested? unsure.png I don't want to be one of those pushy patients but...

I'm suppose to start BC the first day of my next period. I was given Lutera by my GP but i'm still nervous for a bigger breakout, weight gain, bla bla bla.

any advice would be greatrolleyes.gif

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I'm relatively new to the board and came across your great profile! It's awesome that you've found something that works for you. Especially since you can take it for a long time. Is it expensive?

I don't have severe acne. It's moderate (not too sure what that means haha) but i basically breakout daily with the cystic oozing things that look really gross. My question is, when i go see the derm in Nov (it will be my first time. I finally have insurance.) should i straight out ask to have my levels tested? unsure.png I don't want to be one of those pushy patients but...

I'm suppose to start BC the first day of my next period. I was given Lutera by my GP but i'm still nervous for a bigger breakout, weight gain, bla bla bla.

any advice would be greatrolleyes.gif

Lutera uses Levornogestrel progestin. Levornogestrel has androgenic activity and makes acne worse. Gotta be careful with the BPs, only a few actually help acne.

I never had my levels tested. Can't afford it, and frankly I don't give a rat's fuzzy bottom if my levels are "average" or not. All that matters to me is that my hormonal levels, whatever they are, are making my skin go crazy. I asked my derm to prescribe spironolactone on a trial basis. Since that trial and error resulted in perfectly clear skin, no test is going to argue with those results smile.png

I would call up the derm you're planning to see and ask over the phone if they have experience prescribing spironolactone for hormonal acne. If they say no or seem wishy-washy about it, call up some other derms until you find one that has. I've been to enough derms to know that generally they won't prescribe you something unfamiliar to them. Spiro is in use by doctors who truly know what they're doing (such as Dr. Redmond of the Hormone Center in NY), but as for your run-of-the-mill local derm, most will just push you on Accutane or Yaz.

Edited by Green Gables

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I'm relatively new to the board and came across your great profile! It's awesome that you've found something that works for you. Especially since you can take it for a long time. Is it expensive?

I don't have severe acne. It's moderate (not too sure what that means haha) but i basically breakout daily with the cystic oozing things that look really gross. My question is, when i go see the derm in Nov (it will be my first time. I finally have insurance.) should i straight out ask to have my levels tested? unsure.png I don't want to be one of those pushy patients but...

I'm suppose to start BC the first day of my next period. I was given Lutera by my GP but i'm still nervous for a bigger breakout, weight gain, bla bla bla.

any advice would be greatrolleyes.gif

Lutera uses Levornogestrel progestin. Levornogestrel has androgenic activity and makes acne worse. Gotta be careful with the BPs, only a few actually help acne.

I never had my levels tested. Can't afford it, and frankly I don't give a rat's fuzzy bottom if my levels are "average" or not. All that matters to me is that my hormonal levels, whatever they are, are making my skin go crazy. I asked my derm to prescribe spironolactone on a trial basis. Since that trial and error resulted in perfectly clear skin, no test is going to argue with those results smile.png

I would call up the derm you're planning to see and ask over the phone if they have experience prescribing spironolactone for hormonal acne. If they say no or seem wishy-washy about it, call up some other derms until you find one that has. I've been to enough derms to know that generally they won't prescribe you something unfamiliar to them. Spiro is in use by doctors who truly know what they're doing (such as Dr. Redmond of the Hormone Center in NY), but as for your run-of-the-mill local derm, most will just push you on Accutane or Yaz.

thanks SO much for your advice. I'll probably not take the Lutera then. UGH. I've been using Taz 0.05% since Aug but i guess i'm just still going through the purging/side effects stage. And the derm i chose has a great record (i did my research) but i'll definitely give her a call before hand.

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I'm relatively new to the board and came across your great profile! It's awesome that you've found something that works for you. Especially since you can take it for a long time. Is it expensive?

I don't have severe acne. It's moderate (not too sure what that means haha) but i basically breakout daily with the cystic oozing things that look really gross. My question is, when i go see the derm in Nov (it will be my first time. I finally have insurance.) should i straight out ask to have my levels tested? unsure.png I don't want to be one of those pushy patients but...

I'm suppose to start BC the first day of my next period. I was given Lutera by my GP but i'm still nervous for a bigger breakout, weight gain, bla bla bla.

any advice would be greatrolleyes.gif

Lutera uses Levornogestrel progestin. Levornogestrel has androgenic activity and makes acne worse. Gotta be careful with the BPs, only a few actually help acne.

I never had my levels tested. Can't afford it, and frankly I don't give a rat's fuzzy bottom if my levels are "average" or not. All that matters to me is that my hormonal levels, whatever they are, are making my skin go crazy. I asked my derm to prescribe spironolactone on a trial basis. Since that trial and error resulted in perfectly clear skin, no test is going to argue with those results smile.png

I would call up the derm you're planning to see and ask over the phone if they have experience prescribing spironolactone for hormonal acne. If they say no or seem wishy-washy about it, call up some other derms until you find one that has. I've been to enough derms to know that generally they won't prescribe you something unfamiliar to them. Spiro is in use by doctors who truly know what they're doing (such as Dr. Redmond of the Hormone Center in NY), but as for your run-of-the-mill local derm, most will just push you on Accutane or Yaz.

thanks SO much for your advice. I'll probably not take the Lutera then. UGH. I've been using Taz 0.05% since Aug but i guess i'm just still going through the purging/side effects stage. And the derm i chose has a great record (i did my research) but i'll definitely give her a call before hand.

Oh, and in answer to your question, without insurance a month's supply of spironolactone averages $20 in the U.S.

Edited by Green Gables

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Hey just so y'all know, I'll be taking a hiatus from acne.org. I might still pop in once in a while, but I'm definitely not answering threads every day anymore. So if you comment on my threads or send me a PM and I don't respond, that's why.

I don't feel that I'm getting as much out of this site as I'm putting in. Also I'm annoyed at the following things:

- The general level of panic and depression that people exhibit when they really have MILD acne

- The inability to use the search function before posting

- The desperation for a magic fix that doesn't exist

- People asking for advice then getting mad for "judging" them when you respond with advice

- Being too impatient to actually give a hormonal treatment time to work

- The stigma against hormone treatment, people would rather slather on chemicals, become a raw vegan, or nearly kill themselves with multiple Accutane courses

- The idea that there is a magic test out there that will tell you for sure if your acne is hormonal, or saying "oh well my levels are in range, so here I go on Accutane round 5 without trying hormonal treatment"....instead of treating by symptoms such as THE FUGLY ACNE ON YOUR FACE THAT FLUCTUATES WITH YOUR MENSTRUAL CYCLE, IDIOT

- Women who lump all birth controls together as if the different types of synthetic progestin and estrogen don't matter "Well I went on a highly androgenic mini-pill and it made my acne worse, therefore birth control won't work for me!"

- Men who can't bear to believe that a testosterone sensitivity could be the answer to their acne problems. "I'm a MAN I don't want to lower my testosterone because it makes me a MAN." Well DHT sensitivity / excess DHT causes acne, balding, enlarged prostate, and low sperm count...that's all REAL attractive you manly man.

- Most of these could also be filed under general lack of logical thought.

Rant over. hifive.gif

So here is my last bit of advice:

- I believe that most persistent moderate to severe adult acne is a hormonal problem and can be fixed with hormonal solutions.

- There is not a quick fix. If you can't give a hormonal treatment at least 6 months to evaluate its effectiveness, and at least 12 months to get clear skin, don't even bother.

- Everyone's hormones are different. Spiro worked for me. Natural progesterone, saw palmetto, or something else might work for you.

- Natural is not always better, however, natural bioidentical hormones are always better than the synthetic hormones found in birth control or synthetic hormone replacement therapy.

- Diet, sleep, exercise, stress, and emotional health do matter.

- There is always more to understand about the human body. Don't ever think that you've figured it all out. Be open to new ideas.

Goodbye and good luck! wub.png

Edited by Green Gables

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Hey just so y'all know, I'll be taking a hiatus from acne.org. I might still pop in once in a while, but I'm definitely not answering threads every day anymore. So if you comment on my threads or send me a PM and I don't respond, that's why.

I don't feel that I'm getting as much out of this site as I'm putting in. Also I'm annoyed at the following things:

- The general level of panic and depression that people exhibit when they really have MILD acne

- The inability to use the search function before posting

- The desperation for a magic fix that doesn't exist

- People asking for advice then getting mad for "judging" them when you respond with advice

- Being too impatient to actually give a hormonal treatment time to work

- The stigma against hormone treatment, people would rather slather on chemicals, become a raw vegan, or nearly kill themselves with multiple Accutane courses

- The idea that there is a magic test out there that will tell you for sure if your acne is hormonal, or saying "oh well my levels are in range, so here I go on Accutane round 5 without trying hormonal treatment"....instead of treating by symptoms such as THE FUGLY ACNE ON YOUR FACE THAT FLUCTUATES WITH YOUR MENSTRUAL CYCLE, IDIOT

- Women who lump all birth controls together as if the different types of synthetic progestin and estrogen don't matter "Well I went on a highly androgenic mini-pill and it made my acne worse, therefore birth control won't work for me!"

- Men who can't bear to believe that a testosterone sensitivity could be the answer to their acne problems. "I'm a MAN I don't want to lower my testosterone because it makes me a MAN." Well DHT sensitivity / excess DHT causes acne, balding, enlarged prostate, and low sperm count...that's all REAL attractive you manly man.

- Most of these could also be filed under general lack of logical thought.

Rant over. hifive.gif

So here is my last bit of advice:

- I believe that most persistent moderate to severe adult acne is a hormonal problem and can be fixed with hormonal solutions.

- There is not a quick fix. If you can't give a hormonal treatment at least 6 months to evaluate its effectiveness, and at least 12 months to get clear skin, don't even bother.

- Everyone's hormones are different. Spiro worked for me. Natural progesterone, saw palmetto, or something else might work for you.

- Natural is not always better, however, natural bioidentical hormones are always better than the synthetic hormones found in birth control or synthetic hormone replacement therapy.

- Diet, sleep, exercise, stress, and emotional health do matter.

- There is always more to understand about the human body. Don't ever think that you've figured it all out. Be open to new ideas.

Goodbye and good luck! wub.png

I respect everything you've said but you definitely seem to be annoyed by people on here literally just being human. Just because you have a lot of experience with this stuff and we can all probably benefit from your advice, doesn't mean you should strut around on your high horse with no thought that just maybe, we're all different and deal with things differently. Can't knock people for being people. Have a good one.

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I wish you the best Green gables. You have been the best IMHO on this site. i've pretty much stopped logging onto this site as well. I'm going to keep posting as often as I can but am not making a routine of it. I'll miss your advice . BTW, i too agree with everything you've mentioned with regards to people on the site. It is pretty aggravating to listen to someone rant and rave about their mild acne when there are people out there who have it 10x's worse. And you can only say the same thing over and over for so long until your over it. lol. Anyway girl i wish you the best :)

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Thanks for everything Green Gables!! As you know I'm giving Saw Palmetto a shot and will definitely not rule anything out for 6 months as you suggested! All the best!

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- I believe that most persistent moderate to severe adult acne is a hormonal problem and can be fixed with hormonal solutions.

- There is not a quick fix. If you can't give a hormonal treatment at least 6 months to evaluate its effectiveness, and at least 12 months to get clear skin, don't even bother.

- Everyone's hormones are different. Spiro worked for me. Natural progesterone, saw palmetto, or something else might work for you.

- Natural is not always better, however, natural bioidentical hormones are always better than the synthetic hormones found in birth control or synthetic hormone replacement therapy.

- Diet, sleep, exercise, stress, and emotional health do matter.

- There is always more to understand about the human body. Don't ever think that you've figured it all out. Be open to new ideas.

Good advice... I tried going natural for about a year or so, was totally stressed out, crying, etc etc. Went to a derm, ate some pills and zap I havent had acne in a year. Should've gone faster.

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I have combined cystic acne and rosacea. My skin is now 100% clear of zits! (The rosacea is still present.)

There is no before picture. For most of my life I wore makeup in all pictures. After a while my hope for clear skin died. I did keep trying things...but I didn't believe in a treatment enough to sit there and take photos of the lesions on my face.

Here are two before pictures of people with acne very similar to mine. I repeat, these two before pictures are not me, but this is very representative of my acne.

Before:

Acne-Boils-Cystic-Acne-Treatment-2816.jpgacneVulgaris_51059_lg.jpg

After with flash:

2012-07-17211759.jpg

After without flash, the rosacea redness is more obvious:

2012-07-17211833.jpg

6 months ago I started 50mg a day of spiro, and after one month, my derm upped my dose to 100mg daily. I did not see ANY clearing until month 3, but after that the clearing was dramatic.

For those of you unfamiliar with spironolactone, it is an anti-androgen.

What I do daily:

-100mg of spiro.

-Wash once a day CeraVe cleanser and moisturize with CeraVe moisturizer

-7-8 hours sleep a night. Hard to do but so worth it.

-Dairy-free, low-sugar, moderate carb diet. Highly recommend the Paleo diet book for better health.

What I tried consistently but gave up on as a "cure":

-Benzoyl peroxide. It didn't prevent deeper acne. It may kill bacteria but it does awful things to the quality of your skin.

-Finacea (azelaic acid). It temporarily reduces my redness...but not much more.

-Blue/red lights. Specifically the Lightwave CS. While I think this is a great product for milder acne, it didn't touch my cysts.

-Oil cleansing method with 75% jojoba/25% castor.

-AHAs and BHAs

-Antibiotics. I have been on Tetracycline, Doxycycline (normal and Oracea versions), Clindamyacin (oral and topical), Minocycline, Amoxycyllin, Cephalexil, and Z-Pac. Treatment times for each have varied.

-Massive probiotics, Betaine HCL, and digestive enzymes. I actually highly recommend probiotics to everyone and believe there is a lot of hard science to support it. Many people see complete clearance from probiotics. Probiotics have been great for my health, but they just didn't stop the acne.

-Supplementation of zinc, B-5, garlic, magnesium, milk thistle, saw palmetto, and MSM.

-Water only method

-No washing method (this was a disgusting period of my life)

-Ketoconazole cream (antifungal)

-The baby brush method, the Clarisonic brush

-Retinoids

What I tried not really consistently:

-Hormonal birth control. I was given Ortho Tri-Cyclen in high school. My parents were really leery of it, and it made me morning sick, so I gave up quickly. I also tried Yaz until my friend got a pulmonary embolism on it. I am currently on the non-hormonal copper Paraguard IUD for birth control.

-I had one IPL. Reduced my redness a little for about a year.

Negative side effects of spironolactone:

-It is a diuretic. For the first few weeks you pee every hour. My body has mostly adjusted. Still drink a lot more water to stay hydrated.

Overall:

I'm clear!!!!!

Future:

Staying on spiro. Spiro's effects disappear when you stop taking it. Since spiro has been shown to be safe for long-term use, I plan to stay on it for as long as necessary.

Advice for MEN: Although spironolactone is more commonly prescribed to women, it has been studied in male acne and/or rosacea patients at low doses with success. Keep your dose at 50mg or below and you won't experience any "female" side effects. Remember that spiro's effects are completely reversible, so if for any reason you do not like the side effects, just stop taking it!

An easier option would be to take natural anti-androgen supplements that were specifically developed for men. While there are many supplements that are weak anti-androgens (MSM or B-5 come to mind), you will be better off with a stronger anti-androgen. Look into dosing 500mg-1000mg a day of saw palmetto, stinging nettle, or wild yam. I recommend LifeExtension Saw Palmetto & Nettle combo on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co...s/dp/B0019BLXQY

Okay, now I don't want to pop ur balloon of hope, but Spiro ain't safe for long term usage. Its been over a year since I've been taking it and I know that I have to stop around this time as NO ORAL MEDICATION is safe for long term usage. You better take short breaks or quit for a while then get back on so your system doesn't get overwhelmed by toxins within med. I'm happy that your skin got better ( so did mine with the magic of Spiro), but don't get too relaxed with drugs.

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Its totally working if I could have posted pictures I would have but I cant seem to up load anything on here not sure how they are doing it.

here is the extra treatment I have been using:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRCI-16C7R4

this girl shows you how to apply the activated charcoal and aloe vera gel mixture you will make into a paste and apply to the acne, after I do this treatement I use the acne.org wash and treatment and lotion. I use this charcoal mixture up to 3 times per day on my acne.

My face has never been this clear in my life.

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How long before you saw results? I'm really really considering it since I've been on accutane in the past, had success but then like with so many others it came back with a vengeance.

P.S You look awesome

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im pretty sure (after messaging with green gables when she was on the site still) she started to see improvement at month 4 and was pretty well clear at 6 months

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spiro=saw plametto=soy=Pygeum=stinging nettle's=Pumpkin Seed Oil=DHT BLOCKER

dht cause oily skin, oily skin cause good conditions on skin to acne bacteria to grow.

lower dht=stop oily skin=clear

saw palmetto cleared me by the way

yeah I am also on saw palmetto for 4 motnhs now and unfortunately i still experience breakouts,facing one very severe at the moment.And my acne IS in fact hormone-related(had hormoens examined-high DHEA-s,an androgen).I take 1000mg (1g) daily,should I up the dose?Its already a lot.Do you help yourself with something else?I also use BP,AHA-s an topical retinoids.

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thats a huge dose

i take 450mg daily with great results (saw palmetto)

are you taking the kind that is stabilized to 85-90% fatty acids? thats the one you want.

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I have combined cystic acne and rosacea. My skin is now 100% clear of zits! (The rosacea is still present.)

For those of you unfamiliar with spironolactone, it is an anti-androgen.

What I do daily:

-100mg of spiro.

When I read things like this I wonder about what caused the hormonal imbalance in the first place. Did you figure out what was causing your over production of androgens? Perhaps you should have a medical evaluation to find out why. Blood tests etc.

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from what ive read on these boards alot of people get tested and its a waste of money because an imbalance doesnt show up. alot of people with hormonal acne fall into the "normal" category when tested unfortunately...

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