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Do You Weight-Lift And Have Problems With Acne? I Need Advice.

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I'm suffering from some severe cystic acne that is on my face and back mostly and I am certain that it comes from weightlifting. As a college senior I have been weightlifting for 3 years and I have gained 45 lbs of pure muscle since I came in at 125lbs. During that time I noticed some major cystic acne and rosacea on my face. To this day I still don't know how to deal with this problem.

It seems like my only choice is literally down to two choices either - Great Body or Great Face. I am really thinking about giving up the bodybuilding lifestyle just so I can live like a normal person but I really have a passion and extreme love for this art form. (It is really that bad) .

I know 100% that this is all due to a hormonal imbalance because in order to achieve my goals of gaining a lot of weight, I had to carb load and eat like crazy 6-8 times a day. By combining this with intense weightlifting I caused myself to produce a large amount of androgen's and hormones that I never usually have had before which increased sebum production drastically.

I have never had a history of bad of acne until I started to pick up weightlifting when I got to college. But now I don't know if this is even all worth it since there is literally nothing I can do to fix this. And how do I know that this is 100% hormonal? For Two months I gave up weightlifting and eating 6-8 times a day - to no weightlifting at all and eating only twice a day. My face literally cleared fast, all of my acne gone and my pores shrunk significantly, I could finally look at my face and not be ashamed. (But then later on I picked it back up again and now I have terrible acne that has come back to haunt me). Mind you while weightlifting I was 100% natural with no supplements not even whey protein just pure food and I still got terrible terrible cystic acne.

I have tried cutting out dairy completely, many over the counter products, BP, 100% natural products and I have great hygiene. I just want to find a way to continue my love and passion for weightlifting while still having a face that I can look at in my mirror without being embarrassed. I'm going to start to try my first oral antibotic Doxycycline 100mg 1 tablet a day tomorrow but I doubt it will really be worth it. Propioni Bacteria is only one cause of the acne but its not the main cause which is the over production of oil from sebaceous glands. I don't want to be a geriatric and take antibiotics for the rest of my life. Would you guys suggest that I take Accutane? I'm really scared about the side effects and whether or not its worth the risks. What are my options? Can I take some anti-androgens or something to block DHT?

Thanks for any comments, advice or insight you can provide. Much appreciated.

TL;DR

I do intense weightlifting and I now have acne from it, what can I do if its controlled by my hormones?

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Saw palmetto and some teas can block some DHT, but saw palmetto didn't work for me...

Oh and you could try eating low carb. When you eat a lot of carbs you could be causing insulin resistance. Insulin resistance raises androgens, which could be a cause for some people's acne.

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I'm suffering from some severe cystic acne that is on my face and back mostly and I am certain that it comes from weightlifting. As a college senior I have been weightlifting for 3 years and I have gained 45 lbs of pure muscle since I came in at 125lbs. During that time I noticed some major cystic acne and rosacea on my face. To this day I still don't know how to deal with this problem.

It seems like my only choice is literally down to two choices either - Great Body or Great Face. I am really thinking about giving up the bodybuilding lifestyle just so I can live like a normal person but I really have a passion and extreme love for this art form. (It is really that bad) .

I know 100% that this is all due to a hormonal imbalance because in order to achieve my goals of gaining a lot of weight, I had to carb load and eat like crazy 6-8 times a day. By combining this with intense weightlifting I caused myself to produce a large amount of androgen's and hormones that I never usually have had before which increased sebum production drastically.

I have never had a history of bad of acne until I started to pick up weightlifting when I got to college. But now I don't know if this is even all worth it since there is literally nothing I can do to fix this. And how do I know that this is 100% hormonal? For Two months I gave up weightlifting and eating 6-8 times a day - to no weightlifting at all and eating only twice a day. My face literally cleared fast, all of my acne gone and my pores shrunk significantly, I could finally look at my face and not be ashamed. (But then later on I picked it back up again and now I have terrible acne that has come back to haunt me). Mind you while weightlifting I was 100% natural with no supplements not even whey protein just pure food and I still got terrible terrible cystic acne.

I have tried cutting out dairy completely, many over the counter products, BP, 100% natural products and I have great hygiene. I just want to find a way to continue my love and passion for weightlifting while still having a face that I can look at in my mirror without being embarrassed. I'm going to start to try my first oral antibotic Doxycycline 100mg 1 tablet a day tomorrow but I doubt it will really be worth it. Propioni Bacteria is only one cause of the acne but its not the main cause which is the over production of oil from sebaceous glands. I don't want to be a geriatric and take antibiotics for the rest of my life. Would you guys suggest that I take Accutane? I'm really scared about the side effects and whether or not its worth the risks. What are my options? Can I take some anti-androgens or something to block DHT?

Thanks for any comments, advice or insight you can provide. Much appreciated.

TL;DR

I do intense weightlifting and I now have acne from it, what can I do if its controlled by my hormones?

Is doxy going to be your first antibiotic? Maybe you should just quit weightlifting and instead do intense plyometrics?

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First of, you put on 45 lbs of muscle in three years!? Wow, that is impressive! You must have great genetics. It basically means that your body can produce massive amounts of testosterone and growth hormone during and after workouts, definitely more than the average person. So you should be grateful for that. I bet you can stay in the gym for a long time too before you start pumping cortisol through your body. I've got to be out of there after 60 minutes MAX or I'll have cortisol squirting and ejaculating throughout my body. And that won't get me any gains, hahaha.

Even though you have great bodybuilding genetics, you're also sensitiveto getting acne. All these hormones that you're producing are wreaking havoc inside your body. It's these hormones that are activating all your oil glands, making them go into overdrive.

The solution? There really is none, but there are several things you can do to hopefully lessen your acne. Ofcourse there are the topicals, but seeing as your acne is caused by a hormonal disbalance and not so much by hygienic issues it will serve as a short term solution. But for the sake of being thorough I will quickly go through the steps you need to generally undertake when using topicals.

Topicals

1) Use a cleanser that is pH neutral. You don't want to use a cleanser that is more acidic than your skin. Read Dan's guide to acne products for ingredients that you want to avoid.

2) Use a moisturizer which doesn't contain any oils (with a few exceptions like jojoba oil) and is easy to apply to your face (it shouldn't be like paste).

3) This last step is optional, but if you want to dry out your pimples you can put on some benzoyl peroxide. Dan tells you to slather it onto your entire face, I myself prefer to treat individual pimples. BP does speed up the aging process so don't go overboard.

4) Cleanse twice a day, once in the morning and once before you go to bed.

Now that we have the topicals out of the way, we can start with the diet. Diet is more of a longlasting solution because it gets digested by your body and is thus internal much like your hormonal issue is internal. What you generally want to avoid when eating is diary (it's only good for you if you're a calf) and quite possible gluten. I actually am intolerant to gluten which means that I break out whenever I eat it. have also understood from reading these forums that eating gluten free will actually reduce acne for a lot of people. Even those that don't have an allergy or intolerance. So it might be something you want to look into. If you don't want to go out of your way and eliminate gluten, make sure you're eating foods that have a low glycemic index. These foods, in contrast to foods that have a high glycemic index, cause an insulin spike and as you probably already know, insulin is another hormone and you have plenty of those already. Adding another one into the mix will just make matters worse. You can howevery mix high and low GI foods and turn them into an average GI food. Depending on the ratio ofcourse. That way you will also avoid the insulin spike. So if you're eating fruit for instance (these are great at raising your insulin levels), eat it with some nuts and you're solid.

The anti-biotics might serve you well, but much like the topicals it's going to be a short term solution. You're body will become immune to the anti-biotics rendering its effects useless. Although it has been succesful for people. I myself was practically clear after 6 months of using anti-biotics, I just had the occasional pimple here and there. Problem was that it came back again a few years later, around the same time that I started working out out more frequently. The thing that has helped me the most at this point is eliminating gluten from my diet.

I'm currently also taking Saw Palmetto (a DHT blocker). I'm not sure how much you need to take though, it depends on the individual and what brand you're using. I'm simple following the daily dosis that was put down on the back of the box.

As a bonus, here is a list of gluten-free carbs that I eat:

Oats (oats are actually glutenfree belive it or not, but super market oats get contaminated with gluten because companies will often handle wheat and other sorts of grains in the same factories as they process the oats)

Unpolished rice

(Sweet) potatoes

Cassava

Fruit (I personally like to eat a lot of apples, bananas, kiwi's, grapes and berries. Especially berries are good for you because they contain anti-oxidants)

Vegetables

Beans, loads and loads of beans. Esspecially kidney beans, they're really high in protein. ^^

Edited by Buttsoup

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First of, you put on 45 lbs of muscle in three years!? Wow, that is impressive! You must have great genetics. It basically means that your body can produce massive amounts of testosterone and growth hormone during and after workouts, definitely more than the average person. So you should be grateful for that. I bet you can stay in the gym for a long time too before you start pumping cortisol through your body. I've got to be out of there after 60 minutes MAX or I'll have cortisol squirting and ejaculating throughout my body. And that won't get me any gains, hahaha.

Even though you have great bodybuilding genetics, you're also sensitiveto getting acne. All these hormones that you're producing are wreaking havoc inside your body. It's these hormones that are activating all your oil glands, making them go into overdrive.

The solution? There really is none, but there are several things you can do to hopefully lessen your acne. Ofcourse there are the topicals, but seeing as your acne is caused by a hormonal disbalance and not so much by hygienic issues it will serve as a short term solution. But for the sake of being thorough I will quickly go through the steps you need to generally undertake when using topicals.

Topicals

1) Use a cleanser that is pH neutral. You don't want to use a cleanser that is more acidic than your skin. Read Dan's guide to acne products for ingredients that you want to avoid.

2) Use a moisturizer which doesn't contain any oils (with a few exceptions like jojoba oil) and is easy to apply to your face (it shouldn't be like paste).

3) This last step is optional, but if you want to dry out your pimples you can put on some benzoyl peroxide. Dan tells you to slather it onto your entire face, I myself prefer to treat individual pimples. BP does speed up the aging process so don't go overboard.

4) Cleanse twice a day, once in the morning and once before you go to bed.

Now that we have the topicals out of the way, we can start with the diet. Diet is more of a longlasting solution because it gets digested by your body and is thus internal much like your hormonal issue is internal. What you generally want to avoid when eating is diary (it's only good for you if you're a calf) and quite possible gluten. I actually am intolerant to gluten which means that I break out whenever I eat it. have also understood from reading these forums that eating gluten free will actually reduce acne for a lot of people. Even those that don't have an allergy or intolerance. So it might be something you want to look into. If you don't want to go out of your way and eliminate gluten, make sure you're eating foods that have a low glycemic index. These foods, in contrast to foods that have a high glycemic index, cause an insulin spike and as you probably already know, insulin is another hormone and you have plenty of those already. Adding another one into the mix will just make matters worse. You can howevery mix high and low GI foods and turn them into an average GI food. Depending on the ratio ofcourse. That way you will also avoid the insulin spike. So if you're eating fruit for instance (these are great at raising your insulin levels), eat it with some nuts and you're solid.

The anti-biotics might serve you well, but much like the topicals it's going to be a short term solution. You're body will become immune to the anti-biotics rendering its effects useless. Although it has been succesful for people. I myself was practically clear after 6 months of using anti-biotics, I just had the occasional pimple here and there. Problem was that it came back again a few years later, around the same time that I started working out out more frequently. The thing that has helped me the most at this point is eliminating gluten from my diet.

I'm currently also taking Saw Palmetto (a DHT blocker). I'm not sure how much you need to take though, it depends on the individual and what brand you're using. I'm simple following the daily dosis that was put down on the back of the box.

As a bonus, here is a list of gluten-free carbs that I eat:

Oats (oats are actually glutenfree belive it or not, but super market oats get contaminated with gluten because companies will often handle wheat and other sorts of grains in the same factories as they process the oats)

Unpolished rice

(Sweet) potatoes

Cassava

Fruit (I personally like to eat a lot of apples, bananas, kiwi's, grapes and berries. Especially berries are good for you because they contain anti-oxidants)

Vegetables

Beans, loads and loads of beans. Esspecially kidney beans, they're really high in protein. ^^

Actually this summer that just ended, I had quit weightlifting for about 3 months to see if that would make any changes to my face. It barely made even a dent in my face, but I kept to my diet pretty die hard because I wanted to keep my body weight up. (I was working full time 40+ hours so I just kinda put it on hold) I'm guessing maybe its the diet? I was eating a lot of white rice, noodles and vegetables (a lot of carbs), but how do I make gains while cutting out all of these important foods?

Maybe I should start eating less refined carbs? Brown rice or find other sources where I can get my carbs that won't spike insulin? Or do all carbs do that?

I just took my first dose of Doxycycline and it is my first oral antibiotic. I feel like this is going to be pointless. It's a lose - lose no matter what the outcome is.

How would Saw Palmetto affect the process of muscle building, would it not able to build it as fast without DHT? Because I know T converts into DHT which is used to gain muscle.

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I'm having the same exact problem. I've been lifting for 4 years and seen some great results but it ruined my face. I'm starting accutane and I plan on taking a week of too see if it will heal

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in the same boat..... play water polo for the college i attend, weight lift, swim, etc...... i don't have any inflamed acne though.... just hella tiny skin colored bumps aka clogged pores.

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i read only the first few lines and had to stop to comment

weight lifting, eating right is such a huge part of my life bro & i wouldnt give it up just due to a few pimples & live like a "normal person"... normal is boring and unhealthy, continue to do what you love bro

i suggest you maybe taking showers after you workout cause i can only assume its the sweat causing you to break out....

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I agree Its my way of life like just taking off a week felt so weird but I make sure I shower after every workout I dont know why its gotten so bad

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