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cowsmoo318

Finally Clear! (Hormonal Acne, Pcos)

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Hello!

I just came by to post because I am uncontrollably happy this morning! This is--honest to God--the first time in almost 10 years that my face has been completely ACNE FREE! I still have some red marks from my last couple, but otherwise... it's just amazing!

I have been to, probably, 5 different dermatologists. I've tried just about every cream, lotion, antibiotic, rinse, scrub, powder, medication (though I never took Accutane), etc. My skin went from being ultra oily, to drier than a desert, and everything in between. I've washed my pillow cases daily, and scoured the ingredients in my make up, never eat fried foods or processed sugars, I've tried EVERYTHING! I even researched natural cures like Witch Hazel and Ichthammol Ointment. Nothing. Worked. No matter how dried out I as, I still had a blanket of acne.

THEN, about 5 years ago, I came to the realization that what I had was clearly hormonal acne. None of my doctors ever told me about it, but that's what I knew it was. And when my dermatologist was skeptical (she told me that if it was, there was nothing I could do about it anyway), I dropped her like a hot potato and found a new one. From then on I was prescribed different birth controls. I found out fairly quickly that I cannot take birth control. Depression, anxiety, vomiting, weight loss, etc. Even though my acne was slowly getting better, I had to stop taking them after 3 months before I went nuts. So, two years ago, I gave up. I figured that I just was supposed to learn to live with it and pretend I didn't care.

THEN, earlier this year, after some new symptoms arose (nothing to do with acne)... I went to another gynecologist. He diagnosed me with PCOS. For the first time, someone actually gave me a blood test to check my hormones. They were COMPLETELY wonky! He started treating me and happened to mention, in one session, that if having acne bothered me, that I could be prescribed something. I was very hesitant (remember, I've tried a lot of medications), but, just like always, there was that little spark of blissful hope. I agreed and he gave me Spironolactone. Seemed simple enough. I looked it up and was very pleased to learn there were minimal side effects (though a little disappointed, because like with all the natural remedies, the ones with the least side effects seem to do the least in general). "At least," I hoped, "it won't be as bad as birth control." I started taking it six weeks ago. And, while there were a few flair ups, I noticed definite improvement.

Now. After only six weeks, I am acne free. smile.png I want to cry and laugh and ask out all the boys I was too scared to talk to!! It's a really amazing feeling.

So, the reason I post this is this: I have been told (by relatives, friends, doctors, that evil little voice in my head) that I should just give up and learn to live with it... that it wasn't curable. Maybe there will be bad flair ups in the future, but at least now I know that they are wrong. There's always something that will work, you just have to find it. biggrin.png So I hope that this is inspirational for at least one person, because, trust me. I have been there. I have been the person who didn't go to school/work because looking in a mirror made me want to throw up. I was the person who didn't go to prom because I was too embarrassed about not being "pretty" enough with my bad skin. I have looked at thousands of pictures of people who have clear skin and thought "why me?" I have fought with myself for a decade about not being so superficial, but it still hurt so bad. So yeah. That's pretty much it. THERE IS HOPE! Maybe Spironolactone won't work for you, but something will. I promise. You just have to keep looking.

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that sounds amazing, congratulations

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Glad to hear! Is what you took able to be used by men? and do you recommend people should get tests done to see if their hormones are balanced?

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Thanks you guys!

I'm not sure about it being used by men. I know that it is used for men who are losing their hair sometimes (it blocks androgens that cause it). I don't think it's recommended for younger men because it may cause feminization (though it's worth checking about a smaller dosage). It is true that excess testosterone is generally what causes the sebum buildup that causes acne, so it should, potentially, work for men. I'd ask a dermatologist if they think it's a good idea to check your hormones (certainly it couldn't hurt, I just don't know if it would help). I think endocrinological health is often ignored, but is the underlying factor in a lot of ailments. Good luck!

Edited by cowsmoo318

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Congratulations!!! I'm really happy for you =)

Can I ask what dosage you were put on, and did you notice a decrease in oily skin if you had oily skin? I'm thinking of starting Spironolactone since I found out I have high free testosterone levels (my skin is SUPER oily all over). Thank you!! I'm 24/F and all of a sudden am dealing with the worst acne I've ever had, :(.

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Congratulations!!! I'm really happy for you =)

Can I ask what dosage you were put on, and did you notice a decrease in oily skin if you had oily skin? I'm thinking of starting Spironolactone since I found out I have high free testosterone levels (my skin is SUPER oily all over). Thank you!! I'm 24/F and all of a sudden am dealing with the worst acne I've ever had, sad.png.

Hey there! I was put on 100 mg, initially (two 50 mg, so that my doctor can easily change the dosage). My skin wasn't particularly oily to begin with BUT it did dry out anyway. My skin has actually gotten pretty dry, and I've started to have to use lotion twice a day to not feel uncomfortable (small price to pay, though). And I think this could be a great course for you. Free testosterone is what causes a lot of acne, and that is precisely what Spironolactone blocks.

Ooh! But I would warn you! I've heard horror stories (huge breakouts, hair loss, etc) of people changing their dosage (higher) because they were impatient. So just let it work in time if you do try it out!

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For anyone who reads still reads this, I have another thought.

I really have been on TONS of different medications (topical and otherwise). And I realized something throughout this whole process. Sure, my acne got a little better with some of the harsher things (antibiotics and creams and stuff), but it was never really cured. I'd get rid of the whiteheads with one thing, but then I'd get worse cysts, or vice versa. Things like Proactive gave me a little improvement, but not enough to make it worth it. I'm sure had I taken Accutane that I would have seen improvement... but it's just so harsh, and I've heard of so many people who have to keep going through it to keep the results. (Plus I'm not supposed to take it with my medical history.) Anyway, my point is this: of course those things work a bit. That's what they're made to do. And for some people, that's enough. BUT I assume for most of the people on this site that that's not enough (which is why you're here). And I think something that dermatologists and patients alike ignore is the root cause. Keep a journal, find patterns of why and when your skin gets bad. Maybe it's hormonal, maybe it weather related, maybe it's an allergy (maybe foods), maybe it's hygiene related. I would never have realized unless I paid more attention to it. Good days and bad days flow into each other, so it's easy to lose track. But here's my advice: PAY ATTENTION! Your doctor is going to try to help you, but ultimately they aren't magical. They don't know all your problems, so they're just going to give you a slew of things that "work for most people." But you're NOT most people! You're here! I wish I had made someone check my hormones when I thought it was hormonal because even though they were skeptical, I know my body better than them. Find out some possible causes and try to fix those instead. It's a whole lot more effective, and ultimately faster.

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What other symptoms did you get from Pcos?

I think I might have it too, I am 19 and I recently got this unusual huge facial breakout, and I am thinking it has to do with my hormones.

I just started taking doxycyline today, but after seeing this post, I am thinking maybe I should try Spironolactone!

Please let me know! Thanks :)

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What other symptoms did you get from Pcos?

I think I might have it too, I am 19 and I recently got this unusual huge facial breakout, and I am thinking it has to do with my hormones.

I just started taking doxycyline today, but after seeing this post, I am thinking maybe I should try Spironolactone!

Please let me know! Thanks smile.png

Symptoms are a little bit harder with PCOS, because it effects people very differently.

I knew I had it when I hadn't had my period for 6 months (big sign). Some people get bad acne, others have hair growth, people tend to have bad ovarian pain (because they get swollen), and there's some correlation between PCOS and obesity (though I'm what they call "thin type" PCOS--so you don't have to be). Sometimes it represents like PMS and other things--hormones are tricky like that. The only way to know is to get your androgens tested (in a blood test).

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Good for you.

Acne is simple but infomation etc out there has made it complicated. It occurs due to messed up hormones. And the only way to stop acne completely for the long term is to get to the root of the problem and get those hormones balanced.

For some people this means diet changes, reducing stress, exercising etc. For females a pill like this can be really helpful. Some people have even found stopping masturbation really helps (which is feasible but I am clear and still enjoy a good old wank).

Yes there are some products out there that may help but they will often not provide a long term cure and it is always a big risk as they can cause some people really bad breakouts.

Don't get drawn in by a lot of things out there that play on your emotions. As of course your desperate to get clear and some companies take advantage of this by saying they have some wonder cure. Keep your skin care regime really simple. A gently cleanser & non-comedogenic moisturiser twice day.

Key= balance those hormones and don't aggravate your skin (keep your regime simple). You will get clear skin eventually.

Eating low gi foods only, no dairy, exercising and a gentle skin care regime has kept me clear :)

Edited by naturaldoctor

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Good for you.

Acne is simple but infomation etc out there has made it complicated. It occurs due to messed up hormones. And the only way to stop acne completely for the long term is to get to the root of the problem and get those hormones balanced.

For some people this means diet changes, reducing stress, exercising etc. For females a pill like this can be really helpful. Some people have even found stopping masturbation really helps (which is feasible but I am clear and still enjoy a good old wank).

Yes there are some products out there that may help but they will often not provide a long term cure and it is always a big risk as they can cause some people really bad breakouts.

Don't get drawn in by a lot of things out there that play on your emotions. As of course your desperate to get clear and some companies take advantage of this by saying they have some wonder cure. Keep your skin care regime really simple. A gently cleanser & non-comedogenic moisturiser twice day.

Key= balance those hormones and don't aggravate your skin (keep your regime simple). You will get clear skin eventually.

Eating low gi foods only, no dairy, exercising and a gentle skin care regime has kept me clear smile.png

how much exercise do you do a day? do you do cardio? all i do is weights...

and do you use any topical acne medication to keep you clear?

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Try to get in 30-1 hour a day, nothing crazy. Sometimes just jump on the xbox kinect, it's fun & exercise all in one :). Do weights once a week & play football once a week.

It is crazy at 23 still need to stick to my regime.This Christmas had bit of a breakout and of course been eating plenty dairy, sweets etc, which I normally wouldn't.

No topical treatment, not worth the risk in my opinion, it just masks the problem and can aggravate acne. The important thing is getting to the root of the problem by balancing your hormones. No need for a topical treatment.

I keep my skin care regime really simple, which has helped a lot. Also really important to use a non-comedogenic moisturiser (will not clog your pores)

Use this cleanser: http://www.purelynaturalskin.co.uk/shop/acne-cleanser/

and this moisturiser: http://www.boots.com/en/Avene-Hydrance-Optimale-Light-40ml_1110293/

2 x a day

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Try to get in 30-1 hour a day, nothing crazy. Sometimes just jump on the xbox kinect, it's fun & exercise all in one smile.png. Do weights once a week & play football once a week.

It is crazy at 23 still need to stick to my regime.This Christmas had bit of a breakout and of course been eating plenty dairy, sweets etc, which I normally wouldn't.

No topical treatment, not worth the risk in my opinion, it just masks the problem and can aggravate acne. The important thing is getting to the root of the problem by balancing your hormones. No need for a topical treatment.

I keep my skin care regime really simple, which has helped a lot. Also really important to use a non-comedogenic moisturiser (will not clog your pores)

Use this cleanser: http://www.purelynat.../acne-cleanser/

and this moisturiser: http://www.boots.com...t-40ml_1110293/

2 x a day

i agree about topicals masking the symtoms. so i should mainly focus on my diet to clear my acne? do you have a link to some thread you have made about how you treated your acne? i agree with a lot of the stuff you say and have been looking at a lot of the things you have mentioned so that would be really helpful.

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Yes mainly diet but also a few lifestyle changes to reduce stress levels. For example exercising regularly.

The thread can be found here: http://www.acne.org/messageboard/index.php/topic/307531-stay-clear-for-the-long-run/

In my opinion it is the best way to stay clear in the long run. A lot fo the success stories I come accross are from people following similar regimes.

I have not been following the regime for Christmas and skin has broke out the worst in years (lots of dairy and sweets). This just re-instates how good the regime or something simialr is.

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