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I've Come To A Brick Wall.

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Hi folks, It's been a long time since I posted here my skin is so up and down! I've had clear patches, bad patches, and weird 'not sure' patches.

But I've come to a stage where I am lost for solutions and it's taking over my life. I'm and obsessing over my skin more and more, so much so it's affected my relationship with my partner quite severely.

I've been trying to manage my acne by taking Yasmin (or Yaz as it's often known) for about 3 years. Its effectiveness is starting to wear off now, my mood often dips, and my libido has almost vanished. I tried coming off the pill to restore my moods and sex drive, but the flare ups got so bad again that I went back on it out of desperation.

I'm 25, from the UK, and have had hormonally triggered acne since I was 13. I've tried virtually everything, been through all the doctors prescriptions and roaccutane, and back down the ladder of prescriptions again. But nothing has cured it.

Basically I REALLY want to come off the pill and find another solution for my skin and don't know where to look anymore. I've spent so much money and spent too many days indoors feeling ashamed of my skin, and spending hours applying mineral makeup to hide it when I go out.

Any help (especially from the other ladies) would be greatly appreciated!

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Have you considered asking to try a different pill?

Also, I notice that you use Mario Badesceu products. Did you know that most of them have pretty huge comedogenic ingredients thrown in to make them seem fancier? :\ That could be part of the issue with your up and down skin. Also, have you tried extending foreplay with your partner or drinking a glass of wine to help with the libido problems?

Also I find that Hibiclens is pretty awesome. I use the generic kind from walgreens (Antiseptic skin cleanser) with no comedogenic red dye. It's not the end-all be-all, but it's pretty awesome as a cleanser. Also, since your acne seems to be hormonal, have you tried going off of dairy and following a "diabetic" diet? I don't have the guts to do it, but from what I have heard a lot of hormonal acne can be reduced by helping the hormone problem, and usually dairy (especially straight milk and cottage cheese) can contribute and insulin resistance is causing the hormone imbalance.

And also, I see that you wish to go the natural route from your signature, but you may want to work a little salicylic acid into your routine, or make a clay mask a daily or every-other-daily thing to draw everything out. Jojoba can be great but you might want to mix it with aloe to make sure it isn't contributing to your break outs. If you go off the pill, you will need to take a much stronger position against your acne as far as products go. You might want to visit the dermatologist and see what he can do for you. They have more things in their pockets than BP and accutane you know.

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The products by Mario I'm using at the moment don't seem to be making things worse, but I'll investigate into the ingredients.

The problem with acne-fighting pills such as Yaz, Dianette and Ortho-Tri is that the combined hormones reduce the androgens in your body to reduce acne. This is a catch-22 as androgens are also responsible for the testosterone that regulates your sex drive. Libido problem is a complicated one, I'm not even in the mood for foreplay most of the time, and alcohol gives me other health issues (long string of cystitis problems). So getting off the pill is preferable.

I'll look into cutting out dairy again. I did it once but nothing changed. I tried a candida diet too and that was useless!

Lastly in the uk we don't have dermatologists that are as accessible as across the pond. On the NHS you see a GP and they only know a little bit of everything. So they'll look in their book and throw some options at you. I've tried all the topicals except retin-A, all anti-biotics and combinations of both. Over a decades worth of it. However my acne isn't consistent or severe enough to get approval to go back on accutane.

So the search for answers continues...!

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Okay so I totally ranted this on another thread and I thought it might be useful for you. Be warned: It's long. For the dermatologist recommendation it might not be applicable to you, or you may have to really do some research and beg for certain meds or something (heck, I don't know how your system works). Maybe you could go to a psychiatrist for your anxiety about your acne and have him write up that you need to see a derm? (That may sound overly serious but even mild acne can cause some serious anxiety and depression). But that would be an absolute last resort. Okay on to my rant.

Some people have acne caused by bad genetics, some people have acne caused by gastrointestinal and nutritional deficiency, some people have acne caused by hormonal reasons, some people have acne caused by insulin resistance, some people have acne because they don't wash their face enough or use non-comedogenic ingredients, and because their skin is sensitive to what they are using on it. The key is to rule out each one by one, NOT try every miracle cure someone comes up with. Of course, if one really doesn't want to be methodical about it (or doesn't have severe acne or isn't that bothered by it, like several people I know) they can jump around and try new things, but I think that even though this looks extensive, it's actually quicker than trying four million new OTC products and maybe a diet here and there and then maybe a dermatologist appointment or two and then some herbal remedies, blah blah blah. But if you do this it is important to keep a log and try the topicals for at least two months, preferably three, and the diets for four to six, and the orals for as long as the doctor prescribes (unless you experience adverse reaction). I might note that someone with really extremely severe acne should see a doctor ASAP and try to work in diet with it, because the longer one waits with that the more it scars and disfigures the face and body. (However, most of the time extremely severe acne does not START severe)


The easiest thing to do first is try washing one's face. Believe it or not, there are a lot of boys and teenage guys who have acne just because they don't realize they should wash their face. No comedogenics. And no picking. Clarisonics might be a good thing in this stage to try. Trying no makeup or mineral make up would be a good step for girls. Some people may want to check their laundry detergent to make sure it isn't giving them body acne. Try sleeping on a new side of a towel each night.

Next one might try a few popular homeopathic remedies. Like, calamine lotion or tea rinses, ACV, OCM, home-made masks, lemon astringent, tea tree oil, whatever. Could several together. Don't try every remedy out there though because, chances are, if you've tried several of the best home remedies and none work, your acne is just too severe to be handled by them.

Then one can try different OTC products to see if they just have a slight dirt or hormone problem. Instead of trying a MILLION benzoyl peroxide and salycilic acid products, one should try a highly rated one of each. Like, one great benzoyl peroxide/salycilic line, one sulfur/whatever line, one clay/volcanic ash/whatever line, one herbal line, etc, INSTEAD OF TRYING TWELVE OF EACH KIND. Because, believe it or not, most products with the same main ingredients work the same as long as they don't have comedogenic ingredients or ingredients you're allergic to. And, if you use many products with the same ingredients for a long time despite none of them working, you can damage your skin and make your acne worse. If you have no idea where to start, you can see an esthetician (sp?), but make sure they help you follow the method and don't damage your skin. They can be helpful in finding good products and cleaning methods if you find yourself at a loss for a place to start but may be way overpriced. But if you're okay with that, that's okay. If you're not, try reading reviews on here and make up alley, and learning to check for comedogenic ingredients.

If the step one things don't clear you up completely, make note of the few things that worked the best if any, keep them in your regimen, and move on. If none of these work at all, just wash and moisturize with something that doesn't make it worse and move on. DO NOT GET CAUGHT UP IN THIS STEP. You do not WANT to be able to say that you've tried every product on the market. Just take a reasonable sampling and read ingredients. Do not fall for gimics.


Try exercise, a healthier (gov food pyramid/my plate guidelines) diet, vitamin supplements, plenty of water, and adequate sleep first. It's likely in some cases that they're just living really unhealthy lives and their body is using their skin as a warning light.

If you still have bowel and acne issues after that, first thing get checked for IBS (easily diagnosable but not easily treatable), celiac, fructose malabsorption, and lactose intolerance if you can and then get on those diets if you are. If you can't get the latter tests, the poor man's way is to go on the diets and see if you improve significantly.

If that doesn't clear you, try going paleo or following a diabetic diet. If you improve significantly it was probably insulin issues or hormones if it's a girl. (Insulin resistance and hormone imbalances are connected)

Next step if that doesn't work is to try an elimination diet to see if you're allergic to any of the big 8 or certain food dyes.

Lastly try going vegetarian or vegan. Many people find that meat causes their acne.

If this doesn't clear you up, move on to step three. Remember if you are moderately cleared by one of these, and keep them, or if nothing works go back to eating normally (though my bets are up that the first part of number 2 is applicable to everyone)


You can't fix genetic issues, but you can treat them. Go to a dermatologist. Move from mild to extreme as far as medications go--unless you're allergic to it, start with a benzoyl peroxide/antibiotic and move up the line of topicals and oral meds slowly, giving it time, doing what your doctor advises and not adding any medicated OTC's unless the doctor tells you it's okay. If one is a woman she could try birth control. Use accutane as a last resort.

The idea is to throw away the things in each step that don't work at all and move on to trying the next thing, stop if you find something that completely clears you up, or take something that helps moderately and move on. Because you start at the surface and move deeper, it's easier to tell what remedy is actually helping and more difficult to desensitize or damage your skin with a million products. (and it's much easier on the pockets!!) Personally, I have sort of followed this but I really wish I had realized this sooner. I have killed my face with way too many products that I was sensitive or allergic to or which didn't work at all, I have jumped into trying new medications without diet changes, and I settled for a diet that helped moderately when I might have found one that helped even better. Now, I'm having to almost start all over again after years of jumping around uselessly, to my own detriment. Now I have no idea what causes my acne most (just some ideas of the things that trigger it), and only vague ideas of what I have ruled out. Fighting acne takes determination, even mild acne (because mild acne is not necessarily less horrible for the sufferer!)

Edited by xpaperbackwriterx

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Hi Ferny --- I have some ideas for you. Some are similar to the above posts but some are different. I dealt with acne for a very long time but now I'm clear. And I've done research to back up what I learned. I hope it helps!

If you have really chronic resistant acne you will have to take a "multi-prong" approach to get clear. This means you will need to attack acne in several ways at the same time. Right now the only thing you are doing is BCP. You also need to help the pores to function better so that fluctuations in hormones don't plug up the pores.

I recommend doing a BP cleanser once a day in the morning. I like Panoxyl-4%. BP cleansers are nice because unlike the BP topicals they don't bleach clothes (just your towel...so use a white towel).

A "magic bullet" for me has been the combo of the Panoxyl-4 followed by application of Cleocin-T. It is using these two things together that does the trick and it is very well researched as being highly effective! Cleocin-T alone would not be as effective. The BP cleanser opens the pores to allow the antibiotic in. If you have really plugged up pores you can see how the topical would not work well without the BP cleanser.

Another thing to consider is monthly microdermabrasions. Doing them monthly will help your pores stay open (and allow meds to work better). I think this has really helped me. My skin is now smooth and clear --- lovely!

I use spironolactone which is like your BCP in effect. Using spiro alone never worked for me. This is what clued me in to what might be helpful for you.

I was always searching for the ONE thing I could do to control my acne but using one thing at a time never worked...I kept on breaking out. It was my current derm (who is tops in our area) who devised my regime below and insisted that it was essential to be doing a combo of things at the same time. He put together a combo that was safe and effective and perfect for my sensitive skin. Plus the microdermabrasions that he insisted on have actually helped my skin get stronger while smoother (builds up collagen). He also has me use retin-a in the evening but I don't think it really does that much except smooth out my skin...never helped in the past when used alone...so oh well.

I agree with the above posts that diet is important too. No sugary foods, fast foods, dairy, etc. Eat whole natural foods and avoid alcohol if possible. This is a good diet for skin in general and will help as you get older.

Message me if you want. Hope this helps!

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If it's hormonally triggered the only true solution is something hormonal.

You may just need a different birth control, or to do spironolactone, or OTC progesterone. There are lots of options. It will take trial and error and persistence on your part, though.

I am on 100mg of spironolactone a day and I use the copper IUD for birth control. It is easier to control my hormone levels because the copper IUD is completely free of hormones.

I am pretty happy on 100mg of spiro, but have found that if I cut it to 75mg my libido goes up. I am 100% clear on 100mg, but not clear on 75mg.

Anywhat what I'm saying is that with spiro tablets you would have more control of your hormones because you can cut a tablet in half and take less when you need to. Many women even cycle their spiro so they only take it part of the month. This gives them a good balance of clear skin and a good libido and such.

Edited by Green Gables

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