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Acne And The Menstrual Cycle

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Do any of you ladies know why acne almost clears the week before and the 4/5 days during the menstrual cycle? I have read and learnt lots of useful things from you all on here , but I can't find the answer to that particular question. Is it because androgens are lower at this time in the cycle ? (I don't take any BC)

Thanks, in advance. :)

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It's strange to me that you say you're almost clear a week before your menstrual cycle (PMS)... I mostly hear about the opposite. For me, I always broke out around that time.

Testosterone (androgen) is created throughout the cycle, but how your body is affected by those levels can be influenced by estrogen. Estrogen spikes during ovulation and therfore you could experience more effects of testosterone during that time. For example, if higher testosterone and DHT levels causes your acne, you could break out in the week or two following ovulation (assuming the acne takes that amount of time to come to the surface of the skin.)

To help combat estrogen levels, progesterone supplementation can be used. Or you could target the androgens specifically with anti-androgens such as spironolactone or DIM. DIM also helps with balancing estrogen. Lifestyle changes (such as diet, avoiding plastics, etc.) can help as well.

Edited by hearts
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Thanks for your reply , hearts.

Yes, I agree it's strange. Most women flare up the week before and during and looking back, I do remember this happening to me also, occasionally. But as a general rule, I'm usually the clearest I can be the week before and the days during. It's odd.

I tend to flare up at my worst during and after ovulation and then this lasts until the week before I'm due again.

I do try to have a clean diet and I avoid plastics . I have cut all dairy, sugar and have increased zinc and also take a multi vit daily.

Thanks for your response.

Btw, what natural progesterone cream do you use ?

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That's interesting... the ovulation timing makes sense like I said before but maybe your levels are just a little different througout your luteal phase. I'm so glad that you've tracked the times that most affect you — since everyone's different it is invaluable to know your own body so that you can adjust accordingly.

It's also good that you're taking some zinc, as copper and estrogen go hand-in-hand and zinc is a copper antagonist. So is vitamin C.

The brand of natural progesterone should make little difference as long as it is in fact natural and paraben-free. The dosage matters more. I've used several creams from health food stores (e.g., Emerita Progest) and they worked great. I am now using Natpro just because I can use less since it's double strength. I've also heard of it being sold in an oil-dropper form — Progestelle, I think.

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I've done some reading and research in relation to the info you have given and its quite possible that I have a rise in estrogen during the luteal phase, with not enough progesterone to balance things out. At least now I have a better understanding. I think I'm doing all I can regarding my diet and supplements.

Also, thanks for the information about the progesterone creams. I'll certainly look into that too.

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