Jump to content
Acne.org
Search In
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
lifelong confusion

Androgen Sensitivity. Warning: Possibly Explicit

Recommended Posts

I have found very little information about this online. So I decided to come here to gather and share information on the subject. I suspect I might have androgen sensitivity. For one thing, each time I feel horny, I break out like crazy the next day or day after, no matter whether I got off or not. That never used to happen before. Second, my hormonal acne is at its worst, worse than it's ever been in my entire life, while I'm not feeling any signs of high androgens. I used to have an extremely high sex drive, which is now almost entirely gone, I used to sweat a lot, be a lot more aggressive, and just had a very tomboyish personality to the point I was questioning my sexual orientation. None of those things are present now. A lot of it due to birth control I suppose. Yet I'm getting very very bad hormonal acne like never before. If it is in fact androgen sensitivity, how do you attack it? Is there a medication specifically for that? Please share anything you know.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi there.

Do not despair. We can tackle this with a systematic approach until it is resolved.

My first question: What makes you think this is hormonal acne? I.e. specifically related to an incorrect profile of hormones in your body.

Thanks.

Edited by Listener
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not super familiar with your situation but I can offer my two cents... By the way, your profile states that you are male so I was confused by your post until I read the part about birth control. I assume now that you are indeed female! (:

You could still have excess androgens but the birth control could also be raising your estrogen to the point where you don't feel like you did before. Perhaps the birth control that you are on or birth control in general doesn't help your imbalance, specifically. It's not a cure-all for all women.

I had a very similar experience before and during birth control... before starting any I had high libido, was very thin and muscular, and had a masculine personality. However, I did have acne. I tried probably a dozen different brands and they all raised my estrogen and gave me many side effects (changed the traits I mentioned among others) but didn't help with my acne at all.

The most commonly prescribed medication for androgens in women is spironolactone. Depending on your location it can be a little tricky to get it prescribed for your skin but I didn't have any trouble at all. I was on it for 2ish(?) years and at 6 months I was completely clear from my pretty severe cystic acne for the first time in my life. However, spiro can also be estrogenic and I had too many side effects to keep going with it. I then turned to natural anti-androgens and progesterone to deal with the estrogen dominance which worked extremely well for me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi there.

Do not despair. We can tackle this with a systematic approach until it is resolved.

My first question: What makes you think this is hormonal acne? I.e. specifically related to an incorrect profile of hormones in your body.

Thanks.

Well, I've had acne since I was 11. And by 15, I was on Diane 35, which completely cleared my skin. I could tell it was hormonal because I had very high sex drive, my skin would be extremely oily, I've always had acne around my chin and jaw area only, my cheeks, forehead, everything else is perfectly clear. I was tested for hormones when I was 16 and I my testosterone was way too high, so obgyn prescribed Diane 35. I tried both Diane 35 and Yaz/Yasmin which helped me tremendously when I was 15-20. As in, it would make me go from pizza face to 100% crystal clear in just a month, no initial breakouts, no side effects. However, at 21 I took a 2 week break from birth control (i forgot my pack when i went on a trip) and then came back home and restarted mid-cycle (very bad idea I know.) Ever since then ( for 9 months now ), I have been breaking out like crazy, like never before. I tried going on and off birth control because those breakouts are the worst I've ever had and it made me freak out, but whether im on it or off it i'm breaking out really bad, ofc all of it on my jaw and chin. I get deep ones almost every day. When im on BC, I break out all month round. When off it, probably once a week. And before I took that 2 week break and restarted mid cycle, i was perfectly clear and wouldn't even break out around my period at all. I just finished second month on yaz and I can barely take it. I changed my diet a lot for a month, that did absolutely nothing. So yeah, I'm pretty sure this is hormonal. Only now it's just acne, and it seems that the pill is supressing other side effects like hgih libido, sweating, aggression, tomboyishness, so on, but not the acne. Which led me to believe my skin might be angroden sensitive now, and I have normal levels of testosterone, but my skin still freaks out.

I'm not super familiar with your situation but I can offer my two cents... By the way, your profile states that you are male so I was confused by your post until I read the part about birth control. I assume now that you are indeed female! (:

You could still have excess androgens but the birth control could also be raising your estrogen to the point where you don't feel like you did before. Perhaps the birth control that you are on or birth control in general doesn't help your imbalance, specifically. It's not a cure-all for all women.

I had a very similar experience before and during birth control... before starting any I had high libido, was very thin and muscular, and had a masculine personality. However, I did have acne. I tried probably a dozen different brands and they all raised my estrogen and gave me many side effects (changed the traits I mentioned among others) but didn't help with my acne at all.

The most commonly prescribed medication for androgens in women is spironolactone. Depending on your location it can be a little tricky to get it prescribed for your skin but I didn't have any trouble at all. I was on it for 2ish(?) years and at 6 months I was completely clear from my pretty severe cystic acne for the first time in my life. However, spiro can also be estrogenic and I had too many side effects to keep going with it. I then turned to natural anti-androgens and progesterone to deal with the estrogen dominance which worked extremely well for me.

Ah, sorry I didnt even realize my profile said i was male, lol, gonna go change it.

I know what you mean, but the thing is both Diane 35 and Yaz and Yasmin helped me amazingly before, so now I'm lost as to why it's not working. I know this might be an initial breakout, but it's not even getting better (i took 1 month of diane, got bad side effects, continued on yaz, now i just finished second pack of yaz) for it to be gettting so much worse right now is very alarming, especially when in the past ive never had an initial breakout from bc, let alone this bad.

My doc said she would have no problem prescribing spiro, and to give it another month and then if it doesn't get better she'll write me a prescription. However, I've heard about initial breakout on spiro as well. And the last thing I need right now is more acne, especially considering I've been hopping on/off bc for the past few months, I wonder if I should just avoid making any changes to my body right now, and just keep taking one thing and keep it stable for some time to let my body calm down. What are your thoughts?

Also, is estrogen dominance a proven condition? After I've done some research on it it seems like it's not acclaimed by the general medical society and is pushed by just a couple people. I usually trust research and general medical consensus and medical journals, so I'm not sure what I think about estrogen dominance as of yet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, well you certainly answered my question comprehensively!

I'm going to have to bow out of this discussion because my knowledge in the area of hormone therapy is not great.

It might be worth getting another blood test to see if your hormones are out of whack according to that.

I wish you luck! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whenever I stopped an anti androgen abruptly...actually whenever I stop an anti androgen my skin goes CRAZY. I think it's possible your hormones could have got a little messed up from that. I'd suggest you try to be patient and maybe ask your doctor about spiro since you've had luck with anti androgens in the past.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't if it will ever recover at this point. I'm losing all hope as this is the worst it's ever been, I got 7 deep painful ones over just 2 days now and they're making my jaw hurt even though im never even touching it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After I stopped yasmin cold turkey I felt the same way for the longest time. Suddenly my skin had clogged pores and was breaking out everywhere! I was breaking out in places I don't usually even breakout. It took a long time for my skin to calm down after that, probably at least a year. I don't get any inflamed acne anymore, but it took a long time to get here. I'd go back to anti androgens if I could, but I get bad side effects. It's unfortunate because I actually do have high androgen levels. My doctor once joked that my testosterone levels were that of a male with low testosterone... Anyway, like I said before, spiro might be helpful. I also get really great results by eating a low glycemic load diet. My testosterone levels used to be around 70, and last time I got them tested they were at 13 so something is working :) Another thing that might help you is to run the products you're using through cosdna to see if anything in them could be potentially pore clogging. I had a bunch of acne that I thought was still hormonal, but turns out it was from the products I was using on my skin!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After I stopped yasmin cold turkey I felt the same way for the longest time. Suddenly my skin had clogged pores and was breaking out everywhere! I was breaking out in places I don't usually even breakout. It took a long time for my skin to calm down after that, probably at least a year. I don't get any inflamed acne anymore, but it took a long time to get here. I'd go back to anti androgens if I could, but I get bad side effects. It's unfortunate because I actually do have high androgen levels. My doctor once joked that my testosterone levels were that of a male with low testosterone... Anyway, like I said before, spiro might be helpful. I also get really great results by eating a low glycemic load diet. My testosterone levels used to be around 70, and last time I got them tested they were at 13 so something is working Another thing that might help you is to run the products you're using through cosdna to see if anything in them could be potentially pore clogging. I had a bunch of acne that I thought was still hormonal, but turns out it was from the products I was using on my skin!

Thanks! That's reassuring. Have you tried any supplements? I've heard a lot about Saw palmetto. I'll look up the diet you're talking about. I was wondering about the products, but i don't think mine cause me to break out because it's so focused in this area which is part of my jaw and sides of chin, and everything else is completely clear. If it was induced by a product you would think it would be more all over my face.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After I stopped yasmin cold turkey I felt the same way for the longest time. Suddenly my skin had clogged pores and was breaking out everywhere! I was breaking out in places I don't usually even breakout. It took a long time for my skin to calm down after that, probably at least a year. I don't get any inflamed acne anymore, but it took a long time to get here. I'd go back to anti androgens if I could, but I get bad side effects. It's unfortunate because I actually do have high androgen levels. My doctor once joked that my testosterone levels were that of a male with low testosterone... Anyway, like I said before, spiro might be helpful. I also get really great results by eating a low glycemic load diet. My testosterone levels used to be around 70, and last time I got them tested they were at 13 so something is working. Another thing that might help you is to run the products you're using through cosdna to see if anything in them could be potentially pore clogging. I had a bunch of acne that I thought was still hormonal, but turns out it was from the products I was using on my skin!

Thanks! That's reassuring. Have you tried any supplements? I've heard a lot about Saw palmetto. I'll look up the diet you're talking about. I was wondering about the products, but i don't think mine cause me to break out because it's so focused in this area which is part of my jaw and sides of chin, and everything else is completely clear. If it was induced by a product you would think it would be more all over my face.

You would think so, but I have some products that only break me out on cheeks and around my mouth and some that break me out all over. Jaw and chin definitely does sound more hormonal, though.

I have tried saw palmetto in the past. I think I took 120mg a day or twice a day or something, and I didn't see much difference. I may not have given it enough of a chance though because of my bad experience with other anti-androgens in the past. I was afraid of side effects, and probably stopped it before I got the full effect. It would probably be something good for you to try though! My favorite supplement is vitamin C. I take 2g and day and it makes my skin so much less oily.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After I stopped yasmin cold turkey I felt the same way for the longest time. Suddenly my skin had clogged pores and was breaking out everywhere! I was breaking out in places I don't usually even breakout. It took a long time for my skin to calm down after that, probably at least a year. I don't get any inflamed acne anymore, but it took a long time to get here. I'd go back to anti androgens if I could, but I get bad side effects. It's unfortunate because I actually do have high androgen levels. My doctor once joked that my testosterone levels were that of a male with low testosterone... Anyway, like I said before, spiro might be helpful. I also get really great results by eating a low glycemic load diet. My testosterone levels used to be around 70, and last time I got them tested they were at 13 so something is working. Another thing that might help you is to run the products you're using through cosdna to see if anything in them could be potentially pore clogging. I had a bunch of acne that I thought was still hormonal, but turns out it was from the products I was using on my skin!

Thanks! That's reassuring. Have you tried any supplements? I've heard a lot about Saw palmetto. I'll look up the diet you're talking about. I was wondering about the products, but i don't think mine cause me to break out because it's so focused in this area which is part of my jaw and sides of chin, and everything else is completely clear. If it was induced by a product you would think it would be more all over my face.

You would think so, but I have some products that only break me out on cheeks and around my mouth and some that break me out all over. Jaw and chin definitely does sound more hormonal, though.

I have tried saw palmetto in the past. I think I took 120mg a day or twice a day or something, and I didn't see much difference. I may not have given it enough of a chance though because of my bad experience with other anti-androgens in the past. I was afraid of side effects, and probably stopped it before I got the full effect. It would probably be something good for you to try though! My favorite supplement is vitamin C. I take 2g and day and it makes my skin so much less oily.

I actually don't have oily skin anymore, though. It's just dry skin and acne. Vitamin C is probably good for your skin either way though. I was thinking about taking saw palmetto but some people actually report permanent mental fog and other side effects that didn't go away after they took it so im still unsure. and if i was to take anything i would probably start with spiro, i don't think you can take both.

I still have zinc which i got but didn't take for very long... i guess i get pretty impatient and if i see something is not working i dont bother with it. and fish oil, which i thought was causing even more breakouts. At this point its hard to tell if its all in my head or if its really making it worse, considering my acne has been getting worse all by itself. It feels like i would be always second guessing all these other supplements or drugs, even spiro.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah, sorry I didnt even realize my profile said i was male, lol, gonna go change it.

I know what you mean, but the thing is both Diane 35 and Yaz and Yasmin helped me amazingly before, so now I'm lost as to why it's not working. I know this might be an initial breakout, but it's not even getting better (i took 1 month of diane, got bad side effects, continued on yaz, now i just finished second pack of yaz) for it to be gettting so much worse right now is very alarming, especially when in the past ive never had an initial breakout from bc, let alone this bad.

My doc said she would have no problem prescribing spiro, and to give it another month and then if it doesn't get better she'll write me a prescription. However, I've heard about initial breakout on spiro as well. And the last thing I need right now is more acne, especially considering I've been hopping on/off bc for the past few months, I wonder if I should just avoid making any changes to my body right now, and just keep taking one thing and keep it stable for some time to let my body calm down. What are your thoughts?

Also, is estrogen dominance a proven condition? After I've done some research on it it seems like it's not acclaimed by the general medical society and is pushed by just a couple people. I usually trust research and general medical consensus and medical journals, so I'm not sure what I think about estrogen dominance as of yet.

It is strange that BC worked for you in the past but not now... that being said, I didn't know that you were only on your 2nd month of Yaz. It can take a lot longer for your hormones to settle down and for you to see results. I would give it at least a few more months to see how it goes if you still want to go down the birth control route.

If not, you could try spiro or another anti-androgen. I'm glad that your derm is supportive and giving BC a little more time is a good idea. It's possible that if you give it enough time and don't stress yourself out, you could clear up. Spiro does have a chance to give an initial breakout, but so does pretty much any medication and even some supplements. I forgot to mention... from what I understand the reason Yaz works for some women is that it has the equivalent of a small dose of spiro in it.

Estrogen dominance is just a term coined for high estrogen / low progesterone levels and showing symptoms of high estrogen. You can google lists of the symptoms. Confirmation would simply be seen in a hormone test, though even when levels show to be in a "normal" range, you can still have an imbalance in the ratio of certain hormones to others.

Edited by hearts
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah, sorry I didnt even realize my profile said i was male, lol, gonna go change it.

I know what you mean, but the thing is both Diane 35 and Yaz and Yasmin helped me amazingly before, so now I'm lost as to why it's not working. I know this might be an initial breakout, but it's not even getting better (i took 1 month of diane, got bad side effects, continued on yaz, now i just finished second pack of yaz) for it to be gettting so much worse right now is very alarming, especially when in the past ive never had an initial breakout from bc, let alone this bad.

My doc said she would have no problem prescribing spiro, and to give it another month and then if it doesn't get better she'll write me a prescription. However, I've heard about initial breakout on spiro as well. And the last thing I need right now is more acne, especially considering I've been hopping on/off bc for the past few months, I wonder if I should just avoid making any changes to my body right now, and just keep taking one thing and keep it stable for some time to let my body calm down. What are your thoughts?

Also, is estrogen dominance a proven condition? After I've done some research on it it seems like it's not acclaimed by the general medical society and is pushed by just a couple people. I usually trust research and general medical consensus and medical journals, so I'm not sure what I think about estrogen dominance as of yet.

It is strange that BC worked for you in the past but not now... that being said, I didn't know that you were only on your 2nd month of Yaz. It can take a lot longer for your hormones to settle down and for you to see results. I would give it at least a few more months to see how it goes if you still want to go down the birth control route.

If not, you could try spiro or another anti-androgen. I'm glad that your derm is supportive and giving BC a little more time is a good idea. It's possible that if you give it enough time and don't stress yourself out, you could clear up. Spiro does have a chance to give an initial breakout, but so does pretty much any medication and even some supplements. I forgot to mention... from what I understand the reason Yaz works for some women is that it has the equivalent of a small dose of spiro in it.

Estrogen dominance is just a term coined for high estrogen / low progesterone levels and showing symptoms of high estrogen. You can google lists of the symptoms. Confirmation would simply be seen in a hormone test, though even when levels show to be in a "normal" range, you can still have an imbalance in the ratio of certain hormones to others.

Yeah, I'm really hoping what I'm experiencing right now is an initial breakout from birth control, and that it will work eventually.

I understand it's possible to have too much estrogen and estrogen/progesterone imbalance, but there doesn't seem to be any studies proving that too much estrogen can cause acne. It seems like it's the opposite, if anything estrogen will make your skin smoother and help with skin problems like acne. At least that's the conclusion of my research so far. I would be happy to look into any studies proving otherwise, though.

Edited by lifelong confusion
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, I'm really hoping what I'm experiencing right now is an initial breakout from birth control, and that it will work eventually.

I understand it's possible to have too much estrogen and estrogen/progesterone imbalance, but there doesn't seem to be any studies proving that too much estrogen can cause acne. It seems like it's the opposite, if anything estrogen will make your skin smoother and help with skin problems like acne. At least that's the conclusion of my research so far. I would be happy to look into any studies proving otherwise, though.

I think you misunderstood me... I never said that excess estrogen caused my acne. Excess androgens were the main culprit, but I also had excess estrogen caused by taking birth control and then spironolactone which definitely didn't help. Supplementing natural progesterone fixed the estrogen dominance and progesterone also helps acne by inhibiting 5-alpha reductase (testosterone to DHT.) I can link some studies about that, but this topic isn't about progesterone nor do you seem interested in that route. I ended up supplementing DIM along with NPC to further help with estrogen metabolism and it is also a potent anti-androgen. There are studies on this, too. It cleared my skin completely; however, I am not taking it anymore.

To clarify my initial reply — I meant that the estrogen could be causing your other symptoms (lack of libido, etc.) and that maybe birth control isn't the answer like it isn't for some women, but that was before I knew that it worked for you in the past.

I also hope that you are right and that it is just an initial breakout... give it time and distract yourself with fun and relaxing activities. Good luck and I wish you the best and clear skin! (:

Edited by hearts
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, I'm really hoping what I'm experiencing right now is an initial breakout from birth control, and that it will work eventually.

I understand it's possible to have too much estrogen and estrogen/progesterone imbalance, but there doesn't seem to be any studies proving that too much estrogen can cause acne. It seems like it's the opposite, if anything estrogen will make your skin smoother and help with skin problems like acne. At least that's the conclusion of my research so far. I would be happy to look into any studies proving otherwise, though.

I think you misunderstood me... I never said that excess estrogen caused my acne. Excess androgens were the main culprit, but I also had excess estrogen caused by taking birth control and then spironolactone which definitely didn't help. Supplementing natural progesterone fixed the estrogen dominance and progesterone also helps acne by inhibiting 5-alpha reductase (testosterone to DHT.) I can link some studies about that, but this topic isn't about progesterone nor do you seem interested in that route. I ended up supplementing DIM along with NPC to further help with estrogen metabolism and it is also a potent anti-androgen. There are studies on this, too. It cleared my skin completely; however, I am not taking it anymore.

To clarify my initial reply — I meant that the estrogen could be causing your other symptoms (lack of libido, etc.) and that maybe birth control isn't the answer like it isn't for some women, but that was before I knew that it worked for you in the past.

I also hope that you are right and that it is just an initial breakout... give it time and distract yourself with fun and relaxing activities. Good luck and I wish you the best and clear skin! (:

Hey! thanks for the clarification. I'm curious about DIM. Has it helped you a lot? Have you had any side effects?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey! thanks for the clarification. I'm curious about DIM. Has it helped you a lot? Have you had any side effects?

DIM worked very well for me. It cleared me up completely with no side effects (I took this brand.) It's also worked for a lot of other women (and men) but doesn't work for everyone — just like any other supplement. There are a lot of topics on this forum about it or you can google for more info. It is another hormonal treatment, however... it will still take at least 3-4 months to show results, though some have seen improvement much sooner.

I no longer take it anymore, though. Not because it didn't work but it seems that I don't need it like I did. I started taking vitamins and minerals and while doing this I weaned off of it with no problems. (:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I feel you, I had an unusually high sex drive when my acne was at its worst. I associated that with stress and messed up hormones.

With regards to sexual orientation and high androgens, I strongly believe that, at least partially, sexual orientation in women is determined by their hormone levels. I don't know if that applies to men as well, but there have been some studies indicating that many women with PCOS (high androgens, low progesterone typically), for instance, are lesbians. This blew my mind, but until I experienced hormonal imbalances I didn't think that was possible. Anyway, what helped me feel normal again is natural herbs and supplements that help regulate androgens, estrogen, and progesterone. And a healthy diet with low processed foods can really help stabilize insulin levels, which is another thing that can throw hormones off balance.

Yeah, I'm really hoping what I'm experiencing right now is an initial breakout from birth control, and that it will work eventually.

I understand it's possible to have too much estrogen and estrogen/progesterone imbalance, but there doesn't seem to be any studies proving that too much estrogen can cause acne. It seems like it's the opposite, if anything estrogen will make your skin smoother and help with skin problems like acne. At least that's the conclusion of my research so far. I would be happy to look into any studies proving otherwise, though.

I think you misunderstood me... I never said that excess estrogen caused my acne. Excess androgens were the main culprit, but I also had excess estrogen caused by taking birth control and then spironolactone which definitely didn't help. Supplementing natural progesterone fixed the estrogen dominance and progesterone also helps acne by inhibiting 5-alpha reductase (testosterone to DHT.) I can link some studies about that, but this topic isn't about progesterone nor do you seem interested in that route. I ended up supplementing DIM along with NPC to further help with estrogen metabolism and it is also a potent anti-androgen. There are studies on this, too. It cleared my skin completely; however, I am not taking it anymore.

To clarify my initial reply — I meant that the estrogen could be causing your other symptoms (lack of libido, etc.) and that maybe birth control isn't the answer like it isn't for some women, but that was before I knew that it worked for you in the past.

I also hope that you are right and that it is just an initial breakout... give it time and distract yourself with fun and relaxing activities. Good luck and I wish you the best and clear skin! (:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I feel you, I had an unusually high sex drive when my acne was at its worst. I associated that with stress and messed up hormones.

With regards to sexual orientation and high androgens, I strongly believe that, at least partially, sexual orientation in women is determined by their hormone levels. I don't know if that applies to men as well, but there have been some studies indicating that many women with PCOS (high androgens, low progesterone typically), for instance, are lesbians. This blew my mind, but until I experienced hormonal imbalances I didn't think that was possible. Anyway, what helped me feel normal again is natural herbs and supplements that help regulate androgens, estrogen, and progesterone. And a healthy diet with low processed foods can really help stabilize insulin levels, which is another thing that can throw hormones off balance.

Yeah, I'm really hoping what I'm experiencing right now is an initial breakout from birth control, and that it will work eventually.

I understand it's possible to have too much estrogen and estrogen/progesterone imbalance, but there doesn't seem to be any studies proving that too much estrogen can cause acne. It seems like it's the opposite, if anything estrogen will make your skin smoother and help with skin problems like acne. At least that's the conclusion of my research so far. I would be happy to look into any studies proving otherwise, though.

I think you misunderstood me... I never said that excess estrogen caused my acne. Excess androgens were the main culprit, but I also had excess estrogen caused by taking birth control and then spironolactone which definitely didn't help. Supplementing natural progesterone fixed the estrogen dominance and progesterone also helps acne by inhibiting 5-alpha reductase (testosterone to DHT.) I can link some studies about that, but this topic isn't about progesterone nor do you seem interested in that route. I ended up supplementing DIM along with NPC to further help with estrogen metabolism and it is also a potent anti-androgen. There are studies on this, too. It cleared my skin completely; however, I am not taking it anymore.

To clarify my initial reply — I meant that the estrogen could be causing your other symptoms (lack of libido, etc.) and that maybe birth control isn't the answer like it isn't for some women, but that was before I knew that it worked for you in the past.

I also hope that you are right and that it is just an initial breakout... give it time and distract yourself with fun and relaxing activities. Good luck and I wish you the best and clear skin! (:

Hey! thanks for the clarification. I'm curious about DIM. Has it helped you a lot? Have you had any side effects?

I second hearts' recommendation for DIM. It was the final piece of my puzzle it seems, I love it! However, recently I did gain some weight, so maybe I should decrease my dosage....I haven't changed anything else in my routine.

Thanks for reply! What kind of supplements did you take? I'm starting to consider trying supplements, but also Spiro, and I'm not sure if I can take both.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the generalization is high androgen = more acne, high libido. More estrogen = the reverse. (and I absolutely 100% believe that women who tend to have more fluid sexualities can sway a great deal with hormone changes, mine definitely do) I'm curious if your body was reacting to the sudden change in estrogen. Skin is sensitive, but if your acne seems different before it might be worth seeing what happens in 2-3 months. That's how long it takes for it to completely regenerate from the bottom up, and how long it takes your hormones to level out on a birth control method.

I also may have a pretty marked androgen sensitivity/elevated levels, since I am naturally muscular, have acne, am often attracted to women.

I used to be on Aviane, then tried Sprintec which was horrible and am on Mirena IUD. None of these helped my acne much, but the IUD made it noticeably worse. I did like that I had few other symptoms on Aviane, my husband was happy in the sack, and although I spotted a lot on an extended cycle that system helped my mood swings more. I would like to get back on the pill, but not sure which one yet.

My problems are compounded by the fact that high estrogen pills significantly reduce the effectiveness of a mood stabilizer I'm on. (Double whammy on the psycho front!)

So now I'm on the hunt. I'm looking for: less androgenic than Aviane (but not to the point where my libido dies and I get soft). Only slightly more estrogenic than Aviane. Lower progestin potency to keep my brain a bit happier ie yaz may not be a good idea. My goal is to reduce my acne... if it's not 100% cured but my quality of life is also better I'll still be happy.

I'm curious if for more androgenic women it's better to very slowly step up estrogen levels/not raise them too high but just more than they are normally?

Edited by hedgehogcatcher
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Saw palmetto has helped a lot for me, 320 mg a day, but at least you should take it for 5 month to notice the change.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting concept-- I always felt that my acne had nothing to do with my monthly cycle. My acne rarely follows a monthly pattern. However, when I go over my past lab work and think about times when my skin was clear without being on Accutane, it was when my estrogen was low--- 1) when I was extremely underweight and had no period and 2) when I was nursing my son. I wonder if I am estrogen sensitive. I had labs done recently and my progesterone was on the low range while my estrogen was average.

Any typical hormonal methods to curb acne never worked on me (spirolactone, birth control, vitex). It seems as if ovulation suppression via amenorrhea and lactation were the only two things that made my skin somewhat clear. Hmmm.....

Edited by JMTM18017
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You have changed your hormones drastically in a short period of time by going off a pill, starting it mid cycle, going off, going on one brand for a month, going on another brand for a month.

It seems so easy for us to do, just take one pill one month and a different one the next month...but our bodies are not designed to respond that quickly to large amounts of artificial hormones being pumped through it. Your body has no idea what the **** is going on.

I always think, if it took me 8+ months to clear on a regimented diet and spironolactone, without any birth control messing with my body's hormone levels, I imagine someone in your situation could expect to wait a year or more for your hormones to completely balance out. And your skin will only calm down if you pick one hormonal strategy and STICK TO IT.

Yes, you may find in a year that you picked the wrong hormonal strategy for you and you don't get completely clear. But this is how acne treatment goes. It takes months, years, sometimes for the body to respond even to the right strategy. You will never find the right strategy unless you give each one a lot time and patience to work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all for your input. I've been on yaz consistently for 6 months and now for the past 2 months i get maybe 2-3 deep breakouts a month, down from 15 a month when it was at its worst. I'm still hoping to get completely clear like i used to be, though the past two months seem the same unlike before that when i was seeing progress. if it stays this way i might try spiro, but this is already not too bad. I've also been taking inositol for the past 3 months or so.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



  • Personalized Advice Quiz - All of Acne.org in just a few minutes


×