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frenchie86

Adult Hormonal Acne Must-Read (Long Post)

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Hey guys,

This is my story...

I'm 27 and I have been battling acne since about age 20 (came out of nowhere although I suspect stress or genes or stopping birth control).

I would get spots every now and again (very mild, like any other person) but also very big, red, painful cysts and those were the problem.

They didn't cover my face, I'd get about one a month or so but they were so unsightly, PAINFUL, impossible to cover up and I'd always pick at them until I'd get a huge scab!

Anyway they'd come monthly or so, so I could live with that, even if very frustrating/depressing.

However last year I had anorexia for a few months after a very stressful time and lost loads of weight, I also started exercising excessively. My period stopped.

Then came the proper acne, I was covered, it was awful, I'd breakout daily without fail and my confidence was at an all time low, so bad that I wouldn't socialise anymore and started self harming.

Fast forward a year and I'm completely clear and happy again!

This is what happened:

At first I tried topicals (prescription and over the counter), antibiotics, changes in diet, putting on weight, stopping exercising, relaxation, you name it. Nothing worked, I started considering accutane although I was reluctant and would only take it as a last resort.

Dianette (which is a birth control pill) saved my life. I honestly had no hope and was so completely depressed, even suicidal, started taking it in mid-September 2013 and now a year on I'm completely clear. I didn't start seeing real results until around January, so about 4-5 months into treatment.

I also have a easy but strict skin care routine which has worked for me.

I don't wash my skin (too harsh), I use a salicylic acid based toner upon waking up (applied with cotton wool), then apply LaRoche Posay's Effaclar Duo on my problem areas (honestly best product out there in my opinion and many agree), I do not use any kind of makeup on my problem areas (for me that is my chin, upper lip and around my mouth), and when u want to cover any redness or a small blemish I use Witch's liquid concealer which treats the skin as it covers the imperfection. It is oil free and very gentle - truly amazing.

I never touch my skin during the day.

At night I remove makeup with Simple's cleansing lotion, then apply the salicylic acid based toner again and put a dab of Effaclar duo on my problem areas again. And voila!

I haven't had a single spot in months.

Here are things I've learned whilst dealing with hormonal acne (NB: worked for me, might work for you, might not):

FOOD HAS ZERO IMPACT ON HORMONAL ACNE! Most dermatologists will tell you this too. Ok sure eating a good, balanced diet rich in vegetables will give you a nice glow and will help heal lesions faster but it will not help acne in any way.

DO NOT USE HARSH TOPICALS ON YOUR SKIN! Benzoyl Peroxide, Differin, Epiduo, that stuff won't work if your acne is hormonal, mine was made so much worse, irritated my skin too.

YOUR ACNE MIGHT STILL BE HORMONAL EVEN IF YOUR HORMONE LEVELS ARE NORMAL IN A BLOOD TEST! My acne clearly is hormonal as only a hormonal treatment (birth control) worked. However several blood tests showed all my hormone levels to be normal.

NO ONE NOTICES OR CARES ABOUT YOUR ACNE HALF AS MUCH AS YOU DO! Ok this is no real comfort when you have acne but trust me on this. Also you can find love and be fancied with acne. I got with my ex when my acne was at it's worst and that's when he fell in love with me, he couldn't have cared less about my acne. We have split up since after 1 year together but I ended the relationship.

DONT PICK YOUR SKIN! Easier said than done but it's honestly the worst thing you can do, nothing good comes out if this, ever.

DONT MIRROR-CHECK! It's very time consuming and reminding yourself you have acne every half an hour will not make you feel better, will it? It will make you worse.

PEOPLE WHO SAY MEAN OR INSENSITIVE THINGS ARE ASSHOLES! Period.

YOURE NOT ALONE! This website was a tremendous help when my acne was at it's worst and I made some great friends too!!!

IT WONT LAST FOREVER! I honestly thought it'd never go away, I was at my wit's end, but then something works. It does happen and will happen to you! In the meantime, read, watch movies, enjoy spending time in nature or with animals. Most humans are so disappointing, you're not missing much and anyway once you feel at ease socially, you'll make up for lost time (although to me, spending time alone reflecting and learning is never "lost time").

STAY POSITIVE! Smile, even when you're dying inside, do things you enjoy even if you don't feel like it, see friends who you know love you and confide in them, never lose hope. I know how challenging and awful acne is but it won't last forever.

GO ON BIRTH CONTROL AND STICK WITH IT FOR AT LEAST A YEAR!!! If you have hormonal acne, try birth control, after all it has helped millions of women! But don't expect it to work overnight, again it took nearly six months to work for me and it did get worse before it got better!

I hope all this was useful to you!

Good luck and take care of yourselves.

Lizzie

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Acne has everything to do with diet. : ) You are just too lazy to fix your health with proper lifestyle, sorry.

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Firenature, that is really antagonistic. Frenchie86 opened up about her experience and the first thing you say is negative, why not be constructive? Furthermore, no matter how clean your diet is, diet alone does not always address severe acne that may be a result of a hormonal disorder.

Anyways, glad you found something that works for you frenchie86. I also took Diane 35 several years ago but went off of it due to the side effects. If you ever decide to go off of birth control, be sure to wean off slowly or you could very likely get a rebound effect to your acne (androgens often surge after being artificially controlled by birth control).

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"IT WONT LAST FOREVER! I honestly thought it'd never go away, I was at my wit's end, but then something works. It does happen and will happen to you! In the meantime, read, watch movies, enjoy spending time in nature or with animals. Most humans are so disappointing, you're not missing much and anyway once you feel at ease socially, you'll make up for lost time (although to me, spending time alone reflecting and learning is never "lost time")."

that was def. my favorite part!

Even though I really like your post i agree with firenature diet is the foundation to your health and skin. I had horrible hormonal acne and I got rid of it by diet. It takes about 6 months also! but you can def. do it. Hormones imbalance have a lot to do with your diet and it is not about eating only veggies, it's about eating healthy saturated fat, getting enough vitamins and minerals and also healthy protein (only grass fed beef and animals from healthy farms not commercial). Having healthy gut flora also helps balance your hormones. adrenal fatigue (which messes up hormones) can improve with a diet, so can acne. I didn't want to rely on the pill to be healthy so i changed my diet. I also tried relaxation, lotions, antibiotics and it stayed the same or got worst. until i changed my diet did everything get better and I even felt better too, i am happier and my moods don't fluctuate how they did before.

Edited by animals

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Sorry if it sounded harsh, but I am so excited that I finally cured my severe acne with diet, I want to tell the world that this is the path.

Every success story I know about is a diet and lifestyle success story. With a LOT of sacrifice. I mean: you must die and give yourself a new birth sometimes It is so damn fucking harsh.

Diane is just a temporary cure. When you stop taking it, it will have messed up your body more. It is just a ''mask'' for the problem.

I am not bitching here, although it sounds like this. I wanted you to remember my words: when you finally find what Diane causes to you, you will be right back where you started. But don't get desparate! Your last hope will be diet

P.S. Under Success story I mean a ''Forever Acne Free Story'', without any taking of drugs and shitting and covering your true face with make up.

Edited by firenature

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I want to tell the world too haha & I agree - i felt like I literally died and gave birth to a new me. I will never regret it.

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Fire nature so aggressive and bitchy, are you as happy as you say you are?!

I'm happy you all found a natural cure for your acne :)

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Frenchie86, i totally agree with you. I have hormonal acne that was fixed only under birth control. After i stopped the pill i stayed clear for many years and NEVER payed any attention to my diet. I eat from pizzas to cakes. Everything, never had an acne situation.

Now i have acne that returned ( really, WHY?) but i keep it at bay. I also thought that topicals dont do much, but i use the treatment bp only a drop of it once a day and my face is 99% clear with no active acne. Either this stuff is doing smth or my hormones got back to normal. My cycle is stable and my recent gyno appointment showed perfect ovaries and uterus.

But, just in case i do use a tiny drop of bp. It is so little amount that i guess it doesnt have any effect.....

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Hey guys,

This is my story...

I'm 27 and I have been battling acne since about age 20 (came out of nowhere although I suspect stress or genes or stopping birth control).

I would get spots every now and again (very mild, like any other person) but also very big, red, painful cysts and those were the problem.

They didn't cover my face, I'd get about one a month or so but they were so unsightly, PAINFUL, impossible to cover up and I'd always pick at them until I'd get a huge scab!

Anyway they'd come monthly or so, so I could live with that, even if very frustrating/depressing.

However last year I had anorexia for a few months after a very stressful time and lost loads of weight, I also started exercising excessively. My period stopped.

Then came the proper acne, I was covered, it was awful, I'd breakout daily without fail and my confidence was at an all time low, so bad that I wouldn't socialise anymore and started self harming.

Fast forward a year and I'm completely clear and happy again!

This is what happened:

At first I tried topicals (prescription and over the counter), antibiotics, changes in diet, putting on weight, stopping exercising, relaxation, you name it. Nothing worked, I started considering accutane although I was reluctant and would only take it as a last resort.

Dianette (which is a birth control pill) saved my life. I honestly had no hope and was so completely depressed, even suicidal, started taking it in mid-September 2013 and now a year on I'm completely clear. I didn't start seeing real results until around January, so about 4-5 months into treatment.

I also have a easy but strict skin care routine which has worked for me.

I don't wash my skin (too harsh), I use a salicylic acid based toner upon waking up (applied with cotton wool), then apply LaRoche Posay's Effaclar Duo on my problem areas (honestly best product out there in my opinion and many agree), I do not use any kind of makeup on my problem areas (for me that is my chin, upper lip and around my mouth), and when u want to cover any redness or a small blemish I use Witch's liquid concealer which treats the skin as it covers the imperfection. It is oil free and very gentle - truly amazing.

I never touch my skin during the day.

At night I remove makeup with Simple's cleansing lotion, then apply the salicylic acid based toner again and put a dab of Effaclar duo on my problem areas again. And voila!

I haven't had a single spot in months.

Here are things I've learned whilst dealing with hormonal acne (NB: worked for me, might work for you, might not):

FOOD HAS ZERO IMPACT ON HORMONAL ACNE! Most dermatologists will tell you this too. Ok sure eating a good, balanced diet rich in vegetables will give you a nice glow and will help heal lesions faster but it will not help acne in any way.

DO NOT USE HARSH TOPICALS ON YOUR SKIN! Benzoyl Peroxide, Differin, Epiduo, that stuff won't work if your acne is hormonal, mine was made so much worse, irritated my skin too.

YOUR ACNE MIGHT STILL BE HORMONAL EVEN IF YOUR HORMONE LEVELS ARE NORMAL IN A BLOOD TEST! My acne clearly is hormonal as only a hormonal treatment (birth control) worked. However several blood tests showed all my hormone levels to be normal.

NO ONE NOTICES OR CARES ABOUT YOUR ACNE HALF AS MUCH AS YOU DO! Ok this is no real comfort when you have acne but trust me on this. Also you can find love and be fancied with acne. I got with my ex when my acne was at it's worst and that's when he fell in love with me, he couldn't have cared less about my acne. We have split up since after 1 year together but I ended the relationship.

DONT PICK YOUR SKIN! Easier said than done but it's honestly the worst thing you can do, nothing good comes out if this, ever.

DONT MIRROR-CHECK! It's very time consuming and reminding yourself you have acne every half an hour will not make you feel better, will it? It will make you worse.

PEOPLE WHO SAY MEAN OR INSENSITIVE THINGS ARE ASSHOLES! Period.

YOURE NOT ALONE! This website was a tremendous help when my acne was at it's worst and I made some great friends too!!!

IT WONT LAST FOREVER! I honestly thought it'd never go away, I was at my wit's end, but then something works. It does happen and will happen to you! In the meantime, read, watch movies, enjoy spending time in nature or with animals. Most humans are so disappointing, you're not missing much and anyway once you feel at ease socially, you'll make up for lost time (although to me, spending time alone reflecting and learning is never "lost time").

STAY POSITIVE! Smile, even when you're dying inside, do things you enjoy even if you don't feel like it, see friends who you know love you and confide in them, never lose hope. I know how challenging and awful acne is but it won't last forever.

GO ON BIRTH CONTROL AND STICK WITH IT FOR AT LEAST A YEAR!!! If you have hormonal acne, try birth control, after all it has helped millions of women! But don't expect it to work overnight, again it took nearly six months to work for me and it did get worse before it got better!

I hope all this was useful to you!

Good luck and take care of yourselves.

Lizzie

wow, what an insightful and inspiring read. Thank you for sharing your story :)

I am glad that Dianette worked for you. For me, it made me acne ten times worse :'( and this didn't subside after 7 months on this pill, then they took it off me and made me switch anyway because they said I should of only been on it for 6 months. I don't think I could of coped with another month of my skin being like that though! however a lot of my friends have had success on this pill, and if it would of worked for me I would of fought to stay on it.

I agree that diet/food doesn't cure acne. I mean I definatly think it can help especially in terms of overall health but for me, I've eaten terribly in the past and my diet now is great and either way it hasn't affected my skin.

NO ONE NOTICES OR CARES ABOUT YOUR ACNE HALF AS MUCH AS YOU DO! Ok this is no real comfort when you have acne but trust me on this. Also you can find love and be fancied with acne. I got with my ex when my acne was at it's worst and that's when he fell in love with me, he couldn't have cared less about my acne. We have split up since after 1 year together but I ended the relationship.

This was my favourite part :) Did you ever speak to him about how it made you feel? I am in a new relationship now and I know he knows, but it's like the unspoken thing in our relationship. I don't know whether to bring it up or not because I don't want to bring it up until it's gone...does that make sense?

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Frenchie86, I have just found this forum and I am at the stage now where I really don't want to leave the house. That however is impossible due to normal everyday life!

I am 42 years old and never suffered with bad skin as a teenager but since last Christmas my skin has been awful.....and I mean awful. I've tried diet, no change. I tried Agnus Castrus, no change. The doc put me on Yasmin which was fab but then took me off due to a slightly raised cholesterol. Now I'm on Dianette and into month two. At the moment there is no change and I'm seriously considering a trip back to the doctor to discuss any other options.

When you were starting the Dianette did you see a gradual change over the first 4 months? If anything mine seems to be getting worse!

Im normally such a confident and outgoing person but now I hate even my husband seeing me without cover up on. Any support you can offer would be highly appreciated

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frenchie86so glad you are doing better now! for me diet did nothing either and i tried everything else too i even went to a natural doctor who made a diet plan for me and that was after i had already been eating gluten free for a year. i tried supplements and then i did the no alcohol, no caffeine, no dairy etc diet. it was to the point where i was breaking out in massive cysts and just so depressed after not being able to eat anything good or even have a drink that i went on spiro and thank god i did it saved my life and my skin. it was the only thing that ever cured my 16 year curse with hormonal acne. i can now eat whatever i want (in moderation) and have a some drinks as well whenever i feel like it and i am super clear! so glad that the pill worked out for you and thank you for sharing your story!

Edited by tracy521

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I also followed a very strict diet plan for over six months and my nodular acne never went away.

Diet helps with less severe acne, IMO.

However, I still eat very healthy: I do not drink alcohol or consume dairy, sugar (except all natural organic honey and maple syrup) and very limited gluten. This has helped prevent regular cheek pimples but not chin nodules. :(

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Don't forget that some people can only change their diets so much--- Here in the US, for example, fruits, vegetables, meats and your average perishable "healthy" foods are usually very expensive. I can spend $50 dollars at the grocery store and walk out with one tiny bag. I work at a hospital, and yet make poverty level wages. Any kind of complete overhaul of my diet would cost me half my paycheck. Therefor, not trying new paleo-skin-clearing-mega-diets has more to do with income than laziness.

Many of the posters on this site are probably between the ages of 15-40, and are very unlikely to have a lot of disposable income or time to cherry pick at farmer's markets and spend their waking hours obsessing over their food plans. The teenaged posters have very little control over what foods they have access to, especially if they can't drive and don't have a job. Living here in the US, one needs a car to work.

I would add, though, that I wouldn't be surprised if acne had something to do with environmental toxins (that might attribute to hormonal acne), food allergies, or food additives. My diabetic friend (who, incidentally, grew up in Germany) told me her skin was bad until she had to adhere to a low sugar diet due to her diabetes. She, however, is struggling working at a gas station (long story, her ex husband never filled out her green card paperwork), never gets breaks, and has a hard time eating the way she should for her diabetes. She's not lazy-- she just wants to keep her job.

I suppose it's unfortunate that we prefer a shorter fix, like a pill or lotion, to fix a more complex problem... however, our society/economy/culture makes it impossible to exercise and eat healthy as we should. I exercise nearly every day, and believe me when I say it is a major pain in the butt, and has sucked a lot of money out of me over the years. When someone says they wish they exercise, but couldn't because they don't have the time or can't afford it, I completely understand where they're coming from, and don't judge.

Speaking of hormonal acne-- whenever I've been treated hormonally for acne, it only made my skin worse or made me break-through-bleed. I almost think if anything, by body is overly sensitive to hormones. Whenever I've been tested, even my estrogen, progesterone are low on the scales of normal. When I've tried natural supplements, like Vitex or Evening Primrose Oil-- same reaction. I have hypothyroidism, so it wouldn't shock me if there were another underlying endocrine issue going on.

I'm sick of this skin... I wish I could shed it like a snake and start over.

Edited by JMTM18017

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