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

Even If There's A Cure... Being Dependent On Pills Is Emotionally Unsettling

Recommended Posts

I've been dealing with bad breakouts for a year or so now, and have mixed results and am more lost than ever. I'm trying spiro next month, but even if that happens to be my miracle cure, then for how long? birth control seems to have stopped working as well. before i know it spiro might too. It's so much emotional weight to know that even if I find that cure I'm looking for, I'm probably stuck with it and have to take it for the rest of my life just to look normal, not to mention one day might life might just turn upside down again like it happened a year ago and who knows if I'm ever going to get better, whatever I do. Does anyone else feel kind of insecure about future skin wise knowing you're dependent on birth control/spiro/supplements to not have a catastrophe on your face?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes! :(

I'm in a bad place with my skin right now though, so I just want something to work!

From what I've read on this forum, going down to a maintenance dose helps reduce resistance to certain medications and the risk of new hormonal imbalances. Not to mention our hormones are always changing, so new treatments need to be considered.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have come to realize that without my trusty Diane (BCP) my face is a mess. However, contrary to feeling trapped or dependent, I am incredibly thankful that I can just take a tiny pill everyday and be fine. Most people with chronic illnesses don't have it this easy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been taking spironolactone for 14 months or so. For me it has been a life saver. I understand the frustration of relying on a medication to achieve clear skin. It was frustrating for me as well. I went from antibiotic to antibiotic for three years, which wrecked havoc on my body. Then I went from topical to topical which never achieved a thing. Finally I was put on Accutane, cleared me up like a charm. Low and behold 4 months after finishing my 8 month course, I started to break out again. This time I decided I was going to try and approach it from a hormonal level. Once getting prescribed spiro, I cleared up fairly quickly. Within a month and a half. Bare in mind I was just on Accutane and didn't allow much acne to accumulate on my face before I went running to my OBGYN. Results aren't usually that fast.

Once I was on spiro though and it was keeping me clear, I was able to put my mind at rest. Taking that pill every morning doesn't make me feel bad. I just remind myself that I am taking a medication that makes me feel comfortable in my skin. To me that's enough to make me feel comfortable. Just like vitamin C makes me feel better when I have a cold, spiro makes me feel better because I have acne without it.

Also if spiro does make your acne clear out, there's more to look into then. If spiro works, then it's your hormonal level that needs to be worked out. Testing can go into that and you can find answers. Also your body's hormonal levels may just need some time to level out. In the mean time you can hopefully rely on the spiro.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes!

I'm in a bad place with my skin right now though, so I just want something to work!

From what I've read on this forum, going down to a maintenance dose helps reduce resistance to certain medications and the risk of new hormonal imbalances. Not to mention our hormones are always changing, so new treatments need to be considered.

I feel the same way.. and now that birth control is hardly working (i don't know if my natural state is better or worse than this anymore), I feel so unsure about everything. My body in my 20's seems to now be reacting completely different to the same thing than it did when i was in my teens. The state of my skin is also causing flashbacks of the dreaded middle school years where i always felt horrible about myself due to my skin, and people would stick "kick me" notes on my back, openly call me ugly, and those that didn't say it pretty much obviously thought it. I was kind of hoping to grow out of it. For it to go away for a while and then get worse than ever before now, and become more stubborn, is devastating to say the least.

I have come to realize that without my trusty Diane (BCP) my face is a mess. However, contrary to feeling trapped or dependent, I am incredibly thankful that I can just take a tiny pill everyday and be fine. Most people with chronic illnesses don't have it this easy.

I have been taking spironolactone for 14 months or so. For me it has been a life saver. I understand the frustration of relying on a medication to achieve clear skin. It was frustrating for me as well. I went from antibiotic to antibiotic for three years, which wrecked havoc on my body. Then I went from topical to topical which never achieved a thing. Finally I was put on Accutane, cleared me up like a charm. Low and behold 4 months after finishing my 8 month course, I started to break out again. This time I decided I was going to try and approach it from a hormonal level. Once getting prescribed spiro, I cleared up fairly quickly. Within a month and a half. Bare in mind I was just on Accutane and didn't allow much acne to accumulate on my face before I went running to my OBGYN. Results aren't usually that fast.

Once I was on spiro though and it was keeping me clear, I was able to put my mind at rest. Taking that pill every morning doesn't make me feel bad. I just remind myself that I am taking a medication that makes me feel comfortable in my skin. To me that's enough to make me feel comfortable. Just like vitamin C makes me feel better when I have a cold, spiro makes me feel better because I have acne without it.

Also if spiro does make your acne clear out, there's more to look into then. If spiro works, then it's your hormonal level that needs to be worked out. Testing can go into that and you can find answers. Also your body's hormonal levels may just need some time to level out. In the mean time you can hopefully rely on the spiro.

Those are good points. Another thing that keeps me anxious is that I don't know anymore if it suddenly stops working, or something happens that forces my hormones completely out of balance, like what happened a year ago. With this rollercoaster I've been on physically and emotionally, you just never know what it has in store for you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was anxious like you before I started spiro. I remember sitting there with the bottle in my hand nervous to take the first one. The derm had told me it would be a long term (pretty much for life) solution and that freaked me out. I had severe cystic acne on my face and all over my back since puberty and thought it was my only option.

Of course I quit spiro after 2 years because of the side effects (even though it worked), but I realized something later... things don't have to be that cut and dry. What it comes down to is hormonal acne is caused by a hormonal imbalance. It could be something genetic or it could be caused by something you did to your body in the past (e.g. take birth control pills.) Is the only solution to take a pill prescribed by your dermatologist for years on end? No. It is one solution but there are a lot of other options, too.

I did end up taking a pill (DIM) to get my hormones back on track but I also made other changes in my life to support hormonal health. This includes healthy diet, proper vitamin and mineral intake, lowering stress levels, having a positive attitude, etc. Even something as simple as using certain kinds of plastic or nonstick pots and pans can have a negative impact on your hormones (luckily I love cast iron, haha!). After I was clear, I slowly weaned off of DIM and my skin is still doing great. Before making all of those changes in my mind and in my life, I didn't think that it was possible.

I know that acne can be hard to deal with, I really do. That doesn't mean it has to take over your life, though. You can still be happy — in fact it will help to be. I might get some replies to this post saying something like "great, it worked for you but that doesn't mean it will for me." but why does it need to be that way? I see tons of posts here that are saying how upset, anxious, etc etc they are about their skin but I rarely see hopeful, positive posts saying and believing that something WILL work. If you try something and it doesn't end up being the solution for you, instead of giving up hope you can look at it like you are just on your journey to what will work perfectly and you have learned more from the experience. I think the same applies to not wanting to rely on a pill forever.

Edited by hearts
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was anxious like you before I started spiro. I remember sitting there with the bottle in my hand nervous to take the first one. The derm had told me it would be a long term (pretty much for life) solution and that freaked me out. I had severe cystic acne on my face and all over my back since puberty and thought it was my only option.

Of course I quit spiro after 2 years because of the side effects (even though it worked), but I realized something later... things don't have to be that cut and dry. What it comes down to is hormonal acne is caused by a hormonal imbalance. It could be something genetic or it could be caused by something you did to your body in the past (e.g. take birth control pills.) Is the only solution to take a pill prescribed by your dermatologist for years on end? No. It is one solution but there are a lot of other options, too.

I did end up taking a pill (DIM) to get my hormones back on track but I also made other changes in my life to support hormonal health. This includes healthy diet, proper vitamin and mineral intake, lowering stress levels, having a positive attitude, etc. Even something as simple as using certain kinds of plastic or nonstick pots and pans can have a negative impact on your hormones (luckily I love cast iron, haha!). After I was clear, I slowly weaned off of DIM and my skin is still doing great. Before making all of those changes in my mind and in my life, I didn't think that it was possible.

I know that acne can be hard to deal with, I really do. That doesn't mean it has to take over your life, though. You can still be happy — in fact it will help to be. I might get some replies to this post saying something like "great, it worked for you but that doesn't mean it will for me." but why does it need to be that way? I see tons of posts here that are saying how upset, anxious, etc etc they are about their skin but I rarely see hopeful, positive posts saying and believing that something WILL work. If you try something and it doesn't end up being the solution for you, instead of giving up hope you can look at it like you are just on your journey to what will work perfectly and you have learned more from the experience. I think the same applies to not wanting to rely on a pill forever.

Hey! I'm glad to hear you've found something that works, that's really inspiring. Right now I'm thinking I'll stop my scar treatment and see if it's the thing that's been breaking me out. I did notice I have tiny pimples on the bridge of my nose pretty much non stop, so since i put that stuff all over my face, I'm wondering if it's been the culprit, or at least part of it, the whole time. I do get what you mean... though it's discouraging to try something without success, it's an experience that might get you closer to the real answer. I think I might still try Spiro. Maybe I'll start with 25mg to minimize initial breakout.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes it sucks. I don't mind taking a pill every day but I did want another child, and cannot have one while on the medication. Do you guys plan on not having kids? Or just going off the meds when you do?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It can be debilitating to think that we will have to be on something for the rest of our lives but for me, if something worked, i would take it as long as i could (topical, diet and/or pills). Acne has messed with my head and if i could banish it for a while, i would. I find that as i get older, I am more afraid of starting new things but i realize that if i don't try things, i won't know if they work or not.

I'm glad to hear that you're giving spiro a shot. It may work for you, it may not but you won't know until you try. Also try not to think about the future, one step at a time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes it sucks. I don't mind taking a pill every day but I did want another child, and cannot have one while on the medication. Do you guys plan on not having kids? Or just going off the meds when you do?

I plan on trying to conceive. Once I do, I will stop taking the spiro. OBGYN says that's safe because spiro has such a short life span.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read a healthy eating book once a loooong time ago. I have no idea who wrote it or even what the title was. But one bit went something like (paraphrasing):

Every piece of food is a drug. Every time you eat you are choosing what cascade of bodily functions you set off. Hormones, neurotransmitters, physiological responses. "Drug reactions" if you will. Every time you eat you are just drugging yourself up, so choose your drugs wisely!

For some reason that really stuck with me. If you take that idea too far you can become a little extreme in your eating habits (like all the #cleaneating or #rawfoodies on instagram). But concerning acne, it helps me to remember that I am taking drugs every day, like clockwork! The drugs grown in nature just come in prettier packages than the little white pills.

It also helps that I really do believe that there is a genetic component of acne. Something in our DNA. Just the same way I need glasses like my mom and her mom because we were all born with poor vision genes. There are actually exercises you can do that can (very slightly) improve your vision. But I simply cannot have normal clear 20/20 sight even if I life the perfect lifestyle--my genes aren't coded that way. I need help from modern inventions to see.

After years of dealing with acne I honestly think my skin is the same as my vision. It's genetically flawed. Even with spiro + a great healthy lifestyle, my skin is not "normal." My skin isn't exfoliating right or my sebum is the wrong texture or something. Spiro took care of the cysts and the big zits. But I still have to do a lot of extra work just to have "smooth" skin without tons of little grainy sebum plugs sticking in my pores and rotting there. Right now I'm doing a WEEKLY 20% salicylic acid peel and sometimes a 50% lactic acid peel on top of that. It's a pain. But it temporarily gives me skin that feels healthy and looks more "normal".

I also like the quote about "time will pass anyway." Whether you have clear skin or not, time will pass anyway. Might as well be clear for a while, even if it doesn't last forever.

Edited by Green Gables
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read a healthy eating book once a loooong time ago. I have no idea who wrote it or even what the title was. But one bit went something like (paraphrasing):

Every piece of food is a drug. Every time you eat you are choosing what cascade of bodily functions you set off. Hormones, neurotransmitters, physiological responses. "Drug reactions" if you will. Every time you eat you are just drugging yourself up, so choose your drugs wisely!

For some reason that really stuck with me. If you take that idea too far you can become a little extreme in your eating habits (like all the #cleaneating or #rawfoodies on instagram). But concerning acne, it helps me to remember that I am taking drugs every day, like clockwork! The drugs grown in nature just come in prettier packages than the little white pills.

It also helps that I really do believe that there is a genetic component of acne. Something in our DNA. Just the same way I need glasses like my mom and her mom because we were all born with poor vision genes. There are actually exercises you can do that can (very slightly) improve your vision. But I simply cannot have normal clear 20/20 sight even if I life the perfect lifestyle--my genes aren't coded that way. I need help from modern inventions to see.

After years of dealing with acne I honestly think my skin is the same as my vision. It's genetically flawed. Even with spiro + a great healthy lifestyle, my skin is not "normal." My skin isn't exfoliating right or my sebum is the wrong texture or something. Spiro took care of the cysts and the big zits. But I still have to do a lot of extra work just to have "smooth" skin without tons of little grainy sebum plugs sticking in my pores and rotting there. Right now I'm doing a WEEKLY 20% salicylic acid peel and sometimes a 50% lactic acid peel on top of that. It's a pain. But it temporarily gives me skin that feels healthy and looks more "normal".

I also like the quote about "time will pass anyway." Whether you have clear skin or not, time will pass anyway. Might as well be clear for a while, even if it doesn't last forever.

I agree with acne being genetic, or a big part of it. My skin's texture is also weird and not like everyone else's. The naturally enlarged pores and the way it needs exfoliation to be smooth the way normal skin is without any help, I know it's just the way it is. We're genetically bound more so than we realize. Just like it probably takes me less work than other people to maintain a healthy weight, because it runs in family. Acne is the same way for me, it runs in family. I have noticed no influence from diet so far, though it makes sense to try and eat healthier regardless just for the overall wellness. Ofc I've known people on drugs and alcohol with perfect porcelain skin. We can only do so much to fix our skin. The limit set for us by our genetics is probably going to be lower than that for other people.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The drugs didn't work forever on my skin. If they did, I'd have no problem continuing taking them into the grave, to hell with the consequences on other parts of my body.

I'm currently of the mindset that holistic therapy and regular, gentle peeling are the best approach. It's a pain in the ass, it's time consuming and insurance doesn't cover it. On the other hand, it's preventative - and there are diseased worse than acne to have, though you don't know til you get the diagnosis.

BCP is especially evil when it goes wrong. I'd rather not have blood clots and debilitating strokes. Spirano has even been linked to breast cancer with long term use, and has been linnked to increased cortisol (causes acne.) Antibiotics mess up your good bacteria, which can make you acne-prone.

Edited by Turn0ver
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was in your place when i had the worse breakout of my life. My derm prescribed my spiro and told me if that didn't work, the only thing that would help me if accutane. I did a lot of research, i mean a lot before i even thought about accutane. It was like a life or death decision....well not that dramatic, but i really did not want to sacrifice my health. I eventually came across a video which made me change my mind to never touch accutane. Since i am prone to mental illnesses, i think i might have committed suicide. I ended up not taking spiro because the thought of having to take medication for the rest of my life made me really depressed. I made some lifestyle changes and stayed stress free and eventually it went away. I had hormonal acne, so it took a bit to recover. Have you consider changing up your lifestyle?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was in your place when i had the worse breakout of my life. My derm prescribed my spiro and told me if that didn't work, the only thing that would help me if accutane. I did a lot of research, i mean a lot before i even thought about accutane. It was like a life or death decision....well not that dramatic, but i really did not want to sacrifice my health. I eventually came across a video which made me change my mind to never touch accutane. Since i am prone to mental illnesses, i think i might have committed suicide. I ended up not taking spiro because the thought of having to take medication for the rest of my life made me really depressed. I made some lifestyle changes and stayed stress free and eventually it went away. I had hormonal acne, so it took a bit to recover. Have you consider changing up your lifestyle?

I don't know if it has anything to do with lifestyle in my case. I've cut out sweets and soda completely before and had 0% difference, exercising doesn't seem to change anything either. What did you change?

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


×