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Hi everyone, I could really use your help...

I've suffered from hormonal acne off and on for about 8 years now. The last 18 months constantly. I've tried everything I can think of by now and would love your opinions on what else I could try. I'd prefer keeping it fairly natural and avoid prescription medications though.

Here's a brief hormonal history that might illustrate the problem:

Because of my many problems with the pill, I've been totally off it for 18 months now. I've been on about 5 different brands of birth control pill over 10 years, and every time I developed a problem with one, the doctor would just put me on another brand. I never questioned them until I started bleeding about 21 days out of the month on the last one. I've had a tough time getting a normal cycle back, they're still all over the place, anywhere between 23 and 36 days, with pre-menstrual spotting as well. Acne breakouts are pretty much constant. Btw, I also have autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto's), which probably doesn't help

What I've tried over the past 18 months:

Topical

- Paula's Choice CLEAR skincare set, which from what I understand is similar to the Acne.org Regimen. I've tried the set with 2.5% benzoyl peroxide and 5% after that. Neither worked.

- Paula's Choice beta hydroxy acid lotion and alpha hydroxy acid gel.

- coconut oil

- hemp oil

- several Clinique and Neutrogena moisturizers and cleansers

- honey/yoghurt/avocado face masks

- topical antibiotics

- Most days I don't wear makeup on the trouble areas, to avoid clogging the pores.

Diet

- healthy, with at least a big salad every day, green smoothies, very low sugar, limited alcohol, almost no processed foods, enough fruit, no soft drinks, plenty of fermented (probiotic) foods and almost zero lactose and gluten.

- I got tested for vitamin and mineral deficiencies -both blood and hair mineral tests- a year ago and have supplemented deficiencies for a year now, under guidance of a nutritionist.

- Beside the specific supplements I always take a good multi, fish oil, evening primrose oil and a probiotic.

- I was really hopeful about Vitex (chasteberry) and DIM after seeing how well it works for many other hormonal acne sufferers. I've been on both for several months now without results.

Other

- acupuncture

- prescription antibiotics

- light to moderate exercise

What I haven't tried:

- spironolactone

- accutane

- other prescription drugs

I thought some of this would have done at least something, but no. In fact, over the past year I've developed keratosis pilaris on my cheeks. Adding insult to freakin injury! The KP bumps aren't even that noticeable, but they often get inflamed, making them look like acne. Basically, the bottom half of my face is a hotbed of acne, KP and scars. Looking at friends with crap diets and unhealthy lifestyles and clear, glowing skin really pisses me off sometimes.

Is there anything else I could try beside the hardcore prescription drugs? HELP!

Wendy

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Check this forum & also the Diet forum for suggestions.

If you tried supplements, acupuncture, herbs, etc, you need to stay consistent (provided you know you are on the right track) because you won't get instant results.

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Well, I don't know if I'm on the right track, because nothing so far has ever worked. I've given most of my diet changes and supplements at least 3 months, because I know hormonal changes are slow. When I went for acupuncture and got the herbs they recommended, they said that the one treatment plus the herbal teas would certainly show success. Ehhh...nope nothing nada. And I had such high hopes for the DIM and Vitex, but my cycle and acne are still a mess!

I've been browsing this forum up and down for months looking for tips, many which I tried only to see them fail. It only seems to be getting worse as well. Had a breakout over the past few days that I haven't had for almost a year

The only natural thing I haven't tried is inositol, and I'm kinda scared to, because that'll be the last thing. If that doesn't work, I fear I'm completely screwed.

Normally I'm a lot more positive, but 18 months of zero or worse results has caught up to me and I'm feeling lost.

Still open to any other ideas...?

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Have you tried saw palmetto? Also, I've read some reviews that claim one brand of DIM worked when another had not, maybe you could try another brand? I've had positive results with Vitamin D for KP, plus, many people claim it helps their acne.

Well, I don't know if I'm on the right track, because nothing so far has ever worked. I've given most of my diet changes and supplements at least 3 months, because I know hormonal changes are slow. When I went for acupuncture and got the herbs they recommended, they said that the one treatment plus the herbal teas would certainly show success. Ehhh...nope nothing nada. And I had such high hopes for the DIM and Vitex, but my cycle and acne are still a mess!

I've been browsing this forum up and down for months looking for tips, many which I tried only to see them fail. It only seems to be getting worse as well. Had a breakout over the past few days that I haven't had for almost a year

The only natural thing I haven't tried is inositol, and I'm kinda scared to, because that'll be the last thing. If that doesn't work, I fear I'm completely screwed.

Normally I'm a lot more positive, but 18 months of zero or worse results has caught up to me and I'm feeling lost.

Still open to any other ideas...?

Edited by brenmc

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