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Let me start by telling you that I am a full time college student and a part-time EMT who has suffered VERY oily skin and is no stranger to Accutane. I took isotretinoin for 5 years—some of it was supervised by a physician, some of it wasn’t—not that I need to get into that right now. I have been off of Accutane since September 2013 and I wont ever be going back—also a conversation for another time.

SO, I have been experimenting with different supplements, vitamins and lifestyle changes for my oily skin issues since quitting iso. I thought I should document for those who are interested :)

Here are some of the things I have tried (despite how weird some are and may not have been successful):

  • Isotretinoin (Accutane) — The cure, basically
  • Birth Control (YAZ) — I have been on it since Accutane so I have no real data but I know it can control hormones and hormones seem to be the ultimate culprit of the oily skin issue, which is the root of my acne.
  • Zinc — Needs further experimentation
  • Water (Excessive amounts) — definitely helps clarity but too many bathroom trips!
  • Vitamin D — dried the parts of my skin from neck and below and also gave me a new found skin issue; HORRENDOUS ECZEMA, thanks a lot Vitamin D, the D must stand for DICK!
  • Evening Primrose Oil — A very intriguing plant seed oil, skin looks FANTASTIC (less oil and clears up—for about a week or so) then all hell breaks loose on my face…. This one is still in progress

I am a big believer (in my particular case) that hormones are the main issue here. In order for me to get rid of my oily skin AND my minor acne issues, I need to better regulate the hormones. I think I might have too many androgens floating around in here!

I have read that EPO (Evening Primrose Oil), Borage Oil, Saw Palmetto, Milk Thistle, Flaxseed Oil, Spironolactone, etc. (let me know if I forgot any) are great anti-androgens… I must say I haven’t done super extensive research because I am a Bio major and that keeps me busy! BUT, I think GLA (Gamma Linoleic Acid) is the primary ingredient in a few of those, that helps to keep hormones in check!

I’m going to document my progress, feel free to give me some suggestions!


Day 3 Evening Primrose Oil -- 3 x 1300mg EPO (117mg GLA per capsule):

Not sure why I'm really documenting this.. I'm almost out of the EPO and I'm going to start using borage oil 300mg GLA per capsule instead. It has more GLA so I thought I'd make the switch.

- as far as pimples go, I have maybe 4 actives and a couple that are red marks but healed

- skin is not much less oily than I have experienced in the past but I do feel like the anti-inflammatory properties of the GLA are still working

I can always tell when my skin is significantly less oily... my lips start burning and they feel dry and I have an incessant need for chapstick--kind of similar to the dryness experienced while on Accutane

I hope the borage oil has a better effect on my skin.

I swear one day when I am finished with PA school and my masters, I am going to conduct research with other physicians to find a "cure" for oily skin and acne! Why not?

Keeping track of oiliness so you can see

post-108434-0-98909800-1427176580.jpg

Edited by kimberlyannEMT

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Day 5 Evening Primrose Oil -- 3 x 1300mg EPO (117mg GLA per capsule):

I forgot to mention that really, this isn't my "5th" day.. I have been taking EPO since around November '14, I have only recently upped the dose to what it is now.

Anyways...

- today was pretty bad! skin was oily in my t-zone.. more than normal

- still feel as if the anti-inflammatory properties are working fairly well; I have no real inflammed spots but still have about 4-6 at the moment that are technically active

- random but: even though EPO is supposed to be anti-androgen, I feel like I have been experiencing twice as many stray hairs on my face--which I'm not a stranger to... they are little random course single hairs that pop up sometimes on my face and I have to pluck them to rid them--usually show up on chin area but are not limited to the lower parts of my cheek. I feel like this is a major indicator that I have high androgen levels, I have like random facial hairs that pop up sometimes.. Ugh

I am almost out of the EPO and going to be pretty much done with it soon, I'll then start trying borage oil, which has a higher concentration of GLA so fingers crossed that one works out!

this is how the oil is today

post-108434-0-07577100-1427178137.jpg

Edited by kimberlyannEMT

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This will be pretty brief since I'm on my phone.. Ok so it is Day 9 and I switched to borage oil (2 x 300mg GLA) maybe 2 days ago?

- I definitely noticed a difference today in oil production

- I have some pretty rough hormonal acne going on around my mouth/chin area though right now. Lots of inflammation--I thought GLA was anti-inflammatory.. Urgh

I swear to you this is after 12 hours with my usual makeup on.. Barely anything

post-108434-0-29790800-1427173132.jpg

Since taking EPO in November I have noticed more chest type of acne/oiliness :/ & it seems to have not really improved Until next time..

Edited by kimberlyannEMT

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No, I haven't tried Spiro. But I am looking into it more as of recently.. what sorts of negative side effects were you experiencing & how well did it control your oil? As well as say Accutane maybe (if you've been on it)?

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Side effects I got from spiro included severe hair loss, extreme fatigue, and dry mouth. Most people don't seem to have nearly as many side effects as I got, though. If it wasn't for the side effects, I'd still be taking it.

In my experience, accutane causes a severe halt in oil production. I'd say spiro is the second best thing to accutane for halting oil production. When I was taking it I no longer had to blot my skin during the day, and I didn't really feel oily. Accutane gives me dry skin and spiro gives me normal skin.

There are other anti-androgens as well including cyproterone acetate, chlormadinone acetate, flutamide, and bicalutamide. I'm considering these now (mostly bicalutamide) because after a round of accutane (and now another) my acne does not seem to be staying away. I'd consider spiro before these options, though, because it is generally considered the safest.

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Side effects I got from spiro included severe hair loss, extreme fatigue, and dry mouth. Most people don't seem to have nearly as many side effects as I got, though. If it wasn't for the side effects, I'd still be taking it.

In my experience, accutane causes a severe halt in oil production. I'd say spiro is the second best thing to accutane for halting oil production. When I was taking it I no longer had to blot my skin during the day, and I didn't really feel oily. Accutane gives me dry skin and spiro gives me normal skin.

There are other anti-androgens as well including cyproterone acetate, chlormadinone acetate, flutamide, and bicalutamide. I'm considering these now (mostly bicalutamide) because after a round of accutane (and now another) my acne does not seem to be staying away. I'd consider spiro before these options, though, because it is generally considered the safest.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I swear I saw spironolactone on the market for treatment of male pattern baldness or just hair loss in general--That's so strange that you actually experienced hair loss. I'm sorry that you experienced all those side effects.. what a bummer! :(

I have actually never heard of any of those anti-androgens! Thanks for informing me.

That's funny that you say that Accutane gave you really dry skin and spiro gave you normal skin.. Accutane for me gave me normal skin (my skin must have seriously been that oily).

Do you know anything about borage oil & its effect on oil/acne? I kinda hate to do the whole supplement thing because I know that any prescription drug will be more potent and effective, but I had no other way at the time because Accutane was no longer an option.

Thanks again, you've been so helpful :)

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Day 10 Borage Oil -- 2 x 300mg GLA

- skin felt oilier than yesterday and I checked when I got home (I always blot after approximately 12 hours after washing my face and applying makeup--sorry no pic today but looks like day 5) and sure enough it was MUCH more oil than yesterday.. ugh.. maybe this is not reality but in my experience, usually when thing start getting better, they keep getting better or at least plateau.. NOT get worse again.. then better then worse then better... etc. URGH!

typical line graph depicting my "progress"

post-108434-0-99822000-1427179701.jpg

- acne is somewhat less inflammed today.. but it's still there

- the brand/type of borage oil I'm using is Solgar Super GLA 300mg

Edited by kimberlyannEMT

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Side effects I got from spiro included severe hair loss, extreme fatigue, and dry mouth. Most people don't seem to have nearly as many side effects as I got, though. If it wasn't for the side effects, I'd still be taking it.

In my experience, accutane causes a severe halt in oil production. I'd say spiro is the second best thing to accutane for halting oil production. When I was taking it I no longer had to blot my skin during the day, and I didn't really feel oily. Accutane gives me dry skin and spiro gives me normal skin.

There are other anti-androgens as well including cyproterone acetate, chlormadinone acetate, flutamide, and bicalutamide. I'm considering these now (mostly bicalutamide) because after a round of accutane (and now another) my acne does not seem to be staying away. I'd consider spiro before these options, though, because it is generally considered the safest.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I swear I saw spironolactone on the market for treatment of male pattern baldness or just hair loss in general--That's so strange that you actually experienced hair loss. I'm sorry that you experienced all those side effects.. what a bummer! :(

I have actually never heard of any of those anti-androgens! Thanks for informing me.

That's funny that you say that Accutane gave you really dry skin and spiro gave you normal skin.. Accutane for me gave me normal skin (my skin must have seriously been that oily).

Do you know anything about borage oil & its effect on oil/acne? I kinda hate to do the whole supplement thing because I know that any prescription drug will be more potent and effective, but I had no other way at the time because Accutane was no longer an option.

Thanks again, you've been so helpful :)

Spiro is usually used to treat hair loss! It's so weird that it causes it for me, but it does. I've tried it several times and have experienced the same results (I lose about 1/3 of my hair or more).

I actually think the dryness of my skin on accutane may be dependent on what brand I'm using. I was using zenatane and my skin was cracking, but still somewhat oily. Now I'm using amnesteem and I still have the slightest bit of oil on my nose. This is my second course and I'm not sure why my oil isn't gone yet. I don't remember having any oil at this point in my first course.

I've never tried borage oil. I sort of gave up on ingesting oil supplements after I had such a bad reaction to fish oil supplements.

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