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I am writing this post because I have been consistently confused over the years that there seems to be so little mention of L-Lysine as an acne treatment both on acne.org and elsewhere on the internet.

L-Lysine ABSOLUTELY treats acne.

I'm a 27 year old woman who has been dealing with moderate to severe acne (all over the spectrum) since I was about 14.

I started taking L-Lysine about 4 years ago when I was taking a medication that decreased collagen levels. It caused wounds and bruises to heal very slowly and my skin began to look very worn out and damaged. I read on a message board about that particular medication that L-Lysine helped collagen production and improved healing time for wounds so I picked up a bottle. It was incredibly cheap and seemed to help my skin right away. What I didn't anticipate was how drastically it would help my skin on every level--including healing my acne. It worked so well that I just stopped taking it after a while and forgot about it for a few years--after which, of course, my acne returned to it's normal, hellish state.

A couple of months ago, after an extremely frustrating period of breakouts, where it literally seemed like every pore on my face, jaw, and chest were occupied by either cysts, blackheads, whiteheads, or peeling skin, I began to experiment with every natural/DIY remedy I could get my hands on. Nothing seemed to work at all with the exception of calamine lotion. But I still wasn't able to fully clear and shrink my clogged pores. I remembered how well L-Lysine worked for me in the past and picked up a bottle. It worked as well as it did the first time, and encouraged me to change my treatment strategy from one that was mostly topical to one that is now mostly internal, via supplements--and it's really made all the difference in the world.
I take L-Lysine orally every day without fail--between 1,500mg-4,000mg depending on how much my skin needs it. The pills are big but I don't have a problem with them because I'm pretty good with pills, and, you know, I'd probably swallow a shoe every morning if I knew it would help keep me clear ;)

I also occasionally will dip a pill in water and hold it over a zit I've just popped that is very inflamed or just rub the moistened pill all over my face and wear it as a mask for about 30 minutes before washing it off. Sometimes I even crush up a few pills and add it to my epsom and sea salt bath along with a couple of crushed up vitamin c pills. I dunk my head under the water and let my whole body soak in it. It also clears up ingrown hairs, body acne, scars, bruises, rough patches, peeling lips, etc. It kind of just photoshops all of your skin little by little. It's pretty amazing.

In addition to the L-Lysine, I've also added to my regimen some powerful antioxidants to reduce inflammation including ALA, NAC, CoQ10, Green Tea Extract, Vitamin C and E, as well as Magnesium Citrate, and a good B-Complex (it's not good to take B vitamins in isolation as they work in synchronicity with each other).
Topically, it really doesn't matter what cleanser I use, so I just use whatever organic gentle soap I happen to have on hand and fresh aloe vera as a moisturizer. Occasionally I will swish my whole face with epsom salt toner before bed. I use a natural 10% sulfur ointment as a spot treatment in addition to the moistened Lysine pill. For masks, I stick with either activated charcoal powder and water or calamine lotion.

It's been about 3 months and my skin just continues to improve every day. Dude, L-Lysine: just try it!

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Posted

i took your advice and bought a bottle last night. it was rather embarassing buying it because it says right on the bottle "reduces the reccurrence of herpes simplex virus" . why cant it just say that on the back in small letters??? hopefully i have luck with it.

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HA! Yikes. Yeah, that is its most common use. I actually got the tip about crushing up the pill with water and applying the paste topically from a cold sore forum.

I really hope you have as much luck with it as I have. I'm pretty happy it's as cheap as it is because I gobble it down pretty fast. I accidentally bought the 500mg pills instead of the 1,000mg ones though recently and really regret it. Even though they're less monstrous in size, I feel like I have to swallow a handful of them a day to get my full dosage.

I've been thinking about mixing up some of the crushed up pill with my 10% sulfur ointment to use as a mask since I just got a nasty little mini-breakout from an experiment with Biotin (BIG MISTAKE).

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so, ive been taking it since sunday and actually havent had any new breakouts since i started taking it. i think it may be working!!!! all i have on my face is old red marks and some old stubborn clogged pores but no new pimples. amazing! how does it work? do you have to keep taking it forever or just a few months and it balances something out?

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Posted (edited)

Whoop! I knew it would. Lysine is the bomb.

I take it every day because it plays a crucial role in collagen formation and tissue repair. L-Lysine does the opposite of what Arginine (which is a major acne trigger for most) does for your skin.

I am on a string of other supplements that I am counting on to do the balancing out. But I use lysine to speed up the healing process. It's cleared up my rolling scars really nicely and completely knocked out stubborn redness. It's the ONLY thing I've found other than sulfur ointment that clears blackheads. Healing time for popped zits (as far as inflammation goes) is down to a few hours, and the the scabs rub off clean after a day. I've also noticed it's smoothed out the little frown line between my eyebrows and made my hands look younger, which is nice. And another bonus was it cleared up all the little stubborn ingrown hairs and red dots on my thighs from shaving.

I plan to keep taking it until I'm no longer getting any new breakouts. After that, I'll probably just use it topically or orally if I DO have a breakout---maybe around the time I get my period as well, just to be safe. Aside from just my face, I love what it's doing for the skin all over my body, and since it's so cheap, I have no problem taking it regularly for a while.

I think the only danger of taking it long term is if you have Hepatitis C or an otherwise severely compromised liver. If you're worried, you can take some Milk Thistle occasionally to protect your liver (which, coincidentally, is also great for acne). Some studies have shown long-term use of Lysine could deplete B6 in some, but I'm not worried because I take a B-Complex anyway. Other than than that, I really haven't found any problems with long-term use.

If you want a major boost for the inflammation on your skin, consider adding Magnesium Citrate. I take it every other night because it makes me sleepy (and also sleep like a baby, thank god). If I honestly had to choose just three things out of every thing I put on/in my body for my acne, it would be L-Lysine, Magnesium Citrate, and Sulfur ointment. The three of those combined is what took me from Pizza Bagel Face to Pretty Damn Good in a month's time.

Thanks for posting your progress. I hope it keeps working for you!

Edited by SkinDeeply

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Posted

I am writing this post because I have been consistently confused over the years that there seems to be so little mention of L-Lysine as an acne treatment both on acne.org and elsewhere on the internet.

L-Lysine ABSOLUTELY treats acne.

I'm a 27 year old woman who has been dealing with moderate to severe acne (all over the spectrum) since I was about 14.

I started taking L-Lysine about 4 years ago when I was taking a medication that decreased collagen levels. It caused wounds and bruises to heal very slowly and my skin began to look very worn out and damaged. I read on a message board about that particular medication that L-Lysine helped collagen production and improved healing time for wounds so I picked up a bottle. It was incredibly cheap and seemed to help my skin right away. What I didn't anticipate was how drastically it would help my skin on every level--including healing my acne. It worked so well that I just stopped taking it after a while and forgot about it for a few years--after which, of course, my acne returned to it's normal, hellish state.

A couple of months ago, after an extremely frustrating period of breakouts, where it literally seemed like every pore on my face, jaw, and chest were occupied by either cysts, blackheads, whiteheads, or peeling skin, I began to experiment with every natural/DIY remedy I could get my hands on. Nothing seemed to work at all with the exception of calamine lotion. But I still wasn't able to fully clear and shrink my clogged pores. I remembered how well L-Lysine worked for me in the past and picked up a bottle. It worked as well as it did the first time, and encouraged me to change my treatment strategy from one that was mostly topical to one that is now mostly internal, via supplements--and it's really made all the difference in the world.

I take L-Lysine orally every day without fail--between 1,500mg-4,000mg depending on how much my skin needs it. The pills are big but I don't have a problem with them because I'm pretty good with pills, and, you know, I'd probably swallow a shoe every morning if I knew it would help keep me clear ;)

I also occasionally will dip a pill in water and hold it over a zit I've just popped that is very inflamed or just rub the moistened pill all over my face and wear it as a mask for about 30 minutes before washing it off. Sometimes I even crush up a few pills and add it to my epsom and sea salt bath along with a couple of crushed up vitamin c pills. I dunk my head under the water and let my whole body soak in it. It also clears up ingrown hairs, body acne, scars, bruises, rough patches, peeling lips, etc. It kind of just photoshops all of your skin little by little. It's pretty amazing.

In addition to the L-Lysine, I've also added to my regimen some powerful antioxidants to reduce inflammation including ALA, NAC, CoQ10, Green Tea Extract, Vitamin C and E, as well as Magnesium Citrate, and a good B-Complex (it's not good to take B vitamins in isolation as they work in synchronicity with each other).

Topically, it really doesn't matter what cleanser I use, so I just use whatever organic gentle soap I happen to have on hand and fresh aloe vera as a moisturizer. Occasionally I will swish my whole face with epsom salt toner before bed. I use a natural 10% sulfur ointment as a spot treatment in addition to the moistened Lysine pill. For masks, I stick with either activated charcoal powder and water or calamine lotion.

It's been about 3 months and my skin just continues to improve every day. Dude, L-Lysine: just try it!

What specific L-lysine do you buy? I brought some a couple weeks ago and have actually had a couple of breakouts. However could be down to other factors

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Can I ask where you found this claim? Or perhaps do you have anything to support it?

L-Lysine does the opposite of what Arginine (which is a major acne trigger for most) does for your skin.

Frankly, L-Arginine is just as much of a mediator to collagen synthesis as L-lysine. They both greatly improve the regenerative process associated with healing.

In addition to the L-Lysine, I've also added to my regimen some powerful antioxidants to reduce inflammation including ALA, NAC, CoQ10, Green Tea Extract, Vitamin C and E, as well as Magnesium Citrate, and a good B-Complex (it's not good to take B vitamins in isolation as they work in synchronicity with each other).

Were these introduced later on after the initial success with L-lysine or was the lysine introduced later on?

The regimen you described has notable vitamins that are regarded as extremely effective acne-away little compounds. I am overwhelmingly thrilled that someone in this world finally realized the synergistic benefit to actually taking all the vitamins in the B-Complex and not just using one single entity in some illogical supraphysiological dosage that is unwarranted in humans.

I'm very interested in your positive experience with L-lysine because I honestly can't find any information supporting its effectiveness as an acne treatment, nor can I find viable information about L-arginine causing an acne outbreak..

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Posted (edited)

Can I ask where you found this claim? Or perhaps do you have anything to support it?

L-Lysine does the opposite of what Arginine (which is a major acne trigger for most) does for your skin.

Frankly, L-Arginine is just as much of a mediator to collagen synthesis as L-lysine. They both greatly improve the regenerative process associated with healing.

Any supplements that support testosterone production are precursors to androgen (DHEA, L-Carnitine, L-Arginine and Maca, etc.) L-Lysine augments the amino acid L-Arginine to diminish these effects. I have found sticking with a 1:3 or 1:4 ratio of Arginine to Lysine in my diet helps reduce the effects of the Arginine. It's also awful to have in excess if your immune system is compromised by any kind of viral or bacterial infection. It feeds any kind of viral or bacterial sore, cyst or rash.

For the same reason, I have to be careful of my intake of Zinc. Just a little bit more than my body needs and androgen is out of whack. This is the reason why Spironolactone will help temporarily with hormonal acne.

I have been using myself as a guinea pig with amino acid therapies and vitamin/mineral supplementation for the last five years. One of my most basic findings is that anything that supports erectile function, sex drive, and muscle building in men causes breakouts in those who have hormone-sensitive acne.

Edited by SkinDeeply

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Posted (edited)

I am writing this post because I have been consistently confused over the years that there seems to be so little mention of L-Lysine as an acne treatment both on acne.org and elsewhere on the internet.

L-Lysine ABSOLUTELY treats acne.

I'm a 27 year old woman who has been dealing with moderate to severe acne (all over the spectrum) since I was about 14.

I started taking L-Lysine about 4 years ago when I was taking a medication that decreased collagen levels. It caused wounds and bruises to heal very slowly and my skin began to look very worn out and damaged. I read on a message board about that particular medication that L-Lysine helped collagen production and improved healing time for wounds so I picked up a bottle. It was incredibly cheap and seemed to help my skin right away. What I didn't anticipate was how drastically it would help my skin on every level--including healing my acne. It worked so well that I just stopped taking it after a while and forgot about it for a few years--after which, of course, my acne returned to it's normal, hellish state.

A couple of months ago, after an extremely frustrating period of breakouts, where it literally seemed like every pore on my face, jaw, and chest were occupied by either cysts, blackheads, whiteheads, or peeling skin, I began to experiment with every natural/DIY remedy I could get my hands on. Nothing seemed to work at all with the exception of calamine lotion. But I still wasn't able to fully clear and shrink my clogged pores. I remembered how well L-Lysine worked for me in the past and picked up a bottle. It worked as well as it did the first time, and encouraged me to change my treatment strategy from one that was mostly topical to one that is now mostly internal, via supplements--and it's really made all the difference in the world.

I take L-Lysine orally every day without fail--between 1,500mg-4,000mg depending on how much my skin needs it. The pills are big but I don't have a problem with them because I'm pretty good with pills, and, you know, I'd probably swallow a shoe every morning if I knew it would help keep me clear ;)

I also occasionally will dip a pill in water and hold it over a zit I've just popped that is very inflamed or just rub the moistened pill all over my face and wear it as a mask for about 30 minutes before washing it off. Sometimes I even crush up a few pills and add it to my epsom and sea salt bath along with a couple of crushed up vitamin c pills. I dunk my head under the water and let my whole body soak in it. It also clears up ingrown hairs, body acne, scars, bruises, rough patches, peeling lips, etc. It kind of just photoshops all of your skin little by little. It's pretty amazing.

In addition to the L-Lysine, I've also added to my regimen some powerful antioxidants to reduce inflammation including ALA, NAC, CoQ10, Green Tea Extract, Vitamin C and E, as well as Magnesium Citrate, and a good B-Complex (it's not good to take B vitamins in isolation as they work in synchronicity with each other).

Topically, it really doesn't matter what cleanser I use, so I just use whatever organic gentle soap I happen to have on hand and fresh aloe vera as a moisturizer. Occasionally I will swish my whole face with epsom salt toner before bed. I use a natural 10% sulfur ointment as a spot treatment in addition to the moistened Lysine pill. For masks, I stick with either activated charcoal powder and water or calamine lotion.

It's been about 3 months and my skin just continues to improve every day. Dude, L-Lysine: just try it!

What specific L-lysine do you buy? I brought some a couple weeks ago and have actually had a couple of breakouts. However could be down to other factors

I have used all sorts of brands. I haven't found a big difference in that arena. They are all uniformly inexpensive and effective in my experience. As with all supplements though, if your gut health is compromised and you are not taking a quality HCL supplement to aid with absorption, the presence of Magnesium Stearate in the pill's ingredients is going to negatively affect your absorption of the respective nutrient(s) and affect its bioavailability in the body.

I responded to your latest post as well regarding your experience with Lysine but I'll C&P it here too:

I've been supplementing with L-Lysine for years and have only found it to work wonders for skin integrity. Vitamin C as well (in addition to its multitude of other benefits). I would have a hard time believing that either of these two supplements on their own would contribute to a breakout. Personally, I do not subscribe to the "initial breakout phase" theory--especially if you start off slow with a supplement and titrate up accordingly.

What is your diet like (i.e. do you consume things like cow's dairy? Refined sugar and/or flour)?. How are your hormone levels? What is your gut health like? What's your liver health like? Do you have any other co-morbidities like headaches, rashes, mood issues, insomnia, digestive problems, etc? Do you use any other supplements or medications?

All of these things have to be taken into consideration when determining the root cause of acne (especially when its patterns are changing).

In addition to the L-Lysine, I've also added to my regimen some powerful antioxidants to reduce inflammation including ALA, NAC, CoQ10, Green Tea Extract, Vitamin C and E, as well as Magnesium Citrate, and a good B-Complex (it's not good to take B vitamins in isolation as they work in synchronicity with each other).

Were these introduced later on after the initial success with L-lysine or was the lysine introduced later on?

The regimen you described has notable vitamins that are regarded as extremely effective acne-away little compounds. I am overwhelmingly thrilled that someone in this world finally realized the synergistic benefit to actually taking all the vitamins in the B-Complex and not just using one single entity in some illogical supraphysiological dosage that is unwarranted in humans.

I'm very interested in your positive experience with L-lysine because I honestly can't find any information supporting its effectiveness as an acne treatment, nor can I find viable information about L-arginine causing an acne outbreak..

Running out to dinner with a friend now, but I'll respond to this portion later tonight :)

To answer your question about when the Lysine was introduced, it was the first supplement I ever tried, as mentioned in the OP. I only started taking it because I was on a prescription medication at the time for my Epilepsy called Lamotrigine (or Lamictal, as it's more commonly known). One of the side-effects was compromised collagen production resulting in slower recovery time from superficial injuries to the epidermis and scarring in the dermis, as well as a notable reduction of skin integrity. I was starting to look much older than my age, and scrapes and bruises were lasting for weeks.

I was looking through some public health forums where patients discussed their experiences with the medication, and many of them suggested L-Lysine to combat these side-effects. It wasn't until I'd been on it for about two weeks that I noticed my acne had also cleared considerably. I didn't make the connection at all until I stopped taking it when I switched medications (about a year later) and then re-added the L-Lysine again some time later.

This last time around, I actually kicked off my latest supplement regimen with Magnesium. From there I added the B-Complex with added C because I knew it required it for proper synthesis. After about a week on the Magnesium and B-Complex, I remembered the success I'd had with the Lysine in the past and re-introduced that to my regimen. Soon after (within days) I added the antioxidants.

Edited by SkinDeeply

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Supplemental influence on androgen activity isn't that straight forward. Regardless of serum concentration in reference to unbound sex hormones, the androgenic activity is mediated by the glycoprotein, SHBG. (albumin and serpin A6 have a little influence) That is why increasing hepatic production of SHBG is one aspect of treatment for women with hyperandrogenism. Gradual loss in serum concentration of SHBG is observed in adolescents that are just entering the first stage of pubertal growth.

Spironolactone's antiandrogenic/antiestrogenic/antigonadotropin pharmacokinetics are produced by the pharmaceuticals interaction and subsequent competition for the glycoprotein's receptors. (Spiro has a high affinity for SHBG binding and thus is able to disrupts natural activity)

If you like reading then here is a study describing the roles of SHBG. Also, here is one identifying mutations in gene expression of SHBG and its relation to hyperandrogenism and overian dysfunction.

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Posted (edited)
I don't think I am hyperandrogenic. I was tested two summers ago and lab results said I had slightly elevated testosterone levels. Doc suggested I try spironolactone with the theory it might be the reason behind my pre-mens breakouts. I did not have PCOS or any other negative side effects from these slightly elevated levels. I think they actually benefit me in some ways (in regards to metabolism and energy). Spironolactone really only seemed to reverse these traits and also resulted in amenorrhoea. D3, Magnesium, and a low-glycemic diet seemed to be all I needed to stabilize my hormones with no side-effects. I am fine with these slightly elevated levels as they are, but because of them, I have to be very aware of introducing any other testosterone precursors into my body. Edited by SkinDeeply

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I am thrilled that L-Lysine is the cure for you, SkinDeeply. I recently started taking 1000mg 3x day for my moderate hormonal acne, in addition to Spironolactone (which I have been on for a full year without results). How long did it take for you to see the effects of the L-Lysine? I'm in need of some hope!!

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Did you change your diet when you took L lysine?

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@SkinDeeply I see I'm a little late to hop on the train haha but thank you so much for the info! I've ordered a L-lysine supplement and I'm starting it today. After reading about how L-arginine and L-lysine interact in a diet, I believe I probably consume a bit more L-arginine than I should if I am trying to balance them. I'm excited to try this along with a slight change of diet and see if it helps with my acne as well as overall health!

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I 100% agree with everything you said. I originally picked up Lysine for my annoying random cold sores that would pop up every few months and it literally makes them disappear in one day. After taking the pills regularly, I started noticing how much my acne would clear up all over my body. I just happened to stumble upon this and previously had no knowledge of Lysine helping with acne whatsoever. It is particularly helpful with my body acne since I don't have to apply anything topically and it is honestly the only method I have found that works for me. I take two 1000mg pills every single day and I no longer get cold sores or acne breakouts and my skins looks so much healthier these days. I have been using it for almost 2 years now and will never turn to anything else. I highly recommend it. 

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I got some L-Lysine yesterday after reading another post about it. I took 500mg yesterday, didn't feel/look improved. I'm going to ramp up the dosage to 1500mg/day in the next week and I'll revisit this post.

Also it should be mentioned that iron and vitamins B and C helps the absorption of L-Lysine, according to https://www.healthline.com/health/lysine-for-acne.

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