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In either spring or summer of 2011, I developed acne. I started my first job ever in March of 2011, so obviously I began stressing out heavily so that could contribute to acne. In autumn of the same year, September to be precise, I quit taking my antidepressant, Effexor. I had very little withdrawal side effects, except one that I noticed: worsening acne. Effexor has a half life as every drug has, and after a certain amount of time the drug builds up in your system. So even if it takes months to fully clear the chemicals out of the body, wouldn't the side effects from stopping the drug eventually cease? The body would detoxify whatever it needs to and the chemicals in the brain readjust. Effexor affects neurotransmitters in the brain, affecting hormones. Could the combined stress & pressure of my first job alongside quitting the antidepressant have thrown my body out of whack? Sure.

Here I am in 2016, still with moderate acne, considered to be cystic. I don't just get a pimple or two around that time of the month, or from eating chocolate, or from being stressed out. I am almost consistently breaking out everyday. I've been on the Proactiv regimen, which worked for a while but eventually made my acne worse, so I tried their gentle system which contained I believe, green tea and salicylic acid as the advertised ingredients to fight acne. I've used AcneFree, another 3 step system; La Roche-Posay's 3 step system; Duac, Aczone, clindamycin lotion, minocycline oral antibiotics... Currently, I use La Roche-Posay's Toleraine* gentle foaming cleanser in the morning (some days I use CeraVe because it's more hydrating, when I'm feeling extremely dry) followed by a pH balancing, alcohol-free toner by Kiehl's**, erythromycin-benzoyl gel, and either CeraVe lotion or Obagi Therapeutic Moisturizer*** (20% glycerin). At night, I take doxycycline mono with food, along with a probiotic to give my body some good bacteria back since the antibiotic kills the good stuff too... I take a Fiber Gummy vitamin because I don't get enough in my diet, and I read that proper fiber intake helps acne. I take an omega 3 fish oil supplement because that's supposed to help too. I also drink a tea**** that's supposed to cool, calm and soothe my Ayurvedic dosha type (basically a fiery hot tempered person who's easily stressed and needs to be calmed down), there's spearmint in it which I read calms down the androgens in the body (any mint tea will do but I read spearmint is the best) chamomile and other natural herbs in the tea to relax me. I exercise, I drink loads of water, the only thing is I don't get good sleep. I also take Seroquel (antipsychotic drug class) which raises blood sugar levels, but I had a blood test recently and I'm not pre-diabetic (long term patients taking Seroquel are at an increased risk for diabetes, especially those who are on high doses...my dose is only 50mg). I take Junel Fe as my birth control. I wash my face at night with Sodium Sulfecetamide 4% sulfur wash "in a vehicle containing green tea and aloe" (antibacterial face wash).  Which works VERY well, then I use my toner with the gentlest cotton pad ever by Shiseido, and pat my face dry with a bamboo cloth made for babies' skin. I wait for some time and then mix a pea size of 0.1% tretinoin (Retin-A) with a pea size of my Obagi Therapeutic moisturizer. Rub that in my fingers to mix it evenly and apply it to my face. My derm said this will help me with my side effects to the Retin-A. I did build up from the lowest dose to the .1% yet I'm still very peely the next day and sometimes my skin feels like I have a sunburn, so I use the tretinoin every other night. On the non-tretinoin nights, I just moisturize with a pea size amount as directed by my dermatologist and that's it. 

I have combination skin. My T-Zone is constantly an oil slick and my glasses slip down my nose if I don't use oil blotting sheets and some rubbing alcohol on my eyeglasses to remove the oil. 

I've not worn makeup, worn makeup, changed my makeup, switched to mineral makeup, and no matter the case with makeup, I still breakout. I know which products make it worse so I know what to stay away from. I keep my brushes and makeup sponges clean and sanitized and just use clean fingers to apply my makeup if I can. Currently using Jane Iredale Glow Time BB Mineral Foundation Cream which my derm said is safe even for people who've recently had some type of facial experience (plastic surgery? chemical peel? I don't know lol) but it's supposedly the best coverage for acne and its mineral so it's safe. 

I do NOT put my phone to my face. iPhone is always on speaker, and if I can't because I'm somewhere quiet or for whatever privacy reason, I hold the phone on an angle at the top of my ear so it never touches my face. 

My face does not touch my pillowcase when I sleep as I elevate my head and try to sleep on my back as much as possible. I have dealt with OCD for years, since high school (where I was under tremendous stress and never had acne. Pimples yes but not ACNE) I am a germaphobe. I sanitize everything. Dirty hands will never touch my face. I am obsessed with being clean and I am very hygienic with hand washing and showering. My hair is in a ponytail most of the time (I'd say 95% of the time) and I don't have bangs so hair does not touch my face. 

I no longer drink real milk. I drink almond milk. My one weakness is sweets, I know I must give them up or cut back SIGNIFICANTLY as if I were a diabetic (God forbid) because sugar does make it worse, I know. 

My dermatologist said my acne is hormonal. I am not a candidate for spirondolactone, she says. 

Someone help me.
I will link the products I'm using that I put an * asterisk next to.


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Have you tried evening primrose oil? It has a similar effect on your hormones compared to Spiro, but you can buy it otc(it's a supplement). I would also suggest you purchase some organic MATCHA green tea. It is the most potent form of green tea and it has been proven to regulate hormones. You can purchase both products through Amazon. I'm currently taking the clear skin vitamin pack which contains many vitamins(including evening primrose oil) that are effective in regulating acne. Feel free to pm me for more info or advice. :) 

Edited by MonroeQT
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16 hours ago, MonroeQT said:

Have you tried evening primrose oil? It has a similar effect on your hormones compared to Spiro, but you can buy it otc(it's a supplement). I would also suggest you purchase some organic MATCHA green tea. It is the most potent form of green tea and it has been proven to regulate hormones. You can purchase both products through Amazon. I'm currently taking the clear skin vitamin pack which contains many vitamins(including evening primrose oil) that are effective in regulating acne. Feel free to pm me for more info or advice. :) 

Hi! Thank you for the advice :) I'm gonna look on Amazon for that tea... I used to take evening primrose oil years ago for PMS... I should go back to taking it if it helps my hormones! I was never consistent in taking it so I don't know if it actually helped my PMS but it's worth trying for the acne :D do you have the link to the vitamin you take? I just joined acne.org and I don't know how to send a PM :/ 
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Hey, maybe you could switch birth controls? Yaz, Yasmine and orthocyclen( in the US, in other countries may be different) are the ones to be recommended for acne.
It sounds like you've done lots of research that's good. 
Idk about effexor, I've taken it for 4 Yeats and I'm pretty addicted to it. Don't see myself quitting it anytime soon...I don't think it affected my skin either way but its entirely possible.
Also, I've read the most important acne nutrients are vitamin D, C, A and E along with zinc. My skins calmed down a lot since taking chelated zinc every day.
Ive also been using diaper cream with zinc( yeah, weird) for any red spots it really calms them down. Especially if you've picked at them. Only other suggestion is to skip the toner but that's up to you. I've never found toners helpful personally.

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12 hours ago, snarkygirl said:

Hey, maybe you could switch birth controls? Yaz, Yasmine and orthocyclen( in the US, in other countries may be different) are the ones to be recommended for acne.
It sounds like you've done lots of research that's good. 
Idk about effexor, I've taken it for 4 Yeats and I'm pretty addicted to it. Don't see myself quitting it anytime soon...I don't think it affected my skin either way but its entirely possible.
Also, I've read the most important acne nutrients are vitamin D, C, A and E along with zinc. My skins calmed down a lot since taking chelated zinc every day.
Ive also been using diaper cream with zinc( yeah, weird) for any red spots it really calms them down. Especially if you've picked at them. Only other suggestion is to skip the toner but that's up to you. I've never found toners helpful personally.

Do you know how many milligrams of zinc is helpful? I'd been taking 50 and it makes me so nauseous even if I eat with it. Someone recently told me about Sudocrem which is a diaper cream too lol! I'm not sure how to use it though. Put it over the bump or on the whole face? 
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2 hours ago, ginjaxninja said:
14 hours ago, snarkygirl said:

Hey, maybe you could switch birth controls? Yaz, Yasmine and orthocyclen( in the US, in other countries may be different) are the ones to be recommended for acne.
It sounds like you've done lots of research that's good. 
Idk about effexor, I've taken it for 4 Yeats and I'm pretty addicted to it. Don't see myself quitting it anytime soon...I don't think it affected my skin either way but its entirely possible.
Also, I've read the most important acne nutrients are vitamin D, C, A and E along with zinc. My skins calmed down a lot since taking chelated zinc every day.
Ive also been using diaper cream with zinc( yeah, weird) for any red spots it really calms them down. Especially if you've picked at them. Only other suggestion is to skip the toner but that's up to you. I've never found toners helpful personally.

Do you know how many milligrams of zinc is helpful? I'd been taking 50 and it makes me so nauseous even if I eat with it. Someone recently told me about Sudocrem which is a diaper cream too lol! I'm not sure how to use it though. Put it over the bump or on the whole face? 
hi, I get the chelated zinc 50...at first it bothered me but I've become used to it I guess, doesn't bother me now. I had slight diarrhea for maybe a week and a half but I found taking it later in the day around 7-8 pm worked best. If 50 is too high you can take 10 or even 5 mg. There is also a calcium- magnesium/ zinc combo. I think its best to start slowly with anything new 
I only use the diaper cream on the actual red spots, I wouldn't try it on everywhere. I had one spot I'd picked at which would normally get really red, it was gone the next day. Its hard for me to sleep on my back but its not a noticeable mess.
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Why does your doctor believe your acne is hormonal? Did they order blood/saliva, adrenal/ thyroid tests to confirm this?
 

"In autumn of the same year, September to be precise, I quit taking my antidepressant, Effexor. I had very little withdrawal side effects, except one that I noticed: worsening acne. Effexor has a half life as every drug has, and after a certain amount of time the drug builds up in your system. So even if it takes months to fully clear the chemicals out of the body, wouldn't the side effects from stopping the drug eventually cease? The body would detoxify whatever it needs to and the chemicals in the brain readjust. Effexor affects neurotransmitters in the brain, affecting hormones. Could the combined stress & pressure of my first job alongside quitting the antidepressant have thrown my body out of whack?"


If indeed your acne is hormonal, it will almost certainly be connected to a weak kidney and/or toxic liver stress. Effexor does a heck of a job impairing liver and kidney functioning. Depending on how long you were taking it, there's a good chance your body may not be as equipped to detoxify as it needs to be. Additionally, your spleen may not be in the best condition if you are consuming too much sugar plus regularly taking in prescription antibiotics PLUS taking a medication that decreases insulin sensitivity (a quick recipe for candida overgrowth and inflammation). An impaired spleen will also make both the kidney and liver more vulnerable to disease. 
 
Edited by SkinDeeply
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On July 17, 2016 at 7:53 PM, ginjaxninja said:
Hi! Thank you for the advice :) I'm gonna look on Amazon for that tea... I used to take evening primrose oil years ago for PMS... I should go back to taking it if it helps my hormones! I was never consistent in taking it so I don't know if it actually helped my PMS but it's worth trying for the acne :D do you have the link to the vitamin you take? I just joined acne.org and I don't know how to send a PM :/ 
You're welcome. I can't post links here, but it is on Amazon. It is the "Clear Skin Vitamin Pack" by Innate Skin. 
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On July 18, 2016 at 11:11 PM, SkinDeeply said:

Why does your doctor believe your acne is hormonal? Did they order blood/saliva, adrenal/ thyroid tests to confirm this?
 

"In autumn of the same year, September to be precise, I quit taking my antidepressant, Effexor. I had very little withdrawal side effects, except one that I noticed: worsening acne. Effexor has a half life as every drug has, and after a certain amount of time the drug builds up in your system. So even if it takes months to fully clear the chemicals out of the body, wouldn't the side effects from stopping the drug eventually cease? The body would detoxify whatever it needs to and the chemicals in the brain readjust. Effexor affects neurotransmitters in the brain, affecting hormones. Could the combined stress & pressure of my first job alongside quitting the antidepressant have thrown my body out of whack?"


If indeed your acne is hormonal, it will almost certainly be connected to a weak kidney and/or toxic liver stress. Effexor does a heck of a job impairing liver and kidney functioning. Depending on how long you were taking it, there's a good chance your body may not be as equipped to detoxify as it needs to be. Additionally, your spleen may not be in the best condition if you are consuming too much sugar plus regularly taking in prescription antibiotics PLUS taking a medication that decreases insulin sensitivity (a quick recipe for candida overgrowth and inflammation). An impaired spleen will also make both the kidney and liver more vulnerable to disease. 
 
That's a great thought you brought up: my doctor never ordered any tests to prove the acne is hormonal. I'm def going to ask my doctor to get blood tests ordered.  I was taking Effexor for 6mo, stopped for a year or so and restarted it for a few months, I actually can't remember how long I was on it in total. Do you know of any ways to repair the detoxification process? I was thinking of trying acupuncture...?
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On 7/18/2016 at 11:11 PM, SkinDeeply said:

Why does your doctor believe your acne is hormonal? Did they order blood/saliva, adrenal/ thyroid tests to confirm this?
 

"In autumn of the same year, September to be precise, I quit taking my antidepressant, Effexor. I had very little withdrawal side effects, except one that I noticed: worsening acne. Effexor has a half life as every drug has, and after a certain amount of time the drug builds up in your system. So even if it takes months to fully clear the chemicals out of the body, wouldn't the side effects from stopping the drug eventually cease? The body would detoxify whatever it needs to and the chemicals in the brain readjust. Effexor affects neurotransmitters in the brain, affecting hormones. Could the combined stress & pressure of my first job alongside quitting the antidepressant have thrown my body out of whack?"


If indeed your acne is hormonal, it will almost certainly be connected to a weak kidney and/or toxic liver stress. Effexor does a heck of a job impairing liver and kidney functioning. Depending on how long you were taking it, there's a good chance your body may not be as equipped to detoxify as it needs to be. Additionally, your spleen may not be in the best condition if you are consuming too much sugar plus regularly taking in prescription antibiotics PLUS taking a medication that decreases insulin sensitivity (a quick recipe for candida overgrowth and inflammation). An impaired spleen will also make both the kidney and liver more vulnerable to disease. 
 
ugh thats what I suspected . I've been taking it for 3 years but I haven't figured out how to stop. Its physically addicting and I'm worried my mental state would collapse ( I'm iffy at the best of times).
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Finding a very experienced acupuncturist would actually be a great place to start, because they will be well-versed on the principles of Chinese diagnostics (which happen to begin with the spleen, kidney, and liver). There are actually simple adrenal and thyroid tests (though not 100% fool proof) that you can do at home, which an acupuncturist would be able to assist you with. Then there are liver and kidney blood tests.  Liver imbalances rarely show up in blood work until they are really bad. Regardless, a proper liver cleanse will not hurt anyone. A properly trained acupuncturist/herbalist will be able to draw up a treatment plan for you that addresses specific toxicities. If your kidney/liver/spleen have been out of sorts for a good amount of time, these toxicities have been building and building, and so it would be no surprise to see them eventually expelling themselves through your skin's surface, which would be your body's last avenue for detoxification. 

Do a little investigation on your own first and familiarize yourself with some of the signs and symptoms of liver and kidney imbalances. Google "kidney liver function and acne". Take notes. Research the long-term side effects of Effexor and compare those to your own. Get some intel on your side. Show it to your doctor and see if they have anything productive or intelligent to make of it. If you wanted to save some money though, I'm sure you could just figure out what their likely response would be all on your own. 

As far as the dermatologist goes...well...how naked/lost do you feel without an allopathic dermatologist on call and how deep are your pockets? Because if they diagnosed you with hormonal acne with zero evidence and then promptly shoved some antibiotic products at you, you might as well just be paying your bank teller or grocery store clerk to heal your acne for you. Because they'd have about the same chance of succeeding. You would be much better off investing in a naturopath or osteopathic endocrinologist that will take your entire body and mind into consideration when investigating your [hormonal] acne. 

And as an aside, you can have the lab tests you need done with or without your dermatologist.

 

On 7/20/2016 at 6:23 PM, snarkygirl said:
On 7/19/2016 at 9:11 AM, SkinDeeply said:

Why does your doctor believe your acne is hormonal? Did they order blood/saliva, adrenal/ thyroid tests to confirm this?
 

"In autumn of the same year, September to be precise, I quit taking my antidepressant, Effexor. I had very little withdrawal side effects, except one that I noticed: worsening acne. Effexor has a half life as every drug has, and after a certain amount of time the drug builds up in your system. So even if it takes months to fully clear the chemicals out of the body, wouldn't the side effects from stopping the drug eventually cease? The body would detoxify whatever it needs to and the chemicals in the brain readjust. Effexor affects neurotransmitters in the brain, affecting hormones. Could the combined stress & pressure of my first job alongside quitting the antidepressant have thrown my body out of whack?"


If indeed your acne is hormonal, it will almost certainly be connected to a weak kidney and/or toxic liver stress. Effexor does a heck of a job impairing liver and kidney functioning. Depending on how long you were taking it, there's a good chance your body may not be as equipped to detoxify as it needs to be. Additionally, your spleen may not be in the best condition if you are consuming too much sugar plus regularly taking in prescription antibiotics PLUS taking a medication that decreases insulin sensitivity (a quick recipe for candida overgrowth and inflammation). An impaired spleen will also make both the kidney and liver more vulnerable to disease. 
 

ugh thats what I suspected . I've been taking it for 3 years but I haven't figured out how to stop. Its physically addicting and I'm worried my mental state would collapse ( I'm iffy at the best of times).

 

[Edited link out]

Edited by Ishayat
Edited link out - link was broken
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If you can do it, do it. The results are not always perfect but it will give you a general idea of what the worse offenders are. I think the blood test with antigens(?) Is the best one rather than the skin test.

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10 hours ago, snarkygirl said:

If you can do it, do it. The results are not always perfect but it will give you a general idea of what the worse offenders are. I think the blood test with antigens(?) Is the best one rather than the skin test.


^ That.
  Edited by SkinDeeply
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15 hours ago, SkinDeeply said:

^ That.
 
ps for post people its one of these:
Dairy or dairy derivatives ( casein and whey)
Wheat/ gluten
soy
Certain fruits
mgs or aspartame
eggs
Caffeine
its not usually all of these.
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