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Stopping Depo Provera - Acne Log/First post background

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Hi, all. I'm 19, I've been on Depo Provera since I was 15, and only now have I finally realized it's been the underlying cause of my cystic acne. Today is May 7th, 2018, and my last shot was March 22nd, which means that this course of Depo Provera should last technically until June 14th (12 weeks). This will be my record of detoxing from Depo Provera for both my use and yours.

Skin background:
I always had porcelain-clear skin until I was 16, roughly 4-6 months after first receiving Depo Provera (for those wondering: I wanted to get Depo because my friend told me it stopped her period completely. I was naive and thought, "sign me up!", then remained on it once I became sexually active). At the time, I didn't connect Depo to my skin; I thought I was just going through the natural teenage hormonal changes and decided to wait it out.

1. I first cut out dairy when I was 17, which helped my skin tremendously; I went from having both cystic acne and smaller pimples to only having occasional cystic acne. I highly recommend everyone on here cut out dairy if you haven't already. That said, I knew there was more I could do for my skin.

2. I added supplements. Zinc, fish oil, and vitamin B all helped my skin quite a bit. I took these primarily when I was 17-18 (need to get more...). Highly recommended to all.

3. I began paying attention to the glycemic index of what I ate. What is that, you ask? That's what I thought. It's an index designed to rank how great an effect a food has on one's blood sugar levels, and ultimately, one's insulin levels. Insulin is directly related to DHT (I believe -- correct me if not), an androgen in the body for which the sebaceous glands in the skin possess receptors. TL;DR: eating simple carbs makes me break out. I cut out sugar completely (HIGHLY recommended; saw an immediate difference), then all white breads and other simple carbs.

Things I don't eat/drink:
-Alcohol (in excess; maybe one glass of Merlot every few weeks)
-White bread
-Processed foods

Products/regimines I've tried:
-Bio oil
-Oil cleansing
-Caveman method
-Cold cream
-BP and salicylic acid
-Tea tree oil
-Lavender oil
-Coconut oil

What I currently take:
30 mg Zinc daily since April 30th (1 week). I fell off the wagon with this supplement, but I've already seen improvements from it (again).
Probiotic. Improves gut biome. Healthy all around, definitely good for treating acne.
Ginger. 1100 mg a day. Helps calm inflammation in the body. Also great for treating nausea (which I've had chronically since beginning Depo... another classic side-effect).

What I've learned from my journey:
The biggest help (and offense) my skin has received thus far has been from my diet; if I eat clean for a week, I notice it on my skin. If I pig out, I definitely notice it on my skin. However, I believe my acne is so easily affected by my diet because of Depo Provera.

For those who don't know, Depo Provera is a progesterone-onlybirth control injected once every three months. "Progesterone-only" is the key: not only is progesterone an androgen in itself (acne-causing), but by flooding my system with such high quantities of it, I'm making the proportional amount of estrogen much lower that normal. Estrogen, for the most part, improves skin; one way is by keeping progesterone levels in check, and the other by stimulating collagen growth in the skin.

I suspect that this is affecting my skin twofold: one, by simply acting as an androgen in high quantities, and from that, making me much more susceptible to the acne-causing effects of insulin level changes. My current theory is that, once fully detoxing from synthetic progesterone (and once my estrogen levels return to normal), I should at least be able to eat high(er)-level glycemic index foods without causing a breakout.

I'll try to update at least once every few weeks. Progress is slow. But dammit, I'm ecstatic to have finally figured out the likely root cause of my hormonal acne!!




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