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sticky_honey

Why did my acne return?

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Hi. I’m 25 years old female. I developed moderate acne after hitting puberty. My skin was like this: i was waking up everyday getting 1-3 new papules which days later became pustules, sometimes they were sensitive to touch/sore and after popping they were leaving small red scars. Even though my acne was bothering me i didn’t get any serious treatments for a few reasons (couldn’t afford long term treatments is one of them). I only tried using Clean & Clear (for a short time), Зинерит (Zineryt) in the first years of puberty and none of them helped. I tried to accept myself like this and kind of ignored it. Years went by and my acne didn’t improve or worse. 2 years ago (spring, 2016) i started restricting my calorie intake in order to lose weight. This was my first attempt to lose weight. As i was losing weight my acne improved i was no longer getting inflamed pustules only small papules. In total i lost 22 kg (48lbs) during 5-6 months. I went from 26 BMI to 17.8. Even though i was not dangerously underweight i lost my period for 4 months after hitting my lowest weight. I maintained 17.8 BMI for 4 months and didn’t ovulate/bleed. I knew menstrual changes were common during weight loss/gain phases and i always had irregular/late periods but never lost them completely so i kind of freaked out, started researching on internet. I found out that i had hypothalamic amenorrhea either from losing weight itself or my weight is being low for my body (that i am supposed to be a bit heavier in order to menstruate). The solution was basically gaining weight and/or stopping exercise if you’re doing it. Everybody was telling me that i shouldn’t worry too much, see a gynecologist and they should be able to treat it. I found out that there were some girls in my situation and they were usually prescribed with Birth Control Pills whether their hormone levels were normal or not. This was usually starting their periods again and some of them reported that they lost theirs after stopping taking pills. I’m not kind of a person who takes any type of medicine lightly and i also knew the bleeding that occurs during use of birth control pills aren’t real periods. So they were only masking the problem instead of treating it. I was afraid of developing osteoporosis and other health problems so i decided to gain weight again. I went on calorie surplus and gained 3 kg (6lbs) BMI 19.0 And i got my period following month. I stayed at that weight for a few months and menstruated regularly. Then i lost that 3kg again and along with my menstruation. Then i gained again to BMI 19.0. Now i’m maintaining at that weight and i’m sure that my menstruation is tied to my weight itself when my weight gets lower i lose it.

Now here comes the acne part. Like i said as i was losing weight my acne improved. At first i thought that i cut sugar/junk food and eat mostly foods with low glycemic index that was the reason. But turns out my diet doesn’t affect my acne. When i didn’t bleed for those 4 months my skin was completely clean. Like absolute cleanlines not even a single acne. And because i was maintaining not losing i began eating sugar/junk etc still my skin didn’t become worse. After getting back my period i was having few small papules around my nose during ovulation phase.They were clearing up on their own after a few days without developing into pustules and wasn’t leaving any scars. My skin was like this for 1-1,5 years since getting my period back. But since last month my skin got worse? I’m waking up developing new inflamed acnes again and they are filled with pus like pre weight loss. Nothing is changed, my weight is the same (BMI 19.0), my diet is the same, i’m not stressed or anything, i don’t take medicines etc etc. I’m just clueless why my acne flared up again out of nowhere. Also do you guys think that my acne is hormonal acne? Any input, personal experience is appreciated. Also sorry for my grammer mistakes, english is not my first language.

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That's because when you lose that much weight, your hormone production stops.  You mentioned your period stopped - that's due to low/no hormone production, due to your body not getting enough calories.  Your body is starving and in survival mode - it is using what little energy it has available to it, to keep your body alive.  Menstruation/pregnancy is not vital to sustaining your life, therefore, your body will 'shut it down' when it's not receiving enough energy.

So with that being said, your acne stopped because you literally shut down your hormones. 

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On 12/29/2018 at 2:52 AM, klessard said:

That's because when you lose that much weight, your hormone production stops.  You mentioned your period stopped - that's due to low/no hormone production, due to your body not getting enough calories.  Your body is starving and in survival mode - it is using what little energy it has available to it, to keep your body alive.  Menstruation/pregnancy is not vital to sustaining your life, therefore, your body will 'shut it down' when it's not receiving enough energy.

So with that being said, your acne stopped because you literally shut down your hormones. 

I know why my period stopped and such. It was due to low body fat (for my body), not because i was starving myself i can eat the same amount of calories in one weight but could get my period and not get in another. My lowest weight was BMI 17,8 and this was the weight when my period stopped, i was slightly underweight. While my sister's BMI is lower end of 17 and my cousin's 16 they are still getting their periods regularly. And believe me when i say this my sister is literally starving herself to stay at that weight. I'm taller than both of them and generally more active so i can eat more. The point is every person's body is different, you could be underweight and still get your period and vice versa. I believe that's why they removed period loss from DSM-5 for diagnosing anorexia. For me that weight is 19 BMI, while there are women who can't get their periods unless their BMI is 22-23. I said in my post that after gaining weight and getting back my period my acne didn't get worse. It has been over a year that i'm regularly ovulating/getting my period while maintaining my weight. My acne problem came back last month out of nowhere, i'm curious as why it came back now. Because nothing is changed. 

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im not a doctor but what klessard says makes sense.

acne is a complex disease and there is multiple different causes. ive read about bad gut bacteria, skin bacteria, diet, hormonal or even a vitamin imbalance being the cause of acne.
 

have you researched any of these subjects?

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