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BACKGROUND: JUST SKIP THIS AND SCROLL DOWN TO MY QUESTION FOR MOST POSTERS; THIS IS JUST A HISTORY OF WHY I AM ASKING THIS QUESTION.

Story:

Please refrain from assaulting me because I'm asking for an increase in my sebaceous glands' sebum production and release. I'm probably violating a whole host of anti-acne dogmas and opinions. I apologize. But in my own personal case I need to increase my own sebum production drastically.

I had mass. acne for five years. Year three I went on mass doses of pantothetic acid (Vitamin B5) on and off for about 10 months. In my opinion, and don't take it personally all you B5 benefactors, this was the worst decision I have made with regards to my personal health in my entire life.

Pre-B5, I was, like many of you, an oil-machine. Back in high school I would draw on my desktop with my oily fingers when teachers' lectures got boring. My face was worse than my hands. B5 got rid of most of that oil. Permanently. The permanent part is the part that is unfortunate.

My acne flared on after stopping B5 (it helped some but nowhere near enough). After another bout with the regimen (I gave it 5 good tries in my lifetime) I got on accutane my first week in college. Amazing pill. I washed my face once a day with water and after six months I had the clearest skin I had had in a half-decade. Not a single whitehead. God loved me.

Now I've been off the 'tane for six months, my acne is mild, but my skin is a mess, and here's why. There's no oil. None. My skin is creased and leathery and aged about twenty years beyond what it should be. It's blotchy, uneven, red, and rough. But that is not the half of it... all of my body's natural moisture glands parallel to the sebaceous family are significantly defective. 

 

- my sebaceous glands produce hardly any oil at all, ever, period. I don't want the excessive amounts I used to have, but you know, one or two drops a day would be amazingly benefical for my rough, dry skin.

- my hair, once oily and shiny and desirable, is now all dry and frizzled up, itchy, and unhealthy-looking

- my eyes, this is the worst of it, they are dried out like desert pits. I can't sit in front of a computer screen for more than 30 minutes without them burning in my sockets. My optomitrist told me this effect results because I don't blink enough. My opinion is that when I blink, nothing beneficial happens. My natural tears are almost non-existant. Scary. Especially because I plan on being a Comp-Sci major. Currently I have blackened pits of dark skin stemming from the inside corner of each eye. I exaggerate a bit, but you get the point. Not attractive.

The scary thing is I don't see my body's natural moisturizing glands of the skin, scalp, and eyes ever increasing in activity or efficiency again. As stated, I've been off accutane for months and hardly anything has changed. As its makers brag, it does permanently reduce oil. For sixish months I've been hardly touching my skin (washing once a day AT MOST with the mildest products), not touching my eyes at all, and only shampooing at most once a day with Herbal Essences. Still these problems persist.... I want my oily state back, I don't care if I'm ugly, this dryness is physically painful and miserable.

Accutane and B5 have annihilated my body's self-moisturizing systems.

QUESTION: WHAT FOODS, VITAMINS, SUPPLEMENTS, PERSCRIPTIONS, ETC. WILL INCREASE SEBUM PRODUCTION AND RELESASE? (and likewise hopefully have a parallel, if lesser, effect on other body moisturizing glands, especially in the eyes)

I'd like to know of a few topical gels and oils to supplement unheathy, low quantities of sebum being produced by my sebacous system. More importantly, however, what are some vitamins, foods, herbal supplements, and possibly perscriptions (e.g. testosterone/ androgen gel) that will accomplish said tasks? Perferably I am looking for a long term method, since accutane and B5 have permanently crippled my body's moisurizing mechanisms.

Edited by MadsKeystone
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Follow Up:

Here is what I know already, although it's mostly a series of rumors I have heard and observations I have made about my own body.

Boosters of sebaceous gland production include:

- diet rich in animal fats

- androgen horomones (drastically, but also affect the body systemically and produce a series of significant side effects)

- caffiene

- mild sleep deprivation (my skin gets oily if I am up late at night)

- sunlight/heat

- temperature increases

- high humidity ? (questionable)

- eating oily peanuts (they are high in estrogen, which I heard has an adverse affect on sebum production and lowers it, but massively high in oils and fatty acids if I'm not mistaken)

- muscle-boosting dietary supplements

- exercise and sweating (in my epxerience extremely conducive to skin health)

Topical emollients include:

- Jojoba oil

- almond oil

- olive oil

- shea butter

- cocoa butter

etc.

These emolients definitely improve the skin's condition while present, but I wonder, are they conducive or inhibitory towards a long-term normalization of my body's natural moisturization deficiencies?

Looking for a long-term answer. Looking for a way to reverse the drying out process that B5 and accutane have permanently inflicted on my being.

Sincerly Yours,

- Jake

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One last important point, and this is not related to my question, but a personal insignt and opinion.

SEBUM DOES NOT CAUSE ACNE. Some people seem to be under the impression that it does. Yes, of course, it aggrivates and exacerbates acne-prone skin. However, sebum itself is extremely beneficial, holistic, healing. It is the most wonderful, most significant, most vital element towards having healthy skin. If this wasn't true, no one's skin would produce and release it, ever.

My basis for the previous statement is my limited knowledge of the evolutionary process. Humans have been around for millenia, and mammals have been around longer. In my opinion, homo sapiens is the sexiest species on the planet. Seriously, our genetic places more emphasis and energy on sexual figure than does any other species I can think of. Therefore, it seems that evolution would mold our skin, paramount towards physical beauty, to undergo those processes most conducive to its health. Sebum production seems to be an extremely nourishing and neccessary component of skin maintenance.

Love your oil. Reduce it, sure, if you have too much, but don't permenantly inhibit the capacity of your sebaceous glands. I did, and I regret it infinitely.

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i dont know of any pill forms that would increase sebum protection, however I would look at the products you are using, and seeing a doctor, I was too on roaccuntane but i I had localised dry cysts. The rest of my skin has always been prone to extreme dryness, as i get eczema and dermatitis aswel.

I would if i was you, eat a diet rich in oils, not the animal fat kind though, its bad for you, seriously so no fryups. I mean olive oil, pasta with pesto dressing, avocados, dairy etc. not fry ups and chips you dont want heart disease to add to your problems.

As for the eyes, go to the opticians say about the problem hopefully they will be able to point you in the direction of a good brand. I find that refresh for contact wearers during the day and optrex in the morning and night help.

Hair? stay well away from herbal essances, one of the most drying shampoos around. Johnsons baby shampoo and conditioner get my vote.

Body - body shop cocoa body butter did it for me, alos the body scrub is great it exfoliates but leave this amazing softness at the emollient is so thick. Also johnsons baby oil, use it staright out of the shower on wet skin it will absorb but not leave the greased up tinge on it.

Face - cleanse using a cream cleanser, simple one does it for me, then moisurise i like using lush dream cream it is meant for use on the body, but if your skin is as dry as you say it will be ok to used on your face. It also contains chamomile so will sool irritation and any break outs you might have.

Good luck though remember i am not sure what these will do for acne as I only had acne on my chest. You need to use your own judgement.

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Guest Nblx

Whilst oil is important for keeping skin young naturally, the tanes done it's job and you cant go back.

I'm frankly appalled that you would consider doing crazy things like risking your health by consuming saturated fats, caffeine, not sleep, etc. Why dont you smoke as well, to try and increase sebum production! You will most likely just increase the chance of a heart attack by oing that lot!

Just because you've decreased your natural oils doesn't mean thats the reason your skin is a mess.

Eat healthily, lots of fruit, vegs, lean meats, oily fish. Drink purified water. Limit caffeine to green tea with lemon max twice a day. (Even most caffeine free herbal teas are diuretics and should be limited). And sleep well and walk every day. Try and avoid dairy (eggs are fine) and also avoid gluten/wheat. Avoid chemicals such as detergents and petrochemicals in for example shampoo, skin/body care and dental care.

DONT SMOKE!

When drinking alcohol limit it to once or twice a week and stick to a clear spirit such as vodka or gin with still mineral water as a mixer. My fave is Blackwood vodka its awesome its organic though others eg Smirnoff, Absolut, Stoli is fine (these cause no hangover, although you shouldn't binge drink, drink singles with loadsa water to your friends pints).

MOISTURIZE with a natural product like aloe vera or jojoba oil. This will simulate not only sebum but nourish your skin with well balanced vitamins and mineral and essential fatty acids.

The results of this will slowly emerge. You should see an improvement week by week.

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I am very curious to know if the B5 has anything to do with your current situation now, or if it was perhaps the accutane that has given the irreversible effects.

 

Edited by MadsKeystone
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Don't assume that a decrease in sebum production from Accutane will be permanent. It may well slowly come back. Give it some more time.

Bryan

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cjb said:
MoeMentum said:

I am very curious to know if the B5 has anything to do with your current situation now, or if it was perhaps the accutane that has given the irreversible effects.

 

exactly

Edited by MadsKeystone
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Thank you for sharing your experience. Although, this is not my issue currently, I just wanted to say, I appreciate hearing your story and will head your warning.

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Jade, it was 10 g a day. It might have been 12.5, actually, but it was at least 10.

I think megadoses of any 'vitamin' are a bad idea over a prolonged period of time. I don't know of this analogy is irrelevant, but I think it's a good image: I've heard that red wine, a glass a day, can strengthen your heart. However, think about what drinking 10 glasses of wine a day for a year will do to your heart and liver. With no downtime to recover, they'll really get worn out.

And with B5, a Centrum multivatiman gives you 10 MG daily, that's the daily recommended doseage. 10 g, if my wine analogy applies, then 10 g is like 1,000 glasses of wine a day. In my mind, not a good idea to be on for the long haul.

*edit: obviously alcohol is more difficult for your liver to detoxify than excess pantothetic acid. However, with such massive quantities, I think your liver will still get worn out over time. Also, there may be other side effects that hide under the radar at first but may emerge after time. The most visible effect of megadoses of B5 is the massive shutdown of sebaceous gland activity. However, when you take B5 orally, might it not be recieved by all of your glands and organs in parallel quantites to what the sebaceous glands uptake out of the bloodstream? This is just speculation; i have no idea what the biochemical processes are in the sebacous glands. However, with such large concentrations of B5 from your carotid down to your capillaries, other organs and glands are bound to adsorb some of it (e.g. tear glands)

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Nblx thanks for the post, it gave me a lot of insight.

When moisturizing with aloe vera or jojoba oil, you say that will stimulate sebum preduction, do you know why that happens?

ALso, I'm going to find it hard to aviod dairy, but if you think it is that important I can pull myself to stay away from it. Milk, I love the stuff, and it's a dietician's prized elixer (my mom is a dietician). It supplies you with a pretty comprehensive array of organic sustenance. However, it also is meant for baby calfs, not humans, and is loaded with hormones. So I can see the danger in it. Still, I'm kind of on the fence because the benefits are so bountiful. Also, turnergirl said that milk is a food that would increase sebum.

turnergirl, coud you go into some more detail about these products Optrex and Refresh? I know nothing about them, and my eyes are my main problem area and my most significant concern for the future. Tell me anything you can, thx 

Edited by MadsKeystone
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jakejohnson007 said:
bryan said:
Don't assume that a decrease in sebum production from Accutane will be permanent.  It may well slowly come back.  Give it some more time.

Thanks Bryan, I hope you're right. It's not just an assumption though; I look up isotretonoin in 'The Pill Book' and it says it is capable of permanently reducing sebum. It's been nearly six months and my sebum isn't back at all.

Edited by MadsKeystone
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Hey there jake, sorry to hear about your situation - it sounds like a bit of a nightmare mate. The only thing I can offer is the benefit of my experience with fasting, which probably sounds pretty daunting not to mention fairly unappealing, but please believe me when I say it is the most powerful medicine I have come across, which works by simply allowing the body the time and energy to heal itself. My acne is a thing of the past since I discovered it, but not only that, it has had a significant effect on pretty much every aspect of my health, and thats after completing only a three day and a five day water fast - the mother of them all (12 days I hope!) I am currently preparing for. Have a look at the links below and see what you think - don't be scared off by the idea of it - it's hard not eating for days (mainly in the first 3-4 days, after that it becomes alot easier), but probably nowhere near as hard as what you are dealing with at the moment.

http://drbenkim.com/fasting.html

http://www.freedomyou.com/fasting_book/Hea...ugh_Fasting.htm

Hope this helps.

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I know this isn't a miracle solution or anything but, don't shampoo your hair everyday! Shampoo it every 3-4 days with baby shampoo (apply your conditioner of choice as well) and put a shower cap when you shower in between the days. This will make your hair regenate faster using it's own natural oils in between the days. Most stylists recomend this for dry hair.

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Don't assume that a decrease in sebum production from Accutane will be permanent.  It may well slowly come back.  Give it some more time.

Bryan

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It's encouraging to hear predictions that my oil will return naturally if I give it a few more months.

Thanks for the shower cap and shampooing 1/2 times a week tip. I honestly didn't know that, I guess I'm a ditz but I have been shampooing every day/ every other day for a long time. I'll definitely try this starting today. Also, I just got this new olive oil shampoo and the first use of it was very promising.

Yes, while on B5 I was in the sun a lot. I know, stupid, but when your friends wanna play basketball, golf, tennis... it was fun, and I didn't take the 'stay out of the sun' warning too seriosuly. While on Accutane, the more serious substance, I was up in South Bend IN so there wasn't much sun. Still, I didn't take any extraordinary precautions to avoid sunlight.

My experience with water-based moisturizers has been utterly unpleasant. I've exhaustively experimented with Eucerin, Neutrogena, Purpose, Dove, et. al. I have used them with the regimen (with which moisturization is absolutely necessary), and just once/twice a day along side gentle cleansing. When I moisturized along with cleansing, I noticed decreased sebum, blotchier/more uneven and bumpier skin, definitely increased acne, and my epidermis felt worn out and synthetic instead of naturally healthy. I think I am done with water-based moisturizers. I am still open to experimenting with oil-based artificial moisturizers.

Today I took a Cod Liver Oil Capsule and was thinking of supplementing it daily, but I was repulsed by the taste, smell, and texture of the capsules. They're pretty disgusting, and although they may contain benefical organic components, I have a gut feeling, an instinctual repulsion as a first impression of these pills. Is flakseed oil, or any other herbal/natural substance, a more stomachable and sustainable alternative to fish oil vitamin therapy?

I've also been drinking caffinated green tea lately, and I think I will make that a daily occurence. One or two cups early in the day.

I have noticed in the past that eating a lot of nuts, not dried out ones but they shiny, oily types, increases sebum production noticably. However, I also know that peanuts contain overbearing quantities of Estrogen, which should impair sebum manufactures, neh? Some one smooth me out on this note. I think I'll try to consome a reasonable amount of mixed nuts.

Also, still very concerned about my eyes. Those are a sore point and I know less about how to rectify this ill than my others.

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I had your exact same problem. I never did mega-doses of B5, but I was on Accutane and after I got off it my skin was "permanently" dry.

After making several health changes, my skin is now smooth and moist. Here's what I did:

1. Get out in the sun for at least 20 minutes a day. This is actually incredibly beneficial for your skin, as long as you do not get burned. Do not wear sunscreen or you will not get the benefits.

2. Take Fish Oil (2000mg/day).

3. Workout 3x a week.

4. Massively increase the amount of fat I was consuming (NOTE: I am a Protein Type Metabolic Type which means my body thrives on fat. Take this test to find out if you are too: [Removed Link])

I am confident that if you make these changes, you'll be able to have normal skin again too. If you have any questions, let me know. Good luck!

Edited by MadsKeystone
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HealthDude and Wolfkeeper, i think you guys are right, I could use some omega-3 supplementation. Fish Oil, i'll try it, but the substance seems somewhat repulsive. Pumpkin seeds would be a good substitue, but is there an efficient way to consume them, such as pumpkin seed extract supplements etc? Any other parallels to fish oil?

I already work out 6 days a week so I got that base covered and then some. Sweat is great stuff for your skin, it feels great, although I remember sweating actually used to sting back in the day when my skin was even dryier than it is now.

HealthDude, through what elements specifically do you obtain that increased fat in your diet?

Wolfkeeper, I'm not fabricating this possibility of estrogen in peanuts. I don't mean human estrogen at all, but perhaps parallel molecules or chemical precursers to human estrogen. This site says 'all nuts' are high in estrogen:

[Removed link]

Also,

[Removed link]

However, I honestly know hardly anything about plant phytoesterols, so I think I'll keep eating peanuts and soy products until someone convinces me not to.

Edited by MadsKeystone
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on the hair washing, i personally have to wash my hair every day (not greasy i am just a freak like that lol) I however have a friend who doesn't like to have aher haor destoryedm and she doesn't wash herhair for up to a month at a time, after about 2 weeks your hair 'washes itself' in its own oils, it doesn't smell liek i thought it would, and it actually looks quite nice. I was so shocked when she said she doesnt wash it all the time.

Just smoething to think about.

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Hello. I have not read through all the other replies, so some of this may be repeating.

I also megadosed on B5 and had the same experience with the sebum inhibition. I was also worried about the situation.

That was three years ago, and i have regained my hyper production of sebum.

I think it took about 9 months before the sebum production was "normal" again.

I underwent a lot of approaches in order to stabilize my system again, and this is what i believe might have helped restore the sebum levels quickly.

Around the time i quit B5 i also took a lot of supplements. These included EFAs, vitamin a,b complex, c, e. Also Mg, Zn, MSM.

I did a liver flush a few weeks after quitting B5. Immediately after the flush i also got a burning/stinging sensation in my face, which i still have to some degree. Might have been a reactivation of the sebacous glands? Got a lot of stones out, and felt that my fat metabolism got a lot better. I then incorporated more fats into my diet and i believe the sebum production started to go back already then.

I also did a lot of other detox procedures including hulda clark parasite cleanse, hulda clark kidney cleanse, 14 more liver flushes, seasonal fasts with colon hydrotherapy, heavy metal detox w removal of amalgam, anti candida diet, acupuncture w herbs, ayurvedic panchakarma&herbs, antifungals, relaxation ++.

Yes, the list above is huge, and i cannot pinpoint what helped re-balance the sebum production, or if any of these did play any part at all in the process.

My guess is that the liver flush played a part in this. I also think nutrition was also important and i was probably deficient in some substances when i was megadosing on B5.

One hypothesis might be that in order for our system to stabilize, it is easier when the body is free from obstacles, which might be toxins, gallbladder stones, fungi,parasites or psychological stress. I believe that our bodies have an innate ability to reach equilibrium given the right conditions.

I do not know how familiar you are with detoxing, but if you are trying that route, i recommend first doing good research about the procedures, take it gently, and if possible have qualified supervision during the process.

Hope this helps and good luck.

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