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Guest tired of this shish

Difference between antibiotics and birth control...

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Guest tired of this shish

Can someone please explain to me the benefits/difference between antibioics and birth control thoroughly? I know that antibiotics can't be taken for a prolonged time because it destroys the biological fauna in your system, and doesn't do a good job at controling oil. Works at a marginal 90% for breakouts for most people, but the system is not at all perfect and have heard of people using it for cystic acne...As for birth control, I don't know much about. This is a reply I posted about me on the other side of the forum which might help explain my situation a little better. I may want to consider going on birth control. My main concern is the damn oil. Will birth control do absolutely nothing for this??!

well, I don't have regular periods--sometimes I will skip 2/3/4 months. Lately it has been regular..I am 25 years old. Ever since getting my period at 13, I've never had a regular year in my life. I've had blood tests done and nothing comes up. I don't know if they are looking for the right thing. I've been on Accutane and now I'm currently on antibiotics for the past 2 months. I don't want to be under them too long because it is not healthy, but at the same time I'm running chicken from Accutane again. Right now, my oil is out of control--it's chaotic! When I say that I grease up less than 1/2 an hour after washing, I mean I REALLY grease up! Nothing I do seems to control my oil which I've been told might be hormonal by members here. But isn't all acne/oil overproduction hormonal in the end? Why should I discriminate between taking antibiotics and birth control if all acne is hormonal? Should I do this to regulate my period at least? Do birth control pills work at the same level as antibiotics? I can't have anything less potent because my antibiotics are marginally doing the job...

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The way the doctor described it to me is that some birth control pills help by controlling androgen's production. Androgen seems to be a big culprit here. I was on Ortho's site for Tri-cyclen the other day and it explained how it helps with acne. Of all the birth control pills I took, that one was the most effective. It didn't clear me up but there was an improvement. I just can't take BC pills anymore. But some people will clear up all the way while on it.

I'll do some research and see if I can find a link that explains it good.

As for your irregular periods, it may be that you are not ovulating regularly. Mine were irregular too but not quite that extreme.

ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN is the #1 prescribed birth control pill and clinically proven to help your skin look better.

ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN is the first birth control pill that has been clinically proven to help reduce moderate acne and maintain clearer skin in women 15 or older, with no known medical reasons not to take oral contraceptives, who menstruate, want contraception and are not responsive to topical anti-acne medications.

Studies show that nearly 9 out of 10 women who took ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN saw improvements in their skin.

What makes ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN good for your skin? It lowers the levels of serum free-testosterone, the hormone that contributes to acne breakouts. Therefore, it may help your skin look its best without compromising its effectiveness in preventing pregnancy.

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Well I'm 24 years old and I have the same problem. My skin is super oily and gross. I've been on birth control for about four months now and I don't see much improvement. I really think the only way to control the oil is accutane.

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Not all BC pills are created equally, literally.

The hormone levels and balance is the key.

Which one do you take?

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Guest tired of this shish

I'm actualy on Doxycycline...or Doryx---it's doing a good job or at least it is attempting to because I do get a few that escape maybe once or twice every 1 or 2 weeks. I know I can improve my problem if I could control my oil and that is my question regarding birth control...If I can avoid the Accutane again, I will.

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Androgen and Acne:

(This is from the Skintactix website but it explains it a little)

Hormones:

Several studies have analyzed hair follicle chemistry and serum (blood) chemistry to determine differences in androgen, testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, lipases, 5alpha-reductase, etc. levels between men and women, men with and without acne and women with and without acne. While these tests have determined males have more testosterone than females, there seems to be no "smoking gun" regarding irregularities between those with or without acne, with one important exception.

Females with acne have significantly higher serum androgen levels than their female counterparts without acne. Since androgens target the skin, it would be logical that higher serum androgen levels would translate into higher skin levels and folliclular androgen levels. The above research was published less than two years ago and we are unable to find subsequent research to confirm these findings, at this time.

I'm actualy on Doxycycline...or Doryx---it's doing a good job or at least it is attempting to because I do get a few that escape maybe once or twice every 1 or 2 weeks. I know I can improve my problem if I could control my oil and that is my question regarding birth control...If I can avoid the Accutane again, I will.

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Guest tired of this shish

Thank You Susan, that was very informative, I'll be sure to read it thoroughly since I am a bit tied at the moment, but before I go I'll note the following:

I've actually pondered the idea of going on Accutane as a low dose maintenance because originally, my doc wanted me to do the 60/20mg a day--same dose I started with 6 years ago although my acne isn't as bad as it was before. It comes off pretty funny when I refused it because many people here find it hard to convince their derms to get them on the tane, but my doc is always very ready and willing. The Accutane cleared me for 6 years!! No oil, no mess, no kidding---problem is that I had old scarring from past acne and I decided I wanted to be a smart aleck and treat it myself without consulting a doctor. I overdried my face with products that specifically meant to do this in order to produce a lot of peeling and therefore minimize the appearance of scarring...

BAD NO NO!!! :naughty:

Turns out my skin rebelled, started producing a quantum amount of oil and ever since has not regulated. I've tried moisturizing excessively, ditched all my chemical products, drank a lot of water and tried a lot of remedial DIY treatments. So there is also the debate of whether my problem now is really hormonal or as a cause of my overlydry skin--it could be a combination of both, since I tend to be the irregular type. Nonetheless, I'll try to talk to my doctor about this to determine which will be the best treatment for me and maybe have some blood work done again to see if anything unusual comes up such as the possibility of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) which is a good culprit in these cases....

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Some of the birth control pills act as anti androgens.

Androgens are the hormones that tell your skin to make oil. Birth control pills like Dianette help to treat acne by reducing oil production.

Antibiotics work by killing the bacteria that cause swelling and irritation in the pores.

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I'm pretty much going to repeat everything everyone just said here, but antibiotics work by killing bacteria in your pores. Birth control, on the other hand, works by reducing oil. Two different approaches to the same problem, as acne arises when bacteria and excess oil collide.

Birth control, spironolactone, and Accutane are the only precribed medicines that will reduce your oil production. I'm in my 9th week of straight active pills of Yasmin BCP, and I'm very pleased with it. My oil production has reduced to what it was before I had acne, and now I'm back to washing my hair only every other day. I'm also on Doxy, but I'm not sure it's doing anything. I'm just scared to stop taking it, as something (or everything) has been working.

Also, don't listen when people say that ortho tri-cyclen is the best birth control pill for acne. It's not. The only reason people prescribe it for acne is that it has been FDA approved as an acne medication. I was on it for 3 months and it made my acne worse. Yasmin, on the other hand, contains drsp, a variant of spironolactone, and is actually the #1 BCP for acne. However, they haven't done the tests to prove its effectiveness against acne, so they aren't able to legally advertise that it is a combatant against acne.

Tired of this Shish, I'm also in an odd boat: today I refused to start a course of Accutane. I know that most people have to talk their dermos into it, but my dermo tried to talk me into it. My face has been doing okay this past month on my new regimen, so I'm hesitant to start Accutane 6 weeks prior to my wedding. I hope it was the right decision!

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Also, don't listen when people say that ortho tri-cyclen is the best birth control pill for acne. It's not. The only reason people prescribe it for acne is that it has been FDA approved as an acne medication. I was on it for 3 months and it made my acne worse. Yasmin, on the other hand, contains drsp, a variant of spironolactone, and is actually the #1 BCP for acne. However, they haven't done the tests to prove its effectiveness against acne, so they aren't able to legally advertise that it is a combatant against acne.

I wasn't telling her that it was the best one, as a point of fact. I was just giving her my own personal experiences with it. Both Ortho tri-cyclen and Yasmin helped me but I found the former to be slightly more effective than the latter. But there are many other bc pills out there I've never even heard of let alone taken so that's why I didn't mention any others.

Tired of this Shish, I'm also in an odd boat: today I refused to start a course of Accutane. I know that most people have to talk their dermos into it, but my dermo tried to talk me into it. My face has been doing okay this past month on my new regimen, so I'm hesitant to start Accutane 6 weeks prior to my wedding. I hope it was the right decision!

I don't blame you for not wanting to make any radical changes so close to your big day! But after your wedding, I would consider going off of the antibiotics. If after a few weeks you don't see a significant difference, then stick with the bc, but if you do, I think, IMO, that it's better to do a 6 month treatment of accutane than be on antibiotics indefinitely.

Here are some of the side effects of Doxycycline:

What are some possible side effects of doxycycline?

This list is NOT a complete list of side effects reported with doxycycline. Your health care provider can discuss with you a more complete list of side effects.

Some possible uncommon but serious side effects of doxycycline include:

a life-threatening allergic reaction (symptoms are trouble breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; hives)

blood problems (symptoms are unusual bleeding or bruising)

liver damage (symptoms are yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, nausea ,vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal pain)

irritation of the esophagus

Other more common, but less serious, side effects include:

nausea, vomiting, diarrhea

increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight

vaginal yeast infection

It seems to me that there is a risk for liver problems with antibiotics, too. I wonder if they do periodic blood tests for long term antibiotic use like they do for accutane?

BTW, Congratulations! I hope you have a beautiful wedding!

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Guest tired of this shish

Seems like most people run from the Accutane for various reasons, but the number one which I hear common is the liver problem; secondary would be the excessive drying I suppose. Aside from those same reasons, the main reason I run from Accutane (and I have absolute no proof of this), but I have a slight suspicion that the tane was responsible for my scarring. The whole reason I'm on my current situation was because of the scarring that was left from my previous acne. I was so dissapointed with my skin, I decided I was going to try whatever it was to rid me of them and eventually just caused my acne to come back. Although, I am seeing some strange reactions (small rashy bumps along my temples especially) ever since going on the Doryx which I dont think I would have had had I not gone it even if I was producing a lot of oil. I really dont' know if I made the right choice or not refusing the Accutane. I also agree with Susan that it is better to go on a short term course with the tane than prolong antibiotics and still get the same side-effects. It is really a matter of experimentation to see whether something might work for you or not and that is why I am trying my own hypocrite's version of "no chemical" regimen, which is just ditching some, but not all topicals like BP & SA, although I still use RetinA at night from time to time. I'm also drinking loads of water and applying a honey mask I've been reccomended which I'm not completely sure what the benefits of that would be.

As of now, my skin is in such a condition, so fragile that even the smallest miniscule breakout leaves a mark. And I'm not talking redness or hypopigmentation, I'm talking indents. My two most recent ones: a small white-head wannabe and a cyst that never fully formed thanks to the Doryx. The cyst I could feel it slightly under the skin--painful, & red. The white head is leaving an indent while the cyst is going away without harm. Right now, I cannot afford to completely rely on my "no chemical"/water/honey idea because as I get breakouts, waiting for them to get better, I am being left with new scarring. I actually have an appointment for laser treatment which most people absolutely abhor on these boards. The scarring section says it does nothing for scars, while some people on the acne section says it didn't help their acne--I want to try my luck with it because at the same time, I've also heard success stories even if it is just a temporary solution.

I don't know if I'm making a big mistake.

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Susan,

I didn't mean to suggest that you don't know what you're talking about--you're 100% right about birth control, different pills affect people in different ways.

Thanks for the congrats! I need to whole board to team together and think really good thoughts for me and my wedding. I'm really scared about my face. I'll be counting down the days until the wedding, not only because I'm excited about it, but also because I feel as though my face is a ticking time bomb. If I can get away with only a few zits between now and my wedding day, I will count myself very lucky! It's a huge gamble, but I feel there's a chance I can have clear skin on my wedding (I had several of zit-free days last week). One month ago I never thought that would have been possible. I thought it was too late.

I do plan on starting Accutane immediately after the wedding (when I get back from honeymoon). My current regimen isn't intended for long-term use. My dermo has already decreased my steroid dosage so that I don't develop immunity to it. We're going to increase it again two weeks before the big date.

Everyone on this board is so great. Thanks, guys!

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