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So, my skin has gotten a little better. Only a few cysts, smoother skin--just generally looking a bit healthier.

I have not been following my diet very strictly ( exams). I've also decided to tweak it slightly so that I don't become a miserable hermit. Eliminating certain food groups to reduce inflammation is one thing......but the stress that the diet was causing was nixing any good effects from it as far as acne goes. So, I'm focusing on no dairy and no sugar, and then just trying to choose as many gluten free and low glycemic food options as possible.

I also got my blood drawn (by an extremely incompetent nurse.....I had to remind her how to do it correctly--mamma mia). So hopefully, those results have been sent to my dermatologist and will be interpreted soon. I know SOMETHING is hormonally wrong......but I wanna know what and how to fix it. *fingers crossed*

Aczone, on the other F*cking insurance. It costs over 700 dollars. 700 DOLLARS. Ouch. And my insurance is throwing an absolute fit over it. Everyday, I'm calling the pharmacy and the doctor's office, trying to figure out what's going on......*sigh* So I'm praying it goes through and the coupon ends up working so that I can use it. Even this early on, it seems to be helping. My supply is rapidly dwindling though, and my dermatology office is out of samples.

I've also been lowering the dose of my mental health medication. I'm down quite a bit now and doing quite well, surprisingly. (Okay, there were a few crisis days in there, but it's all cool now). This decision is not just based on acne--I have a lot of other personal reasons for doing this that I won't get into. But I'm really hoping that my skin will get better the more I titrate down.

Side note related to that--leanna123, I am so sorry. I'm so glad you're doing better now. (((hug)))


Saw my new dermatologist yesterday--she's pretty cool. Very direct.

We're trying 3 new things:

1. Cutting more foods out of my diet. (Noooooooooooo!!!!). Now I am not eating anything with gluten, dairy, or soy, plus no high glycemic index foods, plus no using most common cooking oils. Here's to gnawing on lettuce and my own tears.

2. I'm getting more blood testing done, with someone new to interpret the results. Apparently I may have........well, a lot of things I can't pronounce. But I'll get my blood drawn soon (couldn't do it as the office cause it requires fasting), and the results should get back in a week. Fingers crossed.

3. I'm no longer using Tazorac, and using Aczone 5% gel instead in the morning and at night. Apparently it'll help with cysts. Who knows. I'm trying to not be too critical of my new doctor.


Kinda-personal-but-still-related confession:

I'm not gonna get into specifics, but I have a fairly debilitating mental health condition. And it's taken a couple years, multiple psychiatrists, some hospital visits, and lots of therapy to really get to a good place here. And after 9 different DISASTROUS attempts with medications, last November I finally found something that works.

Unfortunately, my new dermatologist thinks that this medication might be causing my cystic acne.

I spent a very long time crying about that.

I'm hoping there are other ways to keep my acne under control besides quitting this medication. I'm really not entirely sure I could go through that.

Wish me luck.


Well, I'm seeing my new 'holistic/integrative' dermatologist tomorrow. Wish me luck.

My skin is........not bad, to be honest. Still producing cysts. *insert swear words here* But considerably less cysts, and therefore there is less pain and slightly less embarrassment. Very, very few small pimples. Looooooots of hyperpigmentation in a variety of shades (bright red all the way to dark brown--hooray).

Although in general my skin is doing better, I'm still frustrated. I want the cystic acne GONE for good. Nothing is worse than having pretty good looking skin and going to bed confident, then waking up the next morning with a cyst or two. And I do SO much to support my body: vitamins, supplements, medications, a really good diet (no gluten, soy, dairy, or sugar)......and yet it still doesn't cooperate.

It's hard to not lose hope. Oh well. Enough whining. Fingers crossed for tomorrow (Thursday).


Just A Quick Post.

I haven't taken Spironolactone for 5 days now. With my DHEA levels continuing to climb and the progressive worsening of my skin, it's not worth it. My doctor told me it's my call on whether to quit or not, and I'm quitting. I don't think this is the answer. Plus, I won't miss the side effects of exhaustion, dry skin/thirst, and eye lashes falling out (not sure why that happened).

Right now, my skin actually isn't bad. Lots of hyper-pigmentation, but only a couple really small 'regular' pimples, and only two cysts (plus lots of almost healed cysts). This is the best it's looked in quite a while.

I'm trying a different approach now. I've been taking something called Chasteberry, and that's really been helping with balancing my hormones. Now, at my regular physician's urging, I will be trying something called Indole 3 Carbinol starting at 150 mg. I have my fingers crossed that it works.

I'm also seeing a 'holistic dermatologist' for the first time on May 8th, and I'm kinda nervous for that, but between my genetic condition and my loooooong history of not reacting well to prescription medications, I'm thinking that maybe holistic/integrative health is the way to go. Who knows anymore. *sigh*

So, long story short, no more Spiro. I'll be re-naming my blog, obviously, and I'm sorry to disappoint anyone who was on Spironolactone and reading this. I really hope it works for you. I have a genetic mutation, and I suspect that's why it didn't for me---good luck to you all!!


Day 88

So, funny story.

Back in January, I got my hormones tested for the first time. My DHEA (which deals with androgen, which deals with hormonal acne, yada yada) was higher than it's supposed to be. It was in the 300s range. So I started taking Spironolactone.

Now, 3 months later, I got my DHEA tested again.

My DHEA is now at 529.

Instead of lowering my DHEA, Spironolactone has made it significantly higher.

I don't even know what the f*ck to do anymore. No wonder I'm still having severe, cystic hormonal acne.


Day 86?

I think I may have miscounted by a day or so somewhere over the last 3 months, but you get the idea.

Still having painful, nodule-like hormonal breakouts on the lower half of my face. Still waiting for my hormonal results to come in. Still having horrible self-esteem and a constantly hurting face.

My dermatologist says that he's 90% sure he's taking me off Spironolactone, so this blog may be ending very soon. Sorry to disappoint, y'all, but we're really not getting anywhere.


Day 78

Looking at pictures of my skin at the start of Spironolactone was......disappointing, to say the least. I've carefully chronicled my acne progress (or lack thereof) through pictures since the very first week of being on Spiro, and my skin is even worse now in every regard. Still dealing with cysts. Even more tiny breakouts. Even worse skin tone/quality. Even more redness and hyper-pigmentation.

I am super not impressed.

Currently, two things are happening:

a) I am experiencing more hormonal acne than before. Significantly more on my jawline.

b) I am getting a lot of little, 'normal' pimples.

So, when I see my dermatologist on Thursday, I'm gonna get two things done.

First, I'm going to get my hormones re-tested. I have a hunch that between Spironolactone, other medications I'm taking/have taken, supplements, and dietary changes, other hormones may have gotten thrown off. Plus, I need to see if my DHEA has changed at all.

Second, I'm going to make sure I get my Tazorac prescription filled again. I tried to get it dealt with at the pharmacy, but my insurance is fighting me every step of the way. So hopefully I can get that taken care of, and get samples in the mean time. Clogged pores are gross and irritating, even if not painful.

I'm really hoping to have a turn-around sometime soon. I've had acne for 8 years now, and I'm going off to college in the fall. I'd really like to have clear skin by then. I don't want being known as the 'girl with severe acne in middle school' and the 'girl with severe acne in high school' to turn into being known as the 'girl with severe acne in college'. I realize everyone gets breakouts and pimples, including (and perhaps especially) college students, but I wanna be cystic acne free. *sigh*



75 mg Spironolactone

Clearasil Face Wash

Cetaphil SPF 30 Oil Control Moisturizer


Day 68

Trying not to be too mopey........I guess there is some progress? I dunno. I feel like not a lot has changed since day 1 of Spironolactone. My skin gets better, then way worse, then better again, then it's red, not red, producing cysts, not producing cysts, breaking out in tiny pimples, perfectly smooth, oily, dry.......without any rhyme or reason. It's so frustrating. My break-outs seem to have no correlation what-so-ever to what I'm doing as treatment.

Skin is pretty smooth today, but still producing some pretty big cysts. I'm also having more issues than usual with hyperpigmentation--some pimples that went away like, a month ago still have red marks that are just as inflamed as they were weeks ago. :/

I'm seeing my dermatologist on April 10th, which will be 82 days on Sprio, and he'll decide whether to continue on, go up a dose, or quit. I'm not feeling very hopeful--he's already said that if Spiro doesn't work, there's literally nothing else he can do. We've exhausted every treatment but Accutane, and I can't do Accutane. *sigh*

I know Spiro is supposed to take awhile, but the issue is that with my genetic condition, my body doesn't react the way it's supposed to with most things. Awhile back, I was on a medication that was supposed to kick in within 3 months--I felt the effects the first day I took it. Other meds that were supposed to kick in within 2 weeks......never did, not even 4 months later. My doctor says that despite problems with elevated hormones, Spiro may never work for me just because my body doesn't metabolize things normally.

Call me whiny, but I wish I could just wash my face with BP and have clear skin like most other people I know. I hate feeling like I'm constantly battling my body. My health has been getting in my way for years now and it's such an uphill battle.

BUT I'm trying to stay positive now. And my mood always goes up reading supportive comments from leanna123 and CarpeMomentum. Thanks guys. :)


75 mg Spironolactone

Clearasil Face Wash

Cetaphil SPF 30 Oil Control Moisturizer


Day 63


Despite absolutely no changes in diet, regimen, or medications, it's back to cystic acne. Two on my forehead and a ton on my lower cheeks and jawline. I don't even want to count how many. And it isn't even close to *ahem*.....that time of the month.

I feel like crying over my skin. It's so painful and embarrassing and I am so sick of this sh*t. Every time I get even the teensiest bit hopeful, it's back to square one. I don't even want to leave my house.


75 mg Spironolactone

Clearasil Face Wash

Cetaphil SPF 30 Oil Control Moisturizer


Day 61

Doing pretty well!!! A couple cysts and a few minor pimples, but not bad. I'm feeling a LOT more hopeful.

My diet still isn't perfect, but I'm getting better and better. Plus, I think this 75 mg of Spiro is really helping.

Clear skin, here I come. I'd be over the moon if I could have cyst-free skin by this summer.


75 mg Spironolactone

Clearasil Face Wash

Cetaphil SPF 30 Oil Control Moisturizer


Day 55

I have to admit, I am very pleased. 11 days on my diet and 5 days on 75 mg Spiro. My skin is still 'purging' so there are a lot of little pimples--almost rash like. But as far as cysts and pain? My skin is doing surprisingly well. It feels smooth and there is no tossing and turning at night, trying to find a way of sleeping that doesn't put pressure on certain spots on my face.

I do wish I had less hyper-pigmentation though. Luckily, my actual scarring is minimal.....but the hyper-pigmentation in my skin is really bad. My dermatologist says that because of the tone of my skin, my body hangs onto the pigment longer....might also have something to do with my genetic condition. Eventually, he says I can get some type of laser treatment.

At any rate, it's irritating cause it makes it really hard to gauge how well/badly my skin is actually doing. Some days I just stare in the mirror and wonder what's acne and what's a fading mark of a long-gone pimple. Oh well.


75 mg Spironolactone

Clearasil Face Wash

Cetaphil SPF 30 Oil Control Moisturizer


Day 54

Do I dare say it? I think my skin is looking better. Lots of small pimples and lots of healing cysts, but only one new cyst. Let's hope this progress continues.

I've been on my diet for......10 days now? I think? And I've only messed up twice. Which isn't a huge deal--I'm allowed to have occasional 'cheat' meals. Let's hope I just keep getting better and better at this no gluten, no refined sugar, no diary thing though. And eventually no high carb foods as well.

Thankfully, 75 mg of Spiro does not seem to be causing new breakouts or more dryness......knock on wood. I've been on 75 for 3 days now (well, today will be day 4 once I take it tonight).


75 mg Spironolactone

Clearasil Face Wash

Cetaphil 30 SPF Oil Control Moisturizer


Day 51

Absolutely no change. Not one bit. Looking back on pictures of my skin before Spironolactone literally made me cry today.....I think my skin was actually better looking then.

I had tried 75 mg for one day then chickened out and went back to 50 mg, but I think for my last month or so here, I'm gonna permanently go up to 75. If this hasn't changed at 3 months, I quit. I can't put up with this anymore. My face hurts so very, very badly.

I'm also doing dietary stuff and taking special supplements for my genetic condition, but I'm not gonna write about that since it really isn't relevant to the rest of y'all (or at least, I don't think it is......).

I'm also gonna see if I can rename my blog.......

So, here we go.


75 mg Spironolactone

Clearasil Face Wash

Cetaphil SPF 30 Oil Control Moisturizer


So I've been putting off writing about this for the past 2-3 days just cause I've been kinda upset over it and exhausted by midterms.

I have just been diagnosed with a genetic disorder. I have a compound heterozygous MTHFR mutation for methylation. Basically, my genes are screwed up.

On the one hand, this can account for every single health problem I have ever had in my entire life. Literally.

On the other hand, I will have to take a lot of supplements everyday for the rest of my life and follow a strict diet (no sugar, no processed foods, no gluten, no dairy). And although I can cope with that, it's less than thrilling.

The reason I'm bringing this up is that I might have to go off my current meds.

I'm already quitting Doxycycline today because I can't be on any antibiotics with this disorder (my body can't process them). I went up to 75mg Spironolactone last night, but if my doctor says that Spiro has folic acid in it, I have to quit that too.

Theoretically, this diet and these supplements should really help with my acne, but I'm not buying it. TBH, I don't really believe in any treatments anymore--I'm not getting my hopes up.

So, I already started the diet yesterday and my supplements should be coming tomorrow. Wish me luck.


75mg Spironolactone

Clearasil Fash Wash

Cetaphil SPF 30 Oil Control Moisturizer


Day 42 :'(

Today, I have 12 active cysts on my face.

I would not be nearly as upset if my face hadn't seemed to be getting better at the beginning of Spironolactone. There was some time in there where my skin was looking damn good. It was smooth and so close to being cyst free......and I had so much more confidence.

Initial breakout was expected. Random one-and-a-half-month-into-treatment breakout I did not see coming.


Gonna go put some ice on my jawline and hope for a major turn-around here soon.


Day 40

I'm gonna be really honest......I'm disappointed.

With 8 cysts on my face right now, my patience is starting to wear thin, especially since 3 of the cysts developed within the last 2 days. I'm not expecting a miracle and a totally cyst clear face, but I was hoping that by this point, my body would have at least stopped producing NEW cysts. Uggghhhhh. Nothing like waking up with new painful, tender knots under your skin.

I've started using Tazorac as spot treatment......(I did mention I had stopped using it all over, right? I think yes).

I met with a friend today who, last time I saw her, had been struggling with really bad acne (that was about 4 months ago)......and now her skin is nearly literally flawless. I am SO jealous, and I kept awkwardly staring. I am so close to giving up and surrendering myself to a life of ugliness and low self-esteem.

Sorry for the whining, but today just feels really hopeless.


50 mg Spironolactone

200 mg Doxycycline

Tazorac (spot treatment)

Clearsil Face Wash

Cetaphil SPF 30 Oil Control Moisturizer


Day 33

Skin is looking better!!! It's SO smooth......I have to resist the urge to constantly touch it. :P

Old cysts are healing, and I'm not seeing any new ones. It's still painful, but at least the production rate for cysts seems to have slowed down. My scarring seems to be doing better too.......perhaps from lots of moisturizing? I'm not sure.

I do have one question though, for anyone reading this......does every under-the-skin lump have to turn into a cyst? For example, my right cheek has two little lumps under the skin. They're not visible or painful, just hard. So is there any chance that they could disappear without coming to the surface and turning inflamed and painful? Maybe? Hopefully?

Overall, I'm feeling good. I can't wait until 3 months so I can start seeing the full effect of the Spironolactone.


Day 33.

50mg Spironolactone

200mg Doxycycline

Clearasil Face Wash

Cetaphil SPF 30 Moisturizer


Ugh--Day 30

My skin is NOT looking good today.......blegh. I woke up to 4 news cysts on my face. FOUR. Ick. I don't know where these came from--they're right by my hairline and above my eyebrow, which is VERY unusual for me. I normally have a cyst on the upper half of my face maybe once every couple of months. My face is looking red and inflamed......I am not in good spirits about this whole treatment today. *sigh*

I called my dermatologist though and he is going to get back to me tomorrow.......I'm wondering if I should just wait this through or go up a dose. I know it's only been a month, but I'm getting impatient. I've heard SO many good things about this drug, and I just want to get to that point where I have this brilliant skin everyone's been talking about.

So, summary:

Today is Day 30.

50 mg Spironolactone

200 mg Doxycycline

Clearasil Face Wash

Cetaphil SPF 50 Moisturizer


First (Real) Entry 2/14/14

So, more about Spiro and Doxy.

FYI: this post is a bit messy, I promise I'm not usually this confusing.

I'll post pictures later, but basically, I have cystic acne on the bottom half of my face--mostly concentrated on my lower cheeks, but also some on my jaw line and chin. My nose and forehead are actually quite nice looking.

So I went to an endocrinologist and got my hormones tested. Everything is good except my DHEA, which is way high (darn adrenal gland, malfunctioning). According to her, it is probably causing my cystic acne and other not-relevant-to-this-forum health symptoms.

In January, I started on Spironolactone (January 14th, to be precise--happy one month anniversary to me!!!). 25mg once per day. I did that for 2 weeks and then went up to 50 mg. Tuesday was the start of my 3rd week on 50 mg and the start of my 5th week overall (hopefully that made sense).

Not gonna lie--I absolutely HATED Spiro at first. I had an initial breakout and my skin was so dry it was turning white and flaking off. Partially, I attribute that to the fact that I live in a very cold and very dry climate. But I think it was also the diuretic effect, cause I was constantly dehydrated too, and going to the bathroom a lot.

However, my skin started getting a bit better, surprisingly soon.

When I went up to 50 mg, it was the initial breakout and dryness effect all over again, only this time it was not going away as fast. So when I went back to my dermatologist last Friday (2/7/14), he started me on 200 mg Doxycycline, 100 in the morning and 100 at night. He said we're just 'biding time' for the Spironolactone to really work, so hopefully this is a temporary thing. Fingers crossed.

So far, Doxycycline is really helping. Less redness, less cysts.

He also took me off Tazorac since it's really drying and not helping my cysts anyway. It feels weird to be off it though......I've been on one topical or another since I was 11 years old (I'm 17 now).

Unfortunately, I have 2 new cysts today, one on each cheek. I'm hoping they'll go away before they get full blown. Otherwise, my skin is actually really smooth, which just a couple 'old' cysts in the process of healing.

And perhaps the new cysts are just cause of my crappy eating habits this week......Valentines Day brings too much chocolate. Ugh.

Side note: I know my Spiro dose is kinda low......I'm on another medication that has a high risk of reacting badly with Spiro, so I have to be careful and get my blood tested a lot.

In case you didn't want to read all that, here's a summary:

27 days on Spironolactone, on 50 mg once per day right now.

7 days on Doxycycline, 200 mg per day.

Clearasil face wash at night, just water in the morning.

Cetaphil moisturizer.



So, a little preface to this blog.

Looking back at pictures from 5th grade, I had a couple pimples when I was nine. NINE. Yikes. From there, things only got worse. I had light acne in 6th grade and it got moderate in 7th grade. I went to a dermatologist for the first time when I was 11 years old.

I have tried a TON of different treatments. I've been on Tretinoin, Differin, and Tazorac at all strengths. I was also on Clindamycin and some other daytime topical I can't remember the name of. I have tried Minocycline at different dosages and Erythromycin too (pill form). I also did the whole natural/alternative route too, and Proactive once.

My skin was actually doing really well last summer (2013). Then in August, I started some unrelated medications and my skin TOTALLY flipped out. I went off the meds after 2 weeks, but my skin was not recovering. So I went to my doctor and was put on Alesse birth control, which was a nightmare. Painful cystic acne all over my face. My doctor switched me to Yaz, which only made it worse. After about a month and a half of grappling with birth control, I quit (I know it's supposed to take a couple months to even out, but I was having other debilitating symptoms, so my doc took me off).

(If you haven't guessed by now, my body reacts weirdly to medications).

So now, I have cystic acne and I'm trying Spironolactone and Doxycycline. I'll put more about that in my next post.

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