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  1. HORMONAL ACNE DIAGNOSIS: Yes, if you see a correlation between your period and your breakouts that indicates your acne is hormone related. I have to add, ALL acne is activated by hormones. Sadly, whether you are helped by hormone therapy (spiro, bc pills) varies by individual. My hormone panel came back normal (no elevated testosterone). An endocrinologist would NOT have diagnosed me as having a hormone imbalance. Current thinking is some people may have sensitive "hormone receptors" withou
  2. My answer is YES! I was you 30 years ago. I've had acne since puberty and been through every regime out there. This stuff is a godsend - it gave me normal skin and I can stay on it forever!!!! Accutane gave me beautiful skin but acne and oil always returned. I am a medical researcher but not a physician. Take my observations as my opinion only: NOT JUST FOR ELEVATED TESTOSTERONE: Current dogma is that women with excess oil/acne may have extra-sensitive receptors for testosterone, i.e. do
  3. Hi guys, I have a history with accutane and spiro. I'm 46, had acne since I was 12, mostly forehead, nose, chin area (rarely cheeks). I've always had very oily skin and 4-5 small whiteheads/day even with most treatments. After 5 rounds of Accutane (1-4yrs clear between rounds) I started on Spiro. Spiro took 6 months to be consistently clear (1-3/month) but oil decreased almost immediately. I went into that long-winded explanation to say that I got complete clearing with accutane and didn
  4. Great! Yes, Spiro is a fairly cheap drug. It is on most pharmacy "inexpensive" lists. MD's may start you out as low as 25-75 mg/day to demonstrate a tolerance to the drug. The idea is to gradually increase the dosage until efficacy is reached. Most of us on this board need 100-200mg/day for optimum benefit. There are initial side effects, including feeling tired, headache, dehydration.and menstrual changes. These will pass but you MUST drink water. As others have pointed out, some peop
  5. Hi, I think my experience will be helpful. We have similar backgrounds. I am 45, had acne since 12, very oily skin, low blood pressure, and cystic ovaries. However, I rarely had cystic acne. Mine was constant whiteheads, closed comodomes, and blackheads especially around my nose. Acne centered in the middle of my face with occasional forehead and cheek lesions. I would have maybe one cyst per month but I ALWAYS had 15-20 lesions present. My treatment history included antibiotics, topica
  6. From what I have read, your problem may or may not be dose related. Spiro helps with hormonal acne... hormones which increase sebum, i.e. acne peak before your period. If you are still breaking out around your period, increasing the dosage should help. Having said that, it may take a year for your current dosage of spiro to take full effect. Your choice is to ask for a higher dose now, or wait to see if your skin continues to clear over time. Obviously, it would be better to be on a lower
  7. I'm on spiro and also a distance runner (marathons). Unfortunately, I did go through a couple of months of fatigue when I started 75 mg/day spiro. Sometimes I felt like I was walking through mud all day. Training sucked. Fatigue is listed as a side-effect either because of dehydration, slightly lower bp, or just adjusting to the med. It is SUPPOSED to subside after a while. I was committed to giving spiro a shot and just dealt with it. Now, I'm over 9 months and my running is fine. good
  8. Great that it worked for you too! What I meant by "not changing the nature of your skin" was that unlike accutane, it doesn't eliminate the abnormal cell turnover (skin cells sticking together inside the pore). That's why you should still worry about exfoliating, etc. As you know, it does make your skin much less oily and once the red marks have all healed your skin looks healthy. Even with antibiotics, bp and tazorac I could only get to 2-4 small whiteheads PER DAY. This drug has been a
  9. Yeah, Spiro is great. It acts in two ways. First, it blocks testosterone receptors (without decreasing the amount of testosterone circulating in your system). This, in turn, reduces the amount of sebum produced. Secondly, it inhibits comedone formation in the skin. (I'm not sure of the exact mechanism) The original use was as a diuretic. It's first off-label use was for PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) which gives you high levels of testestosterone and abnormally high hair growth and acne
  10. I seemed to have stabilized @ 1-2 small blemishes/week using 75mg/day after 6 months. My nose was still slightly oily. Not perfect skin, but much better. After about a month at 150mg I was completely clear. I've had one SMALL blemish in month 8. From what I've read, this stuff is dosage dependent so for complete clearing you keep upping the doage til you hit the 200mg ceiling or get clear. Having said that, it takes TIME. A couple of studies indicate you don't see final results until as mu
  11. I don't know if you are guys or girls, but I am 45 yr old female with acne since 13. Had 4 rounds of accutane over the years. Clear for a couple, then oil and acne would return. I've taken spironolactone for 8 months and finally my skin is as good as an accutane round. No oil, completely clear. It takes longer than tane to work, but you can take it long term. It basically blocks testosterone receptors which inhibits oil production and comedone formation. Even if you have normal hormone leve
  12. I still take 100 mg/day erythromycin (50mg am, 50mg pm). I've been on it for years. I was still breaking out 4-5 small ones per day with erythromycin, tazorac (like retin A) and 2.5% BP. That seemed like the best I could do. Antibiotics seem like a good idea for people starting spiro. Evidently, in the first few months, acne can actually increase. This is anecdotal evidence but enough people on this board have reported it. Mine cycled better to worse for several months but SLOWLY got si
  13. Just thought I'd post some positive results. I'm 45 with acne history since 13. Treatment included 4 rounds of accutane, antibiotics, retin a, bp, you name it. Accutane was the only thing to give me perfect skin but after a year the acne/oily skin would return. Until now. At treatment outset, I had mild moderate acne w. 2-4 sm-med whiteheads per day. Always healing and emerging. Rarely had no active lesions. I was on 75 mg spiro w. erythromycin for 6 months. Oil reduced to very little
  14. It sounds like your derm is being excessive, or at least overly cautious. I'm not saying your derm is like this, but some are just after the business, having you come in every month unnecessarily if you have great insurance. A blood test every thirty days after you have shown to tolerate spiro well? Nah. My derm checked my potassium levels at 3 months, then said I should have my blood chemistry checked once per year. Now my primary care prescribes the meds and I order 3 months at a time.