Saw Palmetto and complementary supplements
I've battled acne for more than 20 years and until recently, the only treatment that worked for me at least partially was birth control pills, specifically, Yasmine. I could no longer stay on it, and after a few months, acne returned in full force, primarily the hormonal, cystic type around my mouth and chin. I did some research and also had my hormone levels checked. I concluded that my issue is DHT (dihydrotestosterone) conversion and sensitivity at the skin level. (By the way, no doctors have been of much help - mostly dismissing my concerns, writing prescriptions that could not address the root cause, etc. They also would not agree to run a hormone test, so I had to do that on my own.) I made several changes and incorporated supplements into my diet, and here are my findings. I hope this can be helpful, but since everyone is so different, it may take some investigation and experimentation to find out what works for you. There is science behind all of this, related to blood sugar levels, insulin sensitivity, and inhibiting production of DHT. None of this worked immediately. It may take weeks, so prepare for that, to see any positive results. In my case, my patience finally paid off after 6 - 8 weeks and I think I have finally turned the corner on clearing my hormonal acne.
- I have restricted dairy from my diet, in particular, I no longer drink milk and have substituted almond milk
- I have restricted sugary sweets from my diet
- I have restricted certain starchy foods such as potatoes, bread, white rice
- Saw Palmetto, this I think is the main performer: I take 320mg of standardized Saw Palmetto each evening. (The standardized part is very important.) It has some side effects, make sure to take it with food as it can upset the digestive system. It also makes me feel sleepy which is why I take it at night. The side effects should diminish over time. This supplement inhibits the conversion of testosterone to DHT.
- Zinc (OptiZinc with Copper) : I take 30mg each evening with food. (OptiZinc is important because it contains a type of zinc that is highly absorbed by the body.) As with Saw Palmetto, it can be hard on the digestive system. Consider splitting a table and taking twice a day if you find it is causing problems to take it all at once). This supplement helps with inflammation, healing, inhibition of DHT, and increases the effectiveness of Saw Palmetto.
- Pumpkin Seed Oil : 1000mg each morning. This works synergistically with the Saw Palmetto to inhibit the effects of androgen hormones.
- Vitamin A : 10,000 IU each evening
- Vitamin D3 : 1000 IU each evening
- Topically, i am currently using Clearogen products. This line also addresses the DHT issue.
My skin is no longer breaking out. The oiliness is reduced, but certainly not gone especially in the t-zone area. I think I can live with that.