years of hormonal acne - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 11-28-2011, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm 29 now and I'm really, really tired of not having clear skin. I have clear-ish skin on occasion, but I'd say for close to 10 years now I have had chronic acne-prone skin that at times has gotten really, really bad. When I was pregnant last year it was HORRENDOUS. I've been nursing now for a year and it has gotten slightly better over time, but I'd say I probably still have a new breakout every day...they're just small ones. I'm also a skin picker, which doesn't help, but I have to get the stuff out.


In the last decade I have tried it all, and the only things that have worked for me were, unfortunately, not natural methods (I wasn't so "green" back then):


Doryx (doxycycline) taken every day for almost 2 years until I became resistent to it. I have never had clearer skin in my life. There was no oil in my skin and it was gorgeously smooth. Then it stopped working. The issue was that I had no idea that I was not supposed to be taking it long-term and I can't imagine what damage I did to my body with all those antibiotics.


Combination of Yasmin OC and Spironolactone. On and off for a few years. Worked pretty well, but wasn't perfect. I also felt very, very dry while on hair was dry, skin was dry, etc.


I've always just had these big pores that seem to clog up no matter what I do. Blackheads and white lumps right under the skin with no head. Now my skin is sort of scarred from all the acne I had when I was pregnant, and I guess breastfeeding is still keeping the breakouts going. On top of that, every pore is always clogged. Every. single. one.


So, that is where I'm thinking that I need to treat this internally, given it is a chronic problem of mine. I know it is hormonal, but I'm starting to wonder if something is wrong with my liver or if I have an undiagnosed food intolerance. I am a coffee drinker and a huge wine drinker and definitely drank a lot back in college, which is also when I really started breaking out majorly (I had a horrible diet back then too). However, I used to break out in high school a little bit when I didn't drink either coffee or wine.


Anyone with similar symptoms/ideas of where I should begin? I eat an organic diet only but eat everything (dairy, beans, nuts, meat).  Right now I'm washing my face with castor oil/jojoba oil via the OCM which seems to give me immediate glowing results but then throughout the day my skin looks splotchy and ravaged again.  However, I really do think this is an internal problem I need to fix (i.e., nothing I put directly on my skin is going to "cure" me). I want to get to the bottom of it now b/c I plan to have more babies and don't want the scarring that will likely come with each subsequent pregnancy.



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#2 of 13 Old 11-28-2011, 11:39 AM
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Look into Pantothenic Acid (vitamin B5). It worked for my husband. After many years on it he is now on a very low maintenance dose.

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#3 of 13 Old 11-28-2011, 11:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Would it be safe to take high doses of it while breastfeeding?

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#4 of 13 Old 12-01-2011, 11:21 AM
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I'm sorry.  I had acne til I hit 35 and always thought it was hormonal.  Pregnancy made it 10x worse.  Finally, I took dairy and gluten out of my diet. No more acne, going on 5 years now.  Worth a shot.  I tried everything under the sun, constant, antibiotics, the pill, several rounds of accutane and am suffering b/c of all the damage I did to myself.  I wish I would have known about the nutrition link when I started getting acne around 12.


Anyway, I do notice that if I slip up/give in and have dairy (more than a tiny bit) I get mini-flares (nothing too major, though).  Eating occasional gluten containing foods do not cause me to break out anymore (but will still give me killer headaches).


I still drink coffee (you mentioned you drank coffee) and a lot of it :) Doesn't affect my skin.


HTH and good luck.

Mother to 6
14, 12, 10, 7, 5, 2
Pray, Hope and Don't Worry
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#5 of 13 Old 12-01-2011, 12:51 PM
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I still had acne even when I didn't eat dairy and gluten. No chocolate, no caffeine, no whatever... tried it all and nothing worked. Being on prednisone (not for acne) didn't help either. Diane 35 helped some, but I couldn't take the side effects.


I know that my acne is androgen-receptor related, but the other issue is that dead skin cells do not slough off quickly. So I have a regime for removing them - one gentle cleanser that helps is pearl powder (real pearls, not jewelry grade, thinly grated) - that stuff is golden. It is the best exfoliator I've ever tried - wash the oil off the skin and rub with pearl powder, it's amazing how much dead skin gets removed, very gently. After that I use dermabrasion-style crystals, just plain on the skin without any cream. If I forget to do this, acne gets worse (and I don't have the glowing complection and baby-smooth tender skin.) I also used lactic acid and salicylic acid, but not now when I'm pregnant.

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#6 of 13 Old 12-01-2011, 02:01 PM
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I can totally relate (hence the long post)! It is very frustrating being 35 and having acne and very little natural seems to be helping me. 


I had acne before I went on the pill/accutane 14 years ago. After it, I had pretty good skin for about a decade. I was still clear after I went off the pill 11 years ago. 


When I started a more stressful job about 5 years ago, it came back some. When I did cardio exercise it seemed to help a lot. 


Then, I started ttc this summer, so I stopped the benzoyl and salicylic acid (and had gone on the pill 6 months earlier to regulate my hormones) and acne came back with a vengeance. Even before I did 3 months of clomid the acne was back, and now that the clomid is over, I still have it.


I had bad acne even when I was vegan (before I went on accutane/pill). I am not drinking caffeine or alcohol so it makes no difference for me. I have cut out all unnatural cleaners and products.


It does seem to improve slightly when I go running, but I haven't been able to do much of that lately. Since cardio is thought to do something with hormones, I wonder if my issue might have to do with whatever hormone running might affect. Are you physically active?


Yogi teas has a skin detox tea that I also have used in the past and it worked well, but I'm staying away from herbals when ttc. Maybe you could try that?


None of this that follows is for the internal solution you may be seeking, but I had some success last month with Lush's coalface soap. However, I stopped using it because of its licorice content, which affects estrogen, but I don't know if that is also bad for bf.  I am thinking about finding a coal facial cleanser without sketchy ingredients on etsy.


I just started using the Olay pro-x brush and soap that comes with it (granted not natural) and it seems to be helping with the oil production and texture. I am also using clindamycin since it's class-B for pregnancy.


It is pretty frustrating and I'm sorry you're also dealing with this. I am always looking for something new to try, so I will keep my eye on this thread, and I hope you find something that works great soon! 

hola.gifAndaluza (36) & dh (39), married 11 years! babyboy.gif M 8/23/12.  One cat.gif

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#7 of 13 Old 12-02-2011, 06:39 PM
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I feel your pain too.  I had cystic acne in my late teens, early twenties, went on accutane and had beautiful skin for years.  Then in my late twenties it came back.  So for the last five years I have been battling it again, and it is so frustrating.  I think the solution is different for everyone.  After years of trying prescription, natural, herbal, naturopathic etc etc. remedies, I discovered, along with a very smart dr., I had a sensitivity to fungus, molds and yeasts.  So, I cannot eat anything that can aggravate those (so basically a very strict candida diet).  My skin was completely under control through diet for little more than a year, until late this summer when we moved from a very dry climate to Oregon, where it is damp and moist.  Now my skin is a constant battle, and my only guess is molds and fungus outside and in the house.  So I am at my wits end!  Anyway, my point is, try different things (and give it a while to work), do your own research, and ask lots of questions.  I hope you find something that helps, good luck!

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#8 of 13 Old 12-04-2011, 01:33 PM
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Gluten and dairy free pretty much cleared up my acne, cod liver oil, zinc, and B5 finished it off.


Emily, cooking allergen free, knitting, reading, gardening Mom to 1 beautiful girl, born in the water on July 1, 2006 Wife to 1 handsome man since September 10, 2005
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#9 of 13 Old 12-05-2011, 05:13 PM
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I've been dairy-free for 7 years, gluten-free for nearly 7 years and soy-free for 6.  Still had it.  I had (in pre-child, pre-holistic years) been on multiple things including Spirinolactin briefly.  And my condition spread to behind one of my ears where the skin would peel off and stunk from this horrible smelly liquid that oozed from it.  Ugh... sorry.  :/


What finally did it was by chance, I used a green clay mask and it make my skin look nice.  I did it 5-6 times/week for about a week and my skin was awesome, but I noticed that if I slacked off--it got bad.  A health coach said that her acne was a detox problem and that info combined with the clay performance made me think that my system was just unable to detox appropriately.  I tossed my Oil of Olay and replaced it with coconut oil, plus washed my face with a soft bristle brush (back brush with natural bristles).  Eventually, I was able to get my clay mask treatment down to 1-2x/week, and I'm working on getting my lymph system & liver to work better to detox my body.


So far, so good.

Heather - Wife 
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#10 of 13 Old 12-05-2011, 07:00 PM
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Sucks doesn't it?  There are a lot of things I haven't tried, mostly because I don't care to find out the side effects nor do I want to spend the money or time.  I can't use BC because it makes me so hateful and I'm allergic to just about every single antibiotic.  Ok I've only taken 4 different ones... all with bad results. 


I've always just used a mild soap and face lotion.  I don't pick at my skin as much and if I have lots of blackheads I use benzoyl to dry it all out than I use an exfoliator.  Other than that, I drink so much water it's not funny.  That has really helped my skin and hair.  I make myself drink something every time I get near a sink.  Now it's habit and I'm not kidding my skin looks so much better. 

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#11 of 13 Old 12-07-2011, 08:15 PM
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Here's a good article on hormonal acne and taking a holistic approach...But it could be a food allergy--have you tried an elimination diet? 

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#12 of 13 Old 12-07-2011, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by deditus View Post

Gluten and dairy free pretty much cleared up my acne, cod liver oil, zinc, and B5 finished it off.


Did you use them topically or internally? Can you tell me what dosage helped for you? I'm sick of my adult acne too!


Mama to five babies. The newest one made her debut 7.10.12!

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#13 of 13 Old 05-12-2017, 12:30 AM
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I'm 29 and get hormonal breakouts so Dermalmd Blemish Serum is great for spot treatment. I use it sometimes 3x a day on spots that are very bad/painful and it manages to reduce or sometimes get rid of them fully in about 2 days.
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