here's my story. i'm nearly 38 y.o. and i've had acne ever since puberty. i've tried removing certain foods from my diet (sugar, wheat, etc), thinking it might be food related, but nothing changed my acne much.
i've tried different facial products, but nothing makes a difference.
the only thing that has decreased my acne is a birth control pill called estrostep.
i'd like to mention that i also have had irritable bowel syndrome. i've had this since my early teens. might have coincided with puberty but i'm not sure.
at age 10 i developed hyperactive thyroidism. this regulated itself after a few years of medicaiton, so i've been off medication for that problem since my mid-teens. last week i found out i've gone hypothyroid now and started taking thyroid hormones.
i'm mentioning the irritable bowel syndrome and the thyroid problems because they are both classified as autoimmune disorders, and both may be hormone-related, and in conjunction with my acne which only changes when i'm on estrogen/b.c. pills, i'm wondering if all of this ties together.
if i go off the b.c. pil, i get massive acne of all sizes and shapes all over my face, in my ears, on my neck, in my scalp, down my back, and between my breasts. i feel like such a hideous freak of nature when it gets that bad. when i'm on the b.c. pill, i still get zits - i've got blackheads on my nose that never go away, and i do get breakouts regularly, but absolutely nothing near as bad as when i'm not taking it. but i HATE being on the pill and messing with my natural hormones. and its not just that, its the not knowing exactly what is going on that is causing this. i feel like i'm just using the pill as a band-aid.
having acne in my twenties and even early thirties was something i just got used to living with. but now, i'm getting up there, and i am so sick and tired of it. i havent gone to a dermatologist because i believe its hormone-related, and i dont want to be putting creams on my face which dont get to the root of the problem and may dry out my skin, and i dont want to take pills that upset my already-touchy digestive tract.
anyone have any ideas? does my theory of hormone-connectivity with all my ailments make any sense? anyone in the same boat?
I hope I can help. When I was a teen I started having serious acne problems. After I gave birth to my son it got worse. I developed cystic acne, severly oily skin and scaly red patches like exima, and burning-itching skin (inflamed). I would get infections from these cysts and need medical attention and anti-biotics. I was seen by all kinds of dermotologists and treated with Retin A and acutane. After I turned 40, I decided to treat it like an allergy. I stopped using topical medications, hair sprays and soap on my face. IT WORKED!! I now scrubb my face gently with warm water and a clean face cloth. I don't over wash it. That can cause problems too. It's the first thing I wash when I get into the shower. I then take a clean COTTON pad and apply 1 part isopropyl alcohol, 91% and 1 part witch hazel. I do this by pressing the cotton pad against the bottle tops and turning the bottles over onto the pad just once. I rub my entire face with this solution just once over. Don't over-do it. Then apply hydrocortisone 1% to my whole face, also inside and behind my ears. I put on my hypo-allergenic make-up and I'm good to go. At bed time I wipe off my face with a wet face cloth and apply only the hydrocortisone. The hydrocortisone is for the inflamation. Inflamation can cause infections and seems to be the key to clearing my skin up. I've been doing this for 17 years. I stared noticing a difference within a couple of weeks. I'm 57 now and don't break out any more. Occasionally I'll get a tiny pimple, like everyone else. I just clean it with a little alcohol and hydrocortisone and it goes away. But don't forget, I also had to get away from soap, hair spray, hair coloring, etc. I wish I had known that when I was 14.
Hi, I can understand what you are going through. It's not funny how it seems to get worse the older we get , when I would think it would get better!!
Have you tried any treatments like Proactiv? I am not pushing it or anything, but it worked for me.
With all of your medical problems, I think my next step would be a dermatologist!
Best of Luck!
scoot, do u have children, were u able to have kids. I have that problem too, have been on BCP for 10 years and in good control with it but when off it after two months BOOM- my face is bad enough for accutane and I get severly depressed. Ever had hormone testing done?
I am sort of in your boat. I'm 39 and have had acne since puberty also, though not as bad as you describe and no digestive or thyroid problems. I was on the pill for years and years (several different kinds) and they never made a difference in my acne. The only thing that ever helped was when I was pregnant with my son it almost cleared up completely. Big help, huh?
No topicals have ever worked & I have not wanted to do accutane or antibiotics. I might try that hydrocortisone route the other poster described...
I have read with interest about the dietary modifications that folks are talking about on here, but I'm not good at restricting myself, though it would probably do me good & help with the extra pounds as well, but I seem to lack the discipline, especially when I'm not sure whether it will work.
Sorry, I'm no help except to tell you you're not alone!
well for me, I break out with painful cysts everytime I drink milk. One week or so a month (When it's that time of the month) I eat lots and lots of chocolate and of course I have to drink lots of milk with it. I suspected that milk was the culprit. Just to see, I ate my chocolate like normal but with water or diet soda instead and to my suprise my acne cysts did not flare up! I know we are all different, but that is what makes my acne flare up!
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HI , I know how you feel my face has broke out also worse with age I'm around the same age as you. From what I have researched and asked dr.s it is a hormone unbalance that cause's blemishe's or acne with women in there late 30's to 40 They recommend estroven first over the counter 9.99
or birth control pill called - Yasmin its helps keep hormones more level and has a ingredient that kills bacteria as well as gets rids of old skin cells that clog pores that stick to sebum.
Hang in there we are not alone , Good Luck !