Originally Posted by kulashaker
Someone suggested my acne may be testosterone/hormonal driven. I am in my late twenties and suffer from depression and acne. I do get quite angry as well.
Does anyone have any suggestion as to what I might take for this?
This will not contain any accurate recitation of facts and how things really work. I didn't memorize those. But this is what I've gathered in discussions here and some other sources, what I do, and what it's done for me.
SUPPLEMENTS to help balance hormones--
These don't necessarily lower testosterone levels, but block it from being used for many undesirable things, like the production of excess oil, hirsutism which is unwanted male pattern hair in women, and even male patterned baldness. Some of these are zinc, Saw Palmetto and Nettle leaf. You could also look for men's prostrate health supplements which contain saw palmetto and other things. You'll find a lot of this information if you search for the discussions on hirsutism. Even though that is a women's issue, much of the information still applies. It's the same imbalance (or close to it as women do have their varying estrogen levels to help balance the testosterone).
Lately, I've been looking into omega 3s and have come across claims that among the health benefits people usually take them for such as cholestoral it also helps to balance hormones and improve mood. I think I read some of that on the nutrition board here. I don't think I've seen that mentioned in the discussions about hormones on the acne board though.
I took Saw Palmetto and Zinc along with a multi, b-complex and lots of vitamin C for about a year and my formerly grotesquely oily skin got a lot less oily.
There is also a prescription medication called spironolactone which you'll find mentioned in the hirsutism discussions. All the people I've heard of taking it are women, but it is actually a very old high blood pressure medication and not necessarily for women at all. Also, you'll see mentions of topical spiro for male pattern baldness. I think it's in finestrae or Rogaine. I started taking spiro a month or so ago and my skin is not oily at all anymore.
Lots of people have posted how Atkins and low carb diets have cleared their skin. Which I didn't want to buy into. I love carbs and didn't want to believe we've been eating the wrong foods since the dawn of civilization. Western civilization anyway. But it's true. For a couple of reasons. And probably many more reasons that I don't know.
1) Sugar and simple carbs, which easily turn into sugar, are the cause of so many of our health problems: Diabetes, heart disease, and acne. The sugar/glucose stimulates hormone production one of which is insulin. Another is testosterone. Cutting back on simple carbs should reduce oil production. You should try this for a period and see if it works.
Also, exercize and fiber help your body process glucose properly keeping it from causing these problems. This is why I think that the high carb diet wasn't so bad all these past centuries. We were still getting plenty of exersize and probably more fiber. Also, for this purpose, you should exercize after meals to help process the glucose as opposed to for fitness where I think they tend to recommend exercizing before meals, such as before breakfast.
Some vitamins and supplements help too. Look into things recommended for diabetics. Chromium is one. Some people even take medication, such as metformin, meant for diabetes for acne and hirsutism. Take fiber supplements when you do eat high glycemic meals like pasta.
2) Sugar/glucose also ages you and causes inflamation. This is what Dr. Perricone is all about. This inflamation is subdermal and prevents pores from exfoliating dead cells properly causing clogged pores well below the surface. There isn't anything topically you can do about that. Dairy is another inflammatory food. Some of this info is also found at smartskincare.
I cut out sodas and limiting the simple carbs in February and my skin has improved so much. I already didn't get any kind of inflamed acne on my face since starting the other supplements and reducing oil. But still got acne elsewhere--cysts on my back and blackheads on my chest and nose. That all cleared up so fast. I also have rosacea (inflammation) and have had fewer flare ups even though it is now summer and heat is one of the biggest triggers for me. Other triggers are all the inflamatory foods like sugar and dairy.
3) Sugar feeds candida (yeast) causing an imbalance in our intestines. We all have candida, but we acne sufferers especially from taking all those antibiotics dermatologists kept giving us. Candida can cause many problems including sinus problems and acne. You can buy cleanses at a drugstore or healthfood store. These contain probiotics and antifungal herbs such as garlic. I did one hoping it would help my sinuses. Which I think it did a bit, but wasn't the miracle I was hoping for. But there have been threads with people saying
that candida cleanses and diet cleared them. This is what the probiotics are for.
There have also been discussion on doing digestive cleanses which consist of taking probiotics, fiber supplements and something that absorbs toxins like Activated charcoal or bentonite clay if I remember right. One of these threads was 75 pages long. After reading it all, I came to the conclusion that while the cleanse might help, in the long run it was the fiber and probiotics that helped. Also you shouldn't take the charcoal for long as it absorbs nutrients as well and I've read that bentonite clay is what is in clumping kitty litter and some say that is poisonous to us and the cats.