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Old 06-29-2003, 03:02 PM   #1
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Unhappy women, hormones, & acne

hi everyone- well, I've been hanging around this board for about 3 months now & my acne has been getting steadily worse. I'm about 95% sure it's hormonal, but would love some feedback from the experienced ladies out there- I've been reading your posts & you know who you are! hahaha... I have generally had decent skin in the past, the occasional pimple here or there, nothing too major. I had a baby 9 months ago & my skin has gone to hell ever since. While I was pregnant my skin was GREAT, it really never looked better. I am breastfeeding, which causes the body to stop producing estrogen, only progesterone. I'm pretty sure that what's happening now is the androgen is the "dominant" hormone in my body, causing most of these zits. Right now I have about 5-6 small cysts, all on my chin! nasty. Plus a few other smaller ones here & there. I was diagnosed with Graves disease about 13 years ago, & have been on anti-thyroid meds since. My current endocrinologist wants me to get RAI therapy done, killing most of my thyroid. Apparently it's better to be on thyroid replacement drugs than suppressant drugs long-term. I have not been to a derm yet, because the ones in my area have like 6 month waiting periods. I did see my primary care doctor, who gave me some topical erythromycin- which is helping, it makes the zits go away faster. Thing is, I can't really take any BC pills w/estrogen or heavy-duty acne meds due to my child nursing still. I guess the reason I'm blabbing on & on & on is that I want those of you in the know to give me some feedback- does this sound hormonal to you? And, does anyone think/hope (like I do!) that once I stop breastfeeding, things should look up somewhat? There are a lot of factors in play, what with my thyroid out of whack & my hormones all messed up. I am wits end- I have tried everything mentioned here, with no good results. Paula's Choice 1% BHA gave me terrible cysts, Burts Bees made me so dry I'm still flaky... I'm now ready to give the old "food cure" a try. I'd love to get that smoothbeam laser, but don't have the $$$. and last but not least, how many of you really think acne & diet are related?

 
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Old 06-29-2003, 03:25 PM   #2
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do you know meeee? lol Yours sounds hormonal to me. I have the cysts on my chin , lower cheeks and jawline. I am 25. I am going on accutane soon. Mine might be hormonal but i have had acne since i was 14. Back then i had a lot on my cheeks and forehead. I think it all just migrated south. i am sick and tired of all of this misery,i have tried everyhting and i strongly believe accutane is my answer. I am not sure what med you can take when you a baby because of the breastfeeding. I am at a lost of words. But i am sure i was one of the people you are relating too.

 
Old 06-29-2003, 04:23 PM   #3
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The same thing happened to me; but my skin got even worse when I stopped bfeeding. I ended up going on Accutane. It worked but left me w/ some minor scarring/dicoloration; which I am working on getting rid of! Now, I am afraid to have any more children! But I know I will eventually, when I get my normal skin back!

 
Old 06-30-2003, 06:28 AM   #4
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oh christ, you're kidding me?!?!!? I'm counting on this mess clearing up when I stop nursing... or I'll go on the Accutane also, but I really don't want to do that. I really don't think I could handle the initial breakout, I'm a wuss.

 
Old 06-30-2003, 03:20 PM   #5
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i am scared to go on accutane not just the initial breakout, but the drying out and so forth. I work in sales, and i am on commission. but i love my job, and i know in 6 months i will BE CLEAR!!!!

 
Old 06-30-2003, 06:45 PM   #6
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yeah, I'm totally scared of Accutane, & not just for the initial breakout. It just seems like there are a lot of scary side effects, & the drug hasn't been in use for all that long & it seems like they are discovering even more potential long-term nasty, nasty side effects. And I have to ask myself, is it worth it? Ok, so my skin sucks, big deal... do I really want to risk my health for a chance at good skin? ugh, I don't know... I see people in wheelchairs, or missing limbs & such, & I think "jeez, I think I got problems???". I feel petty sometimes.

[This message has been edited by pinupvirgin (edited 06-30-2003).]

 
Old 06-30-2003, 07:01 PM   #7
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Just an FYI.....
The only reason I went on it was because I had pretty much tried everything in the past. And, since I planned on having more children I couldn't really rely on all of the meds(topical&oral). Even if the regimen worked(and they take up to 2 months to START to work), I would have to stop as soon as I got preg, and stay off of them for the next 18mo!!(preg+nursing time)! So, my derm agreed to get acne out of my life for good, so that I could get on with MY LIFE! It wasn't an easy ride, and I thought that it was going to be. My best friend was on it 9 years ago with great success(cleared up right away) and has perfect(non oily skin) to this day! I, on the other hand had a BAD initial breakout; limited to my cheeks. The rest of my face was perfect= no oil, not very dry at all. My lips were dry , but no big deal. I am now happy, no blackheads at all! Not nearly as oily as I used to be(Aromaleigh plays a big role in that also.) No zits, just red scarred areas left on cheeks. I think that these will fade in time; they have been fading considerably already.

 
Old 06-30-2003, 07:09 PM   #8
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I guess I was lucky. Both pregnancy and breastfeeding agreed with me. All I can say is to congratulate you on putting your baby's health first. I know my doctor wouldn't allow me to use any topicals on my face during these times, but for once I didn't need them anyway.

Good luck, and again, kudos to you for not giving into vanity. I'm sure you'll be rewarded in the long run.

 
Old 06-30-2003, 07:18 PM   #9
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Thank you pore!
I am now just feeling a "bit" nervous to get preg the second time around. My derm said that I only had to wait 1 month, but I am going to wait at least 6. (post tane) hopefully the Accutane has changed my skin for good, and those nasty horomones will loose the battle the 2nd time around! The only BAD thing is if/when I get preg again, it will always be in the back of my mind.(what if,what if) Oh, and I will get my blood tested prior to trying, just to make sure that the tane is out of my blood!

 
Old 06-30-2003, 09:20 PM   #10
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just wanted to say 2 things... I was on accutane a few years ago, and I don't remember many details, but the dryness was hard for me. I couldn't use enough eye drops or lip balm. I also got terrible back aches, enough that the derm stopped me early.... which leads me to why I am checking around this acne board (obviously), I'm still having problems (and i'm 25)

the second thing, in response to acne and diet, is that yes!! they are related. I believe that I'm on the road to getting better, and it's mostly due to diet, drinking water, and juicing. It just makes sense. "studies" can say that there is no relationship between , say, fast food and acne.... but think about it - what goes in, must come out. Some un-lucky people just have it coming out on their face. I am not saying that if I eat a french fry that i'll have a zit the next day...it takes time. But, I think that nutrition is a huge part of the battle. OH, and I've had more enery than i EVER have.

 
Old 07-01-2003, 05:57 AM   #11
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I'm really starting to look at the acne/diet connection in detail- not in the sense of "Oh, greasy fast food = acne", but in the glycemic/insulin sense. Apparently, high glycemic foods which rapidly convert into sugar produce insulin spikes- the majority of the population doesn't tolerate that well, & acne can be a big result of the insulin spiking. Now, when people eat low glycemic diets, the majority of them experience a decrease in acne & oil production. A lot of stuff that's high glycemic is white flours, simple starches & carbs, simple sugars. There is even an article in this months issue of Allure mag, referencing studies & such about the glycemic index/acne connection. I guess it came about due to a few anthropologists noticing that certain indigenous peoples have ZERO acne, ever, & these anthro's started taking a closer look at their diets, then putting that diet into practice with Western subjects. It's really interesting & definitely worth a shot, in my opinion. Plus the certain nice side effect of a good diet is that you feel better overall, which makes your skin "look" better too. I have a blender but no juicer, & am dying to get one- do you know if they make combo food processors/juicers?

 
Old 07-01-2003, 07:12 AM   #12
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Really is irritating that one person can eat fast food every single day, smoke, drink, and not even take care of themselves....but here I am, fighting just to have an "OK" complexion. Something just isn't right. But, like you said, you gotta look at the bright side of lift; I am fortunate that I can walk and see and hear, etc. I'm still kind of starting with learning and doing..... I've cut back on carbs, and am eating a lot more fruits and vegetables. I don't know if there is a juicer combo. I have a juiceman II that works ok; but I am about to buy a better one that will do wheat grass.

 
Old 07-01-2003, 07:51 AM   #13
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my opinion is the people that eat whatever they what, smoke, drink , don't exercise will have problems later on in life. my opinion is acne has made me change my lifestyle for the BEST. I eat lots of fruit and veggies and low fat and organic foods. I think we will have longer and more fullfilling lives ahead. Just my opinion.

 
Old 07-01-2003, 08:31 AM   #14
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OH, bunny, I agree totally. I hope that I won't even really have to think about the acne anymore but will be benefiting from the other health benefits. I feel like I've finally found the combination of things I need to do to be healthy( even if I didn't have any acne). My boyfriend is right there with me; juicing every day; helps a lot. I've seen too many older people (parents, grandparents, friends, etc) have so many problems and die early just because they just ate and drank WHATEVER they wanted. Hopefully I am starting early enough.

 
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