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Old 05-11-2007, 04:05 PM   #1
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Hormone-related acne, please help!

Hi everyone,

Desperate for advice! I'm sure my acne is hormone related, as I get large, painful red bumps (cysts?) at my time of ovulation and the few days before my period - I never really get smaller spots. Each one takes days to come out, and then they sit for weeks, before gradually flattening and leaving a dark red mark.

I feel like I've tried everything (over-the-counter stuff, Duac, Differin, Yasmin, Proactive, diet changes, Omega 3, special vitamins... ). Each one I've given 3 or 4 months. Duac and Differin burned my skin so much, and didn't make much difference. Yasmin helped for the ovulation zits but as soon as I went on the pill-free/placebo week I would break out worse than ever and my emotional state was all over the place. Those few days each month, plus the horror stories on the internet about Yasmin, hair loss, blood clots etc made me stop taking it after 4 months. Plus I'm sure my facial hair increased because of Yasmin. Proactive worked for a couple of months, but doesn't seem to be helping anymore. Plus I feel its for teenage skin - I'm 32!

I had mild teenage acne - nothing serious - which went away at the age of 19 when I went on the pill (Marvelon/Desogen), and stayed away as once I got off the pill I was continuously pregnant or breastfeeding for 8 years (I have three gorgeous kids)! When Hurricane Ivan came through (not fun) and my son cut back on breastfeeding, the acne came back - slowly at first but now is a real problem. Its been nearly 3 years now, and I've had enough! I'm 32, I want to be using those gorgeous anti-aging creams on the TV!!

I'm off to see a new derm next month as my derm just said to me that there was nothing more she could do, "well there's no cure you know, its just one of those things" - with me in tears at the time! She's the hospital dermatologist, so I am going to a private one next time.

My gynaecologist is really good and will prescribe the BCP I ask for (within reason of course), so if anyone could suggest either a new BCP, or some other solution I haven't thought of that I could ask the new dermatologist for, I'd be really grateful! Can they test hormone levels or something like that? Or is that terribly expensive? By the way I live in the Cayman Islands so I don't have a huge amount of dermatologists/options to choose from.

Any tips would be most appreciated!

 
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Old 05-12-2007, 04:51 AM   #2
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Re: Hormone-related acne, please help!

Hi, I had exactly the same problem as you until I discovered this site. Im 30 and suffered from cystic/hormonal acne and it seemed to be gradually getting worse. From reading the posts of here I begged my doctor to give me Spironolactone and I havent looked back since. I take 50mg a day,- lowest dose, it cleared within 2 weeks and that was last August and I can honestly say 100% I havent had a spot since. I also take Erythromycin 1000mg a day and BCP Dianette (however i have been taking this for years). I can say though I do think it is Spironolactone that is keeping my spots away as Im guessing Im probably fairly immune to the antibiotics now.

Please speak to you doctor about Spironolactone and if he wont give it you threaten to just buy it off the internet. Its completely changed my life and my confidence.

 
Old 05-12-2007, 08:14 AM   #3
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caliente HB User
Re: Hormone-related acne, please help!

i also think spironolactone might be good for you. it has been a miracle for me.

 
Old 05-16-2007, 02:02 PM   #4
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kesae HB User
Re: Hormone-related acne, please help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by claireclaired View Post
if he wont give it you threaten to just buy it off the internet.
Can you actually by spiro off the internet...?

 
Old 05-16-2007, 10:17 PM   #5
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mommaoftwinsplus1 HB Usermommaoftwinsplus1 HB User
Re: Hormone-related acne, please help!

Hey caymanbabes...When I read your post....I thought I was the one who wrote it. I tried so many products, pills, lotions and potions and ended up with a worse problem and more stress. I had painful red cysts that you could feel under the skin before they would surface. I read some posts about a year and a half ago about SPIRONOLACTONE and asked my doctor about it. She was glad to let me give it a try. I am on 100mg a day, and pretty much 100% clear. I still get little ones here and there but they are small and go away quickly. This is also an inexpensive medication, even if you don't have insurance. And I have had no side effects.

Mommaoftwinsplus1
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Old 05-16-2007, 11:55 PM   #6
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Anja1980 HB User
Re: Hormone-related acne, please help!

Hello Ladies

I am also having the same problem. I will ask my dr for the drug. How long does it take for it to clear the spots.

Thank for your answers.

 
Old 05-18-2007, 12:26 PM   #7
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kesae HB User
Re: Hormone-related acne, please help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mommaoftwinsplus1 View Post
Hey caymanbabes...When I read your post....I thought I was the one who wrote it. I tried so many products, pills, lotions and potions and ended up with a worse problem and more stress. I had painful red cysts that you could feel under the skin before they would surface. I read some posts about a year and a half ago about SPIRONOLACTONE and asked my doctor about it. She was glad to let me give it a try. I am on 100mg a day, and pretty much 100% clear. I still get little ones here and there but they are small and go away quickly. This is also an inexpensive medication, even if you don't have insurance. And I have had no side effects.

Mommaoftwinsplus1
Did you have any strong side effect when you first started taking spiro?

 
Old 05-18-2007, 09:44 PM   #8
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mommaoftwinsplus1 HB Usermommaoftwinsplus1 HB User
Re: Hormone-related acne, please help!

I noticed a difference with a couple of weeks! It just got better and better!! I had absolutely no side effects from this medication. Give it a try...I am so glad I did!

Mommaoftwinsplus1
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Old 05-19-2007, 01:46 PM   #9
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Re: Hormone-related acne, please help!

Thanks so much for all the replies! I talked over the phone to my gynae who, basically, said there was no way she was prescribing Spiro to me. She said if I managed to find anyone to prescribe it, which she doubted, I would have to have kidney function tests and all sorts, and went on about how dangerous it was. However she then went on to say she would happily prescribe Diane-35 (Dianette). I told her I was worried about the increased risk of blood clots, and that I had heard you weren't supposed to be on it for more than a year. She said that was rubbish and that I could be on it for years and years! So, I still have an appointment with a private derm next month, as I'd rather not risk the Diane-35. I guess Drs aren't always the know-all Gods I used to think they were! I'm becoming a much more savvy patient!

In the mean time, I just started my period so have started on Yasmin again (first pill last night - my gynae gave me a 12 month Rx last yr)- or should I not take it until after I see the Derm in case he wants to do blood hormone levels or something? Any advice? (I need the Yasmin for birth control as much as anything, been playing Russian Roulette with condoms for too long! (I'm 32 and my family is complete with 3 children).

However, since I decided on asking for Spiro based on the advice here (thanks ladies), and stopped the Proactive (read that BP ages your skin due to increasing 'free radicals' (what?)) and started using Olay Regenerist face wash and Neutrogena Healthy Skin AHA SPF15 (since I couldn't find Alpha Hydrox here in Cayman, this was the only AHA product I could find (its discontinued in the US)) during the day (nothing at night, only the Regenerist wash), amazingly for the first time in 3 years I have had no new spots before my period! Could be the lack-of-stress since I decided Spiro & Yasmin would work for me once I got it?! Or the new routine? Or is this the calm before the storm of coming off Proactive?? Of course I might be speaking too soon, its only been a week, but this is usually the worst week (ie before my period).

Has anyone experienced/heard of side effects from Spiro? Since my gynae thinks its so bad, it does worry me. I was thinking of asking my derm for 50mg of Spiro in conjunction with the Yasmin, based on Skimom's experience (thanks Skimom - your daughter is so lucky to have you!)

 
Old 05-19-2007, 08:05 PM   #10
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caliente HB User
Re: Hormone-related acne, please help!

its been proven that spiro is safe for use for 30+ years. it is becoming more and more popular for the treatment of acne in women. maybe your doctor just doesnt know enough about it to be confident in prescribing it. i dont know what your doctor was talking about, kidney function tests. spiro is a potassium-sparing diuretic. the only test i've ever had to take is a simple blood test to check my potassium level. maybe she confused it with accutane? that is a very dangerous drug.

you also might want to inform your doctor that Yasmin contains 25mg spironolactone, which is why it helps with mild acne.

i've had some crazy side effects, both good and bad, but the good far outweigh the bad. the good - much less oily skin, decreased sweating, decreased appetite, slower body hair growth, weight loss (20 lbs in nine months!!), no bloating... ever. the bad - increased thirst, occasional dull headaches, slight fatigue.

i would definitely talk to another doctor. i've heard that diane-35 is some scary stuff. i hope you get it all figured out!

 
Old 05-19-2007, 09:52 PM   #11
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mommaoftwinsplus1 HB Usermommaoftwinsplus1 HB User
Re: Hormone-related acne, please help!

I have had less side effects on spiro than the "pill". I feel it is much safer for my body. I really hope you can get a hold of this medication. It has been my miracle. I don't have to use those harsh chemicals on my skin anymore...they really never worked anyway!

Good Luck!
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