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Acne after going off birth control!

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Old 09-30-2009, 01:11 PM   #1
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Ruffian29 HB User
Acne after going off birth control!

Hi everyone,
This is a bit of a long story but I appreciate anyone who sticks with it!
I went off birth control pills in August, after being on them since I was 17 I believe, I am now 24. They did wonders for my face, except for one time about a year ago when I switched brands and my face broke out again. I saw a dermatologist who gave me differin and benzacline (sorry, my spelling is terrible). I do not like the benzacline only because it was costing me $50 and only had a three month shelf life, in which I would use well under half of the jar! Plus, it bleached my towels which was super frustrating. The differin I kept using until just recently because I am out and that prescription is also expensive- not to mention that I just moved to a different state, got new health insurance, and don't have a doctor or dermatologist to see here... yet. Which is part of the reason I decided to go off the pill (I just got married in July as well, so it is something I've been thinking about doing anyways). I was fine all through August and most of September until about two weeks ago my face started to break out and it is now super super super oily!
I used to have classic combination skin- it was oily & dry all at the same time (I dont mean oily in the t zone and dry in other places, it would be shiny and oily but flaking in the same areas... I dont know how that happens..??). Now it seems to just be oily (a touch dry around my eyes, but that *seems* to be it - this could be a different story come winter time, my skin always gets way dryer in the winter!)
So, right now, i am using the same Neutrogena foaming cleanser that I've always used for years (not medicated, the one in the blue bottle) and I have Neutrogena astringent / toner (again, oil free, alcohol free, and non-medicated). I picked up some Neutrogena on the spot acne cream, and I've also used the Neutrogena oil-free moisturizer for "sensitive skin" for years now as well... it was only today that I thought maybe I should stop using that? I can see the shine on my face increase as soon as I put it on...
I've also have been wearing make-up (because of the break-outs, likely causing more break outs at the same time...) but its the bare essentuals mineral based make up, I've tried the oil-free primer but it seems to make my face feel tight and flaky... and still oily and shiny.
I've just started law school (I've been out of school for a few years prior) and I am sure that the stress is playing a huge part in this... I've just noticed my back is breaking out as well whistling.gif(
I know that acne and oil production will tend to be worse around menstrual cycles, but since I've gone off the pills everything has been so sporadic it is so hard to tell if that is playing a part!

SO I guess I am looking for some insight / help
I am really looking to treat this over the counter (lack of a doctor at the moment and all...)
I need something that is going to seriously reduce the oiliness (that's my #1) and then to treat my face (which could likely get better with less oil... right??). I'd love to go back to not wearing makeup every day- but I can't walk around law school with obvious pimples on my face whistling.gif( Its been soooo long since I've really had to deal with break outs!
Also, i dont think that that acne at the moment is THAT bad, its all small red pimples with one or two white heads, on my forehead (mostly T zone... again, super oily but dry at the same time?) and on my chin the most.

I'm worried about my face getting dryer in the winter whistling.gif( in the past my face always gets really dry and flaky in the winter (again, still shiny though... ugh)

Does anyone have any suggestions, at all??


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Old 09-30-2009, 02:38 PM   #2
guy in AU
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guy in AU HB User
Re: Acne after going off birth control!

Two products that will help, Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid

Before bedtime, wash your face with a mild clenser (Dove soap is very good, and dirt cheap), dry it off, and then apply benzoyl peroxide (PanOxyl) all over the affected areas, nose, forehead, cheeks, chin. This is benzoyl peroxide, it goes deep into the pores to ill acne bacteria.

In the morning, wash the face again, then cover all the affected areas with Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Defence Lotion. This is salicylic acid, it unblocks the pores and stops new plugs forming.

You will need to do this for a couple of weeks before you see much improvement, but then, things will get quickly better. Your skin may get a bit dry in the early stages, if so, use a light moisturiser such as Cetaphil lotion

Last edited by guy in AU; 09-30-2009 at 02:48 PM.

Old 09-30-2009, 04:25 PM   #3
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Ruffian29 HB User
Question Re: Acne after going off birth control!

I stopped at the pharmacy on the way home from school today (before I read your post) and picked up Neutrogena oil eliminating astringent which has salicylic acid in it (2%)
my question is, after using it, my face feels less oily and it is not oily to the touch like it usually gets, but it is still super shiny (like, minutes after applying)
what gives??

edit / update:
after doing some more "google research" I've found sites that say wash with warm water, and some that say wash with hot water, and others that say wash with cold (for oily skin). Some say to wash many times a day, others say to wash 2x max. Some say to use astringents and others say not to. ugh.
I'm going to start taking vitamins too... hope that helps some...?

Last edited by Ruffian29; 09-30-2009 at 04:50 PM.

Old 09-30-2009, 05:32 PM   #4
guy in AU
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guy in AU HB User
Re: Acne after going off birth control!

The Royal New Zealand College of Dermatologists says wash twice a day using a mild clenser and warm water. I guess mild could be Dove, Cetaphil, or somthing like that.

The Benzoyl Peroxide dramaticly cuts down skin oiliness, you should give that a try.

Old 10-09-2009, 01:59 PM   #5
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Oakdale, CA USA
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ESmith30 HB User
Re: Acne after going off birth control!

You might want to try a moisturizer, oil free. I'd only apply it after you've done your wash and treatment. Since you are wiping out all the natural oils in your skin.

Old 10-14-2009, 01:10 PM   #6
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Accutane2X HB User
Re: Acne after going off birth control!

I've been using a moisturizer from Mary Kay for years. It's a white bottle with a pink top and it it called Oil Control. Works great for me under my foundation. Good Luck!

Old 10-14-2009, 01:43 PM   #7
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Colorado
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jessicaodair HB User
Re: Acne after going off birth control!

This is common when getting off the Birth Control pill. These medications affect the body's hormone balance and hormones are a direct link to hormone problems. When looking for a regimen for acne, whether you are oily or dry is to find something that targets the four factors of acne: inflammation, bacteria, clogging of follicles,abnormally sticky cells. Don't over wash because that will strip the natural oils on your skin and it will overcompensate and produce more oil.

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