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    Old 12-30-2002, 01:13 PM   #1
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    My wife's acne. Ladies, please advise

    I met my wife in high school. We both had problem skin, hers worse than mine. We've been married for 9 years and are in our 30's. I've pretty much outgrown my acne, but she is in a state of constant breakouts (or healing from a recent breakout).

    Her menstration cycle is highly irregular and we have learned that she rarely ovulates. We are convinced that her irregular cycle and her skin condition are related. She has seen dermatologists over the years, as well as taken Accutane. She currently uses Clinique face wash and treatments.

    She has learned to live with her acne and has accepted the fact that she will always have bumps on her face. I have a more difficult time. I'm a fighter and would do anything for her. I always thought she would outgrow this, but lately, I find that I get angry -- not at her, but at her breakouts. Like its something I should be able to protect her from.

    I have suggested she see a dermatologist, but she thinks it's too expensive. I've offered to make sacrifices to pay for her treatment, but she's convinced that there's nothing they can do, because her breakouts are caused by her hormones. She may be right. As a compromise, I've given some serious thought to ProActiv. I have not mentioned this to her.

    The problem is that I want to fix it, but she takes it personally. I feel like a jerk if I bring it up; I feel like I'm being neglectful to just watch it happen. I hate it. She's too beautiful to have to live with it. I wish it were my skin. How can I best support her? And worst of all, what if she tries my suggestions and it fails again?

    Any advice, particularly from ladies would be appreciated.

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    Old 12-30-2002, 01:31 PM   #2
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    Re: My wife's acne. Ladies, please advise

    Yes, I can see where both of you are coming from. I too am a fighter and have never given up on finding an answer to my "hormonal" acne. She does NOT have to accept it. Furthermore, if you both believe that her irregular cycles and acne are connected then most definately she needs to see a doctor.

    Have you both had children? Are trying to have children? I ask because there are hormonal disorders that mess with a women's cycle and her skin, as well as other areas of the body. Considering she obviously has at least 2 symptoms of a hormonal disorder that could actually have a NAME, you should really try and take her to see an Endocrinologist. This isn't just about her skin, but her possible health as well as any children you have or hope to have.

    I don't know enough about her hormonal problems to give you exact disorders, but there are lots of them out there that have many of the same symptoms. She could have:

    -Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
    -Late-onset Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (LOCCAH, NCCAH, or CAH)
    -Hyper or hypothyroidism

    Honestly there's just too many possibilities. Infact my Endocrinologist diagnosed me as PCOS/Insulin Resistant and now I may be that OR LOCCAH (waiting on test results). These two have very similar symptoms and can be misdiagnosed as the one or the other. What's helped me has been Spironolactone (over 4 years now) and a Gluten Free Diet (diet matters more than you could ever know...especially depending on what her dx is). I've also taken Birth Control (for 3 years) and Avandia (for 1 year, stopped a few months ago) and these both produced near similar results to what I've got now (95% clear now). Although, Avandia (4mg of this ELIMINATED menstrual cramps for me) was much more effective than the BC. Thats just my personal case, but if you have any further questions, don't hesitate to ask or have her do it ;-)

    Old 12-30-2002, 01:36 PM   #3
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    Re: My wife's acne. Ladies, please advise

    Sorry bro, I'm a guy and had to respond. First off, let me you give props for being a REAL man. It appears that you are very loving and caring towards your wife. That's how all husbands should be. <IMG SRC="">

    If it is hormonal, then you might wanna take her to an endocrinologist. Get some tests done and maybe they can give her some medication to regulate her hormones. If cost is the concern, do you have insurance? Many doctors are compassionate and are negotiable. So talk to them and see what they can do for you and your wife.

    Old 12-30-2002, 01:47 PM   #4
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    Re: My wife's acne. Ladies, please advise

    Oh I forgot to add, that it's important you know your family history. You outgrew it, but did the rest of your family? What about hers? Anyone still have acne or other health problems?

    I don't see a dermatologist anymore, haven't seen one since High school and my skin looks better than when I was on RetinA ;-) So, my suggestion is moste definately take her to an Endocrinologist and make sure you have a list ready. This list should include ANY family health, mental, hormonal problems along with any symptoms that she's experiencing. The symptoms can vary, so write down ANYTHING that she feels is not "normal":

    Weight problems (too thin, overweight)
    Stomach problems
    Muscle pain/weakness
    Bone/joint pain
    Menstrual Cycles (painful, irregular)
    Body hair
    Hair and nail problems

    All of these, plus her family history will help guide her doctor in knowing what sort of tests to start with (unless you've got really good insurance).

    Old 12-30-2002, 02:20 PM   #5
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    Re: My wife's acne. Ladies, please advise

    Yeah, I agree with the previous posts. Forget the derm, take her to an endocrinologist or an ob/gyn ASAP. This is not just about acne, there's a lot more at stake here obviously. The acne in this case is just a symptom of bigger health problems.

    Old 12-30-2002, 02:41 PM   #6
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    Re: My wife's acne. Ladies, please advise

    Thanks for your replies.

    For the record, we do have 2 children. We did have difficulty conceiving though and only did so with the help of clomid (I may have mispelled that). We conceived once without it, but had a miscarriage.

    The broader question still remains. How do I keep from wounding her self-esteem?

    Old 12-30-2002, 03:07 PM   #7
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    Re: My wife's acne. Ladies, please advise

    i'm not a girl or anything but here goes anyways.

    well dude the best thing is not to obsess over it too much, she probably doesn't like talking about it and you'll just upset her. tell her exactly how you feel as you have done to us and make sure you don't offend her in any way. tell her that you love her anyway and that you'll support her in any way you possibly can.

    Recommend she visits an endrologist or whatever they are, but don't force her too, don't like make an appointment for her or anything just say it might be the answer to her problems. is her acne really cyctic or is it mild? does it leave scars?? all these things must be taken into consideration. Did her skin get better while she was pregnant or have you noticed a pattern? where does she get most of her acne? coz that can be an inidication of the causes.

    If it doesn't bother her don't let it bother you.


    Old 12-30-2002, 04:49 PM   #8
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    Re: My wife's acne. Ladies, please advise

    i agree with everyone else....forget the derm. go get hormone tests and stuff done. see and endo...

    Old 12-30-2002, 05:14 PM   #9
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    Re: My wife's acne. Ladies, please advise

    I second everyone's replies. Her acne is probably rooted in hormones. I am taking Yasmin birth control right now and have cleared up in a week.

    Good luck. It's very sweet of you to ask for help on her behalf.

    Old 12-30-2002, 06:05 PM   #10
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    Re: My wife's acne. Ladies, please advise

    I too went through many years of hormonal acne. I only was able to get relief from the Birth Control Pill Diane 35. I took it for 5 years, and it completely cleared my skin, except for a few pimples around that time of the month.

    My skin is actually getting worse again, as I have had to go off of the pill due to my husband and I trying to have a baby.

    I spent most of my twenties in one breakout or another. Diane 35 is the only thing that gave me some relief. It took 3 months of being on the pill to really see a difference, and another 3 months to become completely clear.

    Good Luck to her and to you! This is an incredibly trying thing to go through.

    Old 12-30-2002, 07:00 PM   #11
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    Re: My wife's acne. Ladies, please advise

    Maybe she has gotten so used to acne that she can't imagine being without it, seriously this does happen. Well, you can explain to her that it's not for selfish reasons, or leave out any trace of self pity. Also, try to convince her that it's something that may actually work this time, and is related to her irregular cycles, etc.

    Old 12-30-2002, 07:00 PM   #12
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    Re: My wife's acne. Ladies, please advise

    Your wife is very lucky to have such a caring husband.

    I found the best article on PCOS and other Androgen Disorders. It gives the exact lab tests that should be performed to diagnos the androgen disorder. Search for "Androgen Disorders in Men and Women" and read both the article on Androgen disorders and the one on PCOS.

    Old 12-30-2002, 10:12 PM   #13
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    Re: My wife's acne. Ladies, please advise

    I know you're intentions are good and sincere but you got to be very careful and genlte with your approach to your wife about her acne. You seem very loving and caring but as a woman I know how hurtful it is to even be reminded of your acne by someone else but especially when it comes from someone you love. You always want them to believe you're the most beautiful person in the world and I'm sure you see your wife as beautiful even with her acne but she may not think so just because you're trying to reach out and help her. I don't think you should stop just try to help her as compassionately as possible. Women love to be told they're pretty or looking good or beautiful or whatever positive you can think of, especially when they have acne cause their self-esteem and self-image is often very damaged. And since you had acne before I'm sure you can relate. Compliment her often but don't do it in a way that she will question your sincerity, people with acne absolutely hate it when someone pities them. Encourage her to see a doctor but if she continues to firmly insist on not going then don't push it she may come around on her own. <IMG SRC=""> Good luck to you and your wife to get through this.

    Old 12-31-2002, 12:32 AM   #14
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    Re: My wife's acne. Ladies, please advise

    I have always had irregular periods which I thought was related to my acne and that I might have a hormonal imbalance so I asked my gynecologist to order hormone tests which she did and the hormone tests came out totally normal. Your wife should get her hormone levels tested though since that might be the cause. I have read that most people with acne have normal hormone levels and that the reason for acne is usually that the skin is reacting in an abnormal way to normal levels of testosterone. You should probably not mention the acne much except to suggest the hormone level tests because it might hurt her feelings and she might think it bothers you. I am very sensitive about my acne and it is emotionally painful for me so I hate it whenever anybody mentions it especially since I have tried almost everything for years to get rid of it and I am already very frustrated by it. You are obviously a caring husband and if your wife wants to try some more to improve her acne then great but if she makes it clear she does not want to try any longer then you will have to accept that.

    Old 12-31-2002, 01:20 PM   #15
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    Re: My wife's acne. Ladies, please advise

    tell her she's beautiful.... and don't look at her acne ... but, look at "her"....... i know this is hard..... i dealt with acne all thru my 20's... i'm now 31.... and the last 3 years i've been using proactiv... and it's saved me...... seriously... i am proactiv's biggest advocate..... it works !!! i HATE when people i cared about would bring it up.... it made me feel ugly.... and that's ALL people would see.. is the acne... i know i'll have to go thru this with my daughter.... she's 10.... and on the brink of breaking out...... but, i'm hoping that i can be as soft as i can be and not make her feel ugly cause i'm talking about her acne... plain and simple... find something that works... and i know that's hard to do..... and that's why you're here..... try proactiv.... it's not that expensive... and you can return it if she doesn't like it... but, it's easy... and it works.....

    and again... tell her she's beautiful....

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