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 Post subject: the eternal acne struggle
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 6:35 pm 
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Baking In The Flavor
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I really thought that an extra perk of being vegan would be clear(er) skin. Hah!

I'm desperate for some help here. I've pretty much tried it all besides accutane (scary!). I get deep deep cysts and nothing topical helps. My diet doesn't seem to make a difference, I mostly eat really clean I get breakouts no matter what.

I'm thinking my hormones are just completely out of whack. Anyone been through this? Or know of non-birth control ways to balance hormones?

I got a prescription of spironolactone from my dermatologist and I'm about to try it but I've heard some scarey things it. Seems milder than accutane however.


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 Post subject: Re: the eternal acne struggle
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 6:46 pm 
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I don't know if that thing is the same as what my friend takes, but she has been taking something for deep cyst style acne for about five years now and she has literally the most beautiful skin of anyone I know. Anyhow, it's a medicine that is also used for people with high blood pressure, as it is one that lowers blood pressure. For someone with normal blood pressure like her, she just had to make she has enough salt every day or she can feel a bit funny. I'd ask the dermatologist about that.

As far as topical, I recently found this stuff I hadn't seen before, and I've been trying it the past three weeks and it seems to be working nicely, but it's a bit early to tell, anyhow,

Alba Acnedote

I'm going to buy the 'gel' from that same line soon, I've heard great things about it.

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 Post subject: Re: the eternal acne struggle
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 6:58 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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I sympathize. I actually did accutane about 9 years ago, and my skin was perfect for a while, but it didn't last. Then I went vegan and it cleared up again, but that didn't last either. And now it's worse than ever!

Certain things do seem to make me break out more- sugar and caffeine, maybe- but I'm not sure why that would be, or why it would affect me and not other people. I can only assume it's something hormonal, and I've read that caffeine, sugar, refined carbs, dairy, and alcohol can all promote hormone imbalances. Maybe I'm somehow more prone to them than other people who consume all of those things without skin issues. (Why do I wind up imbalanced and they don't?!)

Besides cutting back on those foods, I've read that getting enough sleep and exercise are important for hormone balancing. That's really all I know. I try to stick to all of that but can't seem to do it all at once or keep it up long enough to see results.

I just heard of spironolactone recently, so if you try it, report back with your experiences!


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 Post subject: Re: the eternal acne struggle
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:14 pm 
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Baking In The Flavor
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Mars, yes! My dad takes the same thing for his high blood pressure. You have to watch your potassium levels, too. I'm going to get blood work soon to see what dose would be ideal for me. That is so encouraging to know your friend had good results. I've heard it can take some time to work, however.

Yeah I completely cut my coffee addiction several months ago but I didn't get the results I had hope for :( Caffeine f's with your hormones for sure, though. Although it makes me wonder was it the soy creamer I was using that would give me problems? I try to be careful with carbs sugar and alcohol, so I'm not sure what else I could be doing besides completely eliminating them, but I have to LIVE damnit!

Only other thing I could do is exercise more but my acne is so embarrassing and I hate working out with make up on if you know what I mean :(

I'll report my results with spiro here for sure!


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 Post subject: Re: the eternal acne struggle
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:17 pm 
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jaine-pie wrote:
I try to be careful with carbs sugar and alcohol, so I'm not sure what else I could be doing besides completely eliminating them, but I have to LIVE damnit!

Yes, this is why I fail to keep it up for very long. I feel like I have to be "perfect" with my diet, and that makes me mad! Ha. I have friends who eat junk, don't exercise, don't wash their face at night, etc., and their skin is great. I just want to drink iced coffee (daily, ideally) and have a cupcake once in a while!


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 Post subject: Re: the eternal acne struggle
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:26 pm 
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Baking In The Flavor
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Exactly!!! I do everything to eat well and balance my diet and take care of my skin; and my friends eat whatever, wear their makeup to bed, and they have perfect skin. It really makes me wonder, what exactly is going on with me that makes my body react so differently? Makes me mad too, haha.

For me, clearing my skin is also about having the ability to be carefree. To just wake up in the morning and not immediately obsess.


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 Post subject: Re: the eternal acne struggle
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:27 pm 
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I was put on spironolactone a several years ago by a Doc who told me nothing about the potential side effects (before I was a nurse and new nothing about meds) - I had several cases where I almost passed out due to low BP - once I took it and it was 86/40 while on spironolactone....too low! So just watch yourself and make sure you're not getting light headed and seeing stars when you stand up quickly....Gook luck with it, hope it helps!


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 Post subject: Re: the eternal acne struggle
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:52 am 
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Have you tried a course of antibiotics? I think that's the standard process here in the UK for long-term acne.

Reading up to spironolactone, it looks like it's a drug for people with heart problems?! Your doctor gave you something off-label? Jinkies.

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 Post subject: Re: the eternal acne struggle
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:44 am 
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Can I ask why you're opposed to hormonal BC? I actually did go on accutane as a teenager, but ironically, the BC pill seemed to help almost as much with far fewer side effects when I went on it at age 20. Higher estrogen BC pill are better for treating acne-- I used a generic version of Ortho Cyclen, and that always worked well for me.

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: the eternal acne struggle
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:51 am 
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I was on roaccutane as a teen and had to go on BC for it (I was about 16) I came off it about a year or two ago (the BC) and my skin got really bad. I had to go back on BC because I have PCOS and my skin cleared up again, it was and is the only thing that keeps my skin clear and I am 25. Although my acne may have been because of the PCOS?


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 Post subject: Re: the eternal acne struggle
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:58 am 
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Antibiotics are NOT a long term solution to acne. I took them when I first started college and I am still suffering from the long term side effects. It destroyed my body and my internal bacteria... Which actually leads to more acne. Heh. Actually I believe it was way more irresponsible for my derm to put me on antibiotics for year(s) than to recommend spiro, which I actually brought up due the overwhelming success rate with cystic acne that I saw online.

I took several forms of birth control last year and they made me so nauseous that I as losing weight (I'm already very thin). I wanted Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo but had to get a different one because my heath insurance wouldn't cover it. :T


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 Post subject: Re: the eternal acne struggle
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 11:06 am 
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Gulliver wrote:
Reading up to spironolactone, it looks like it's a drug for people with heart problems?! Your doctor gave you something off-label? Jinkies.

It's very common for this to be given as an acne med, it wouldn't be considered off-label here.

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 Post subject: Re: the eternal acne struggle
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 11:35 am 
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I know you said nothing topical has helped, but have you tried the acne.org treatment gel? It's vegan and after trying out a slew of cleansers, eating a shiitake ton of yogurt, and nothing helped so I ponied up the $25 for it, and it's a huge bottle so it lasts forever so the cost isn't so bad. Sometimes if I forget to clean my face or use the gel one day, I might get a tiny whitehead or two, but i've had only two or three cystic pimples in the last...six months? And they are much smaller. I actually have one right now because I just got my period and even though it's tiny in comparison to ones in the past, it freaking huuuuuuuuuuurts.

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 Post subject: Re: the eternal acne struggle
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 11:45 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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jaine-pie wrote:
Antibiotics are NOT a long term solution to acne. I took them when I first started college and I am still suffering from the long term side effects. It destroyed my body and my internal bacteria... Which actually leads to more acne. Heh.

Have you tried taking probiotics? That's less a suggestion and more me just wondering if you had tried them without success. I remember something about gut bacteria imbalances contributing to hormone imbalances too.

I sometimes wonder if my (fairly brief) antibiotic stint or my course of accutane may have forked my body up more. But then I'm too cheap to pony up for probiotics! One of these weeks, I will. I know All-Flora is sold at WF and has some in veg capsules.


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 Post subject: Re: the eternal acne struggle
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 11:58 am 
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I am a former acne struggler. I, too, tried just about everything to no avail for many years. I don't know what was my cure, but here are the things I think helped. Moving away from a dry climate. I hated living in DC so much, except the humidity cleared up my skin, I now where super heavy moisturizer and that seems to help. The other thing, age. I am now in my 30's and I rarely to never get even a single pimple. Nothing major has changed in my diet that contributes to my acne, I tried different things for many years. Dairy, no dairy, soy, no soy, caffeine, no caffeine (you get the picture). None of that mattered for me. I now can wear makeup to bed and not break out. So, I know this is not super helpful, but perhaps it is hopeful?


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 Post subject: Re: the eternal acne struggle
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:24 pm 
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I wish that were the case for me (33 and worse than ever!). I have been trying to get a dermatologist appointment (surprisingly difficult), and when I do I'm definitely asking about spironolactone. I don't love taking prescriptions unless completely necessary, but I'm starting to feel like it kinda is. I mean, it's (mostly) coverable with makeup, but that's not really good enough.

Littlebear- did it get better at all since you had a baby? I'm sure that had some effect on your hormones, but I realize that may have had nothing to do with it for you. There are so many factors; it's frustrating trying to figure out which one it is!


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 Post subject: Re: the eternal acne struggle
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 1:32 pm 
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Mrsbadmouth, is the gel the benzoyl peroxide? Have you used other BPs? I have some right now that I use occasionally but it doesn't seem to do much. I've heard good things about the acne.org BP but I just wonder is it especially good compared to others? Do you use it all over your face? My skin is sooo sensitive and it makes it really dry.

I've been using probiotics off and on for a while. Alone, probiotics take a while to work (unless you get the 50 dollar ones I guess), but doing the candida diet helped me as well.

I really feel like aging won't make a difference for me. Even my dad in his 50's sometimes gets breakouts(yay genes!). I guess not so much now that he takes spironolactone for his blood pressure though, haha!


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 Post subject: Re: the eternal acne struggle
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 1:50 pm 
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Mars wrote:
I don't know if that thing is the same as what my friend takes, but she has been taking something for deep cyst style acne for about five years now and she has literally the most beautiful skin of anyone I know. Anyhow, it's a medicine that is also used for people with high blood pressure, as it is one that lowers blood pressure. For someone with normal blood pressure like her, she just had to make she has enough salt every day or she can feel a bit funny. I'd ask the dermatologist about that.

As far as topical, I recently found this stuff I hadn't seen before, and I've been trying it the past three weeks and it seems to be working nicely, but it's a bit early to tell, anyhow,

Alba Acnedote

I'm going to buy the 'gel' from that same line soon, I've heard great things about it.


I smear a little bit of the Acnedote gel on my cheeks and chin before going to sleep and it helps quite a lot. Also, Queen Helene's Mint Julep Masque seems to dry up any zits I get within a day or two. Sometimes I get deep cystic acne, on my chin normally, and I just try to dry it out. If I catch it early enough it works. Apple cider vinegar diluted with a bit of water applied directly to the spot is fairly effective.

I always thought when I turned 18 my acne would be gone, and then when I turned 21. Birth control helped a lot, but I by no means have perfect skin.

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 Post subject: Re: the eternal acne struggle
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 2:21 pm 
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I don't really have cystic acne, but I've had acne problems my whole life (not sure what you call the non-cystic kind). I started using the acne.org treatment about 7 months ago (I use the BP gel plus the AHA+..the alpha hydroxy acid). It took a few months to clear up, but my skin is a LOT better. No, it's not crystal clear, but it is certainly a LOT better. Now most of my problems are scarring, which I realize will fade over time. I still get the odd zit, especially at that time of month, but I think I must be genetically cursed since my mom and her brothers/my uncles have/had acne problems as well. My mom is 50 and is on Proactiv for her acne.

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 Post subject: Re: the eternal acne struggle
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 2:39 pm 
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Amy wrote:
I wish that were the case for me (33 and worse than ever!). I have been trying to get a dermatologist appointment (surprisingly difficult), and when I do I'm definitely asking about spironolactone. I don't love taking prescriptions unless completely necessary, but I'm starting to feel like it kinda is. I mean, it's (mostly) coverable with makeup, but that's not really good enough.

Littlebear- did it get better at all since you had a baby? I'm sure that had some effect on your hormones, but I realize that may have had nothing to do with it for you. There are so many factors; it's frustrating trying to figure out which one it is!

Yeah, I have had perfect skin while pregnant and after baby. I am still breastfeeding so it could all change when I stop. Ok, maybe not perfect since I still have rosacia and when I was pregnant lots of dark spots, those are gone now.


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 Post subject: Re: the eternal acne struggle
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:12 pm 
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Jaine-Pie, I feel you. I took every antibiotic and topical available and nothing ever worked for my cystic acne or blackheads. I went on BC as a teen and it didn't help either, so I ended up taking accutane for 3 years. Then I went back on BC for 6 years (Yaz) and it seemed to keep things under control. Now I have very little acne, which is really bizarre. An advantage of getting older, I guess. I never found diet, sleep, or exercise to help at all. My dermatologist said that lifestyle changes might help if you had light or moderate acne, but wouldn't make much difference if you were genetically predisposed to the bad stuff. I haven't ever heard of spironolactone as a treatment. I hope it works out for you!

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 Post subject: Re: the eternal acne struggle
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:44 am 
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I'm considering getting acne.org's BP. I just worry about the drying issue. And I wonder if it will really stop these deep cysts.

I just woke up with a huge huge huge inflammed lump on my nose after icing and taking care of two three other spots last night. I'm kind of freaking out here. I have no idea whats going on with my body. I'm scared to put anything on my face or eat anything.

What else can be done to reduce inflammation besides ice & ibuprofen? I have turmeric but my turmeric pills kind of suck.... :(


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 Post subject: Re: the eternal acne struggle
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:03 am 
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try taking msm powder- I'm not 100% certain but I'm pretty sure this is what stopped my deep breakouts on my jawline a few years ago, and I never break out anymore. I take a brand with added silica, either Solgar or KAL, 1/2 tsp twice a day.

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 Post subject: Re: the eternal acne struggle
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:16 pm 
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mrsbadmouth wrote:
I know you said nothing topical has helped, but have you tried the acne.org treatment gel? It's vegan and after trying out a slew of cleansers, eating a shiitake ton of yogurt, and nothing helped so I ponied up the $25 for it, and it's a huge bottle so it lasts forever so the cost isn't so bad. Sometimes if I forget to clean my face or use the gel one day, I might get a tiny whitehead or two, but i've had only two or three cystic pimples in the last...six months? And they are much smaller. I actually have one right now because I just got my period and even though it's tiny in comparison to ones in the past, it freaking huuuuuuuuuuurts.


So this closeout grocery had their stuff for $8 (a whole set, well i think it was theirs, or another proactiv knockoff) and I picked it up for my ex gf. She has sensitive skin though, so while it may have helped with zits she turned pinker and splotchy. I don't wanna toss it. If someone here wants it I can mail it for a small carepackage exchange?

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 Post subject: Re: the eternal acne struggle
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:23 pm 
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Right, cause being pink and splotchy sounds so appealing! Hehe.

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