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MitziG

Bad Acne- What Should I Be Looking At? Help!

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So, I have always had severe acne since I was a teenager (37 now) except for when I am on the birth control pill- then I have FLAWLESS skin. So obviously, hormones are a big part of this. I have been gluten free since April, and I went off the pill in September, hoping that maybe gluten had been the cause of my acne and wouldnt be an issue now. I know it can take months for your hormones to settle down after coming off the pill, but I am REALLY frustrated by the major breakouts I am now dealing with on my face and back. I got used to having clear skin! Nothing seems to be helping.

I dont know if my face products are gluten free or not. Those labels confuse me. Nothing obvious, like wheat protein on the label anyway. I am using Neutrogena anti-wrinkle anti-blemish cleanser and Burts Bees Tea Tree Oil blemish stick. I use a dandruff shampoo by American Crew which has worked wonders on my scalp issues, but I am not sure if it is gluten free either.

So..I am wondering...how likely is it that it is gluten in a personal care product causing the breakouts? Or is another food sensitivity likely? Am I just doomed to have to spend my life on the pill if I want clear skin?

I also suspect I may have an underlying thyroid issue, even though my thyroid tests came back fine...and I know that can mess with your hormones and cause acne.

So overwhelmed...a million possibilities that could be doing it and I dont know which to address first. Plus, I really just want to put a bag over my head. So embarrassing to be dealing with this at almost 40!!! Even my kids are asking, "Mom, what is wrong with your FACE?!"

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Possible suspects-

Gluten-You got rid of this one, good.

Dairy- Causes skin problems and acne for many people even if they do not have a hard time digesting it.

Iodine- Even if you do not have DH,the skin form of Celiac, some people get acne from iodine. If this is the case you would need to try the thyca.com diet to see if it helps you.

Vitamin deficiencies- your skin needs protein and vitamin C to make collagen. Without adequate intake of these your skin cannot heal. Do take vitamin supplements.

Other vitamins are important too. Like vitamin B complex helps your body metabolize and makes skin less oily and less acne prone.

Just some thoughts from a fellow sufferer.

Salicylates cause some people to have skin reactions. Not necessarily a rash...some people get break outs like acne. google low salicylate diet and see if this is something you would like to try.

I'm 48 and have Celiac DH on my face...it was always misdiagnosed as acne or neurotic excoriation. It's Celiac...but also sensitive to Salicylates. Hope you can get some relief and figure out what causes yours.

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I have terrible acne.

I went to a dermatologist finally this year, I am now 31 and I am as broke out as when i was 16. When I was pregnant I was completely clear it was fantastic, so clearly hormones play a role in it.

Basically he said it has to do with a bacteria in the face, I was put on a antibiotic 3 times a day, and basically I need to take it until I am clear for 1-2 months then I can stop taking it and possibly may need some maintenance antibiotic later on.

After a month of taking the antibiotic I was 75% clear!!!!

Then however, I started having gluten problems, and I stopped taking the antibiotic to eliminate it as the problem.

I am just restarting it at this point, I know just through going gluten free and being glutenized gluten definily plays a role in my acne....but so does the bacteria because the antibiotic makes a drastic improvement in my skin as well.

So I say...go to your dermatologist. I know another person that their dermatologist at age 40 told them its a bacteria problem and that they would have acne until menopause unless they did antibiotics.

The female hormone cycle does something to the oil/sebum in the skin and helps feed the bacteria and keep dead cells in that further feed the bacteria was the way it was explained to me.

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Zinc is fabulous for your skin.

Garlic is a natural antibiotic, as is coconut oil

If nutritional solutions don't work, Proactiv is pricy, but works extremely well.

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Possible suspects-

Gluten-You got rid of this one, good.

Dairy- Causes skin problems and acne for many people even if they do not have a hard time digesting it.

Iodine- Even if you do not have DH,the skin form of Celiac, some people get acne from iodine. If this is the case you would need to try the thyca.com diet to see if it helps you.

Vitamin deficiencies- your skin needs protein and vitamin C to make collagen. Without adequate intake of these your skin cannot heal. Do take vitamin supplements.

Other vitamins are important too. Like vitamin B complex helps your body metabolize and makes skin less oily and less acne prone.

Just some thoughts from a fellow sufferer.

Salicylates cause some people to have skin reactions. Not necessarily a rash...some people get break outs like acne. google low salicylate diet and see if this is something you would like to try.

I'm 48 and have Celiac DH on my face...it was always misdiagnosed as acne or neurotic excoriation. It's Celiac...but also sensitive to Salicylates. Hope you can get some relief and figure out what causes yours.

Dairy is definitely on the list. I already eat very little of it because I have Interstitial Cystitis, and dairy really makes it flare. Specifically milk. But I may have to think about total elimination and see if that helps. So difficult to do...but it would be worth it.

Iodine and Salicylates...hmmm...going to do the research you suggested.

I am on some excellent vitamin supplements. Haven't had my levels tested other than iron,and I am anemic, but after 30 years of being Celiac without a dx, I am pretty sure deficiencies exist.

Thank you for the suggestions!

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I have terrible acne.

I went to a dermatologist finally this year, I am now 31 and I am as broke out as when i was 16. When I was pregnant I was completely clear it was fantastic, so clearly hormones play a role in it.

Basically he said it has to do with a bacteria in the face, I was put on a antibiotic 3 times a day, and basically I need to take it until I am clear for 1-2 months then I can stop taking it and possibly may need some maintenance antibiotic later on.

After a month of taking the antibiotic I was 75% clear!!!!

Then however, I started having gluten problems, and I stopped taking the antibiotic to eliminate it as the problem.

I am just restarting it at this point, I know just through going gluten free and being glutenized gluten definily plays a role in my acne....but so does the bacteria because the antibiotic makes a drastic improvement in my skin as well.

So I say...go to your dermatologist. I know another person that their dermatologist at age 40 told them its a bacteria problem and that they would have acne until menopause unless they did antibiotics.

The female hormone cycle does something to the oil/sebum in the skin and helps feed the bacteria and keep dead cells in that further feed the bacteria was the way it was explained to me.

I took tetracycline and erithromyocin for years as a teenager for my acne, and they didnt help. I also did RetinA, which pretty much just burned my skin off, and so I had burned, peeling, red skin...and acne. lol

The pill was a blessing, and I havent had acne in 10 years because of it. But, alas, the last two years I noticed my upper lip darkening, to the point where I had a perpetually dirty looking lip. Melasma...a side effect of the pill. So I went off it. trying to decide which bothers me more- a face full of zits, or a dirty looking face? Tough call...

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Zinc is fabulous for your skin.

Garlic is a natural antibiotic, as is coconut oil

If nutritional solutions don't work, Proactiv is pricy, but works extremely well.

I love garlic! Is just eating it helpful, or should I be applying it to my skin directly? I take supplements with zinc in them- is that sufficient?

Thank you for your help!

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No, just take it in supplement form. It would probably burn your skin. Kyolic is a good brand because they take all the odor and taste out, so you don't have garlic breath or garlic burps. I take Country Life brand zinc, 50 mg and it seems to really help my skin.

Also, something else I thought of, someone mentioned on another thread Biosil. It's silica. It's a little pricey, but definitely worth it, IMO. It's great for your skin, hair and nails. I take the pills rather then the drops, but it's been great on my skin, too (not to mention my nails, hair and even eye lashes are growing like crazy now).

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As a teenager I noticed a correlation between caffeine and much of my acne problems. Just one glass of iced tea and my face would turn into an oil slick. <_<

As I got older I started having problems with cystic acne, and have since discovered my issue with sugar, including grains, starches, fruit...which I have completely eliminated. Now no more major zits as long as I don't slip up.

As a 52 yr old post-menopausal woman, I still have somewhat oily skin :blink: so I got a prescription cream from my dermatologist called Epiduo that keeps away the smaller outbreaks. It isn't supposed to prevent the cystic kind, but I believe it lessens the severity. My daughter has also tried it, but she says it dries out her skin too much. She has never had as much of an issue with oily skin as I have.

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If your acne is hormone sensitive, what hormone did your bcp have in it?

Tea tree oil is highly estrogenic, btw.

You might try natural progesterone cream and see what happens.

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If your acne is hormone sensitive, what hormone did your bcp have in it?

Tea tree oil is highly estrogenic, btw.

You might try natural progesterone cream and see what happens.

I was on YAZ, I think it was a low progesterone one, but not sure. I loved it. I had NO period on it at all. Now I am back to hemorraging for two weeks a month. (Just another fun thing I had hoped going gluten free might help.)

Hmmm...so if tea tree oil is estrogenic, could that worsen acne? forgive my ignorance! It seems to help when I put it on though, dries things up a bit and reduces the inflammation. Just doesnt do anything to stop new breakouts. This is bad cystic acne too, all along my hairline and jawline.

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As a teenager I noticed a correlation between caffeine and much of my acne problems. Just one glass of iced tea and my face would turn into an oil slick. <_<

As I got older I started having problems with cystic acne, and have since discovered my issue with sugar, including grains, starches, fruit...which I have completely eliminated. Now no more major zits as long as I don't slip up.

As a 52 yr old post-menopausal woman, I still have somewhat oily skin :blink: so I got a prescription cream from my dermatologist called Epiduo that keeps away the smaller outbreaks. It isn't supposed to prevent the cystic kind, but I believe it lessens the severity. My daughter has also tried it, but she says it dries out her skin too much. She has never had as much of an issue with oily skin as I have.

Hmm, so if I eliminate salicylates, dairy, gluten, iodine, fruits, starches, caffeine, sugar and grain, I should be ok! ;) Clearly I will just need to learn how to subsist on water! LOL...SO frustrating!

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I was on YAZ, I think it was a low progesterone one, but not sure. I loved it. I had NO period on it at all. Now I am back to hemorraging for two weeks a month. (Just another fun thing I had hoped going gluten free might help.)

Hmmm...so if tea tree oil is estrogenic, could that worsen acne? forgive my ignorance! It seems to help when I put it on though, dries things up a bit and reduces the inflammation. Just doesnt do anything to stop new breakouts. This is bad cystic acne too, all along my hairline and jawline.

Ok, did some checking, THIS is what I found: "YAZ contains the innovative progestin drospirenone, a spironolactone analogue with antimineralocorticoid properties. The 24-day active hormone pill regimen of YAZ combined with the 30-hour half life of drospirenone results in less hormonal fluctuation between cycles, compared to traditional oral contraceptives with 21 days of active pills and seven days of placebo. Preclinical studies indicate that drospirenone also provides an antiandrogenic effect, which means that it counteracts the effects of male hormones in the body."

Clear as mud. Is that low estrogen? Low progesterone? I dunno. All I know is it worked. Sigh...

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I think its a progestin, and if the natural progesterone will help - I don't know.

I *think* adding estrogen isn't a good thing if you responded to a progestin. Some people are very sensitive to estrogens - you just have to try eliminating some and see. Lavender is another. Both are found quite a bit in "natural" body care. There are many others -soy, etc.

Natural progesterone helps me with quite a few menstruel problems. May be worth a whirl. Dr. John Lee wrote some books on it. http://www.johnleemd.com/store/faqs_progest_crm.html

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Hmm, so if I eliminate salicylates, dairy, gluten, iodine, fruits, starches, caffeine, sugar and grain, I should be ok! ;) Clearly I will just need to learn how to subsist on water! LOL...SO frustrating!

:lol::lol::lol:

Yeah, that's about right!

It's Paleo without fruit.

That's what I'm doing now.

Only I still use caffeine...hmmm....how much more can I give up?

Check out Mark's Daily Apple.com if ya really wanna get better fast.

I didn't really get well until I did that. Mostly good with it.

Until I miss chocolate and coffee that is.

So I'm Paleo with chocolate drizzled on it. ;)

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One last suggestion or idea I had when it was mentioned about bacteria in the face, is probiotics. It may be you need to populate your system with 'good bacteria'. Of course you'll want to find one that's gluten-free. And if it's DH, cutting way down on the iodine would probably help a lot too, as already mentioned.

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I think its a progestin, and if the natural progesterone will help - I don't know.

I *think* adding estrogen isn't a good thing if you responded to a progestin. Some people are very sensitive to estrogens - you just have to try eliminating some and see. Lavender is another. Both are found quite a bit in "natural" body care. There are many others -soy, etc.

Natural progesterone helps me with quite a few menstruel problems. May be worth a whirl. Dr. John Lee wrote some books on it. http://www.johnleemd.com/store/faqs_progest_crm.html

Thank you, I will check this out!

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One last suggestion or idea I had when it was mentioned about bacteria in the face, is probiotics. It may be you need to populate your system with 'good bacteria'. Of course you'll want to find one that's gluten-free. And if it's DH, cutting way down on the iodine would probably help a lot too, as already mentioned.

This is a good thought. I have some PRE-biotics...not really sure what the difference is. I havent been taking them- sort of got shoved to the back of the fridge. I think I will start though!

Pretty sure it is not DH. I believe I had that about 10 years back, at the time I thought we had fleas in the house, and couldn't understand why they only bit ME. Lasted for months, itched like mad- I scratched so much I still have scars! Dumb me never went to the doctor...perhaps someone might have thought CELIAC DISEASE back then. But probably not. ANyway, pretty sure this is the same run of the mill zits I have had for the last 22 years.

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Ok, did some checking, THIS is what I found: "YAZ contains the innovative progestin drospirenone, a spironolactone analogue with antimineralocorticoid properties. The 24-day active hormone pill regimen of YAZ combined with the 30-hour half life of drospirenone results in less hormonal fluctuation between cycles, compared to traditional oral contraceptives with 21 days of active pills and seven days of placebo. Preclinical studies indicate that drospirenone also provides an antiandrogenic effect, which means that it counteracts the effects of male hormones in the body."

Clear as mud. Is that low estrogen? Low progesterone? I dunno. All I know is it worked. Sigh...

I'm thinking that is the reason it works....perhaps you need to have your testosterone levels checked?

Alson, some antibiotics have antiinflammatory effects, which may be why the work, and not nec the anti bacterial component.

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http://www.drhoffman.com/page.cfm/603

I just ran across this article which hits all the main points that have been mentioned.

I found it concise and interesting.

Many things to try.

http://www.drhoffman.com/page.cfm/971

This one is intersting too.

That was interesting, thank you!

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I can't really say anything about any type of sensitivities as I don't have experience with that. I also have absolutely no clue if what I use is gluten free or not but I don't get any weird reaction so I'll keep using it. After more than a decade I figured out that birth control was causing my migraines. Happily off of birth control I suddenly saw a teenage nightmare when I looked in the mirror. After much trial and error I finally admitted my age to myself (34) and picked up an Olay product. (I had always associated Olay products with old people and wrinkles.) I use Olay total effects cream cleanser plus blemish control. It has worked miracles and I no longer have any acne problems at all. Like I said, I have no clue what is in it really but it works for me. Just a suggestion since you said the issue started after stopping birth control which was my issue as well.

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