I wanted to post about my experience with adult, hormonal acne. In early 2007 my skin got really bad and continued to get worse. That summer I began investigating some health issues I was experiencing. My doctor took some blood for testing and gave me a prescription for progesterone to help me ovulate. After some follow up testing and appointments, he decided to treat me for PCOS, or Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. The symptoms for PCOS vary from person to person,
but I seem to be a text-book case. One of the things your body does is pump out too much androgen, which can cause women to grow beards and develop acne. After consulting a second doctor about my symptoms, she and I developed a plan for treatment which included some major lifestyle changes. She prescribed Metformin, which is a drug that helps your body recognize the insulin it is making, something my body wasn't doing that resulted in low blood sugar. I have had a lot of success with this drug and have been really happy with it. Many people cannot tolerate it because of stomach issue side effects. We made a lot of changes at our house. Exercise was added and ice-cream was eliminated. I lost weight, felt great, and had more energy. My face continued to break out though, which we hoped would let up when my hormones came into normal ranges. Finally, after trying some milder approaches, I decided to take my dermatologists advice and go on Accutane, or rather the generic form, isotretinoin. This was such a hard decision because I had taken Accutane in High School, and felt like it really affected me emotionally. I took 40mg a day for the first month, then alternated 40 and 80 the next month, and 80 a day the third month. My doctor wanted me to continue with 80 a day for June, but I just couldn't do it. By the second week in June I couldn't get out of bed I was so depressed. SO while the month of June was really hard, I'm happy to report that I do feel good again, and I think me skin really improved. I don't have any pimples currently (and haven't for a few weeks).
Having acne is so hard, especially when people close to you seem to be very bothered by it. Even now that my face is clear, the scarring is an issue that comes up a lot with my family. I've researched some options for improving my skin's texture, but don't feel strongly about any of them. Lasers are one option, which scare me, and seem to provide minimal improvement . For now I've decided to be happy with my progress, and take good care of myself. I also got some new make-up which I'm wearing in the third picture.
If you know someone with acne, just give them lots of love and don't mention it, there's a pretty good chance they're aware of it. :)