(Closed) PCOS and acne

posted 6 years ago in Beauty
Post # 3
649 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@jasonkatie2014:  I have pcos also (got diagnosed a couple months ago) it’s been a nightmare in regards to my skin as well, my self esteem suffers most days because of my skin, I have a ton of scarring, clogged pores, and seem to break out on a daily basis. I’ve used a lot of skincare products and nothing really seems to work. 

On the flip side of the coin, I am a makeup artist, so luckily I’m able to do a decent job of covering it, atleast to the point where I feel somewhat comfortable in public. Pcos sucks….there’s really nothing positive I can say about. 

The clarisonic you bought was a good investment though, for sure. I find when I use mine religiously, my skin tends to appear smoother…

Post # 4
2904 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Spirinolactone cleared my skin up like a charm. Unfortunately, it doesn’t help with scarring, but it definitely kept me from getting breakouts in the first place. 

Post # 5
4464 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

Not to go into private PCOS details, but a family member of mine had bad acne at one time and used Proactiv. I never dealt with acne issues specifically, but based on the combo of PCOS and acne that we are discussing here, this is what that person used and it really worked for her. 

Post # 6
651 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Hi There. I was in a similar situation but in my case my PCOS flared after getting off of BC pills. I waited over a year to see if my body would stabilize on its own, but I had had enough so I went  to my family doc who sugessted I check my hormones and referred me to an acne clinic as well. My hormones were not way off for pharmalogical ssistance, but I was referred to a naturopath to tackle my hormones in a natural way wince I did not react well to pharmacological hormones (ie. BC Pills after 8 years of use)

I have spent the last 6 months stabilizing my hormones with natruopathic methods, excercise, diet and topical perscriptions creams. It has been rather difficult and pricey, but I went from having horribly painful cyctic acne to very tiny little bumps right before my period that are short term and manageble. My scars have healed and are lightening up to the point where I feel I look back to normal. Also my mood is stablised and my anxiety levels are restored to normal after a long struggle with an anxiety disorder that was influence by my hormones. 

What worked best for me was the following combination of plans from my Acne Doc and my Naturopath. 

– I was on oral minocin (a low dose anti-biotic) for 7 months. It helped stabilize my face bacteria

– I applied topical dalocin (another anti-biotic) every morning – This was quite drying and I didn’t like it

– I applied .1% Retinol (Vitamin A cream preparation) every evening – very thin layer. This noticibly decreased the whiteheads that lead to the deep cysts, and lightened my scars.

– I started taking Indol-3 Carbonol (I3C). 400mg in the morning before food and 200mg in the evening before bed (doseage would change for each person depending on Naturopath perscription). This helps to regulate the body’s use and production of estrogen. My levels and symptoms indicated I was in the early stages of developing PCOS and this helped to achieve normal levels within 6 months. I could literally feel the difference. Crazy. 

– To assist in regulating my hormones after I had hit a plateau of results with I3C, Inostitol power was added in the last 2 months, and this has helped me maintain optimal hormone levels. 

Currently I take the I3C morning and night, Inostitol powder once daily, and use the Retinol in the evenings only. I have seen amazing progress and my friends and family are commenting on how much better my skin looks. 

I gave both docs 1 year to fix my face and they did it in 7 months. I recommend finding an Acne clinic with a doc who specilizes in only acne, and a naturpath that is expereinced with balancing and assessing hormones in women. 

Post # 7
365 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Oh, how I feel for you! I started getting cystic acne when I was 22 after never having skin issues. I mean, it was BAD. My cheeks were covered. I tried many different things and nothing was working. I finally got on birth control to see if that would help balance out my hormones and not long after that, I started using Bliss foaming face wash. 

And let me tell you, the combination of the two completely cleared up my face. Completely. I rarely get a zit or pimple these days.

The face wash is a miracle worker. I ran out a few months ago and didnt use it for about a week and had a couple spots pop up. Never doing that again!

Message me if you have any other questions. I know exactly what you’re going through!

Post # 9
233 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Sorry, a little late to the game . . . I am PCOS likely and have been under acne care by a dermatologist for the last 17 years! Some of my success came from not playing catchup and I’m not sure what prescriptions you’ve been given, but I’ll put in my routine. All products excep the Peter Thomas Roth ones were recommended by a dermatologist at one point or another. I only wear eyeliner and mascara daily, so I haven’t figured out friendly make-up products. 

Morning routine (I shower at night):

Wash with Cetaphil daily facial cleaner, pat dry, apply Benzaclin, let dry, apply Neutrogena Oil Free Moisture SPF 15 (you have to have SPF with all these meds). 

First of all, Benzaclin is magic. It’s expensive and expires every 3 months, but it’s a combination of Benzoic acid and clindamycin that was developed maybe 10 years ago and it is GREAT at prevent/stopping breakouts. It also bleaches the heck out of all fabrics, so use white sheets and towels. I apply benzaclin morning and night, even though the original guy told me just to do it in the morning. You can also spot treat on bad days. If this product hasn’t worked for you in the past, I’m truly sorry.

Night: Wash with Neutrogena Oil Free Acne wash (salicylic acid) in the shower (it’s very foamy, not great at other times because it gets in your hair). Sometimes I exfolliate with Peter Thomas Roth Botanical Buffing Beads (harsh stuff isn’t great since my skin is so medicated). I make sure to wash with regular soap or exfolliate after applying conditioner to make sure there’s no conditioner on my face. Out of the shower, I apply Benzaclin, then Differin Gel. Differin is similar to the Retinol product and is meant to prevent breakouts. Differin is a newer product than Retinol and comes in different strengths that you’ll just have to work with (can really dry you out). Then I use Moisturel as my nightly moisturizer (only found at CVS or Walgreens or places like that). It’s non comodegenic, hypoallergenic, well balanced etc. Not a facial cream, but truly the least irritating lotion I’ve ever found.

One thing – be very very careful where/how you apply everything. I ended up with a skin allergy from applying Retinol to my neck and back. If it’s not working, go get something else, don’t glob on =/. Your skin may become more sensitive, so you may have to move to Dove soap (gentler than real soap), fragrance free/hypoallergenic stuff. But your skin will look great lol.

Also, when my prescriptions run out sometimes, I get an over the counter benzoic acid (currently using a Clearsil Rapid Action Vanishing Cream) to replace the Benzaclin. Differin usually lasts forever, so I’ve only run out once. When I run out, I start using masks like crazy in addition to exfolliating every day and making sure I have salicylic acid washes.

The mask I prefer (mostly because my skin is so chemically treated I’m usually using it to calm things down) is Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Masque. It’s horribly expensive, so if anyone has a recommendation for an alternative, I’d love to hear it!

Finally, I just purchased an Aveda toner that I’ve used a few times since I’m nervous about it reacting with everything else. It kills oil magically in the middle of the day, so it’s good for really oily days when I can’t rinse off my skin. 

If you use makeup, maybe some of the Almay stuff with salicylic acid in it would be helpful, but I generally find salicylic acid to be overhyped. And whatever is in the clindamycin part of Benzaclin is really really helpful on top of the Benzoic acid. Over the counter benzoic acid burns, but Benzaclin doesn’t.

Worst case scenario are chemical regimens like the antibiotics people talked about.  There’s another really harsh regimen I can’t remember the details of except you must be on birth control because it causes birth defects. But after a year, you supposedly are free and clear forevermore. A family friend went this drastic in her mid-20s and her skin is now great.

I hope you can find a dermatologist that will work with you! There are so many steps and so many products out there that I’m sure you can find something for you. Sometimes even changing the order you do things helps.

Post # 11
161 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@jasonkatie2014:  I’m another bee with PCOS and acne issues… I’m on BC but I also try to treat my acne naturally. I use tea tree oil on my skin every other night after I wash my face. It doesn’t seem to help prevent breakouts (by itself anyway) but it clears up pre-existing pimples and helps with acne scarring tremendously! 

I also drink lots of water, exercise 3x a week, and use a cleanser with beads every other night to exfoliate. My skin isn’t perfect but it’s definitely better than it was before these treatments. 

My dermatologist has also not been much help. She wanted to put me on Acutane. I have 2 friends who went on it and it helped clear up their skin a lot but taking a medicine that strong made me nervous and I wanted to avoid it.

Oh the struggles of having PCOS…

Post # 12
327 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I haven’t experienced PCOS myself, but my brother had horrible cystic acne for years. He tried a number of different treatments but nothing worked for him. His doctor finally put him on Accutane and today his skin is clear. The only bad side effect he had was excessive dryness around his mouth. It was actually really gross and painful for him, but it’s cleared up now that he is done treatment. Accutane is kind of a last ditch effort, but if you’ve tried all else you might want to look in that direction. I know my brother wishes he’s done it years ago.  

Post # 14
233 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@jasonkatie2014:  Yeah, Differin and Benzaclin can both be really harsh, so I feel you. I had a magical balancing act to get it all sorted out. I guess I always have acne pimple ‘starts’ but it never full blooms into something that will scar, so I consider it ‘good enough’. I mention I battle acne and apparently no one notices, so that’s good enough for me. But yes, exercise (and washing my face right afterwards) . . 

Yes, Accutane was what I was thinking of. Scary stuff. Tea tree oil is a great suggestion.

Oh, I just thought of something. One summer I was at a camp with no A/C in NC . . so we went to the pool EVERY day (how else were you supposed to survive?) to cool off during our afternoon break. It was a nice indoor pool, chlorinated, all that jazz . . . we showered right after the pool before dinner. My skin was amazing that whole summer! Maybe take up swimming? lol. The chlorine should kill everything on your face :-p.

Post # 15
160 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

@MUAbride2be:  Please share some makeup tips! And makeup friendly for skin. I know Murad works but its $$$. Anyone else know of anything?

Post # 16
649 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@pkeenan1229:  honestly the BEST acne/makeup advice I can give is…the less makeup you wear, the better….when I don’t wear makeup for like a week…my skin always seems a lot less breakout prone! But if you must wear makeup, try to look for things that say non-comodegenic! Or oil-free…and try to make sure your makeup brushes are always clean!

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