help plsssss

by lynsey
(uk )

Hi, i am in need of some help. A little history : i am 26 year old female, that has had mild to moderate acne on and off for about 6 years. I have never been on birth control but i have used antibiotics for my acne (tetracycline) and then spironolactone for around a year and a half. I found the spiro was very good for my skin and hair-which grew thicker than usual but after a year an a half.. i assume it raised by estrogen too much and i developed melasma above my upper lip. I came of the spiro about 6 months ago and my melasma is still there, gets worse in the summer when i am in the sun. My acne is also back.. i have hormonal breakouts deep and painful on my back neck jawline and chin and around mouth area. I also have constant congestion of blocked pores that do not change whether i use an exfoliater or just wipes and water. I have recently started seeing a naturopath and she told me i was estrogen dominant and very low progesterone, my androgens are also high. I have been on herbs elimination diet and progesterone cream for 6 weeks. No change. I am getting extremely frustrated and depressed. I would like to know if you think going back on spiro but using with the progesterone cream would help? and also whether you would advise a particular birth control? thanks

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Sep 28, 2013
help plsssss
by: Wray

Hi Lynsey I think I've answered you on another page, your name has an unusual spelling, see here. As an add on, spiro can in a second hand way increase oestrogen. It has androgenic properties, so can increase androgen levels. The androgens are then converted into oestrogen by the enzyme aromatase. Another woman has just written in about this, I've given her the papers on spiro, see here. Look for my reply of the 18th Sept. Melasma is a difficult one. Excess oestrogen stimulates melanocytes, these make melanin, the pigmentation in all skin types, see here, here, here and here. Contraceptives can cause it, and it's often a sign of adrenal stress too. Progesterone can help resolve the problem, as it suppresses the excess oestrogen and it takes the strain off the adrenals. These make progesterone before they can convert it into cortisol, one of our stress hormones. Stress drops progesterone levels, thereby allowing oestrogen to dominate. There seems a possibility that vitamin D might help, see this rather obscure paper here. It wouldn't surprise me if further work was carried out, to find it's caused by a deficiency of it, as it seems most of our problems are. Maybe you could have a test done to find your level. A lack of it reduces the benefits of progesterone anyway. I found this fascinating paper, on the ability of diosgenin to inhibit melanogenesis, see here. As you know diosgenin is one of the precursor plant sterols for progesterone. The only birth conrol I would recommend is the copper T, there's more info on our Contraceptives page. If you'd like to chat to someone in the UK about progesterone and vitamin D, please contact Julienne via her website here. Take care Wray

Sep 29, 2013
response
by: Anonymous

Thanks for your reponse Wray. One thing confused me though, you say spiro has androgenic properties.. but it is an anti-androgen isnt it? I believe my melasma is due to low progesterone and i also have some adrenal issues, as my naturopath has pointed out. But i think my acne is due to high androgens which probably means excess testosterone so ive read. I think i have this as when i was on spiro-an anti androgen pill, my acne cleared up very well. I seem to get acne in the areas i believe are due to excess testosterone -back, neck and jawline, chin and around mouth, and then i have alot of blocked pores, closed comedones mainly on my forehead, which i assume are due to over production of sebum due to the testosterone. I have also heard the the forehead clogged pores can be linked to digestion, but i have been on a very good diet, no sugar dairy or gluten and taking a strong probiotic and digestive enzymes for 6 weeks now and there is no change there, so it must be down to the hormones. Do you think adding licorice root would help with the testosterone/androgen problem? i heard that that can also increase estrogen though? and i have to be careful as im trying to balance it with the cream and DIM supplement. Do you think if i add this but am still using the progest cream etc i should be okay?

Oct 02, 2013
response
by: Wray

Hi there Spiro is touted as an anti-androgen, but it does have androgenic properties, as you'll see in the papers I gave. Melasma is caused by adrenal stress, I hope your naturopath is giving you something for it. Yes testosterone does cause acne, you'll see on the acne page I gave you it explains the other factors and what to do about it. Licorice does help lower testosterone, so too does peppermint tea. But please read through the acne page. It's not just about avoiding gluten, but avoiding all grains and other sweet starchy foods. Take care Wray

Oct 02, 2013
re
by: Lynsey

The last comment under anonymous was me as well.
Another question i have wray. As i obviously have high androgens or testosterone (i know this because when i was on spiro i looked great, thick hair, clear skin) But like i said i got melasma, because of the high estrogen. So am i doomed in the way that now.. if i want to decrease my androgen and testosterone levels to cure the acne and hair loss i will inevitability end up with melasma from high estrogen!? or will using the progesterone cream stop the estrogen getting high enough to worsen the melasma? its all very confusing. All i want is thick hair and clear skin back!

Oct 10, 2013
re
by: Wray

Hi Lynsey You can only have high oestrogen if you have enough testosterone to make it from. All our oestrogen is converted from testosterone by the enzyme aromatase. So by lowering testosterone you will lower oestrogen. The melasma can be caused by adrenal stress, which I did point out to you, maybe your naturopath can give you something for your adrenals. Take care Wray

Oct 10, 2013
re
by: Lynsey

Thanks wray, yes she gave me a herb for adrenals and also highering progesterone i beleive helps adrenals.. and im using saw palmetto for the testosterone and androgens aswell as low to no carb diet, just meat fish veg fruit, some brown rice and rice noodles.
Im just trying to be patient with the results. Its only been 2 months so far.
thanks

Oct 10, 2013
re
by: Wray

Hi Lynsey On your other page you asked me why I suggest using high amounts, and now you're saying 'highering progesterone i beleive helps adrenals..'. Has your naturopath convinced you? Take care Wray

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