Hormonal Acne

by Anonymous

Hi Wray:

I am having some pesky hormonal breakouts along the jawline, neck and chin...I take it this is a sign of estrogen dominance??? Doctor is suggesting spironolactone. Not sure if this is the right thing for me (side effects are a concern), so I am holding off for now. I have been using topicals like Benzaclin, glycolic acid, etc., but they just aren't working on these resistant breakouts. I was wondering if natural progesterone cream could be applied topically on acne? THANK YOU FOR YOUR REPLY!

Comments for Hormonal Acne

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Feb 17, 2012
NO Spironolactone
by: CamperKat

God, NO to the spironolactone--it's a testosterone blocker and it will mess up your endocrine system big-time (use the Google search bar and type in "spironolactone" and look for my info posted under the name CamperKat.

Acne is an inflammatory disorder, and is always caused by excess carbohydrate intake. Lose the carbs--particularly the often-touted "good for you" whole grains--and take some probiotics, and your acne will be 100% gone in 1-2 months.

You do NOT need Rx drugs. Take probiotics instead to get your guts in working order... your intestines are inflamed which causes systemic inflammation. And...your intestine's ability to absorb healing nutrients are blocked by too many grains and carbs.

I just made a long post today about Nature's Way brand Reuteri probiotic, it seems to take a day or two for posts to go look for that by using the Google search bar, and read that. Your skin will clear up when your insides are better, and when you stop eating pro-inflammatory grains and sugars that feed acne.

Eat coconut oil, coconut milk, grass-fed beef/lamb, eat organic free-range chicken and poultry, eat lots of green leaves (kale, spinach, romaine, etc.) lots of veggies, some berries and apples, limited amounts of high-sugar fruits. Eat no dairy--it's all pasteurized and dead and is inflammatory. Eat zero grains--no breakfast cereal, no granola bars, no oatmeal, no pasta, etc. Eat 1/4 cup of nuts per day (almonds, pistachios, walnuts, sunflower seeds), and throw in 1 TBs of dried cherries, instead of eating a granola or power bar. Eat zero soy--and it's in everything--it is an endocrine disruptor and is therefore estrogenic--the exact thing you are trying to cure with progesterone.

(Eat real sourdough bread once or twice a month if you're going crazy, as sourdough has fermented/sprouted the wheat grain and the nutrient-blocking phytic acid has been has less sugar/ingredients than fake, "edible foodlike substance" bread found in grocery stores that have 30 ingredients. Real sourdough bread contains flour, water, yeast/starter, salt, and that's about it.)

Eat like a Caveman, feel like a Queen. For real, it worked for me, and I had a ton of nonsense to overcome.

Use progesterone cream in the amounts Wray suggests...I use 120mg per day, divided over 3 doses.

Good luck to you, let us know how you're doing!

Feb 17, 2012
Sulfur for Acne
by: CamperKat

Oh...forgot to can use a sulfur-based Rx cream called Finacea for the acne (developed for Rosacea, an inflammatory skin disorder) but it works like a champ on the general and cystic acne of my teenage goddaughters.

Finacea also makes a facial wash, so use that at night, then apply the Finacea cream. In the morning, just splash your face with cool water and apply the cream (no need to use the wash in the AM, it's pretty strong.) You can apply make-up over it right away.

Also...eating sulfur foods will help with acne--kale, broccoli, cabbage, spinach.

You will find that if you use the Finacea and cut out all grains, dairy and sugar (use SweetLeaf brand Stevia as a sweetener, not fake Pepsi and Cargill-owned TruVia and PureVia) eat happy fats and the other foods I mentioned--and take probiotics--your acne will go away even quicker than if you just "ate right" alone. But you won't even need the Finacea after a while--I don't need it for my Rosacea anymore, just because I eat right!


Feb 17, 2012
spironoctone helped me
by: cathy

Spironolactone is the only thing that helped my hormonal acne 8 years ago--I am 51 and still on it. I wish I had known about it years before though since I suffered with acne since like forever...
I take one 50 mg pill a day. I know when I have finished with menopause, I will stop taking the spiro..but , just- not- yet-! Ha!
I use the Natpro progesterone twice a day and LOVE it. It eased my other symptoms and I will probably use it forever.
I was off the spiro for 7 weeks to see if I really needed it a little while ago... and and all the acne came back. I also take 5000 vitamin D, zinc and magnesium.I do not have any bad symptoms associated with taking it except for having to wizz right after taking it. It is a diuretic as well and can lower blood pressure.I also have LESS facial hair when I am on it because it blocks androgen ( a male hormone).
I know it is best not to be on synthetic medecine, but there are times when it may be right for you. Even for just a short time.I am sure Ms. Wray will suggest some vitamins/minerals to try as well.
Good Luck!

Feb 18, 2012
by: Andrea

I am 43 years old and had acne since the age of 15. Since using progesterone, one of the first good signs that natpro worked for me was, that my acne is completely gone. I'm sure Wray will advise you about the right amount to use.
Take care, A+

Feb 18, 2012
Hormonal Acne
by: Wray

Hi there Acne is caused by excess free testosterone, which in turn rises if SHBG falls. If bound to SHBG testosterone becomes inactive, progesterone raises levels of SHBG, see here, so preventing the rise of free testosterone. SHBG drops if sugars are eaten, even those found in all grains, legumes, and sweet starchy fruits and vegetables. Fructose, sucrose and glucose (all carbs are converted into glucose), reduce SHBG by 80, 50 and 40% respectively, see here. It's best to avoid all the foods and sugars mentioned. Using progesterone only on the acne will not be sufficient, 100-200mg/day is needed. You'll notice in the study that far higher amounts were used, but it was oral progesterone, which is not the best Delivery system. We do have more info on our page How to use progesterone cream. Please avoid the spironolactone, see here, here, here and here. Take care Wray

Feb 18, 2012
Thanks to CamperKat, Cathy and Andrea!
by: Wray

Bless all of you for your input. I do hope Cathy that you are able to follow CamperKat's advice and come off the spiro. You might care to read the papers I gave to the anon who made the first comment. Avoiding all starchy sweet foods, and those containing sugars, is the best advice. Acne is not found in hunter-gatherers, even though their diets are not similar, they all have one thing in common, a stable blood glucose. You might like to read what Dr Cordain has to say about them. His website can be found on our Nutrition page. The video clip is worth listening to too, although quite long! Take care Wray

Mar 13, 2012
What if you are doing all the right things....

Question...what do you do if you have given up grains, no dairy, low to no sugar (except for the natural sugar from berries or apples), no red meat/pork (only organic chicken breast every now & then), taken probiotics and l-glutamine for gut health, drink lots of water (no coffee/no soda/no alcohol ever), exercise 4 to 5 times a week, use natural progesterone cream.....and still have the persistant breakouts on the jawline, chin and neck? The ones on the chin that are the painful, below the surface ones that take forever to heal??? If you are doing everything "right" and the hormonal acne persists, what do you try next? So is this a case where androgens are basically outweighing estrogen...would using bioidentical estrogen possibly help and be a better alternative to the spiro?

Mar 16, 2012
What if you are doing all the right things....
by: Wray

Hi there It could be you're not using enough progesterone, you don't mention how much. Each month women make more testosterone than oestrogen, but most of it is converted to oestrogen by the enzyme aromatase, or should be. Excess oestrogen will suppress testosterone, it will also suppress progesterone, so I don't feel it's a good option. I suggest increasing the amount of progesterone you're using and see if that helps. I recommend 100-200mg/day, more if symptoms are severe. You might like to see our page on Nutrition, there's a link to Dr Cordain's site. He's studied acne in great detail, and it's link to unstable blood glucose. Take care Wray

May 20, 2012
solution :)
by: Anonymous

I am 37 and have adult acne. Cystic and oh so painful. I got tried everything. Sadly, the damage to my skin was at its peak and I know I will have scarring but now I see a big improvement! I did get tretinoin cream and it really dries out your face and shrinks the cystic a bit so to control the dryness, I started used natural African Shea Butter on my face every night and yes I know what people say about using it on your face but natural African Shea butter contains a rich amount of unremovable fatty acids that rejuvenate and moisture the skin. It helps heal the inflammation of my cysts. Now that my face is healed up I don't use it every night just once a week.
Every morning I use Cetaphil (get at walgreens)to wash my face. Cetephil has worked really well in controlling my oily skin. I also used a skin moisturizer after my facial wash. Still with Tret cream, butter and Cetephil I still had break outs before period and I was getting really discouraged but then I started using Natural Progesterone Cream.
I then apply progesterone cream to around face T-zone area. (should not be applied on the same spot every time can be applied under arms, in between legs and on the neck)as directed and I also put oregano oil to my pimples and brown spots on face, twice a day morning and night. I also take my vit. and Dong Quai. But I have seen such a big change! If a new pimple arrives i use the tret cream at night and Now left with all the scarring but am happy that I see my face is more controlled. I also had a problem with sweating and hair under my chin. It seems that I have got a hold of it now. I am a severe case. but feel so much better and I am not on birth control. That would just throw off all my hormones again. Hope this helps. It helped me.

May 21, 2012
solution :)
by: Wray

Hi there Thanks for sharing your story. I would caution about using the tretenoin cream, see here. You can apply the progesterone all over your face, it's excellent for facial skin, see here. And in fact it can be applied anywhere on the body, it does not have to be applied only under the arms or between the legs, see Progesterone Misconceptions. We do have a page on Acne which might interest you. Take care Wray

Jan 09, 2013
Cutting out carbs was not the answer for me
by: Toria

Thanks for sharing your story, I too have been struggling with ghastly cystic acne ever since my teens (I'm now 32) and the only thing that worked for me was to go on the contraceptive pill. Well, that is to say, it cleared up my skin... unfortunately it also made me oestrogen dominant and caused a barrage of much worse issues.

I came off the pill a couple of years ago and my acne returned, worse than ever before. It has been since and we're still looking for the answer. I just wanted to say, cutting out carbohydrates did not help me at all. I tried going paleo and was on the GAPS Diet (a form of sugar and grain free eating) for several months but saw no improvement whatsoever.

While I appreciate this method may work for some people, I get a little bit irked when others say it is the only solution and that drugs are all evil... it's just not the case.

Jan 09, 2013
Cutting out carbs was not the answer for me
by: Wray

Hi Toria Drug based Contraceptives do work as they slow down the ovaries production of testosterone and oestrogen. It's testosterone which initiates acne, see here. But they also stop ovulation, so no progesterone is excreted. I'm surprised the Paleo and GAPS diets didn't help you, as there's no question sugars and starchy, sweet carbs cause SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) to drop, which in turn causes free testosterone to rise. It's evident your ovaries are producing too much testosterone, or it could be you are not producing sufficient aromatase to convert it to oestrogen. I take it they did check for PCOS? Have you tried using progesterone, as that does raise levels of SHBG, so reducing testosterone, see here. And did they check your vitamin D level? As a lack of this can cause acne, and adding it back reverses this, see here, here, here, here and here. Zinc of course is essential too, I imagine that was checked. Take care Wray

Nov 17, 2014
carb free but not acne free
by: Anonymous

I eat an organic, carb free gluten free dairy free diet. Very estrogen dominate. Too much acne!

Mar 09, 2015
progesterone dominant
by: Alleycat

I have had hormonal issues for some time, and one of my issues is acne breakouts. I assumed from my research that i was estrogen dominant. After using progesterone cream i had terrible symptoms, and severe cystic acne. I even took a hormone test at day 21 and my levels were through the roof! Zero estrogen. I recently had a hormone rhythm test which tests all hormones. This showed i was in fact progesterone dominant, very low estrogen and normal testosterone. I don't think the answer to all hormonal issues is progesterone cream, as we are all chemically different and to keep advising everyone to use more cream is misleading and could result in making their problems much worse. I was advised to always have your hormones tested to really know what is going on in your body, then you can take steps to finding the right balance/treatment for you.

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