Wednesday, April 22, 2020

How I Cleared Up My Hormonal Acne & My Dermatologist Experience

Happy Wednesday y'all I just finished watching Little Fires Everywhere on Hulu and man is that show good! Yesterday I posted my daily skincare routine which I do on a daily basis. With that said I think it is important I share my experience with clearing up my skin and my dermatologist experience. I can confidently say that my skin would not be what it is today if it wasn't for a prescription. I hesitated for a while about going to a dermatologist but looking back on it no skincare product from the drugstore or a beauty store was going to completely get rid of it without getting a perception. 

So back in high school, I had some pretty stubborn acne mainly on my forehead which I did go to a dermatologist for a while. They had me take an antibiotic (not sure which one) and use Aczone gel as  a spot treatment which you need a perception for. These things helped but I felt like it never worked completely. Then once I went on birth control things started to improve quite a bit so I stopped going to a dermatologist. 

High school acne on my forehead
Well over the past year or so my acne came back. This time on my chin as super painful cystic acne. Some weeks were better than others but I always had some form of acne. No matter what products I tried it would still come back. I hesitated to go to a dermatologist because I really didn't want to go on another perception with lots of side effects like Accutane. Due to my autoimmune condition, I am already on quite of few medications and didn't want to add to the list. Then finally at the beginning of November, I got so frustrated and sick of feeling like crap about my skin I finally went to a dermatologist. 

Definitely do your research on one that fits your needs but I am SO happy I went! The doctor said I would need both a topical cream and pill to treat the acne. Like everything I read he said cystic acne on the chin is pretty much always connected to hormones (see image below). So after discussing different options, we decided to have me try Spironolactone. This is a perception used to treat high blood pressure but it has also been proven to help with hormonal acne. I wanted to try something like this before jumping to something more serious. After double-checking with my rheumatologist  I started taking it. I really didn't have any side effects when I started taking it other than extreme thirst the first few weeks before my body adjusted to the medication. Along with the medication, I also started using a typical retinol cream Tretinoin 0.05%. If your insurance doesn't cover the cream check out the website GoodRx. My doctor told me about it and I was able to get the cream for about $50. I put a pea-sized amount all over my face. This product can dry your skin out but I didn't have too many issues. The worst was when I was home up north for the holidays. Though some face oil fixed the dryness. I have adjusted my skincare routine to included more products that moisturize since I started using this retinol. My dermatologist said it may take up to three months before I really start to notice any changes. But within a month and a half my skin was already SO much better. It is now about five months later and my skin is pretty much fully clear. I will occasionally get a spot that pops up but with my medications and skin care products it clears up pretty quickly.

Acne Face Map 2020: Forehead Acne Breakout & Other Face Location
Image Source 
If you have been debating about seeing a dermatologist for acne I say DO it. Sometimes a perception is needed and being able to have clear skin is an amazing feeling! Obviously, everyone's acne and treatments will be different but definitely consider trying these medications if you struggle with hormonal acne. 

In an effort to be fully transparent I am sharing some photos of my acne from just a few months back.  Some of these are really bad! I also filmed a video going into detail about my experience if you want to check that out as well. 


Before (October - November 2019):

Now (April 2020):

This photo is a non edited version & I don't have on any face make-up just eyebrow filler!

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