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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Adult Acne Post-Breastfeeding...My ((No Longer)) Secret Weapons

I've been wanting to write this post for a long time. I'm hoping it can help out some women out there.

In high school, I went on Accutane, which is arguably the most aggressive form of acne treatment. You pretty much sign your life and your future-unborn-children's life away. After 7 months of an intense pharmacological regimen, my acne cleared up.

I had occasional break outs in my 20's, but when I quit nursing LG, my face looked worse than you could possibly imagine. I was so mortified, I truly hated leaving the house. I couldn't go anywhere without putting on makeup, which made for quite the conundrum since I knew make up made it worse.

I tried natural first, obviously. Altering my diet. Not eating processed foods, not eating dairy. These methods really frustrated me because they did not work, and meanwhile I became even more grumpy giving up foods I liked. I also found myself irritated because when I wasn't eating some of these foods, people assumed it was to lose weight, and reassured me that I looked fine. I wasn't eating like that to lose weight, I was trying to clear up my face! And it wasn't working.

THE MOST AGGRAVATING COMMENTS that I heard multiple times were...

"Do you wash your face every night?"

and
 
"Do you sleep with your make up on?"

OMG. Rude. So rude. If they only knew, I washed my make up off FIRST, with a Clarisonic brush, then washed my face with an acne cleanser, then used various topical ointments. I tried using a sunlamp to dry out my skin. I have the best access to skin care products working in plastic surgery, and I used everything I knew.

But my skin had never looked, or felt, worse. The deep, cystic acne was humiliating and painful.

FINALLY, I saw a dermatologist. Dr. Kodali in Colleyville. She changed my world.

She put me on two oral prescriptions and two topical prescriptions. My hormones were completely out of whack. Pregnancy, especially the third trimester, and nursing, overload your body with estrogen, which was actually great for my skin, hair, and nails. When I stopped breastfeeding, and the estrogen depleted, I had entirely too much testosterone.

ALDACTONE. That drug was a miracle worker for me. 50mg is a common dose, and the dose I started on. I got up to 200mg/day. I'm now happy to say I'm off the drug completely. The only side effect I had was dizziness when I stood up, because it actually lowers your blood pressure a bit. I wasn't bothered by this at all. TAKING BIRTH CONTROL on time, every day, is extremely important while on this medication because not only does it enhance the acne-clearing results, but if you become pregnant, this drug will feminize a male fetus. It's an anti-androgen, so it blocks androgen ((ie: testosterone)) receptors. If your acne is not hormonally-based, this will not help you.

DOXYCYCLINE. This drug is an antibiotic. I took 100mg/day. It did make my stomach a little queasy, but it was fine as long as I ate food with it. Again, not a major side effect. I didn't like the idea of being on antibiotics for a long time, and neither did Dr. Kodali. I was off the antibiotic within a couple months.

ACZONE + ZIANA. These two creams I still use at night. Aczone is amazing because it doesn't dry my skin, like so many other products have in the past.


The oral pills are super cheap because generic is available. The topical creams I purchased from DFW Wellness Pharmacy, and they hook it up with coupon upon coupon, so my total was $25 each, and each tube lasts 3 months.

For somebody who has been there, with this horrible hormonal acne, you know that diet, hygiene, and various OTC acne regimens just do not work. Acne took a major toll on my self esteem. IT'S MY FACE! I found myself looking down, avoiding eye contact, and avoiding social situations out of embarrassment. I hated caking on the make-up before leaving the house.

I'm thrilled to say that for the past couple months my face has been 100% clear, and I feel like myself again.

If you live in the DFW area, I recommend Dr. Kodali! If not, ask your primary care or dermatologist about these 4 meds and hopefully you will see improvement, too.

54 comments:

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