Hormonal imbalance, hair loss and acne

acne

I have to say, being so open about my acne journey and skin issues isn’t always fun. Treating acne is no fun. Trying several different treatments for it is definitely everything but fun – especially since nothing seems to work.

Still – since I know how common these things are – I want to share my experience, even though it means I have to say no to a zillion MLM-marketing companies (is there anything worse, than trying to take advantage from one’s desperation?) and listen to people telling me to drink water or try apple cider vinegar for my skin, basically.

What I have learned so far, is that you need a ton of patience for ANY acne treatments. And there are different types of acne out there. And what might work for me, doesn’t necessarily work for you. And also – acne sucks and it’s super hard to find good reliable information on it. So – how to treat hormonal acne?

hormonal acne

MY ACNE & TRYING DIFFERENT DIETS

Anyway – back to my skin, my acne, and my battle. Since I last wrote about the subject, I was pretty hopeful. I had understood by then, that my acne was and is strictly hormonal. I didn’t tell you at the time – but I was on a new treatment too. Now when it comes to diet changes, I tried to focus on foods, that would help to balance your hormones. But with just diet changes, I felt like I wasn’t going anywhere. And also… I’m just gonna say it: Eating super strictly, super super healthy, isn’t for me. I do – however – eat pretty healthy. I have been a vegetarian since I was nine years old. I eat lots of fruits, vegetables, fibres and I try to keep track of my protein intake as well. I haven’t talked about this much, but I have a history of eating disorders and having to stress about my diet and food constantly is not good for me mentally. For me? Eating pasta and chocolate every once in a while is healthier than not having them.

DIM – THE NATURAL WAY OF BALANCING YOUR HORMONES

The new treatment I was excited about was DIM. It’s short for diindolylmethane – it’s basically a food supplement, that works in your body in a way, that it balances the hormones. The substance is the same substance, that can be found in broccoli. Only you would have to eat a ridiculous amount of broccoli a day, if you wanted the same amount of dim from it. So DIM is the natural way of balancing your hormones. The internet is full of good experiences with the substance, especially with breakouts or acne, that is less severe. I am still to this day pretty convinced of this supplement, even though it didn’t work for me. I tried it for a month (I know, I could have tried it for a longer time, but I just basically couldn’t, as you may realize if you keep reading). DIM is something, I am keen to try again sometime and as I said, I think it’s a valuable option for someone, that has acne, but not as bad as mine.

MY HORMONES WERE ALL OVER THE PLACE

Even before the DIM-treatment and after that, I had pretty bad symptoms of hormonal imbalance. I’m just gonna call it that, ‘cause I don’t have any other diagnosis for my hormones and body not working properly. Basically my acne was worse than ever – super itchy and sore, bleeding and impossible to cope with. Besides that, I started to lose my hair. My hair was falling off everywhere – in the shower, after the shower, it was all over my clothes, my jacket, my bed. Naturally, I started to freak out a little. Besides the acne and my hair falling off, my menstrual cycle wasn’t regular and for quite a long time, I was a bit worried about it. So I called a doctor.

acne blog

POLYCYSTIC OVARY SYNDROME?

I was 99% sure, I would get a PCOS diagnosis. I knew a lot of people with that condition, and I had pretty similar symptoms. I was already devastated, because PCOS affects fertility as well. My doctor took all kinds of tests and they all came back normal. The one thing I didn’t get though, was the ultrasound to actually check if my ovaries were polycystic or totally fine. All I got was the recommendation to start birth control pills and maybe roaccuttan with that.

Well, since my ovaries hadn’t never been checked before and I wanted to know my situation, I booked another doctor appointment – one that I had to pay myself. And I was relieved to know, that I did not have PCOS – though the gynecologist wasn’t really as convincing, as I would have liked her to be. Still, she didn’t give me the diagnose, and I am happy and relieved that I am somewhat healthy and normal. She, too, recommended the birth control pills for me.

I AM ON THE PILL AGAIN

Now here’s the terrifying part – telling you all, that I am on the pill once again. I’m not even sure why it feels like such a big deal – maybe ‘cause I started this whole thing about being natural and not having to eat hormones. How I’ve felt so great without the hormones. But really – I didn’t have any side-effects from the pills. Moodswings? I’m prone to whatever feelings 365 days a year – and that is just my personality.

And after already eating them for over a month – I have good news. My hair stopped falling off almost immediately after I started to take them and my skin is already smoother, healthier and not sore.

I’ve started to think of birth control pills from a totally different perspective – maybe they are not a drug, but a medicine? Even though I didn’t have the condition I thought I had, clearly my body was not working properly and my hormones were a mess. Maybe the pills are just what my body needs. At the moment, at least. And if I had to eat them for the rest of my life or for many years? Well, after experiencing a severe, painful, bleeding acne (impossible to wear makeup even) and having my hair fall off – that seems like a small price to pay.

You don’t always have to fight everything off by yourself, with zero help. It’s also okay to take the help, eat that supplement or take that pill.

After all, I didn’t battle my depression naturally either – though that is definitely a more severe situation. Antidepressants were super important for my recovery.

The photos in this post are different to my usual acne post photos. These are from a photoshoot a while back. I am wearing a ton of makeup, but you can still see my acne through. These are unedited. It’s funny, but actually I don’t even have photos from my acne at it’s worst. But just imagine it being it a little worse, than in this post.

my acne journey

.. and some pictures of me smiling, just to remind you, that life is not that serious after all.

Photos: Susanna Pomèll / Healthyhair 


I’ve already learned by now, that there are a lot of people out there suffering from acne. How is your skin doing right now? Have you heard of dim, or tried it? And do any of you have the same experience with hormonal acne? Anyone else on the pill too?

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10 Replies to “Hormonal imbalance, hair loss and acne”

  1. Hi, Charlotta! I found you while i was posting on Reddit Beauty Blogs, and wanted to say this is a great post. It’s not easy writing about things we have no control over, and acne is Hell. When i was younger, i went through a long period of struggling with cystic hormonal acne. I was put on antibiotics for months, which was what eventually the only thing that cleared it up along with dry ice treatments. UGH. After MANY years of trying to figure out what was wrong with me (i had a plethora of other health issues as well), it turns out i have Hashimoto’s, which is an autoimmune thyroid disease (thyroid controls our hormones – go figure). I hope you can keep searching and find out the root cause of what’s making your hormones out of whack. Who knows, could be your thyroid? Fortunately i don’t have problems anymore, now that i’m on medications, except for the occasional lone pimple when i’m on my period. Good luck to you!

    1. Hi! This comment honestly made my day, yeah it’s definitely not easy writing about things, that I have no control over. Well put. They did check my thyroid levels as well, so I think it’s not that with me. Though my mom suffers from thyroid deficiency, so there was a big chance it could have been that. Yeah, let’s hope I’ll find out and that my acne finally clears up. Thank you! 🙂

  2. En tiedä ootko käyny mun blogissa lukemassa mun aknetarinaa, mut mullahan oli kans tarkotuksena se pilleritön elämä. Akne kuitenkin sit oli niin sitkeä et aloitin pillerit, jotka jouduin sivuoireiden takia vaihtaa toisiin, jotka ei sitten enää akneen auttaneet. Nyt tosiaan Roaccutan kuuri menossa ja en vois olla tyytyväisempi. Ihanaa että pillereistä on sulle apua! Sitä sileää ihoa osaa taas arvostaa ihan eri tavalla, kun se akne alkaa parantua! <3 Ja kyllähän pillerit on aina paljon parempi vaihtoehto kuin Isotretinoin. 🙂 Tsemppiä jatkoon ja nautihan uudesta ihostasi!

    1. Joo, oon. Mä jotenkin just haluan viimeseen asti välttää Roaa, se on sit se ihan ihan vika jos ei nää pillerit nyt sit auttaiskaan. Kyllä mä uskon, että alkaa kun nyt jo kuitenkin silennyt. Kiitos <3

  3. Mä en oo kuullut tuosta dimistä aiemmin. Mulla on myös kokemusta aknesta ja hormoniepätasapainosta. Oon kokeillut myös ruokavaliohoitoa, lääkkeitä ja e-pillereitä siihen. Nyt oon ilman pillereitä ja iho on jonkin verran oireillut. Pillerien aloitus on varmaan myös edessä, jos haluan tilanteeseen muutosta. Silloin iho oli parhaimmassa kunnossa. 🙂

    1. Joo, se oli uus tuttavuus mullekin. 🙂 Itse asiassa mies bongas sen netistä. Voih, toi kaikki kuulostaa niin tutulta. Tsemppiä ja toivotaan ihon paranemista sullakin!

  4. En ole kuullut ennen dimistä, mutta näin aknen oireet omaavana en kyllä voi tuomita tai ymmärtää niitä jotka tuomitsevat ns. perinteisiä lääkärihoitoja akneen. 🙂

  5. Hei Charlotta! ihanan rehellinen postaus. Itsekin kärsin vuosia iho-ongelmista. Silloin kun söin e-pillereitä ihoni oli hyvä, mutta ne eivät sopineet psyykeelleni, minulla ne mielialavaihtelut olivat ihan järkyttäviä (olen muutenkin erityisherkkä), joten ne sekoittivat pääni. Sittemmin vaihdoin ehkäisyn hormonikierukkaan ja aluksi en huomannut ihossani juurikaan muutoksia (ehkä siitä tuli rasvoittuvampi, nyt kun jälkeenpäin mietin). Viimeiset kolme vuotta olivat kuitenkin kierukan kanssa kauheita, taistelin kipeiden finnien, pienten näppyjen ja epäpuhtauksien kanssa. Kokeilin myös erilaisia ruokavalioita (minulla oli myös vatsaoireita), ja huomasin, että helpotusta toi maidoton ja gluteeniton kasvisruokavalio (sekä vatsalle että iholle), mutta viimeisen “pelastuksen” sain iholleni, kun otin hormonikierukan pois! Meni reilu kuukausi ja ihoni parani. Siksi en ole halunnut laittaa kierukkaa takaisin ja aiemmin mainitsemistani syistä en halua e-pillereitäkään. Nykyisin ihoni on paremmassa kunnossa kuin 17 vuoteen! Satunnaisia pikku näppyjä tulee menkkoja edeltävällä viikolla tai jos olen syönyt rasvaista ruokaa. Toivottavasti e-pillerit auttavat sinua. Minä en tuomitse mitään hoitokeinoja, jos ne vain auttavat. Jokainen olemme tosiaan yksilöitä ja se mikä sopii toiselle ei välttämättä sovi toiselle. 🙂

    1. Hei! Kiitos. Itsekin koen olevani erityisherkkä, mutta en onneksi ole (ainakaan vielä) huomannut pillereistä mielialanvaihteluita – siis normaalia enempää ainakaan. 😀 Ihanaa, että sun iho voi paremmin ilman mitään hormonaalista ehkäisyä. Niin se tosiaan on, että ollaan kaikki yksilöitä ja pitää melkeenpä vaan kokeilla, mikä sopii ja toimii itselle. 🙂

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