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?
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.
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.
.. 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?