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Thanks SweetJade.
No I have never had my hormones checked. I do not have any other medical conditions that I know of. But I am pretty confident that my acne has to do with my hormones in one way or another. I always break out more in the second half of my monthly cycle and my face looks it's best after my period starts. During my 2 pregnancies ( 2nd and 3rd trimester ) my acne cleared up almost completely just to return around the same time my period did 6 months postpartum ( despite nursing for 20 months ).

I did see my family Dr when I was a teenager. I tried tetracycline and some topicals with some results but when acne kept coming back I was basically told I would just have to wait for me to grow out of it. After that I tried a lot of OTC's and just tried to mask it. After my second daughter was born is when my acne got really severe and cystic and I got myself together and went to a dermatologist for the first time in my life. Because I was still nursing at the time he prescribed azelex which he said would be safe for my baby but he also warned me that it would not help much for my kind of acne. He actually urged me to quite nursing because my daughter had reached 1 year and he thought I needed to think about myself. I refused and continued nursing another 6 months. During this time I stopped drinking milk and cut down on dairy in general. That and azelex actually helped quite a bit and I didn't have any large cysts after that. My acne was still pretty bad and I went on minocycline which helped even more but it was not a miracle. After moving and switching derms my new derm suggested accutane.
I started birth control pills in preparation for accutane because you need to take it for at least 1 month before treatment. It has helped with the oiliness of my skin which was severe before but I'm still breaking out as much as before. Since I started the pill I'm breaking out on my neck more than my face though which is new.

I'm not overweight but could probably stand loosing 10Ibs or so, I'm 5'5 and about 130Ibs. I do have a lot of body hair which is probably a hormonal thing as well ( not to the extreme but anyway ). Also, I've never been a very upbeat person. I thought that had to do with upbringing and my acne but maybe it's more than that. I would not say that I'm depressed but at the same time I'm not sure what depressed means. I just don't know how to be happy I guess.
Having my hormones checked seems like a good first step, thanks for the suggestion.

Anna





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