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hi all

here's my story. i'm nearly 38 y.o. and i've had acne ever since puberty. i've tried removing certain foods from my diet (sugar, wheat, etc), thinking it might be food related, but nothing changed my acne much.

i've tried different facial products, but nothing makes a difference.

the only thing that has decreased my acne is a birth control pill called estrostep.

i'd like to mention that i also have had irritable bowel syndrome. i've had this since my early teens. might have coincided with puberty but i'm not sure.

at age 10 i developed hyperactive thyroidism. this regulated itself after a few years of medicaiton, so i've been off medication for that problem since my mid-teens. last week i found out i've gone hypothyroid now and started taking thyroid hormones.

i'm mentioning the irritable bowel syndrome and the thyroid problems because they are both classified as autoimmune disorders, and both may be hormone-related, and in conjunction with my acne which only changes when i'm on estrogen/b.c. pills, i'm wondering if all of this ties together.

if i go off the b.c. pil, i get massive acne of all sizes and shapes all over my face, in my ears, on my neck, in my scalp, down my back, and between my breasts. i feel like such a hideous freak of nature when it gets that bad. when i'm on the b.c. pill, i still get zits - i've got blackheads on my nose that never go away, and i do get breakouts regularly, but absolutely nothing near as bad as when i'm not taking it. but i HATE being on the pill and messing with my natural hormones. and its not just that, its the not knowing exactly what is going on that is causing this. i feel like i'm just using the pill as a band-aid.

having acne in my twenties and even early thirties was something i just got used to living with. but now, i'm getting up there, and i am so sick and tired of it. i havent gone to a dermatologist because i believe its hormone-related, and i dont want to be putting creams on my face which dont get to the root of the problem and may dry out my skin, and i dont want to take pills that upset my already-touchy digestive tract.

anyone have any ideas? does my theory of hormone-connectivity with all my ailments make any sense? anyone in the same boat?

thank you in advance for your responses.

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