Hormonal Acne Update

Hormonal Acne UpdateI haven’t written about my acne in a long time so I thought it was time for an update–particularly as I’ve experienced major skin changes over the past year. If you’re unfamiliar with my acne history, I recommend reading this post from last year to catch up.

Pregnancy = Amazing Skin for Me

So I’ve figured out the solution to my persistent acne: get pregnant! During my pregnancy this last year, my skin was the best it’s been since I was thirteen. I’m not entirely sure when I started to see improvements–I spent my first trimester feeling sick to my stomach 24/7 and thus was not paying much attention to things like my appearance–but sometime in my fourth month or so I suddenly realized that I was getting fewer breakouts than normal. Things just got better and better over the next few months, and through the end of my pregnancy and at least the first month postpartum my skin looked fantastic.

But Unfortunately Improvement Seems to Be Short Lived

I’m now three and half months postpartum, and I’ve been very disheartened to find that my skin issues have been creeping back over the past couple of months. I’m again getting regular, persistent breakouts around my mouth and chin–still nothing approaching what my skin was like before I went on GAPS, but bothersome enough that I’m back to being unhappy about my appearence. I was so hoping that pregnancy would have a lasting impact on my skin, but apparently the improvement was only temporary.

I did also get my period back at only 7 weeks postpartum, which seems absurdly early given that I’m exclusively breastfeeding. I have been encouraged that at least the two periods I’ve had so far have been almost pain-free. I’ve always had debilitating painful periods, so I am really, really hoping that things at least stay good in this area

Moving Forward

The fact that my acne disappeared during pregnancy makes me pretty convinced that I was right to believe that my acne is related to hormonal imbalance. (I’m certainly no expert, but it seems like acne that disappears during pregnancy has got to be hormonal, right?) While it’s nice to have my theory confirmed, that doesn’t really help in terms of what I should actually do about getting it to go away for good.

So far my only plan is to finish reading Lauren Geersten’s e-book Quit PMS, which is all about curing hormonal imbalance with real food and other natural treatments. I started reading the book back when it came out in July, but then got derailed by pregnancy complications before I got a chance to finish it. Lauren healed her own hormonal imbalance using the techniques outlined in her e-book, so I’m hopeful that it will help me try out some new approaches for treating my acne.

What about you–do you have any stories of healing hormonal acne? I’d welcome your suggestions, since my big solution is not all that practical long-term. :)

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Crazy for Coconut

10 Responses to Hormonal Acne Update

  1. Andi says:

    My skin was also radiant during pregnancy! I have grown out of most of my acne at 39, but now I’m getting more small sebaceous cysts. Good luck with your search.
    Andi recently posted..Thanksgiving MenuMy Profile

  2. Becca says:

    Like you, I break out on the chin, which indicates hormonal imbalance. I started using progesterone cream over a year ago and use olive oil as my cleansing method. I have had great skin since starting those two things. I went off of progesterone cream for a bit not too long ago and what do you know? Major chin break outs! Back on the cream and things are looking clear. :)

  3. reb says:

    Several years ago when I had pretty bad acne, I read a lot about progesterone cream helping with that (as well as painful periods) but I’m not sure how that fits into a GAPS/WAPF lifestyle now, especially long-term.
    reb recently posted..Menu Plan: 25 November to 1 DecemberMy Profile

  4. Emma says:

    Hi Meghan
    I had acne growing up and it gradually improved over time. I had a baby when I was 29 and my skin has been good. The more I allow myself to be me, in full, and allow my awareness of self in all aspects to deepen, the clearer my skin is, and the more I can look out to the world with open loving eyes. I have realised in my thirties how much reaction and anger I was in, in my twenties and working through that has been the biggest healing.
    Of course, diet is a huge part too but then it seems to me you have that one under wraps!
    Most of my awareness has come from being a student of the Livingness, the ageless esoteric wisdom and seeing practitioners to help me to see me more clearly (in Austalia and the UK).
    Thanks for sharing your early baby days and being so honest – something I didn’t do. It really helps to let people in.
    I’ve only recently discovered your blog and have enjoyed making your chocolate coconut bites, although I have been eating cacao again which I probably shouldn’t given that I am doing GAPS. with love
    Emma

  5. Jessica T says:

    That is so awesome for you! I was the opposite with both of my pregnancies. My acne exploded everywhere it seemed. My back and chest were covered along with my face with big, painful pimples. However, I was not health conscious back then and wasn’t aware of real food, natural healing, etc. So looking back, I’m not surprised I had such an acne problem!

  6. Jill says:

    Hi Meghan
    Thanks for sharing your story. It must have been wonderful to have a break from the acne and to know that your skin can be clear.
    I am a homeopath and see that you tried homeopathy. Perhaps see a homeopath again to see if homeopathy is able to make a lasting difference now that you have been on the GAPS diet and been working to regenerate healthy gut flora.
    It could also be worthwhile to find someone experienced and who uses bio-identical hormones wisely. (Please note that this is very different to regular hormone replacement therapy!!)
    A great introduction to these is Dr John Lee’s Hormone Balance Made Simple. You may not need to be on a hormone supplement indefinitely but it could be useful to ‘reset’ your hormones so that you can then stay in balance with diet (avoiding spiking blood sugar is key, sleep, exercise and healthy ways of managing stress.
    You may well have seen this page from the Weston A Price website but I’ll include it just in case.
    http://www.westonaprice.org/ask-the-doctor/acne
    I wish you all the very best.
    Kind regards
    Jill
    http://www.jilltuwhare.com

  7. Rhianna G says:

    Congrats on the new baby! The photo of the three of you sitting on the couch is seriously sweet!

    I have been on GAPS for one year and four months. The acne on my chin and cheeks progressively got worse. I am 47 and never had such bad skin. I had two teeth removed (one of which was an old root canal) and dental cavitation surgery on the left side of my mouth, with two more cavitation sites on the right to be surgically cleaned when the left side heals. My acne temporarily got better following the first cavitation surgery. But the more I attempt to detoxify further, the worse the acne grows again.

    It seemed to be hormonally related before GAPS. Now it seems to be related to my body’s attempt to detoxify. We will see how my face clears up or not following the second cavitation surgery. My body is struggling to detoxify completely while I have the cavitations.

    I am learning to let go of being upset by the acne. It is not as bad as having the horrible bloating and abdominal pain as I did before GAPS, or the horrible fatigue, jaw pain and bad breath as I did before the first oral surgery. In the scheme of things, it is merely minor, even if annoying.

    I am undergoing peri-menopause. Maybe when I am through the Change, and have undergone the necessary dental work, and my body may then finally detoxify, my face will clear up. That is my hope.

  8. Stacy says:

    Hi Meghan,

    I just found your site as I research the GAPS diet. I too had acne, starting at 18 years old. It was never severe, but enough to be frustrating and painful at times. When I started having babies, I noticed that my skin was GREAT after the first trimester and through the months that I breastfed. After that, the acne returned. However, I did do some research and found that if I ate protein (had to be eaten first), healthy fat, and healthy/low carbs with every meal or snack, it wasn’t so bad. At about age 36 the acne started coming back after my last child was weaned, so my dr. prescribed me topical Metrogel (very expensive if your insurance doesn’t cover it, but it lasts a long time). That worked REALLY well for a few years, but I’ve decided that I want to get to the bottom of all my health issues and stop using prescription drugs. So, I’m seriously considering the GAPS diet. Thank you for the encouragement about your experience with GAPS!

    By the way, I also use bioidentical progesterone cream which may have helped with the acne in the past few years. I’m 43 now and still dealing with acne as well as a few other health issues, so I’m hoping and praying that GAPS will help. I will continue to research your site for ideas!

    God Bless You!

  9. Sarah says:

    Liver flushing is good for hormonal acne. I cured mine with gut healing, liver support, meditation and daily movement for the lymph. :)

  10. I second the progesterone comment! We typically make about 20ng progesterone daily, but in pregnancy, the levels go up and up until at the end of pregnancy we make 160ng daily. I have ten children and can vouch for this effect. Also, I supplement with progesterone cream and have noticed the same pattern that if I slack off, my acne gets worse.

    Natasha Campbell McBride says you don’t have to supplement with progesterone cream forever, that eventually hormone levels will level out by staying on GAPS. You can find more info in Dr. Lee’s book ‘What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause’.

    P.S. You look great, Mama!
    Julie @ Seeking The Old Paths recently posted..How to Interest Boys in Math…Almost PainlesslyMy Profile

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