Since starting pretty strict paleo a few weeks ago my forehead acne has almost completely cleared up but paleo seems to have no effect on blemishes around my mouth and between chin and cheek. I saw today on Paleo Pepper she had acne in a parentheses shape around her mouth and I get it there too and she suspected it was because of high testosterone. Background: I'm 17, female, approx 5'6", 122 lbs with an empty stomach/bladder/gut (BMI of 20). I have always been a late bloomer and got my first period in January. I'm still waiting for my second one haha. I'm an A cup with pretty much no hips. So obviously not estrogen dominant. Perhaps a year ago I had multiple cups of spearmint/peppermint tea a day as an experiment and while it did make me noticeably less oily I don't remember it having any effect on my acne. My acne used to be almost entirely on my forehead but has slowly shifted to where it's mostly on my lower face and my forehead is much better than it used to be even on SAD (ie I used to break out on my temples allll the time, now they are always clear). I have no explanation for this. So...any thoughts? Should I actively try to lower testosterone/increase estrogen? Also, I have never taken any birth control pills or anything to screw up my hormones more than they would otherwise. here's the link to the paleo pepper post: http://paleopepper.com/2011/05/pcos-and-acne-update/ edit: I'm also supplementing with fish oil (4 capsules a day), vitamin D (10,000 IU/day) and of the past few days zinc (50 mg/day).
Just throwing it out there that I know a handful of people who got rid of most of their acne with a pantethine supplement (not B5, its metabolite pantethine). I have heard explanations like the pantethine helps to clear excess sebum, which makes sense since its main job in the body is lipid metabolism.
This is purely anecdotal but it is pretty obvious for the people who have tried it that I know. One person got rid of acne that she would only get during menstruation, so it might work for you.
Androgen-related acne in women tends to congregate along the jawline, not around the mouth.
Any dietary change you make will not have an immediate impact on your skin. Stick with it for 2-3 months before you call it a loss. I see many people saying they have this magical event happen when they cut out X food or add Y supplement, but dermal inflammation reduction (which occurs in large part due to reduction in matrix metalloproteinases--these take time to ebb to a lower level) and turnover is absolutely not instantaneous. Generally think in magnitudes of 2-3 months, and that's closer to correct.
Lastly, what kind of topical stuff are you schmearing on your skin? You might have a perioral dermatitis, which in women is notoriously linked to sunscreens and lotions. Is it small bumps, slightly scaly and itchy, or what?
Just a few suggestions, try them and see if they work for you.
Eat only strictly Paleo. No cheating.
No gluten in any shape or form. That means lipstick, skin cream, toothpaste, mascara.
No grains. Not even gluten free grains like rice. They change the gut flora.
No dairy period. None. Not even butter. Unless you personally know a guy who has the cow/goat and you know how this cow is treated and what it eats.
Lots and lots of pro-biotics. Raw sauerkraut. Kimchi with every meal for at least one month. Good pro-biotic supplement every day.
Sleep 8 hours (or more) each night. Go to bed at a regular time every evening.
No sugar including fruit for a while. None.
Eating paleo didn't improve my acne (37 yr old female). I went to a naturopath to get some testing done to try to figure out what is going on. He did an in-office zinc test and I learned it was very low, even though I was taking daily supplements! He gave me an easily absorbable zinc supplement, which I take twice per day. In three months, I've gone from probably a dozen deep cystic lesions on my chin, jaws and cheeks to clear skin, even during PMS. Fingers crossed - I hope this is for real! I've also had some success with a 2% benzoyl peroxide solution in the past, though it never stopped the PMS-related breakouts. (Acne.org) I'm also getting a hormone test done which may shed some light on causation. Acne causes are different for everyone, but I must say I'm surprised by the effect zinc seems to be having on me. Try a naturopath. Also, you might check out Chris Kresser's podcast on the connection between the gut and skin. That said, you're still young so you might clear up naturally as you get older.
is this low estrogen high testosterone? 7 Answers