Previously I wrote a loooong rant about how I developed cystic acne in the first place, so now I want to help anyone out there who may be in the same boat as to how I FINALLY cured it.
Firstly, I did a bit of research into natural ways of balancing hormones and what to apply topically so as to not irritate my skin further and support the internal treatment. I began this routine over two years ago (with NO relapses since), by weaning myself off my umpteenth course of antibiotics and slowly introducing the below herbal remedies into my routine over a few weeks to monitor the effects.
- DIM-plus by Nature’s Way. I bought these online (see links) and believe they had the strongest affects in reducing my acne. Many believe it works by reducing estrogen dominance in the body, correcting the balance between it and progesterone. I had (have – I suppose!) a polycystic ovary which I found out shortly before I started this treatment. I don’t know how long I’ve had it (and why I only I have one?!) but I’d say that contributed to the acne and irregular periods. I worried that having PCOS would greatly reduce my chances of conceiving but thankfully it hasn’t seemed to have had any effect, and I can’t help but feel these supplements may have played a vital role.
- Agnus Castus by A.Vogel. I preferred the tincture and it’s available in most herbal/health shops. Like the DIM supplement, it too works to support the natural female hormonal balance and apparently is great for women suffering PCOS. I don’t think it would be super effective at reducing PMS or acne on it’s own, but paired with DIM it works great!
- Milk Thistle Complex. I took these tablets as more of a liver support (obvs!) than to help my hormones. After years of antibiotics, Uni boozing and copious amounts of junk food in my early twenties, I wanted to treat my liver nice and kind for a change. They mainly work as a detoxifier and it’s suggested that using this in correlation with DIM can help remove excess estrogen – aiding DIM’s hard work.
- Acnecide bought from Boots. I stopped putting ANYTHING else on my face and only used this on my problematic areas after cleansing in the evening. I found it dried out my skin making it quite rashy and peely at first, but perseverance paid off and a good moisturiser corrected that.
- I began by taking ONE DIM supplement daily along with the Agnus Castus & Milk Thistle at the recommended dosage for approx a week in the mornings (Milk Thistle in the evenings).
- Week two I upped the DIM to TWO tablets per day with same dose of the others and stayed on that for around a month.
- It states on the DIM label that you can take up to FOUR tablets a day for intensive use, and as I had no negative side effects from it I tried this dosage for a couple of months and really saw great clearance of my skin.
- I reduced it back to TWO DIM tablets a day after this for roughly a year before weaning myself down to ZERO once my skin had been clear for a long time.
- I used the Acnecide in the evenings and now ONLY use this as maintenance (no supplements apart from Pregnacare now that I’m expecting) and the topical treatment seems to keep any blemishes that do appear under complete control – NO more painful cystic acne!!
The only side effect I can recall is that the DIM (when taken at the intensive dosage) made my nipples really puffy. They didn’t hurt! But they definitely took on a bit of a life of their own for a couple of weeks. That faded away once I stopped the supplement. I also had a few minor headaches in the first week or two when I started the DIM but I can’t say if that was related to the tablets or if I would have gotten them anyway.
As I said before, the Acnecide made my skin VERY dry and sensitive for quite a while when I first began using it, but once most of the acne disappeared I didn’t really need it and only put a tiny bit on the problematic areas. **Now pregnant I use this ONLY when needed – I haven’t found any evidence that when used sparingly it would have any adverse affects on my growing sprog but I’d rather err on the side of caution for now.
This treatment worked for me, but I can’t guarantee it will work for everyone as I’m sure acne has many differing root causes. I wish I had of tried this natural treatment before damaging my body with ridiculous amounts of antibiotics and contraceptive pills. I would always recommend seeing a doctor or dermatologist when dealing with something that becomes severe quite quickly, like cystic acne, but from my experience they provided little options or advice and I ALWAYS felt worse after seeing them. I HOPE this helps someone the way it has helped me as I know how soul destroying dealing with acne can be. **Jerry’s Final Thought: Do your own research before taking ANY kind of herbal supplement, or go and see someone who obviously knows their shit in a health shop. DIM probably can’t be taken with certain medications and visa versa, so it’s best to be cautious when taking anything new. Read hundreds of reviews online and ensure you educate yourself before deciding on which brands to use etc. making sure you tailor your choices to YOUR needs and your needs only – it’s your body at the end of the day!