Any other ladies in their 30s experience this?

Okay ladies, here’s the scoop:

Have you gone though a second “puberty” meaning your hormones are out of wack and you break out in pimples, zits and other sorts of skin problems?

I know it’s a hormone imbalance but yeesh, this is like living puberty but five times worse. I never had this kind of acne. It’s on my face, back, arms and other areas. When I was a teen I didn’t go through it this bad.

Do you have any home remedies to circumvent this? When you went through this did your friends or doctor come up with some easy ways to work through this?

My older brother’s wife went through this, but she had a doc. My other sis-in-law went through this but not as bad. My UPS lady even went through this but had no tips. So I am relying upon you Teeming Millions women to help me through this. I am embarrassed to even go in public these days with the nasty open zits on my face (I am a night scratcher, if it itches I scartch it.)

< sigh >

Sounds like what my best friend’s got, Tech’ems (she’s only 18, so… well… it’s not the same thing). But the point is that she’s been trying to get rid of it for five or six years without a whole lot of success. And, yes, it’s all over her face, her back, her arms… everywhere.

She just learned to live with it, although she’s hoping it’ll clear up eventually. Although, I should mention that she DOES wear a thick layer of makeup in an attempt to hide the problem…

Hi Tech - you might try increasing the amount of soy in your diet. Soy provides phytoestrogens which might help even your system out some. YMMV

Although phytoestrogens are of weak activity for “estrogen replacement” issues such as menopause, they can be of great benefit during the other phases of reproductive maturity.

The body’s finite number of estrogen receptors recognize phytoestrogens as estrogen and allow them to attach.
Because of this, when your system is producing less estrogen - phytoestrogens sort of take up the slack (only sort of because they’re of weaker activity than human estrogen). However, when you are producing higher levels of estrogen, the phytoestrogens attached to the receptors (because your body doesn’t distinguish between them) are preventing the stronger human estrogen from attaching and a huge spike. If the human estrogen can’t attach to a receptor, it’s metabolized out of your system.

If you don’t care for soy products as food (I can’t stand the texture) you can find suplemental soy isoflavones pretty easily. If you aren’t sure where - e-mail me.

Well…I used to be in my thirties, and yes. Not terrible, but I did notice more breakouts on my face…I’ve been doing the soy thing for several years. I love edamame beans, vanilla soy milk & tofu, which helps!

Some women go on the mini-pill to regulate hormones.

You know, I hate to say this, but going on the Pill might help this. It’s very Western medicine and all that, but it does regularize hormones for some women.

Others, it gives a case of permanent PMS to. YMMV. Check with your doctor.

Sort of…but only on my forehead. My face and hair have gotten really oily. I am on the pill, however. Maybe I’ll try that soy thing…

I’m going through this right now, but I think it’s a combo of insane stress/drastic change of climate. Seems everytime I move from Europe to US or vice versa I break out for a month or so. Bleh.

Techie, forgive me if I’m being too forward, but I’d like to strongly advise you not to take Accutane (I know it hasn’t come up, but it might). One of the possible side effects is that it can cause or worsen clinical depression. IIRC, you have a history of that, so it’s probably best not to risk it. (Sorry to sound preachy, but my cousin was put on it and the dr. never even asked about a family history of depression, even though it is a known side effect)

Back to the zits, right now what works best for me is lots of water, b-complex vitamins and not using too many harsh products on my skin.

Soy is the hook-up, baby. Honestly, my hormones are all over the place (even on the pill) and soy really keeps me regulated.

Go to your local health food store and ask the clerk to help you find some soy isoflavones. They shouldn’t cost more than $10. Get the lowest dose ones you can and use just one a day for a month. If you don’t notice any change, increase the dose. It doesn’t work overnight but it will help.

Or eat lots of soy: crunchy soynuts, soy milk (**Westsoy[/]b Vanilla Plus is my favorite brand) or tofu.

Use baby shampoo to wash with…
This happened to my best friend while she was pregnant. She got that horrible pregnancy acne, and the only thing that helped was to wash with baby shampoo. It will cut the oil in your skin, and balance it out a little.

Oddly enough, one of her customers at her job told her this. It was an elderly gentleman that felt so bad for her that he mailed her a couple of bottles of shampoo.

I went through it in my late twenties. The doctor put me on tetracycline.
I later took birth control pills, which helped. It has to be one or the other, though - tetracycline will make birth control pills ineffective.

When I was taking tetracycline for a small cyst on my ear two years ago, I didn’t know that the pill wouldn’t work. We had a pregnancy scare. Alas, no cyst-er for my son.


I’m going through it at 27. Horrid cystic acne like I never had as a teenager-I had pimples them, but these are completely different. Last summer I chalked it up to the different air here in Atlanta. This year, it’s still there, but not quite so bad. The pimples keep coming up in exactly the same spots though.

I’ve not tried soy-I’ll have to check that out. It has gotten better since I’ve been using a 5% benzoyl peroxide cream at night. But, as the new one on my cheek declares redly, it still happens.

Yep. Horrid cystic acne which leaves awful scars. Twenty times worse than the pimples I suffered as a teenager.

I don’t have anything useful to add, since I still get regular acne. (It will go away, eventually, right? I’m 24. But then, I didn’t get it at all until my late teens) However, using Noxzema 2 in 1 pads help a good deal. I haven’t tracked it long enough to be satified that this is really the case, but it seems that when I put on hypolalergenic, non-comunigentic sunscreen (Banana Boat sport 30+) under my makeup, I break out less. All I can think of is that it keeps the makeup and dirt from sinking into my pores. Hasn’t made it any worse, and I avoid sunburn, so why not, right?

What I’m curious about though, is the soy suggestions. Shouldn’t that make the problem worse, not better? I thought it was the excess estrogen that made us break out worse around our periods. I’ve also heard that it plant estrogens increase one’s risk of breast cancer if it’s already in your family history, too.

Ack! I feel you pain, Techie.
Get thee to a dermatologist. I had the EXACT same thing happening. Huge, mutant, agonizingly painful zits on my face, etc. Yuk! I never, ever have had skin problems, and these were so bad they were leaving scars!

My doc put me on oral tetracycline, topical clindamyacin and Retin A, and within two weeks I was good as new. I finished the tetracycline, and was a very happy camper. I have had to repeat the treatment once since then when I had another flare up.

It is totally worth the money to go and get the meds- the tetracycline is dirt cheap, as is the clina topical. The Retin A will run you, but it is so worth it to see clear skin again and no more “volcanos” as I call 'em. This also got rid of the little tiny impending zits I had.

Most importantly, my doc advised me to throw out any and all anti acne meds I had at home, as they would only irritate. He recommends washing twice a day with Dove soap with hands only, no washcloth, followed by Moisturel lotion. (and the meds) He was very adament about the Dove and the Moisturel. He also said that while you think you are “scrubbing the bad stuff out” you’re actually spreading it around.


I’m 37, and I’ve noticed that I break out more often if I’m not drinking enough water. Watch your fluid intake, especially if you drink coffee or take medications that have a duiretic effect. I really hate drinking water, but I feel and look worse when I don’t.

As Zette said, don’t use the over-the-counter acne stuff. It will just make them itch even more.

If adding more soy to your diet, and increasing your water intake don’t help, see your doctor.

Sorry you’re going through that. It sucks.

I can’t believe everyone let you get away with that one! Away to the punitentiary with thee!

Excess estrogen can be one of the causes of adult acne. By providing plant estrogens, which have a significantly weaker estrogenic activity, the more potent human estrogens have fewer receptors to attach to. Effectively, you’re blocking your own stronger estrogen with much weaker estrogens lessing the overall spike. Hormones with no receptor to attach to are metabolized.

I had not heard that plant estrogens were linked to breast cancer - I’d like to hear more about it if anyone knows though. Soy has been a huge part of the diets of asians for centuries, do they have a higher breast cancer rate?

Let me rephrase that last sentence…

Do the women in cultures that comsume more soy in their diets have a higher rate of breast cancer?

Thank you in advance for your collective patience.

They don’t but the problems seem to occur when women from cultures that don’t usually eat a lot of soy add it in large amounts to their diet, appearently the soy supplements are much greater in isoflavonoids than what one in an Asian culture naturally consumes. So far only a few studies suggest this, but the American Cancer Society seems to be taking those studies seriously.

And another page that goes into more detail

Yup. I had quite bad acne in my teens. It went away in my early twenties. In my mid-twenties I went off the pill and my skin went haywire. Went back on the pill six months later, but I’m still battling the problem. The acne isn’t bad enough to see a dermatologist about, but bad enough to be annoying.

My eczema on the other hand has gotten far, far worse, just in the last year or so.

I’m 31 BTW.