Tag Archive | ingrown hairs

Hirsutism AND Acne….The Double-Headed Dragon


Woman with hirsutism AND acne! Courtesy of blueridgeobgyn.wordpress.com

After talking to my endocrinologist a couple of months ago, I receive the official diagnosis that I did NOT have acne though I suspected I had it for years.

She took one look at my skin and clearly saw hirsutism but nothing along the lines of acne-influence.

Not having acne doesn’t stop my skin from feeling and looking like shit occasionally, even when my hirsutism is not getting on my nerves that much.

But when you have to deal with BOTH, I bet that can be one of the biggest, most unattractive pains in the ass ever!

Typical hirsutism, the type that is generated from abnormal hormonal behavior and typical acne, are both generated from an abnormal growth in hormones, particularly in androgens.

Now, having idiopathic hirsutism and acne is probably the worse.

You have to control the hair growth as well as the acne.

I know when I got laser hair removal done, my hair was removed and my skin cleared up wonderfully. All the blemishes I had from ingrowns and ingrown hair pimples (ya know, the type of ingrown that has pus in it? EEWW!) all cleared up!

Infected ingrown hair with pus in it! Sorry to gross anyone out!! Courtesy of wisegeek.com

There is no official medication for idiopathic hirsutism other than anti-androgen medications like spironolactone. For acne, which is a more widely known disorder, you have countless types creams, lotions and medications that will ease the appearance of the zits from forming. I mean, just Google “acne treatment” or acne cures” and you will get loads of hits on variety of different products.

I recommend trying Acne Control by Forces of Nature, the only USDA certified acne treatment. I used their Scar Control for my hirsutism scars and my skin seemed to be clearing up, but it did take more than a month to notice a slight difference.

So it may be helpful to get the acne treatments first before removing the hair.

The ideal solution for idiopathic hirsutism is an estrogen-based birth control, an anti-androgen, and a long-term treatment regimen of laser hair removal…maybe a long-term supply of Vaniqa too!

For acne, it would likely the same since acne is almost always hormonal.

Since laser hair removal clears up your skin not just the hair, you would want to get the acne under control some. Also, getting a laser zapped on an opened pimple or any fresh-cut, regardless how small it is, is dangerous and hurts like a BITCH! Trust me!

So that’s why I say to treat the acne or at least get it under some type of control before tackling the hirsutism issue.

Also, you may have to consider the fact that acne (skin rejuvenation) and hair reduction might be a different type of laser. That will be something else to look into (and afford!)

If you don’t have the cash for laser therapy, consider a chemical peel to tackle your acne and acne scars. I would recommend going to a professional for this, even though there are plenty of at-home chemical peels you can try.

I wrote a while back about acne masks and some DIY recipes for acne masks. I think an aspirin mask will work best because aspirin has salicylic acid in it and it may prove helpful for people with acne trying to reduce their scars.

Click here to go to that post about the aspirin mask and other DIY masks for acne.

So there you go; some tips for dealing with the hirsutism/acne double-headed dragon. Of course, my advice does not belittle that of discussing official options with a medical professional first. But these are some tips for you to try during your hirsutism and acne journey.

Thanks!

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Removing Ingrown Hairs and Blackheads on the body and bikini line!


I made a little mention of ingrowns in some previous blogs when talking about hair removal because the two are nearly always related.

But it occurred to me that people are very discouraged by them because people simply don’t know how to extract them right.

For a long time, I was extracted my ingrowns and blackheads/pimples wrong too.

And it was not until recent years that I realized one of the main things I was doing wrong: Unless you are a professional dermatologist, don’t squeeze your skin. You might be doing more damage than good.

Even though I feel a certain way about Wiki, on WikiHow, they detail a good way to remove an ingrown hair, with pictures:

http://www.wikihow.com/Remove-an-Ingrown-Hair

Their directions are pretty exact, but here is the routine I take after dealing with hirsutism for so many years:

  1. LEAVE IT ALONE!  Simply leave the ingrown alone. It will likely clear up on its own and dry out or it will extract itself upon you bathing or showering a number of times.
  2. If you have to mess with it, or if it is painful, exfoliate it often. Exfoliating removes the dead skin layers on top of it, slowly bringing it to surface. You can exfoliate using a number of good body scrubs. Doing it enough times will expose the hair under the bump. You can also use like salicylic acid and other facial peels to expose hairs. They work well for me.
  3. When you can see the hair, apply heat to it. You can do this best with a warm cloth or depending on where the ingrown is, soak in a very warm bath with essential oils to loosen your skin.
  4. If it is still bothering you, apply alcohol or some disinfectant facial cleaner to the affected area and try to extract with a clean pair of tweezers, blackhead remover, needle or epilator. This is the tricky part. Sometimes, I have been able to use my epilator over an ingrown hair and the ingrown was extracted fine. Other times, I had to dig for it using a needle (sterile) or a pair of clean tweezers. Using tweezers may not always work because the hair may not be long enough and it may snap when you try to pull it out. Also, you have the impulse to hold the skin up, as if you were popping a zit. But you should actually hold the skin taut, as flat as possible.
  5. Using a blackhead/comedone remover. I often get blackheads that are also ingrowns. Gross, I know.  In that case, use a blackhead/comedone remover. I actually love using these because they almost always work. You put pressure with the device down on the zit/ingrown/blachead/pimple to extract the dirt, pus, or ingrown. And it certainly does not leave as horrific of a scar as popping a zit with your fingers. I almost wish all my ingrowns were blackheads; that way I know for a fact I can remove them almost immediately. Removing blackheads are pretty easy and it is easier to identify them; they are simply black pimples. They are more inverted pimples than regular pimples sitting above the skin. This is not my skin, but it’s a good representation of what my ingrowns typically look like:

Ingrown hairs…yeah…I know….gross! But they are very common even in people who don’t have a hormonal condition.

Again, a sterile needle, tweezer set, or epliator should remove the hair with little strain on the skin. I couldn’t find  decent YouTube video of a good ingrown hair extraction but I found plenty of gross blackhead extraction videos. The instrument to remove a blackhead or comedone looks like this:

Blackhead remover…you put the hole part over the infected zit, push down and watch the nastiness be extracted.

Not my skin, but an example of what blackheads are (from BethChai3j.com)

 

Of course after doing any of these routines, clean the skin vigorously. I would even put some hydrogen peroxide or some type of alcohol lightly over the freshly extracted area to keep it from being infected again anytime soon. It also cuts down on your skin being ruined and scarred up.

For the pubes, I would recommend Bikini Zone to greatly cut down on the itching and irritation or some other type of lubricant. I posted in an earlier post how Bikini Zone very much cuts down on the bikini line irritation I get after hair removal. This also cuts down a lot on scarring your bikini line.

And my last tip is to get out more! If you go to the beach alot, stay out there! Keep sun screen on your skin (this goes for darker toned women too) and enjoy yourself! So what if people notice a dark mark or two on your bikini line? I am certain there is something fucked up on their bodies too! Being in the outdoors certainly clears my skin up, bikini line too. I might make it a habit to get to the beach more often with my children this coming summer myself.

Thanks for reading!

Pics of my reducing hirsutism progress so far!


Ok! Here are some pics of my progress thus far trying to manage my hirsutism!

Keep in mind this is from me epilating with a Panasonic epilator, (not tweezing), using eflornithine hydrochloride cream 2x a day (the brand name is Vaniqa), birth control Beyaz, Spironolactone (when I could get it; doctor has been a little stubborn lately!) Inositol, Vitex (or chasteberry), fenugreek, washing my face daily with an liquid soap made of african black soap and using a mild glycolic cream, two salicylic chemical peels, two homemade turmeric and cucumber facial peels.

I did very little waxing or tweezing on my face but I did post one before and after results of my sugar wax of my bikini line.

I must say I think my face is clearing up! I had very dark marks under my neck and side burns but it’s really trying to clear up.

The pics are in chronological order from mid August 2012 to today, September 25, 2012.

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My neck in early to mid August
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My neck and sideburn mid August
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my neck today! Sept. 25th, 2012. It’s is a wee bit blurry, but it is lighter that’s for sure!
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My side burns today, Sept. 25, 2012
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My other sideburn today, Sept. 25, 2012

So as you can see, I am definitely making some noteworthy progress clearing my skin up! I am not totally satisfied with my neck just yet but it’s an improvement for sure! I mostly credit the lack of a tweezer to my face, cleaning and the peels, though I am sure all my routine and medications played a part in slowing the growth as well as clearing my skin!

Improving, but still a work in progress! Thanks for reading!

Progress Thus Far!


So I have been doing my regimen faithfully for a couple of weeks now and the hair is growing much slower.

I cannot say it’s gone completely, and it probably never will be, but it is certainly way slower in growth.

No other changes yet. My moods are normal, but I have not gotten a period yet since starting birth control some months ago. But that may be an issue with my body regulating to birth control. I have not been on it in YEARS!

My hand epilator, made by Panasonic, helps tremendously cut down on my tweezing. It’s the Panasonic Wet/Dry epliator that you can use on wet or dry skin. Even though it’s advertised for the body I use it for my face. I typically wax my body hairs. It is not completely painless, I will admit, but it gets the job done very well!Image
I will probably stick to waxing my body hair, especially my bikini line and abdomen. That epilator on tender hairs like that I simply cannot tough it out!

My next step is to find a chemical peel to remove these scars from my face and bikini line. I have heard from a few online chats that salicylic acid peels work good for scars that got some years on them. I have been using a fading night cream with glycolic acid in it on my bikini every night and it seems to be drying up the scars, but I cannot tell if they are fading just yet.

For my own personal calculation knowing how old many of my scars are, I think I will start with a salicylic peel at 20%.

Yes I will post before and afters like always! I will be purchasing the acid sometime this coming week so be on the look out for that.

Thanks for reading!

DIY blemish removing tonic for ingrown hair and acne scars


Hello All!

So after buying my glycolic acid toner for my dark spots on my face and bikini line after YEARS of shaving and tweezing and ingrowns and mild acne, I decided to delve a little more into glycolic and salicylic acid and found out both are derived from natural extracts…as I suspected!

Glycolic acid is derived from sugar cane and salicylic acid is from tree bark, willow tree bark to be precise.

I make my own soaps and body washes and just happened to get a shipment of willow tree bark in the mail and a bell went off in my head!

Instead of spending $30-$50 bucks in ULTA (as much as I love them) on acids, just make my own tonic! I almost wanted to say DUH to myself!!!!

The more acidic the extract the better for scar removal because it essentially dries the skin layers up, including the damaged ones, to allow healthy cells to grow clearer skin. Almost what chemical acidic peels do.

The only problem is it dries your skin out making you feel and look like a damn slab of dusty sand paper!

And my skin does just that! Dries out very easily with acid tonics.

So I decided to mix my own acid toner, while incorporating some moisturizing agents in it too.

These are the ingredients I used and why:

  1. Lemon Juice (50%) – well known natural treatment for blemishes and it’s worked for me in the past
  2. Willow Tree Bark (30%) – where salicylic acid comes from, used in commercial chemical peels and products for blemishes
  3. Water – (10%)
  4. Tea Tree oil (1%) – great antioxidant and antiseptic
  5. Hempseed Oil (3%) – anti inflammatory, great for dry skin, does smell kinda funky but I like it!
  6. Jojoba Oil (2%) – Heavy in Vitamin E
  7. Vegetable Glycerin (1%) – excellent at retaining moisture
  8. White Vinegar/Apple Cider Vinegar (1%) – natural ingredient to reduce blemishes
  9. Lavender Oil (1%) – it just smells pretty and I read on several blogs on the internet that it has properties to battle blemishes and scars too.

I just made it today and used it immediately, even though I should have washed my face first. Just in using it, it certainly is not as drying as the commercial glycolic toner I use.

But I certainly am going to be using it for a while before I will see results as with most products.

This is what it looks like after mixing and shaking it up! The Hemp is what makes it green but the lavender makes it smell nice!

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I plan on using this religiously after washing my problem areas. Wish me luck!

Thanks for reading!

Treatment options for dark spots from years of shaving, tweezing, ingrowns, zits….UGH!


So after some research, I have decided that the best route to go to get rid of the years-old dark spot is glycolic acid.

Someone on a Facebook group page posted this link explaining various types of chemical peels and acids designed for skin problems like acne, stretch marks and hyperpigmentation/dark spots.

The website is called “Makeup Artist’s Choice.” They discuss glycolic acid, mandelic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, and TCA (trichloro acetic acid), which appears to be the most intense one for blemishes.

If glycolic acid does work for my next move will be TCA.

They explain the differences between well used acids in products to ease up dark spots and prevention of them.

I just purchased a night time gel with glycolic acid and hydroquione in it. It is made by Reviva Labs. Looking at the products on Amazon, it appears to have great reviews so I look forward to it WORKING! I also purchased a glycoic acid toner.

I really look forward to using the night gel because it’s when I take the rest of my medications.

Some other more organic means with potential to lightening dark spots include African Black Soap, aloe vera, lemon juice, willow tree bark extract and tea tree oil. I use raw lemon juice on my skin myself and it seems to dry up newer blemishes, pimples and scars very well.

Update to my Medications


So today I chatted with my practitioner at my GYN office.

Well I am going to finish up my Lo Loestrin Fe, and go with Beyaz.

Beyaz contains drospirenone (3mg), ethinyl estradiol (.02mg), and levomelfolate (.451mg).

She stated that, with spironolactone, that Beyaz will be helpful in controlling my hirsutism.

The worse case scenario would be drops in potassium and blood clots, likely in my legs.

As I assumed, she is going to be monitoring me to make sure neither of these issues, or any other, present themselves.

To reduce blood clots, she advised me to work out or try to be active as much as possible.

I look forward to using it! I must admit I am excited! I was concerned the Lo loestrin Fe was not strong enough and the Beyaz is slightly stronger.

Also, I told her I am taking a number of herbal medications which sh advised me to stop only because, unlike Spironolactone and Beyaz, herbs are not FDA approved though they are tested continuously.

With that being said, she advised me not be on Wild Yam. Apparently, it releases estrogen-LIKE supplements in the body but not true estrogen, making it not as effective as birth control or other approved estrogen medications.

I also epilated some neck hairs that were annoying me and the wax job is still holding up but now I am getting annoying ingrowns!

I pray this regimen is the answer to my body hair! The dark spots it leaves are the absolute worse!

Below is the worse area on my body: my neck. I TRULY feel that when the hair is gone my skin will clear up. I mean with no or very little hair, I have nothing to wax, tweeze and shave, thus reducing my ingrowns and cuts!

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Wish me luck and thanks for reading!