Remember me whining about my skin a while back? So I’ve been doing the Oil Cleansing Method off and on for a few weeks and overall I like what it does: deep cleans, leaves most of my face feeling soft and glowy, doesn’t cost a million dollars. (Con: since I wash my face in the bath each night, I have to clean the tub more often to fend off an Oily Ring of Ewwww.)

The rashy whatever-it-is on my chin didn’t go away, though, and it seems like it’s slowly but steadily getting worse ever since it first showed up at the beginning of last summer, with spots showing up on my forehead now. I miss having decent skin, you guys. I don’t think I’m quite to the Oozing Leprous stage yet, but I feel wildly self-conscious all the time now. Unattractive.

I finally went back to the dermatologist, who promptly re-prescribed the original antibiotic that gave me headaches (Minocycline), and I took one last night and went UGH MY HEAD.

Goddamnit.

I keep wondering what it is that’s changed. Diet? Makeup? Skincare products? Nothing comes to mind, I’ve tried all sorts of different things and haven’t noticed any kind of pattern. But then last night while googling around for hormones+aging30-somethings+WTFISWRONGWITHMYFACE it finally occurred to me that maybe it’s my birth control?

Could that even be possible? I’ve had an IUD ever since Dylan was born, which is in fact when it was factory-installed, and it seems weird that I’d start having some random side effect 2.5 years afterwards.

Still, maybe she’s born with it . . . maybe it’s Mirena. Now if only there was some sort of Harry Potter spell for having it removed. (Cervixa Disapparition. Expulso No-Feel-Um. Libera Uterineum Bye-Bye.) You’d think I would have learned a thing or two from the process of pursuing pregnancy, but three years ago I wasn’t really thinking ahead to this thing’s exit strategy, and I’m just saying, IT DOESN’T SOUND PLEASANT.

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Amy
Amy
11 years ago

You know, I have that stuff occasionally, too and have been prescribed (and am currently taking) antibiotics. They work for me, though, as does Elidel cream. I wish they worked for you… You know what causes a flare up for me with 100% certainty? Stress. Damn you, mind-body connectivity!

Holly
11 years ago

So I tried OCM for about 3 weeks and although I had all the similar good results that you had (AND even the bathtub ring, UGH! haha) but it also gave me a giant rash on my forehead and chin. No matter how I adjusted the castor oil content it just never went away. I went back to using my lame drugstore Alba facewash because we were going to visit my boyfriend’s parents and I didn’t want to be the giant rash-faced girlfriend at it actually cleared up a day later. ONE DAY, dude.

I don’t have any birth control advice, but I can say with certainty that I just don’t think OCM works for everyone so it may have been exacerbating something that was already going on. Who knows? This girl shit is complicated! :)

Aubrey
11 years ago

I can’t comment on the cause of the rash or what to be done, but if you do ditch the Mirena, the thing’s “exit strategy” isn’t really a big deal. When I had mine removed (when it was time to get pregnant with my second), the doctor just kind of tugged on those little strings at the bottom and out it came. Really weird feeling, but nothing painful or nasty or anything like that.

Typelittlea
Typelittlea
11 years ago

I had a copper iud removed 5 years ago, and I must say it hurt worse going in. Maybe its the skill of the doctor? He was very gentle and literally was out before knew he started.

Good luck!

Jennie
Jennie
11 years ago

Hurt WAY worse going in. Didn’t feel a thing getting it removed.

Meghan
Meghan
11 years ago

Agreed with previous posters that taking the Mirena out was way easier and less painful than getting it in.

Amber
Amber
11 years ago

Timely! I had an OB appointment this morning and we talked about how my Paragard is “in a good place,” meaning that he can just barely see the string — meaning that he won’t have to “dig it out” when the time comes. He explained that you don’t want to have to use the word “dig” at all when referring to a cervix/uterus situation.

And the whole time I’m cringing, thinking, “It can just stay there! Forever and ever!”

Rayne of Terror
11 years ago

Having it out takes seconds and hardly feels like anything. I feel much improved after its removal.

Melissa
Melissa
11 years ago

I don’t want to freak you out, but sometimes when pores get blocked by oily substance you can actually get a yeast infection on your face. It looks like a regular skin break out. Probably your doctor already considered that, though.

Regardless, I recommend replacing your makeup brushes and makeup that you have used during the break outs. You could be just reinfecting your

cindy w
11 years ago

Echoing what other commenters have said – I ditched my Mirena when we started trying to get pregnant with Baby 2.0. I remember that it hurt going in, so I was REALLY worried about having it removed, and it turned out to be nothing.

As for the skin issues… yeah, no idea. I’m useless on that one, sorry.

Lindsey
Lindsey
11 years ago

So glad to hear from other posters that the IUD removal is easy. I’ve had similar regrets about my IUD. Love the thing, but am scared $sh!tless about it’s removal. So that’s one less thing to have an anxiety attack about.

MissMary
MissMary
11 years ago

I swear by Origins Acne & Oil Control line and been using it for about a year now and I love it! I even convinced by hubby to use it for his oily skin and that is a ‘buy a lottery ticket’ event, as this man is a, ‘my body will heal it’s self’. UGH. Here’s the link to the line (I don’t work there, own stock or anything else…just love the product):
http://www.origins.com/products/3863/Skincare/Skin-Concern/Acne-Oil-Control/index.tmpl

Erin W
11 years ago

I had my Mirena taken out about a year and a half ago and it was NOTHING! Seriously, the littlest little tuggy feel and done. I had some slight spotting afterward but that was probably due more to someone digging around in my nether regions than the actual extraction.

Side note: I got pregnant TWO WEEKS later so there is no safety period. Just sayin’…

TheRachel
11 years ago

I have a Mirena, as did a close friend who recently had hers removed…it hurt like a beatch going in (*swears at OB*), but the report of close friend was that it was a breeze coming out.

Mama Bub
11 years ago

I think the typical removal of the Mirena is pretty easy. I have a friend who’s Mirena went farther than it was supposed to – I’m fuzzy on the details. Anyway, her doctor told her she would have to be DILATED in order to remove it. But, I think the standard removal is not big deal. Here’s hoping, because in 4.5 years I do not wanted to be dilating for any reason.

Jen
Jen
11 years ago

I JUST posted about my skin and how HAPPY I am after a regime change which included the removing of the Mirena. It took three months, but what did it was a regular birth control pill, Acanya in the mornings (OVER a lotion), Differen in the evenings, no more scrubs or toners, Aveeno Positively Radiant and CeraVe lotion. Oh, and TONS of water drinking and no more soda. I do believe, though, that it was the Mirena and its hormones that were making me break out like a teenager. (Plus, the Mirena mood swings and lack of sex drive? NO THANKS.) I will never again use that brand of IUD.

Also, I go to Pacific Dermatology Center in Northgate and see Andrea English. She’s great. A mom to a 2 1/2-year-old boy, too, so we always have great convos. :)

Angela
Angela
11 years ago

I echo the other’s comments… Mirena didn’t even hurt coming out. I was at my regular doctor discussing my fatigue, etc and I was saying that I suspected that my IUD was the cause. She said she could just remove it if I wanted… now. I was like.. ‘NOW?” “Yeah’ she said.. And here I was imagining that it’d be an entire fucking production of discussing pro and cons, scheduling a separate appointment, etc. I just hopped on the bed with a sheet and she just pulled it out within seconds.

As for acne. I have the same problem, I always seem to get painful acne in the same place – just under my cheekbone. Might be from snuggling with my guy. I use Philosophy. Love em but I might stop because it’s just too expensive.

Anonymous
Anonymous
11 years ago

You might talk to your dermatologist about another antibiotic. I had the same issue with minocycline and doxycycline but there are other choices without the headache side effect. Good luck!

Heidi
Heidi
11 years ago

I used to be a big fan of hormonal birth control, until I went off of it. Three really annoying side effects that had developed slowly over the years virtually disappeared. So it’s definitely possible. I never would have guessed my birth control was responsible. And several doctors didn’t realize it either. Never ever again.

Nicki
11 years ago

Hormonal Birth control of any kind is the devil. Not only dies it dry my skin out to the consistency of freshly dug up mummy but I gain a metric tonne of weight. 25lbs on the pill, 40lbs on depo provera and 20 lbs in under a year on Mirena. I am now pregnant but I have still dropped 1/2 the weight I gained while eating like a teenage boy. I second the fact it doesn’t hurt to get it out. Do it!!!

Jen
Jen
11 years ago

Oh, and on the removal of the Mirena — it didn’t hurt at all, but I had a really heavy period right after, with spotting for a couple weeks, followed by no period the next month, and then regular periods. I think it takes a month or two for your body to adjust. Just use a backup method …

Laura
Laura
11 years ago

i use a copper iud. Easy to put in, no hormones to worry about, lasts for 10 YEARS, and doesn’t hurt one bit to take out. I love it.

Erica
Erica
11 years ago

I had the EXACT same issues and the Minocycline would clear it up, but I found a great regimen to reduce the breakouts and rarely have to take the Minoycline anymore. Do you drool at night or re-use your towel more than once? If so, that could be causing an infection.

Anyways, I use Philosophy face wash, then Paula’s choice benz peroxide in the morning and night. It is really simple but honestly has worked wonders. I looked like a fricking teenager with huge zits all around my mouth at 30 years old.

Katherine
Katherine
11 years ago

Two things to suggest: ask the dermo for a topical antibiotic. I once had a weird sort of infection/rash that spread across one cheek. I used something called Desowen lotion for a long time. I think I had to take tetracycline for a while too, but eventually I weaned off of it and used the lotion for a while. I think it may have a steriod in it so eventually it becomes a little self-reinforcing and you’ll want to wean off of that too.

The other thing, if you think at all that it’s exzema related, is a Suki product called delicate hydrating oil. It’s a pure rose and apricot nut oil that works wonders for the little spots of exzema I get on my face and neck. It’s expensive but one bottle lasts a long time. If you want to try it, look at PCC for a Suki sampler and check to see if there’s a little vial of it in the sampler. You can order from the Suki site directly too.

Good luck. Can’t speak to the Mirena thing. My bc method is the Absolute Lack of Anyone Available or Appealing to Do It With. God help us women in our 40’s in Seattle. We’re all drying up from disuse. Another topic, however…

yaya
yaya
11 years ago

I was on minocycline in high school and I am so sorry it causes you headaches (I get migraines so I would be foolish to say just deal with it, since they suck & I wouldn’t deal) but it did make my skin the best it has EVER been after a solid month or more. It treats a bacterial infection (if there is one that is causing you to be red & rashy) I almost went into withdrawal when my doc wanted me to go off because my skin was so awesome but it stayed that way, whew. SO the minocycline may or may not be worth the headaches? I also worked in a women’s clinic a few years back and the awesome NP I worked with gave me the heads up that almost any birth control can give you acne, pills, IUD, etc…if it is a chemical releasing agent at all it can mess with your body and it can take a while to set in (I got acne on a pill I was on for a 1.5 before I had to switch it up)….My dermatologist recently shook his head and smiled when I complained of some chin acne (at 37) and said “acne just isn’t for kids…late 30’s acne is quite common.” but he had no real solution aside from salicylic acid face wash, yadda yadda.

So sorry you are feeling this way woman. It just takes a hit to your confidence, it is not a vain thing or anything like that…just a confidence blow, happens to everyone. I had some bad acne around month four of my pregnancy & it was awful, at the thick belly stage but not a cute basketball belly yet & acne…just wanted to hide in a cave :-) Good luck, you are not the only one dealing with this junk.

Ellie @ The Mommyist
11 years ago

I have seborrheic dermatitis that I have become convinced is caused by my mirena. I called to get it taken out and have the copper one put in. I have to wait until the end of Feb for my appointment so I’ll be curious to hear if getting it out helps your skin issue.

Chloe
Chloe
11 years ago

I have mirena, and no problems with that, but everyone is different. If you get it removed, there’s always paraguard, which is a nonhormone iud. I think after I have kids, that’s what I’ll go for, but I’ve still got another 3+years with mirena, and I do like it.

Mary O
Mary O
11 years ago

Hmmm… you’ve got my wheels spinning. I have a Mirena IUD, for about a year and a half now. And just lately I have been breaking out so, so badly. Worse than I have ever broken out in my life and I am 30! It might be time to have my husband get the snip so I can get this hormonal thing out!

Kami
Kami
11 years ago

I’am on mino also, the headaches are common in the beginning. They should pass!

akeeyu
akeeyu
11 years ago

For me it was a psychiatric medication. Psoriasis and assorted rashes for ages, then I switched meds and BAM, gone.

Michelle
Michelle
11 years ago

Yep, consider all meds you’re currently ingesting. However, note that I’ve read MANY a time that Mirena, touted to last, what… 5 years? has become infamous for starting to lose it’s efficacy around the 2.5 – 3 year mark. BEWARE. A concern in and of itself, but maybe also the culprit for a hormonal-change-induced face freakout?

Jenny
11 years ago

I used to have bad skin as well, then periodic breakouts after 25. Now I’m almost 35, been using Arbonne for 3 years, and I never have breakouts any more. As for bc, I am on the pill and have been for five years. So I think it’s safe to say that Arbonne is what fixed my skin.

J
J
11 years ago

Hey there, I have to comment on this one. From the pics you posted it does look like a fungal infection. One of the biggest things to cause them are hormone fluctuations, maybe your iud is contributing to this. If your doc ruled that out, make sure you do change all of your brushes and make-up, start fresh to not reinfect the area( if that’s what it is)?? Also if it is a fungal infection, the antibiotics normally make them worse!! Hope this might help!

Lori
Lori
11 years ago

The mirena removal was super easy for me. The insertion was much more painful.

Courtney
Courtney
11 years ago

If you were to remove the Mirena would you sub in another birth control? I know many of them help clear up acne but I just can’t handle the way I feel on chemical contraceptives. Is there a reason JB won’t get The Snip?

Honore
Honore
11 years ago

I was on an oral contraceptive for five years. During the fourth year I started having serious break outs right before my period. I ahev been off of birth control for two months now and the break outs are totally gone.

Lindsey
11 years ago

Not going to lie to you, the Mirena exit strategy is not pleasant … xox

Danielle
11 years ago

To chime in with the others – the Mirena HURT LIKE HELL going in, and I was SCARED to have it out, but honest to heck, it was a piece of cake. It was out before I even knew she had done anything. BUT be sure you want it out, the other options suck, as you already know I am sure. Being back on the pill with the “if I forget one I might have a THIRD boy” thoughts running in my mind is not peaceful. Good luck with headaches, that’s no fun either!

Kirsty
11 years ago

Sorry I can’t be of any help, but couldn’t help smiling at Katharine (11.39 am) from Seattle’s BC method…! And have to admit that it’s the exact same method I’m using right now in the south of France, so that makes it international, right?!

Angela
Angela
11 years ago

I was having that awful 30’s female hormonal acne bullshit and an Rx for Aldactone totally killed it. My skin ROCKS. I also use Retin-a topically about 2-3 times a week (and as needed for those emergency zits) and it helps to keep my skin really smooth.

Laura
Laura
11 years ago

No one has mentioned rosacea? Not even your dermatologist?

Amy, the first commenter, is getting the standard treatment for this “adult acne.” Which is not acne at all, actually. Does your face also get red if you are hot (say, in the shower or outside during the summer)?

My rosacea kicked in during my thirties, which made me so bitter because I’d always had great skin.

Lori
Lori
11 years ago

I had a round red rash on my chin a few years ago that would not ago away. Eventually I used my husband’s athletes foot cream on it and it cleared up over night. Did the doctor rule out fungal?

Lucy
Lucy
11 years ago

A lightbulb just clicked on in my little brain! I have had a couple of bouts of perioral dermatitis – it’s really common in women “our” age (I might have a few years on you…). The first time, a dermatologist friend told me that’s what it was, and prescribed doxycycline, which made me feel AWFUL but cleared up the problem. It’s a recurrent skin problem, so the next time the red, peely skin appeared, I tried over-the-counter antibiotic cream (NOT ointment). It cleared up!

I had another case coming on just last week, and twice-a-day antibiotic cream solved the problem in a day or two. I also avoid using really heavy moisturizer around my mouth (where the problem appears), which seems to exacerbate it. It’s a cheap fix, and worth a try. Good luck!

Super T
Super T
11 years ago

Okay, so I’ll weigh in on the hormonal thing — I use a copper IUD (no hormones) and LOVE it very much. I have none of the crappy mood swings/acne/eating binges that I had on hormonal birth control and it works like a charm. I also love the 10 years without a worry aspect. I’ve always used IUDs for birth control and can assure you that it does not hurt at all to get it removed (4X veteran — yes we chose to have 4 kids. . .) You will have the “re-insertion of new IUD” issue, and there are some cramps associated, but overall, you may find that your body works better with fewer “non-local” hormones coursing through your veins.

Best of luck

Kim
Kim
11 years ago

Oh dear, how I love Sundry and her readers. I haven’t really know anyone with a Mirena but the one person I did talk with about it looked at me as if I had grown a third head when I said it hurt like hell going in.

Mel
Mel
11 years ago

OH LORD. Mirena sucks! I had it for awhile and at first, things were just fine… But then I suddenly got a weird pimply rash on my chest, shoulders/upper arms and back. YUCK. My doc didn’t have a clue what was going on. I was on antibiotics a few times, tried Retin-A micro cream, shower gel with acne medication in it etc etc. After a couple of months, I was THIS CLOSE to heading to a dermatologist. I decided to go off the Mirena after having trouble losing weight. Within a month of having it removed, lost 10 pounds AND lost my pimply rash!!!

Mel
Mel
11 years ago

Oh! And as far as Mirena removal, my doc had me cough when she yanked and I had cramping off and on for about 24 hours. I have never had kids either (having it put in was HELL compared to having it taken out!!!).

Penny
11 years ago

It looks like a contact rash to me, not systemic (which would be the case with a hormonal or medicinal reaction). Perhaps you are touching something when you go to crossfit classes? Laying on the floor, pulling something up to your chin? That’d be why your dermatologist prescribed antibiotics.

Shannon C.
Shannon C.
11 years ago

I’ve had flawless skin my entire life, for which I am very grateful. I am 42. I had the Mirena put in 4 months ago and it’s been wonderful. EXCEPT: in the past month, my chin has broken out into pimple after pimple after pimple and they don’t seem to be going away. They just keep coming, one after another. I *know* it’s the Mirena–I have read on chat boards about this side effect and like you, I’ve had no change in diet, stress, or lifestyle. So yeah, that would be my guess. I find it interesting that we’re having the same side effect (in theory) from the same product while we live in the same city. Hmmmm . . .