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Skincare - Face - Spironolactone for Acne

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rated 3.9(88 reviews)

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rated 5 of 5 on 10/30/2013 4:59:00 PM More reviews by cubbiejoy88

Age: 25-29 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

I am never looking back. I have struggled with acne since puberty. Accutane TWICE, you name it. I finally deduced it to hormones and was prescribed Metformin for symptoms of PCOS. This did not help my acne much although it was more glowy. I had heard Spiro could be used for acne and asked my Derm to prescribe it to me. Costs me nothing with insurance. I use this with Epiduo and my skin has never been better. But for me, I HAVE TO TAKE IT IN CONJUNCTION WITH METFORMIN. I went off Metformin for a while and immediately started getting little breakouts here and there. For me, taking medication every day for the rest of my life is nothing compared to the embarrassment of adult acne. So worth it.

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rated 2 of 5 on 10/3/2013 4:42:00 PM More reviews by krisim

Age: 30-35 Skin: Normal, Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

Many of the reviews on spiro are very positive, so I wanted to share my experience. About a year ago I started breaking out with cystic acne after I stopped nursing my 2nd child. It was painful and my doctor recommended spiro since I had tried topicals/antibotics with little success. I didn't want to go on bcp because they previously caused melasma (which I will probably have forever, ugh...). I slowly worked my way up to 100mg over the course of a month and my skin started to clear up within 2 months. But I immediately noticed the side effects starting the first week. And the side effects were awful, I had to go to the bathroom every hour, I was extremely bloated all of the time, I immediately gain 5-6 lbs (all in my stomach and thighs), I went up a dress size, random spotting, and I also noticed that I was developing wrinkles on my forehead. I stuck with it and maintained at 100 mg for about 3 months. I was miserable so I started decreasing down to 25 mg, which I stayed on for 3-4 more months. My skin stayed pretty clear, but the side effects didn't decrease and I continued to gain weight. I finally stopped 2 weeks ago and unfortunately I'm still experiencing most of the side effects, I'm hoping after I'm off for awhile my body will return to normal. I have had a slight breakout since quiting, I expect in the next few months the cysts will probably increase. I'm disappointed that I had all of these side effects, I would have stayed on it if not for them! The worst part was the weight gain/bloating, I've had 2 kids and it wasn't easy to get back down to my pre-baby size, so it's been a really blow to my ego to have to buy larger clothes and deal with stomach bloating, my doctor told the weight gain would level off, but it didn't and I'm not willing to end up with a 10 or 20lb weight gain just to have clear skin!

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rated 5 of 5 on 9/26/2013 1:57:00 PM More reviews by MaigeAda

Age: 19-24 Skin: Normal, Medium, Warm Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium Eyes: Brown

The story with my skin is a loooong and frustrating one. As of now, spiro has been a a great solution and continues to get better.

Since age 12ish, I've battled with cystic acne. My first course of accutane was successful, and results lasted from age 13-16ish. When my skin started to get bad again, I took a second course of accutane. This time my results lasted a little longer. Then I started to get some breakouts around sophomore year of college and started taking Yaz, which probably helped my skin a lot. Until a few months ago, I had been off of BC for about 3 years.

Last January, I went down to Costa Rica to volunteer and teach English. I started breaking out a little around my mouth and wrote it off as change in environment, pollution, etc. Come March, my cheeks, upper neck and jawline - areas in which I had never had problems in the past - were littered with painful, stubborn cysts.

Because of their location and cystic nature, it was pretty clear that my acne was somehow hormone related. Nothing topical would work, and the cysts on my jawline would never come to a head, they would just lay deep under my skin and harden. In April, I saw a doctor in CR who gave me an internal ultrasound and found some cysts on my ovaries. She recommended a hormone test and prescribed me Qlaira, a new BC not yet approved in the states. She told me the BC would work for both my acne and ovarian cysts.

Fast forward to August, and went to my derm and gyno back in the states. My ovarian cysts were gone, so we knew it wasn't pcos. After seeing no improvement in my skin on the BC, my derm prescribed Spiro 75 mg a day and doxycycline 100 mg/day, as well as mononessa. I am just now - almost 2 months later - seeing improvement for the first time since March. Right now, I only have maybe 3-4 active pimples on my face as opposed to the usual 10 or 15. Instead of waking up to 2 or 3 new cysts, I'm waking up to maybe one, or none!! The spiro is what does the trick, my derm only prescribed the doxy to calm the inflammation and redness. After 6 weeks, we upped my spiro to 100 mg/day and the results are even better.

Its important to understand that if your cystic acne isn't related to testosterone or androgen over production in your body, then spiro won't be effective for you. If this is what's going on in your body, it's also important to understand that your skin is NOT the problem! I actually have really soft, smooth, non greasy or dry skin beyond the cysts and scars. My derm also assured me that the "scars" I'm seeing are just post-acne healing marks, and will slowly fade. In the mean time, I also use .25% retin-A about every other night as an additional acne defense and to help speed the disappearing of marks.

So, love spiro and the fact that I didn't have to go through accutane again. Hopefully I'm over with the little breakouts and my marks will start to fade. If you think hormones are your issue, DEFINITELY try spiro!! I know it sucks, but you do have to give it about 6-8 weeks to see the results you're looking for. But it's totally worth is cause they'll come!

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rated 4 of 5 on 9/23/2013 4:04:00 PM More reviews by kristenspice

Age: 30-35 Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure Hair: Other, Other, Other Eyes: Other

My stats: 30 years old, mild-to-moderate acne since 13. My doctor thought I was the perfect candidate for spironolactone, since my adult acne had clear hormonal links, and everything else I'd tried -- antibiotics, topicals, diet, etc. -- had ultimately failed.

I started taking 100 mg/day, and within the first week I could detect a noticeable difference. My skin was considerably less oily, my light chest acne was gone, and my facial acne was slowly diminishing. I had a facial about 20 days after I began the course, and my aesthetician -- who's used to dealing with my sad cystic face -- was amazed by my progress. Unfortunately, however, I seem to have had a mild allergy to spiro. After taking my first dose, I woke up with symptoms that felt comparable to seasonal allergies: slightly sore throat, light congestion, a couple of swollen lymph nodes. I kept taking the meds, hoping that these symptoms would eventually go away . . . but three weeks into my prescription, I awoke one morning covered in hives. Yikes. Obviously stopped taking the spiro immediately after that. (Moving on to accutane now, in a last-ditch act of desperation.)

Also worth noting: some women report menstrual irregularities on this drug. I had one period on the drug, which was completely normal, but I stopped taking it mid-cycle and now I'm about two weeks late. My body seems to be taking its time putting its hormones back in their normal order.

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rated 5 of 5 on 9/14/2013 12:29:00 PM More reviews by brighteyesgal

Age: 30-35 Skin: Acne-prone, Olive, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine Eyes: Hazel

I've been on Spironolactone for almost 3 years now and it has been a miracle drug for me. I have really bad hormonal acne and it started when I was 24. I was on the birth control Yasmin and I couldn't take the constant stomach aches and hormones with that pill. So my doctor suggested Spiro. I stopped Yasmin after 6 months and started Spiro immediately. My face never broke out from changing over so I didn't have an initial breakout. I take 100mgs everyday and never have cystic acne or anything really bad. My pimples are so small and actually go away within 2-3 days. Around that time of the month I do break out, but not like I used to before Spiro. I did something bad and tried birth control again. This time it was Ortho-Cyclen. Terrible mistake! Terrible birth control pill! I still was taking Spiro and I'm sure my skin would of been way worse had I not been on Spiro. I stopped my BCP about 2 months ago and my skin has been getting better and better each day. Still on Spiro and I hope I never have to go off of it. It's the only thing that has ever worked for my acne. I've tried many products, doctor prescribed products. I do use the restroom alot more but I drink alot water and coffee, so. I would say give this a chance if you're fed up with your hormonal acne.

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rated 5 of 5 on 8/23/2013 3:05:00 AM More reviews by Kimberlykennedy

Age: 44-55 Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

Spironolactone was a miracle for my chin hormonal acne. But it didn't start out that way. Initially I got severe head aches, that would not go away. I started out on one 25 mg. tablet. Initially I was afraid to continue the pill because of my headache. But what I did was cut the small pill into 4 peices, and spread the four peaces out equally through the day. Eventually I built up to a half in the morning and the remaining half in the evening. Now I take the full 25 mg a day. I tried 4 different types of birth control, but one made me feel sick, the others that were lower estrogen made me spot everyday all day. I ended up going back on the pill Ortho Tri Cyclen AKA Generic Norgestimate and Ethinyl Estradiol. And I took the Birth Control at night, so that when I got queezy, I would be asleep. You have to be on the pill while on Sprironolactone other wise you will have bleeding. So the magic formula for my super clear less oily face attributed to hormonal acne, (I am 44 years old) is the 25 mg of Spironolactone, and the generic Ortho Tri Cyclin. I have no queeziness or headaches. Prior I tried Minocycline and Tetrocycline, and many topicals. They only helped temporarily. And not very well. And they should not be used long term. I highly recommend this, and detailed my experience hoping it will help you. I am healthy and walk at least 4 days a week, I am thin and don't smoke. I think you have to be in decent health to be on the Spiro, because it can lower blood pressure. They also did a blood test on me to check my potasium level. God Bless.

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 8/18/2013 3:07:00 PM More reviews by outdoorsgal

Age: 44-55 Skin: Other, Other, Warm Hair: Other, Other, Other Eyes: Other

I wish I had discovered spironolactone much sooner as I would have saved myself time, money and low self-confidence.
As soon as I turned 45, perimenopause came out full on and it was as if a big switch went off in my body. Literally overnight, my acne popped up on the chin and jawline, especially the left side of my chin. For about a year and a half, I tried however many topical creams/solutions without much success. A doctor suggested spironolactone and I was reluctant to go that route because I wanted to avoid using drugs.

When it was obvious my acne was getting worse, I asked for a Rx for spironolactone. I did my research about the drug and the side effects so I was prepared.

I have been taking spiro for 7 weeks and my skin has improved considerably. I'm not 100% clear but I'm almost there with pre-acne skin. I did have a few new breakouts here and there but nothing serious. Apparently it's not unusual for some people to experience a big breakout at first with this drug. Fortunately, that didn't happen to me.

In addition to taking this drug, it's important to maintain a good skin care regime to deal with the existing acne. I use Cerave hydrating cleansing lotion to wash in the am and pm, followed by Paula's Choice 2% BHA lotion, Cerave lotion (the cream was too heavy and I suspect it caused the cystic acne on my forehead) and Vichy sunscreen during the day.

A good sunscreen is essential to help the skin heal, especially with the hyper-pigmentation. The spiro seems to be helping with the healing of the hyper-pigmentation and my cheeks are not so red any more. (i have rosacea)
I have not worn makeup during these several weeks as I want my skin to breathe and heal as quick as possible. (I can still wear eyemakeup and lipstick/gloss but I avoid any foundation/powder)

As for the side effects, they have been minimal. My blood pressure has decreased slightly but that's to be expected as this drug is prescribed for hypertension. It is also a diuretic so I'm peeing a bit more and I find I'm drinking more water too.
I'm on 100 mg/day and this dose works for me. My doctor wouldn't recommend any more than 100 mg/day and this seems to be the ideal dose to see results. (again, individual results may vary as with the dose)
I was taking 1 x 25mg four times a day and this made me extremely tired. When I took 50 mg once in the am and pm, the fatigue went away.
My cycle seems to be okay (this drug can cause irregular periods) although I'm still monitoring that. (I'm not on bcp and not needed in my case)
This drug can cause birth defects so use proper birth control.

Watch your potassium and salt intake as this drug can increase potassium levels in the blood and get blood work done regularly to make sure you're in the normal range.

If you're suffering from hormonal acne and don't want to go on Accutane, then spironolactone maybe a good alternative. It's working wonders for me, although I'll need to continue taking the drug to avoid the acne from returning, I'm willing to do so. (provided there aren't great long term risks)

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rated 5 of 5 on 8/2/2013 4:40:00 AM More reviews by JynnDoll

Age: 25-29 Skin: Normal, Olive, Not Sure Hair: Red, Curly, Medium Eyes: Green

Okay, first off I'd like to say that I actually created my account to review this product. I would like to provide some guidance and hope for people who have hormonal acne and/or hypothyroidism.

Since taking Spironolactone for 9 days--this is my review!

I have hypothyroidism and I get a few of the symptoms of this thyroid disease but thankfully I learned how to eat to "please" my thyroid, if you will, so I don't struggle with my weight--I'm actually on the very small/petite side. (I know weight gain is one of the biggest complaints of hypo--and I did battle that for a couple years--and won.) I DO, however, struggle with the skin issues. I was first diagnosed with hypothyroidism when I was 18 years old and I began having adult acne around age 21. (Acne is also a symptom of hypothyroidism) The acne wasn't severe at the time and hardly noticeable to the naked eye. It felt more like most of my pores were clogged. I could feel the tiny bumps under my skin and I began suffering from anxiety--which was unrelated to the bumps--and PICKING so badly it would look like I had awful skin lesions.

I'm 25 now--and all these years I've been prescribed antibiotics left and right and off and on (by choice, of course) and they never worked for long so they'd always bump me up to a stronger antibiotic-- like most people experience. I refuse to take accutane--I prefer a MOSTLY natural lifestyle (this includes products I use/foods that I eat) and this medication's side effects scare me! So, in accordance with my healthier lifestyle, I stopped taking the antibiotics (doxycycline at the time) around Jan/Feb of this year.

Although I was breaking out while taking the meds, after I stopped I BROKE OUT SO BADLY. (To be expected, I suppose) I had cystic acne! Something I had never had before. Not only were ALL my pores back to being clogged with the tiny bumps but I also had painful LARGE bumps underneath my skin that would never have a "head." I never had experienced actual pimples before in this degree. I decided to wait it out a few months to see if my body would normalize after being off antibiotics like it had a couple times before, although I had never broken out this badly in my life. Needless to say, come the end of June I was tired of waiting it out. It never improved--it seemed as though I'd gone from simple bumps to cystic acne because of meddling with antibiotics! My acne seemed as though it evolved into a hormonal problem. Perhaps it was linked to my hormones and the hypothyroidism--but my blood-work was always "normal"--or so they say. Who knows?

Anyway, I went to my dermatologist and told him I was tired of antibiotics and that I was looking for other options. He told me to use the MIA 2 Clarisonic brush (it'll be here tomorrow! So excited), take Spironolactone 100mg daily, and also use an RX facewash with sodium, sulfacetamide, and sulfur made by Stratus. I've only been using the Spiro religiously--and although he prescribed 100mg a day I rotate my doses because of AWFUL fatigue. I decided to take Spiro at night because it makes me so dog-gone tired I seriously can't stand to stay awake! My prescription bottle actually says to take it in the morning! How strange? So for 2-3 nights in a row I'll take the full 100mg dose each night. Then I break the pill in half and take 1/2 pill for 2 nights in a row.

~*~~*~ My skin has improved so much in only 9 days! I kid you not--my face is almost completely clear! No bumps and the dry skin flakes where the large and small bumps used to be are drying out and washing away. My complexion is nearly flawless. People are ALREADY commenting on my complexion and telling me how my face has improved and also that my skin is pretty even though I haven't mentioned this treatment at all! I can't even see any scarring! My pores have shrunk back down to being small--as if this acne never happened in the first place! This is seriously a miracle prescription!~*~~*~

There are downsides, however. I have read that Spiro may aggravate your thyroid even if you have no disorder and you should get your blood checked every 3 months while you take it. Since I do have hypothyroidism, I battle fatigue as it is, but since taking Spiro I seriously KNOCK OUT for 9-12 hours a night. I normally don't sleep this much! I need to make sure my thyroid levels are okay and haven't changed while taking this medication and I really truly hope it's alright for me because this is seriously the only option left!

This medication works by blocking the production of androgens in a woman's body. Androgens are usually found in a woman's body in small amounts, but when there is excess production of these hormones a woman may experience hormonal acne and hirsutism--both of which are treated by Spironolactone. Try it! Your hormonal acne will cease to exist and you will be so happy you did!

I will update if anything changes! Everyone deserves to feel comfortable in their own skin. Good luck to you all!

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rated 3 of 5 on 7/3/2013 2:49:00 PM More reviews by IronK90

Age: 19-24 Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Green

Hi all,
This is pretty much the first review I've ever written on a product/makeup/medication, so sorry if it's not up to par. What I will say is, for over three years now Ive been battling severe cystic acne on my back, chest, and face. My mom and I thought it was a staph infection at first! I was on countless rounds of doxycycline, and it made no difference...in fact probably made it worse. It wasn't until about a month and a half ago, a third dermatologist looked at me and said, "yeah, that's hormonal." She prescribed me Spiro in late May. I started on it May 20th. I am now a little over a month and a half with Spiro, and Reclipsen birth control. I stopped taking Doxycycline a couple days ago because in my honest opinion it doesn't do a thing for acne, and it's so damaging to the liver, especially after taking it on and off for three years. So far, the symptoms are excessive thirst (which can be easily remedied and I don't mind it since all I need is another glass of water, lol), frequent urination and dry skin on occasion. Small side effects like that are DEFINITELY worth clear skin. As far as the effectiveness, I will have to say I need to give it more time. The first three weeks I didn't notice anything, but now that it's at six weeks, my acne has flared up a bit. I'm hoping this is just my body getting used to the medicine. My derm also did tell me that it takes AT LEAST 12 weeks (3 months) to start working, so I'm taking her word for it and hoping for the best. I am rating this a three for now because I have noticed less blackheads on the nose, and I am optimistic based on the many other reviews I have seen so far. People have basically said the same thing I'm saying now: give it time even if it gets worse. I think after three months of this I will write another review and give you all an update on how it's going for me. Some people say that it takes 3-6 months for you to even see a difference, so I'm going on that and doing some research on the side. I've found that a lot of dairy products can cause flare ups in acne as well, so for the next month I will try to cut that out as well as continue to take the medication. I'll also admit, I had a few mental breakdowns in the past couple of weeks because I thought it would never get better, and it was starting to get worse, but thats not helping, ladies. So remember that before you burst into tears of frustration. Stress makes it worse, so keep those levels down as well. You're going to need massive amounts of patience and determination, time, and an open mind, because Accutane would be the next step for most after failed attempts with Spiro. All I can say at this point is, wish me luck and I will keep in touch. Thanks xxx

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rated 3 of 5 on 6/9/2013 12:40:00 AM More reviews by goldie09

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

Have been on 50 mg spironolactone for a month now. Have not had any immediate improvement in cystic acne like some people are saying. I have been battling cystic acne for about a year or so now around my chin/mouth and general acne for six years. Have noticed a decrease in oil and blackheads since starting spironolactone! Haven't noticed any weight changes, but have been thirsty a lot and having to pee quite frequently. I can become dizzy at some points, but nothing that is not manageable. I am hoping by the end of next month I will have some improvement to my cystic acne. Keeping positive and waiting for skin that I don't have to hide with makeup or be shy about in public! Also using this medication with .1% Tretinoin cream, which has been tricky because my cheeks and jaw line have been dry from this combination.

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