Spironolactone for Acne

 Spironolactone for Acne
Performance make-up

3.9

122 reviews

82% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.2

Price: $$

Package Quality: 4.2

Price: $$

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on 8/6/2017 7:35:00 AM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Balancing out the glowing reviews. this had too many awful side effects for me to use it. I stayed on it for 2 weeks at 50 mg hoping that it would work for me and that the side effects would go away. MAJOR: confusion (didn't help me decide whether to stay on it or not!), frequent urination and lack of control about it (I drank a lot of water like I was supposed to). If I'd had to go to work, it would have been awful. Occasional: dizziness, lack of balance, headache, night shivers (only once). The worst was that it tipped me into a bipolar episode (not a problem for most people), but these problems were specific to the spironolactone.
I went back to the dermatologist at 2 weeks and she said she was surprised I'd stayed on it that long because many people had severe side effects. She did not say that before, just well tolerated or not. It seemed to reduce the amount of new acne that I had. I will not try another oral medication.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.



Age: 44-55

Skin: Oily, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

After having a hysterectomy and starting menopause, I suffered terribly for a year and a half with cystic acne. We're talking huge welts (Truthfully, I didn't make matters any better by trying to squeeze and pick at them) and my life completely changed. I became isolated at work and came home during breaks so nobody could see me, I went out as little as possible and canceled many dates. It was a nightmare that I wouldn't wish on anyone. I saw 5 dermatologists who were basically useless. I tried prescribed antibiotics: doxycycline (did nothing) and monocycline (made me very sick and stopped after 1 pill), cortisone shots didn't do much and that's dealing with the outbreak after the fact as opposed to preventing it. I decided to go online and do research and found out about spironolactone. I got my last dermatologist to write me a prescription (why didn't HE think of it???) and this drug saved my life. It cleared my cysts up relatively quickly and I began to live again. I've been on it for about a year and a half now. At first I took 50 mg in the morning and 50 at night but lately I've tried to dose myself down to 75 mg per day and that seems to work. I haven't had any side effects whatsoever. Thanks to insurance, it's just a $20 co-pay per month. If nothing has worked for you, please consider this. I'm stunned that none of the doctors I visited thought of this. It truly was life changing, in a good way!

8 of 8 people found this helpful.


on 7/23/2017 9:28:00 PM

Age: Unknown

Skin: Dry, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Curly, Medium

Eyes: Hazel

I have been on this since 2011. Taking 100 mg daily has saved my social life. Without this pill, my makeup would not last because my skin was that oily. I rarely break out now. The drawback is that wrinkles do form since I lost the oil to moisturize my skin.


on 7/23/2017 9:04:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I started out at the end of May 2016, cystic acne and various other forms of acne throughout the month. I've been on acne medication since I was 16 years old (I'm 39 now). I always used Benzaclin and Differin 0.3% and my skin remained clear...until a couple months before my 38th birthday. I was put on solodyn 65 mg, it did nothing, and, if anything, I think it made my acne worse. I was also advised to stop the Benzaclin and begin using Aczone. At first, it made my acne go away faster, but that was only temporary. At this point, I had become more depressed and never wanted to go anywhere. I wouldn't even kiss my husband for fear of getting more acne. Fast forward to May 2016, I was prescribed 50 mg of spironolactone, and while there was some improvement, I was still getting cysts around my period and, but they didn't come to a head. I was then prescribed 100 mg. I kept surfing the web, reading tone review after another, how long I should wait to see results, and getting more and more discouraged that it wasn't helping at all. Eventually, the aczone stopped clearing the acne quickly (it would take weeks before they went away) and the spironolactone did absolutely nothing for me. Still, I remained patient, yet depressed. The beginning of June, I asked my Dermatologist if I could switch back to the Benzaclin and he agreed. I'm still not sure if the spironolactone is doing anything for me at all. On the plus side (or not so much) I realized that I had to once and for all, stop eating processed foods, avoid foods that I know will cause breakouts, and choosing better options if I wanted to go out to a restaurant. I've always been a strict with what I eat and am also an avid gym rat. I have always weighed my food and drank tons of water, but something about when you know you can't or shouldn't just makes you want to do it even more, and it doesn't help that I dwell on it so much.


on 7/12/2017 5:42:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

This is the only thing that has worked for me in years but it is SLOW, so be patient! Here is my story: I was on it a few years ago and it worked great. It made me thirsty and gave me headaches but I think I was on too much at the time. After a while on it, I moved and didn't have a doctor; when I ran out, I thought I could stop and maybe be fine. I also thought it was the reason for my weight gain--it doesn't seem like it is now though, I think it was just life, stress, and a job change. About a year ago, my acne was worse than ever. It was across my jaw line and on my cheeks. I tried EVERYTHING (Korean skin care, at home peels, going dairy and gluten free, water intake, green tea extract, spearmint tea, rooibos, etc.) with very little relief. Finally, my mom suggested that in addition to the curology regime I was beginning, that I go back on spiro. I take one 25mg pill in the morning, one in the evening. For weeks it didn't seem like it was doing anything, but slowly my cystic acne stopped hurting which was a huge deal. After 3 cycles of my period, my skin is clear and now I'm mostly just dealing with the hyper pigmentation and melesma. If you can be patient and consistent, this stuff will work for you. I have not had any of the other side effects rooms have written about either (memory loss, eye issues, anything like that). I am so thankful for this. You do need to be careful about drinking enough water, not overdoing it on potassium, and getting a once a year blood test but that's nothing compared to how much I used to have to do.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.


Age: 30-35

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

This medicine is GREAT.
I started out at 50 mg, then 75, now at 100 mg per day. I'm almost at the 3 month mark. My skin is not clear all the way but I'd say 80% improvement. Still oily but not as much as before.
It's helped my pms, it flushes water weight, and lowers blood pressure.
I've had a few side effects such as fatigue and breast pain, but nothing is as bad as hormonal acne. It's a trade off.
Also, FYI my androgens tested in the "normal" level. Low end actually.
From what my doctor said some women with normal androgen levels are just sensitive to their own bodies fluctuation in hormones and the testosterone sensors in their skin or oversensitive
... spiro blocks these sensors (binds to them) preventing the stimulation of the sebaceous glands.
So if you have normal testosterone levels yet still struggle with hormonal acne please give this a shot it could be your miracle! I love it.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.


on 4/24/2017 2:32:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Cool

Hair: Red, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

Spironolactone is the miracle acne product that I cannot use. I have tried it several times over the last 10 years, and each time the side effects I get from it force me to stop using it. It takes about 3 months for me to see improvement while on it and then 6 months to see the full effects. After 6 months my acne clears for the most part and my skin becomes much less oily. If I didn't get side effects from spiro I think I'd be on it for as long as possible because it works wonders for acne. The side effects I get include severe fatigue, dry mouth, and major hair loss. The hair loss is the main reason why I stop taking it every time. After being on it for about 3 months I start noticing hair loss. The hair loss does not stop until I've been off spiro for about 6 months. I've lost about half of the hair on my head every time I've tried spiro and so I've decided that I will not try it again. It really is a great drug, though, and I think every woman with persistent hormonal acne should try it. Many do not get the side effects I've had (I'm probably just unlucky). My sister takes spiro and she's had great results with no side effects. I really wish I could take it.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.


on 4/17/2017 11:27:00 AM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Oily, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

This is my miracle product. I've had horrible deep cystic acne for decades. Years of being on antibiotics and multiple topical treatments- which kept my breakouts to once a month, but they were still deep and painful. Switched dermatologists (wish I'd done that sooner), talked to me for 5 minutes and suggested this. I'm on a pretty high dosage, 100 mg/twice a day. My skin has never looked better. I started with 50 mg twice a day, and it was vastly improved, but still having issues. Been at higher dosage for about 6 months now, and I've been 4 months with ZERO breakouts. My pores are significantly smaller! My skin is definitely dryer, but it was so unbelievably oily before, this has been a benefit. I used to go through 4-5 oil blotters while I work. It has cleared up my melasma - but this summer will be the tell on that. I used to get two large blotches on my forehead, and a couple under my eyes, even with SPF 50 on... Hoping that doesn't happen anymore.

Other side effects- loss of body hair. I have no armpit hair anymore. This is not a bad thing. Hair on my legs is finer and less prolific. However, I also lost some hair on my head. This regulated, and some came back, but not all. Fortunately, I have a lot of hair, and no one notices. I'm 53 and in menopause, but will occasionally have a bit of break-through bleeding. Not every month. The diuretic effect seems minimal and I think my body adjusted to it. In a few months, I think I will drop my dosage to by 1/4 to see if I can maintain at a lower level.

It has truly changed my life... Nothing worse than a 50+ year old with giant red-inflammed cysts all over chin and around the nose and near ears. Big enough you couldn't hide with make up, and they'd take weeks to go away and leave scars. Now on to do something about those...

4 of 4 people found this helpful.


on 4/17/2017 10:38:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Olive, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

My history with acne hasn't been too different than the rest of you. Acne started at 14 and progressively got worse. I tried everything OTC and spent thousands of dollars on treatments that never seemed to work from drugstore to sephora.I can't be on estrogen BC because I get headaches, so I was put on the progesterone only implant and that didn't help my skin at all. Last year, I got fed up. I went to a new derm and they prescribed me differin again and minocycline antibiotic. I used differin 0.1% every night and took 100mg twice a day of mino. My skin cleared immediately, which I believe was from the antibiotic. I stayed on the antibiotic for 7.5 months and then stopped taking it but continued with the differin. That was in November.

Fast forward to March of this year and I just couldn't handle my skin. It was an oil slick, I had to use about 6 oil blotting sheets a day and it was still oily. Then the break outs started coming. I was relatively clear for months and then it was just cyst after cyst and one bump got so big on my chin that I looked disfigured. I went back to the derm March 20th and he immediately said it was hormonal. He prescribed me 100mg of spironolactone once a day and the lowest strength of Retin-A cream to fight my acne marks and oiliness.

I refused Accutane, I wanted to try this route first even though both derms have told me to try it out.

**This is a mixed review for both Retin-A and Spironolactone** and I'm going copy this review and put it under the Spiro reviews as well since I started both products at the same time.

Nightly routine: Remove make-up with Kirkland brand wipes from Costco (love this stuff), wash face with my clarisonic mia and a gentle cleanser (normally cetaphil), let face dry for varied amounts of time (15-45 minutes), and then coat a pea sized amount to face - avoiding the dry areas that haven't fully healed from the night prior. Hour or so later I'll put on some moisturizer if my face feels tight or I go sans moisturizer and coat my face the next night when I'm not using the Retin-A (I use ponds, it's nice and heavy). Then I take my spiro pill and go to bed. The Retin-A seems to be a balancing act that you need to figure out for your skin. My skin reacts best if I use is 2-3 times a week.

Week 1: No new break outs and no reduction in oil. No dryness or upset stomach from medication but I only used Retin-A twice that week to ease my skin into it. I took my pill every day.

Week 2: My face exploded at the end of week 2. I had 4 cysts sprout up on my chin and a lump on my forehead (I never really got acne on my forehead), and many whiteheads around my mouth area. It was bad. I was embarrassed to leave the house. My skin was somehow dry and oily at the same time. Mostly just dry around my mouth and upper lip. It looked awful. **Started taking my leftover minocycline antibiotics to help me through the initial breakout this week and the third week** It did help speed up the healing process I believe. I didn't ask my derm about using my own leftover medication - you should, but I was desperate. I used it as prescribed before and then I stopped at the end of week 3.

Week 3: Face is still full of zits from week 2, and it looks bad. Skin was very dry, still around mouth mostly. I canceled all my plans so I wouldn't have to leave the house, other than work. Face looks less oily and I don't feel that well. I've always had weird digestive issues, but I assume this is from the pills rather than the Retin-A.

Week 4: Skin may or may not be reverting back to old oiliness, boobs are feeling a bit fuller in my normal bra so they’re definitely growing, face is getting over the huge initial breakout that began at the end of week 2 but I did wake up with a two small white heads around my mouth. Skin that doesn’t have break outs or old acne marks looks lighter and brighter (granted, that’s not much skin, my skin was pretty bad). I've worked up to using Retin-A three times a week and it seems to be going well.

My face looks less clogged and congested the day after I use Retin-A so I will continue to use the product. I know it takes time for products to work so don't give up! I am optimistic!

I’ll keep updating. Reviews with updates is what is getting me through this so thank you.

Only updates from here:

Week 5: Same routine as before, but if my skin doesn't look irritated or peely, I use the retin-a an extra night or just as spot treatment. I was kidding myself with the oiliness, still very oily. I got two new breakouts near my mouth, but they went away in 2 days. My face is quite clear right now. No change in leftover acne marks yet. I will add in a weekly mask to help with oiliness as my face allows. I usually use one from the Murad line that I purchase at sephora. I'll update in a few weeks time. Also, I don't know if this is from spiro, but I've lost 5 pounds since the last time I weighed myself.

I long for the day I can go out to run errands without a face full of makeup :) still hopeful and liking my results! With this, I'm honestly saving money. No more are the days where I buy a ton of skin products. I'm planning on cleaning out my drawers if this stuff continues to work as well as it has been!

2 of 2 people found this helpful.


Age: 30-35

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Spironolactone SAVED my skin. I was suffering from horrendous cystic acne (the hormonal kind) and it was covering my face all over: on my forehead, cheeks, and chin. I tried everything to get rid of it before the Spiro, and NOTHING worked. I tried: Proactiv, every salicylic acid face wash, every benzoyl peroxide face wash, tea tree oil, natural face washes, clindamycin (duac), EVERYTHING out there under the sun. Nothing made a difference in getting rid of this disfiguring hideous acne. Then I got on Spiro. I started at 50mg, then went up to 100mg, 150mg, and ultimately 200 mg. Slowly my cystic acne dissapeared!! It took many months to see a difference, so be patient, but this stuff works! My face is now 100% clear. All my acne must have been hormonal because it's all gone. After a year of being on it, I saw the best results. My skin looks gorgeous. I very very rarely get a tiny white head, but nothing too bad, never a cyst like before. I cannot recommend this medicine enough to people with serious hormonal acne. My side effects are: tender breasts, boobs grew up 2-3 cup sizes, which I am a double D and did not need, my menstrual cycle has become very light with spotting in between cycles and some missed periods (I have an IUD so I am definitely not pregnant). Be sure to drink a lot of water if you are on this, be careful not to eat too much potassium rich foods (avocados, bananas, etc), get your blood tested frequently to check your potassium levels, and most importantly take measures to prevent pregnancy because the drug can cause birth defects. I have noticed my skin has aged a little bit on my forehead with more pronounced fine lines, but I take that over having a face riddled with acne any day of the week! I just get anti-aging facials once a month to try to counter the fine lines. I am 33 by the way, fine lines happen at this age regardless. I also use a lot of moisturizer and moisturizing serums to counter the fine lines. THIS MEDICINE WORKS! It saved my self-esteem! I used to never want to leave the house because of my horrible acne. Now I go to work without makeup on the regular!!! It's a miracle.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

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