Thursday, July 18, 2024

Prescription Medication For Hormonal Acne

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Where Does Acne Most Commonly Occur


Acne most commonly happens in parts of the body with a lot of oil glands. These glands produce sebum, a waxy substance that keeps your skin moisturized and protected. Your forehead, nose, and chin otherwise known as the T-zone all produce a lot of sebum and are susceptible to acne. Other parts of the body with a lot of sebum include the upper back, shoulders, and chest.

How Do I Prevent Acne

If you have acne, there are ways to help prevent new spots appearing, and to help prevent acne scars from forming. If you have acne, there are ways to help prevent new spots from appearing and scars from forming.

The following will help prevent spots from becoming inflamed or causing scars:

  • wash your face twice a day with mild soap-free wash, warm water and a soft face cloth
  • use sun protection, such as a wide brimmed hat and sunscreen to protect your skin whenever you are in the sun
  • remove your makeup before you go to bed
  • shampoo your hair regularly, especially if it is oily and rests on your skin
  • have a well-balanced, healthy diet and exercise regularly

Things to avoid include:

Acne most commonly affects people aged between 15 and 24 years, and many people will notice fewer and less severe spots once they get to their mid-twenties. Some people, however, do not grow out of acne and they will need ongoing treatment.

Acne also affects people whose skin is naturally more oily. While you cannot change your age or skin type, it can be helpful to know there are ways to manage your acne and look after your skin.

How Does Spironolactone Help Hormonal Acne

Androgens are male hormones but they are also present in women. The main androgens in the body are Testosterone and Dihydrotestosterone.

Hormonal acne can occur if hair follicles are very sensitive to androgens, even when androgen levels are normal. Hormonal acne also occurs if androgen levels are raised or in conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome.

In some women, hormonal acne is caused by a sensitivity to Progesterone.

Spironolactone can help control hormonal acne because it blocks the effects of androgens and progesterone on the skin.

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Who Is More At Risk Of Acne

Unfortunately, some people suffer from acne worse than others. Bad acne tends to run in families – your mother, father, aunt or uncle probably had severe breakouts when they were a teenager.

Some people also have naturally higher hormone levels and make more sebum, so their skin pores are always clogging up.

If you live in an area that gets very humid or have a job which exposes you to moist heat or grease or tar then you are more likely to get acne.

Chin straps, headbands, and even hair products applied too close to the skin can precipitate a break out as several different medicines – most notably prednisone, phenytoin, and certain hormonal contraceptives that are high in androgens .

So Did It Work For Me

How to Prevent Hormonal Acne

Like most medications for acne, spironolactone also doesnt work immediately. I noticed a decrease in the number and size of spots I had after six weeks, but Id still get some spots during my period.

Around the three-month mark, I stopped by my local drugstore to pick up more blemish concealer in preparation for the typical monthly breakout around my period. Yet, it proved to be an unnecessary purchase: I literally had two spots that week, instead of around 20.

Three months after starting spironolactone, my acne had vanished. All that remained were a few scars.

Since my mid-20s, my biggest breakout area had been my upper back and shoulders, which disappeared within three months.

But after four months of spironolactone, I also no longer had to fret about pimples emerging on my chin and cheeks every month when the cramps came.

My skin was smooth, significantly less oily, and even free from the blackheads that used to decorate the pores on my nose.

I even triumphantly stashed my charcoal and mud masks under the bathroom sink, as I no longer woke up to red or blotchy skin.

Having clear skin for the first time in my adult life quickly altered my self-perception. I stopped attacking my every flaw and held my head a little higher while walking down the street.

As my back was no longer inflamed, I started wearing clothing that I avoided before, like backless dresses and tank tops.

Still, despite its capacity to treat acne, spironolactone isnt free from potential side effects.

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How To Wash Your Face

Whatever medication or combination of medications you decide to use, it is important toproperly wash your skin before treating.

Wash your face only twice per day, morning and evening. Excess washing can cause irritation.

Use only your bare hands to wash, and wash for 10 seconds or less. Washcloths and hand-held cleansing devices are unnecessarily irritating. Consider the act of washing as simply prepping your skin for medication, nothing more. Washing itself does not clear breakouts since dirt does not cause acne, so there is absolutely no need to scrub.

Pat dry. Do not rub dry. Rubbing the skin is irritating, and excess irritation can perpetuate the acne cycle. Gently pat dry.

Hormonal Acne Treatments Can Be Highly Effective

Theyre often used to treat other conditions, but hormonal treatments for acne are prescription medications which have also been shown to help improve some types of acne.

For example, some types of contraceptive pills and even a type of blood pressure medication are hormonal treatment options that a doctor may consider to help manage your acne.

Another type of hormonal treatment oral corticosteroids may be recommended as a short-term measure if you have severe acne. This is sometimes used to calm acne flare ups when youre starting a longer term medical treatment like isotretinoin or if a rapid improvement in your skin is needed.

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The Process And Timeline While Taking Spironolactone

Like most oral medications, Spironolactone takes several weeks to take effect within the body. Those new to the drug would need 6-8 weeks of consistent use for the medicine to begin working within the body.

Unlike Accutane, Spironolactone will only provide benefits while the patient is actively using it. Long-term use isn’t dangerous however, it is designed to only treat acne while active. Weaning off of Spironolactone does not mean all of your acne will come back, either. Our physicians will provide personalized post-care and treatment options to maintain blemish-free skin for years to come.

Topical Medications We Deliver

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Topical antibiotics: Antibiotic creams zap the bacteria that cause acne. We usually prescribe topical antibiotics with benzoyl peroxide, which breaks through dead skin cells that trap oil and bacteria.Tretinoin: Another cause of acne is a build-up of dead skin cells that clog pores and lead to inflammation. This Vitamin A-based cream increases cell turnover to keep skin clear.

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What Is The Best Skin Care Routine For Acne

The best skincare routine for acne typically involves four key steps. First, youll want a cleanser that removes dead skin cells and unclogs pores. Your medical provider might recommend a benzoyl peroxide cleanser, or a mild one.

After that, you should apply your acne medication and let it absorb fully. Moisturizer comes next. Choose one that is marked as oil-free and non-comedogenic to make sure you arent adding more oil to your overactive oil glands.

In the mornings, the last step is UV protection. This is especially important because some acne medications can make your skin more vulnerable to sun damage.

Are There Any Common Side Effects From Taking Spironolactone

Side effects will vary from patient to patient. However, overall, the side effects of Spironolactone are mild. Spironolactone is a diuretic and may increase urination urge and frequency.

Some patients may experience mild dizziness, lightheadedness, breast tenderness, and irregular menstruation. “Whenever prescribing Spironolactone to a patient, I typically start with a low dose and moderately increase their dose through if needed,” mentions Dr. Villacorta. “Some patients may respond to the medication best with simultaneous use of birth control pills. It is also important to note that you should not take Spironolactone while pregnant or trying to become pregnant. Sexually active patients may benefit from pairing birth control with the drug.

Spironolactone is an effective short-term solution for women experiencing moderate-severe hormonal acne. This is especially true if you have had trouble finding or sticking to a targeted skincare routine. As always, it is best to consult with your dermatologist , to understand if using Spironolactone is right for you.

Have you been considering Spironolactone for your hormonal acne? Contact Galt Dermatology to schedule your New Patient Appointment with Dr. Villacorta – one of Fort Lauderdale’s most-sought, trusted, and highest-reviewed Board-Certified dermatologists. For Patient Testimonials, please click the link provided here.

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What Is The Best Natural Treatment For Hormonal Acne

Diet can be a factor in hormonal acne. Some foods can act as anti-inflammatories and help with acne. These are vegetables, fish, nuts, and some healthy oils like olive oil and avocado. Coconut oil, avocado, omega-3 fats, dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts, and carrots are also beneficial to people with acne in general and, more specifically, hormonal acne. Eliminating specific acne triggers, like cow’s milk, dairy, and sugars, can also help.

The DIM + cruciferous supplement is an excellent addition to hormonal acne treatment. They contain a natural extract of cruciferous vegetables , specially formulated to help balance hormones and reduce acne signs in adult women.

Side Effects From Spironolactone Include:

Spironolactone for hormonal acne
  • There may be a flare in acne which occurs in about 5% of people.
  • Passing urine more frequently for the first few weeks 29%. This settles within a month.
  • Menstrual irregularities either heavy menstrual cycles, irregularity in cycles, spotting, discomfort or amenorrhoea 22%. Sometimes it is necessary to add the combined oral contraceptive pill to help these side effects.
  • Breast tenderness 17%
  • Elevated potassium levels in the blood 0.75%-2% for those under 45 years of age. The rate may be as high as 16% for women who are over 46 years of age.
  • Reduced kidney function
  • Reduced sodium levels in the blood
  • Feminisation of a male baby it is important to avoid pregnancy while on Spironolactone as it can cause a male baby to become feminised by blocking androgens
  • Theoretical risk of cancers with very long term use At the doses used for medicinal reasons, Spironolactone has not been associated with cancer. Animal studies in which 150 times the dose used in humans found that there were increased benign and malignant tumours. This does not appear to be relevant for the doses used for acne.

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When Should I See A Healthcare Provider About My Acne

We cant state this enough you can see a healthcare provider any time your acne is making you uncomfortable, either about your appearance or because of the pain and inflammation. They can take a look at your situation and make a professional recommendation about what treatments or lifestyle modifications to try. Even if they dont recommend prescription treatment yet, they can still be a valuable resource for all your skincare questions.

You should also consult with a medical provider if you think you might be experiencing hormonal acne. Whether its from monthly hormonal changes, puberty, or even birth control, hormonal acne can be a little trickier to target. A doctor can work with you to address your hormonal levels to fight acne at the source rather than just putting a band-aid on your symptoms.

Systemic Products Containing Isotretinoin

Some of the most serious health effects come from isotretinoin products, such as Accutane® or Clarus® that are derived from vitamin A. These products are prescribed to treat severe cases of acne that are difficult to treat any other way.

If taken by pregnant women, isotretinoin products can cause severely deformed babies or result in miscarriages, even if it is only used for a short time. Even one dose can affect a developing fetus.

Women should not breastfeed if they are taking isotretinoin products, since doing so may harm the child.

When doctors are prescribing this drug to women of childbearing age, they must use the manufacturer’s risk management program. This program includes:

  • comprehensive information about the potential risks of this drug
  • a signed statement that the patient has been informed about the risks
  • a checklist for criteria that must be met prior to prescribing this drug to female patients of childbearing age
  • detailed information on birth control options
  • patient consent and
  • monthly pregnancy reminders for physicians to use at each patient visit during the treatment period.

Although there is no direct evidence, these products have also been linked to depression, even suicide in some people. They can also increase your chances of developing diabetes, liver disease or heart disease if you have a family history of these diseases.

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Oral Medications For Severe Acne

Not all acne clears up with topical medications .

Oral medications, or those taken by mouth, work systemically to improve the skin from the inside out.

Some oral medications are taken once a day, while others are take more often. Regardless, you should take your dose at the same time every day.

Persistent or severe cases of acne are difficult to control. In the majority of cases, these types of acne require oral medications. Severe acne is sometimes called cystic acne or nodular acne. When you have severe acne:

  • It creates large, deep, inflamed breakouts.
  • Topical medications can’t get deep enough to effectively treat these types of blemishes.

Acne often occurs on other areas of the body, like your back or shoulders. It can be tough to reach those areas to effectively apply topical treatments. Oral acne medications, on the other hand, can work on deeply inflamed blemishes no matter their location.

Even if your acne isn’t necessarily severe, it might simply be stubborn. Sometimes you may try topical treatments and your skin still isn’t clearing up. If this describes your situation, oral medications can give your treatment the boost it needs so you can see actual results.

In any case, if you’re having trouble getting your acne under control, see a dermatologist. All oral acne medications are prescription only. There are no over-the-counter alternatives.

Appointments For Acne And Spironolactone

Treating HORMONAL Adult Acne

If you are interested in discussing Spironolactone as a treatment for acne, then please contact us on 0121 285 4540 to organise an appointment or to make an enquiry .

Medications are only prescribed during a consultation once your doctor has an adequate knowledge of your health and condition. A particular medication is only prescribed if the medication is suitable for a person in their current situation.

We ask that you do not assume that a particular medication will be prescribed at a consultation, as this will be down to the medical assessment made by your doctor. Further, we also do not necessarily continue prescriptions for medications you may have been prescribed elsewhere including from overseas or from online providers as the same criteria for prescribing are applied.

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How Can I Stay Healthy While Taking Aldactone

Aldactone is a safe and effective medication when used correctly.

Although Aldactone does have the potential for serious side effects, the most common side effects tend to be mild. Those might include drowsiness, dizziness, or leg cramps.

Make sure to inform your healthcare provider of all of your other health conditions and prescription medications, OTC medications, vitamins, supplements, or herbs you are taking. This way, your healthcare provider can determine the most appropriate dosage for you.

Other Oral Contraceptive Pills

Combined oral contraceptive pills contain higher oestrogen and another progesterone/anti-androgen cyproterone acetate . These include Brenda-35 ED, Estelle-35 ED, Diane-35 ED, Juliet-35 ED.

Other contraceptive pills that have been shown to improve acne include those containing the progestogens gestodene . Results for this combination are limited.

Implantable contraceptive devices such as Implanon and Mirena are likely to cause a flare of your acne because of their active ingredients .

If this is the best contraceptive for you, you may need to consider other acne treatment options.

Potential side effects of the pill

Generally, there are fewer side effects with lower dose pills and these still provide good contraceptive protection. However, its important to remember that you need to take very low dose pills about the same time every day.

If your primary goal for taking the pill is to prevent pregnancy, theres evidence to show an improved benefit of contraception in higher oestrogen containing pills. These higher dose pills should still be taken daily but with less emphasis on regular dose-timing.

Breakthrough bleeding is a more common problem if youre taking a very low dose pill compared to taking one with a higher dose of oestrogen. Pills containing higher oestrogen are also more likely to be associated with nausea, breast tenderness, bloating and headaches.

You can also talk to your doctor for more complete information.

Reduce the risks

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When Should Someone Start Acne Treatment

You should start acne treatment as soon as you notice the signs and symptoms of a breakout. At first, trying at-home treatments is a good idea. These work for many people.

But if youre still struggling with stubborn pimples that just wont leave you alone, try reaching out to a doctor for prescription acne treatments. This is especially important if you have inflammatory acne thats causing pain especially if you dont want to end up with acne scarring.

What Are Reasons I Shouldnt Take Aldactone

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There are a few reasons why your healthcare provider may not choose Aldactone as part of your treatment plan.


A person should not take Aldactone if they are allergic to the ingredients.


Research has shown adverse effects to the fetus when spironolactone is used during pregnancy. However, there are not enough human studies to be certain how this drug may affect the fetus.

Aldactone should only be used during pregnancy if the benefits outweigh the risks. It is best to talk to your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant so that they can decide the best option for you.


The active metabolite, a substance that breaks down from the drug, does pass into human milk. As a result, the World Health Organization listed this medication as compatible with breastfeeding, but those considerations should weigh the risks versus the benefits. Talk with your healthcare provider if you are breastfeeding as you may need to decide if you should stop taking Aldactone or stop breastfeeding.


Aldactone should not be used in children under 18.

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