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I Am 100% Clear. Severe Cystic Acne Cured With Spironolactone.


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#1 Green Gables

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 06:16 PM

I have combined cystic acne and rosacea. My skin is now 100% clear of zits! (The rosacea is still present.)

For privacy reasons the before and after photos have been removed. Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

6 months ago I started 50mg a day of spiro, and after one month, my derm upped my dose to 100mg daily. I did not see ANY clearing until month 3, but after that the clearing was dramatic.

For those of you unfamiliar with spironolactone, it is an anti-androgen.

What I do daily:
-100mg of spiro.
-Wash once a day CeraVe cleanser and moisturize with CeraVe moisturizer
-7-8 hours sleep a night. Hard to do but so worth it.
-Dairy-free, low-sugar, moderate carb diet. Highly recommend the Paleo diet book for better health.

What I tried consistently but gave up on as a "cure":

-Benzoyl peroxide. It didn't prevent deeper acne. It may kill bacteria but it does awful things to the quality of your skin.
-Finacea (azelaic acid). It temporarily reduces my redness...but not much more.
-Blue/red lights. Specifically the Lightwave CS. While I think this is a great product for milder acne, it didn't touch my cysts.
-Oil cleansing method with 75% jojoba/25% castor.
-AHAs and BHAs
-Antibiotics. I have been on Tetracycline, Doxycycline (normal and Oracea versions), Clindamyacin (oral and topical), Minocycline, Amoxycyllin, Cephalexil, and Z-Pac. Treatment times for each have varied.
-Massive probiotics, Betaine HCL, and digestive enzymes. I actually highly recommend probiotics to everyone and believe there is a lot of hard science to support it. Many people see complete clearance from probiotics. Probiotics have been great for my health, but they just didn't stop the acne.
-Supplementation of zinc, B-5, garlic, magnesium, milk thistle, saw palmetto, and MSM.
-Water only method
-No washing method (this was a disgusting period of my life)
-Ketoconazole cream (antifungal)
-The baby brush method, the Clarisonic brush
-Retinoids

What I tried not really consistently:

-Hormonal birth control. I have tried both Ortho Tri-Cyclen and Yaz. Later I found out via genetic testing that I am at an increased risk for Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolisms, which means I cannot take hormonal birth control pills. I use a hormone-free copper IUD for birth control. 

-I had one IPL. Reduced my redness a little for about a year.

Negative side effects of spironolactone:
-It is a diuretic. For the first few weeks you pee every hour. My body has mostly adjusted. Still drink a lot more water to stay hydrated.

Overall:
I'm clear!!!!!

Future:
Staying on spiro. Spiro's effects disappear when you stop taking it. Since spiro has been shown to be safe for long-term use, I plan to stay on it for as long as necessary.


Edited by Green Gables, 19 June 2013 - 05:15 PM.


#2 ohmygod

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 07:12 PM

congrats on clear skin! i wish guys could take this stuff =(

#3 Randall Flagg

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 01:04 AM

I got really excited reading about this especially because you've had such amazing results, but then I saw only girls can take it. Damn...back to the drawing board lol.

#4 Green Gables

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 01:54 PM

congrats on clear skin! i wish guys could take this stuff =(

I got really excited reading about this especially because you've had such amazing results, but then I saw only girls can take it. Damn...back to the drawing board lol.


It's not officially recommended for males, but some have used it. Reviews are mixed. It is an "off-label" acne medication, its original use was a diuretic. It has been prescribed to males. You just need a very low dose, which may or may not help your acne.

See:
http://www.acne.org/messageboard/index.php/topic/263655-spironolactone-for-men/
http://www.acne.org/messageboard/index.php/topic/258510-spiro-works-for-men/
http://www.acne.org/messageboard/index.php/topic/44731-can-men-take-spironolactone/
http://www.acne.org/messageboard/index.php/topic/190401-any-dudes-taking-or-planning-on-taking-spironolactone/

I would highly recommend trying a natural anti-androgen route though. If women can get such great results from hormonal treatment I think men can too, just need a different ratio of hormones. E.g. Saw Palmetto is natural anti-androgen used by a lot of males for various reasons. I did try saw palmetto without results...but I think that's because a) saw palmetto's effects really work better with men and b) my dosage was probably way too low.

#5 arqa22

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 04:43 AM

spiro=saw plametto=soy=Pygeum=stinging nettle's=Pumpkin Seed Oil=DHT BLOCKER

dht cause oily skin, oily skin cause good conditions on skin to acne bacteria to grow.
lower dht=stop oily skin=clear

saw palmetto cleared me by the way

#6 ohmygod

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 09:25 PM

spiro=saw plametto=soy=Pygeum=stinging nettle's=Pumpkin Seed Oil=DHT BLOCKER

dht cause oily skin, oily skin cause good conditions on skin to acne bacteria to grow.
lower dht=stop oily skin=clear

saw palmetto cleared me by the way




Good to hear! i actually have some but havent tried it yet, whats a good dosage to take it?

#7 snsdgirl14

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 10:21 PM

Did you have any acne scarring from your past acne, and if so how did you take care of that? Was it just Retin-A?

#8 arqa22

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 04:08 AM


spiro=saw plametto=soy=Pygeum=stinging nettle's=Pumpkin Seed Oil=DHT BLOCKER

dht cause oily skin, oily skin cause good conditions on skin to acne bacteria to grow.
lower dht=stop oily skin=clear

saw palmetto cleared me by the way




Good to hear! i actually have some but havent tried it yet, whats a good dosage to take it?


i take 2 pill every day, 1 in the morning and 1 in the evning.

each pill contain:

Raw Saw Palmetto Berry Powder300mg


Standardised Saw Palmetto Berry Extract 150mg


Edited by arqa22, 23 July 2012 - 04:08 AM.


#9 Green Gables

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 12:39 PM

I definitely want to do more research on the DHT-acne connection. I actually have DRY skin and cystic acne, and spiro still cleared me.


Did you have any acne scarring from your past acne, and if so how did you take care of that? Was it just Retin-A?


Well I have accumulated some scarring over the years, as you can see in the pictures. I think the constant retinoid use kept my scarring level down overall. I'm still using Retin-A, but I will probably need laser for my indented scars.

Edited by Green Gables, 23 July 2012 - 12:39 PM.


#10 thereisalwayshope

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 01:42 PM

WOW awesome results girl!

#11 madel06

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 09:06 PM

Congratulations! Thanks for sharing. May I ask what product of 2% salicylic acid you are using?

#12 ginanutrition

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 09:55 PM

Fantastic results!!!

Yay for kicking acne in the nuts!

I tried Spiro but my blood pressure is 90/59 and it made my dizzy. Has it affected your blood pressure (dizzy, tired, weak?), and what about the fact that you have to have your potassium levels monitored in order to prevent cardiac damage while being on this medicine long-term (too much potassium can cause sudden heart failure)? Have you discussed this with your doctor?

Did you ever consider Accutane? That's what I'm on now and it's amaaaaazing in terms of results. I hope it lasts after my treatment ends.

#13 Green Gables

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 03:12 PM

Congratulations! Thanks for sharing. May I ask what product of 2% salicylic acid you are using?


Clearasil Acne + Marks Lotion

Fantastic results!!!

Yay for kicking acne in the nuts!

I tried Spiro but my blood pressure is 90/59 and it made my dizzy. Has it affected your blood pressure (dizzy, tired, weak?), and what about the fact that you have to have your potassium levels monitored in order to prevent cardiac damage while being on this medicine long-term (too much potassium can cause sudden heart failure)? Have you discussed this with your doctor?

Did you ever consider Accutane? That's what I'm on now and it's amaaaaazing in terms of results. I hope it lasts after my treatment ends.


Yes, I get my levels checked every 3 months. Hyperkalemia is a possibility, but it is extremely rare and seen on doses much higher than mine. Accutane has a MUCH higher risk of complications.

For many, spiro is safe for long-term use. There have been a few studies done, notably one that lasted 8 years studying long-term spiro use.

After 200 person-years of exposure to spironolactone and 506 person-years of followup over 8 years, no serious illnesses thought to be attributed to spironolactone were reported. The long-term use of spironolactone in the treatment of acne in women appears to be safe. Side effects, however, are common, although not usually a cause for stopping the drug.


I noticed a little bit of dizziness the first week or two, but that subsided. I drink a lot of water every 2 hours. My derm said if you slack on water intake you will notice more dizziness. My blood pressure before spiro, however, was squarely normal.

I did not ever take Accutane though I had many derms push that on me starting at age 14. At first, cost was the deterrent (parents weren't going to spend thousands of dollars on it). As an adult willing to shell out for it, I ended up not taking it because

a) My roommate went on it in college and literally went bald
b) I am very active, and heard too many people report joint pain after Accutane

In the end, I don't think it would have helped me. After puberty I went from oily skin to dry skin and my acne actually got worse. Accutane drying me out even more? I don't see how that would have helped. My acne was probably a hormonal imbalance problem from the start, not an oil problem.

Edited by Green Gables, 24 July 2012 - 03:22 PM.


#14 ginanutrition

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 07:31 PM

I had dry skin with severe cystic acne, too. I'm 28...and so far have seen amazing results with accutane. Both spiro and accutane reduce sebum production, but of the powerful DHT variety which causes acne. Either way, I'm happy it's worked out for you. :)

#15 Green Gables

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 09:26 AM

Just wanted to update that I have cut down to 50mg a day and I am still clear. Read an old article that suggested clearing acne on 100-150mg a day, and then cutting back to a maintenance dose of 25-50mg. This seems to be working for me and reversing the weight gain I described earlier. 3 pounds have come off of the 7 pounds I gained.

#16 ucantbevan

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 10:02 PM

Crazy that you didn't have any big scars, wish I was that lucky.

#17 Green Gables

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 09:32 AM

Crazy that you didn't have any big scars, wish I was that lucky.


Besides retinoids...I attribute that to not using benzoyl peroxide long-term. I did it religiously for a year and a half and then quit.

  • Repeated sun exposure or BP use generates free radicals that damage the skin’s structure and cellular DNA, resulting in premature aging of the skin.
  • Because BP generates free radicals it interferes with and slows the healing process. The red and brown marks that are a part of the acne healing process may last weeks longer when BP is a regular part of the daily regimen.



#18 ucantbevan

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 09:34 PM

Oh wow thanks for the info, didn't know that!

#19 acnelove

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 01:34 AM

amazing difference! thanks for your inspiring story and being open about the process!

#20 phoobear

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 09:01 AM

I'm so happy for ya, girl! Your skin looks great!