I'm here to show my progress with spironolactone.
My background: Suffered from acne since I was 13. Didn't get real bad till I started college, started getting quartered size cysts. Parents refused to let me see a dermatologist before then, so all I was on up until that point was Minocyclen and Tazorac. When I started to get cysts I begged my mom to let me see a derm and after the first visit I got Accutane. My 7 month course cleared me up well. The ortho tri cyclen I took a month before starting gave me the worst cystic acne breakout ever, about 10 penny sized lumps all along my right jawline.
Even though accutane cleared me, I still broke out a little here and there, mostly around the time of the month, nothing extreme. The oil came back in about 2 years and I noticed I started breaking out a little more, but again no cysts and nothing extreme, but annoying nonetheless.
I went back to the derm and he prescribed me doxycyline, never tried before, and tretinoin, and he said these should work better now after accutane. It helped a little, but not what I had liked, but again no cysts so I dealt with it.
Started my last semester if college and whamp, my face broke out all over! Then my worst nightmare, I got a quarter sized cyst in the same place I got a previous one year earlier! It was heartbreaking and I asked myself what am I doing to deserve this and that if accutane didn't help, I'm doomed! The condition my skin was in stressed me out to the point where I did not want to leave the house, was no longer social and I just stopped eating altogether. I was a skinny, malnourished acne ridden freak.
I finall went to the derm again and saw his PA-C, who seemed to listen to what I had to say more than just writing me a script and leaving the room. At first, she suggested another course of accutane but knowing my current mental state and all the side effects I got from my previous course (gave me eczema I still suffer from, intestinal problems, made my cholesterol go through the roof) I wanted to try something else.
My brother, who had acne in high school was put on bactrim and cleared up, and it never came back after stopping. Knowing how antibiotics work, he probably outgrew his acne and the bactrim helped him along. Thinking that my current breakouts are from stress from school, I asked to try that, maybe it will help calm things down for a while and my acne will subside in the mean time. She also gave me duac and tretinoin. I also just started ortho tri cyclen lo, needed birth control but was afraid to take the regular ortho tri cyclen because of the cyst problem I had last time and the other icky side effects I got from that bc, so my primary doc told me this has less side effects.
I don't think it took more than a week after starting all this stuff that I started clearing up. Within a month I was 100% clear. I stayed on everything for about a year and then was weaned off of bactrim, still clear. Being so clear, I felt normal and stopped the topicals too. Washed my face with normal face wash and was fine! Still took my birth control and still had oily skin, but barely broke out, never got more than 1 or 2 zits a month and they were little ones!
Fast forward 6 months later, my insurance changed at work and my birth control was no longer free. So I switched to the generic ortho tri cyclen lo and noticed a decrease in my libido. So, being with my fiancé for a while and living together, I stopped taking my birth control thinking it would be ok to just use condoms and be careful.
BIG MISTAKE! After going off birth control, I noticed the breakouts I got during the time of the month were a little more severe than they were on birth control, but it was manageable. Fast forward 6 months later and they were getting pretty annoying and my PMS symptoms sucked too so I started up ortho tri cyclen lo again, the same exact stuff I've been on before with no problems , thinking this would help the problem.
This made everything worse. Instead if breaking out a week before my period, I started breaking out all the time. Mind you, no cysts but I always had at least 5 pimples on my face and sometimes they were big pimples that had yellow heads. But it was weird and came in waves. One week I would break out, the next I would be clear, then it started all over again! Enough is enough, I couldn't see my derm without a referral this time so I went to my reg dr. And told her this stuff is making me break out. Of course, my skin cleared up that week and she said no to a derm and wouldn't even prescribe me anything! She said give the bcp 3 months to kick in and the benzoyl peroxide that I'm using to spot treat is interfering with the bcp so stop using that and use salicylic acid. That was probably one of the most bullshit answers I ever heard, but I followed her directions for another 2 months and if course things got worse and I saw her again, this time with a breakout and she referred me to my derm. I was able to see the PA-C the next day and she asked if I wanted to do the bactrim, duac, and tretinoin again and although I was tempted to because I know bactrim will help, it's not solving the root if my problem, which I think are my hormones causing this. All my breakouts are on my chin and jawline, sometimes cheeks, my forehead is completely clear, I haven't had a pimple there in years! Also the breakouts started because of starting/stopping birth cobtrol.
I asked about spironolactone and she didn't hesitate about it one bit and said its good for chin acne. She said I could take bactrim too but wants to see if the spiro works first. She also gave me duac, which I love as well.
So below is my progress, I just documented my current active pimples to see if there's a pattern and of any changes. Too embarrassed to take pics, sorry!
9/27- started spiro. 5 active, 0 new
9/28- 4 active, 0 new
9/29 -3 active, 0 new
9/30 -4 active, 1 new
10/1 -5 active, 1 new
10/2 - 8 active, 3 new
10/3 - 6 active, 0 new
10/4 - 6 active, 0 new
10/5 - 5 active, 0 new
10/6 - 4 active, 0 new
10/7 - 6 active, 3 new
10/8 - 5 active, 2 new (I think I am purging as my neck and some parts of my face have little whitheads pimples that aren't inflamed, there's about 10 of them but I'm not counting them toward my actives because they seem to go away pretty quickly)
Also I've noticed my oil production slowing down tremendously, which is great! But now the duac is making my face flaky and itchy, I guess from the dryness?
Edited by dnttreadonme900, 09 October 2013 - 07:36 AM.