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Where Do I Go From Here In Treatment? Did Anyone Ever Experience Skin Discoloration/increased Acne Marks On Aldactone/spiro Or Tried Metaformin?

aldactone spiro hyperpigmentation skin discoloration acne marks hormonal acne metaformin

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#1 bizz

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 04:58 AM

From May 2009 to fall 2012, I was on spiro, between 50 mg to 100, on and off. 

 

All in all, it was a horrible experience. For the first year, I know I was hyperkalemic, it made my hair limp, gross, thinned and greasy, caused serious joint pain and fatigue, and did zero to help with recurrent pattern cystic acne during my period on my cheeks/jaw. It also made my skin grey and saggy, frankly--caused bloat and water retention all over and made me sweaty and tired. (For reference, I took each dose with a full meal, split my doses when I was on 100 mg, and drank plenty of fluid. Still got all the nasty side effects.)

 

After a year it seemed to work a little with acne, but even with a multivitamin, vitamin C, vitamin K,  staying out of the sun, and use of Skinceuticals kojic acid to try to fade the dark patches, my skin looked horrible. Old acne marks never really healed and for the first time I experienced hyperpigmentation/discoloration all over my acne-prone areas in earnest; my skin was pitted and my pores were so big I thought I was forming acne scars. I bruised and got cuts easily--just shaving my legs (carefully) would lead to bruising from ankle to thigh.

 

 

I didn't take aldo with birth control or any other drug.

 

The one real benefit is that it did to my body acne/hair what I was hoping it would do to my face--made it clear, even-toned (none of the pitting or little acne/blackhead patches like the ones on my face), and helped a lot with hair growth/actual acne (except for menstrual cysts...always in the same areas). 

 
I don't understand why it was such a bad choice and now I'm trying to figure out what to do to treat symptoms of elevated androgens (including, but not limited, to lingering cystic acne despite a series of antibiotics).

 

I have been tested by an endocrinologist and he said he saw increased hormonal levels; the blood sample he tested was taken when I was on 50 mg and had been on aldo for years, which makes me wonder what my normal levels are.

 

Now I've been off it for almost a year and am sick and tired of body acne/hair growth/the cysts that come with it on my chest, shoulders, lower back, etc. I know I need to see an ob/gyn about the hormonal acne but part of the reason I'm dawdling is because I suspect the only solutions they'll offer are birth control, metaformin, or aldactone. 

 

 

Even knowing the problems I had with aldo, frustrated with the returned body hair growth, I got so desperate this month I took some aldactone I have leftover (not expired) for two weeks--as dreaded, my skin is sort ofgrey and acne marks from the last breakout are purple, brown, and lingering.  I would have hoped to adjust to this drug by now. At the time I was on aldo I thought it might be other things causing the all-over discoloration (I was getting laser hair removal and wasn't taking supposedly anti-inflammatory antiobiotics). Even now, on doxycycline, I am seeing those side effects. 

 

Has anyone else ever experienced massive bruising, skin discoloration, and failure of wound healing on aldo?

 

What can I do to deal with body hair growth/subsequent acne if aldactone trashed my self esteem based on the response of facial acne to the drug? 

 

 



#2 Calumma

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 10:24 AM

I guess you have other hormonal issues going on and spiro cannot help them. Maybe you would do better with DIM and natural progesterone cream or saw palmetto. You should maybe contact member green gables about that, she knows a lot more about hormonal acne than me ( although I am a biologist) and I bet she is the best source of information for you. I am on 100 spiro and iI do not have any side effects, only great effects.

Edited by Calumma, 02 November 2013 - 10:24 AM.


#3 paigems

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 11:25 AM

Spiro didn't work for me either. It made my skin look awesome, but I got a ton of other side effects like extreme fatigue, dry mouth, and hair loss. I got all these side effects from only being on 25 mg! I am no longer taking spiro, but I am now taking metformin. I was taking 1000mg a day, but I have recently cut my dose to 500 mg a day because it is also causing hair loss. Thankfully I have been able to keep my hormones under control using more natural methods, and I have not yes noticed a negative difference in cutting my metformin dose. I eat a low fat and relatively low glycemic load diet and take vitamin c everyday, and my skin is so much less oily and I don't really get inflamed acne anymore!



#4 brenmc

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 05:44 PM

Paigems, can I ask you if you think metformin has cleared your acne or did you use something else as well? Also, what kind of acne did you have (cystic or mild acne)?

Spiro didn't work for me either. It made my skin look awesome, but I got a ton of other side effects like extreme fatigue, dry mouth, and hair loss. I got all these side effects from only being on 25 mg! I am no longer taking spiro, but I am now taking metformin. I was taking 1000mg a day, but I have recently cut my dose to 500 mg a day because it is also causing hair loss. Thankfully I have been able to keep my hormones under control using more natural methods, and I have not yes noticed a negative difference in cutting my metformin dose. I eat a low fat and relatively low glycemic load diet and take vitamin c everyday, and my skin is so much less oily and I don't really get inflamed acne anymore!



#5 paigems

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 05:56 PM

Paigems, can I ask you if you think metformin has cleared your acne or did you use something else as well? Also, what kind of acne did you have (cystic or mild acne)?

Spiro didn't work for me either. It made my skin look awesome, but I got a ton of other side effects like extreme fatigue, dry mouth, and hair loss. I got all these side effects from only being on 25 mg! I am no longer taking spiro, but I am now taking metformin. I was taking 1000mg a day, but I have recently cut my dose to 500 mg a day because it is also causing hair loss. Thankfully I have been able to keep my hormones under control using more natural methods, and I have not yes noticed a negative difference in cutting my metformin dose. I eat a low fat and relatively low glycemic load diet and take vitamin c everyday, and my skin is so much less oily and I don't really get inflamed acne anymore!

 

When I first started taking metformin I do believe it had a slight clearing effect. The results weren't major, but I got less inflamed acne and my complexion looked healthier. Now that my diet is in check I have reduced the metformin and the condition of my skin has not gotten worse. In fact, my skin has gotten better, and I think it is because I am controlling my blood sugar (what metformin does) naturally. I also am on bcp and I use sulfur lotion every night. Those help my skin, but if used alone I can still get cysts.



#6 brenmc

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 07:06 PM

Thanks for replying. What bc are you on? What is sulphur lotion, I've never heard of it, is it prescription? Do you have PCOS?
I am on spiro but it has stopped controlling my acne (which it did for three years). Now I'm trying progesterone cream but it's slow going.

Paigems, can I ask you if you think metformin has cleared your acne or did you use something else as well? Also, what kind of acne did you have (cystic or mild acne)?


Spiro didn't work for me either. It made my skin look awesome, but I got a ton of other side effects like extreme fatigue, dry mouth, and hair loss. I got all these side effects from only being on 25 mg! I am no longer taking spiro, but I am now taking metformin. I was taking 1000mg a day, but I have recently cut my dose to 500 mg a day because it is also causing hair loss. Thankfully I have been able to keep my hormones under control using more natural methods, and I have not yes noticed a negative difference in cutting my metformin dose. I eat a low fat and relatively low glycemic load diet and take vitamin c everyday, and my skin is so much less oily and I don't really get inflamed acne anymore!

 
When I first started taking metformin I do believe it had a slight clearing effect. The results weren't major, but I got less inflamed acne and my complexion looked healthier. Now that my diet is in check I have reduced the metformin and the condition of my skin has not gotten worse. In fact, my skin has gotten better, and I think it is because I am controlling my blood sugar (what metformin does) naturally. I also am on bcp and I use sulfur lotion every night. Those help my skin, but if used alone I can still get cysts.


#7 paigems

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 07:41 PM

Thanks for replying. What bc are you on? What is sulphur lotion, I've never heard of it, is it prescription? Do you have PCOS?
I am on spiro but it has stopped controlling my acne (which it did for three years). Now I'm trying progesterone cream but it's slow going.

 

My birth control is zovia. I've tried a bunch of others, but I always come back to this one. I just feel the best on it. The sulfur lotion I use is called avar-e, and it's a sodium sulfacetamide lotion that you can get from your dermatologist. And unfortunately I do have PCOS :( However, doing all the things I just mentioned including my diet have dropped my testosterone levels from around 67 to 16.



#8 brenmc

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 08:49 AM

Thanks for replying! Unfortunately, I haven't had the opportunity to have my hormones tested because I live in a very small town in Canada without a good dermatologist. But I have sort of self diagnosed myself with PCOS too, based on all of my symptoms. I'm using spiro (to little effect) and progesterone cream (too soon to tell) at the moment but I'm considering adding met if I don't see more improvement in the next month or two. I used it before in combination with spiro, I'm wondering if it would give the spiro an added kick or perhaps not if I've just become resistant to spiro (after three years of success). What do you think?

Thanks for replying. What bc are you on? What is sulphur lotion, I've never heard of it, is it prescription? Do you have PCOS?
I am on spiro but it has stopped controlling my acne (which it did for three years). Now I'm trying progesterone cream but it's slow going.

 
My birth control is zovia. I've tried a bunch of others, but I always come back to this one. I just feel the best on it. The sulfur lotion I use is called avar-e, and it's a sodium sulfacetamide lotion that you can get from your dermatologist. And unfortunately I do have PCOS :( However, doing all the things I just mentioned including my diet have dropped my testosterone levels from around 67 to 16.


#9 Green Gables

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 11:35 AM

bizz, I already mentioned this on your bromelain thread, but I would seriously look into the stomach acid issue.

 

Low stomach acid can lead to all sorts of issues. Hormonal, autoimmune, digestive, you name it. 

 

I had actually had a fair amount of clearing on HCL + Pepsin + Digestive Enzymes ALONE. However, I was a lot more naive about acne at the time, and didn't really make the connection. Right as my skin was clearing, I also had a poor recommendation from a dermatologist to jump onto birth control and a strong retinoid, which made me break out really bad.

 

I stopped taking the HCL + Pespin + DE as soon as my ulcers and IBS cleared up. But I think if I had continued taking them I might have made my way to clear skin without spironolactone.

 

As much as I theoretically believe this, I'm not willing to mess up my clear skin with experimentation at this point, but if spiro ever stopped working for me, that is the first direction I would go. 



#10 brenmc

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 12:39 PM

What is HCL and how does it work? What doses were you using of each?

bizz, I already mentioned this on your bromelain thread, but I would seriously look into the stomach acid issue.
 
Low stomach acid can lead to all sorts of issues. Hormonal, autoimmune, digestive, you name it. 
 
I had actually had a fair amount of clearing on HCL + Pepsin + Digestive Enzymes ALONE. However, I was a lot more naive about acne at the time, and didn't really make the connection. Right as my skin was clearing, I also had a poor recommendation from a dermatologist to jump onto birth control and a strong retinoid, which made me break out really bad.
 
I stopped taking the HCL + Pespin + DE as soon as my ulcers and IBS cleared up. But I think if I had continued taking them I might have made my way to clear skin without spironolactone.
 
As much as I theoretically believe this, I'm not willing to mess up my clear skin with experimentation at this point, but if spiro ever stopped working for me, that is the first direction I would go. 



#11 bizz

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 03:06 PM

bizz, I already mentioned this on your bromelain thread, but I would seriously look into the stomach acid issue.

 

Low stomach acid can lead to all sorts of issues. Hormonal, autoimmune, digestive, you name it. 

 

I had actually had a fair amount of clearing on HCL + Pepsin + Digestive Enzymes ALONE. However, I was a lot more naive about acne at the time, and didn't really make the connection. Right as my skin was clearing, I also had a poor recommendation from a dermatologist to jump onto birth control and a strong retinoid, which made me break out really bad.

 

I stopped taking the HCL + Pespin + DE as soon as my ulcers and IBS cleared up. But I think if I had continued taking them I might have made my way to clear skin without spironolactone.

 

As much as I theoretically believe this, I'm not willing to mess up my clear skin with experimentation at this point, but if spiro ever stopped working for me, that is the first direction I would go. 

 

You mean a doctor actually recommended these to you? Were they over the counter?

 

What turned you onto the possibility stomach acid was related to your acne?

 

I've tried probiotics before...at the risk of being gross, all it did was make me gassy, constipated, and nauseous. 

 

I'll look into this. Thanks for the recommendation.



#12 brenmc

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 06:35 PM

Bizz, have you tried metformin?

bizz, I already mentioned this on your bromelain thread, but I would seriously look into the stomach acid issue.
 
Low stomach acid can lead to all sorts of issues. Hormonal, autoimmune, digestive, you name it. 
 
I had actually had a fair amount of clearing on HCL + Pepsin + Digestive Enzymes ALONE. However, I was a lot more naive about acne at the time, and didn't really make the connection. Right as my skin was clearing, I also had a poor recommendation from a dermatologist to jump onto birth control and a strong retinoid, which made me break out really bad.
 
I stopped taking the HCL + Pespin + DE as soon as my ulcers and IBS cleared up. But I think if I had continued taking them I might have made my way to clear skin without spironolactone.
 
As much as I theoretically believe this, I'm not willing to mess up my clear skin with experimentation at this point, but if spiro ever stopped working for me, that is the first direction I would go. 

 
You mean a doctor actually recommended these to you? Were they over the counter?
 
What turned you onto the possibility stomach acid was related to your acne?
 
I've tried probiotics before...at the risk of being gross, all it did was make me gassy, constipated, and nauseous. 
 
I'll look into this. Thanks for the recommendation.


#13 paigems

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 06:56 PM

Thanks for replying! Unfortunately, I haven't had the opportunity to have my hormones tested because I live in a very small town in Canada without a good dermatologist. But I have sort of self diagnosed myself with PCOS too, based on all of my symptoms. I'm using spiro (to little effect) and progesterone cream (too soon to tell) at the moment but I'm considering adding met if I don't see more improvement in the next month or two. I used it before in combination with spiro, I'm wondering if it would give the spiro an added kick or perhaps not if I've just become resistant to spiro (after three years of success). What do you think?

I don't think metformin would work with spiro to give it an added kick. My impression would be that the metformin would work independently of the spiro and clear your skin up a little on its own. The skin clearing effects of metformin were no where near the effects I got with spiro, though. Taking 25mg of spiro cleared my skin completely and also got rid of all the oil. ON just metformin alone I still had super oily skin, congested pores, and some inflamed acne. Maybe you should check out the Soulcysters forum. It's a forum for people with PCOS, and they have a lot of discussions about hormonal treatments.



#14 bizz

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 10:16 AM

I haven't tried metaformin--that might be the next step. 

 

There's a part of me that knows I might have to go off birth control, but the idea of being on a drug I can't get off of without going back to the massive cysts of my teen years isn't appealing; aldactone is supposed to help with hair growth and sensitized my skin without really treating the acne. 

 

Bizz, have you tried metformin?

 

bizz, I already mentioned this on your bromelain thread, but I would seriously look into the stomach acid issue.
 
Low stomach acid can lead to all sorts of issues. Hormonal, autoimmune, digestive, you name it. 
 
I had actually had a fair amount of clearing on HCL + Pepsin + Digestive Enzymes ALONE. However, I was a lot more naive about acne at the time, and didn't really make the connection. Right as my skin was clearing, I also had a poor recommendation from a dermatologist to jump onto birth control and a strong retinoid, which made me break out really bad.
 
I stopped taking the HCL + Pespin + DE as soon as my ulcers and IBS cleared up. But I think if I had continued taking them I might have made my way to clear skin without spironolactone.
 
As much as I theoretically believe this, I'm not willing to mess up my clear skin with experimentation at this point, but if spiro ever stopped working for me, that is the first direction I would go. 

 
You mean a doctor actually recommended these to you? Were they over the counter?
 
What turned you onto the possibility stomach acid was related to your acne?
 
I've tried probiotics before...at the risk of being gross, all it did was make me gassy, constipated, and nauseous. 
 
I'll look into this. Thanks for the recommendation.


I'm grateful for your recommendation, but I'm reading about the symptoms of low stomach acid and wondering if this is the right route to go down--did you have ulcers and IBS in addition to acne? 

 

(I'll still look into the test, hopefully it's covered by insurance.) 

bizz, I already mentioned this on your bromelain thread, but I would seriously look into the stomach acid issue.

 

Low stomach acid can lead to all sorts of issues. Hormonal, autoimmune, digestive, you name it. 

 

I had actually had a fair amount of clearing on HCL + Pepsin + Digestive Enzymes ALONE. However, I was a lot more naive about acne at the time, and didn't really make the connection. Right as my skin was clearing, I also had a poor recommendation from a dermatologist to jump onto birth control and a strong retinoid, which made me break out really bad.

 

I stopped taking the HCL + Pespin + DE as soon as my ulcers and IBS cleared up. But I think if I had continued taking them I might have made my way to clear skin without spironolactone.

 

As much as I theoretically believe this, I'm not willing to mess up my clear skin with experimentation at this point, but if spiro ever stopped working for me, that is the first direction I would go. 



@GreenGables: did you have other symptoms other than acne, like ulcers/IBS? 

 

I'm grateful for the suggestion, I'm just wondering if it's something to pursue (esp. if insurance doesn't cover it), but I will. Are you saying you had IBS/ulcers because of low stomach acid? 

 

Did it actually seem like you could digest supplements/meds better without side effects? 

 

I'd like to be able to take saw palmetto and horsetail to try regrowing my hair; I'm sick of breaking out in raging cysts from herbal supplements or minerals that are supposed to help with acne and inflammation, something that didn't seem to be as big of a problem when I started treatment as a teenager. 

bizz, I already mentioned this on your bromelain thread, but I would seriously look into the stomach acid issue.

 

Low stomach acid can lead to all sorts of issues. Hormonal, autoimmune, digestive, you name it. 

 

I had actually had a fair amount of clearing on HCL + Pepsin + Digestive Enzymes ALONE. However, I was a lot more naive about acne at the time, and didn't really make the connection. Right as my skin was clearing, I also had a poor recommendation from a dermatologist to jump onto birth control and a strong retinoid, which made me break out really bad.

 

I stopped taking the HCL + Pespin + DE as soon as my ulcers and IBS cleared up. But I think if I had continued taking them I might have made my way to clear skin without spironolactone.

 

As much as I theoretically believe this, I'm not willing to mess up my clear skin with experimentation at this point, but if spiro ever stopped working for me, that is the first direction I would go. 


Edited by bizz, 04 November 2013 - 10:17 AM.


#15 brenmc

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 10:48 AM

Bizz, I think met might be worth a try. I, myself, am resisting going back on bc big time due to the (almost) guarantee that my acne will be worse when I come off of it.

#16 brenmc

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 11:03 AM

The soul cysters site does have lots of good info. :)

#17 paigems

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 05:31 PM

bizz, I already mentioned this on your bromelain thread, but I would seriously look into the stomach acid issue.

 

Low stomach acid can lead to all sorts of issues. Hormonal, autoimmune, digestive, you name it. 

 

I had actually had a fair amount of clearing on HCL + Pepsin + Digestive Enzymes ALONE. However, I was a lot more naive about acne at the time, and didn't really make the connection. Right as my skin was clearing, I also had a poor recommendation from a dermatologist to jump onto birth control and a strong retinoid, which made me break out really bad.

 

I stopped taking the HCL + Pespin + DE as soon as my ulcers and IBS cleared up. But I think if I had continued taking them I might have made my way to clear skin without spironolactone.

 

As much as I theoretically believe this, I'm not willing to mess up my clear skin with experimentation at this point, but if spiro ever stopped working for me, that is the first direction I would go. 

Green Gables, could you suggest a good digestive enzyme? I have a lot of stomach and hormonal issues and I tried taking digestive enzymes but they broke me out strangely enough. I'd still like to try to improve my digestion, though.

 

The soul cysters site does have lots of good info. smile.png

Yeah, it is great! The natural/holistic section is one of my favorites.



#18 WishClean

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 12:05 AM

@ paigems: The best digestive enzymes I tried so far are enzymedica's digest spectrum. 



#19 Green Gables

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 08:14 PM

bizz, I already mentioned this on your bromelain thread, but I would seriously look into the stomach acid issue.

 

Low stomach acid can lead to all sorts of issues. Hormonal, autoimmune, digestive, you name it. 

 

I had actually had a fair amount of clearing on HCL + Pepsin + Digestive Enzymes ALONE. However, I was a lot more naive about acne at the time, and didn't really make the connection. Right as my skin was clearing, I also had a poor recommendation from a dermatologist to jump onto birth control and a strong retinoid, which made me break out really bad.

 

I stopped taking the HCL + Pespin + DE as soon as my ulcers and IBS cleared up. But I think if I had continued taking them I might have made my way to clear skin without spironolactone.

 

As much as I theoretically believe this, I'm not willing to mess up my clear skin with experimentation at this point, but if spiro ever stopped working for me, that is the first direction I would go. 

Green Gables, could you suggest a good digestive enzyme? I have a lot of stomach and hormonal issues and I tried taking digestive enzymes but they broke me out strangely enough. I'd still like to try to improve my digestion, though.

 

>>The soul cysters site does have lots of good info. smile.png

Yeah, it is great! The natural/holistic section is one of my favorites.

 

 

I like the NOW Super Enzymes mix. It contains Betaine HCL + Pepsin + several key enzymes.

 

I have also used Source Naturals Essential Enzymes. It contains higher amounts of enzymes overall, but it doesn't have Betaine HCL or Pespin. I seem to do much better when Betaine HCL and Pepsin are in the mix. 


Edited by Green Gables, 06 November 2013 - 08:15 PM.





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