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I had read about Spiro and kept it in the back of my mind. I finally made an appointment with a dermatologist and was planning to ask for a prescription. When she suggested it right away, I jumped at the chance. I'm 46 and have had hormonal acne since probably 13. My age didn't stop me from continuing to have it on my chest and back either. I never had clear skin. It was always broken out. I had read about all the side effects and was worried I'd be dizzy, sick to my stomach and tired. I had none of that! I was supposed to work up to 100 mg a day and I was worried the side effects would come as I started adding a pill. They didn't, and I worked my way to 4 pills per day within a few weeks. I am very confused about this drug. It's supposed to be for high blood pressure and is a dieuretic, so I still can't figure out what the purpose is in blocking testosterone and working on the hormonal aspect of acne. I would think they'd have 2 different pills for those reasons, one for people who need it for blood pressure and another pill that simply blocks testosterone. For instance, men shouldn't use this because of the effects it has on hormones, but apparently some do anyway. It did cause tingling breasts and increased periods, but it was worth it to have my skin clear up immediately. Seriously, it worked immediately. I can leave the house without makeup. My skin is really dry now though when before it was super oily. I have been putting coconut oil on it constantly and it soaks it right up. My back still isn't clear, but I'm not surprised as it has always been a huge problem. Hopefully that will happen soon. I'm on Tricare so I get this free. I'm hoping in the future when I no longer have Tricare since I'm in the process of a divorce, the cost won't be too high. I'm so glad they make this stuff.
Warning, this girl is about to unload about acne for her first time in writing: Here we go: Living with facial acne is not really living. It’s one of the worst, socially debilitating and soul crushing afflictions a human being can have. I want nothing more than to feel beautiful without 3 layers of foundation on. I feel like half of a person during bad breakouts, ugly, diseased, unworthy and pathetic. When my skin is clear, or imperfect but mostly clear, life is so good and happy, but it’s been a long time since I’ve felt like that. I want so much to only need to concentrate on my work and my social life. For so long a disproportionate amount of my energy has gone into this problem.
I recognize that my acne is holding me back, and believe me, I’ve tried not to let it, but there’s just no point. I need to get rid of it in order to be 100% me. These last couple of years even when my skin has been mostly clear, the treatments keeping it clear have not been total cures, they’ve been time consuming, really hard on my sensitive skin, and I’m always terrified it will stop working which ultimately, they all have. I’ve been dealing with acne all of my adult life since my later teens. Right now I should be blossoming as a young woman, not staying home in bed because “I can’t meet new people looking like this”. I have said that, obsessively thought that, and sobbed because of it more times than I care to admit. I’ve tried three different antibiotics (tetracycline is the only one that worked but stopped working after 6 months or so, others: doxy and mino had NO effect), benzoil up to 10%, retin A up to .05%, zinc and other supplements, a boat load of over the counter products. I had perfect skin on Yasmin but it made me gain weight and I had bad morning sickness among other things, all of which I can deal with, what I couldn’t deal with were the completely INSANE mood swings. I know my acne is hormonal because everything is below the nose and because taking Yasmin cured it. I’m so tired of fighting.
My most recent attempt has been a diet and lifestyle change; 8 hours of sleep, plenty of water and green tea, no eating soy or gluten, no caffeine, and absolutely no dairy. I’ve always tried to eat healthy and balanced, but even this strict diet hasn’t helped in the slightest. I’m going to continue it anyway, but because it hasn’t appeared to help after many months, I delved into an intense bout of research. One must understand their enemy in order to defeat it. I found information about acne in history, even ancient history. In ancient Egypt it was known as ‘the disease of the Pharaohs’, interesting right? Only the wealthiest were afflicted. In the Tudor era (or close to it) people used to put stickers over their larger facial cysts before a party and a pound of white power to cover the rest, supposedly they didn’t bathe much or at all, not that bathing more ever helped me... I tried to figure out why my hormones are ‘unblanaced’ when I'm otherwise completely healthy. Why do I have this problem when neither of my parents had adult acne? My 22 year old sister has it too. I guess we just got the wrong combination of genes. Are humans the only creatures on this planet to suffer acne? The answer is essentially ‘yes’ by the way, I also found out why. The theory is that humans evolved to be hairless too quickly and for some of us our skin is still producing the amount of oil it would take to keep a healthy coat. See this great article: [link removed]
Why has the rate of adult acne in women been steadily climbing since the 50’s? WHY? They say it’s because of extra stress woman have in this modern era: [link removed]
But I don’t know how accurate that is. Acne has always had a presence in my adult life, stressed, not stressed, whatever.
Anyway, I came across Spironolactone/Aldactone during this time, thought about it and eventually decided to try it. Without your reviews of it I never would have found it, it’s given me some hope (thanks for suggesting it Doc, NOT…). I started a little over a week ago, 50 mg daily, and have had no side effects but I do think I’m experiencing a not-so-great initial breakout. Please let it be INITIAL. I wanted to start on more but my doctor didn’t recommend it, I’m thinking about getting a dermatologist’s opinion, I don’t like my Doc very much. I feel like I know more than he does at this point. I’ll update this post as my treatment continues. Thanks to everyone and for the support of this website.
I've been using Spironolactone for four months now. I'm 21 and the moderate acne on my chest and back I've struggled with since I was 13 is finally gone. I'm getting no new breakouts, just dealing with the post acne dark spots now. I did not get a bad initial breakout like many other reviewers did. I didn't see a change in my acne for better or worse until the 3rd month when I moved from taking two 50mg pills a day to three pills a day. Every topical medication failed to make a dent in improving my body acne. The only thing that worked a little was Yaz birth control. When I realized my acne was hormonal, my dermatologist prescribed Spiro to me. This medication has given me my body back. If you're a woman struggling with body acne and you think it could be related to hormones, I would absolutely ask your dermatologist about Spiro. It takes commitment and time, but it really is the miracle drug people say it is.
So far, I've been clearing up in only 2 weeks. I've had a minor breakout on my forehead, but reading others reviews I assume that's normal. Maybe it's "fighting" my acne. I'm excited to see what happens! I'm taking 50mg daily. I'll update weekly and let you know!!!
Breaking out even more. Cystic acne popping up. Going to start taking 100mg per day. Crossing my fingers!!
Face really clearing up! Remaining acne is drying out. Just keeping moisturized seems to be helping!
Breaking out off and on, but stopped washing my face so much (down to once at night) and it's helping! I'm not having irregular periods like everyone else either.
Me: College student, very fair skinned, petite, outdoorsy but not athletic.
Problem: Excessively oily (<2 hours after applying makeup), constant cystic acne lasting weeks at surface with many more lurking beneath the surface esp. cheeks and jaw, additional pimples littered randomly, scarring, hyperpigmentation. Occasional acne on back and chest.
Solution: Wash and moisturize with CeraVe products every morning and night. Worked my way up over 7 months from 50 to 150mg/day. Initial breakout for every increase in dose. Have not had a new cystic pimple since initial dose. First month saw huge decrease in oil production, back and neck clear by third month in addition to great decrease in cystic acne. By sixth month totally free of cystic acne, decreased oil w/o drying skin. That said I am chronically thirsty and peeing like a racehorse, also, with the water loss I went down a cup size which is a little sad since I am not a buxom girl to begin with, but considering that my cystic acne used to make me skip class, parties, dates etc if it was just too bad, my happiness in infinitely increased. I am no longer too ashamed to let my boyfriend touch my face, or terrified of standing in the wrong light or checking up on my makeup between every class.
I have tried various regimens, amoxicillin, doxycycline, various diets, etc, and nothing worked on the deeper issue. Today I still have to deal with regular pimples, but its nothing compared to serious emotionally damaging uncontrollable and unpredicatable cystic acne I started getting around age 19. It been very hard learning to get out of the habit of obsessing over my skin, now that I don't need to worry about it.
Also beware, since I began spironolactone I have noticed that in terms of the few baby pimples I still get now and then, even just a tiny bit of picking will leave me with a scar. Huh.
I tried everything. Accutane at one point, a bunch of antibiotics, creams, etc. My derm started me on EstroStep BC and Tazorac. Taz works awesome and really tightens pores. However, once I started on Sprio 100 mg, I began to see results. My derm bumped me up to 150 since I was handling the med fine and my skin TOTALLY cleared and no oil EVER. My pores have shrunk and I don't need to wear make up like I used to. I had a horrible initial breakout for 2-3 months and I almost stopped but my derm said to see the full result I needed to wait until the 6 month period. I am at the beginning of the 5th month and looking amazing. I started to see the major improvement the middle of the 4th month. You need to drink a ton of water on this medicine! I know the initial outbreak can be rough (mine was really intense)... however the difference now is night and day. People tell me I have beautiful skin all the time now. Below are helpful research articles I read about the med that are VERY helpful. Be informed of your medicine and be responsible when taking this med. Best of luck!!!
I have been on Spiro for just under 4 months. Good luck prying this stuff out of my cold, dead hands. I am a 39 year old female and have had acne since the age of 12. My major problems areas have been my jawline, hairline, neck, chest, back, shoulders and arms. I have been able to keep it somewhat under control with topical treatments over the years having the most luck with BP. Last winter something changed though and I started experiencing new kinds of acne, most noticably constant breakouts at my hairline, horrible neck and chest breakouts, and miliary breakouts that I'd never had before. Also my acne was starting to get more cyst-like...definitely went from minor to relatively severe over this time. This also coincided with irregular and painful periods. Suspecting PCOS I was put on 100 mg Spiro a day. I experienced a severe breakout in week two. I won't lie, it sucked. Oh yeah, and my breasts were pretty sore for about a week or so. However I started noticing a few things during the first month: much less oil (I have never gone a single day without showering because my hair and skin were so oily....now I can go 2 days without washing my hair...and can skip a day of showering without feeling gross), skin is much smoother, pimples are becoming less severe (instead of cyst-like, they are more normal and quicker to resolve), chest, back, arms and hairline cleared within 1-2 months. I used to have combo skin with oily parts and dry parts...now my skin is totally even, and I can quickly apply powder foundation without flakes and oily marks. Third month I was bumped up to 150 mg per day and I would say this is when my neck and jaw made the most improvement. I have not had an active zit for several days (never had I had a day without something somewhere). But all of the sudden my whole life changed. I can wear whatever clothes I want. I had no clothing that didn't cover my shoulders, chest and back completely. I went shopping the other day and was able to try on any thing I saw. Not to sound superficial but for someone like me that is a huge, huge deal. I wore a bathing suit in public for the first time in 2 decades this last Friday.
This is a diuretic so I was thirsty and peeing alot the first few weeks. This passed and I don't notice it now. I have irregular periods but some of this may be due to the PCOS and I will be starting BC soon to try to regulate. Seriously I don't care though....clear skin is soooo worth it. You have to give it time to work though...don't pussy out after the first breakout.
I just wanted to give an update since it's been a while since my review. After experiencing several months of bi-weekly periods, I went on the birth contol Yasmin. This has totally regulated my periods. I don't get pimples anymore....haven't for 3 months +. I backed down from 150mg per day to 100mg per day a couple weeks ago with no ill effects. The effect this medication has had on my life is nothing short of a miracle for me. Trust me, if you have hormonal acne and you don't give this medication a chance, then your acne must not be that bad. I would have been happy with 50% improvement, but the results have been nothing short of astounding.
I'm a 21 year old female with hormonal acne.
I began taking Spiro in 100 mg doses daily in July 2013, and was upped to 200 mg daily doses in November 2013. It's definitely a medicine that requires patience and will only show results long-term, but I can say that my acne is much less severe. The acne I do get is much smaller and easier to get rid of, and the rare cystic pimple (once every 3 months approx.) goes away much faster.
This medicine IS very dehydrating so it would be best to keep a water bottle available at all times. It can also make mornings a bit more difficult since you NEED to hydrate when you wake up, after sleeping with 8 hours or so with no water.
My period also is a little irregular right now, and I am menstruating twice a month. Spiro will mess with your period in some way, so consult your doctor about it first.
While I was recovering from anorexia nervosa, I developed moderate cystic acne on my cheeks and chin. It was painful and humiliating; it only drove my already introverted self to stay in and hide away from the world. I felt like a monster and I avoided looking at myself in the mirror for weeks at a time. About 7 months ago I started taking spironolactone, 100mg…probably the best decision ever. Not gonna lie though, the first three months were hell. I got an initial breakout that was pretty brutal, and I was chronically fatigued for those months. Also, I would get my period twice a month. But all of those negative symptoms dissipated as time went on. I began seeing real results around the 5th month. The key with spiro is BE PATIENT! It took a while but the results are so worth it that i would do it again in a heartbeat. My skin is smooth and completely clear (although i do get a random little spot rarely..gone very fast) and so is this acne on my back! It feels so good to wash my face and just feel…nothing. No pain, just smooth skin, everywhere. The only thing I dislike about this medicine is that it is just a temporary fix. If you stop taking it for a couple of weeks you will break out again.. but if you are desperate for hope and change like I was then I say go for it!
Tips: Drink a lot more water than you're used to. this medication will make you thirsty. If you are drinking alcohol make sure to drink EXTRA water because Spiro is a diuretic and it has the potential to dehydrate you.
Sleep at least 8 hours a day. seriously. You will become a zombie for 3 months if you don't.
I've had acne my whole life and when I hit my late 20's it got bad, cystic acne bad. Spironolactone is the ONLY thing that has ever kept me clear long term. I also don't eat junk food or eat wheat, gluten and really any kind of grain which I know helps.
I waited until enough time has passed that I could be 100% totally sure this works before I wrote a review and now I can positively say it works. I've been completely clear for 8 months now. However, I've been on it for about 1.5 years. It took 8 months, almost 9 for it to really work so if you get on it you might have to be patient. But once you get clear all the waiting is worth it and you won't care, you'll just be happy it worked. I'm so glad I tried this before accutane. Highly recommend it. I take 150mg/day, but originally started out at 75mg and after crying in my Dr's office about my skin, I got her to up my scrip to 150mg. I probably wasn't on the full dose of 150mg until about 3 months in.