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I am 31 and have been trying and failing acne treatment since age 12. I have been on everything... accutane, antibiotics, birth control as method for acne control, every single topical agent out there (Ziana working the best, Epiduo coming in second), and all with very little success. Finally I had a doctor prescribe me Spironolactone. I saw improvement in the first 30 days at 100mg, more than other oral prescriptions, but not a complete cure. After giving the drug some time to work, the doc raised my prescription to 150mg. In 2 weeks I was practically clear- having one zit that popped up while PMSing. It's been amazing. Now it's been a month since the increased dosage and my skin looks really good. I have some scars/small bumps that hung around but they are fading very quickly. I am using Epiduo topically a few days a week as that reduces dark spots wonderfully. When I use it more than 3 days a week my skin gets too dry.
I began taking spironolactone about 3 years ago after a course of Accutane that produced only temporary results. I took 50 and then 100 mgs a day and it did wonders! Over the course of about 6 months, I had gone from 4-6 cystic pimples to completely clear skin. My dark marks had faded and I was able to live life like a normal human being for the first time in my life. I ran errands, went to the gym, and hung out with my boyfriend all without a stitch of makeup-- something I never believed would be possible for me after suffering from moderate-severe acne for 10 years.
I decided in May of last year to go off the medication. I incorrectly thought that maybe my hormones had leveled out by 26 years old and that didn't have to take the spiro anymore. Life was great for 6 months after going off spiro but then I began to break out again. I wouldn't say worse than before, but about the same as before spiro. I began taking the med again last December and after almost 3 months my skin has definitely improved but I still have at least 2 cysts and a gaggle of little pimples at any given time. Of course there are a ton of new scars that will take forever to heal. I'm hoping that spironolactone will again work for me and I can feel human again. It's really depressing to feel like you always have to hide.
In terms of it's effectiveness, I give spironolactone a RESOUNDING 5 stars. This stuff really really worked for me! For those of us with hormonal acne who do not want to use (or re-use) Accutane, it might be the only option- and thank god it's a good one. The only reason why I subtracted a star is because it's not a long term solution. One day I hope to become pregnant and I will have to stop using the drug. I wonder if it's worth it to use a drug as a band-aid, or if I should be investing my time in longer-term solutions that I can utilize indefinitely? Maybe it's worth it to do a second course of Accutane if it means curing my acne for good. For now, I will stick with the spiro and hope that my hormones level out on their own.
Growing up I did not have major break outs. I did suffer from awful periods which then lead me to be on birth control from 14-21 with absolutely no issues. I used othro tri lo and it was great for me. Never had breakouts, normal periods and even helped maintain my weight. I got married at 22 and right away we wanted to TTC. After a year of struggling TTC both me and my husband were tested and it was determined my husband could not have children. I have not been on birth control since, im now 29 and have again struggled with the awful periods and now get these deep down cystic acne. By no means it Is awful but I always have atleast one on my chin and cheek. I always struggle with super oily skin and scalp. I wash my hair at night and by morning im already having to use a dry shampoo. Within the past year are so my face has gotten so hairy. I literally have to use a little razor and shave my face every couple of days and have these these course black hairs that im plucking out seriously every morning. I would prefer not to go back on birthcontrol just due to the fact that my husband cant have kids and I don't want to prevent a some miracle happening (weird I know, as well as I know you should not be on spiro when pregnant). A couple of years ago I was put on minocycline and that did not work for me, took it a couple of months but stopped due to almost feeling like I was drunk, could not concentrate and had bad anxiety. Have also tried aczone but did not find that it really did anything for the cystic acne just the occasional pimple. I have been tested for thyroid issues and those have came back normal. I am going to the derm in 2 weeks and think I want to bring up spiro. I definitely feel like my issues are hormonal. Anyone with similar issues have success? I do worry about potential weight gain as I struggle with my weight as it is, 175lbs and 5'5.
Background: 25 y/o female, have had hormonal acne issues since 22. Have had terrible self-esteem issues, also because I had NEVER had a pimple before 22! Literally. So having this acne has really put a damper on my confidence. I wait until my boyfriend goes to bed to take off my make up, and wake up before he does in the morning to put on make up (INSANE), and I have cancelled plans because of my skin, spent hours in front of the mirror, cried, etc. I haven't been able to leave the house without make up for three years. So I went to the dermatologist. Dermatologist prescribed minocycline which kept things manageable (not clear) for about a year. Then the minocycline appeared to stop working. Also have tried many topicals which never worked. Acanya is the only one I still sometimes use as a spot treatment. Went back to there dermatologist and it happened to be a new doctor who took one look at where my acne was on my face and prescribed spironolactone, telling me it was basically a miracle drug for people with my kind of acne.
So- I don't know how I feel yet because it hasn't been too much time, but will update this post... I have been on spironolactone for exactly 7 weeks. I was on 50mg but about 2 and a half weeks ago I was bumped up to 100mg. I currently take 100mg every morning. I hadn't seen any improvement at all...mainly just more clogged pores than I have ever had and still had new pimples all the time, especially when old ones cleared up... So I would get my hopes up and be let down again. Side effects have been minimal, mainly just drinking a lot more water & peeing a lot. Anyway, exactly 2 weeks after the dermatologist upped my dose I had a horrible break out. I read reviews and figured I was doomed for these breakouts for months, because thats how it seems to be for those that it doesn't work for quickly. I cried over the initial breakout and thought it would never end...meanwhile only a couple days later it SEEMS to be clearing up, but of course this may jinx it. I'm hoping this was it for the initial breakout and things will be good from here. Fingers crossed!!! I have HIGH hopes for this med. It just feels like it will work for me because I KNOW I have hormonal acne.
8 weeks- face is clear!!! only one small bump. fingers crossed that this won't jinx it but I had to update for anyone out there wondering if the initial break out ever ends...my hair is getting healthy too, and my hair felt so gross for about 7 weeks being on this med at first. I'm glad that didn't stick around because it would have possibly been a deal breaker for this med. So I'm very happy with the results right now...will update with any changes... now time to clear these old scars up.
Exactly three months in...
I STILL get acne. I would still say my skin is better than it was but I was expecting more from this med. Maybe it was retin-a I was trying to use to clear up my scars. So I stopped that and seeing If my skin clears. These acne marks are also driving me crazy. they take a long time to fade...
I used to take TriNessa (norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets) for a very long time, until I realized it was giving me cystic acne during certain weeks of the month, there'd also been a week, when I felt absolutely miserable, so sad for no reason, I'd just start crying and wouldn't be able to stop. I never drew a connection betw. those symptoms and TriNessa. I went to a different obgyn, she told me, it must be because TriNessa has different level of hormones for each week of the month - so I'd experience all those crazy fluctuations all the time. She prescribed me Microgestin 1/20 tabs 21 green, which has 3 weeks worth of, so to say, the same level of hormones. The cystic acne hasn't really bothered me since, mood swings've been better, but I didn't stop breaking out every month, which is driving me crazy. I went to a dermatologist. She prescribed me Aczone 5% gel 90gm as topical and Spironolactone 100mg a day. She told me to try Spironolactone for a couple of months to see, if it works and if it doesn't, she said there were other pills she could give me. I've been taking Spironolactone 100mg for 2 months already. It doesn't seem to do anything at all!! It's very frustrating! I'm thinking, I need to go back to the dr. and try different meds. Btw, I don't feel any side effects from Spironolactone whatsoever. But it doesn't seem to do any good either. Maybe I should double my dose, I've read that u can take up to 200mg or maybe I should switch b. control again. I don't know what to do.. And the truth is, all the doctors I've ever seen don't know either!! They just offer me meds to try from their list and see how I feel. That's exactly what they say! Aczone 5% gel was $60 with my insurance and I can't say it worked wonders for me. I also tried Epiduo (adapalene and benzoyl peroxide) gel 0.1%/ 2.5% - another prescription topical. It's pretty good at drying up zits, but not the answer.
I also went to an endocrinologist and had my hormone level checked, it's totally normal! I'm 27 now
I started Spiro three months ago, prescribed by my dermatologist for androgentic alopecia. I'm 59 years of age and had been losing my hair for four years with an accelerations when I had my last period at age 56. All of my bald spots have filled in or are beginning to fill in, with very grey hair and I don't care. I began dying my hair when I was 28 when grey first appeared. I am so thankful to have signs of hair growing and the fact that it's grey is insignificant.
However, what I am nost surprised to see is that once again, I my face is once again showing its dewy side. The last time I glowed naturally this way, I was still having my menstraul cycles. My complexion is awesome and a very pleasant side affect of taking spiro.
Hello! So I've never posted before but after being on Spironolactone, I have to share my story.
I have had very mild acne since I was a teenager. Pimples on my forehead and chin and around my hairline, but nothing too horrible. To manage it, I used a Clean and Clear Blackhead clearing scrub along with Zap Zit on my hairline and had clear skin from about 17-24. When I was 24, I went on the pill (a generic brand, can't remember) and a month after using the pill my periods became really irregular for the first time in my life and I started to get deep, painful cysts on my chin and back. I'd never experienced this before and thought I wasn't using the right face wash and that my face had changed, so I tried a new face wash and nothing. I continued to to take the pill for six months and started to see inflamed, red cysts on my chin and cheek area and transitioned through MULTIPLE face washes, creams, whatever to try and get back to my normal routine but nothing worked. I was frustrated by my decision to take the pill, as I normally am someone who doesn't like to take any medicine at all, so I got off the pill, convinced it had changed my hormonal levels for the worse. Going off the pill helped a tiny bit for a few months, but the cysts persisted. I tried natural methods, like ACV and coconut oil, but the ACV just caused my skin to become inflamed. The ACV did bring the cysts to a head quicker, but it also seemed to cause them to scar. I would also ingest the ACV and that helped with gut regularity, but nothing on the skin. I had never been to the dermatologist before (never needed to) but in September 2014, 15 months after being on the pill and 9 months of being off the pill and trying natural treatments, I felt I needed to see a doctor. I explained my story to my dermatologist, one of the best dermatologists in Utah, and he said right away that it was hormonal acne. He gave me two options, Accutane or Spironolactone. The effects of Accutane lasted longer, but seemed more dangerous and invasive, so I decided to use Spironolactone. In September 2014, I started at 50 mg/day for 1 week, bumped up to 75/mg for two weeks and by the 4th week was on 100 mg/day, my daily dosage since October 2014-February 2015 (present). I'M SO GLAD I DID! The first month was a little tough, I broke out badly on my cheeks, but after 4 weeks, the cysts on my chin started to clear and by November 2014 I was completely clear, with no new cysts. It took only TWO MONTHS. I am still dealing with the scarring, but even that is fading away over time. I had some minor irregularity in my period (it was shortened by a few days), but now have a normal period every 28 days, with no spotting or bleeding in between (nothing like the irregularity of being on the pill). I also didn't deal with any headaches, thirst or fatigue and visited the bathroom a normal number of times for someone who drinks a lot of water during the day. Now I remove my makeup with Simple makeup remover wipes at night and that is IT (I use liquid Bare Minerals to cover the scarring) and I just wash my face with water in the morning. No face wash needed. I use lavender oil mixed into normal SPF face lotion to wear under my makeup during the day and then use straight avocado oil at night, nothing else. I am so happy with Spironolactone. Though I know that if I go off Spironolactone, the cysts may come back, I'm happy taking the medicine that doesn't alter my hormones in a negative way (like the pill did) and I don't have to use harsh washes on my face. As of February 2015, my routine is now fairly natural and uncomplicated, back to where it used to be. Try Spironolactone, give it time and be gentle with your skin (slowly phase out harsh washes and topicals). Like me, you'll be glad you gave it a try!
I have been on 50mg of Spiro for 9 weeks with some improvement. I have my period every 10 days and refuse to take hormonal birth control to "regulate" my cycle. I also use .05 Tretinoin to topically address the existing acne and hyperpigmentation. I do have true acne scarring as well (depressed marks).
I have not lost or gained weight or noticed a diuretic effect from the meds. The only indication that I'm taking it is my crazy irregular periods which I'm not sure how to correct. If any one has any suggestions about this other then bc (I use the copper iud) please share! Good luck everyone!
Im posting this, much less as a review and more so for answers and support. I have been on spironolactone for 3 months in total. For the first 6 weeks i was on 50mg, and since january 8th, I have been on 100mg. And continuously throughout this entire 3 months I have been breaking out worse than ever. I keep sticking it out because I kept hoping that the next month would bring clear skin, but as I hit exactly 3 months on this medicine, I am extremely depressed because three months ago I got myself through the hard times by saying "middle of february and I'll be clear" and here I am sobbing every few hours over the tragedy on my face (I had to go get 8 lesions injected today, and have had 2 more pop up in the 12 hours since). I'm just wondering if this is still a result of an IB from upping my dosage to 100mg (although that was over a month ago) and if so, is it only once I've been on this final dose for a full 3 months that I might see results? And I was also wondering if people saw gradual improvements over time, or if pimples just stopped appearing all at once at a certain point. Any tips/advice/your own stories would be so appreciated. I need some hope
I am a 20 year old woman. I had pretty decent skin in my teenage years with only a few breakouts from time to time. Starting about a year ago, I noticed that I would get one or two moderate sized cysts on my forehead every now and then. they were more stubborn and would leave hyperpigmentation scars. Then, this past August, I began to see many tiny bumps form on my chin by my jawline and on my cheeks. They were under the skin and so I didn't bother about them until slowly but surely, each tiny bump would expand into a large cyst. I wondered if this was due to stress from studying for the MCAT or schoolwork. I would lose a good amount of hair every day as well and this was frustrating to me. TMI warning: the cysts were not like typical whiteheads but rather had hard, white colored oil "chunks" inside and they would hurt when the cyst burst or when I tried to rupture them. The cyst would then disappear but only after it had burst and the strange white oil bit was gone. Meanwhile, the cysts left dark hyperpigmentation marks on my skin.
In the past, derms had put me on doxycycline mono and topical creams and washes but they did nothing for me. About a week after I started 100 mg of spiro a day, I noticed maybe 4 or 5 cyst breakouts that went away within a week and left scars. After that, I have noticed NO new formations of those tiny bumps that eventually become horrendous cysts. ZERO FORMATIONS. This is very new for me and I am extremely excited. I am now on my 4th week of spiro and after that initial breakout, I have had skin clear of breakouts. That being said, I am still left with hyperpigmentation scars for which I use Epiduo religiously and that seems to be working in lightening them up. My hair fall has reduced SIGNIFICANTLY which leads me to believe my adult acne was caused by hyperandrogenism or having too much testosterone. Apparently these hormonal imbalances can happen to young women (so unfair, isn't it?).
I would like to see myself with my teenage skin back in the next three months so I'll followup at that point but for now I am very happy. Yes, I no longer have that flowing hair and flawless skin that I used have but I think after suffering with something for months and finally getting a break like this -- I am very thankful. My self confidence has improved significantly and I am thrilled.
Side effects: I have experienced NO weight gain or weight loss. I do get dizzy but I drink lots of water to prevent that from happening. My breasts do feel tender but there has been no increase in cup size as some other users have mentioned. Finally, my menstrual cycle is absolutely normal.