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I have tried everything under the sun, and finally my dermatologist prescribed Spironolactone for me and my face has been clear now for 3-4 months. It took about 2 months before I started noticing a difference, but it was worth it. Additionally, I also started running 3-4 times a week and doing Crossfit 3 times a week along with cutting flour out of my diet for all meals except 2 per week. Perhaps a combo of the Spironolactone, a good exercise regime and eating better was the key, but I am so glad because I have battled skin issues for almost the entire decade of my 20s. Also, it's a good idea to increase your water intake with this drug because it is a diuretic, so I have done really well with that. The more water, the better for your skin. Lastly, I swear by washing your face morning and night with the plain orange liquid neutrogena, applying Olay Regenerist moisturizer in the morning after washing your face, and using neutrogena concealer for small cover-ups and a little bit of the neutrogena powder. Foundation is the devil. Everytime I go back to wearing foundation, I can almost always bet on breaking out. Less is more when it comes to wearing make-up AND keeping your skin clear!
I have been struggling with moderate face (mainly on my jaw line and cheek bone area), back, and chest acne since I was 14 years old. I have tried multiple topical treatments, as well as oral antibiotics for my acne. Initially, each product seemed to work great .... until it didn't anymore! My acne has been a problem on and off for the past 10 years, as I am now almost 24. A total struggle! Finally I found a provider who actually wanted to help me clear up my acne. And of course I love her, as she is a physician assistant like myself. We decided to go with Spiro, because we both felt that my acne was mainly hormonal. Initially I was on 25 mg 2x / day. I had no side effects at all. Bacne - GONE. You would never know I had an issue. Face and chest not so much. After 3 months I went for my f/u appointment and she increased me to 50mg 2x / day and we added Retin A Micro (I'm using the generic form which is just tretinoin gel). In 2 weeks I've seen MAJOR improvement in my face and chest. I currently have no active breakouts, just some left over hyper pigmentation (which I am eager to get rid of!) I only apply the Retin A at night to affected areas (if I put it all over my face it gets to dry). I also use St. Ives anti blemish exfoliating wash every night (I swear by it).
HOWEVER....ladies pay attention to what makeup you are using. Once I switched to MakeUP Forever (you can get their products at Sephora) I have also noticed a HUGE difference compared to drug store brands. It's worth the extra couple of bucks and it lasts longer! I also wash my makeup brushes every other week...and I apply foundation with CLEAN fingers only.
DRINK DRINK DRINK lots of WATER! Not only is it necessary while taking Spiro, but it is just good for your skin in general.
All in all, Spiro gets an A+++ in my book.
I'm a female and I was on Accutane 2 times, then Ortho Tri-Cyclen and then Spironolactone for my acne. I decided it was finally time to share my story. You can see pictures too. My share is a bit long, but I wanted to be comprehensive. All or nothing. I pasted it in the Acne.org blog:
3 months ago my doctor put me on a 50mg dosage.. to say the least it did not help with my acne at all it was all around my jaw line and forehead. about a month ago he bumped my dosage to 100mg a day (2 pills) and ever since then my acne got 100xs worse!! Its all over my cheeks and my neck. Does it get worse before it gets better? Should I wait it out? has this happened to anyone ? any info would be great
I experienced my first breakout at age 11, saw a dermatologist at age 12, and was prescribed spironolactone at age 15. (This was among all kinds of other topicals, and within the past couple years--I'm 19 now--a couple antibiotic courses). My original dermatologist prescribed spironolactone mainly to combat my extremely oily skin, which no doubt is a major contributing factor to my acne. It is still not "normal" oil-wise, but does not get noticeably oily after cleansing/applying makeup for 3-4ish hours now as compared to 45 min-1 hour before (yeah awful I know...my skin hates me. The oiliness almost made me more self-conscious than my moderate/sometimes severe acne).
However, my original dermatologist retired and I started seeing a new one, who told me the main reason spirono is usually prescribed is for hormonal acne. This was never a problem for me before, but since I was about 17 I began getting cysts on my chin around the time of ovulation as well as the start of my period--but the spirono takes them down in just about 2 days!!! When I have been taking spirono religiously (i.e. not missing a pill for a couple months) I might get 1-2 cysts a month if that--which I can deal with. However, if I forget to take it for 2-3 days, sure enough its a guarantee that I will get a cyst or two within the next few days.
The only side effects I have ever experienced have been occasional dizziness or light headedness when I stand too quickly. Since I have been taking spirono for so long, I do not remember if there was an initial breakout or not. Because it is potassium sparing and has other potential side effects, you should get blood work done once a year if you are taking it long term. I have never had any problems, although my derm recommends that I avoid eating like multiple bananas in one day--too much potassium on this drug is no good. If you are experiencing more than mild and occasional side effects/are afraid to start spirono due to potential side effects, just make sure you are on the proper dosage for your weight, as it is important to find the balance between effectiveness and how much of the drug your body can tolerate. I am 5'6'' and 120 lbs and take 50mg a day.
Bottom line--if you have hormonal acne or very oily skin--try spironolactone!!!!! When used correctly, it is super effective and should have very little side effects.
Ok so I have had acne since I was a teenager. I'm 23 now so it's been a long time. I went on birth control during high school which managed the problem for a while. When I was in college I went off birth control for about a year, and then started getting horrible cystic acne. They were large, painful cysts which usually came 3 at a time. For a while birth control and antibiotics did the trick. After switching birth control and going off antibiotics, the cystic acne came back. Going back on antibiotics didn't work this time, so I asked my dermatologist about Spiro.
Accutane has always been my last possible result so I wanted to try this first. This site was what motivated me to try Spiro and I will say that it has definitely worked for me! Like everyone has said, this med takes time to settle in so don't be discouraged if it hasn't been a miracle after 2 weeks. I'm on my 3rd/4th month and I've started to see big big results. I changed my dosage about 3 weeks ago which has helped too (I'm on 75mg vs 50) so that may be what some people need to do. My breakouts haven't disappeared (I'm superstitious so I feel if I rave about this I'll get some horrific breakout) but they are minor if they happen and are basically pimples rather than giant cysts.
Originally I was wary about trying this because of side effects but here's the deal---side effects may happen, they may not and they are different for everyone. If it doesn't work for you, stop taking it. My side effects were muscle aches and lack of appetite during the first few weeks. The muscle aches went away (keep exercising, this really helps) and I really have no complaints about the appetite part, I lost some weight which is always a perk. Some people on here have said they had hair loss, weird menstrual cycles, weight gain. Again, this is possible, but if you are really looking for a solution, Spiro is worth a try.
I've been on 50mg (25 in morning/evening) for about three weeks now. I am 22, and I went on accutane five years ago. My skin stayed clear up to this past March, in which I started experiencing bad cysts all along my neck/jawline/upper cheeks. This was new to me. I think it started because of a generic form of birth control I started (and a stressful time in my life), and I stopped taking the birth control immediately after the first month (acne only got worse). I am a healthy eater, and I exercise as regularly as I can. Due to my face condition, I rarely want to be seen in public however.
My dermatologist recommended spironolactone before trying accutane again. I am also using tazorac. To my horror, now along with my painful cysts, I am noticing tiny pimples forming on my chin and around my mouth and forehead/temple. My blackeheads on my nose are also worse. Is this normal? I would have thought my initial breakout would have ended coming up on the third week? Should I quit and start accutane?
I am so horrified and humiliated. I do not want to show my face in public. I don't know what to do, or if I should stay on this medication and try to be patient (even though it is worse than ever now). Please any advice would be helpful. I'm not sure if this is right for me...
And that doesn't make accutane better. Accutane is scary.
There is an initial breakout and perhaps spotting between periods. This stabilizes. It took a full six months before I saw the results I expected. Skin is doing great, no complaints. Only side effect now is a change in appetite. I used to crave very sweet foods and now prefer savory, brinish food.
I'm 26 years old and I began taking Spiro two weeks ago for hormonal acne that was annoying, but not horrible. I had very bad acne as a preteen and did one round of accurate and haven't had many issues since. Since being on Spiro, my chin is badly broken out! Like, very bad! I am feeling very distraught and unsure if I want to continue at this time. My boyfriend lives out of country and I haven't seen him in months! He will arrive here in 10 days. I don't want to be gross when he arrives and while we spend a month in Central America together. Any suggestions? Should I hold off on taking Spiro until I get back, or keep going? How long did it take for your "breakout period" to be over and done with? Please help!
Unfortunately this just didn't get rid of my painful cystic jawline bumps I was hoping for. I had to stop taking this after 2.5 months as it caused horrible cramping and threw my entire menstrual cycle off schedule (almost a month straight spot bleeding!).