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Ack, I need help PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!! Any comments from as many people as possible who have spiro experience would be immensely appreciated!

I hope I didn't make a mistake here. Finally by the age of 33 my skin was doing okay, not certainly not clear, but just a few bumps here and there. But I want "clear" skin, and I HATE the tons of hair on my entire face and having to pluck dark and/or coarse hairs out of my chin constantly, and now even out of my jawline and sometimes even up as high as my cheekbone area. So I thought I'd give spironolactone a go.

I've been on it since Feb 8th, started at 50mg and now have been on 100mg since March 10th. My skin didn't get better or worse for the first few weeks. Then I slowly started breaking out a little more, I assume because of spiro and the fact that since Feb 11th I've been on 1500mg of tetracycline for Lyme Disease. I could deal with the break outs though, because they were not inflamed pimples and I could cover them with makeup fairly easily.

This week I am pre-menstrual, and though I normally might get a bump or two on my chin before my period, suddenly I have a lot more little bumps on my face around my chin and mouth, and while the bumps are not inflamed the skin around them is looking red, making the whole area look much worse. Not only that, I feel like the hair on my face is growing back faster or maybe there's more of it and I am plucking and trimming but the next day I'm doing it again and it's back just as long and coarse.

two important questions:I know it takes longer for spiro to work for excess hair, but just as there is an initial break out is there an initial hair growth period too?

Or has anyone ever taken spiro and it turns out they're not really androgen sensitive and spiro actually caused acne and hair growth instead of helping it? Is that possible? (My hormone levels are normal so my doc said I could be androgen sensitive, but there's no real way to know that for sure.)

I plan on giving spiro at least 3 months, and probably 6, but I just hope this is the kind of thing that most people on spiro experience in the first 2 or 3 months and if I wait it out another few months I'll start to see the amazing results other people have seen (just in time for summer, woohoo!)

I thought with spiro it would either work or not work, but I never considered the chance it might actually make things worse. Has anyone experienced that, or know of anyone who has? I just know I've had acne, sometimes very, very severe, since age 11 and it took 2 courses of accutane just to get me to a point where I didn't hate looking in the mirror, but I never got 100% clear, and nothing topical has ever worked on its own. antibiotics worked okay but once I stopped them the acne came back full force. BCPs cleared my skin the best, so I figure the acne has got to be hormonal. I hate being on the pill due to other side effects, but since I'm on tetra and spiro, my gyn has said it's not medically responsible of her to not "encourage me" to get back on some form of birth control, so I chose Yaz and will be starting after my next period--hopefully that won't lead to another "initial" breakout).

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I think it's really strange that a doc would prescribe Spiro for someone with very mild acne, before trying every other option first -- antibiotics, retinoid, etc. And usually docs start you off very low -- 25mg -- and only increase by 25mg at a time, every 2-3 months. Curious.

I've never heard anyone say Spiro made their acne worse, just that it didn't help. Hopefully it's just an IB, bringing junk up that was going to come up eventually anyway. I'm glad you plan to give it time, hang in there!

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two important questions:I know it takes longer for spiro to work for excess hair, but just as there is an initial break out is there an initial hair growth period too?

Before I started Spiro (almost the same time you started) I had actually lost some hair on my head (where I want it!) and gained some hair on my face (where I DEFINITELY don't want it!) because of PCOS, which is the cause of my hormone issues. Since I've started Spiro, I haven't noticed any more facial hair (just a little bit, which is normal), and I think the hair that had been thinning at my temples and where my hair parts is starting to fill out again (whew!).

My acne did get worse at first, but I'm pretty sure it's getting better now. I'm getting very few new cysts.

I don't see how you'd be getting more hair on your face if the drug is working properly. I think it should at least be getting thinner. It makes no sense to me, but then, I'm not a doctor. But if your hormone levels were normal to begin with, and you are getting this weird reaction, I would worry that maybe the Spiro is having some reverse effect on you. I think you should call your doctor... I'm not sure if Spiro can permanently mess up your hormones, but I wouldn't want to take the chance given the results you've had.

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Thanks Merf! Oh, believe me, every other option available for acne has been exhausted by me in the past. I've got 22 years of treatment attempts under my belt, unfortunately. I started with retin-a way back in the 80s almost immediately after it was first approved for acne. Since then I've done (in no particular order) tetracycline, minocyline, erythromicin, doxycline, benzaclin, clyndamicin, Proactiv, Oxy, Neutrogena, Clean & Clear, and all the drug store stuff, dairy-free diet, gluten-free diet, supplement regimens, drinking twice my weight in water daily (2 oz of water for every pound--lost a bunch of weight but still broke out), Differin, other prescription creams, BCPs, and then two courses of Accutane in the late 90s/early 2000 that, while it changed my life in terms of eliminating those breakouts that cover the whole face and are sometimes painful, it did not clear up my skin completely and a few years after the last course the oil came back as much as it was before.

I break out mostly during PMS, mostly around my chin and jawline and mouth, and I have always had a HUGE, embarrassing amount of vellus (the soft light colored hair) all over my entire face (that I have to trim with one of those Simple Touch trimmers almost daily because it's so much and so long) and clusters of black hairs that grow on my chin and jawline, etc. Even my upper lip hair, while darker than the rest, is not as coarse and black as the ones that pop up on the chin--and lately in other areas too, like one smack in the middle of my cheek recently.)

So since I'm still breaking out somewhat in my 30s and am also very concerned about facial hair and the problem seems very much to be hormone-related, the thinking was that maybe spiro was what I needed all along and will be the treatment that actually "clears" my acne instead of just making it better.

I've never tried an acne treatment that actually caused more acne, even the ones that didn't really work well for me just didn't clear me up but they never made it worse, so I hope it's just my body's response to spiro causing an initial upheaval that will eventually clear up and at least my skin will get back to normal, if not get even better. But I'd really, really love to hear others' thoughts on whether spiro can mess up your skin if you take it when you're not really androgen sensitive?

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Thanks Merf! Oh, believe me, every other option available for acne has been exhausted by me in the past. I've got 22 years of treatment attempts under my belt, unfortunately. I started with retin-a way back in the 80s almost immediately after it was first approved for acne. Since then I've done (in no particular order) tetracycline, minocyline, erythromicin, doxycline, benzaclin, clyndamicin, Proactiv, Oxy, Neutrogena, Clean & Clear, and all the drug store stuff, dairy-free diet, gluten-free diet, supplement regimens, drinking twice my weight in water daily (2 oz of water for every pound--lost a bunch of weight but still broke out), Differin, other prescription creams, BCPs, and then two courses of Accutane in the late 90s/early 2000 that, while it changed my life in terms of eliminating those breakouts that cover the whole face and are sometimes painful, it did not clear up my skin completely and a few years after the last course the oil came back as much as it was before.

I break out mostly during PMS, mostly around my chin and jawline and mouth, and I have always had a HUGE, embarrassing amount of vellus (the soft light colored hair) all over my entire face (that I have to trim with one of those Simple Touch trimmers almost daily because it's so much and so long) and clusters of black hairs that grow on my chin and jawline, etc. Even my upper lip hair, while darker than the rest, is not as coarse and black as the ones that pop up on the chin--and lately in other areas too, like one smack in the middle of my cheek recently.)

So since I'm still breaking out somewhat in my 30s and am also very concerned about facial hair and the problem seems very much to be hormone-related, the thinking was that maybe spiro was what I needed all along and will be the treatment that actually "clears" my acne instead of just making it better.

I've never tried an acne treatment that actually caused more acne, even the ones that didn't really work well for me just didn't clear me up but they never made it worse, so I hope it's just my body's response to spiro causing an initial upheaval that will eventually clear up and at least my skin will get back to normal, if not get even better. But I'd really, really love to hear others' thoughts on whether spiro can mess up your skin if you take it when you're not really androgen sensitive?

I'm in the exact same boat, except for the dark hairs. If my current regimen doesn't do the trick, Spiro is my next hope. I hope you get the answer you need about the hair growth.

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geekygal, we must have been posting at the same time because I didn't see your response. Thanks for sharing--I really hope it's not some reverse reaction but I will have to talk to my doc and see what he thinks. have to go back all the time to get my potassium tested, so I'll be able to show him what's going on periodically.

Merf, it's nice to know there are others dealing with what I'm dealing with and who will share their experiences. Good luck with your current regimen!

Maybe I'm just thinking I see more hair because I'm looking harder now that I actually have something that might help it. I'm only a month and a half in, so I'm definitely going to give it at least another two months before I give up, but here's to hoping I don't end up starting the summer with a face full of stubble and acne, lol...

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I have been on spiro since Dec & I haven't noticed any change in hair, but I had a bad breakout around the 6 week mark, with lots of little zits, which was very different from a normal breakout for me. I had almost a rash-like breakout on my face & back. But it cleared, and I am still seeing positive changes. Good luck!

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That's what is happening to me, a lot of little zits. Tomorrow will be exactly 7 weeks since I started the spiro, so maybe what happened to you is happening to me. About when did you start to see it clearing?

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Hello! I've been on spiro since Nov 5th; 50mg twice a day from day one. I did not have an initial breakout or any worsening but I was also taking antibiotics for the first 3 months. Every week my skin continues to improve. My skin is less oily, pores are smaller, my last breakout was about 4 weeks ago..a week before my period I got two small inflamed cysts. They were unusually small and not very red or painful and cleared up in a few days. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for this month. Except for PIH marks, my skin is clear and really smooth since I'm also on retin-a. I think now that your on a good dosage, you'll see results at a faster rate. Not to discount the time you've been on spiro already, but really for hirsutism, even 100mg a day is probably not high enough. For acne, it's a good starting point. I hope you will give the new dose at least a 3-4 month try. Also, I saw you mentioned that you have some dark facial hairs and was wondering if you've considered laser hair removal or if you are a candidate for it. I've had some treatments on my face; so far it's greatly reduced the amt of hair after 4 treatments. Anyway, I just wanted to say that I don't think you'll regret sticking with the spiro. :D

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it's been six months and i'm still breaking out. a lot less though.

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That's what is happening to me, a lot of little zits. Tomorrow will be exactly 7 weeks since I started the spiro, so maybe what happened to you is happening to me. About when did you start to see it clearing?

It took maybe 2 weeks- it sucked, but it got better!

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KCR-

i am experiencing the same kind of breakout as you are :wall: ...lots of red bumps all over my forehead, and even some potential ones popping up on my cheeks. My acne was mild/moderate before trying spiro two weeks ago and now i look absolutely terrible. i don't know what to do-- i feel like the majority of posters have not experienced bad initial breakouts. I am going to try and stick this out for 4 mos. to see what happens. I hope you do too. Like you, i've tried nearly everything under the sun to stop this plague and spiro was a last-ditch effort to try and gain some consistent control. The only upside so far is that I have experienced a little less oil production. Please oh please let this be just an initial purging of all the junk that was stuck underneath!!!

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Greenmountaingirl, yesterday I was going to post a reply of encouragement to you to say how I had cleared up a lot, seemingly overnight, but I got sidetracked and never got back to the boards.

This morning I'm broken out again! So who knows--it seems like I'm going back and forth, breaking out with these little bumps that go away fairly quickly, but then getting more just when it looks like I'm going to start to see improvement.

I also noticed this past weekend that my stomach was unbelievably flat--no joke, flatter than it has ever been even when I was working out regularly and in great shape. But now just three days later I've got a little belly bump again. Maybe my hormones are just going a bit crazy trying to get used to this stuff! (Argh, and I'm starting Yaz this coming Sunday, so hopefully that will not result in yet another flare up!) I'm still sticking with it though, and I'm still really hopeful that this will be the thing that finally works for me.

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KCR-

I'm sorry to hear you're still experiencing breakouts-- for your sake and mine. Hopefully it just takes a while for hormones to balance themselves out. I will wait it out as well. I was just at my OB-GYN this morning to try and switch to Yasmin but she said that because of this breakout i've had since starting Spiro two weeks ago(prescribed by my derm) I should probably wait to see if Spiro is the right thing for me. I guess it makes sense...not need to add more spiro if it's just going to make me break out more. Also don't want to change too many things at once...so I can know what's causing what....

I had some Benzaclin leftover from a while ago-- I've started using that at night and spot treat with salicylic acid in the morning under makeup. argh....i wish life were easier.....i am such a different person when my face is all broken out like this!

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I have been on spiro a year in May. I started on 50 then 100 then 150. I take it all at night.

I had an initial outbreak or worsening of my skin about a month after I started. In fact, it was bad enough that I called my derm and got a script for erythromycin. That seemed to calm things down while we waited to see if the spiro would work. I went off of the the eryth in November (I tapered down) after my skin was almost completely clear.

In Jan I was getting an occaisional pimple, and I started taking 200 without talking to my doc about it. I get ZERO pimples now. I am going to go back to 150 now and see if it stays that way.

If your pimples seem different than before, than the spiro is doing its job. I still had cysts the first 2 months, but I also had these small red painful pimples. Looking back, it was obvious my skin was purging itself. I don't think our bodies absorb old pimples and clogged pores- it would make much more sense for the body to purge them. In fact, the only scars I have on my face are from large cysts that I let stay around too long. I always went after them with a sterile needle and they healed much faster and with less pain.

Spiro is a miracle drug.

Cherie

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3.5 weeks in and my skin is a minefield! total disaster-- especially on my forehead---what seems like thousands of tiny bumps and a big cyst on my cheek. please start working spiro! now! i don't know how much more of this i can take! :cry:

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3.5 weeks in and my skin is a minefield! total disaster-- especially on my forehead---what seems like thousands of tiny bumps and a big cyst on my cheek. please start working spiro! now! i don't know how much more of this i can take! :cry:

If your not currently on antibotics in conjunction with the Sprio - I highly recommend you do so, even if your also on Yasmin. My daugther suffered a pretty bad IB when starting Sprio in Sept. (she was on and still takes Ortho Tri Cyclen). Derm put her on Bactrim and within a couple of months she was all clear . She is now dosing down from the Bactrim and her face has never looked beter. The antiboitics will help get you over the "hump" so to speak until the Sprio can fully kick in.

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hi all-

just a quick update. i talked to the derm this morning and she prescribed me minocyclin. i have been on this before when i was younger. but am hoping that in combo with the spiro it will work to help get me through this tough break-out that I am having. I go back to see the Derm in a month. Fingers crossed that it does SOMETHING positive over the next few weeks. :pray: The doctor said that it can't hurt (unless I am allergic to it, which I am almost positive I am not) and may help rid my body of the bacteria while spiro takes time to regulate the hormones. for once i hope my derm's predictions come true...I feel relieved I have at least a little more hope that things will clear up soon~

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hi all-

just a quick update. i talked to the derm this morning and she prescribed me minocyclin. i have been on this before when i was younger. but am hoping that in combo with the spiro it will work to help get me through this tough break-out that I am having. I go back to see the Derm in a month. Fingers crossed that it does SOMETHING positive over the next few weeks. :pray: The doctor said that it can't hurt (unless I am allergic to it, which I am almost positive I am not) and may help rid my body of the bacteria while spiro takes time to regulate the hormones. for once i hope my derm's predictions come true...I feel relieved I have at least a little more hope that things will clear up soon~

I hope you're seeing some improvement! My IB lasted several weeks, but it cleared up pretty fast & my skin has improved since then. Although I am recovering from a bad break out right now. :(

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I never asked my derm for antibiotics because I got dxd with Lyme Disease two days after starting spiro, and the Lyme treatment is 1500mg of tetracycline a day. I've been on spiro and tetracycline for the exact same amount of time, with the spiro going up from 50 to 100mg, and just started Yaz about 2 weeks ago, so now I guess it's 125mg of spiro. I never had one big instance of a bad initial breakout, but it's been 2 1/2 months now and I'm still breaking out worse now than I did before I started all this.

I wonder if the increasing of the dosage and now the adding of Yaz have just kept me in a constant cycle of breaking out that will ease once I stop adding anything to the mix--any thoughts on that?

I expect to be increased to 150mg of spiro at the end of this month (my next visit), provided my potassium test comes out okay (which I'm sure it will), so I'll be at 175mg total with the Yaz. Hopefully after that we'll stay put for a while and my skin will be able to adjust and start to see some improvement!

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So I have now been on Spiro for one month and one week and the minocycline for two weeks. Just thought I would update. Some days my skin looks like it is really clearing up and then I will break out again. This is extremely frustrating. Just when I thought I was over the initial breakout from the spiro with help from the antibiotic my bumps came back. My skin just looks dirty....I don't know what's going on. Lots of bumps all over my forehead and some bigger ones still on my cheeks. No one pimple seems to be sticking around for very long though, which I guess is nice. I am also concerned about a return of some melasma I noticed appearing last summer. Melasma is a darkening of some patches of the skin caused by excess estrogen from birth control or hormones. I wonder if the spiro is contributing to this? I have actually found a lot of people online citing a connection between minocycline and melasma--which makes me want to stop the mino. Ugh. why do i have to worry about all this nonsense? Still hoping that in another month the spiro will start working some magic. Derm appointment in two weeks-- will let you know how that goes.

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So I have now been on Spiro for one month and one week and the minocycline for two weeks. Just thought I would update. Some days my skin looks like it is really clearing up and then I will break out again. This is extremely frustrating. Just when I thought I was over the initial breakout from the spiro with help from the antibiotic my bumps came back. My skin just looks dirty....I don't know what's going on. Lots of bumps all over my forehead and some bigger ones still on my cheeks. No one pimple seems to be sticking around for very long though, which I guess is nice. I am also concerned about a return of some melasma I noticed appearing last summer. Melasma is a darkening of some patches of the skin caused by excess estrogen from birth control or hormones. I wonder if the spiro is contributing to this? I have actually found a lot of people online citing a connection between minocycline and melasma--which makes me want to stop the mino. Ugh. why do i have to worry about all this nonsense? Still hoping that in another month the spiro will start working some magic. Derm appointment in two weeks-- will let you know how that goes.

I had a major breakout just like you've described at about the same time- maybe 6 wks in. I had small bumps all over my face, chest, & back. I wanted to hide! But it cleared & I have seen improvements since then. Hang in there!

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thanks for the support mellieh! I am going to try and stick with it...though I am really kind of starting to lose hope. but i know it's this or accutane again. and accutane is no miracle-worker for me (crystal clear but always break-out again). just tough because I have relatively new boyfriend (who started dating me when i was on accutane and hasn't seen my terrible skin until recently) and graduations coming up. oh well. guess i need to keep my chin up and stop caring SO much. Spiro is REALLY taking it's sweet time to start working though and I am getting frustrated. It's really reassuring to know you went through the same thing though, thanks again.

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Okay, today is my 3 month spiro anniversary and my chin is a MESS! My skin looked okay when I started, just a few tiny, tiny bumps that went away within a few days. Now my chin is covered in bumps, and white heads pop up every so often (like today. A huge one formed overnight!) I started at 50mg for a month, then 100mg for a month, and now I've been on 125mg for one month and will stay at this dose because my derm thinks I shouldn't go higher.

I know my skin has been getting used to the dose increases, etc, but if I'm three months in and breaking out worse than I was BEFORE I started spiro, do you think maybe spiro isn't right for me? Maybe I'm just going to have acne forever. At 33 I've tried it all and some things work "okay" but I hoped spiro would give me clear skin, no breakouts at all.

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