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Loci

Spironolactone and Initial Breakouts

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I will save you my long sob story as it is your typical "I have had hormonal acne for 15 years and I've tried everything under the sun". I am 31 years old and I have a 9month old, but have stopped breastfeeding, so I am able to go back on prescriptions.

Topicals NEVER worked for me and neither has BCP (I was on ortho-tri-lo for several years). The only effective thing that I took for a year prior to my wedding was doxycycline. It never really "cleared" my skin as much as it "reduced" inflammation which was great as long as I had make-up on.

I have not left the house in 15 years without make-up. As with everyone's acne experiences, it has created unnecessary anxiety, tears and hopelessness. My skin is horrible right before my period and a week after. So many of my friends and family don't understand my struggle and cannot comprehend why I don't just "jump in the pool" in the summer. They think I wear too much make-up and that I have"beautiful" skin underneath the makeup. But what they don't realize is that I am a picker. I will pick a pimple and then I cover it with a ton of make-up. In fact, my dermatologist said last week "why do you want to go off of duac? Your skin looks great?" I reluctantly took off some make-up off my chin and he replied "wow, you must have been a make-up artist in a previous life". The acne was there, clear as day.

Ok, so maybe I did give you a little of my sob story. Sorry. At any rate, my derm put me on 50mg of spironolactone last week. I am starting to see MORE breakouts than I did without taking it which seems to be pretty common from what I've read. However, why am I breaking out in areas that are not hormonally related? For instance I am breaking out on my cheeks and I NEVER break out there?!?!?!? I look hideous right now and I am frustrated. PLEASE tell me that i should just stick with it? But 3 months to see change? I understand there is no such thing as instant gratification, but I just came off of 3 months of duac/differin therapy and it did nothing for my skin and in fact, I had some of the worst breakouts in my life over the past 3 months, so this is just depressing.

Please give me some hope ladies!!!!

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Hi Loci,

I had a IO too. I also got zits on my cheeks. My face looked horrible. I was a picker and I felt like my skin was more sensitive too. I think pickers suffer more with the IO since the crap in your skin has to go somewhere- I don't think it makes sense your body would "absorb" it. That makes zero sense if you think about it. When you are finally clear - it will make sense because you won't just have no zits, you will have fantastic skin!

I would get on an antibiotic to help with flare ups- I used erythromycin with my IO. Get your dosage increased as soon as your dr and side effects will allow. I am on 200mg. Most of the women on here have success with 150 or 200mg.

Something that helped me get through it- when started to see a change (although I broke out more, it was "different"), I just gave into the acne knowing it was winning the battle now, but in the end I would win the war. I stopped obsessing about how it looked, because there was nothing I could do about it.

You know what will be better about having clear skin in a few months? You get all the time back that you spend picking and covering up your acne. It is an amazing amount of time. You will need a magnifying mirror to prove that there is nothing there. As a new mother, I am sure you will appreciate all the time you get back.

Good luck and keep us updated on your progress!

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mylimage, thank you so much for your response. I will call my derm today and ask if I can be put on antibiotics along with the spiro for the first 3 months. I hope that he can just prescribe it without me having to go in.

It's just always hard to be patient because with every medication I have ever taken, everyone says "just stick to it and it will clear your skin completely". I wait and wait and wait and nothing has ever worked, even though it always miraculously works for everyone else. Trying something new is always frustrating and I always have hope that the new Rx will finally be the medication that works for me and I get disappointed every time. To top it off, when a Rx makes you break out even more in places that you never break out in, it just seems pointless. However, I am willing to stick to it, as I always have in hopes that this is FINALLY the miracle I have been waiting for.

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Of course, I just called and they need to see me before prescribing an antibiotic. I cannot get in for 2 weeks due to work and baby. I am pissed off too because I spoke to a nurse and asked her about the IO that I was experiencing with Spiro. I asked about getting an antibiotic to help with the inflammation and she snapped and said "the antibiotic would also take 3 weeks to take effect. You cannot expect the medication to work right away. If there were a cure for acne and it worked, don't you think everyone would be on it?" How completely rude.

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mylimage, I'm convinced it's impossible for your body to just 'absorb' all that crap in your skin - I swear it either turns into a zit or stays there forever.

Even some gunk from cysts I had aaaaages ago started to surface when I started spiro *shudder*

Loci: ALL ACNE is 'hormonal'.

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PinkSushi, I take it that you've been on spiro for awhile and it didn't work for you? Just curious.

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No, I've been on it 2 weeks and having an initial breakout. About 3 years ago Yasmin cleared me entirely. I meant I had those cysts ages before I started spiro, and I thought they had gone!

I'm now taking Yasmin, which has 30mg of Spiro plus an extra 50mg Spiro.

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Oh I see. But I think I read your post correctly in the sense that the spiro is bringing back those old cysts, right?

I have noticed that the breakouts I had last week, that I thought were totally cleared up, have now reappeared, but in a cyst-like state, not as a zit.

I am freakin' tired of this. I will stick to it as I always do with every other medication. I just hope I am not disappointed this time.

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It's a bit hard to describe, but the old cysts had left that clogged pore gunk under my skin and spiro caused the stuff to purge out. For example I noticed this non-inflamed white lump on the side of my nose in the exact position where I'd had a megazit back in January. I got a needle and pricked it, and squeezed, and all this white gunk just came out with hardly any pressure, then it left a scab. Sorry if that's too much info! It's totally gone now. Unfortunately I've also gotten a bunch of brand new cysts all at once since starting spiro...it's deffo an IO though.

Best of luck with spiro, :) and yep, you certainly have to stick with it. Read around the board and you'll find plenty of spiro success stories, but some people took up to 4 months to get clear.

btw I can TOTALLY relate to the foundation thing and how awful it is not to be able to just jump in the pool like everyone else. You can find my foundation sob story in the main spiro thread :boohoo:

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Thanks for all of the input PinkSushi! I will definitely read your story.

I totally understand what you're saying because the same things are happening to me. I find where I had a huge zit months ago are being "purged" now. So weird. Sounds pretty common with initial spiro use though.

I cannot WAIT for the day I can flush my makeup down the toilet and jump into a pool!!!!! Let's just hope spiro is that miracle drug!

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Looks like we started Spiro at about the same time :D My goal is to have a face clear enough so that I can get up in the morning and just walk carefree into the kitchen for breakfast without having to spend half an hour putting on my makeup and making a mad dash to the bathroom worrying someone will see me. I haven't left the house w/o makeup in close to 10 years. Don't get me wrong, I love makeup, but fun makeup like lipgloss and eyeliner and mascara not goddamn Revlon Colorstay and Dermablend concealor.

I was on ortho-tri-cyclen for 2 years in my teens, and also Diane/Dianette for 8 months, and neither of them did much for my skin. Yasmin is the only thing that's ever totally cleared me. It has the same estrogen as the others, so the important ingredient must be the spiro, which is why I'm feeling positive about it working for me. Yasmin actually sent my acne into remission for about 18 months after I'd stopped using it.

My derm had the opposite reaction to yours though, she took one look at me and said 'cystic' and 'accutane' in practically the same breath...well there goes my confidence in my makeup skills. Admittedly though, it is hard to disguise a cyst next to the bottom of your nose where the swelling goes up to your eyeball :| And there was me worrying the derm might not take my acne seriously! I was thinking that because it never looks like the usual rash of acne most people get, it's more like I have several giant cysts while the rest of my face is clear at any one time.

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pink, just reading what you wrote made me completely relate. What I would give to throw on some bronzer, mascara and lip gloss.....fun makeup. I see my cousin (who looks like my sister), do that all the time and I am so jealous of her. I would give anything to be able to do that.

The ortho-tri did nothing for me either. Minoclycline helped me keep the inflammation down which was really nice, so that is the closest to my skin looking clear, I guess. The last time I remember not wearing makeup was when I was tan in mexico on my honeymoon. It was so amazing feeling so good about myself. That lasted only a week and it was back to make-up city. I don't know why, but the second I turned 30, it seemed to get A LOT worse. I do have to say though that my face looked really good when I was pregnant, until I hit the last trimester. Don't know what was going on there.

Don't even get me started on topicals. I have literally tried them all.....not ONE of them came close to working.

I am happy to hear that Yaz worked for you and I bet it was the spiro that cleared your skin. That gives me hope. If this is truly the cure I've been waiting for, I will last three months to see what happens. Definitely keep me informed on your progress. It's good to know people who are in the same stages of starting the drug. :)

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Ugh, topicals for me is seems are mostly just a waste of time, and I've even had some downright disasterous experiences. BHA broke me out in hives! Retin A and Differin just made me flake and flake and flake and flake but didn't touch the acne. Dan's regimen cleared me -sorta. It's probably more accurate to say it kept my acne at bay rather than cleared it. BP also gave me deep wrinkles so I stopped. This lady at the makup counter even asked me what I was doing to cause my skin to age so quickly. Glycolic acid worked at first and then decided to stop... Like you I always stick things out for at least several months! Except BHA for obvious reasons :lol:

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I will save you my long sob story as it is your typical "I have had hormonal acne for 15 years and I've tried everything under the sun". I am 31 years old and I have a 9month old, but have stopped breastfeeding, so I am able to go back on prescriptions.

Topicals NEVER worked for me and neither has BCP (I was on ortho-tri-lo for several years). The only effective thing that I took for a year prior to my wedding was doxycycline. It never really "cleared" my skin as much as it "reduced" inflammation which was great as long as I had make-up on.

I have not left the house in 15 years without make-up. As with everyone's acne experiences, it has created unnecessary anxiety, tears and hopelessness. My skin is horrible right before my period and a week after. So many of my friends and family don't understand my struggle and cannot comprehend why I don't just "jump in the pool" in the summer. They think I wear too much make-up and that I have"beautiful" skin underneath the makeup. But what they don't realize is that I am a picker. I will pick a pimple and then I cover it with a ton of make-up. In fact, my dermatologist said last week "why do you want to go off of duac? Your skin looks great?" I reluctantly took off some make-up off my chin and he replied "wow, you must have been a make-up artist in a previous life". The acne was there, clear as day.

Ok, so maybe I did give you a little of my sob story. Sorry. At any rate, my derm put me on 50mg of spironolactone last week. I am starting to see MORE breakouts than I did without taking it which seems to be pretty common from what I've read. However, why am I breaking out in areas that are not hormonally related? For instance I am breaking out on my cheeks and I NEVER break out there?!?!?!? I look hideous right now and I am frustrated. PLEASE tell me that i should just stick with it? But 3 months to see change? I understand there is no such thing as instant gratification, but I just came off of 3 months of duac/differin therapy and it did nothing for my skin and in fact, I had some of the worst breakouts in my life over the past 3 months, so this is just depressing.

Please give me some hope ladies!!!!

Hang in there! I had a bad initial breakout too & I'm a picker! :( But it will get better. I finally started to see some improvement after maybe 7-8 weeks. I would say the worst was 4-6 weeks. And a breakout unlike my "normal"- lots of small bumps all over. I have been on spiro now for about 7 months, but my derm went slllloooowwww- 2mos @25, 2 @ 50, now at 75 since March. I was really clear & feeling so good, but I have broken out with my period this time, so I am feeling bummed right now. But no cysts, & if I'd quit picking I guess it would heal faster.... I use duac now- maybe you should keep it up. Good luck!

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Thanks for the encouragement mellieh! I am going to see my derm on tuesday to see if he will put me on antibiotics for the first three months as my skin adjusts to spiro. The only thing that came close to clearing my face was Rx antibiotics, so I know they will work great for me. I just hope he gives them to me.

Sounds like my doc is the same way. REALLY slow..... He is not one to just up my dose either. While I do have really bad hormonal acne, most derms I have seen in the past consider mine mild -moderate. Most of the time it's not too bad until the dreaded PERIOD! But since there are 4 weeks in a month and I end up being broken out for 3 of those weeks, it has not been a fun journey.

I hope spiro keeps working for you. From what it sounds likes, most women here take 100mg+ to notice any change. Maybe that's what you need?

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Thanks for the encouragement mellieh! I am going to see my derm on tuesday to see if he will put me on antibiotics for the first three months as my skin adjusts to spiro. The only thing that came close to clearing my face was Rx antibiotics, so I know they will work great for me. I just hope he gives them to me.

Sounds like my doc is the same way. REALLY slow..... He is not one to just up my dose either. While I do have really bad hormonal acne, most derms I have seen in the past consider mine mild -moderate. Most of the time it's not too bad until the dreaded PERIOD! But since there are 4 weeks in a month and I end up being broken out for 3 of those weeks, it has not been a fun journey.

I hope spiro keeps working for you. From what it sounds likes, most women here take 100mg+ to notice any change. Maybe that's what you need?

Yep- I was the same way. Bad before & during period, healing for a week after, so maybe 1 sort of clear week a month. I have thought about bumping my dose up to 100mg on my own, but am kind of scared to self-medicate & am not sure what that would mean for when I run out too quickly...

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Three weeks in and I am ready to quit spiro. I have never, EVER in my life had this bad of a break out. Every day I wake up thinking that it can't get much worse, but sure enough, it is MUCH worse. I know everyone says to stick to it, but I don't know anymore. I am missing my "old" face with the few breakouts that I had. I am going to the derm today so hopefully he will prescribe something to help because I don't want to give up too easily, but when it comes to my face, I am pretty impatient.

As of right now, "the cure is worse than the disease". :(

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Three weeks in and I am ready to quit spiro. I have never, EVER in my life had this bad of a break out. Every day I wake up thinking that it can't get much worse, but sure enough, it is MUCH worse. I know everyone says to stick to it, but I don't know anymore. I am missing my "old" face with the few breakouts that I had. I am going to the derm today so hopefully he will prescribe something to help because I don't want to give up too easily, but when it comes to my face, I am pretty impatient.

As of right now, "the cure is worse than the disease". :(

I'm quitting spiro as well. I've been on it for 16 months and have varied my dose from 100 to 150 to 200mg for months at a time and it always seemed that the breakout just kept coming and getting worse. I also had a horrific initial breakout that "calmed down" after 6 months. I've been slowly decreasing and am now at 50mg and my skin is now clearing up. Go figure.

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