Jump to content
Search In
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Recommended Posts

Hi peeps,

I started Spironolactone today on a dose of 25mg per day. It is not a lot but my GP recommended to try a small dose to see if the medication agrees with me, and then work it up to a higher dose. Ideally, I would like to be on 50-75mg depending on how it works for me then use lower maintanance doses once the acne and sebum has settled down. I am aware some people may require 100mg or even more, so will keep that in mind.

I don't like the idea of being on tablets for anything, but I am tired of my oily skin which has come back after my long low dose course of isotretinoin, so I hope spiro can decrease my sebum excretion. I hate the oiliness of my skin and hair. The insides of my ears also get oily it's truely gross lol.

I have already been using Isotrex gel on my face since 13/05/2013, so it's been about 5 weeks now. It's been ok, I think I'm still in the peeling and purging stage though as my skin was becoming smoother in the first two weeks then suddenly it's like just peeling everyday. Not really badly, but when I touch my cheeks especially, I can feel almost like facial dandruff type flakes rubbing off onto my fingers lol. It is calming and stopping any major inflamed acne from sprouting though, so I know it is helping to a degree.

I don't expect to see any major improvement until another few weeks yet as topical retinoids tend to show improvements after months of use. I hope after adding the spiro, I can lower the oiliness so that will add to the improvement of my skin and aid the isotrex in doing it's job aswell.

The spiro should lower oil which in turn will lower the acne causing bacteria which feeds on sebum, and the isotrex will continue to increase cell turnover and loosen blackheads so they come out easily and overtime comedones should stop forming = clearer skin :)

I am going to be realistic and try not to expect too much in this first month especially, but I look forward to writing about my improvement in the coming weeks and months. I can't wait for my skin to feel smoother. Hope anyone reading it and following it will find the info insightful and helpful as well.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good luck. I see that you are in the UK? There are many people on here from the UK who cannot get spironolactone prescribed and are desperate. I'm sure they would love to know how you got it prescribed in your country :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi green gables,

I'm not surprised many doctors arn't aware of spiro being used off label for acne. By chance, when I was sent to the dermatologist after years of trying creams and antibiotics from my GP, it was the main dermatologist who told me about it being used to deal with acne and hirsuitism. When I asked other members of his team like the nurses and other lower specialising doctors, they were completely oblivious to spiro being used. This was probably way back in June 2009, when I was determined to ger roaccutane for myself. My acne was so severe I just wanted the strongest treatment available, but I kept the spiro in mind if needed in the future. And here I am.

I went back to my GP and asked him for this, and luckily he said he had heard it can help acne as it lowers testoterone in the body. He said he has never prescribed it for acne though so can't comment on how well it will work for me, but I think it's worth a try?

I am on Day 3 of spiro now, and yet nothing new to report. Skin is still oily. I wonder how long and if it will get rid of my oily skin atleast to a point where my make up doesn't slide off by 12pm. It's really warm in the UK right now as well and it's making my skin even more greasy in this weather. Fingers crossed it starts showing signs of helping soon. The isotrex is still making my skin all peely and red. I do slather on quite a lot before bed though so will try to use less tonight just to minimise irritation. No major big red cysts or inflammed spots though. I tend to have sooo many comedones,blackheads and blocked pores. This combo beeter work!


Link to post
Share on other sites


1 Week of Spironolactone 25mg

6 Weeks of Isotrex Gel


It's been about a week now so I thought I'd better update. I took the 25mg for the last week and it was fine but I have had to stop it as I found out I can't mix it with another tablet I am on. Fortunately, I finish those in about a week so I will definitely be back on the Spiro again. So far I found it fine, no bad side effects apart from a slight diruetic effect which I guess is pretty normal as it's a water pill.

But yeah, nothing unusual to report, Skin is still still crap, not better or worse but I did break out on my cheeks a little. On a positive note, I did feel after 4 days my skin was slighty less oily. I hope I wasn't imagining it because it was quite exciting lol. It was like my skin was still oily, but more on the 'normal' side of oily rather than grossely oily. Also, I only had to touch up my powder once in the day instead of like every 2-3 hours.

I am on still using my Isotrex gel too, so that helped the new spots on my cheeks not get too inflamed and start to clear up. I am on week 6 of Isotrex now, it feels like ages. I thought I would see a marked improvement at this stage but it hasn't happened yet. On the leaflet it says to wait about 6-8 weeks to see an improvement, but I think it will take longer for me. When I do get spots like the new ones on my cheek this week, the gel just drys it up then it eventually they peel off, but I am still getting new breakouts and clogged pores. Loads of them.

I haven't had much negatives from Isotrex either, at the moment my face seems to be a bit red and flaky in places like my cheeks. It looks worse when I go out because it's so hot and sunny. It's probably my skin getting sensitive and looking sunburnt. It doesn't feel very smooth yet either. Just flaky, dry and peely then add greasy on top of that as the oil builds up during the day. Also the sun seems to darken my PIH marks which pisses me off as they months to fade as it is, then with the sun they darken up in one day again. I just hope this treatment phase doesn't last tooo long. Thank god for make up.

I feel really crap about my skin at times. I look at other people who don't have skin problems and wish I had skin like theirs. It's such a hassle. Treatments take so long to work as well. It's not fair. I just pray to god he will help me soon. Also, other people who don't have skin problems just don't understand why we get so down about acne. I hate having to explain that it dents my confidence and I just want normal skin to feel 'normal' again. Is that really so much to ask for.

Anyway, I will try and stay positve.

Cheerio x


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello acne homies/ fellow comrades lol,

It's been a week since I started on Spiro again and I'm still being faithful to Isotrex, so it's time to update once again.


1 Week of Spironolactone 25/50mg

8 Weeks of Isotrex Gel

Hey, well I have seen some slight improvement to tell you guys about. My skin is still oily but it's definitely less. I noticed on 25mg spiro it was just about noticable but for a couple of days during this week I took two tablets (50mg) it became even drier (forehead was not as shiny, make up lasted longer etc.) and this was noticable in the space of two days. However, I could feel my body is just not used to the drug and I was feeling more tired and weak than usual so I went back to 25mg. Now my skins gone slighty oilier again but I do hope to get on 50mg eventually.

I've felt very tired and thirsty most of the week. I had no sleep the other night and felt soo much fatigue during the next day. I was even sweating at any first bit of physical exertion, so I just went to bed and slept like a baby. Needless to say I felt much better the next day, but I've learned I need to listen to my body now and drink more water while on this thing. I had my period this week as well and it was not affected by the spiro.

I am very petite, skinny and small basically so when I go any tablets usually a smaller dose is enough for me. It's like I just can't handle most tablets. I am allergic to some antibiotics even, so that's why I'm being quite cautious about introducing this drug to my system very slowly. I'm so glad I've got through a week and not broke out in hives or a swollen eyelid as it's a good sign for me! I think once I get to 50mg it will really start to help for me.

As far as an initial breakout I wouldn't say I've had one (yet?) but I did get a small cystic spot on the side of my face by my ear. I haven't had one of them for years so I was a bit shocked but it's just flattened by itself and going away now. I was looking at my skin today in sunlight, something which I hateee doing but I saw I have blackheads inside my ears. It's so gross. Yes they are still oily.

I have still being using the isotrex for about 2 months now and my forehead is definitely better due to that. My forehead is pretty much clear, there are not any more larger closed comedones or skin coloured bumps anymore :) but just the plugs of dried sebum or keratin which I can feel and push out sometimes. I'm just trying to leave it alone now though because it's just making it look irritated when it's clear. It's smoother and skin looks more even toned. I'm so going to keep up with the isotrex too.

I think people don't realise the importance of a retinoid which can take months for improvements to show up. I always feel slightly disheartened when I read other people post about using retin a or another topical retinoid for only 11 weeks and feel this confirms that it's not working for them. I know you have to wait ages and it's so easy to feel it isn't working but research says it takes up to a year to really clear your skin at a rate of 10% improvement a month. On top of that be realistic about your current severity of acne. If it's severe then you can't expect to be clear in 3 months. Yes, it can happen but honestly it doesn't work like that for many. However, there's no reason to be upset or give up on it because it still will work for you!

My skin is far from perfect but I do have faith in the science of how it works and I have put some scientific research from clinical studies in a previous blog. The bottom line is topical retinoids do work but you have to give it atleast 6 months before you see some improvements. You still might not be clear at this point but if you want not just clear skin, but skin that is smoother, less prone to keratinization and doesn't clog up your pores easily then retinoids are the way to go.

Ok, well that's it from me. I hope this info will help anyone and I carry on in my clear skin journey. Keep the faith and don't give up.

Till next time take care


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 10: 25mg Spironolactone

Week 8: Isotrex

I wanted to note something I've noticed in the last couple of days. I'm breaking out quite abit on my cheeks, but they are small red pimples rather than cysts. What really surprised me is that I have all of a sudden got really smooth skin not just on my face but all over my body. I am loving rubbing my hands all over my arms lol. It's really soft and smooth. I literally just noticed it yesterday and was quite surprised as I didn't think the spiro would kick in so fast. I'm defo feeling more thirsty aswell so I've been drinking more water which helps. I've noticed less oil today aswell but I will update later in the week to see if there is any difference in oil at the end of week 2. x

Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 12: 37mg Spironolactone

I wanted to note today I took one and a half pill. I'm still trying to up my dose from 25mg to 50mg. Last time I tried it my body was not very happy, so from today I've started one and a half pill. Altogether, it should make about 37mg (25 + 12.5). Still not 50mg, but better than 25mg. I feel I am getting used to the spiro now. I do pee a bit more than usual in the first few hours of taking spiro but that has never bothered me. I was more bothered by the fatigue and tiredness I was feeling but even that seems to be subsiding, or maybe I'm just getting used to it. It definitely has made me take more care of myself like in terms of drinking more water throughout the day and not overworking myself.

I find I can't get as angry as I used to. I'm much more relaxed. Towards the end of the day I do feel very tired and just want to go to bed, but even throughout the day little things which used to bug me and I would get wound up over just don't make me mad anymore. Like I still feel irritated but it's like my body just doesn't get agitated anymore. Before I have been fairly aggressive and confrontational in the past, but now if I'm in the middle of an argument, I just don't feel like I can shout or scream to get my point across lol. I just feel, I'm not actually bothered and I just feel calm physically so I just walk away. In a way, I do feel it's more relaxing so it's good. But, I do wonder if anyone else is had a similar effect? Is it a side effect? My blood just never boils anymore!

Oiliness is still ever so slightly getting less. I would say my skin is now more combination as I'm only oily on my t-zone now rather than everywhere. My cheeks feel fairly drier, and that was only on 25mg. However, my hair and ears are still as oily as ever. In terms of acne, there is no improvement yet as I still break out, but I guess I already told myself not to expect much in the first month. I'm going to remain positive. Atleast my shiny face is going. ^_^

Link to post
Share on other sites


2 Weeks of Spironolactone 25/50mg

9 Weeks of Isotrex Gel

Hey guys, not much to update so far. Acne is slightly worse. I have so many closed comedones and red pimples in random places all over my cheeks to the side of my face. My chin doesn't look great either. Even my forehead had broken out in small comedones. I wonder if it's the spiro making it worse or it's just my skin running its course. The main things i've noticed is slight sebum reduction. My skin is combination rather than oily or dry. I would like a bit more dryness though as I still feel oily at the end of the day. I really do NOT like it. Good news is I do feel more used to this medication now and it is not bothering me much now.

Link to post
Share on other sites


3 Weeks of Spironolactone 37/50mg

10 Weeks of Isotrex Gel

Hey well there are some changes. I have finally moved up to 50mg now. I've been feeling used to this medication and not as drowsy or fatigued like when I first started to take it. My forehead cleared up pretty well this week. I threaded and bleached my eyebrows yesterday including the area above my eyebrow, so I've ended up with a few comedones again due to the irritation. I'd say my acne is not getting any worse anymore.

The pills make me sweat more than usual so now the heatwave in the UK is going away for a couple of days I'm glad I'm not a sweaty betty today.

My cheeks look pretty bad and irritated, but I think this may be due to over applying the Isotrex too much at night, so I've cut down the amount and probably use even less than the recommended pea size for my whole face and it seems to have finally calmed down. It went from being flaky and irritated earlier this week to calm and smoother now. I got loads of red marks now on my face, but no actual active pimples so it feels ok.

I think both topical and internal meds are going to take a good while to work. My skin is still feeling oily so I hope at 50mg it starts to dry down. My nose feels so greasy at mid day, if I wipe my finger on the side of my nose I can actually see the grease that has rubbed of on my fingertips. Nice.

However, I have been suffering with a bit of IBS since about January, but since starting Spironolactone my stomach upsets and diarreah/wind has become more frequent. Sorry for the extra info lol. I was disheartened as I need to take the Spiro long term for it to be any good on my acne so I hope my stomach will settle down as time goes on. For now, I have been experimenting with taking the tablets with a heavy protein and carb meal as it's meant to help. I always take the tablets with a meal but if it's just a light meal like a little bowl of cereal and milk, then my stomach reacts pretty crap to it, so heavy meals it is for me. If anyone has similar experience of stomach problems while taking spiro and has any advice I would love to hear from you..

Anyway that's most of the changes this week. If any lol. Hope next week I see even more slight improvement.

I wanted to ask if anyone knows why Spiro smells of mints? I broke down my tablet yesterday and noticed the inside had a strong smell of minty toothpaste.

Link to post
Share on other sites


4 Weeks (1 MONTH) of Spironolactone 50mg

11 Weeks of Isotrex Gel

Hey wooooooo I made it to the end of my first month on Spiro! I'm so happy it's gone fast lol.

I have some good stuff to update this time so I'm happy. First my skin is actually beginning to look clearer! It's pretty much smoother everywhere and I still have red patches and marks on my cheeks but even they are slowly clearing up in places. Don't get me wrong I'm not clear just yet but my skin is definitely looking at it's best since I started on the Spiro.

I'd say in my first month it did get slightly worse but now it's settling down and I am starting to see it helping my skin. Since I've started 50mg, I'm still oily but it's down about 20-30% at the very least so I'm glad there is some improvement showing on that finally. I hope to get more drier as time goes on. I actually took 3 tablets today so 75mg. It's the first time I've taken so much but I want to see if it helps the oilyness go down even further.

As far as side effects go, I've only noticed a dry mouth and feeling thirsty, but I have to admit I've not been drinking as much water as I should be tbh, so need to bring that up a notch again. The tiredness is still there but I'm getting used to it and just getting on with my day. I've found it's not bringing me down anymore, either way I am getting used to this stuff which is good. On top of that, the IBS I was describing last week has settled too! I find taking the tablets with a very heavy meal certainly helps keep my stomach happy. I've been farting less and my stools have returned to a normal firm sausage! Hehehe, sorry if it's tmi but I'm so happy as I didn't want to be on another set of tablets that gave me extra wind and constant diarreah.

Overall, my skin is improving and it's just the small skin colour comedones and blocked pores bothering me now. I don't have and inflamed pimples at the moment so hopefully it continues to improve. I'm not sure if the Isotrex has helped a lot at this stage, but I do make sure I don't slather on loads and tend use about a pea size at most every night, and this seems to have really helped the redness and irritation go down. Before, when I used to use a lot I always had that irritated and peeling skin all over my face, like slight dandruff coming off my face constantly, but now even thats reduced and my face just feels settled and smoother. So moral is don't use too much Isotrex than you need as even a little amount goes a loong way.

Anyway, that's it for now folks. Look forward to updating next week! :)

Link to post
Share on other sites


5 Weeks of Spironolactone 63/75mg

12 Weeks (3 Months) of Isotrex Gel

Hi guys, well another week down and some stuff to type down. I wrote in my last post how I am up to 50mg but wanted to try out 75mg to see if it lowers my oil more.. Well I did and noticed slightly less oil but still not enough to have 'dry' skin. On top of that I've just felt more thirstier and a more drier mouth than I thought was ever possible. So I thought maybe I should just take 2 and a half tablets which makes about 63mg. (Each tablet is 25mg). This way I don't feel I've made such a big leap from 50 to 75mg.

However, it still seems my body did not like it. I had a stressful week with a lot of commuting, travelling to interviews and work trials. Yesterday, I had such a long day at a work. I went through most of the day without eating much, drinking any water or even going to the toilet. Just came home and went to bed. Then this morning I woke up with tiny hive type spots on my right hand accompanied by a faint headache/ fatigue. I guess this was my bodies way of telling me to slow down a bit! This always happens when I'm on some tablet and my body does not like it. So I've decided to go back down to 50mg for now and just look after myself more.

Also, since I upped my dose to 75mg my cheeks temporarily erupted again! I think this was a inital breakout type thing which also happened when I first upped the tablets from 25 to 50mg. It lasted 3-4 days then now by the end of a week it's gone and my cheeks are soft and clearish. All that's left is red marks. The sides of my face and forehead are all very smooth now, it almost reminds me of how my skin was when I took a oral course of isotretrinoin/accutane.

Also, IBS is not beeing too bad this week whilst on spiro, but I took it just before bed one night this week and I woke up at 4am desperate to do a pee then when I woke again at 7am I was soo dehydrated and thirsty it was unbelievable. I think I took 25mg in the morning and then 50mg before bed that day. Never doing that again. My mouth was so dry that when I woke my tongue was stuck to the roof of my mouth inside!

Overall, my skin is on the up again and since taking 50mg, I can't deny I have seen an improvement. My skin is a lot smoother now which is lovely to put make up on as my foundation and concealer blend in quite easily. I just have a lot of those closed comedones which does make me self conscious in sunlight as I know they are visible like tiny craters and skin coloured spots on my skin. I hate it when I can see other people I'm talking to dot their eyes over to my little craters/bumps when we are standing by a big window or in the sunlight. Even though my skin feels smooth it doesn't look smooth. There's too many blackheads and those small comedones which I have a million of lol.

I'm only on my second month though, so it is unreasonable to expect too much yet. I just hope this 50mg is enough to do the trick and most importantly it actually works for me in the long run.

That's it for me folks, take care. x

PS. Going to say something random now but it's really annoying me. Don't you just hate it when you have a boyfriend and he can never be bothered to text you? Grrr!


Link to post
Share on other sites


6 Weeks of Spironolactone 0mg

13 Weeks of Isotrex Gel

Well I have actually been of the Spiro since monday as I wanted to get rid of the little hive type spots on my right hand. I'm not sure if the Spiro actually caused it as I did have a stressful week and I am prone to hives anyway, but I wanted it gone before I continue with the Spiro again. Happy to say they have pretty much gone now. I will start the spiro again, but I'm not going to go over 50mg this time.

I was really scared this week as I thought my skin would break out badly due to stopping the spiro but it hasn't. It's been quite dry this week and I've noticed my skin doesn't get oily until later on in the day, and even then it's only a tiny bit oily. Not horribly greasy like before. I don't know if it's because of the Spiro still in my system? Or if the Isotrex drying my skin out?

I will get on the Spiro somewehere in the next coming few days as I really don't want to lose the improvements that had started to show in the last month but so far my skin isn't too bad.

I thought I'd take the chance to mention that other people like me who are sensitive to tablets should really not try to take a more higher dosage of Spiro than they need as they can end up with other adverse effects like I did lol. Better to be patient and persevere on a low dosage like 25-50mg as it does work albeit slower than if I was on 100mg. But when the time comes to end my treatment with Spiro in the future (maybe after a year or three?) atleast it won't be such a shock to my system with a low dosage. I also did read on a scientific journal somewehere that Spiro dose was weight dependant and I am only about 105 pounds and quite short so it might explain why I can't take a 'higher' dose.

So yeah, some stuff to think about.. x

Link to post
Share on other sites


7 Weeks of Spironolactone 0mg

14 Weeks of Isotrex Gel

Ello, I thought I'd update that I'm back on the Spironolactone today. I'm just starting back on with 25mg, then will soon go up to 50mg. So far so good. I didn't take any Spiro last week as I'd been out partying and drinking loads, so thought I'd make use of this period and let my hair down while I'm not taking any tablets lol.

My oiliness has come back in the last week. The first week off spiro, my face was still pretty dryish, but this last week it went greasier and back to how it usually is. I'm glad I saw this though as there were many times when I was on Spiro and I used to wonder whether it really has any effect on my sebum production. So yeah, it does fortunately.

I noticed the fatigue and calmness I feel after taking this pill as well today. To be honest I quite like this side effect as being off it, I went back to being quite a wild and moody person. I defo need something to bring my BP down in times of stress and arguments lol.

Can't wait to have the nice smooth skin back. My cheeks are looking and feeling quite rough and shit with redness on them again, as my skins deteriorated. I'm sure the Isotrex helps, but at this stage I still need the Spiro to help and do it's magic too.

Update more next week.

Taaraa Love x

Link to post
Share on other sites


1 Week of Spironolactone 25mg

15 Weeks of Isotrex Gel

Update time and not much to update other than I have been back on Spiro for the past week on about 25mg (one tablet) then took an extra half tablet the last two days and no hives :)

I have moved up to 50 mg now so will let you know how it goes. My forehead and chin are full of blocked pores and comedones once again. So far I have noticed my skin becoming smoother again and slightly less oily. I have got a couple of papule type deep spots on my right cheek and right temple, but even they are begining to flatten. It's nice to see my skin on the up again.

I just wish I didn't risk taking 75mg when I was already improving on 50mg last time, then I would never of had those hives, and then I wouldn't of had to stop. I would of been on my second month today...

Anyway lesson learned. Till next time..


Link to post
Share on other sites


2 Week of Spironolactone 37/50mg

16 Weeks of Isotrex Gel

Well, skin is improving. Still not where I want it to be but great things take time. I've found 50mg is ok but I started noticing spotting just before and in the week after my period. So I'm not thrilled about this as I usually never have any spotting at all. Because of this I went back to taking 25mg or somedays 1 tablet and a half. It still helps my skin this way, but I am not going to take the chance with more side effects on a higher dose!

I have to say with Spiro back on, the Isotrex seems to work better with it. The only thing that I would say bad about Isotrex is you have to get a new tube every 2 months as the gel starts to dry out witht the constant opening. Also, the gel itself isn't very easy to spread once you try to put it all over your face. So many times, I have accidentally used more than I should have as the gel won't spread very easily and it starts to evaporate pretty much soon as it's on my finger! So yea, wish that could be improved.

However, when I do use just the right amount then the next day I always get smoother and drier skin. If I miss it for a day, my skin gets slightly oilier the next day. It helps calm any redness and flattens swollen upcoming red spots. Overall, it's great if your normal skin texture is thick and rough. This helps to smooth the surface of your skin and exfoliates it etc.

Link to post
Share on other sites


4 Weeks of Spironolactone 37/50mg

18 Weeks of Isotrex Gel

Well, my skin is less oily on my face, however my scalp still tends to get greasy just as quick as before. Strange. Also, my hair seems to come out more easily. Because of this I haven't taken any more than 50mg. I hope my hair will settle down, but I presume the fallout might be due to hormone changes by the spiro. It's very annoying. I have read a lot of other logs where extra hair fall happens when on spiro so I guess it's pretty common. The Isotrex is working well but only since taking the Spiro. I'm on my 3rd tube now as you have to replace it every 2 months even if it's still full. On it's own, I have found it pretty useless.

Link to post
Share on other sites


12 Weeks of Spironolactone 50mg

26 Weeks of Isotrex Gel

Been a while since I have updated this but I let some time pass to see if there were any real improvements. I have been on Spiro for just over 3 months now at 50mg. I am still using Isotrex aswell most nights for 6 and 1/2 months. I occasionally miss a night as my skin can still react and get sensitive if I use too much, but I always use it atleast 5-6 nights a week.

Well, I don't have perfect skin yet but I have not had 1 cyst erupt since starting Spiro which is great. Some nights when I do feel a cyst below the skin it goes away the next day and never actually gets red or inflamed. It just dissapears. I still have a lot of comedonal acne. Somedays it does go away but then it always flares up again. I have had a lot of people compliment my skin though and tell me they can't tell I've had acne which is always nice to hear, but I know under my make up my skin is hardly near perfect lol, but then again does anyone have 100% perfect skin? I believe not.

I try and be happy with my results so far and do recommend Spironolactone for hormonnal acne. It does reduce my sebum production throughout the day, but I find it most beneficial if I take it in the morning as by midday my face tends to get very oily and this reduces that. If I take it later in the day, I find my skin still gets just as oily so yea, defo take iit in the morning so you can reduce the oil production for the day to come.

The side effects I felt were caused by Spiro was hair loss and it carried on, but I have increased my intake of iron and zinc and found these have since helped slow down my hair loss.

I thought the Isotrex would have shown some great improvements by now but I can't really say it has. I will still use it the next few months as I am a firm believer of retinoids and know they can take up to a year to show great effect.

Anyway hope this helps anyone reading, god bless. x

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi dee I have stumbled across your posts and I have just started spironolactone I was on 50mg for 2 weeks now on 100mg been on this for 1 week now. I also was prescribed isotrex 0.5 I've been using this every night for 9 days now with no bad side effects so that's why I've continued using every night instead of skipping (wanted to see if I had any bad side effects before skipping days) little background I'm 26 always battled with chin and jawline acne since 17 was in dianette till April for a year and it cleared me well! Was t perfect but I wasn't complaining. Came off as I get migraines with aura :( skin was ok up until July then is got worse and worse! So I paid to see a derm and this is where I'm at it's definitely hormonal as I've tried antibiotics for 3 months nothing changed and if dianette helped I hope spiro will! My question is how long will spiro take to kick in? I'm having a really bad breakout currently probably from isotrex there more smaller pimples then big cystic ones so I'm thinking it's getting all the little microdomes up from under the surface? How long should I stick with isotrex I am trying to remain positive it's just depressing right now :( I have another appointment 9th jan with a derm on the nhs I'm hoping they agree with what I'm using so I know I'm on the right path! I was considering accutane but for people with hormonal acne I know it will come back so is rather give spiro sometime first.

Link to post
Share on other sites


27 Weeks (6-7 months) of Spironolactone 50/75mg

42 Weeks of Isotrex Gel

Hey guys well I've had a bit of a up and down experience so far. The downs are mostly because of my experimentation with the dosage but the up's have been worth noting down. After I last updated, maybe due to a stressful period which followed, my skin became slightly worse as in becoming more greasier & breaking out that little but more so I decided to up my dose from 50mg to 75mg.

After this by december, I had seen more improvement as my skin became less oily and spots seemed to subside. Skin felt a lot more smoother and under control again so I was happy, but with the higher dosage I noticed my period that month was very light compared to normal months. It was hardly non- existent which worried me as my periods are normally very regular.

So the next few months, I carried on at 75mg, but the week during my period I would cut back down to 25mg, sometimes even missing a dose. This helped my period get back to its normal amount and consistency but because I am not able to stay on 75mg all the time, it means my skin keeps going from better to worse again and again each month.

It's march now and my last period was fine by missing the spiro doses on those days but when I started again, I went from 25mg to 50mg and back up to 75mg within the same week. I also though maybe I'd be ready to try 100mg which was silly of me as when I did that the following week, it had ended up with me breaking out in hives! I cannot tolerate a higher dose unfortunately, so had to have a few days off spiro again whilst my body recovered.

Last month my my Isotrex did not seem to be so effective either as you have to replace the tube every two months without fail even if you have a fair amount left in it. I was so busy so did not have time to pick up a new prescription so carried on using my old tube, even though it seemed less effective. I also split up from my boyf last month which left me feeling quite stressed and depressed lol and this coupled with the isotrex and spiro not being used consistently = my skin went a lot worse.

It's been back to it's greasier and comedonal state. My chin is the worst affected as close up it looks terrible with the comedones and blocked pores. My nose also has ton's of visible blackheads on it. So far, I have been lucky as most of the blemishes are not inflammed and can be covered with make up, it's just soo greasy. The shine is back to coming after 2-3 hours so powder has been my best friend again. I think it's important to note though that my skin is not as bad as my pre-oral isotretinoin course like when I used to have severe acne. It's just very light acne, not inflammed, mostly comedones and whiteheads etc.

I don't want the red inflammed acne to come back though, so will be geting on the spiro and isotrex combo soon again as it does keep a lot of it under control, more than I have given it credit for in the past. This time 75mg will be the most I go up to with the Spiro and I will be keeping a more careful eye on my diet as after the xmas period I carried on eating and drinking high sugar/unhealthy fatty food and drink which also contributed to making my skin worse.

I also have one last batch of low dose isotretinoin as I was clearing my cupboards out last week and found it. It's out of date in may, so may just take it for the next month or two to clear my acquired acne of the last 3 months then go back onto spiro to continue the improvements. I am aware this is not the best method, but I doubt my acne will ever be severe again to be prescribed oral isotretinoin so may just use it to improve my skin for now, then continue with the Spiro after. I have let my doc know about this too so he is aware to perform the blood tests. I was on a very low dose isotretinoin (10mg a day) before so will just take 2 5mg pills a day for the next month or two, but this has been very effective for me in the past so I know it will work.

Side effects:

As for side effects on Spiro, I was going to say after I started to include vitamins B12 and iron, zinc into my diet, my hair seemed to fall out a lot less and I am happy to say I wouldn't include it as a side effect anymore for me. I take a vitamin supplement by Vitabiotics called 'feruglobin' which has all of these in it. It's quite expensive and can upset my tummy so I don't take it everyday, just every other day so they last longer.

Also, after upping to 75mg, I noticed my mood seemed a lot calmer lol. Like I was less argumentative and jus seemed more relaxed in general. I was more emotional though and seemed to have a bigger affinity for babies and embracing my feminine side haha! It sounds very funny but yeah, it seemed to make me less aggressive in general, but more maternal and girly. Did anyone else notice that change in mood? I quite enjoyed it as I felt happier and more content with myself I guess.

I also noticed feeling more curvier, less toned and gaining weight around my hips, belly and boobs. I'm probably about 1 cup size bigger. I have not noticed any difference in hairiness though, as I thread my upper lip and eyebrows and they grow back just as fast like they did before, but excess hair isn't a big complaint for me so I as not too bothered by it.

Anyway, hope this info helps anyone and I hope to update in the future with better results. Till then, everyone reading this stay positive and happy. God bless x

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi dee I have stumbled across your posts and I have just started spironolactone I was on 50mg for 2 weeks now on 100mg been on this for 1 week now. I also was prescribed isotrex 0.5 I've been using this every night for 9 days now with no bad side effects so that's why I've continued using every night instead of skipping (wanted to see if I had any bad side effects before skipping days) little background I'm 26 always battled with chin and jawline acne since 17 was in dianette till April for a year and it cleared me well! Was t perfect but I wasn't complaining. Came off as I get migraines with aura skin was ok up until July then is got worse and worse! So I paid to see a derm and this is where I'm at it's definitely hormonal as I've tried antibiotics for 3 months nothing changed and if dianette helped I hope spiro will! My question is how long will spiro take to kick in? I'm having a really bad breakout currently probably from isotrex there more smaller pimples then big cystic ones so I'm thinking it's getting all the little microdomes up from under the surface? How long should I stick with isotrex I am trying to remain positive it's just depressing right now I have another appointment 9th jan with a derm on the nhs I'm hoping they agree with what I'm using so I know I'm on the right path! I was considering accutane but for people with hormonal acne I know it will come back so is rather give spiro sometime first.

Hey, so sorry for the late reply! If you read this I hope you are still on Spiro, it doesn't work quickly and takes a few months to show some effect. Obviously, it varies from person to person but I would give it atleast 6 months before you decide if it's helping you or not. Also, it depends on the dose you are taking as some people will improve on 50mg and others will need to take upto 200mg for it to help them.

As for the isotrex, that will definitely take a few months to work, so I hope if you are still using it, it has helped. It works slowly but would help with the microdomes more so than the inflammed types of acne. It just needs time and patience really, so don't give up hope! They have worked for me when I have used them consistently but it's best to stick with it in the long run for your skin to really improve :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for replying, Its weird because Isotrex has helped MAJORLY! It did indeed take one month to unplug everything (it was horrible didnt want to leave my house). I actually have stopped the Sprio because Isotrex was working on its own i have to use it every night though! I think my problem was just microdomes that turnt into whiteheads and sometimes things would get inflamed and be under the skin. I havent got perfect skin (have 2 tiny red bumps on the chin not noticable) but i dont get horrible big spots and whiteheads anymore. I have just started Micronor the mini pill which i know isnt great for acne prone skin and it has i think made it slightly bad not how it was though so will continue to keep that..im scared about getting the coil that will be the last step if this makes my skin worse again. Might even try Sprio with the mini pill...Thanks for your advice x

Link to post
Share on other sites

UPDATE: 2 Weeks On low dose Isotretinoin (10-15mg)

Right, thought it would be good to update my blog on this rather lovely Friday afternoon..

Well, I am on day 16 on my low dose oral Isotretinoin course and I am pleased to say it has started to take effect on my skin. The first few days I could hardly tell any difference, but in this last week my skin is definitely smoother and less oily. I am recognising that delicate baby-ness of my skin all over my body which I was so used to during my previous year long course on this drug. My lips are also dry so I have had to use my lip balm frequently.

I am just glad my skin is on the up again, even if only temporarily from this medication. However, after I finish the last pack I can't wait to go back on to the Spiro as I feel I could do with sorting my hormones out again. I am back to being more easily angered and argumentative. It's like I can actually feel my testosterone rising again lol. I miss the relaxed and more chilled out person I was on the Spiro. My period was messed up this month too, as when I stopped taking it I literally had two days of spotting when my period was meant to be happening. I only have about a month's supply left. Nevertheless, I think I will look for more ways to help my acne and not just rely on Isotrex and Spiro..

I am very interested in the role of vitamin A and beta-carotene on the prevention of acne. Oral Isotretinoin works extremely well on my skin even when I am taking it in very low doses. In the last 2 weeks the difference has been amazing. Even when I had been using it topically over the last few months in the form of Isotrex, it did have a good effect of reducing my hyper-keratinization.

As it took a few months for my skin to get used to and work, I didn't really notice how much it had helped until I stopped over the last 3-4 weeks! It did not beat the oral version though, which is why I am interested in taking it orally as a safer form such as beta-carotene in the long run. Topical isotretinoin might help keep my skin smooth but it did nothing to reduce my excess sebum. That is where the spironolactone helped majorly.

I am not talking about ingesting stupidly high doses, but the normal, daily recommended amount for a person and not above that. It just goes back to looking after yourself and making sure you eat a diet rich in a wide range of nutrients that we need to be healthy and reduce all the bad stuff like excess sugar, unhealthy fats and junk in general. I have been trying to drink more water and reduce on the crap and it all really does help. Nourish your body on the inside as well as taking care of it on the outside.

I have tried to find some literature to support their mechanisms on acne and managed to fnd a few studies, but in all the results were inconclusive. Some studies said that reduced beta-carotene levels actually affect hormones and send the thyroid glands into overdrive and this may explain why some people get greasier skin (a symptom of hyper-thyroidism) and their acne then increases in severity. I have put the link for the research below:

Burri, Betty Jane. "Beta-carotene and human health: a review of current research." Nutrition Research 17.3 (1997): 547-580.

Vitamin A clearly plays a big role in helping acne but taken in higher doses over a long period of time, it becomes even more dangerous than oral isotretinon, which is a man-made synthetic version of vitamin A.

Omenn, Gilbert S., et al. "Long-term vitamin A does not produce clinically significant hypertriglyceridemia: results from CARET, the beta-carotene and retinol efficacy trial." Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention 3.8 (1994): 711-713.

Beta-carotene would seem like a safer option and indeed many studies seemed to confirm that it is rarely toxic, but improvement on dermatological ailments is not as dramatic as when taking actual vitamin A (retinyl palmitate). However, it still plays a role in keeping this vitamin's levels up in the blood so will be something I will try to supplement in my own diet. You can read more in this article which I have linked below:

Bayerl, Christiane. "Beta-carotene in dermatology: does it help." Acta Dermatoven APA 17.4 (2008): 160-166.

I hope this info helps anyone as I have found it very useful to understand how or why I may be more prone to acne than other individuals. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying vitamin A and beta-carotene are acne cures, but may be one of the little but significant defences we can incorporate into our diet to help our fight against acne.

Link to post
Share on other sites

UPDATE: Back on Spiro 50mg + Isotrex Combo

Wow, haven't updated my blog for so long lol, but yeah I am back on the Spiro at 50mg. Started yesterday which was the 1st of June. I will add that I have added few other things to complement this treatment which include 1-2tsp of fish oil (with retinol), clean sugar-reduced diet, Isotrex application every other night and exercise!

I am very prone to putting weight on my belly, whilst the rest of my body stays slim which gives me a top-heavy shape which I don't like, so I plan to do about 30-45mins on the treadmill every other day. I started out doing 60 mins every day when I first started this regime but my feet and joints ached like bad, so defo taking it slowly now lol.

I also have found fish oil to help soften my skin, but only fish oils with retinol have this effect. I guess it's the magic of vitamin A which plays a major part in skin health. I have to say, I questioned whether I should take fermented fish oil instead of other brands which use heat methods of distillation, but decided against it for now as I am quite happy with my seven seas brand and don't want to risk ingesting toxins associated with fish that are not removed fully with fermentation. Maybe one day I will be ready to try it, who knows? I certainly have read some great reviews of it on this site.

Anyways, I will update more as time goes on to update how spiro, isotrex, fish oil and exercise work together to improve my skin :) Stay positive.

God bless.x

Link to post
Share on other sites

UPDATE: Month 2/ Week 6:

Spiro 50/63mg + Isotrex Combo

Well, been just over a month now and in this second month I have added another half tablet to the two 25mg spiro tablets that I take in the morning to aid the progress. This makes about 63mg and I've found it has helped my skin become less oily. I am pleased to say it has helped and even throughout the tiredness I carried on exercising consistently, plus drinking more water, which has helped me feel more healthier in general.

I don't have any cysts or inflammed spots at all now, just the comedones and blocked pores etc.. So hopefully the Isotrex will help, but I feel it's too early to comment on the topical as Isotrex generally takes months to show any effect. At the moment, sometimes it makes my skin red from where I applied it the night before and also I get peeling on the areas too which makes make up look cakey when I apply it on top to cover the redness. I'm trying to use it every night to speed up the initial outbreak period and just getting my skin used to it again. I've found less is definetely more though so be careful never to slather on too much.

So far, the side effects have only been feeling tired and thirsty. I sweat more easily too. I'm usually drenched after 45 mins on the treadmill! I get a lot of headaches too which don't go away easily even with paracetamol. I just have a lie down and it fades away slowly. I've noticed I feel quite nauseus sometimes too, so it reduces my appetite on those days.

I've had my period fine and on time this month and as expected it was a lot lighter whilst on spiro. If I take higher doses I've found it can stop my period altogether so will avoid taking more than 50mg when it's that time of the month.

I was worried that my hair would start shedding more like it did last time I started spiro, but it's not been too bad this time. I also make sure I take a daily vitamin called Perfectil, with iron and b vitamins and biotin etc, so maybe that helps too. Best thing is no hives! Glad my bodies accepting the spiro and I'll make sure I don't shock my body but upping the dose too soon like last time. No rashes or pin point/hive spots so all good.

I've been avoiding drinking whilst on spiro as well as I find it increases my chance of getting hives or some type of rash on my skin. Even if I miss that dose on the day I have drinks I don't want to risk it. I've read others drink whilst on it without problems but for me it's best I don't.

Mentally, I've felt a lot more relaxed and again I've found I have this affinity for babies and anything maternal lol. Spiro definitely makes me less aggressive and moody. I don't know if I'm just tired but I feel different. Either way, I prefer it to being moody and easily peed off like I am without it. I just feel more feminine and relaxed if you know what I mean.. Like I'm not so bothered about being assertive and getting my point across. If someone annoys me, I just walk away rather than stay and argue. I also cry quite easily but it's more happy or soppy tears rather than being upset.

Overall, I have seen some improvement, and my skin feels a lot more smoother and supple. However, I'd like it to reduce my oil a bit further, clearing my skin more and will wait a few more weeks or months for the spiro to work it's magic. Anyway, that's all I can think of at the moment.

Good luck to anyone also using spiro or Isotrex. Hope this blog helps anyone reading.

God bless & Ciaoo x

Edited by Dee3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Personalized Advice Quiz - All of Acne.org in just a few minutes