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hello all,

i was just curious if anyone has had a good experience with an anti-androgen and could tell me a little but about it...

thank you :)

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I've been wondering if I should begin a new topic for this, but since you asked...

I began developing adult (cystic) acne this past November. I've never had acne before in my life, but I know that it runs in my family (my father and cousin both had it). In December I began taking Ortho-TriCyclen BCP on my doctor's advice, thinking it would clear me up. After a few months of use I found that my breakouts were getting progressively worse. The only thing OTC BCP did for me is make my breakouts regular: I began breaking out horrendously the last week of active pills every pack. Every time would be worse than the last, ontop of the red marks that were sticking around from the previous breakout.

I went to my new gyno who recommended Yasmin BCP. Yasmin is an anti-androgen birth control that contains about 25 mg of spironolactone in addition to the combination hormones of a birth control (estrogen and progesterone). I'm in my fifth week of taking Yasmin birth control pill, straight active pills with no placebo week. Taking the active pills straight through without a placebo week is my gyno's advice for keeping my hormonal levels consistent, therefore reducing even more my chances of having a hormonal breakout.

Around the second week of use, I began to notice that my oil production was greatly reduced: my blonde hair became lighter (and people even asked me if I had highlighted it) because my hair was noticably less greasy than it was. Before I began breaking out in November, I would only wash my hair every other day, or every third day. When I began breaking out, however, I noticed that I had to wash my hair every day or it would become incredibly greasy. Now I'm back to every other day. Because of this decreased oil production, my face has become smoother, and my breakouts have decreased significantly. Given, I'm also on about 100 other acne treatments, but I'm positive that it is the Yasmin that has decreased my oil production (none of the topicals I'm on can do that, and neither can Doxy). When I saw my dermo last week she concluded that I should go on Accutane. However, my face has improved so much in the past week only that I'm hopeful that I won't have to resort to Accutane to conquer my oil problems.

That said, if you're suffering from severe cystic hormonal acne, Yasmin BCP may really work for you--try it for a couple of months before resorting to Accutane (you have to go on BCP on Accutane, anyway) and perhaps you won't have to resort to it at all.

Good luck!

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Anti-andgrogens work wonders for acne. For me, it has been more effective than accutane! The most effective anti-androgen is Diane-35, which contains cytoproterone acetate (but isn't available in the U.S.). Yasmin is also effective because the progesterone in it is a derivitive of spironolactone, which blocks androgens. It is more effective to take Yasmin than just straight spironolactone, because Yasmin also has estrogen in it, which also helps acne. Some people take spironolactone in addition to a BCP, but I won't because it may cause breast cancer.

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Thank you all for responding!

Yeah, I have been on Yasmin for going on 2.5 years and after about a month I noticed a significant improvement in my skin, but needless to say I still broke out and had to go on Accutane about a year ago, but due to severe and rare complications I unfortunately had to stop...and now my acne is coming back A LOT. But when I told my derm that Yasmin worked so well for me he said, "why not try a male hormone reducer", but at that time i had no idea what it really was and thought it make my voice really high and stuff lol. But I'm thinking of trying that spiro(rest of word I can't spell :P). Although if skeptik says it can cause breast cancer thats a little worrying....

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Thank you all for responding!

Yeah, I have been on Yasmin for going on 2.5 years and after about a month I noticed a significant improvement in my skin, but needless to say I still broke out and had to go on Accutane about a year ago, but due to severe and rare complications I unfortunately had to stop...and now my acne is coming back A LOT. But when I told my derm that Yasmin worked so well for me he said, "why not try a male hormone reducer", but at that time i had no idea what it really was and thought it make my voice really high and stuff lol. But I'm thinking of trying that spiro(rest of word I can't spell :P). Although if skeptik says it can cause breast cancer thats a little worrying....

If you don't have breast cancer in your family, your doc will probably say it's OK....but I have it in my family so I wasn't allowed to take even though my derm thought I would benefit from it.

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For women, there is the option of birth control pills such as Ortho tri-cyclen or Yasmin. This controls androgen production from the onset.

For both men and women. there is the option of Aldactone (generic spironolactone), a high blood pressure medication that controls the androgen after the body has already produced it. Like with many medications, it was serendipitously found to have the positve side benefit of controlling acne by affecting the body's reaction to androgen. It is given in a very low dose of only 25mg or 50mg a day, which is not enough to effect you BP.

Ask your doctor about it -- it seems to be a fairly well known option for treating hormone sensitive acne by all doctors. My dermotologist suggested it, my old and new GPs both knew about it and agreed with it as a viable option and the plastic surgery community used to dealing with acne support it.

Good luck!

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Anti-andgrogens work wonders for acne. For me, it has been more effective than accutane! The most effective anti-androgen is Diane-35, which contains cytoproterone acetate (but isn't available in the U.S.). Yasmin is also effective because the progesterone in it is a derivitive of spironolactone, which blocks androgens. It is more effective to take Yasmin than just straight spironolactone, because Yasmin also has estrogen in it, which also helps acne. Some people take spironolactone in addition to a BCP, but I won't because it may cause breast cancer.

I've always wanted to go on the pill because it helps with oilyness but I have fears about it too. In the back of my head I believe that if I go on the pill I will get fat :wacko: I guess I think this way because the pill affects the hormones that regulate the menstration cycle and around that time of the month I have cravings and am hungry a lot. Also, doesn't it cause bloating? I would love for someone to tell me that I am completely wrong because maybe then I would try it out.

Looking at the Diane-35 website, they point out how the pill works to treat acne and it makes me wonder if the contraceptive aspect of the pill could be removed from the equation because I don't really need it for that... probably not but if anyone can give me a little bit more insight into the pill it would be GREATLY appreciated :D

BTW Skeptik, how long were you on the pill? Are you clear and if so do you still take it just in case of breakouts?

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I've NEVER had cystic acne before, i just started Yasmin last month, im about 1 1/2 months in the pill and it's making me break out in CYSTS and it HURTS... i dont think this pill is working.. maybe i should consider switching..

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Anti-andgrogens work wonders for acne. For me, it has been more effective than accutane! The most effective anti-androgen is Diane-35, which contains cytoproterone acetate (but isn't available in the U.S.). Yasmin is also effective because the progesterone in it is a derivitive of spironolactone, which blocks androgens. It is more effective to take Yasmin than just straight spironolactone, because Yasmin also has estrogen in it, which also helps acne. Some people take spironolactone in addition to a BCP, but I won't because it may cause breast cancer.

I've always wanted to go on the pill because it helps with oilyness but I have fears about it too. In the back of my head I believe that if I go on the pill I will get fat :wacko: I guess I think this way because the pill affects the hormones that regulate the menstration cycle and around that time of the month I have cravings and am hungry a lot. Also, doesn't it cause bloating? I would love for someone to tell me that I am completely wrong because maybe then I would try it out.

Looking at the Diane-35 website, they point out how the pill works to treat acne and it makes me wonder if the contraceptive aspect of the pill could be removed from the equation because I don't really need it for that... probably not but if anyone can give me a little bit more insight into the pill it would be GREATLY appreciated :D

BTW Skeptik, how long were you on the pill? Are you clear and if so do you still take it just in case of breakouts?

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I can't take any BCP at all but have been given accutane. Now although it might help clear up my skin for now i think my problems are hormonal but i can't get the derm to listen to me. I am not sure what to do

When i saw her i asked about spiro and she laughed and told me it was the same as accutane. I said it wasnt because i had researched it, at this point she just changed the subject. She is not that great.... do i ask to see a different physician from another speciality maybe? Carry on this course for now?

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Sarah, I suggest you see a different doctor. Spiro and accutane are not even close to being the same thing. If you feel you have hormonal problems that is contributing to your acne, Spiro could be perfect for you. It's cleared up many girls here almost completely if not 100% and kept them clear.

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Anti-andgrogens work wonders for acne. For me, it has been more effective than accutane! The most effective anti-androgen is Diane-35, which contains cytoproterone acetate (but isn't available in the U.S.). Yasmin is also effective because the progesterone in it is a derivitive of spironolactone, which blocks androgens. It is more effective to take Yasmin than just straight spironolactone, because Yasmin also has estrogen in it, which also helps acne. Some people take spironolactone in addition to a BCP, but I won't because it may cause breast cancer.

I've always wanted to go on the pill because it helps with oilyness but I have fears about it too. In the back of my head I believe that if I go on the pill I will get fat :wacko: I guess I think this way because the pill affects the hormones that regulate the menstration cycle and around that time of the month I have cravings and am hungry a lot. Also, doesn't it cause bloating? I would love for someone to tell me that I am completely wrong because maybe then I would try it out.

Looking at the Diane-35 website, they point out how the pill works to treat acne and it makes me wonder if the contraceptive aspect of the pill could be removed from the equation because I don't really need it for that... probably not but if anyone can give me a little bit more insight into the pill it would be GREATLY appreciated :D

BTW Skeptik, how long were you on the pill? Are you clear and if so do you still take it just in case of breakouts?

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I wouldn't be surprised if spironolactone increased the risk of breast cancer because of the antiandrogenic effect (testosterone/DHT tends to counter estrogen exposure, which is one of the big factors in the development of breast cancer). Spironolactone also likely increases the risk of breast cancer in men (another antiandrogen, finasteride, also did in one study, some 200 fold). Testosterone is also a well known carcinogen, too, though; sex hormones tend to inspire cell division and thus increase the risk of cancer.

If you're female and using tamoxifen (antiestrogen drug) you run the risk of increased ovarian cancer but decreased breast cancer. The guess would be that if you take spironolactone, you'd run the risk of increased breast cancer but decreased ovarian cancer. My aunt had both so I don't know what to think.

Also beware that if you're a male taking spironolactone it can cause breast development, reduce muscle mass and can render you sterile temporarily (possibly permanently?). However it would stop male pattern baldness.

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YES. I have been taking spironolactone for acne for years. I LOVE it. Hardly any side effects - just have to pee more often. It works sooo well. It takes about 6 weeks to start working, but then in about 2 months time I stopped breaking out. It got rid of all my cystic acne and keeps the little guys under control. If I try to go off of it I start to break out again, it is the only thing that has ever worked for me. I have been an acne sufferer sinve I was 11 years old, and I am 27 now. I discovered it when I was in college and had tried everything else except for accutane, the Dr. said, "Lets try this and if it it doesn't work then accutane will be the thing to try" I am not a fan of such a strong drug as accutane - I find it a little scary, and am soo glad that spironolactone has worked. I love it and reccomend it to my friends and sister who have all had good results on it as well. Its not a scary drug, I usually get side effects to everything I take = and this one jsut makes me pee more, as to be expected with a water pill - I suspect it even keeps my weight down by not having water retention! Its worth trying. Oh - and it doesn't deepen the voice or cause hair gowth - that is not a side effect of it.

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