Acne is one of the most common skin conditions reported in the United States, affecting 50 million Americans annually.
It can cause scarring, disfigurement, and significant emotional consequences including loss of self-esteem, low self-esteem, and social withdrawal. Fortunately, it is a treatable condition.
When seeking medical treatment, people with acne are often treated with a variety of over-the-counter and prescription topical therapies with or without oral antibiotics. However, these conventional “first-time” treatments are often ineffective and can prolong the frustration and emotional consequences experienced by acne sufferers. This can eventually lead to feelings of despair and resignation without finding a viable solution. At Advanced Acne Treatment Institute, we often accept new patients who have been treated elsewhere with ineffective therapies.
Fortunately, there are effective solutions for almost every form of acne. For example, women with “hormonal acne” characterized by persistent papules mainly on the lower face and along the jaw line are often very resistant to standard topical treatments. skin and oil-based antibiotics. For these women, a less commonly prescribed drug called spironolactone could be a game changer.
What is hormonal acne?
The truth is, all of Acne is of hormonal origin. However, we arbitrarily and loosely labeled a group of women, usually in their 30s with persistent acne affecting the lower face, jawline, and upper neck, as having “hormonal acne.” By labeling this group of women with acne, it helps acne specialists understand and be more willing to share a more effective treatment plan. For example, we’ve learned that this small group of people with acne tend to be less responsive to certain treatments and more likely to respond well to medications that block them. acne-causing hormones.
Another thing to understand is that women with this “hormonal pattern” of acne do not necessarily have abnormal hormone levels. Their hormones may be completely normal, but acne-prone pores may be more sensitive to the acne-causing effects of hormones. That’s just one example of how hormones can cause acne, but it’s important to understand that acne can actually be caused by many different factors and can be slightly different for each person.
While hormonal acne usually refers to a subtype of acne in women, acne in men is also caused by the same hormone called androgens. These hormones, like testosterone, normally activate the pores in the skin to produce an oily substance called sebum that helps lubricate our skin. When oil production becomes excessive and when the lining of the pore starts to grow overgrown and sticky, acne can emerge. However, is there a type of male acne that resembles hormonal acne in women? Furthermore, since male hormone is the main hormone that causes acne, we have to be very careful in men if we use a drug that interferes with the function of male hormones as this can lead to acne. to many undesirable side effects.
Is there an effective treatment for hormonal acne?
Thankfully, yes – a highly effective medication called Spironolactone can be used to treat hormonal acne in women. It offers a great alternative to a drug called Accutane, a much more aggressive treatment.
Originally developed as a blood pressure medication, Spironolactone is a proven and effective female acne treatment. Comparatively speaking, it has minimal side effects and can often lead to perfectly clear skin.
And it’s not a new drug; The safety of long-term use of Spironolactone is well established, and the drug has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since 1960.
How does spironolactone work?
In a word, Spironolactone reduces the activity of androgens (the acne hormone mentioned earlier) so that the oil-producing glands in the hair follicles produce less oil and become less active. Less active oil glands mean fewer clogged pores — and fewer breakouts.
Spironolactone has been shown to be effective for treating active redness as well as clogged pores, which lead to blackheads and whiteheads, known as blackheads, and can be used to clear Acne on face as well as body.
However, unlike Accutane, there is no end point of treatment, which means it usually has to be taken continuously to be effective. This is often a deciding factor when making a decision between spironolactone snd Accutane. Some patients prefer to use Accutane because it is only taken for a certain period of time. However, other patients choose to take spironolactone because it is a less aggressive treatment than Accutane.
How do I use it?
Your doctor will determine the ideal prescription for you. The dose of spironolactone depends on various factors including your acne condition as well as other personal considerations. Spironolactone comes as a tablet, to be taken by mouth.
Spironolactone is used exclusively to treat acne in women
Because spironolactone reduces the action of male hormones, it can cause men to experience unwanted effects such as enlarged and engorged breasts.
And because it affects male hormones, pregnant women should not take Spironolactone because it can cause birth defects, especially in the case of a developing male fetus.
How much time do you take to work?
Using Spironolactone can lead to clear skin as early as a month but it can sometimes take two or three months to show good results. Patience is key when you set performance expectations.
Remember, everyone’s body is different, and so your response to Spironolactone may be different from everyone else’s.
Some side effects and precautions
Spironolactone can cause breast engorgement and irregular menstrual cycles, so it’s often prescribed along with birth control pills that can help prevent some of these side effects.
High levels of potassium
In some cases, spironolactone can cause an increase in blood potassium levels, but this side effect is a risk that occurs mainly in patients with abnormal kidney function. Because of this risk, your doctor will likely order some blood tests before treatment to make sure that your potassium is in the normal range and that your kidneys are working properly. test your potassium periodically while you are taking Spironolactone. However, it should be noted that when used by young, healthy patients, Spironolactone is less likely to increase potassium levels.
Use anti-inflammatory drugs
The use of anti-inflammatory drugs called NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) such as ibuprefen or aspirin is not recommended because of the effect on kidney function when taken with Spironolactone.
Spironolactone also functions as a water pill, which can lead to more frequent urination. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to constant moisturizing, especially if vigorous exercise in the hot sun, which can cause dehydration.
Use of Spironolactone may cause dizziness in some patients, usually at the start of treatment, but usually resolves on its own within a day or two. Patients with vertigo should not drive or engage in hazardous activities.
When you discuss taking Spironolactone with your doctor, they will review your personal medical history with you to assess whether it is safe for you to use this medication.
Patients with baseline low blood pressure
Spironolactone should be used with caution in patients with low blood pressure initially and may require frequent blood pressure monitoring during the initial phase of treatment.
Consult an expert
If you think you’re experiencing hormonal acne and want to consider treatment with spironolactone, the Advanced Acne Institute can help. We use spironolactone in regimens designed to clear acne quickly and maintain acne-free skin. Our patients are very satisfied with their results. Spironolactone can be life-changing for many women who have struggled with unrelenting acne that isn’t improving with other treatments.
At Advanced Acne Treatment Institute is to help our patients get acne-free skin. And unlike general dermatologists, we only treat patients with acne.
Our innovative therapies are tailored to each patient’s unique condition. We treat mild, moderate, and severe acne, and we listen to our patients who may feel their symptoms have been doctored by other doctors.
If you’re suffering from hormonal acne, we’re ready and waiting to hear your story so we can design a treatment plan that results in clear skin in the end. Why not make an appointment with us today?