Spironolactone is a synthetic hormone and an anti-androgen diuretic drug is used to treat high blood pressure and fluid retention. Because it decreases testosterone production, it is also utilized to treat hirsutism, PCOS and hormonal acne in women. The birth control pill Yaz also contains this drug.
This is not a popular acne treatment for those who are NOT diagnosed with an androgenic hormonal imbalance. Side effects include dehydration, nausea, fatigue, irregular periods, sun-sensitivity, headache and a link to cancer. Since it interrupts the masculinization of male fetuses, foolproof birth control is a mandatory.
When severe acne is accompanied by insulin resistance, obesity and hirsutism, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) has been diagnosed, spironolactone is sometimes prescribed in combination with oral contraceptives and metformin, a drug used to treat adult-onset diabetes. Hormones and spironolactone are also prescribed for male-to-female gender reassignment patients as part of their transition therapy. However, acne and hirsutism can be genetic and ethnic, i.e. run in certain families, and not always linked to a hormonal imbalance, including PCOS.
Spironolactone and the birth control pill Yaz never received rave reviews for acne in the US. While they may help for some cases of hormone-driven acne, the side effects often outweigh the benefits. And, used alone, spironolactone is never the answer.
If you have hormonal Acne, please see an Acne Specialist. We are certified and trained to clear your skin your Acne without drugs of any kind.
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