There are certain drugs are known to aggravate acne. They don’t necessarily “cause ” your pimples but they can certainly make your breakouts worse. There is hope for clear skin while on these drugs but it will take diligence and time.

  • Lithium Taken as a mood stabilizer for those who suffer from depression, lithium alters hormone levels in a certain way that can trigger acne formations
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHE) DHE is an anti-aging hormone that can boost hair growth, thereby increasing the amount of clogged hair follicles, which cause acne
  • Barbiturates ÂThese are often prescribed to patients as sedatives and sometimes as a treatment for people suffering from anxiety. Its effect on hormone levels has been known to cause acne
  • Corticosteroids Acting as hormones of their own, corticosteroids are effective in treating hives and eczema, but can cause acne growth by interacting with other kinds of hormones
  • Anabolic-Androgen Steroids These steroids tended to be used in sports and bodybuilding, drastically alter hormone levels, which can cause acne breakouts on the face, neck, back and chest
  • Contraceptives Oral contraceptives (birth control) can actually help clear acne if they contain the right combination of ingredients, but in some cases, they might activate certain hormones that cause acne growth. 
  • Anticonvulsants, like the drug Dilantin, help people who suffer from seizures. Unfortunately, they can wreak havoc on the skin, due to hormone level alterations
  • Sobriety Medications Many sobriety medications, like Disulfiram and Antabuse, can help people recover from alcohol abuse, but they have been known to cause acne breakouts as a result of hormone changes

If you are taking any of these drugs, ask an Acne Specialist for help. I have cleared people on lithium and many kind of birth control.

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