Spironolactone for Acne Treatment

Doctors prescribe oral spironolactone for off-label use, with acne treatment being a non-FDA approved indication. Spironolactone is prescribed for women experiencing acne vulgaris which is affected by hormonal changes in the body.

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at-a-glance

Spironolactone for Acne Treatment

avg. recovery
0 days
permanence
Temporary
application
Pill
invasiveness
?
surgical
Yes
cost
$10 - $30

About the Procedure

Spironolactone is a medication for women who suffer from severe homonal acne vulgaris. For women who have acne that hasn't responded to over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide treatments or prescription Accutane, Spironolactone may help clear up clinically diagnosed acne vulgaris. Acne vulgaris involves blockage and/or inflammation of pilosebaceous units (hair follicles and their accompanying sebaceous gland). Hormonal acne is acne that typically flares before or after hormonal cycles. Spironolactone is a weak diuretic commonly used to treat fluid retention but has shown results for patients suffering from hormonal acne. Spironolactone binds the androgen receptor and reduces androgen production. These anti-androgen effects counter the hormones that promote the development of acne. It is advised to take the medication after a meal, once daily or as prescribed. Results from Spironolactone may take 4-8 weeks, so it is important to take this medication for the entire length of time prescribed.

The goal of Spironolactone is to reduce the appearance and occurrence of acne, specifically acne vulgaris in women.

Concerns

Spironolactone for Acne Treatment addresses concerns such as:

Recovery Notes

No recovery is needed during or after acne treatment with Spironolactone.

Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate for spironolactone is a post-adolescent woman who is experiencing acne vulgaris (defined clinically as primarily inflammatory papules, many deep-seated and tender, that are located predominantly on the lower half of the face and anterior-lateral neck region).

Not Recommended For

Spironolactone is not recommended for men due to its anti-androgen properties. This medication is also not recommended for women who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.

Side Effects

Side effects from Spironolactone may include menstrual irregularities, fatigue, dizziness, and breast tenderness, all of which are typically mild and rarely cause individuals to stop taking the medication. Most side effects are dose-dependent, except central nervous system symptoms (lethargy, headache, lightheadedness, dizziness). Women who are pregnant or are trying to become pregnant, should not take spironolactone because of the risk of feminization of the male fetus. Men should not take spironolactone due to a risk of gynecomastia.

Pros
  • hormonal acne treatment
  • high blood pressure treatment
  • excess hair growth treatment
  • female pattern hair loss treatment
  • hormonal acne
Cons
  • menstrual irregularities
  • tiredness
  • breast tenderness
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