Skin Update: Is Spironolactone the Hormonal Acne Drug I’ve Been Hoping For?

In 2017 my dermatologist prescribed me Spironolactone for the treatment of my hormonal cystic acne. I didn’t get the results I was hoping for after three months on the drug, so I opted for Isotretinoin (Accutane) instead. This time around, I jumped at the chance to try Spironolactone for two main reasons: (1) my hormonal cystic acne isn’t as bad as it was in 2017 and (2) my dermatologist already shot down my request for a second round of Isotretinoin (Accutane). It’s been a little over a month since I started taking Spironolactone again. Here’s the rundown:

Spironolactone is a diuretic that was originally formulated to treat high blood pressure and heart failure. In lower dosages it is used to treat hormonal acne in women (sorry guys, since Spiro is also a testosterone blocker it’s not often prescribed to men).

Some of the more common side-effects of Spiro are as follows: urinary frequency, drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, upset stomach, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and/or headaches. Obviously, my dermatologist prescribed Spiro to me because the benefits outweigh the risks in my case. However, I have been experiencing some of the following symptoms since starting the drug: lightheadedness, nausea, slight headaches, urinary frequency and DRY SKIN.

Right-side of my face, May 2019 before Spironolactone

Right-side of my face, May 2019 before Spironolactone

Right-side of my face, June 2019 one month on Spironolactone

Right-side of my face, June 2019 one month on Spironolactone

I’m currently taking 50 MG of Spironolactone once a day. I only take the pill in the evenings after I’ve eaten dinner. I find that I experience less side-effects this way. Another trick I found that really helps lessen the severity of the side-effects is to drink two liters of water a day. Trust me, it helpsss! I go to the bathroom a lot more, but it still beats feeling sick.

To deal with the dry skin, I’ve had to completely switch up my skincare routine and makeup routine. I’m still nailing down the right products for me, so stay tuned for another update!

So far, my hormonal cystic acne hasn’t budged. I still have hard, painful cyst around my hairline and jaw, but I have noticed the size of the cyst has decreased. Spironolactone is not a quick fix (in any sense of the phrase). In fact, most women have to stay on Spiro for a minimum of three months before they see any real improvement in their skin. I’m hoping month two will bring better results. Stay tuned as I continue this series.

Have you tried Spironolactone? What was your experience on it? Let’s chat in the comments!

xo, Sha