Spironolactone Cleared My Skin
I finally found something that worked.
I've never had severe acne, however, I had what dermatologists would refer to as "moderate acne". I always had little pimples on my chin and on my forehead, and my skin was always super oily. When one zit went away, it seemed like two more reappeared the next day. I had tried all of the over-the-counter face washes and spot treatments, but nothing seemed to work.
My skin actually started to get worse my sophomore year of college. I would never leave my dorm room without wearing makeup, and I'm sure always having foundation and concealer on didn't help with my acne. Even around my roommate, I would sometimes feel uncomfortable with a bare face. That's no way to live life, and I wanted clear skin! It didn't seem fair to me that I was 19 years old and still dealing with all of this acne.
So, in the winter of my sophomore year, I visited the dermatologist for the first time. She took a look at my skin and prescribed minocycline. This was an oral drug, and I took it for about a year and a half. After about six weeks I started seeing an improvement in my skin, which was very exciting to me. But, after a few months, my skin's improvement plateaued. While my skin was better than it was before I started taking minocycline, it still wasn't where I wanted it to be.
Right before I was about to head back to school for my senior year of college, I went back to the dermatologist again to inquire about this. This time, she prescribed spironolactone, which is another oral drug. Spironolactone, in higher doses, was originally used to treat hypertension and high blood pressure. But, it is also an androgen blocker, so it helps with hormonal acne, which I had. It's also only for women—androgens (such as testosterone) are masculine hormones... so it makes sense why an androgen-blocking drug wouldn't be prescribed to males.
Now, I think it's important to say—and my dermatologist warned me of this as well before I started taking spironolactone—it is not by any means a quick fix. I was told it would be a minimum of three months before I started seeing improvements. It sounded tough, but it would all be worth it in the end, right?
Well, not only did it take a while for me to see any improvement, my skin actually got worse before it got better (I was also warned of this). So now not only was I breaking out frequently, but my skin did a complete 180 and was now extremely dry instead of extremely oily. I had dry patches on my face, and my matte foundations could no longer be used because they would cling to said dry patches. It was extremely frustrating. For about a month, my skin was the worst it had ever been.
But, lo and behold, my skin began to improve. After that initial month, it took another month for my skin to get back to where it was before I started taking spironolactone. After that is when the real improvements started. Slowly but surely, the acne cleared up, along with a lot of my acne scars and whiteheads/blackheads.
So all in all, it took about five months from when I started taking spironolactone for my skin to get to where it is now. It's not 100 percent perfect (is anyone's skin?), but it is a million times better than it was prior to taking spiro. My skin tone is more even, I don't have as many whiteheads/blackheads, my skin isn't overly dry or overly oily, and best of all, my acne cleared up. Before taking this medication, I would have at least one new breakout every morning. Now, that almost never happens. The only times I break out are when I'm super stressed, I forget to wash my face/take off my makeup from the night before, or if it's my time of the month.
Adult acne can be aggravating, but I was able to find my solution. I was so reluctant to go to the dermatologist at first (because I am a very stubbornperson), but now that my skin is the best it's ever been, I'm so glad that I did end up going. Although you have to be patient while the medication takes its course, the end result is more than worth it. If you're struggling with adult acne, pay your dermatologist a visit. And if they suggest spironolactone, just remember that it was my saving grace, so maybe it will be yours as well. :)
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