Updated: Oct 2, 2019
Adult acne. Yes, I said it. I’m putting it out there. It’s a sensitive topic but it doesn’t mean it needs to be hush-hush. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, of women older than 25 years, 54% have some facial acne. Adult acne is an emotional roller coaster and can do quite a number on one’s self-esteem. Those who have lived through it or still is will know exactly what I mean.
My own journey with adult acne didn’t start until after graduating from undergraduate. From there on out, it was one product after another as I tried to combat the stubborn pustules. I didn’t think there would ever be an end to it. As I saw it, there was no light at the end of the tunnel. My only consolation was that the acne could have been worse. That was the only way I was able to cope with it.
I kid you not when I say I tried over a dozen products, including several prescribed medications, many home remedies, facials and light therapy. It wasn’t until three years ago that I finally found the one product that completely took away my adult acne—spironolactone. Yep, good old spironolactone.
Spironolactone was originally formulated for treatment of hypertension but it was discovered to be great for treating hormonal acne as well. Yes, spironolactone is hormonal therapy. It is also a diuretic. That means you can expect increased urination. In my opinion, that was worth the benefit of getting rid of my acne. Studies have shown spironolactone to be effective, from 50%-100% effective. Wow! However, before you start telling everyone and their sons, one thing to note is that spironolactone is not prescribed for acne in men due to side effects. For instance, men who have been prescribed spironolactone developed breasts while on the medication.
Within three months of taking spironolactone once daily, I noticed that my face had cleared up and no new acne had developed. I was initially prescribed 100mg but reduced to 50mg after two and a half years. The reason for the reduction was due to irregular periods. Ladies, you know what I mean when I say one period is a drag. Imagine two periods per month! I didn’t start having irregular periods until about one year into the medication. After reducing my dose, I noticed my period was back to normal, once per month. Yay!
Dose is adjustable
Studies have shown 50%-100% effectiveness, for me it was 100% effective
Considered generally safe for healthy women
May cause irregular periods
May cause birth defects if you get pregnant while on the medication, birth control is a must
In our next blog, I’ll tackle the pros and cons of all the other products I tried over the years. Stay tuned!