Aldactone Treatment for Acne in Women
Adult acne can be particularly distressing to sufferers, who often feel as if they should have left their pimples behind once they left the teenage years. But it's not uncommon: according to the American Academy of Dermatology, many people, especially women, still get zits even well into adulthood. Dermatologists often start with standard acne treatments, but if you're a woman, your doctor might recommend the hormonal treatment Aldactone to treat your acne.
The male hormones your body normally contains can cause your acne, according to the Cleveland Clinic. When these hormones, called androgens, stimulate your skin's oil-producing glands or sebaceous glands, your glands can make too much oil, causing oily skin, clogged pores and bacterial growth. Most of those who get acne, even adults, have normal hormonal levels. But hormones fluctuate monthly, even in normal women, and that can cause acne, especially right before your period.
Aldactone, which also is known by the generic term spironolactone, is a diuretic, or water pill, that prevents your body from absorbing too much water. Physicians use it to treat congestive heart failure, swelling and liver cirrhosis, according to Drugs.com. But it's also hormonal in nature, which makes it an effective acne treatment. Aldactone prevents the male hormones normally present in your body from influencing your oil-producing skin glands, which curbs oil and reduces your acne.
About half of all women experience side effects when using Aldactone for their acne. These side effects can include changes in your menstrual periods, breast tenderness and fatigue, as well as the need to urinate more frequently, reports a National Institutes of Health web page. Other common but less serious side effects can include nausea and vomiting, gas, stomach pain and skin rash.
Aldactone can work well to curb your acne. In one medical study reported in 1994 in the medical journal Fertility and Sterility, researchers followed women with acne and other symptoms for 15 months, some of whom received Aldactone treatment. They reported that the group taking Aldactone saw their acne reduced by half over the course of the study.
Your dermatologist may be reluctant to prescribe Aldactone for your acne due to the high risk of side effects, according to the AAD. In fact, many dermatologists will recommend treating your skin with topical antimicrobial drugs and oral antibiotics before recommending a hormonal treatment such as Aldactone. In addition, women who are pregnant or considering pregnancy shouldn't take Aldactone.
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