Do you struggle with acne along your jawline, lower face, neck, or body? Are you disappointed with the lack of results from antibiotics and topical treatments? If so, one potential cause of your acne may be a hormonal imbalance.
When hormonal imbalances cause your acne, it’s often challenging to find solutions that work. One approach is to try prescription medications to help correct the imbalance. Spironolactone is one treatment for hormonal acne in women, but how effective is it, and are the side effects as bad as some people say?
What Is Spironolactone?
Spironolactone, or Aldactone, is a prescription diuretic that helps restore the balance of sodium and potassium in the body and is used for high blood pressure and heart disease.
This drug also can suppress the hormone, testosterone. Given its antiandrogen activity, spironolactone has several off-label uses including:
- Hormonal acne
- Unwanted hair growth in women (hirsutism)
- Female pattern hair loss
- Premenstrual Syndrome
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
It is not FDA-approved to treat acne or any of these off-label uses.
Who Can Benefit From Using Spironolactone?
Dermatologists do not prescribe spironolactone to treat acne in men because men may develop breasts and other feminine traits as a potential side effect. However, it is considered generally safe by some dermatologists for healthy women.
Spironolactone is often considered for women who are experiencing cyclical acne or moderate to severe acne that hasn’t improved with other treatments such as oral contraceptives or antibiotics.
How Effective Is Spironolactone for Hormonal Acne?
Women may see an improvement in their acne and less oily skin in a few weeks since spironolactone blocks testosterone receptors and inhibits your body from making androgens.
That said, there is limited research evidence to support spironolactone for acne. A systematic review in 2017 found that there is not enough high-quality evidence of the potential effectiveness of spironolactone at present. More research with larger sample sizes and double-blind procedures are recommended.
Given the limited research support, it’s essential to consult your doctor or dermatologist to determine if spironolactone is the right treatment approach for you. As with many acne treatments, results tend to vary from person to person.
What Are the Side Effects of Spironolactone?
Your dermatologist or doctor will likely conduct a medical screen to ensure hormonal therapy for acne, like spironolactone, is safe for you. As mentioned, men should not use spironolactone for acne due to the risk of feminization.
Spironolactone is not recommended for women who are pregnant, wanting to become pregnant, or are nursing. Spironolactone poses a risk to developing fetuses, and a byproduct of this drug can be excreted into breast milk.
Common side effects of spironolactone include:
- Stomach upset
- Irregular periods
- Breast tenderness and enlargement
- Painful periods
- Liver dysfunction
- Kidney failure
- Risk of tumors in animal studies
Is There a Natural Alternative to Spironolactone?
While some women have found relief of their acne with spironolactone, it’s not for everyone.
Wisely, many women do not feel the potential side effects are worth the risk of clearing their hormonal acne when there are natural alternatives for people who are experiencing acne due to hormone imbalances.
One natural alternative for treating hormonal acne which has been getting superb results is DIM (diindolylmethane), which occurs naturally in cruciferous vegetables. DIM has antiandrogen benefits that can help balance hormones like testosterone.
Personal accounts on message boards and Reddit boards reveal many adults noticing an improvement in their acne within a few days or weeks after starting DIM supplements, including the healing of deep, painful cysts. May men and women have completely cleared their hormonal acne by using DIM, even when they thought they had tried everything.
Unlike spironolactone, DIM can be used by men and women. Some reported side effects of DIM include mild symptoms of fatigue, headaches, upset stomach, or darker urine. However, many people say that taking DIM with food reduces many of the side effects.
Natural Supplements like DIM May Help Hormone-Related Acne
When acne flares due to hormone imbalances, you may need a treatment approach that heals your body from within. While prescription medications such as spironolactone may help some people, natural alternatives like DIM may also reduce hormonal acne and provide clearer skin, without the same risk of harmful side effects. If you’re looking for a natural supplement to treat acne due to hormone imbalances, consider Innate Skin’s Acnevites DIM Complex. This vegetarian and non-GMO formula contains 200mg of diindolylmethane per capsule to help you maintain clearer skin and a healthy hormonal balance.
Your body deserves the chance to heal itself naturally before you resort to potentially harmful prescription drugs.