Video:How to Treat Acne With Spironolactonewith Dr. Debra Jaliman
Using a hormone blocker to treat acne can be highly effective when acne is caused by too much testosterone. In this health video from About.com, learn how to treat acne with the hormone blocker, spironolactone.See Transcript
Transcript:How to Treat Acne With Spironolactone
Hi this Dr. Debra Jaliman, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City and author of the book: Skin Rules Trade Secrets From a Top New York Dermatologist here for About.com to talk about the use of spironolactone for acne.
What is Spironolactone?
Spironolactone is a hormone blocker. It actually blocks testosterone. Now everybody has testosterone in their system which is a male hormone. But some people have too high a level of testosterone and we're talking about female patients. So sometimes, to get a hold on acne and to treat it effectively we need to block the male hormone. So in order to block the male hormone we use spironolactone. So we give patients a low dose of spironolactone, they start with 50mg a day and then after a few days if that hasn't worked, we go up to 100mg a day and slowly increase the spironolactone as needed. What the spironolactone does is, it blocks the testosterone.
Spironolactone and Testosterone
Now some of my patients say "Isn't that dangerous to block the male hormone?" It's not dangerous at all if you have an excess of male hormone. The great thing about spironolactone is it will only block the male hormone that's in excess. The male hormone that you don't need. So it's very safe, and very effective. It's actually made as a diuretic: that's the main use of spironolactone. So it's been on the market for many years. When we prescribe spironolactone as dermatologists, we're using it as an off-label use, because it's actually made as a diuretic, so many people like that side-effect as the diuretic. You just have to make certain that you drink enough water.
Using Spironolactone to Treat Acne
So spironolactone is very effective as a hormone blocker, we use it in dermatology, and in a matter of weeks, many people miraculously clear up, so my female patients really like the addition of spironolactone to their other skin care regimen. Just understand that when you use spironolactone, you're using topical preparations for acne, and many people also take it in conjunction with an antibiotic, so it is an added very safe, very effective treatment for acne. Now just to be sure, make sure that if you're using spironolactone for acne it can only be used in female patients. Because you certainly don't want to block testosterone in a male patient because men need their testosterone.
If you have any other questions about spironolactone please go to About.com.