Have hormonal acne? This ‘miracle’ drug could help treat it

HOUSTON – Hormonal acne can hit you for the first time as an adult and the harsh treatments used in teenagers won’t always work well for adults, and a lot of times, nothing works.

That’s why some are calling Spirinolactone a “miracle” cure.

Ericka Padilla said she struggled with acne. Not just ordinary breakouts but deep, painful, red cysts below the skin along her jaw.

“I probably tried about four to five different medications and it just wasn’t enough,” Padilla said. “I would get a lot of breakouts in my jaw area. They were very painful. Very painful. It even hurt when I would eat.”

She said Dr. Sherry Ingraham from Advanced Dermatology in Sugar Land found the cure for her. A pill called Spironolactone -- which is typically used as a blood pressure medication -- made the hard-to-treat acne disappear.

Ingraham said the pill has been around for decades but it is typically a last-ditch effort to clear skin.

“I think this is one of those great secrets in dermatology because it’s something we don’t talk about a lot," Ingraham said. “Typically we talk about Accutane and antibiotics but Spironolactone is another class of medication. It’s what we think of as a hormone-blocking drug, ao we use this medication a little differently. A lot of times I’ll start patient on this medicine with antibiotics orally and then, after a few months, I’ll take them off the oral antibiotic but they’ll maintain on the Spironolactone ... because Spironolactone takes about six weeks to start working, and really in three months you see the true effects of the medication.”

Ingraham said men, pregnant women, kidney patients or people who find relief with topical creams should not try Spironolactone.

For patients like Padilla, this is everything she was waiting for.

“I did notice, once I started taking it, the breakouts were less and I came to the point where I don’t even have breakouts anymore,” Padilla said.

Patients on blood pressure medication need to consult with the doctor who prescribed that medication before using Spironolactone for acne. However, in general, Ingraham said side effects are mild, most people tolerate this drug well.