And so goes the ongoing story of a girl in her mid-twenties who just can’t get her f*#king skin to cooperate. Listen, it’s an uphill battle. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. We will get there and we will prevail eventually. But it’s going to take time. That’s the harsh reality of conquering hormonal acne. It creeps up on you quickly, but takes time to mend.
There are a multitude of reasons why you could have developed hormonal acne: hormone imbalance, gut issues, stress, food intolerance, and the list goes on. Thus being so, there is a varying list of remedies to help improve your skin. On the long list are some prescription options – two of them being Tretinoin and Clindamycin (which I have been prescribed now for 10 months).
Another item on the list of prescriptions that has been proven (in small dosage) to control acne: spironolactone.
Spironolactone is a medicine typically used to treat high blood pressure. Ironically, in lower doses, it can block the male hormones in our bodies which are known to cause oily skin and clogged pores. It is also a diuretic, which means it will make you pee a lot, so it’s important to consult your dermatologist and primary care doctor if you are interested in seeing if this is the right medication for you. Pro tip: drink a shit ton of water to ensure you are maintaining your hydration properly.
With all of this being said, here is a history of my skin issues and how Clindamycin and Tretinoin have come in to save the day. If you’re more of a video person, you’ll enjoy this version. They are nothing short of miracle workers.
HOWEVER, my skin is still not in check. Though exceedingly less than before, I still suffer from under-the-skin painful bumps. My skin is still blotchy and red, and my acne still gets rather enflamed. Essentially, I haven’t rid of it yet. This leads me to my new prescription (recommended by my dermatologist): spironolactone.
Disclaimer: I have read in several blog posts/articles that major changes on spironolactone aren’t seen until month 3 and on. However, I wanna give y’all the tea on how it’s affecting my skin in the first month. Enjoy!
Here is my 30 day skin diary after starting spironolactone.
After 1 week on spironolactone:
I have noticed an increase in breakouts and the intensity of them. Prior to starting this medication, my acne was maintainable with the occasional painful hormonal blemish. When it did flare up, it was concentrated. This week I have spots in new locations. Less than ideal, obviously. Also v painful. Alas, I read that this was happen so I am gritting my teeth and baring through it.
After 2 weeks on spironolactone:
This week I’m having the same issue, just trying to stick it out. Beauty is pain and beauty takes time, so I need to be patient. If I can achieve crystal clear skin in the long-term, I’ll suffer in the short-term. I have a couple new spots that are large and painful. Otherwise, I don’t notice much difference in my skin (as far as oil production).
*Interesting to note that I got a blemish on my back this week, which is very rare for me. I wonder if there is a purging stage to this and that’s what brought it to the surface.
After 3 weeks on spironolactone:
Not much has changed in my skin this week. MAYBE, if anything, I notice I am a little more on the dry side (typically, I am v oily and have a shiny t-zone by noon). No more large breakouts, but my skin isn’t calm. I have some redness and small blemishes, more than typically. I shall check in next week!
After 4 weeks on spironolactone:
Wowwwww my skin is fucked HAHAHAHA – all we can do is laugh really, am I right? Listen, we will prevail. It’s all trial and error and if I didn’t document this then I’d be suffering ALONE. I just stole a peek at my skin in the bathroom at work, and let me tell you, it ain’t pretty. It’s patchy, flaky, dry skin season bitchessss.
Again, obviously not happy about it.
However, I can see it through for the long run gain. Here’s hoping my 3 month progress report shows a bit more clarity (in my skin & goals for this medication).
My final wrap up
So that’s THAT. Fun stuff. Not gonna lie, I’m ending this a little bitter. It’s a bummer to not see results after a month on a new medication, which is seemingly making my skin worse. But I will say, everything I’ve read said things start to improve around that 3 month marker. I am hanging in there and believing in that 3 month revolutionary morning I wake up with crystal clear skin. Lol. Okay, a little over-dramatic as far as expectations are concerned, but that’s what I’m known for.
Signing off with dry, flaky skin. Cheers to the 3 month check-in which will *hopefully* bring more positivity. Here’s an adorable photo of myself to boost morale. Cheers.