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How does the hormone spironolactone work to treat acne?

Dr. Doris Day, MD
Dermatology
Spironolactone functions as both an androgen receptor blocker and possibly also an inhibitor of 5-alpha-reductase type 1. In doses of 50-100 mg/day, it has been shown to reduce sebum production and improve acne. In countries such as the United States with no effective anti-androgenic medications, spironolactone may be used for women with therapy-resistant acne, although it has not been formally approved for this condition. In one study looking at spironolactone therapy in acne, one-third of the patients had complete clearing of their acne, one-third had marked improvement, and nearly one-third showed partial improvement, with less than 10% showing no improvement of their acne.
100 Questions & Answers About Acne

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100 Questions & Answers About Acne

100 Questions and Answers About Acne provides you with all the information you need to manage your complexion problems. Written by Dr. Doris J. Day, a world-class expert in the field, this clearly...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.