16 April 2009

The pill combats acne

The oral contraceptive Yasmin, plus a low-dose of the diuretic spironolactone, is a safe and effective treatment for women with severe facial acne.


The oral contraceptive Yasmin, plus a low-dose of the diuretic spironolactone, is a safe and effective treatment for women with severe facial acne, according to the findings of a small study.

Hormones can play a role in the development of acne. "Several studies have demonstrated that combined oral contraceptives can be an effective treatment for acne in women," Dr Aleksandar Krunic from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, and colleagues point out in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

The researchers therefore examined the safety and efficacy of acne treatment using both spironolactone and Yasmin - a combined contraceptive containing oestrogen and a version of progestin called drospirenone - in 27 women with severe facial acne.

Results promising
At the end of the study, 11% of women were entirely clear of acne lesions, 74% had excellent improvement, 7.4% had mild improvement, and 7.4% had no change.

There were no reports of significant weight gain or menstrual cycle irregularities. There were no side effects severe enough to necessitate discontinuation of either of the medications.

The combination of spironolactone plus oestrogen and drospirenone is "attractive for control of moderate to severe, hormonally-influenced female acne," Krunic's team concludes. "However, we recommend that our results be confirmed with a larger series of patients." - (Reuters Health)

SOURCE: Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, January 2008.

Read more:
The pill may fight acne
Acne Centre

February 2008


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Dr Suretha Kannenberg holds a degree in Medicine and a Masters in Dermatology from the University of Stellenbosch. She is employed as a consultant dermatologist by Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Academic Hospital, where she is involved in clinical duties and the training of medical students and dermatology residents. Her areas of interest and research include vitiligo, eczema and acne. She also performs limited private practice work in the Northern suburbs of Cape Town in general and cosmetic dermatology.

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