Tuesday, December 17, 2013

True Acne Caused by Drugs

However, not all drug-related breakouts are acne form in nature; there are exceptions, Garner says. Drugs that affect hormone levels can cause true acne. While doctors don’t know the exact cause of acne, one important factor is an increase in male sex hormones called androgen. Both men and women have these hormones. As a result, women on hormone-replacement therapy for menopause symptoms may break out if the drug contains testosterone. "It’s not a drug reaction. It’s real acne," Garner says. Often, these women have had acne in the past. Men who take androgenic steroids to build muscle mass may also get true acne. "Androgenic steroids especially taken by the men who are trying to bulk up in the gym can give you terrible cystic acne," Garner says.
Taking anabolic steroids for bodybuilding to stop taking them. Not everyone can discontinue a medication that causes skin problems, for example, those on drugs to treat serious conditions, such as seizures or bipolar disorder. "Those medications are important to their survival," Garner says. In these cases, drug-associated dermal eruptions are rare, she emphasizes. "The infinite mass of people do not have this trouble. There are millions of people on lithium, and most of them are not having bad acne." But when such problems crop up and patients must remain on their medications, she goes ahead and treats the resulting acne. "It’s just going to be much more difficult to treat," she says. But she has treated patients on lithium with strong acne drugs such as Isotretinoin. She would never take the lead in advising patients to consider switching their other medication, though, because the consequences can be serious. "I would never suppose to build that guidance," she says. "I’m always worried that patients will take it upon themselves to end their medications."

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