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Androgens are hormones that are considered to be the primary cause of acne development as they stimulate the sebaceous glands which in turn produce excess amounts of oil. For acne treatment to be effective, it is paramount to decrease the action of androgens. One of the most common methods employed is the use of antiandrogens, drugs that stop the action of androgens on oil glands.
Antiandrogen treatments are done when the body is producing too much androgen. If you have irregularities in your endocrine system, this might be the best treatment for you.
Regular birth control pills won’t be able to help you if your endocrine glands are not functioning normally.
Remember, it’s recommended that you continue taking your birth control pills if you’re already taking antiandrogens. This is done to protect a male fetus if you suddenly become pregnant.
A male fetus may become feminized if you are taking antiandrogens, because the normal development of a male fetus requires certain levels of both androgens and estrogens.
If you have experienced the following, you’re a prime candidate for antiandrogen treatment:
• Oral and topical antibiotic treatments have failed
• Birth control pills have not been effective in controlling your acne
• Your acne returned even after a year of taking Accutane
If you’re familiar with these situations, then you might be suffering from androgen excess. Your doctor would be able to carry out the necessary tests to confirm this.
You may want to look into the following drugs if you’re interested in antiandrogen treatment:
1) Spironolactone (Aldactone) – this antiandrogen is useful for individuals who are suffering from inflammatory nodules. It has also been proven to reduce the production of oil in the skin.
2) Flutamide (Eulexin) – may cause liver damage. Flutamide is prescribed for severely uncontrollable acne in women.
In case you get a prescription for either of the aforementioned drugs, you should be aware of what they do inside the body.
If you’ve been prescribed Spironolactone, you would need to take either 25 milligrams or 50 milligrams.
Antiandrogens treatment lasts for half a year. To monitor the effects of the Spironolactone, your doctor may order certain blood tests. Side effects and disadvantages include the following:
• Irregular menstrual cycles
• Tenderness of the breasts
• Women with breast cancer should think twice
Antiandrogen drugs are not miracle drugs. Acne cannot clear up at once. This principle applies to this particular treatment of acne. Wait for at least three months to about six months to see whether the treatment is working.
If the treatment were not working, then your doctor would probably stop prescribing the drugs to you. It would be pointless to continue a treatment that fails to deliver the goods.
Any treatment requires professional advice. That’s the importance of approaching your general practitioner first before you do anything. Don’t play god with your own body.
Information may be your best friend in the battle against acne. However, it might also become your biggest liability. No amount of books can ever replace the diagnosis of a competent health care provider.