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What's Working for Marta

Spironolactone

* An acne treatment

* Please read Marta's post on Jan Marini Relaunches Age Intervention Hair with a thorough explanation of Spironolactone

* Also known as Aldactone, Novo-Spiroton, Aldactazide, Spiractin, Spirotone, Verospiron or Berlactone

Functions:

Spironolactone is classified as an antiandrogen and as a diuretic, and is used to prevent or inhibit the biologic effects of androgens, or male sex hormones. Taken orally, Spironolactone is only recommended for use by women, because it affects the sexual hormones responsible for gender development. It is found to be effective in treating acne caused by hormonal fluctuations, but not all acne conditions; it can also reduce the amount of unwanted facial hair in women as well. Spironolactone works by blocking androgen receptors in the body, blocking cells from absorbing this hormone. These hormones can be responsible for acne flareups, so blocking its development can prevent or treat hormone-related acne (Acne.About.com and Wikipedia).

Studies found that for women who suffer from hormonal acne, orally-prescribed Spironolactone caused up to 66% of women to see improvement in their skin condition, and in some cases, a complete clearing of acne.

It is unclear if Spironolactone is effective when applied topically.

Spironolactone is FDA approved as a diuretic, but not as a treatment for acne.

Safety Measures/Side Effects:

Spironolactone is a controversial ingredient, because of its effects on the hormones, as well as its link to cancer. This ingredient was found to cause tumors in lab rats, and "for one to two year periods show an increase in carcinogenesis in the thyroid gland, testes, liver, breasts, and myelocytic leukocytes. Mammalian cells, depending on the presence of metabolic activation, show mixed results for mutagenicity in vitro" (Wikipedia). However, the doses administered to the rats were 500 times the dose prescribed to humans.

According to the FDA, other side effects of Spironolactone include stomach bleeding, menstrual irregularities and testicular atrophy, as well as drowsiness and rashes. It can also cause a heightened production of potassium, which can lead to health problems if left unmonitored. It should not be taken by patients suffering from, or with a history of, kidney problems, breast cancer, uterine cancer, or ovarian cancer. Because it manipulates hormone levels, it can also lead to breast tenderness.

Recommended Products w/ Spironolactone:

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