NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - 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 estrogen and a version of progestin called drospirenone - in 27 women with severe facial acne.
At the end of the study, 11 percent of women were entirely clear of acne lesions, 74 percent had excellent improvement, 7.4 percent had mild improvement, and 7.4 percent 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 estrogen 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."
SOURCE: Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, January 2008.