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#87815 - 05/26/11 04:57 PM Spironolactone *
Pizzahut Offline
Member

Registered: 04/06/11
Posts: 2
Hi there,

I've been struggling with some facial hair since my early 20's (now 28) and some light acne. After some hormone tests which showed borderline testosterone levels, my derm is prescribing me to spironolactone which I am really looking forward to taking! I hope it helps manage my problems.

My question is how should I treat my facial hair going forward? I have stopped plucking awhile back after hearing that it promotes hair growth, but don't know how to proceed. My doc said it will hopefully stop/slow growth.

Anyone have any experience or ideas?

Thanks!

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#87820 - 05/26/11 06:43 PM Re: Spironolactone [Re: Pizzahut]
LAgirl Offline

Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 12/22/04
Posts: 9994
Loc: New York, NY
The drug may prevent new growth. But you need to get electrolysis for the current growth that's already there.

You can shave also without long term impact of any kind.

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#87823 - 05/26/11 08:03 PM Re: Spironolactone [Re: LAgirl]
JMISR Offline
Top 20 Contributor

Registered: 12/11/10
Posts: 254
Loc: Seattle, USA
It's better to exhaust permanent methods (in your case, electrolysis) before starting anti-androgenic therapy.
It can take months to a year to see any benefit from these medications, and by that time you could really get things under control with electrolysis.

As mentioned, it won't help with the hair you already have. Also, any benefit obtained from the medication goes away upon discontinuing the medication. If it were me (I'm an MD PhD), I wouldn't want to be on this for the rest of my life if it wasn't 100% necessary.

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#88309 - 06/06/11 02:13 PM Re: Spironolactone [Re: JMISR]
Pizzahut Offline
Member

Registered: 04/06/11
Posts: 2
Thank you. I am on the meds for a host of reasons, not just for hair growth so I am not likely to go off. But I do appreciate the info!

BS

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#100700 - 08/19/12 01:24 PM Re: Spironolactone [Re: Pizzahut]
WeRNotAfraid Offline
Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 07/28/02
Posts: 385
Loc: Dallas
I have to disagree with others in that yes, anti-androgens WILL reduce the amount of hair you have and lessen the amount of electrolysis needed. Since I started anti-androgens my body hair thinned out significantly, and if I had started electrolysis first I would have spend much, much more time and money. The hair that remains is finer, lighter, and easier to remove.

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#100702 - 08/19/12 04:53 PM Re: Spironolactone [Re: WeRNotAfraid]
James W. Walker VII Offline

Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 8041
Loc: Buffalo NY, & Traveling the US...
While I HAVE seen anti-androgens reduce the number of hairs one has on the body, I have not seen them reduce the number of facial hairs my clients have had. They MAY reduce the thickness of those hairs, but not the number of hairs.

When I work a full body job on a TG, we concentrate on the face, and try to make sure the area around the areolas are clear, so that we don't have to work that area when the breast development makes them super sensitive. Sometimes, the chest hair retreats and we don't need to go back to it, other times, we need to work the remaining hairs so that we have a smooth female chest after the pharmaceuticals have done their thing.
_________________________
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#100705 - 08/19/12 09:00 PM Re: Spironolactone [Re: James W. Walker VII]
Barbara_CPE Offline

Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 10/19/05
Posts: 1102
Loc: Kansas
Agreeing with James. Something causes the hair diameter (for some) to decrease. Often that's enough to make you think that there is less hair (less hair weight, perhaps?).

Retreat is a good word to use for this. I have noticed a "reduction" of hair (diameter, not in number) after the client has begun spironolactone.
_________________________
Barbara Greathouse, CPE
Kansas Licensed since 1980
Live by the 4 Agreements: Be impeccable with your word. Don't take anything personally. Don't make assumptions. Always do your best.



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#100711 - 08/20/12 07:17 AM Re: Spironolactone [Re: Barbara_CPE]
mumbaigirl Offline
Top 20 Contributor

Registered: 12/14/11
Posts: 281
I'm on spironolactone since a year and have noticed about 30% reduction in THICKNESS of body hair but NOT in number. Of course, I have no way to accurately measure. Many people experience reduction in number of body hair but that is usually after several years of being on spironolactone/HRT. I guess the hair just becomes vellus and unnoticeable but doesn't really get killed - the way it gets killed from laser and electrolysis.

The rate of facial hair growth slowed down pretty fast: within 3 months of starting spironolactone. I couldn't see notice any significant reduction in thickness and number though. I might have seen some reduction had I waited for longer and not started laser. I started laser in about 5 months of starting spironolactone.

Strange thing: I haven't waxed or shaved or used any other form of hair removal on my body hair since I started hormones as I'm prone to folliculitis and YET, I see significant reduction in thickness. And I have pictures to prove. I wonder how a fully grown thick hair can become thin (without being plucked/shaved and starting out afresh from the follicle). Does it shed keratin? (LOL) Or is it the cycles? *wonders*

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#100712 - 08/20/12 01:32 PM Re: Spironolactone [Re: mumbaigirl]
WeRNotAfraid Offline
Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 07/28/02
Posts: 385
Loc: Dallas
I've noticed both a reduction in hair thickness and in hair count; some places that used to have hair are now totally hairless or else have tiny, tiny little vellus hairs. I also noticed that anti-androgens reduced my facial hair slightly and radically cut down on the regrowth (my face has been cleared now for years.) I definitely think they can help improve appearance by themselves; the popular claim that they only prevent new growth and do nothing for existing hair is not true.

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#100723 - 08/21/12 05:44 AM Re: Spironolactone [Re: WeRNotAfraid]
mumbaigirl Offline
Top 20 Contributor

Registered: 12/14/11
Posts: 281
That's good to hear. smile

Can you please tell me how much reduction(of course, approximately) you have noticed in hair count area-wise?

Also, how long did it take for you to achieve this reduction on hormones?


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#100735 - 08/21/12 03:27 PM Re: Spironolactone [Re: mumbaigirl]
WeRNotAfraid Offline
Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 07/28/02
Posts: 385
Loc: Dallas
The amount of reduction varies tremendously over my body. My arms used to be very, very hairy but now are almost hair-free in places and what does remain is fine and blond. The hair on my legs, however, is but little changed. The effect on my facial hair seemed to be pretty sudden; it stopped growing in as much, came in lighter, and disappeared much quicker with electrolysis. I would estimate it took about 150 to 200 hours max to remove my facial hair, but most of that was done before I ever did anything hormonal. All I have now on my face is peach fuzz, which is hair you do not want to remove lest you look waxy. I'm actually adding anti-androgens to my regimen again to see if I can reduce body hair growth yet more. Though my testosterone levels are very low, there is some evidence that anti-androgens can still reduce hair even in the absence of hormonal issues. Why is unclear.

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#101862 - 10/19/12 06:22 AM Re: Spironolactone [Re: mumbaigirl]
team90 Offline
Contributor

Registered: 07/18/12
Posts: 31
Mumbagirl and Wenotafraid, what is the dosage of spiro you were taking?

I also have excess hair growth and the endocrinologist prescribed me 50mg/day of spiro and diane-35. I read on several forums which say that 50mg is a low dosage and it should be around 100-200mg per day.


Edited by team90 (10/19/12 06:24 AM)

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#101864 - 10/19/12 10:33 AM Re: Spironolactone [Re: team90]
mumbaigirl Offline
Top 20 Contributor

Registered: 12/14/11
Posts: 281
Remember Diane-35 contains cyproterone acetate which is a potent anti-androgen. Spironolactone 50mg/d sounds fine in combination with Diane-35.

I took 50mg/d for the 1st 2-3 months, 100mg/d for the next 7 months and achieved 30% reduction in thickness of the hair. There hasn't been any noticeable reduction since (even though my dosage has doubled to 200mg/d).


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#101885 - 10/20/12 12:39 AM Re: Spironolactone [Re: mumbaigirl]
team90 Offline
Contributor

Registered: 07/18/12
Posts: 31
Thank you so much for your reponse. I have been terribly depressed with all this hair. I am running low on money since I have to pay my tuition for school so I cannot afford any LHR or electrolysis at the moment. These drugs are covered through my university insurance since so this is the only thing I can afford right now. I will start these medications and keep you updated.

I read that everyone responds differently to these drugs. Do you think it's possible that I achieve a greater reduction in hair than you? Did you see any of the hair completly falling out and not growing back?

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#101892 - 10/20/12 07:51 AM Re: Spironolactone [Re: team90]
mumbaigirl Offline
Top 20 Contributor

Registered: 12/14/11
Posts: 281
Very much possible. Most people do achieve around 50% reduction in thickness of the hair within one year of starting the drugs.

You might need several years of therapy to see hair completely falling out. (I think it just gets vellus and unnoticeable)

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#101903 - 10/20/12 04:23 PM Re: Spironolactone [Re: mumbaigirl]
team90 Offline
Contributor

Registered: 07/18/12
Posts: 31
Thank you for your help mumbagirl. It seems that the prescribed drugs forum doesn't have much people posting on them which makes me wonder ^_^

I will most likely get some LHR when I do have the money but I know that will be in 6 months or so. Do you think it's bad that I am doing LHR after 6 months of taking the drugs? I read that thicker/darker hair responds better to the laser but if the drugs cause my hair to be thinner than the laser will not be as effective. This is just my theory though.

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#101906 - 10/20/12 05:28 PM Re: Spironolactone [Re: team90]
zaphairzap Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 134
Loc: Houston
I think you are right in thinking so. If your hair become thinner (and they will after months of spiro), then laser might not be as effective.

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#108536 - 08/25/13 01:02 PM Re: Spironolactone [Re: zaphairzap]
SeanaTG Offline
Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 08/13/13
Posts: 988
Loc: The Great White North eh
I'm a transgirl, and have been on spiroactone for about 10 months early in hormone therapy. I've since been switched to cyproterone.

As others have mentioned, Spiro wont reduce the NUMBER of hairs, especially on the face and groin areas. On the body especially the legs and arms it will do two things, lighten the hair and reduce it's thickness. I'm on 100 mg twice daily , or was, and I went from having very typical male legs to typically female pattern.

Some caution is required with Spiro. The first thing you are likely to notice is you will need to use the bathroom about twice as often. Spiro is basically a water pill and will make you have to pee alot. It's important threfore that you intake enough fluids to compensate so you dont become dehydrated. The second side effect is that it greatly affects blood pressure, in that it lowers it. You can notice busy spells, especially when you sit up rapidly froma sitting or kneeling position. Finally, it causes issues with potassium levels , so you have to watch your diet and avoid high potassium items like bananas.Blood work to check your levels at least once every 6 months is necessary .

Cyperoterone is a much stronger antiandrogen. However like all antiandrogens it can be hard on the liver. Most endocrinologists start you on spiro first to make sure you can tolerate the antiandrogens.When I was switched I was grreatly relieved at the reduction in the number of bathroom trips. I swear I couldnt leave the house for five minutes before.
As others have mentioned, it wont reduce the number of hairs or thickness on the face. It WILL however prevent new facial hair growth that was being enacted by the higher testosterone levels. Elcectrolysis is the preferred method to remove what is already growing. Sometimes you can get it cheaper at beauty schools.


Seana

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#108539 - 08/25/13 02:18 PM Re: Spironolactone [Re: SeanaTG]
Michael Bono Offline

Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 3160
Loc: Santa Barbara, CA USA
Dear Seana,

Thanks for your thoughtful comments, they were helpful and I will “pass these on.” Please consider being a regular poster here on Hairtell. You are a wealth of information (not just random opinion), and articulate … wonderful!

A recent 25-year-old patient has fast-emerging accelerating dark vellus hairs on her face, “new” adult acne, weight gain, irregular periods and “I go ‘crazy’ with my periods” (she says).

As all of us “zappers” can confirm, these symptoms get us in “high gear” for the client’s necessary medical evaluation.

The nice thing about working with a physician is that I simply sent her to the doctor’s room immediately (she had no time to waste “thinking about it.”). We took blood. And she will be starting “Spiro” on Monday.

In the past too many clients would get my recommendations and then do nothing about it … I mean, they would not make an appointment for blood work or physician consultation. I suppose if you FEEL reasonably well there is no particular urgency?

Years ago I spotted a cancer on a woman’s face and she waited months to see the doctor. Finally I told her “no more treatments” until she got this taken care of. Only that admonition motivated her! It WAS cancer (basal); she got it removed and was fine.

Serious medical conditions should not be “put off.”

One advantage of having a “physician on board” is the ease the patient has in “getting to it.” (Actually, they can’t “get out of my “clutches.”)

When you see a “ton” of accelerating facial hairs, the electrologist wants medical help ASAP. I’m very hopeful that the medication will halt this newly-developing facial hair condition … )

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#108589 - 08/27/13 11:52 AM Re: Spironolactone [Re: Michael Bono]
SeanaTG Offline
Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 08/13/13
Posts: 988
Loc: The Great White North eh
Thank you michel, I definitely share where I can. That said I'm being somewhat of an information sponge on information related to electrolysis, and still very much have alot to learn.


Seana

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#108592 - 08/27/13 06:45 PM Re: Spironolactone [Re: SeanaTG]
SeanaTG Offline
Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 08/13/13
Posts: 988
Loc: The Great White North eh
Michael, i also waanted to return the compliment. In my research of electrolysis and electrolysis methods, even by google search, I am 95% of the time picking up on posts that originate on hairtell.com. In the far majority of those posts, I see advice from yourself and James. Frankly, if it wasnt for the valuable information and mentorship that the two of you and others give here I wouldnt be here, and probably wouldnt have found the site in the first place.As long as you and others like you are here and contributing, it's far more likely that myself and others who may have something to contribute will be here as well.

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#114246 - 06/30/14 02:49 PM Re: Spironolactone [Re: mumbaigirl]
rancho Offline
Member

Registered: 06/09/14
Posts: 6
Thanks for the info everybody! smile

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#114247 - 06/30/14 04:35 PM Re: Spironolactone [Re: rancho]
SeanaTG Offline
Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 08/13/13
Posts: 988
Loc: The Great White North eh
wow, there's been almost a year since I wrote that post. So much has changed!I dont think I'd re-word a single word though.

Seana

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