Acne due to medicines
Acne can occasionally be caused by, or aggravated by, medications (drugs).
A number of hormone medications may be responsible:
- Oral steroids may cause steroid acne.
- Contraceptive agents: medroxyprogesterone injection (Depo-Provera™), implanted progesterone (e.g. Mirena™) and oral contraceptives which reduce circulating sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), can aggravate acne in females.
- Anabolic steroids such as danazol, stanozolol can cause severe acne including acne conglobata and acne fulminans.
Athletes and body-builders sometimes abuse anabolic steroids because they result in increased muscle bulk - severe acne is one of the undesirable results.
It is not known why some other medicines cause or aggravate acne; theories include effects on white blood cells and direct effects on the hair follicle.
Medications known to aggravate acne include: