How can I get rid of acne cysts?

Hi Dr. Irwin. I love your site and it is very helpful in my time of need. I love the Menopause and your skin resource, however I didn't quite figure out how to combat my acne cysts. I am 39yrs old and had a total hysterectomy 6 years ago and have since been plagued with acne cysts. They are painful and leave awful marks on my face. What can you recommend? Thank you, Chris

Thank you –  I’m glad you like our site! It’s really been fun.  I have some ideas about your cysts, but you’ll still need a good dermatologist to help you. 

After a total hysterectomy, you will generally have fewer "female" hormones.  All women have "male" hormones too and after your surgery your relative ratio of "male" to "female" hormones has changed.  This change is probably the reason for the increase in your cysts.  Ask your doctor to check your free testosterone level and your DHEA level (both a blood test).  If they are elevated or at the high range of normal, a very safe medication called spironolactone may be helpful for you. 

 Also, individual cysts can be injected with a low strength steriod antiinflammatory which will make them resolve in 2-3 days instead of 2-3 weeks.  Ask your dermatologist about that also!

Good luck.  Dr. I

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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