If you have persistent acne, chances are you’ve heard of spironolactone. And if you go to a dermatologist, chances are you’ve tried it or are currently using it. While it was originally developed to treat high blood pressure, spironolactone is now a derm favorite for fighting hormonal breakouts. It blocks androgens like testosterone that are often responsible for the type of zits that seem invincible against every pimple cream in your medicine cabinet.
But if you’re taking spironolactone right now, you may want to stop for a surprising (and scary) reason: It could make COVID-19 (coronavirus) worse. NYC dermatologist Ellen Marmur, MD, is recommending her patients stop using it.
“The American Academy of Dermatology has not said to stop spironolactone,” said Dr. Marmur, “…but we know that ACE inhibitors and spironolactone upregulate the number of receptors to possibly allow more virus to come into the cell based on this data, which is published…I would stop spironolactone; it is not medically necessary for acne. I’m only talking about my acne patients. I would stop spironolactone until we know further. Get a telemedicine visit to get new medicine if you need it, but this is really important stuff.”