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Why does Adderall cause acne?
Such a simple question, yet no one has ever been able to answer it.
I have never ever had acne in my life. My skin has always been crystal clear. Then several months after I began taking Adderall, I started to break out. I'm 22/female so this isn't "normal". I instantly knew it was the Adderall without hesitation. I have an excellent skin care routine..in fact I have always been down right obsessive about proper skin care. I take vitamins and fish oil, I drink plenty of water, I eat healthy foods with omega 3, don't smoke, don't drink alcohol, and I've tried everything from over the counter acne creams- to prescription acne creams like Differin Gel. NONE of those things have cleared my skin up. I'm currently using Benzoyl Peroxide which is known for being excellent on acne. Two weeks of using Benzoyl Peroxide so far, and still no end to my breakouts.
I've heard that Adderall causes acne because it causes you to sweat. I don't sweat, nor is my skin oily. Then I heard that Adderall dehydrates you, which causes you to break out. Well I drink tons of water, and I avoid caffeine. So needless to say there is no dehydration problem here. So I'm sitting here still baffled as to what on earth is making this drug give me acne. NO ONE knows a damn thing... there isn't even a factual website about it.
I always knew this pill could cause breakouts. But in my mind, I would just use an acne cream, drink more water, eat well- and boom my acne would clear up. Never did I imagine that Adderall would cause this seemingly incurable acne. I totally understand why drug abusers would develop this problem. They aren't eating enough, they aren't sleeping enough, and they are forcing tons of harmful drugs into their bodies constantly. I am not a drug abuser. I am on a normal dose. So my skin problem makes no sense. Especially when you consider the fact that I have done almost everything known to man in order to treat this.
I'd like to hear others explain why Adderall causes acne...or any stimulant for that matter. And please not the typical "Adderall is poison" type of response. I want to know actual scientific reasons as to why stimulants cause acne. If not that, an educated guess as to why you think it causes skin problems.
Last edited by binya; 09-09-2009 at 12:25 AM.
Many people are concerned with adderall causing acne even at early stages of their prescription. Nothing in Adderall causes acne, but a false sense of awake/ alertness is a side effect and actually what it is meant to do. Your body is getting tired and wants to recover while you sleep/rest. What happens is your brain is so alert and awake that it disregards what your body is asking of it (nutshell). Your skin is also needs this time to recover so you could be depriving your body of rest and not even know it. Lack of sleep also causes inflammatory cytokines which is a main reason acne occurs. So the breakdown is...Adderall does not directly cause acne, but since it provides your brain with a false sense of being well rested and alert you could be destroying your skin without knowing it. Being hyperactive while on adderall can cause you to sweat/stress, dry your skin out, and ultimately make your skin produce too much oil and cause acne. To really see what i mean, try taking your prescribed amount a hour before bed and see how much fun trying to get to sleep is. The effects in that nature are very similar to cocaine/methamphetamine giving the drugs like Adderall (amphetamine) Concerta and Ritalin (amphetamine derivatives) their street name of Baby, Kiddie, or Diet Cocaine.
so i have heard about benzo's also being used for ADD (less addictive but still hard withdrawls) if you would rather be tired all the time. also i cannot remember the name but there is an acne medicen that is considered the last resort for getting rid of acne. it comes in a box and you cannot get preg. on it or you can have issues with your baby. (its brand name starts with an A im pretty sure and generic for sure starts with a C...)
Adderall and acne
You might not have acne at and that may be the reason you do not recieve any effect from the medications you have been using. Acne is caused by a bacteria that can be treated with oral antibiotics or other topical medications, it should be clearing up if you use them properly (as directed). Most likely you are not able to excret the medication (adderall) out of your body as it is intented to. Adderall, it is amphetimine salt and should be excreted through your urine. You may notice somtimes your urine is slightly cloudy or may look foamy/bubbly 4-12 hours after you have taken your medication. If your urine is not acidic enough(alkiline) it will be unable to flush out the amphetimine salt in your kidney and bladder forcing it to be reabsorbed into your circulatory system. When you take your next dose (as directed) you have not actually cleared the medication out of your body and you may start to see side effects like you said of some one who abuses medication. It may appear as acne because you see bumps under your skin but it could be a build up of amphetimine salt. Have the PH of your urine checked at a local lab. This could possibly fix your probelm. It would only be dietary modification or what ever your physican orders. Most likely increse your vit. C intake this will help make your urine more acidic. Good luck.
Here's a simple answer for such a simple question:
Originally Posted by binya
You noticed it after several months simply because of the fact that the acne are deposits of toxin buildups from the ingredients that are literally pushing their way out of your skin. This is typical when heavier than average doses of any toxic drug are being ingested.
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I take adderall and for people that truely have adhd it calms them down. I can take one and fall asleep. It all depends on if the person is abusing it and if they truely need it.
if you look on the warnings it says that it can alter your body chemistry so who really knows whats going on, but i do have the same thing. i never had so much as 1 blemish untill i started taking adderall now i break out badly, but i can concentrate so its worth it to me, espically b/c I have 2 children.
Adderal and Acne
I took a bunch of Adderall a few days ago in order to get a lot of work done. I did not end up sleeping that night and my face broke out into a horrible battlefield of acne which eventually lead to anxiety. I also had been touching my face unknowingly throughout the day and did not wash my pillow case because i was preoccupied with 5 thousands other things at once in my Adderall mind.
Needless to say, it was because of poor sleep, face touching and an unclean pillowcase that flared up my acne. If you don't sleep, then your face cannot rejuvenate and you will break out.
These methods should work for most people but a lot people overlook them and think that there acne is caused by something else.
CLEAN PILLOW CASE
ACNE BAR OR CREAM
adderall causing fungal acne/lesions
I had the same problem w/ adderall. also prescribed a low dose. There are studies that show that amphetamines like adderall cause massive systemic fungal overgrowth, two of my friends have also experienced this phenomenon. Whatever you do don't try antibiotics for this type of acne, they'll only make it much worse (this is what happened in my case). You MUST STOP taking the adderall and try finding a infectious disease Dr. specializing in fungal infections to prescribe Rx antifungals. Topically, products containing tea tree oil, oil of oregano, and sulphur are the best thing for adderall-induced acne. The company DDF makes a 10% sulphur mask that works well and can be found at Ulta. The Vitamin Shoppe carries a brand of skin products call Skinbiotics by DermaE containing both oregano oil & tea tree oil in a cream and an oil form. The Body Shop carries a line of tea tree oil products. The fungus that is causing your acne is most likely a candida species, I suggest getting a good book about candida, there are some out there, and following the dietary reccomendations to the letter as well as experimenting w/ some antifungal supplements such as Berberine, Oil of Oregano capsules, Samento, Cumanda, etc, and Garden of Life makes a supplement called Candida Freeze w/ candida-digesting enzymes. It's also EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to take a very good probiotic; I reccomend Syntol AMD (also at the Vitamin Shoppe). There is no ADD stimulant drug that does not cause fungal overgrowth, even caffeine causes it, to a much lesser extent. I know all this b/c I was on antibiotics for acne for a total of over 6 yrs and it caused a massive candida infection which I have been diagnosed w/ and am now getting Rx antifungals to treat. The adderall came into the picture when I was prescribed it after my diagnosis for chronic fatigue b/c like many doctors my psychiatrist was ignorant to the fact that amphetamines cause fungal overgrowth. I was already experiencing fungal acne from the antibiotics when I was prescribed the adderall, and the adderall made it exponentially worse, and when I realized this, I had to stop taking it, even though it helped w/ the chronic fatigue and ADD symptoms I had. If you must have stimulants, herbal stimulants such as ginseng and yerba mate, small amounts of caffeine, and something called GABA may help, that's how I deal w/ my chronic fatigue and ADD symptoms. I hope you read this, I know that your post was a long time ago; I am about to implement an awareness campaign about amphetamines and antibiotics causing serious, disfiguring, debilitating candida infections b/c there is a huge coverup about this in the medical establishment, and it took me years to identify my condition and years after that to actually find an effective treatment. Currently, I am seeing the top fungal disease specialist at Duke and being treated w/ Rx antifungals and it's actually working. The doctor who diagnosed me was a MD who also integrates natural and nutrition-based treatments into her practice, and she prescribed some fluconazole/Diflucan but she wouldn't prescribe enough to truly clear up the infection so I had to find the doctor I am seeing now at Duke, who has expertise w/ more severe fungal infections. It sounds like you have never been on long-term antibiotics (which should be criminal to prescribe for mild, temporary teen acne like I had) so you will probably get much better results from smaller amounts of Rx antifungals or even herbal antifungals. B/c of the antibiotics, my case is much more severe and complicated than yours (unfortunately for me). This infection has taken my entire adult youth (I am 26 now and have suffered w/ this since age 17) and I nearly died from another antibiotic-induced infection called C diff or colostrum difficil b/c it took so long for my ignorant doctors to diagnose me. My entire life has turned out to be a really sad reflection of the harm the medical establishment can cause to perfectly healthy people. The infection has caused very severe skin lesions on my face, back, chest, arms and legs but it began w/ just my face and back and eventually spread all over. It has also caused severe digestive problems such as leaky gut syndrome complete w/ multiple food allergies, bouts of both terrible diarrhea & constipation, and malabsorption, as well as debilitating fatigue. I could go on and on about my health problems due to antibiotics and adderall b/c words almost can't express the severity of systemic candidiasis and the difficulty one has when trying to find good treatment. Not to mention all the online gimmicks of supplements that say they'll cure your candida; the only thing that cures candida is a combination of things and lifestyle changes, I have tried some of these gimmicks and was mostly disappointed with the results. You also must maintain a low or no sugar diet while trying to eliminate candida, that is essential, even Rx antifungals will not kill the fungus if you keep taking adderall (I have explored that avenue as well, and adderall just makes the candida grow faster than even Diflucan can kill it) and if you don't eliminate sugar from your diet. This is all very sound and scientific info and you would be wise to take it into consideration. Don't listen if a dermatologist tells you that you don't have candida; they've told me and my boyfriend (who has the lesions too b/c he caught the infection from me through sexual contact before I knew I had it) the same thing even after we were diagnosed and the diagnosis had been proven by the fact that our symptoms cleared up a lot after two months on 200mg of Diflucan daily. Dermatologists prescribe long-term antibiotics to young people for acne all the time, and they have a vested interest in covering up this problem which results from long-term antibiotic use. My boyfriend and I also have 2 friends who have gotten this infection from adderall alone w/out long-term antibiotics, so it can happen w/ just adderall. The benzoyl peroxide not working is a big giveaway that you are suffering from acne-like fungal lesions, not bacterial acne. Try the topicals I suggested, and be persistent in your search for a good doctor. Sorry it's such a long post, but I really do think these suggestions will do you a world of good; there are those out there that say candida infections only happen to people w/ AIDs but that is a myth, I was perfectly healthy before being on long-term, broad-spectrum antibiotics so I (and my poor boyfriend as well as the two other friends) am living, breathing proof that immunocompetent (people w/ healthy immune systems) people can develop systemic candida infections just by taking the wrong medication. I truly hope this advice is helpful.
Question for Candida Sufferer
Which MD are you seeing at Duke??? I am in NC and would love a referral.
Have the exact same problem; developed CFS, started adderall and now have a massive candida infection that literally flares moments after taking this drug (although it took a while to make the connection).
I have a great naturopath but really need daily flucozanole to make real progress. I literally went from a flat belly to looking about 6 months pregnant within months and candida is literally coming out of every pore, entry and exit of my body. Not to be vulgar but that is just the way it is. Syntol AMD is a great probiotic but with a compromised immune system, caused by adderall making the body very acidic it takes a lot of work to get the body back in balance. It's common sense and the medical community is this country is outlandishly uneducated and inefficient. Urgh!!!
Originally Posted by candida sufferer
Long term Adderall user
I have researched the topic of acne and adderall for about a year and this is the first time I have ever found information on this! I have taken Adderall for 6 years and it is wonderful at helping me with daily life and actually accomplishing goals! However, I feel extremely addicted and worried about how to get off of this drug without sinking into a dark hole! I know it is the cause of my horrible acne and racing heart and I truly believe my health and future will be better without it! I believe ADD and ADHD problems should be helped by learning new skills through mentoring and a lot of moral support (like a positive life cheerleader). I learned I have adult ADHD in college and even though the medicine helped me read a book it has slowly taken over my body's normal chemistry. They started me out with only 5mg and I was given more and more until I was on 60 mg daily, which has been my bodies limit!! Something is really wrong with this drug and I can NOT wait until I have completely worked my way down to 0 mg! I know the whole "You'll fall asleep after taking it, if you truly have ADHD!" spiel, and so did I, for a while. My body built up a tolerance to Adderall and now I can't even tell I've taken 5mg but barely feel functional on only 20 mg a day! I wouldn't suggest this medicine to anyone! I am very thankful to everyone posting about this on here and appreciate the honesty and encouragement. I have felt so alone in this battle for so long!
I think what you're thinking of is Acutane. I'm not sure of the spelling but that's the end of the road RX medicine for acne. I took it and it damaged the oil glands in my eyes for years even after stopping the medicine. It also made me a complete basket case! I quit after 1 month. I was 28 years old, so it doesn't just affect teens mentally.
Finally info that sounds like it'll help.
I have been having breakouts while on adderall for years. Getting worse the longer I take it. I stop taking adderall for a month and clear up, then I take my adderall again and like clockwork my acne comes back in the same spots and my scar tissue softens up and also in grown hairs with infections. I am gonna take your advise and try these. My fiancee also is prescribed to adderall and has minor breakouts again in the same spots and to add to it she has been having abdominal pains with diarehea and constipation. She's been to specialists trying to find the issues causing this to her. Now I have new information to pay it forward to. I've been looking on the web for information for years and finally found something that makes sence. Thanks a bunch. I can't handle these breakouts anymore using these bacitracin, anti fungal foot creams and soaps that just dry my face out. Your a life saver if this all works. I will get back to you and let you know how it works. AGAIN thanks a million.
Originally Posted by candida sufferer
I'm glad you mentioned this! A lot of people actually do the same thing with unknowingly touching their face when taking Adderall. If you are busy, a lot of people don't realize they may have sweat and simply wipe their faces or brush fallen hair from face when cleaning or moving about daily activities. People get preoccupied and forget to wash hands after touching different things, and then scratch their face and whatnot. A lot of people will rub their hands unknowingly on this med and then touch their face getting dead skin cells on their skin. People think they don't do these little "habits", however, when your mind is focused on bigger things from the Adderall, little things like scratching or touching face here or there, tend to be ignored because they are actions we do daily in our everyday lives.
Originally Posted by acneman420