Are My Medications Affecting My Skin?

Although medications are usually prescribed with the intention of treating problems, sometimes they can end up causing them. Skin issues are among some of the most common concerns that can crop up. While some are more severe than others, with the right treatment and the right timing, these concerns can usually be reversed. Today our board certified dermatologist near me is discussing the different types of dermatological drawbacks that may come with medications and how to combat them.


You may be aware of some medications causing a phenomenon known as “dry mouth,” but did you know your skin’s moisture levels can be affected as well? Unfortunately, medication-induced dehydration of the skin is not uncommon. Here are some medications you may see this skin concern occur with.

  1. Statins-Statin medications like Lescol, Liptor, and Crestor treat cholesterol issues. They typically work by making the skin more permeable, thus allowing more water to escape from the body and dehydrating the skin.
  2. Antihistamines-These medications are usually taken by those who suffer from allergies. Antihistamines work by inhibiting your body’s oil and water production, which can result in drier skin.
  3. Diuretics-This class of drugs is usually prescribed to people with heart and liver problems and works by decreasing the amount of salt and water within the body. By doing this, people often notice dry skin.
  4. Acne Medications-Often used as a last resort, prescription medications for acne like Accutane and Retin-A commonly cause the skin to dry out due to their harsh nature. Like antihistamines, Accutane causes your oil production to slow. Retin-A works by instructing your skin cells to overturn or renew rapidly. This means your old skin cells are drying up and shedding as the newer, acne-free ones emerge.


Our board certified dermatologist near me knows acne can vary from annoying to a nightmare. If you’ve recently gone on or off one of the following medications, and are experiencing significant acne, there could be a connection. Here are four common medications that may be the root of the issue.

  1. Birth Control-Although the birth control pill is commonly prescribed to fight acne, there are some variations of it that can actually cause acne. The most common one often referred to as “the mini pill,” is known to produce oily skin which in turn produces acne. You can also develop acne as part of the birth control pill withdrawal process.
  2. HRT-For those suffering from hormone disorders, menopause, and gender dysphoria hormone therapy may deliver the unwanted effect of increased acne production. This happens due to fluctuations in hormones, usually testosterone, as it is the hormone responsible for increased oil production.
  3. Steroids-Ironically, Corticosteroids, a subsection of steroids with anti-inflammatory properties, are noted as acne-causing. It’s not known exactly why some corticosteroids like prednisone may cause or worsen acne, but it’s believed it has to do with TRL2 gene activation. Body-building steroids have also been linked to a whopping 50% chance of developing chronic severe acne.
  4. Mood Stabilizers-Like birth control, some mental health medications are given to help decrease acne. ****One medication that has a reputation for a rise in acne production is Lithium. This occurs due to skin cells building up and blocking pores, resulting in breakouts.


From dark spots to redness, our board certified dermatologist near me understands discoloration of the skin can be detrimental to your self-worth. While discoloration can be chalked up to a bad sunburn or a genetic condition, medication-induced discoloration can’t be ruled out if you are taking one or more of these categories of drugs.

  1. Anticonvulsants-Some patients on drugs like Phenytoin can develop circular brown patches on the face and neck when they’ve been in the sun too long.
  2. Antipsychotics-On medications like Chlorpromazine, people have reported developing a blue-purple tint to sun-exposed areas of the skin.
  3. Retinoids-Known for their anti-aging properties, retinoids also are well-known to make your skin sensitive to sunlight. Being exposed to sunlight while using these medications can cause redness. In individuals with darker skin, using retinoids can sometimes cause dark spots as well.

Undoing the Damage

Although some medication-related skin issues can be easily resolved with a good moisturizer or round of specialized care, some can be more permanent. If you find you’re dealing with stubborn hyperpigmentation, acne scarring, or discoloration, we may be able to help! At Premier Cosmetic Surgery, we offer scar and discoloration reduction. We improve the appearance of scars by several methods, including surgical excision, dermabrasion, and even lasers. These processes may be used separately or in conjunction with each other, depending upon the severity of your case. Our board certified dermatologist near me can discuss these details with you further during your initial consult.

Premier Cosmetic Surgery | Board Certified Dermatologist Near Me

Looking for board certified dermatologist near me? Dealing with dermatological problems? Our board certified dermatologist can help! Get your confidence back with safe, effective, skin treatments performed by our board-certified physicians. If you’re worried about pain or anxiety during your procedure, you can rest easy knowing we offer both local anesthetic and twilight sedation options. With decades of experience, you can be sure you’re in the best of hands. If you’re ready to love the skin you’re in, call today to schedule a consult with one of our certified physicians.