Topical spironolactone reduces sebum secretion rates in young adults

J Dermatol. 1996 Apr;23(4):243-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1346-8138.1996.tb04006.x.


The effects of topically applied spironolactone on the sebum secretion rates (SSR) of young adults were investigated. SSR was expressed as the ratio of wax esters/[cholesterol+cholesterol esters] (WE/[C+CE]) and the amount of sebaceous lipids (squalene, triacylglycerol and wax esters). Topical spironolactone 5% gel applied to the right cheeks of the subjects produced a significant reduction in the SSR at 12 weeks (4 weeks after termination of application), but not at 8 weeks (the end of treatment). Untreated "control" areas (the left cheeks of the subjects) showed no significant change during the study. None of the subjects experienced skin rash or signs of local irritation. This results suggests that topical spironolactone may be effective in the treatment of acne patients with high SSR.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adult
  • Androgen Antagonists / administration & dosage
  • Androgen Antagonists / pharmacology*
  • Depression, Chemical
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sebaceous Glands / drug effects
  • Sebaceous Glands / metabolism
  • Sebum / drug effects*
  • Sebum / metabolism
  • Spironolactone / administration & dosage
  • Spironolactone / pharmacology*


  • Androgen Antagonists
  • Spironolactone