Can Medication Cause Acne?

Acne culprits are not limited to the foods we eat or environmental elements, it can also be caused by prescription pills. Anytime you introduce something new into your system like prescription medication, your risk of hormonal disruption skyrockets.


One of the most prominent reasons why prescription medication can cause acne breakouts is the disruption of hormones. Our bodies react to medications the way they do because some drugs or medications may cause hyperactivity in the oil glands which then causes them to produce excessive amounts of sebum. What I recommend first and foremost is to pay close attention to where you’re experiencing breakouts. This is where our handy face mapping comes in. It suggests hormonal breakouts will occur in the chin/jaw area, and I agree. 

For example, Lithium is a drug also known as the "mood stabilizer" which is prescribed for people suffering from depression or bipolar disorder. This helps in calming nerves and regulating communication between brain synapses but in return can have unfortunate side effects such as acne breakouts. Another hormonal imbalancer is Androgenic steroids commonly used by athletes but folks who suffer from seizures need to take them as well.


There are also several other types of medication that are known to cause acne, such as:

  • Corticosteroids: A “fake” hormone used to treat eczema and hives.
  • ++ The fact that this is known as a FAKE HORMONE is mind blowing and should not even be a thought of ingesting.
  • Antibiotics
  • Birth control
  • Sedatives/Barbiturates: Treats anxiety and stress
  • Disulfiram: Sobriety medication
  • Thyroid Medication


First and foremost, consult your doctor to see if an alternative medication is available for you that is safe and fits your needs that’s less likely to cause acne.

If you are not in the position to stop taking medication advised by your physician, I would recommend taking probiotics. By taking a probiotic supplement or by eating probiotics in your diet, you can theoretically restore a healthy environment in your gut and keep the skin from getting inflamed. Foods that contain probiotics: 

  • Miso soup
  • Yogurt
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kombucha
  • Kimchi
  • Tempeh

If you don’t fancy any of the foods listed above, you can substitute by taking a probiotic supplement. My go-to brand is Garden Of Life Primal Defense

++ You don’t have to live with acne just because you have to take medication. We have endless choices and many ways to handle this — together.

All my love,