Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I've been taking a safely increasing dose of Lamictal over the past 2 years, and it works really well. 


As far as physical side effects, every time my dose increases even by 25 mg, I lose at least 5 lbs. That part is awesome. My boobs have grown an entire letter size, which is... a mixed blessing. Yay for ta-tas, boo for having to buy new bras. I've had to buy extra high support sports bras at Lululemon and sometimes double up because there's no room for bounce 'n' jiggle during kickboxing and mixed martial arts. 


But on the downside, I have developed acne that I haven't had since I was 19 (25 y/o now). It's occasionally painful, and I'm embarrassed to go out without makeup on because my right cheek and my chin have a semi-permanent breakout and the big ones that develop take a long time to heal. I try to keep my hands away, and never to pop them, but it's embarrassing and annoying! I have a spot remover by Origins from Sephora, but it only seems to work on opened zits. 

I don't wear foundation; only light concealer, powder, and a bit of blush and bronzer, all from MAC. I don't put any cheap drugstore makeup on my face; I never sleep in my makeup, and I use a gentle cleanser from MAC and eye makeup remover, as well as gentle Nivea day and night cream (okay so Nivea is a bargain brand, but I've used it since childhood and never had a problem with it).

It may be partly hormonal; I have a copper IUD so I don't take any hormonal birth control, which leaves it up to my cuckoo little body to wrestle with my monthly cycle.


Has anyone else had this problem with their skin? Any recommendations for managing/reducing breakouts? I am willing to try anything... I want to love my skin and I am so jealous of other women with clear, luminous skin!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lamictal/Lamotrigine gives me painful cystic acne.  I'm 39, and never had that kind of acne until I started taking Lamictal.  I see a dermatologist and have a prescription for antibiotics, which keeps it under control.  I also use benzoyl peroxide topically for flare ups.  Sorry you're dealing with this!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've had this side effect only changing the dose-- once I reached my target dose (100mg), it leveled off for me though my skin was still a bit more prone to break-outs.  (I've typically always had clear skin, even in adolescence.)  I just completed a taper from lamictal, and I also broke out really badly during this, so I'm wondering if this side effect has/had something to do more with the change of dose rather than the lamictal itself.  And I do think that, for my at least, it is also hormonal, as I've had this worse before my period, and lamictal has impacted my period/PMDD negatively.  But that's just my experience.


As for how to manage it, I haven't done anything really in particular, just used OTC benzoyl peroxide acne cream when it gets bad and definitely making sure I wash my face before I go to bed too.  (My skin is generally clear, which has gotten me into the bad habit of not washing my face at night-- gross, I know).  Good luck with finding a way to manage, especially because it sounds like you really like this medication otherwise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

oh man I did not know it did this. do y'all think a gp would be more likely to prescribe prescription meds for the acne if its a side effect of a med I cant do without? is it a well known symptom or is she gonna act like im crazy for bringing it up?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lithium gives me acne. It actually used to be pretty brutal cystic acne. But my skin has calmed down over the last year, and is just pimply. If I worked on it, I could get it perfectly clear, but I don't care enough at the moment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are several long and helpful discussions of non-SJS skin problems over at CrazyMeds, in the lamotrigine section:






I also really recommend making an appointment with a dermatologist, ideally one your pdoc recommends. The frou-frou clinic ones aren't as good at med side effects as the hard core "bring us your diseases" ones.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do not get acne from lamotrigine, or at least I think I don't. Maybe I do... The acne was there beforehand though. But, I'm pretty sure it's stress and Abilify that aggravate my acne. 


Anyway, I finally got fed up with my acne, which isn't horrible, it's just annoying and makes me feel bad about myself and never goes away - I'm almost 24! I asked my doctor for topical acne medication that wouldn't interact with my meds. He prescribed clindamycin in the morning (liquid form, that you dab on) and tretinoin cream at night (Stieva-A). I've been using it for about 4 weeks, and these kinds of meds generally take about 4-8 weeks to work fully. 




- Within a few days the little annoying, constant zits went away completely and my skin looked MUCH smoother. 


- It's already made my skin look more luminous and fresh. 


- It has largely cleared up my acne except for a few very painful, bigger zits around my hair line and on my cheeks close to my ears. I will be talking to my doc about that. 


- It has cleared up most of my clogged pores. 


- my self esteem has increased. 




- It made my skin really hurt at first. 


- Clindamycin gives me wicked head ache sometimes. 


- It doesn't address the mild acne I get on my chest and back. 


- I have a weird dry, red patch on my chin/cheek area that peels everyday. It's starting to go away though. In fact, I peeled LIKE CRAZY at first. It looked like I had a hideous sunburn. It only lasted about 10 days though. 


I've also started using an antibacterial foundation brush and noncomedogenic/fragrance-free/oil-free foundation and no powder or anything, just good coverage liquid foundation. It's Sephora brand, so is the brush. I get basically all my make up from Sephora. 


I can update you in a month about my progress with the acne meds. My pharmacist and doctor said that if it doesn't work well enough, I can switch to oral acne meds but I really don't want to. I'm hoping the zits around my hair line go away soon. 


I hope this was helpful. :)


EDIT: I should add, I only take off my make-up with water and eye makeup remover sometimes. Generally I only use water though, cause my makeup is water-based and comes off easily with water. If I try to use a cleanser with my clindamycin and tretinoin cream, my skin gets super dry and peels. 


Also, at first the clindamycin made my skin extremely oily, for about 3 weeks. I just had to use those oil blotting sheets. But it was very annoying. However, my skin has adjusted and I don't even need to use a moisturizer now, other than sunscreen. I use neutrogena sunscreen, it's excellent. I only use moisturizer on my weird dry patch, and hydrocortisone cream for a little while. It reduced the inflammation of the dry patch.

Edited by Parapluie
Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Create New...