What to Do if Phentermine Causes Acne on Your Skin

by Rakib Sarwar, RPh on April 13, 2024
Last updated on April 13, 2024

Phentermine stands out worldwide as a top pick for shedding pounds. People all over have seen awesome results with it. But, remember, it’s not all smooth sailing – there’s a hefty bunch of side effects to watch out for.

photo of a doll with acne

Unfortunately, the occurrence of acne is on the side-effects list. A significant percentage of Phentermine users report skin-related issues, mainly referring to acne. In this article, we will try to explain why Phentermine causes acne in some people. Also, we will give you some useful tips on what to do if Phentermine causes acne on your skin.

What are the symptoms?

As we have already pointed out, there is not enough relevant medical and scientific information on this topic. Therefore, we still don’t know why Phentermine causes acne for sure.

However, there are some assumptions and co-relations between this supplement and acne. Most of them are interconnected with the already existing conditions of some patients. These conditions tend to get worse during Phentermine therapy. Let’s see which conditions those are, exactly.

1. Sensitivity of patients who already suffer from acne

Patients who already suffer from the condition known as adult acne should not be surprised if their Phentermine therapy leads to an even worse skin condition. What is adult acne problem?

Even though most people think that pimples and acne are teenage problems, they are wrong. A surprisingly high percentage of adults, mainly women, suffer from this condition.

The key manifestation of this condition in adults is the localization of acne on the jawline. The T-zone usually stays clear, which is what differentiates them from the puberty acne appearance.

This is one of the common features of acne that appear in adults and Phentermine-caused acne.

2. Stress-related acne

Medical experts have already discovered, determined, and proved that Phentermine directly affects our nervous system. Actually, this substance acts as a stimulant of the CNS. This is how it works. It affects the centers in our brain responsible for feelings of satiety.

Unfortunately, regardless of the fact that this is a smart mechanism for weight loss, it also has some negative consequences for our body. Increased energy levels related to Phentermine consumption place our body into a special state that we all frown upon. It is the state of constant stress.

In addition, Phentermine triggers sweating. This also creates prerequisites for acne development as your pores can become clogged. Increased hygiene and skin-care measures are recommended and we will talk about it more a bit later. Now, let’s clarify the effects of stress on acne.

The skin is our greatest organ and it is a mirror of our physical and mental well-being. Life with acne can be very stressful, as anyone who had experienced this condition can prove. Similarly, stressful life leads to acne. It heavily impacts the quality of our skin.

Stress can disrupt our metabolism. You can have problems with sleeping, digestion, you can feel depressed, perhaps irritated and out of balance. Most people immediately notice the changes on their skin. It becomes itchy, with a tendency toward developing red areas, and symptoms of oily and problematic skin appear. This condition is often followed by acne.

When we are under stress, our body produces hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, neuropeptides, such as endorphins and insulin, and inflammatory cytokines – small inflammatory activating proteins that affect the operation of the sebaceous glands and can cause acne (1). We will talk more about the effect of hormones in the following section.

We want to emphasize that emotional stress is also related to the appearance of acne. Understanding these stress-acne relations helped researchers understand the effects of Phentermine as well.

Stress caused by Phentermine has similar effects on your skin. However, why some of us do get acne, while others can use Phentermine and keep their clean skin? It is true that it doesn’t affect everyone.

As conclusion when it comes to stress and acne, we can say that people who are already prone to skin problems will probably experience acne during their Phentermine treatment.

3. Hormonal changes caused by Phentermine and weight loss

As already mentioned, hormones heavily affect the quality of our skin. Similarly, they can be the key to understanding and solving our acne – Phentermine vicious circle.

As you probably already know, weight loss, especially weight loss caused by pills, leads to hormonal changes. Phentermine is not an exception. This especially implies hormone estrogen, whose level decreases with the loss of fat.

This explanation is very logical and endocrinologists support this theory (1).

4. Other possible causes

Except for the three main possible causes that are still assumptions on why Phentermine causes acne in some patients, there are numerous other possible causes. Those include a different lifestyle, namely lack of sleep, drastic changes in metabolism, changes in diet, and intense exercising, if this is the case (2).

All of these additional causes may lead to hormonal changes, which we already discussed in the previous section. You should remember that relaxation, meditation, and daily walks in a duration of 30 minutes to 1 hour can do more for your well being than an exaggerated and sudden increase of your exercising tempo.

Don’t forget to balance your diet, especially when on Phentermine. You can diminish lots of side-effects, including acne, with a proper diet. If you provide all the necessary nutrients to your body, your skin will also be thankful.

How to prevent and cure acne while on Phentermine

As even the scientists still don’t know for sure, we cannot tell you what caused your acne while you are on Phentermine either. We can, however, provide some useful tips that can help you prevent them, minimize them, or completely cure your acne.

There are many measures that you should apply as acne prevention and to make your skin look and feel beautiful. From everyday habits to skin care products, nutrition, and mediation, here are some of the best ways to help solve the acne problems caused by Phentermine.

If you stick to all of these useful methods to combat acne, your face will look great and clean, as before. However, one thing is important, be patient and persistent, and always try to reduce your stress levels.

Let’s see what the recommendations of the world’s best dermatologists are when it comes to acne.

1. Anti-acne Skincare

First of all, it is very important to create a habit of thorough face cleansing. Excessive stress, less sleep, air pollution, as well as messed up hormones and bad nutrition can make your skin pores clogged. This helps in the process of trapping the dirt and dead cells deep inside. Result? Acne!

Similarly, lack of free time, lack of sleep and stress can make you neglect or minimize your skin hygiene and care. Try to establish your skincare routine, because healthy hygiene habits are a prerequisite for beautiful and acne-free skin (3). Here are a few simple steps:

  • Clean your face before bedtime.
  • Wash your skin with a cleansing toner or face lotion.
  • If you have dry skin, choose a mild soap cleaner to avoid removing the oil needed for your skin.
  • If you have greasy skin, skin that is prone to acne, choose a high-quality cleansing agent with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. These ingredients kill bacteria that cause acne and remove excess skin cells that can clog the pores.
  • If you have dry skin prone to irritation, choose a mild product which gently cleans your pores.
  • Always use hypoallergenic products.
  • Use a face cream and moisturizer suitable for your skin type.
  • Never go to bed with makeup.
  • Clean your phone on daily basis (phones are among the dirtiest objects we come in contact with!).

2. Control the stress

Stress is the biggest factor that has the effect of creating acne, as we had explained before. When the level of stress increases, especially when you are on a diet and using Phentermine, the production of sebum also increases. Excessive sebum can clog follicles and cause acne. Therefore, it is very important to learn how to control your stress throughout the day. Both your skin and mind will be grateful!

Here are some simple and useful methods for successful coping with stress:

  • Try meditation,
  • Use some relaxing herbal teas,
  • Listen to relaxing music,
  • Go for a walk,
  • Dance!

These are enjoyable activities that will help you cope with anxiety, tension, and stress. At the same time, some of them will even boost your weight loss!

3. Establish a sleeping routine

When you are trying to lose weight, especially with Phentermine, sleeping disorders are a common side-effect. Don’t be surprised if you cannot fall asleep in your usual time. This will reflect on your skin quality. You might wake up with acne.

You can try listening to relaxing music, remove all sources of light, including smartphones and laptops, and have a relaxing, chamomile tea. Also, try to stick to your sleeping routine. Always go to bed at the same time. This will help your body catch the rhythm, get used to new hormone levels, and the new lifestyle.

4. Quality diet

At this point, when you have already decided to lose weight with Phentermine, you probably already have a diet plan provided by your nutritionist or medical doctor. However, you yourself should make sure to follow the prescribed intake of nutrients necessary for proper bodily functions.

It is well-known that some foods cause hormonal changes, which can lead to excess oil and sebum, which in turn can cause the outbreak of acne on your skin. This is especially true in your state, when you are already on Phentermine.

Here are a few simple rules to follow:

  • Avoid sugar and fat.
  • Consume fruit and vegetables.
  • Consume food rich in zinc, calcium, phosphorus, chromium, potassium, sulfur, vitamin A, C, and B.

Phosphorus is found in fish and eggs, there is enough calcium in natural, organic dairy products, and fruits and vegetables will provide vitamins. Beans are rich in chromium. This is almost all you need for a balanced diet. Don’t forget to take some quality proteins and lots of water.

For acne-free skin, foods containing hydrogenated oils, gluten, sugar, and dairy products from conventional, industrial production should be avoided.

5. Home Remedies

If your acne condition caused by Phentermine is not severe, you can try some home remedies. There are some natural treatments that you apply on a cotton pad and then to your skin that can keep mild acne cases under control.

  • Tea tree oil (3).
  • Green tea.
  • Sodium bicarbonate.
  • 100% natural apple vinegar.
  • Lemon juice.
  • Coconut oil.

When to consult a specialist?

Even though good lifestyle habits, proper diet, stress-free activities, and excellent hygiene should help in most acne-related cases, some people, especially women, simply can’t get rid of them while on Phentermine.

Even though it is a relief to hear that your acne will most probably disappear after your Phentermine therapy is over, you might want to ask for professional help if you suffer from a severe case of acne.

If you have never had acne-related problems before, consult your general medicine doctor and dermatologist. In addition, if you notice a localization of acne along the whole jawline, also consult a specialist. Furthermore, if the acne is accompanied by redness and itching, ask for professional help.


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