"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Medicines and your skin

Some medications or treatments can affect the skin, causing unwanted effects corresponding to excessive dryness or blue spots.

Blood thinners

Spontaneous scratches that occur without hitting anything change into more common as you age. Doctors call this senile or actinic purpura, and it often occurs in individuals who take medications to forestall blood clotting, corresponding to warfarin (Coumadin) and even baby aspirin. “As you age, the thick middle layer of the skin starts to thin and doesn't support the blood vessels on the inside the way it used to,” says Dr. Olbrecht. This could make blood vessels more more likely to break. Even the smallest injury could cause bleeding under the skin, causing the discoloration and deep purple sores that characterize the condition.

Actinic purpura is a cosmetic problem related to aging skin. If you’re taking a “blood thinner,” your doctor probably won't want you to stop it. Taking these kind of medications increases the danger of internal bleeding, but having this skin condition doesn’t mean you’re particularly susceptible to heavy bleeding.

Medicines that cause dry skin.


There are several antibiotics that could cause skin changes. Two of essentially the most common – minocycline (Minocin) and doxycycline (Vibramycin) – are types of tetracycline.

Dermatologists often prescribe minocycline to treat conditions corresponding to pimples and rosacea (a skin condition characterised by redness, blood vessels, and sometimes acne-like patches). But whether it is used for a very long time, it will probably cause small areas of bluish color on the skin. These spots often occur in areas where the skin is injured or inflamed, corresponding to pimples scars or burn scars. These spots sometimes go away months after stopping the drug, but in rare cases they’re everlasting.

Doctors commonly prescribe doxycycline to treat pimples, urinary tract and respiratory infections, and Lyme disease, amongst other conditions. People who take it might find that their skin is more sensitive to the sun, increasing the danger of sunburn. Some people also experience nail pimples, says Dr. Olbrecht.

Heart and blood pressure medications

High doses of amiodarone (Peciron, Nextrone), which is used primarily to treat irregular heartbeats, can turn skin exposed to sunlight a bluish-gray color. Dr. Olbrecht says that skin changes related to this drug often only occur if you happen to've been taking the drug for a very long time, but when it does, it will probably be very difficult to reverse.

Thiazides, corresponding to hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide), are commonly prescribed to treat hypertension. Although this medicine doesn’t necessarily make you more more likely to get sunburned, it does affect the skin. Dr. Olbrecht says studies have shown that it will probably increase the possibilities of developing a style of skin cancer called squamous cell cancer.

Statins are the usual treatment for lowering cholesterol and other lipids (fats) within the blood. While it might be useful on your heart, these medications also affect the lipids in your skin, which might make your skin feel drier than usual. Drugs on this category include atorvastatin (Lipitor), simvastatin (Zocor), and rosuvastatin (Crestor).

Vasodilators, a standard class of blood pressure medications that open up blood vessels, have been linked to a rise in pimples and rosacea, although there is no such thing as a scientific consensus. Drugs on this category are benazepril (Lotensin), hydralazine (Apresoline), and minoxidil (Lotensin). Although this link has not been proven, it is necessary to pay attention to, says Dr. Olbrecht.

Avoid the sun while taking these medicines

In addition to the antibiotic doxycycline (Vibramycin), many other medications are known to extend sun sensitivity. These include some drugs in the next categories:

  • Antihistamines (sometimes used to treat allergy symptoms), corresponding to cetirizine (Zyrtec)
  • Phenothiazines (antipsychotic drugs) including chlorpromazine (thorazine)
  • Sulfa drugs (a category of antibiotics), corresponding to sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim (Bactram)
  • tricyclic antidepressants, corresponding to amitriptyline (Elavil).

Unsafe Supplements

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a resurgence of interest in colloidal silver oral supplements in some quarters, which Dr. Olbrecht describes as “snake oil medicine” — that’s, medicine that will be used without unwanted effects. Any evidence is promoted to support certain health treatments. Conditions In fact, colloidal silver isn’t beneficial as a treatment for any health condition, and it will probably be dangerous, in response to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Colloidal silver is different from the silver that medical professionals use to treat skin wounds, says Dr. Olbrecht. It is a liquid through which tiny particles of silver float. If taken over time, silver actually accumulates in your body's tissues, causing a condition called erysipelas, which turns the skin blue. Dr. Olbrecht says that when this transformation occurs, it becomes everlasting. In some cases, the skin may only have a bluish tint. “But some people can be very, very blue, and there's no way to get the color out of their skin,” she says.

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