Lexapro & Acne: Is there a correlation?

Several recent studies have made the case that acne and depression are highly correlated. This makes it hard to gauge whether a drug like Lexapro worsens acne, because the average Lexapro user is more likely to experience acne whether or not he/she takes the drug.

Up to 15% of Lexapro users experience insomnia. Lack of sleep causes acne, as there is a strong correlation between low quality sleep and acne breakouts. Other Lexapro side effects that could cause skin problems are weight gain and indigestion, both indicating a likelihood that your body may not be digesting key nutrients, or that you are eating increasing amounts of high glycemic index junk food, another behavior studies have proven lead to acne.

Do you have experience with Lexapro? If so, please tell us about how it affected your skin, if at all, below.

68 Replies to “Lexapro & Acne: Is there a correlation?”

  1. I have been using Lexapro for around 5 years now 10mg and have been dealing with facial (mainly chin on right side) breakouts for as long as I can recall shortly after starting the medicine. I never made the connection at the time but I recently ordered ProActive because it is just not stopping. The Proactive is not helping stop the acne outbreak on the chin. About four- five years ago I even had to see the physician for antibiotic because my whole face had broke out. I had never had an episode like that in my life. Recently I increased to 20 mg and my breakouts are worse than before. Per reviewing comments from others on the web, it seems there could be a connection due to the hormone inbalance and what I have experienced. Of course I would rather be on an effective anti-depressant to fight depression but maybe there is different meds that work better in this area (probably have different side effects though!) I plan to discuss with my physician and get his take on it as well.

    1. I have been dealing with the same problem. I have been onLexapro for 6 years, first starting off at 10mg then last year my doc. put me 20mg. At the same time my face have been breaking out with severe cystic acne. I have been on so many anitbiotics for my face and nothing works. The acne has caused severe scarring and made my depression even worse. I am going to ween myself off and see if goes away. I never put the two together! Did you end up changing meds? Did you see a difference?

    2. I started Lexapro 3 days ago and already I’m breaking out!! on my upper lip and chin, suddenly i have cystic breakouts. I can’t believe it as I’m in my 50’s and thought acne was a condition of the past. I’m going to deal with my depression in another way, I have nice skin and and I cant look at myself breaking out at this point in my life. I guess we all react differently, I’m glad I found this site to confirm the cause.I’m quitting now.
      Interesting that most comments reference the right side of the face!

      1. I am in my early 40s and recently changed antidepressants from Prozac to Lexapro. I have never had breakouts before either and always had nice skin. After just a month and a half my face , especially the right side, started breaking out with acne! I finally stopped the medication 2 days ago for a different one and hope my face clears up soon! I don’t even want to go anywhere looking like this! So glad I am not crazy to make this correlation!

  2. My daughter started Lexapro 2 weeks ago and has constant cyst like acne for the same 2 weeks. The breakouts are primarily on the right side of her face.

    On the forest pharmacutical website who is the mfg of Lexapro there are no statements in regard to adverse side effects for Acne or cysts.

  3. Hi
    I too am on lexapro and since I started i have been getting cyst like acne on my chin. I have not changed my diet and I eat healthy and exercise often. The cysts are causing scarring and are mostly on my right side.
    Ive never before had acne and it’s really depressing me ironically!
    I’m definitely goi g to speak to my doctor about this. But to all who have written here, thanks, at least I know why I have these break outs now, well hopefully
    Take care,

  4. I was wondering where my acne was coming from, and I am glad I found this blog to justify my suspicion. I have never battled with acne before, but I started Lexapro a few weeks ago and noticed that my complexion is not as clear. I have two large blemishes on my chin that are unattractive and bothersome to me. I have started ProActive in hopes that it will help. I will just have to battle with the acne because I have tested soo many anti-depressants in my life, and it seems this one is doing the best. My sleep patterns have changed a little as well, an as reading from above that insomnia can cause acne. I hope this will go away soon. Thanks for your testimonies!

  5. I started taking Lexapo 10mg about 5 weeks ago and ever since I’ve had acne on my back which I have never had in my life. I have always had a little on my face, but nothing that make up can’t cure. My face has gotten a little worse, but nothing I can’t live with. However, the acne on my back is something I am having a hard time dealing with. I’m pretty sure it’s due to Lexapro.

  6. I started taking Lexapro about a year ago and occasionally I get cysts on my chin on the right side of my face. I don’t know if this is because of the Lexapro, but I get really irritated when this happens and sometimes obsess over my face.

  7. I started taking Lexapro about 3 wks ago at 10 mg per day. After 1 wk upped to 20 mg. My face is horribly broken out. Especially the right side. It hurts. I haven’t had acne for about 12 years! This is freaking me out and really making me sad about my face. I will definently ask my psychiatrist.

  8. I started using Lexapro about 2.5 weeks ago. I have also noticed that I have painful cyst like acne on my face. It hurts so bad!! I haven’t had acne in about 8 years, so this is definetely something I will have to ask my psychiatrist about. Having acne makes me feel worse about myself!! Ahhh, I need something to help my anxiety and not break my face out… 🙁

  9. I’ve been on lexapro for 5 months and I have been breaking out on my chin very badly!!!! I wasn’t sure why I was….never thought it was the lexapro but it has gotten so bad I’m going to the doctors to see what I can do. Lexapro has helped me not be so depressed but I can’t stand this ance on my face!! I have never not ance in my life. It’s horrible. Wish I never started taking these pills. Not worth it.

  10. I began taking Lexago at 5mg in June and immediately began noticing a change in my skin. It was oily, where it had always been slightly dry before. Truly gross! Then I began to break out on my chin and above my lip. I stopped taking the medication last week because I was feeling happy and I couldn’t stand the acne. My skin has cleared up already. On the flip side: my depression was in control, now I am depressed again. I’d rather have acne than depression. So I will take the Lexapro and hope that eventually my skin clears up! I don’t think that any face cleaning product will cure this problem as it’s obviously hormonal. Bummer! Lexapro – fix this side effect please. Oh, and not having a sex drive sucks. haha

  11. I started lexapro 2 months ago and my skin is TERRIBLE. I’ve had acne problems for over 6 years, which for me is unbelievable and sad to think about, but it has never been worse. Now everyone on this page knows how lexapro makes you feel and I’m assuming everyone wasn’t exactly overwhelmingly depressed while reading this but I am near tears. I’m not going to cry because there’s not enough emotion available but why is the world so cruel to have made the perfect medicine for me, except my face is AWFUL. I’ve taken lexapro on and off for years and that sounds bad but I’ve just wanted to get off it. But whenever I get off it time goes by and I go back to crying and thinking and over-thinking and thinking more and not being able to sleep at all I have terrible insomnia. Lexapro has cured my every problem but made my skin look absolutely awful. My entire face. And I have the scars like people above. I’m going to talk to a doctor about is asap. I want to take a medicine that will help my depression but the acne is too much. It really is.. it’s not going away. I see a dermatologist for my skin as it is. But I don’t have an appointment for months. I’m not even stressed because the lexapro keeps me calm and carefree. And even when my skin clears up and I feel beautiful I’ll still be crying and alone and struggling with college. Someone submit a cute on this page.

  12. I am 33 years old and started taking Lexapro about 2 months ago. I love everything about it. I feel better than I’ve ever felt, but boy have pimples started appearing non-stop around my chin and sides of my lower jaw! I’ve tried multiple face cleansers and toners, never having to use them before. It really sucks because the pimples are larger than I’ve ever had on the occasional break-out, and leave scars. It’s still able to be concealed with make-up, but the scabs that form increase my anxiety because of their texture and cause me to want to pick at them. I hate skin that’s not smooth, so the picking only makes it worse. 🙁

  13. I am 34 years old and started taking 10 mg Lexapro 6 months ago. I have had acne all my life since I’m 12. I took care of it with Accutane and the pill Diane 35 when I was in my teenage years. A year ago, I got another outbreak and started Accutane again. Usually I take 30 mg daily for 3-6 months and I’m clear to go for at least a year. As soon as I started Lexapro, I lost my hair. That is OK for me, I can live with that side effect but 1 month ago, I started having acne and now cysts on each side of my lower jaw. It has been less than a year since I stopped Accutane, and Acne never re-occured to me so fast. Also I never had acne on my lower jaw or body. A week ago, I started breaking out on my back and torso, and I keep scratching them all the time Acne is known to create anxiety and depression; so for me Lexapro is a bummer. I’m now running in circle.

  14. I’ve been on Lexapro for 18 days and I am breaking out on my cheeks…not my chin like others mentioned. I am in my early 50’s and have not experience this kind of breakout since I was a teen! I feel Lexapro is working for me but am very upset with these ugly breakouts on my cheeks! Makeup does not cover it. Thinking about going off it and finding another antidepression because my face is getting kindof scary. Ugh!!

  15. I checked this to see if anyone is having any similar experience to me. I’m on Cipralex (Lexapro) 10 mg. I’ve been on it for almost 2 months now. I have had 2 acne cysts on my chin on the LEFT side. I have never before had experienced any cystic acne. I really hope this doesn’t continue cuz they’re gross and hard to deal with!

  16. I just started lexapro 3 weeks ago. I am very sensitive to drugs of any type and breakout whenever on something new. I have been having horrible cystic acne, and I definitely sympathize with the person who was referencing feeling the compulsion to pick the scabs. In turn I feel like I am in much more control of my panic and depression but this acne is making feel ugly and not want to go out because of it. I really hope that since I am still adjusting it will go away. Oddly enough my break out is also chin and right face oriented as well. I’m 23 and started at 20mg a day. My side effects have been severe as are all my side effects with all medications. I have had insomnia. Loss of appetite. Weight lose. Lose of concentration. Acne. But feel so much better already and mentally way more stable. I hope the side effects lesson I know that 10mg is the regular starting dose so I guess my side effects are probably dose related.

  17. I’ve been taking 10mg of Lexapro for 4 weeks now and have also broken out along both sides of my chin/jawline. 2 big cystic pimples each side and heaps of little blind bumps primarily on the right side of my face. I haven’t had acne like this for years and from reading the above comments, I truly believe that it’s a result of this medication. Personally I haven’t noticed much of a change mentally so my doctor has suggested I increase it to 20mg but now I’m very hesitant because of the terrible affect it’s having on my skin. One thing that Lexapro has done for me is improve my sleep tenfold. I haven’t slept this well in years.

  18. I am 18 years old and have only been on Lexapro for two weeks now. I have seen a dramatic increase in little white and black heads all over my face, ecspecially my “T zone”. I have been struggling with acne for 6 years now and this year it finally began to clear up until I started using Lexapro; unfortunately, now it is coming back. This past week I have felt much more happy and upbeat (I’m not sure if its a psychological thing or if the drug is actually working already) but I am about to head off to college and the last thing I want is the acne I struggled with for so long to return. But I also don’t want my frequent anxiety attacks and depressive episodes to worsen as well.
    Any suggestions? Considering stoping the medication before it gets too late.

  19. I started on 20 mgs regular lexapro in college, in 2004, was on that until about 2010..somewhere around that time I believe my health insurance carrier United Health care would no longer cover the regular Lexapro, only the generic stuff called escitalopram, and i believe that is when my skin started breaking out horribly. However, I always had a little acne do I never put two and two together. These days I’m still on 20 mgs of escitalopram, and my skin is the worst it’s been ever. It’s extremely oily throughout the day, so I have to continually blot with toilet paper. While I don’t have much acne on my forehead, I have severe acne on my cheeks, around my jawline, and around my mouth and chin. The cystic acne is mainly on my chin, jawline, and cheeks. The cysts have caused red blemishes all over my face and I have some deep scarring on my right cheek. It makes me really sad to look in the mirror and see those scares. Who would have thought that acne would have caused these scares on a 30 year old…. I could see maybe a pubescent 17 year old, but a 30 year old? This medication is a curse. Not only that but some manufacturer’s of the generic stuff make my brain feel super tingley and foggy headed. I’ve heard that as far as the generic stuff goes, manufactures are only obligated to make each pill 80% of the active ingredients, and the 20% (whatever that may be) are fillers. So whether I’m experiencing this foggy headed ness from less medication, or more gunk fillers, remains to be known. Yes, the acne makes me super sad, but the foggy-headedness/spaceyness makes me feel wayyy more depressed. I wish I could go back to taking regular lexapro, but insurance won’t cover it (those snakey, money hungry bastards) and who has an extra $200 a month lying around to pay for the good stuff? It’s sad but the insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and doctors are all in bed with each other, pushing drugs that are cheaper to make but are less effective so we have to pay top dollar for stuff that works. I’m sorry to depress everyone. At least we have the Internet so we don’t have to suffer in silence. Thanks for listening. Be well.

  20. My 15 year old daughter started taking Lexapro after her Prozac stopped working for depression and anxiety. Her acne has worsened considerably, and it started just after she started taking the Lexapro. She hates what her face looks like, and she is more self conscious, and I worry that the side-effect will worsen her depression. The acne is primarily on her forehead

  21. I am in my mid 50’s and have been on lexapro for the last 2 years. My breakouts started on my chin and cheeks …then my entire body. They took a long time to heal. I have decreased the dosage and they have already started to heal. Did this after reading these comments. Will be getting off of this completely….he breakouts stress me out. Suggest you consult your doctor.

  22. I’ve been on Lexapro for about a month now and it has made a night and day difference in my mood. It works better than anything I’ve ever been on, but I am breaking out worse than ever. I’m 32 and it’s so embarrassing and painful. Before Lexapro, I was taking a supplement herb called Vitex every day to help balance my hormones and clear my skin/have better periods. It was beginning to work and now after a month on Lexapro, I’ve got 3 cystic acne spots and tiny little bumps all over my chin, and today I spotted another cystic spot coming next to my nose. Mine tend to be on the left side of my face. I’ve also developed a rash in my left armpit that’s been there over 2 weeks now. This is really bumming me out, b/c I Googled “Lexapro and acne” and figured not much would come up, but it looks like I have the exact thing happening as everyone else on this thread and we’re all getting them on our chins and heavily to one side! I’m only on 5mg of Lexapro and this is happening, so I can’t imagine what would happen if I had to up my dose. 🙁

  23. I did not have a problem with acne on name brand lexapro, but my insurance made me switch to generic Lexapro. Ever since I switched to the generic, I have been breaking out with acne HORRIBLY. I went to a dermatologist because it has been so bad, and RX topical meds are not helping at all. I even had my blood checked to see if my hormones are out whack (they are not) and my diet has not changed, the only thing that has is the name brand lexapro switch to the generic. I am thinking it may be a difference in the inactive ingredients that is causing the acne (not the Escitalopram, the main ingredient). Who is on the generic form of Lexapro and who is on the name brand form of it? I am trying to see if there is a correlation.

    1. I been using lexapro generic for 6 years and my face is showing cystic acne. I am terrified nothing helps from rx medications to over counter or natural remedies. My boyfriend told maybe is your depression medication and sure enough i am not the only one having this problem. I asl gain like 25 pounds. I used to be skinny all my life now i feel fat and uggly. If you know what is helping you please share the secret. I am planning in stay off lexapro but this medication really help me with my emotional and anger behavior.

    2. Interesting to read these comments. I had been on Lexapro for about 8 years or more, and had no acne problems. I was cut off from a discounted program because my monthly income was like $100 too high, so I got on a program with the state to help me pay for the medication. Even the generic was expensive out-of-pocket. But the state, of course, doesn’t want to pay for a brand name, even though it has worked for me for years, so I have been on the generic for about a year and a half. I don’t remember the specifics, but I have never felt as good on the generic as I did on the brand name. Also, I only realized recently that the acne I have had started about a year or so ago. It is terrible acne all over my back that I have never had in my life. Not enough cleaning to get rid of it. Definitely an internal problem. And they are painful and cause scars. Also, I started getting rash-like acne on the right side of my chin. I am trying to wean myself off the meds in large part because of this!!

  24. Ahh.. I though I was going crazy. I have never had any problems with acne, I have always had clear skin. I started with 10mg of escitalopram, when I went up to 20mg, I started breaking out. I have a big spot on my forehead, on both cheeks (mainly on my left), and my chin. Just running my hands over my face, makes me feel very self-conscious and sad. I am going to ask my doctor, if there is a difference between the brand vs generic. I’ll post back and let you guys know.

  25. Hmmm Does anyone now when the generic lexapro came out? I never struggled with acne the way I have the past three years. I get the huge cysts like everyone else have mentioned.
    In high school kept acne at bay with proactive and birth control. Junior or senior year of high school i started on lexapro and did not notice any severe breakouts…. but Sophomore year of college BOOM acne and cysts galore on my chin and jaw. I thought it was because of going off birth control, well i went back on birth control and saw no improvements… Then I thought it might be because when I studied all the time, I would rest my chin on my hand leading to the breakouts, well now that I am a graduate and don’t study all the time I still have horrible cycsts on my jaw and chin… So now i am wondering if it is because the name brand switched to generic? I want to compare my symptoms time line to dosage changes and generic vs name brand changes.

  26. I started taking 10mg of Lexapro only a week ago and my skin and hair gets so oily, my face went from being the clearest it’s been to completely broken out around my chin. Definitely don’t want to be taking this anymore.

  27. Today I woke up to my second serious breakout in over ten years. All ony right cheek only. I started Lexapro right when it started about 2-weeks ago and was curious if my generic Lexapro was linked. I’m 35 and haven’t had anything like this really ever before. I have dark marks from the first round of breakouts and now I’m sure they will be the same by the look of it. I felt it was already working so it’s a bummer I have to stop it now. Back to the drawing board. Again.

  28. I have been taking Lexapro for about 10 years and stopped taking it for about two years due to the cost where I live being so high and my skin cleared up. I have suffered from acne most of my juvenile life and in my 20’s but that all cleared up when I stopped taking the medication” however I never put two and two together until I was looking for an organic face cleanser because Proactiv isn’t working. Mary Kay isn’t working, nothing is working but I noticed my skin just started back breaking back out about three weeks ago when I got back on the Lexapro. I will be 34 years old next month and I’m getting married February 2016 which is in about 6 mos and I can’t have cystic breakouts and scaring…. I have gotta see my doctor…

  29. Started taking generic lexapro 2.5 months ago. Mentally, I feel great. I’ve lost some weight I’ve had trouble getting off since I had a baby 10 years ago. I’m sleeping better, no more insomnia. I’m able to function now. I had some issues with sex drive and appetite but thosE side effects have subsided. My issue is I’m 30 years old and I’ve had an impeccably clear complexion my whole life, people always complimented me on my clear skin. And now I have HUGE pimples on my right cheek, and it goes all the way down to the middle of my right arm. Like a trail of acne. I can’t stop picking it because I’m so used to my smooth skin. Scars all over my jaw and shoulders. It’s super nasty, it’s making me so sad, these scars my last forever but before I got on this stuff I was so depressed. I don’t know what to do about it. should I start taking the name brand? Is that one better? How much more expensive is it?

  30. I take 40mg of lexapro daily, and I as well have noticed a huge increase in facial and body breakouts. I am a 16 year old girl, so acne is not that uncommon, however I have never been one to have bad acne, especially on my body. It wasn’t until about a week after I increased my dosage that my breakouts started, and didn’t go away. My face is now covered, especially my forehead and chin, and my chest is also showing spots of acne which is completely new for me. I have been consistently washing my face, hydrating, getting good sleep and eating healthy foods, I just can’t seem to get rid of it.

  31. It happens on me too
    It took lexapro 10mg for 10 months and I never had acne until I start taking two week the medi. I never thought there is the connection between the medi and acne. My acne goes non stop which makes me took anti biotics . But still uncured. The acres also go at my right face and scars left which makes me depressed and the scars affect my life. I hate it. I wish I knew this earlier.

  32. Hello,
    I see that am not alone in this, I am on my mid 20’s and have always had acne every now and then on my hair line and chin. I’ve been taking lexapro for about 3wks now and I’ve started to notice cysts on my chin, my right side of the face and on my legs. Not to mention a lack of appetite along with stomach cramps and a lot of vaginal discharge (TMI) I know. But after reading everyones response towards the side effect of lexapro I’ve noticed that most of us are females. I was previously on zolof which helped for about 6 months and then it drove me down to having my anxiety Attacs and a horrible depression stage. Lexapro has definitely helped with my mood swings and my energy level, but this acne is getting on my nerves. And just like everyone in here, I also hate this side effects I don’t know what I would prefer to deal with ( depression or acne) if you’ve stumbled you’re self along this site and have not yet started taking lexapro think about it twice before doing so. Good luck!

  33. I have been on 4 mg of Lexapro for anxiety for about 4 months. Even though I’m 50 I haven’t gone through menopause yet and still get mild breakouts at that “time of the month.” It would always clear up after my period was over. But since going on Lexapro (the generic) the acne never goes away and has gotten much worse. I get large cystic acne on both cheeks, Never thought I’d have wrinkles and severe acne at the same time! I’m considering seeing a dermatologist but if this is from the Lexapro I don’t know if she’ll be able to do anything about it. I just want to hide in my house.

  34. I been taking lexapro 10mg for 1 month and actually my acne is been reduced from before. I notice that due to the exesive night sweats I was waking up with a greasy face so I have to take showers twice a day now. I clean my face well before bed and in my experiance this has cleared my skin due to the sweatting. Make sure to keep you fave and acne prone areas clean maybe

  35. I’ve been on Lexapro for about a year, first 10mg and then 20mg and I’ve recently come back down to 10mg. I’ve noticed really good skin when I was on 20mg, when I came back down to 10mg I’ve had a couple of pimples and overall I noticed that my skin had deteriorated in general. I found this site when I was looking around to see whether Lexapro ‘improves’ skin tones, but it seems like it’s otherwise!

  36. I started taking Lexapro three weeks ago, and was noticing my acne getting worse on my chin and the forehead/temple areas. I have had minor acne breakouts all my life most of them happen around that time of the month… I also noticed an overall skin sensitivity; lace trim, collars, and the seams really bother me and they never did before.

    I am 48 years old and thought this was very odd so I checked online for side effects there are maybe two or three sites that list acne as a possible side effect. I have some other side effects that are personal but still concerning to me.

    I am glad I stumbled onto this site, It helped fill in the gaps that I had questions on about possible side effects, and its nice to know that I am not alone.

  37. I’ve been taking lexapro 5mg for about 1 week and start e breaking out on the left side of my chin. The acne is painful! I thought since the beginnig it was the lexapro! This is gonna make me even more depressed!

  38. i take Lexapro and i have noticed significant outbreaks in my face AND on my chest where i have never gotten acne before and I usually don’t get much acne but ever since Lexapro the acne will just not go away!!

  39. I was started on Lexapro two months ago. I am 55 years old and never had a problem with acne. I feel like a teenager. And I’m always hungry but I’m always hungry for junk food which is so unlike me is this a side effect I need to be worried about and ask for a change thank you

  40. i am 17 and started to take lexapro about a month or two ago, i always had skin problems but as soon as i started taking lexapro all around my mouth and chin developed cystic break outs like i have never seen before! i am always super punctual with my face cleansing and toning and moisturizing with specific acne moisturizer and im also on a specific contraceptive pill that is suppose to help with skin problems too! ive only recently just made the connection that it could be a result of taking lexapro that my skin is like this as it cleared when i stopped taking it and fired up again when i continued my dosage.

    Past Lexapro user here!

    I’m 25 and I was on a generic brand for 5 years, came off it last June. Also been taking the contraceptive pill since I was 18.
    Never had acne the whole time, but when I stopped the antidepressants and my skin went bad. It’s been 10 months and this cystic acne is at its worst!
    I went off the pill, nothing. Been on antibiotics Cephalexin for 2 months, nothing is changing!!! I don’t know what to do now

  42. I started taking 5 mg generic lexapro (escitalopram?) about 1.5 weeks ago. I’ve noticed that my anxiety and depression have worsened (which is normal I guess?) but my skin has also gotten worse. Today I woke up to a cluster of ugly whiteheads around my chin and under my nose. I’ve never had a problem like this before, and my skin has been relatively clear for years. I struggled with acne in high school, but these breakouts are unlike anything I’ve seen. Very unsightly. I called my dr right away and they said that acne can be caused by many things and it’s hard to say if it’s the medicine and to continue taking it. This may sound vain, but having unclear skin makes me feel worse.

  43. I’m 37 and have been taking 10 mg of the generic form of Lexapro for about 6 weeks now. This is my second go round with the medication. In both instances, I noticed that my skin became very oily and breakouts started almost immediately after beginning this med. I am currently experiencing a bad breakout around my chin and jawline. Differences in my sleep and diet do not usually affect my complexion, so I’m almost positive it’s the medication. As others have noted, my moods have also stabilized considerably. However, the acne is undoing much of the good that was accomplished. I’m worried about stopping, but I will be depressed regardless if I am preoccupied with my appearance. I’m leaning towards stopping Lexapro and pursuing other ways of coping positively with my depression.

  44. I am so glad I found this thread. I’m 24 and I have been on lexapro on and off for close to 10 years. I have always had problems with acne, sometimes it would clear up and then get worse again (I have tried to come off this medication many times, but always ended up back on it because of severe depression and anxiety) I never made the connection until recently that the times it cleared up were the times I tried coming off of it. I too take the generic brand, I was on 20mg and my acne was bad, and my anxiety suddenly got much worse so my doctor tried increasing me to 30mg….THAT is when I FINALLY made the connection!! My ENTIRE back broke out in acne, it’s the middle of summer and I couldn’t even wear tank tops because it was so bad! My face had never looked worse in my life! My arms and chest were even covered too! I went back and was switched to a medication that’s geared more towards anxiety and I’ve been completely off lexapro for only 5 days and I already notice a huge difference, I’ve had NO new breakouts and my face looks clearer than it has in a long time, I have acne scars all over my face and back but I am already so much happier with my complexion. I came online to see if my suspicions were true and I feel so validated reading all of these comments. I have always washed my face twice a day, in the shower in the morning and at night after I take off my makeup to make sure my pores are clear, and then I would put acne medication on before I went to bed, I tried SO hard for years to get rid of it and nothing worked! If you’re having the same problem – get off this drug now!!!

  45. I have been on a 10mg/daily dose of Lexapro for just over 7 months now. My skin is normally fairly smooth with the occasional breakout, and from adolescence until now (I’m 24) I have never had acne anywhere other than my t-zone–that’s just the way my skin works.

    As I hit month 6 of the Lexapro I began to get really stubborn acne on my chin and mouth area. It’s red, cystic and really painful. Every time I think one begins to go away, two more appear. I even have one just below my chin/top of my neck as well, which I have never, ever had.

    I just have such a strong feeling that this isn’t my normal, hormone breakout. I know my skin well, and this has to be an outside factor. I have never had such blemished, stubborn skin in my life, and I really think it is due to the Lexapro. The Lexapro has worked wonders with my anxiety, but the current state of my skin is enough to make me want to start weening myself off and look for something else. I’m thankful though that the seven months of Lexapro have been such a relief for my anxiety.. I really feel for those who started getting the breakouts before they were able to benefit from the positive effects of the drug.

  46. I started Lexapro about 1.5 months ago. I have the most painful and unsightly cystic acne, as well as blackheads. It won’t heal and is making me so upset and embarrassed. I will be calling my doctor to get off of this.

  47. I am a female 18 years old and have been taking lexapro for a year and a half. I thought it worked really well but I’ve been having horrible acne ever since I started it and I just now put the two together I used to have perfect clear skin but now my skin is horrible and I feel so ugly , I have so much acne on my chin . I also am experiencing insomnia hence why I’m posting this at 3 in the morning . I will no longer be taking it no no no.

  48. I have been on Lexapro for almost 3 weeks. My skin is so oily. I never have oily skin. I am breaking out with large pimples on my nose and chin. I never get pimple.

  49. So I have been taking lexapro 10mg for 3 months until the past few days when I forgot/was to lazy to get a refill. First time that’s happened but anyway..
    I began taking doxycycline (oral acne medication) as well as using a topical epiduo treatment to treat existing acne & fade scarring at the same time I began lexapro & after my skin purged it actually has stopped breaking out for the most part!! Finally after years my skin is calming down. I then stop taking the doxy regularly/eventually stop it about a month ago. I am then taking lexapro every night & use epiduo every now & then (it dries my skin out something bad especially after nights on end but I’m honestly lazy & forgot some times anyway)
    So in the past few days I’ve noticed a couple of breakouts under the skin & a couple on the surface & I honestly think it’s because I’ve barely been taking the lexapro.
    It’s Tuesday morning & I have had one full tablet since Thursday night.

    Has anyone else had similar? Does lexapro fight your acne or at least control it? It was mild – moderate mainly on the chin/just below.
    There are so many pros & cons of me being on an antidepressant but I believe the only withdrawals I’m having are my skin starting to somewhat flare up a little & a sore head.

    I haven’t read through the comments as of yet but will do.

    1. NO,NO,NO–lexapro does NOT fight acne. It is the CAUSE OF IT!! Get yourself weaned off of it as fast as you can(but actually do it slowly)!!! I am 64 years old & started taking it in June 2014. I was really stressed at that time, & the prescriber spent all of 5 minutes with me before writing 2 scripts. No prior blood work–just asked me a few questions as to how I felt. That brief interaction should have been my first RED FLAG, because there are other reasons why things might be happening. (In my case, it was most likely hormones) A year later, my doctor was telling me that my A1C levels were increasing & if I didn’t change my habits, I would end up as a diabetic. I did some research & found that both the Lexapro AND the statin drug I was taking were known to cause a false increase in the A1C numbers, so when my script ran out that October, I stopped taking both of them. And guess what? My numbers went from 6.0% to 5.7%. The doctor told me to “keep doing whatever it is that you’re doing because it’s working”. I then told her I had stopped taking the 2 meds & that THEY were the cause of the A1C increase & I was not going to be made into a diabetic because of drug side effects. My statin was then switched, but I went back on the Lexapro. Over the next 3 years, THAT IS WHEN MY FACE WENT CRAZY!!!. Cystic Acne at age 63–I looked like I was 13 & just going thru puberty!!! Even my doctor hadn’t figured out the correlation-she wanted me to see a dermatologist. So I researched some more, & found HUNDREDS of other Lexapro-users posting questions about their severe acne break outs. I have dubbed the condition “Lexapro Face”. Having to look at how badly your face is broken out is depressing.–especially when you don’t know why. Have you ever looked at the info you were given about the side effects? Go onto a Lexapro web site & look at the list of known side effects, possible, & “Rare” side effects–maybe if you are lucky enough to find a site geared towards physicians, you MIGHT see acne even mentioned. Otherwise, IT IS NOT SHOWN ANYWHERE AS A SIDE EFFECT on the consumer information!!!! So, please, to everyone who has suffered the horrible embarrassment of ACNE as a side effect of using or stopping Lexapro, PLEASE CONTACT THE FDA AND REPORT IT!!! The number is 1-800-332-1088. This drug is POISON & the FDA needs to know about it. By the way, after weaning myself off the drug in February of 2018, I am STILL dealing with the residual effects of the drug & it is now mid-October!! Now I am spending hundreds of dollars to get monthly facials to help with the scarring from the eruptions. STAY AWAY FROM LEXAPRO!!!!!!!!

  50. Also want to cut back to a lower dosage especially because I haven’t felt overly depressed or sad or better still had a breakdown in the past few days without taking it, whereas when I accidentally skipped for a day before I’d be upset or have a breakdown, but doc prescribed me 10mg will likely go back on in next day or two. He said no one ever asks for lower dosage…! Hmm

  51. Male,33 years old, YES ,YES AND YES. I have been taking SSRI for last 10 years and since day one I started braking out on any of them as dossage increased acne , cysts and oil increased. Last 4 years I have been taking Lexapro but I decided to ween myself off to see If I can live without it. NOT RECOMENDED . I did it I was off of it for only 2,3 months and my face was beautiful than bang my anxity was back and I am back on it again. I read that hormones are all messed up and that’s why all the acne,cysts and oil. So I am about to do some blood test now and see. Main ones I found are :
    Estrogen/Tetostrons Ratio, High Stress Hormone Cortisol, High Levels of Prolactin. So there you have it, good luck

  52. I had the same problem with Lexapro, and asked my doctor to put me on something else. She wrote me a Prozac prescription, and my face immediately started to clear up and is almost back to normal. I was only on Lexapro for 2 months, but that was long enough to leave some scarring.

  53. After taking lexapro 10 for 3 weeks I woke up to painful extremely swollen lips and face. My left side of face was itchy and had welts. Took benadryl as I knew it was an alyrgeric reaction. After 3 days swelling went down but week later face and lips are still extremely dry, red, painful and itchy. Saw Dr. Yesterday and he switched me to welbrutron. Will try that when My face and lips are normal to see if that agrees with me and no side effects. This should be a warning on the meds as it is extremely painful still. No creams, or antibiotics seem to help. Just has to get out of my system and heal on its own.

  54. I started taking lexapro (15mg) almost 6 months ago. Ever since I’ve been experiencing painful and intense breakouts on my chin. Happy to finally see why.

  55. Prior to starting Lexapro I’ve had terrible adult acne for a long time…. I’ve been on Lexapro for a few days and immeadiately my skin is almost clear…. not sure if it’s a coincidence but I hope it stays his way!

  56. Really glad I found this. I started my generic brand of lexapro about 6 months ago when I went to a new doctor since my old doctor was just loading me up with meds that didn’t make me feel any better (by the time I left my old psych, I was on 20mg Prozac, 60mg Buspirone, and 20mg of Trazadone…..RIDICULOUS!!) and my new psych prescribed me 10mg of Lexapro. I have never felt better in my life. Its like a huge weighted blanket that has been holding me back my whole life has lifted. However, within the past few months my acne has been terrible. I have never suffered with acne and figured it was the amount of makeup I was wearing, so I went about 4 days without wearing any and it was still continuing–cystic acne around my lower right chin. I also will get some on my cheeks too. I have scheduled a dermatologist appointment to get it checked out but I have a feeling the Lexapro has a lot to do with it. I really don’t want to stop taking my Lexapro due to the fact that I’ve never felt better in my entire life, but I want to feel confident in my own skin without makeup. I started using HUM Nutritions Daily Cleanse a few months ago and that did help a bit, and I just started using their Pre/Probiotic in hopes that will help even more. If anyone has any suggestions as to what I should ask my dermatologist when I go for my consultation, please reply!

  57. Same story here. Didn’t even have acne like this in highschool. About 3 weeks into generic Lexapro it started on my shoulders, now moving up to my face about another week into it. I took Lexapro years ago, for several years and never had this problem. I believe it was the generic too. So this is strange but certainly possible if Lexapro affects hormones. The generic link is interesting, but I’m not convinced.

    Look up “drug-induced acneiform eruption” for more info.

    The gist is, topical medicine and acne treatments won’t help, because it’s not actually acne. Evidence of a breakout being drug related would be all of your cysts being the same size when fully visible (DONT POP IT). Where pimples will typically grow differently, some worse than others. The only way it seems to stop is if you cease taking the drug causing it. Or perhaps offset the hormonal changes, if such a thing can be safely done.

    I’ve got a better handle on my depression so can find alternatives to Lexapro, but others may not be as fortunate. I certainly don’t recommend stopping anything abruptly, and you should speak with your doctor first. That said, this seems to be rare enough that many doctors will understandably blame something else.

    But keep in mind the objective of taking medication is to improve your quality of life. If persistent acne decreases that enough, causes anxiety or depression, then you may have to find an alternative drug. Be well.

  58. I was taking Lexapro for 5 months and started breaking out with cystic acne all over my face. Never had acne before in my life and I am 24 years old. It was terrible. I didn’t know what it could be the entire time. It also made my face swollen and more “round.” I stopped taking it about 3.5 weeks ago and while the swelling has gone away completely, my skin is still pretty terrible. It seems like the inflammation has gone done but I am still getting deep acne cysts around my hairline, jaw, mouth and cheeks. It’s never ending. If this doesn’t clear up soon I think I’m just going to start taking it again. Does anyone have any experience with coming off the Lexapro due to acne and how long it took for the acne to go away? Like I said it’s been almost a month and I can barely see any signs of improvement.

  59. I am having the same problem. I’m 42 and started Lexapro 2 months ago. Almost immediately I started getting cystic acne on my chin, jawline and upper neck. Large red pimples. I have never dealt with this before, an occasional break out before my period but nothing like this!! They are so big and obvious, I hate it. I feel like they are neon signs flashing on my face. And then I mess with them and it gets worse. I have also tried face washes, cleansing wipes, topical creams…nothing makes any difference!! I suspected the medication because it’s been the only change but skin problems is not listed as a side effect. So happy to have found this post…I feel validated in my thoughts and I am going to talk to my doctor. Thanks everyone and good luck 😊

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