Tramadol & Acne

Tramadol is a prescription medication used to treat moderate to severe pain. Although acne is not listed as a side effect of that Tramadol, all drugs can potentially affect acne-related hormones.

Please tell us about your experience with Tramadol. Be accurate and honest. Thanks.

57 Replies to “Tramadol & Acne”

  1. I started taking tramadol, where before i never had acne and now i have it all on my face but nowhere else… So yes i do think it can cause acne……i could be break out but looks like acne.

    1. I have been taking Tramadol for about a year now for nerve pain. Since I started the Tramadol my skin has broken out severely throughout the past year. It seems the longer I stay on the medication the worst the breakouts get. It’s truly a shame because Tramadol has been the only medication to ease my neuropathy pain.

      1. I’ve been taking tramadol for almost two years and never had acne so I looked it up and found all of you and I had a feeling that it was the cause but now I know if is thanks everyone for the update

    2. I had been on Oxycotin for years until my doctor left the practice leaving a vacuum and void of being without a doctor who would not continue me on this prescription. It was effective for me. By because of Congress and changes in laws out there doctors are more afraid about keeping patients on this medication for more than 6 months – even though there is no evidence of addiction and the medical condition warranted it. The same goes for Lyrica; Tizanidine, Bupidine; Sudoxine, etc. So I had to scurry about to try to find another doctor after that practice closed down without prior notice to any of their patients to find a doctor willing to give me Tramadol. He was willing to continue me on Lyrica but not on Oxycotin. Well in one week at just 50mg and five doses alone my face broke out and my rear-end. This thing can cause acne on your bums too, Luckily i had peroxide and acne and cyst medications in the house. Most antidepressants with Serotonin Inhibitors and Pain killers with Neuro blockers will cause breakouts. It is bad to be among the 2 percent that get the acute symptoms and side effects from some otherwise effective medication. Now its back to the drawing board to finding a new medication to try out. The alternative is to buy Oxycotin online without a prescription which entails a minimum of 15 pills for $299.00 but that is an desperate option for only the wealthy. Man I wish i were Mrs Donald Trump, ha ha ha!

    3. Yes. I am certain that the Tramadol caused my rosacea….. Adult acne…I am stopping the medicine and will update after a week off.

  2. I am taking ten different types of mediaction for three medical problems and have been for over three years. Within the past six months I have started to experience spots on my face and particularly inside the nose. I have never suffered with acne as a youth and only experienced sports if I had a period of time when I ate an excess of chocolate. This is not a food of choice and I generally eat what is considered to be a healthy diet. Considering the above I am concerned that the medication I am taking is cintributing to the discomfort I am having with spots. Tramadol is one of the treatments I am on.

    1. I have taken Tramadol FOUR TIMES in the past 5-6 days for tooth pain and my face has exploded with acne. I’m almost 25, I rarely get acne anymore and if I do its usually just hormonal and once a month. I have to assume that the Tramadol was the reason as nothing else has changed in the past week or so. I literally took it four times and the result was enormous. I have to assume if you are taking it regularly and recently broke out when you normally did not that there is some (pretty strong in my opinion) correlation.


  3. hi there……Im a 54yr old male and have “problem” skin………yes. still getting pimples at my age!! I have been taking 200mg Tramadol daily for the past week and I now have a serious “breakout” of acne on my nose……I can only presume it’s the Tramadol causing this. Bugger! Just when I thought I had finally got on top of my pain!

  4. my doctor just put me on tramadol yesterday afternoon and this morning i woke up with a spot on my chest. i don’t get acne except around that time of the month, and i certainly don’t get it on my body. it doesn’t appear poppable at all. i also got insane muscle twitches and couldn’t sleep all night.

  5. I am 71 years old and have been taking Tramadol for about 6 months now. I always had beautiful skin, but ever since I started taking Tramadol (40 mg) I’ve had breakouts of acne on my face. At my age I shouldn’t have acne. I do believe that Tramadol is the cause of this. What a bummer!

  6. Hi, I am 32 yrs old and took tramal for leg pain from a discprolaps and after one day I get the meanest acne on my chin. happened before my surgery and now some weeks later i took it again and it happened again.

    I must say that I had severe acne as a teenager and still get some at 32. I once tried to be off the pill, but 8 weeks later i looked like 16 again, so I am not actually acne free, but tramal really made it worse.

  7. I have been suffering chronic pain for over a year now and finaly got something that actualy works! And suprisingly in a low dose (100MG) a day. But I normaly have great skin, people always complimented me on my nice skin. Since I have started Tramadol (a month ago) I have been through 4 different face washes trying to get ride of it. They are very deep pimples and most of the time not popable. I googled can tramadol give you acne and I ended up here. Guess I am not the only one thinking their is a corrilation. I am 29 years old. I am more conserned about my pain right now then the way I look so I will continue taking this. But Wish thier was something I could do. Thanks.

  8. I am 23 years old and have been taking Tramadol for 6 months now , since I started taking Tramadol I have not had clear skin .I now have big and little red spots and yellow heads appearing all over my face , as soon as some clear up , more appear . This has only been since I started tramadol

  9. I started taking tramadol and it helped with my pain but my face is so broke out as a child and as an adult I hardly ever broke out. Now my skin looks so bad and I can’t get it to Clare up. I don’t want the pain but I don’t want to look horrible either

  10. I would say yes, when I’m not taking the Tramadol my face is really clear but one I have to take it for a day or two my face explodes in pimples, it’s horrible.

  11. Iv been taking Tramadol for about a year now..and Iv used to have beautiful skin.. Now my face is awful..I am almost done taking it and I won’t go back on it ever again!

  12. Im a 21 year old female… I have had acne before but generally just on my face. I had a operation to remove a pinolidal sinus on Thursday last week, got given codeine for the pain. But as the pain got worse i got prescribed tramadol yesterday, ever since yesterday i woke up this morning with quite a lot of spots on my face and inbetween my breasts, and i cant seem to pop them.. Ive even tried a hot flannel, nothings working.. So i assume that tramadol does cause a break out of acne.

  13. Anytime I use ultram my face breaks out like crazy. Too bad bc it’s a great pain reliever but makes my skin break out like I’m 16

  14. thought it was the prednisone i was on since it was a steroid, but was off of those pills.. then looking back and googling the other drugs they gave me for my herniated disk, i stumbled across this,, kinda did the math and figured out as soon as i started taking tramadol every day the acne gets worse and worse.. so i will stop taking it and go to just IB profen instead, that is if i can handle the pain i guess.. thanks everyone, i agree i think its the tramadol causing the breakout, started on my shoulders, and back, now starting on my face and chest.. im 28.. i get the occasional pimple here or there still, but not like this..

  15. I’ve suffered from chronic pain since I was 14. I am now almost 22 and finally decided to start taking pain medication because being a mom of a one year old and severe pain just don’t mix. Tramadol has been a life safer for me, 200 mg a day. But my face started breaking out in these HORRIBLE, LARGE and I guess you could say deep, pimples. Its been about two weeks. It’s terrible and I feel so insecure. Especially at work when I see hundreds to thousands of people every day. I can tell that they’re no longer just talking to me, but staring at my acne and how yucky it looks trying to hide it.
    What a shame.

  16. I have been taking both tramadol and oramorph for the past week after a knee dislocation in the last 4 days my face has exploded with spots…normally spot free….will be going docs to see about swapping meds

  17. I have taken tramadol twice. The first time for about three months and am currently on it again for back pain. Each time it instantly clears my face and stops the oil production. All I can find is how people are breaking out. Has anyone had it clear they acne like my case?

    1. Yes. My daughter’s face cleared up within a couple of days of taking tramadol. The doctor said it is likely only a short term side effect. Looks like acne clearing up is an unusual but welcomed side effect.

  18. I have been taking tramadol for 5-7 years and I did a test I took it for a week straight and then stopped for a week I had acne all over my face while I was taking it and it all went away with a enough face in the week I didn’t take it! This is how dramatically tramadol effects acne it is for real the cause of acne while on tramadol but it does work very well for pain so if you can get past the acne keep using it but I also noticed the higher of a dose you take the words your acne will get so keep that in mind when you are taking tramadol cause the less you take the better you acne will be!

  19. I’m over 60 and have been advised by both doctors and hospital to take Paracetamol (acetaminophen) with Tramadol, they say it’s to help with the absorbtion of the Tramadol.

    I too get bad acne symtoms when on Tramadol but will keep a close watch on things to see if Paracetamol (acetaminophen) makes any difference.

    A note to the pharmaceutical, when not taking Tramadol my acne symtoms fade away completely.

  20. Yeah there is definitely a correlation between tramadol and getting spots. As soon as I take tramadol the next day I have spots only one or 2 either on my face or head, they’re the type of spots that are a red hard lump under the skin so you can’t even pop them. Not sure if it’s because they make me rub my face alot, or they cause excess oil production either way it’s annoying

  21. Hi there. I’ve been taking Tramadol for a dental abcess for about a week. Face has broken out like I’ve never seen. Worse than when I was a teenager. I have a theory here. I am also getting the crazy face itching and dry, flaky skin. I am wondering if scratching at my face all day long with my nails (the most bacteria infested part of our body) and dirty hands (public transport) could be the culprit.

  22. Just had gall bladder removal and started tramadol for 5days and Yes my face has two huge red bumps as a result of the pain med and Iv never had skin problems before in life

  23. I’m 58 years old and haven’t had acne for 40 years. I started Tramadol a week ago (for pain from a torn ligament) and have had two huge red-bump pimples on my chin, one on my nose, and one on my forehead. My doctor said it wasn’t a known side effect, but I googled “Tramadol and acne” and ended up here. I need the pain relief for now, but will quit the tramadol as soon as possible. I’ll just have to put up with acne until then, I guess!

  24. I was taking tramadol for four years gradually hard red spots appeared on my head my chest and my back Recently i stopped taking tramadol and the spots are clearing up.

  25. I start taking tramadol a bad pain broken leg, and tramadol is really good, but the acne is a problem, i’m 29 years old. Small pimples on the chest neck and face.
    I stopped taking tramadol, and in one week all spots gone 🙂

  26. I have been taking Tramadol for the past 9 years for neuropathic pain (in the beginning) and later, I became addicted to it both mentally and physically. I currently rely on it for my anxiety/depression, but would like to get off. I have a history of acne. I am now having lots of issues with my skin. It began on my forehead and it looks like something different than the acne of my past. No bacterial acne and no cystic acne. These are fluid filled bumps. I get them all of the time and there has not been a day in a long time that I have been zit free. I am 46 and have zero time for this. I never thought it was the Tramadol, but a friend suggested I google, and here I am. Interesting.

  27. I’ve been taking tramadol regularly for my ankle surgery last week and yesterday I noticed redness on my face. Today my face is very dry,itching almost burning, blotchy and red. I guess I’ll try and handle the pain and just take tylenol and hopefully my face will go back to normal soon

  28. I was on a cocktail of painkillers before surgery for a slipped disc in my lumbar spine. I took 8 doses of Tramadol 50g over the next two days after surgery and broke out with acne on my face and chest. I have never experienced anything like it. At 36, it was far worse than any acne I had as a teenager.

  29. I was diagnosed with pneumonia on June 21 and given Tramadol for the pleurisy pain that went along with it. Shortly after, I developed terrible acne that is sort of like a red rash all over my face. I thought it would be gone by now, but it’s still going strong. I was only the Tramadol for about 6 days. I didn’t even take the last 2 pills because I had a hunch that it was related to acne. I Googled it and here I am! Apparently I’m not the only one. I think acne should be listed as a side effect for this drug.

  30. Started tramadol for break thru face is dry and flakey and covered in zits. I am sixty and stopping the tramadol. Hate zits.I am depressed enough with my chronic pain and life issues that keep me prisoner. I don’t NEED zits as icing on the cake!

  31. I recently threw out all my MAC makeup thinking I’d been on it too long and needed a change instead of Googling Tramadol and acne. I could have saved myself $500.00 had I looked this up first. I had a back fusion almost 3 years ago and it started really hurting again. My doctor gave me Tramadol because I have to keep my brain going at work.

    After reading so many others having the same issue, acne should be listed as one of the worst side effects in my opinion. It has worked great except acne at 60 y.o. This just sucks!!!

  32. I have had severe neck and shoulder pain from a pinched nerve, caused by a herniated disc. I was initially taking Gabapentin 300mg (3 x daily), then the pain worsened. My doctor added Tramadol 50mg to take as well. That helped so much. Then about a week later I ended up with an acne breakout. At 46, I would only have an occasional breakout, now it’s all over my cheeks and chin. I am having disc fusion surgery this week, so hopefully the pain will subside as I heal and I can work on getting my face clear from this acne breakout.

  33. I have been on tramadol for maybe 9 months I started noticing these red bumps on my nose chin and above my eyebrow I Never had acne in my life the Doctor prescribed me a topical clindmyacin and it seemed to worsen I discontinued that so I google all my medications and none had this acne outbreak. Today I google tramadol and acne and I got all of you. So I am not crazy or imagining this when I use alcohol or peroxide on them it burns and pus on the side of my nose. This needs to be stopped. I am contacting the pharmaceutical companies and FDA immediately. My skin was beautiful before tramadol and blood clots. I will be 50 in July and I don’t want my skin messed up. HELP

  34. I have been on tramadol for 9months I have Never Ever had acne. I looked up tramadol side effects with acne no side effects. I googled and found you all these bumps on my nose, side of my nose and chin above my eyebrow are painful and if you try and bourse them they bleed and I am on Coumadin so I don’t need any bleeding. I called the company TEVA Pharmaceutical who brought Watson to report and ask why is it not listed as a side effect. Please contact them this acne is horrible.

    1. Hi I have a bad tooth ache need to see a dentist asap I’ve taken maybe 6 tramidol the past 4 or 5 days my face was clear as could be but OMG it’s a mess I have zits everywhere on my face I am not taking them ever again it’s stinks cuz they really help with the tooth pain but I don’t want to be seen in public it’s that bad thanks Jane l

  35. I started tramadol in April for pain related to uterine fibroids/endometriosis/menstrual. My doctor gave me a standing Rx. So I would take them here and there, at least two weeks out of each month. 50mg. I noticed the breakouts started in April but assumed it was maybe bad diet or drinking? However I had to be honest with myself and know that I’ve had the same diet and drinking all year long. Only in April did the acne start to go haywire. My skin is light and now I’ve got dots and spots all over my forehead , cheeks and forehead . I have to wear heavy makeup to ensure it doesn’t show. What finally tipped me off that it might be the tramadol is the acne on my chest and neck and back. I’ve never ever had bumps pop up on my neck , chest or back. Ever. I’m 35 and def have had acne as a youth- so I know what it normally looks like. Also the acne was never bright red or poppable or inflamed. I could tell it had to be some type of “reaction”. I’ve been going mad about this . My face is ruined now after two months on tramadol. I’m now off of it and using a skincare regimen to try to get rid of the scars and smooth over the skin gone. I can say for sure that as soon as I stopped the tramadol , no new acne has come up. now it’s just a matter of clearing up the existing and hopefully reducing the appearance of the old dark spots and scars. it’s just been awful , I’ll never touch tramadol again.

  36. I honestly don’t know why it’s not listed as a side effect. I have been taking tramadol off and on for 20+ years and every time I do take it, the acne breakouts are like clockwork. Not just regular pimples but the deep, cystic kind that take a week or more to clear up. Now that I’m in the late 50’s, I have to be very careful what I put on my skin, the old benzoil peroxide routine is too drying. I am grateful that I don’t take it all the time because UGH…

  37. Yes…Tramadol does cause acne! I had clear skin until two weeks on these meds. Now I have a BAD case of rosacea…adult acne… It’s horrible. I will stop the Tramadol tomorrow and see what happens. I will give an update in a month. I have a feeling this medication lasts for awhile, doing it’s damage.

  38. Oh my god thank goodness I’ve found this post! I’ve been going crazy…I usually have very nice skin but after 5 days of tramadoI look hideous!!

  39. I have been on tramadol twice for pain and both times my face broke out. These can’t be pooped and it is very noticeable.

  40. Tramadol gave me cystic acne it took a long time for me to identify what the cause of my severe cystic acne was, it was so severe my sons nurse who known me for years was shocked and concern when she saw all the scars in my face. She suggested an antibiotic which can only be obtain in mexico. When i found out tramadol was the cause i stopped taking it and started the antibiotics it cleared my skin. its been a year already. Last month i took a small does of tramadol and i got 2 cystic pimples if another comes up i will have to take the antibiotics again. I know for sure tramadol is the cause.

  41. I’m a 32 year old female, who in May 2018 opted to have my tonsils removed, during the first 10 days I took Tramacet (first time ever taking it), which is a form of tramadol. Following the 14 day recovery I returned to work, and was relatively stressed out. Up until then I had not used the pill for a year and a half and had also had no major acne or breakouts. About 4 weeks from my tonsillectomy I developed cystic, hormonal distribution acne. I tried every possible thing to address this naturally, and then started with prescribed topical medication. Eventually I resorted to taking the contraceptive pill again, 3 very painful and abrasive skin peels (previously had done normal skin peels), antibiotics, you name it. The only thing I haven’t used is roacutane or the sorts. I searched high and low for a correlation between my tonsillectomy and my acne, and I just couldn’t understand WHAT had made my hormones just go absolutely crazy. Until – I had a patient of mine say “Tramacet gave me acne” and now I’m here searching, and I found this page. It makes complete sense to me now that the tramadol may have caused my acne.

  42. Have been taking Tramadol for about a week for severe pain due to nerve compression.
    I’m 30 years old, skipped acne during puberty, and am breaking out over the face and back of shoulders. They’re deep pimples that sit under the surface and can’t be popped so are constantly sore.

  43. I’ve taken tramadol off and on your years and always had the acne. After the last recent breakout I looked and found nothing on the subject. Luckily enough I found this page. I never really had acne in my teens.
    I’m in my mid 30’s now. Within a day of taking it, bright red blotches began appearing on my face. The longer I took it it, the worse they got and spread. After a week I had red “welts” all over my chest, back, shoulders and face. They sometimes contained a white or yellow puss, would bleed and we’re very painful. If I popped them they would scan up and I would have large red blotchy scabby skin. It was a nightmare. I can’t believe there no account of this as a side effect. As Soon as I stopped taking it, the acne stopped.

  44. So, to anyone interested in why you might have acne on Tramadol? Well, here it goes! I took Tramadol for around 4.5 years. I hadn’t been prescribed them but was self-medicating which was wrong (I know, I’m a bad boy). However, these past few months have been hell, and I have been researching like crazy. So here it goes:

    I started getting Acne once I began tapering off the pills. Now there is something not a lot of people realize when taking opioids, and it is the effect they can have on your hormones. For instance, when I was on them my skin was actually great. It didn’t produce any more oil like it used to. Once I came off the pills, BOOM, oily skin, acne, and even a rosacea flare. I’ve been clean now for around 4 months, and I’m still dealing with it.

    What they can do: (O-P-I-A-D) Opioid-Induced Androgen Deficiency. Males and Females, we all have testosterone, cortisol, Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin, Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), Oestradiol (Oestrogen). The pituitary gland can have what’s called a “feedback loop”, it can also mess with the hypothalamus. When you overstimulate the brain with opioids, it dampens different hormones. For men, it can be reduced libido, difficulty to reach orgasm, etc. Same can be applied to women.

    When you take opioids, have you noticed yourself having a hot flash? I certainly did at times. This is hormonal, and it shows the beginning stage of either OPIAD or Hypogonadism. What is hypogonadism: diminished functional activity of the gonads—the testes or the ovaries—that may result in diminished production of sex hormones.

    If you have started taking them and you have noticed spots, then it is more than likely down to the drug messing with your hormones, which will eventually level out once your brain gets used to them. However, if you are constantly getting acne, and it won’t go away after a couple of months or so, then you might want to get off them. That means they are maybe messing too much with your hormones. If you have been on them a long time, and you have suffered from acne in the past, then rest assured, it will come back, with all the bells and whistles.

    I’m still dealing with Acne, and it’s been an uphill battle. I can only hope my hormones begin to self-regulate and get back to normal. If you are on them for a reason, unlike me, then tell your doctor about OPIAD. If you’re having hot flashes, or if you have a reduced libido, you have to tell them so your hormones aren’t totally out of balance which can lead to health complications in the future.

    Tramadol does change your brain chemistry over a period of time. Once dependence has been reached, your brain relies on the medication for regulation. Remove that factor, and you have a cascade of issues you need to face. (Always taper off) However, you might still have hormonal issues, as I do. It’s all about the length of time you’re on them and recovery time needed for the brain to self-regulate.

    However, again, if you just started taking them and you got pimples, it’s more than likely your hormones temporarily going out of sync until the brain is used to the chemicals. Even people who have been off opioids for months, still have somewhat elevated cortisol levels which can also contribute to skin issues and rosacea flares.

    I hope this gives you some answers. Disclaimer: I am NOT a medical professional. I’m just someone who has been through it all, and I’m trying to understand and research my own issues. If you are experiencing the same, then I hope you get some relief knowing you’re not the only one.

    Kind Regards

  45. Let me start by saying, I went through the Accutane process about 15 years ago or so. Therefore my skin has been awesome for quiet sometime. I had back surgery in early 2017 and have taken a prescription of tramadol from time to time since then. I can say with 100% certainty that it makes my skin break out. Not only my face, but also my scalp, and my torso. What I can’t figure out is WHY does it break out? What is in Tramadol that reacts this way? Any help is appreciated. Thank you!

  46. 37 – FEMALE. Let me start by saying, I went through the Accutane process about 15 years ago or so. Therefore my skin has been awesome for quiet sometime. I had back surgery in early 2017 and have taken a prescription of tramadol from time to time since then. I can say with 100% certainty that it makes my skin break out. Not only my face, but also my scalp, and my torso. What I can’t figure out is WHY does it break out? What is in Tramadol that reacts this way? Any help is appreciated. Thank you!

  47. I have been on lyrica and had it changed to Tramadol. It duels the pain a bit but I have the chin full of nasty spots! Even with prescribed acne treatment I can not get rid of these. Buggers! Very unsidely, btw I’m 54 years old.

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