Zoloft & Acne

Zoloft is a prescription drug used to treat anxiety and depression, conditions correlated with acne. Please tell us about your experience with Zoloft below.

75 Replies to “Zoloft & Acne”

  1. I am a 19 yr old female currently prescribed on zoloft 50mg. I have not had any outstanding problems with acne until about 3 weeks into taking the tablets. I am wondering whether this has any effect.

    1. I’ve always struggled with very mild acne but as soon as I started taking Zoloft, BAM Major acne!!! I’ve never seen my face this much of a mess before. I also developed acne on my back and chest that I’ve never and i mean NEVER had in my life. I’m absolutely disgusted. What’s strange is I was on this for 2 years before and it didn’t cause me to break out that bad but the 2nd time around has been a complete disaster. I’m in the process of gradually stopping this medication in hope that my skin goes back to normal! I would rather deal with my anxiety without medicine and have clear skin than no anxiety and a nasty face.

    2. Was on 50 mg of zoloft for almost a full year…. zoloft improved my acne !!!! Now coming off of it i’m in week 3 and experiencing breakouts

    3. I’ve been taking Zolof for about a week now and I usually have great skin , until the 2nd day I started taking zolof . Major , chest acne , back acne , and face acne started to appear . I’m going to stop taking it bc I’m getting very shy about my skin , and everyday it gets worse !

    4. I’ve always had pretty good skin, almost no acne. I’ve been on Zoloft for probably 2 years and I recently decided to come off it. Within a few days, I started getting acne. I’ve been pretty good about taking care of my skin and it just won’t go away.

      1. Yes I have seen one of my neighbour skin too get transform after coming off amitriptyline (SSRI) …cytic acne…now m too on amitriptyline n now m worried what if I too get cytic acne after stopping it…..I wouldn’t have take it if I knew before about the side effect…if u have any solution plz reply

        1. Do you know if the cystic acne has gone away or if it’s still present? I’m currently going on one month off Zoloft and my skin seems to just be getting worse :/ I’m afraid it won’t ever improve.

  2. I have been on Zoloft for 3 months and have had a problem with acne on my chin since I started. Takes a long time to heal and is leaving my chin marked; also cystic and painful. I was taking Celexa previously and had the same symptom. Dr has switched me to Effexor but I am hesitant to switch yet again. I have been reading that people have had the same result with that drug. I find it hard to believe there is no link????

    1. It definitely does cause you to break out. Effexor also broke me ou. Most antideppresents are known o cause acne. And it wasnt until i went to school to get my estetichians liscense that i correlated the two for myselft

  3. I have never had any kind of acne. Hardly ever even had a pimple. But now that I’m on Zoloft I have pimples all over my face at one point I counted over 30. I have stopped taking them two days ago, and I bet my skin will clear up. Oh and it was about 3 weeks in when mine showed up as well.

    1. Ibut some people see acne after stopping the SSRI….nice in ur case at least u can stop drug to stop acne….what will help if acne come after the withdrawl 😔😔

  4. I am a 50 year old woman and have suffered in the past with severe acne. At 50 I have pretty much ceased with breakout…but as I have been into about, yes my 3rd week I started seeing acne like I have not had in over 20 years.
    I like that the Zoloft is keeping me even but not so hip on the acne. Obviously this is a side effect.

  5. I am 61 yrs. and into 3rd week on Zoloft, 50mg and face is beaking out. Going to 25mg for one week and then getting off.

  6. I’m 38 and hadn’t had a pimple since my late 20’s. Just like you, I started breaking out after a few weeks of taking Sertraline 50mg. My back, chest and face are full of pimples and I itch constantly, specially on my legs, upper arms, head, even my face!.
    I’m going to the doctor next week to ask for a different anti-depressant.

    1. I’m on the Sertraline 25mg, also on my third week, and I’ve been breaking out on my face and back. I, too, itch everywhere, mostly around my ankles and my head.

      1. Thank you Susan for writing this. I’ve been on Ziloft for three weeks now. I’ve always had perfect skin. When I say perfect/ I mean perfect. Immediately after taking Zoloft my face broke out. I asked my practitioner was this a side effect early on and he told me no. My ankles, elbows and face broke out bad. My practitioner up my dose and now I have a face full of pimples. I spoke to him again yesterday and he told me it was a side effect. Not happy but the Zoloft makes me deal with it better.

  7. I’m 18 and I’ve rarely had issues with acne for about 2 years. I started taking Zoloft, and at about 3 weeks as well my face and back started breaking out. I got off of Zoloft and within 2 weeks my skin was back to normal.

  8. I am the same. I started Zoloft 50mg about two months ago and started to notice breakouts really bad all over my face, I am 29 years old and usually only breakout the week before my period, but this is terrible. Every morning it would be so broke out that I didn’t want to go to work. I am going to see my doctor about trying a new medicine or just getting off of medicine all together. I think it can be dangerous to just stop this type of medicine on your own though without consulting your physician.

  9. I’m 40 & the same has been happening to me, zoloft & breakouts!!! I’m on my 3rd month now and the breakouts aren’t any better. It sucks! Now that I know it’s not just me (which I was thinking it was!) I’m going to talk to my Dr. I don’t want to switch meds either, I think at this point I’d just be content to have my clear skin back!!!

  10. I had the exact opposite effect. I struggled with acne since age 16 and was still dealing with it at age 29. It runs in my family, I have uncles and aunts in their 40’s and 50’s who still have considerable break outs. I was prescribed Zoloft and took it it for 6 months. By about week 6 or 7 I noticed the impossible: my face was practically clear. Months later I stopped taking Zoloft (my doc felt I could deal without it). AND the acne breakouts never came back, I’m now 34.

  11. On Zoloft for years-on and off, at least 18 years, most recently, about 5 or 6 years straight. Weaning down from 200 mgs/day. I’m 43, female, occassional acne in high school, but terrible, scarring acne for the last ten years. My skin is ruined. I’ve been on constant medication for Chron’s disease, and I thought the acne was related to those meds. I hope to be off of the Zoloft in about a month, so maybe this mess will clear up. Depression meds causing acne, which exacerbates the depression. I believe I’ve been over medicated.

  12. I’ve been off of my oral antibiotics for acne for 1 1/2 years, and I’ve only been using my topical acne medications twice a week. For the past month, my acne has returned full force and I keep wondering why. I’m back on the acne pills twice a day and the gel and cream every day, and it’s not enough to control my acne! It dawned on me last night that maybe my Zoloft medication is the cause, and I found this site. I’m so glad. Just like everyone else, my acne began about three weeks into the Zoloft. I’m calling my doctor today to tell her about the side effect. Thanks!

  13. I started taking Zoloft 10 weeks ago now and I have acne on my arms, legs and face. I have never had to deal with this issue until now.

  14. I started 50mg of Sertraline 7 weeks ago, dose was increased to 100 4 weeks ago and I have had acne for 1 week now – never had acne before 🙁

  15. I have been on Zoloft for 1-1/2 months. Just like most of you, 3 weeks into taking the medication, I started having massive acne on my chin. I have called & made an appointment with the dermatologist, but in the meantime, I had to go to the walk-in clinic to get some Doxycycline pills & Clindamycin topical solution. I have used both almost 2 weeks & the acne is still massive. This is awful!!!!

  16. I am a 17 year old girl and I have been taking zoloft for about 2 years now. I have been taking 50mg for about a year annd a half and my doctor decided to bump me up to 100mg. I noticed a TON of small pimples on my forhead, cheeks, and chin. There small but really red and theres a lot of them. Not realizing it waas the zoloft he bumped me up to 150mg and my face looks like I have a giant rash all over my face. I never stuggled with acne or even pimples, maybe a break out or two when I’m about to start my period. If you are having similar problems I would recomend to call your doctor pronto! DO NOT stop taking the medicine cold turkey. I repeat DO NOT stop taking the Zoloft.

  17. I have been on 50mg Zoloft for two weeks today. I have broken out horribly with acne on my chin and even feel it on my scalp! I have never had acne this bad and I am 34yrs old! I love the effect of the med., but can’t deal with this acne! I am weaning off in a couple days!

  18. I started 25 mg a week ago. I was taking Zoloft for a little over three months before until I noticed side effects of crabbiness and irritablness. I fell into a depression a couple moths later and here I am one week and four days into the medication and I neer ever break out . && now I have pimples all over my face, back, && chest. I am stopping the medication today and ill keep everyone posted on the effects ✌

  19. I started using the Zoloft about 3 weeks ago and I have noticed acne on my chin as well, I have NEVER had acne in my life and I am 37 yrs old. I am shocked and totally mortified!!!! I am definatly calling the doctor next week:(

  20. I’m 30 and have been on Zoloft for 4 weeks and found the same thing! After 3 weeks I totally broke out in acne and don’t normally! As from tomorrow I’m weaning myself off this stuff. Don’t like how it makes me feel numb with no true feelings.

  21. i’m 45 and dealing with acne. i was taking Prozac and was noticing my acne was getting pretty bad so i stopped taking it. i am now taking Zoloft and i’m breaking out just as bad. . it’s been a week since i stopped taking the Zoloft and so far i’m not having any problems, just the acne part of it. it’ll probably take some time for my acne to heal but i do know it is caused from this medication.

  22. Same with me as everyone else & very disgusted.

    Why is there NO INFORMATION on drug websites about this? Are they hiding it so people keep using their meds?

    Anyone found an anti-depressant that doesn’t cause this horrible acne?

  23. I have never had acne in my life. I have always been complimented on my how great my skin is. I started taking zoloft 2 months ago and my entire chin is covered in extremely painful acne. I started noticing the breakout towards the end of my first month taking it but it is getting worse and worse and I’ve already started scarring horribly. I’ve also had massive ulcers in my mouth and really dry skin on my legs and arms.. Guess I should call my doctor as well and maybe get switched.

  24. I hate Zoloft. My face is a fucking railroad map. I stopped for a week and a half and my face cleared up completely. I started back up and my acne came back with a vengence. Now I feel trapped.

  25. I’m 29 and I’ve been on Zoloft 50mgs for two weeks and I’ve noticed the acne also but It’s on my chest, legs, and belly had a few under my arms as well. Never had them until a few days after I started taking my medicine.

  26. I’m 35 and had acne in the past that has subsided as an adult. I started Zoloft 3-4 weeks ago and have experienced significant breakouts, including areas (forehead, chin) where I haven’t had a problem in years.

  27. I am 19 years old and only struggle with occasional hormonal acne. Since taking sertraline 50mg, I itch A LOT, have dry skin in many places, my skin has changed texture, and I have HORRIBLE acne. I have tried everything and it finally dawned on me that I’ve had acne for as long as I’ve been taking the medication. I will be going to a doctor and slowly weaning myself off of this medicine next week.

  28. I am 25 years old. I have had breakouts in the past but nothing like this! I have small little red bumps everywhere, almost like a rash. I am on my 3rd week of setraline and last night it dawned on me that it could be these meds that are doing this to my face. I am stopping the medication and hopefully my face will be back to normal soon.

  29. I’m 37 and also experienced the above!! This has helped me decide to slightly reduce the dose to see if that helps. Definitely a frustrating side effect when you’re struggling with confidence.

  30. I am so irritated. Like many that have commented, after about 3 weeks I noticed acne on my chin. I used to have issues with it when I was younger but since being in my 40’s I’ve dealt with it rarely. Now I’m broke out in numerous places and they are taking a long time to heal. I switched moisturizers recently as well & I actually thought that is what caused it. I’ve stopped using it & the issues continue. It’s so upsetting, the low doseage has worked well for me (25mg) honestly don’t know if I want to continue to take it if this awful acne is the result 🙁

  31. I am 39 years old, have not had major breakouts since like early 20’s and even then it was just with PMS. I have been taking this for depression, anxiety and PMS, I have so many large zits on my face I want to cry!!! I was on Effexor, Cymbalta, Fetzima, people used to tell me all the time how beautiful my skin was, now I don’t leave the house.
    I am thinking about asking my PCP to change meds again, but hate the hassle of changing meds… Who knew that Zoloft would do this? It is not on the side effects list at all!!!

  32. I am 36 years old … I’m dealing with the same exact thing… damn pimples all over my face and 8 to 10 behind my ears… I hate looking in the mirror anymore… I spent over an hour going from website to website looking for anything that said this is a side effect.. not a single one… glad to have found This… I needed to know it wasn’t just me… thank you for leaving comments so myself and others like us will know …

  33. I came upon this thread because I have noticed a difference with my skin since taking Zoloft, but my effects seem to be the opposite. I am 34, and have had acne my whole life since age 9. I started taking Zoloft about 2 weeks ago, and I have noticed that my skin has cleared up. Not a pimple in sight! I thought maybe other people had this same reaction. I wonder why it’s different??

  34. When I was 18 I started taking roaccutane for acne. I took that for 3 years to clear my skin. I had my son when I was 22 and 8 months after I started taking zoloft for post natal depression. I am on 100mg now, and my skin is so bad that I don’t want to leave the house. I’ve been taking it and dealing with the bad skin for almost 2 years and only just thought that the zoloft could be the cause.

  35. Taking sertaline and it has helped me no doubt. 1 year 4 months (50mg) and 2 months (25mg) later I’m weaning my self off. I’m Having shock like feelings from head to toe when my eyes or head move to fast. So………. now I’m breaking out with acne! never had an issue with acne before I’m 30 this year. After reading this post it has made me book an appointment for tomorrow to get this out of my system and be back to my normal grumpy self (in a happy way). Good luck to all suffering symptoms from this drug as it sertanliy does help. (see what I did there :’)

    Shock like pulses

    only started as a symptom when withdrawing from the sertaline

    1. Yeah if I go off of it for a few days I get the same “shock” feelings . I’m assuming that’s part of the withdrawal . Definitely stop taking t as slow as possible .. Like my doctor said cut pills in half and do that for a pretty long time. The shock feeling sucks. It goes down my arms into my fingers, in my eyelids, I can’t focus because of it . You’re not alone !

  36. 31 yrs old have been taking Zoloft for about 6mo. Recently went up from 50mg to 75mg and am to call my Dr. and then go up to 100mg. I am experiencing an acne about break out the likes of which I have not seen in 10yrs. Also my dreams are nuts! Very vivid and disturbing.

    1. Cystic acne has been a result of taking this medication and also, I suffer with terrifying nightmares that leave me in a state-of-panic. I almost hate closing my eyes at night in fear of the unknown. They dreams are vivid, so, seem and feel real. I have heard that there is medication that can be taken with the Zoloft to stop the nightmares. Try asking your Dr. about it.

  37. Just started Zoloft. Def breaking out so bad on my chin. This sucks . It’s been about 3-4weeks I guess so this goes along with everyone. Really need something to take edge off but I’m not living every day with pimples. I’m supposed took back to my doc in a couple weeks so I’ll try to stick it out till then but I don’t know if I can if I continue to break out.

  38. Mlke – my symptoms were the same. I started taking 50mg Zoloft 15 years ago, and three days later had a massive cystic acne issue on my chin. I went back to the prescribing doctor, who said there was no known correlation, so I dismissed that as a cause. (I was only 22 then, and inexperienced with any medical issues.) The Zoloft helped snap me out of a deep depression and irrational thought patterns, so I remained on it for about a year and a half, battling cystic acne the entire time (which doesn’t help depression). I continued to use Zoloft off and on for several years, and eventually correlated it to my breakouts.

    I will NEVER touch SSRIs again. I had taken 25mg for about a two weeks and decided to quit for good, but discovered I was pregnant about 5 weeks after that. I’m sure it was still in my sensitive system. Our son has a severe heart defect (HLHS), four open heart surgeries before the age of 6, more to come, plus complications. All of that occurred right before the news broke that sertraline caused fetal heart defects. I will never forgive the makers of this drug or myself for not knowing better. Stay away from this stuff. Try magnesium and B complex supplements first.

  39. Hi all,

    I have never had acne on my face before just only behind my knees. However, since I have been on Lamictin and Zoloft, I have this bad breakout on my face and now it is starting to spread to my neck. I have decided to stop, taking the lamictin and I will see whether my face will clear as this is getting too embarrassing for me.

    I hope that this will a difference on my skin but at the same time I hope that it will not affect my mood swings and anxiety attacks as I am an Executive PA and being calm is one of the key competencies.

    Now that I have seen this site, it has helped.

  40. I have been a month on 25mg Zoloft and have acne I haven’t seen since I was a teenager. It also itches.I’m breaking out on my face, back, and chest. I need to switch asap. I used to take 50mg but got such crazy side effects I had to lower the dose

  41. Im 22…I’m on my 2nd week of Zoloft. 25Mg. I used to only have acne occasionally on my lower cheek area. Nothing bad. Since taking the medication I have broke out all over my face. Especially on my forehead where I have not had a single pimple since I can ever remember. Right now they aren’t too bad. They’re small red bumps but they did come out of no where and I’m terrified they will become worse. Has anyone found a cure to this?

  42. Zoloft is the 5th and current anti depressant medication I’ve tried and like all the others it makes me break out really bad. One of the reasons why I’m taking these types of medication is bcuz I suffer not only from depression & PMDD but OCD picking face and body. I’m losing hope! What is the point in taking these meds if it’s going to make me worse than what I started with? I don’t think I’m ever going to get help with anti depressants. I am feeling so discouraged with my life I’m starting to have suicidal thoughts again! God help me!!!

    1. Helen,

      I hope you were able to get your meds straightened out. I have the exact same issues: OCD with face-picking, PMDD, depression. I started Zoloft about 3-4 weeks ago and if it weren’t for the PROACTIVE skin care I use twice a day, my face would be a mess. I have tried all kinds of things on my skin and the proactive did the trick. I get a few spots but it helped tremendously keep me from having a major breakout. Hope this helps you.

  43. Hi all,
    35 years old male.
    i had severe ance as a teenager (took roaccutane, antibiotics and so on),
    which has fully resolved.
    10 years ago started taking diif. meds (ssri’s/snri’s – laxapro, seroqual, cymbalta, ixel, effexor, and so on).
    started zoloft 25 mg 4 days ago with crazy “inception” movie like vivid dreams, and now – painfull deep acne all over my scalp !!! for over 15 years i havn’t had those..
    will stop it unfortunatly –
    because i started feeling better, and also related meds sexual problems changed so good like on no other drug… couldn’t believe i could ever enjoy again !
    Damn Acne !!!!!

  44. Im 18 years old and Iv’e been taking zoloft for about 2 months now, I’ve struggled with a small amount of acne before but never like this! My face is red and swollen and even worst I woke up this morning and broke out in a rash along my chest and neck ):

  45. Hey everybody,
    I’m 18 and on zoloft and xanax for severe depression and anxiety, and I love the medication — it does wonders for my mood — except for the acne. Like almost everyone else on this thread, I have had just a few small acne problems in the past. I am now two months into the medication and my face looks like a crime scene. Deep and painful acne covering the entire span of my forehead, nose, chin, neck, and upper back. I feel like Freddy Kreuger, and it makes me want to cry or kill myself every time I look in the mirror. I live in a dorm and am ashamed to be seen in the public bathroom after I’ve showered or taken off my makeup. Cut bangs into my hair just to try and cover my forehead. Topographical map of the Andes mountains is not the most professional look, and it’s heartbreaking. Left a message with my doctor today, hoping I can find something that works as well as Zoloft without making me hate myself even more than usual.

    Glad I found this thread,
    Good luck and peace to everyone else struggling

  46. I’ve been taking Zoloft for over 3wks now. I started at 50mg and now I’m on 100mg. I’m a 26yr old female with a mild case of acne before I started. Now that I am rounding on my 4th week I have not had ANY breakouts! I’ve always suffered from a messy face with pimples and I always was super self conscious. But I’m super happy that they have all but stopped. I still have a few bumps but I’m sure it’s from a change in makeup (whoops) over it being from the medicine. But everyone reacts to medicines especially anxiety/anti depressant meds differently. I have yet to experience any side affects and I’m sure I’m the minority of the bunch. What works for one might not work for all.

  47. Hi, I’m 17 and going through anxiety and depression I was prescribed 25mg of Zoloft and I’ve only been on it for two days now and I’m starting to develop acne on my cheek. when I was younger I had a problem with acne but not severe I finally got control
    of it and I’m terrified it’s going to come back worse.

  48. I am a 57 yr old female. Only took Zoloft for 8 days. 7 days at 25 mg and then day 8 was 50 mg. On day 8 my fave started getting a red rash like a beard. Called dr asked could it be Zoloft? Nurse said no. By day 9 I was swollen and had a double chin. A friend who is a Physician Assistant that works ER said yes Zoloft. I did not take the dose day 9 because of her! Thank you Lord! Dr said take Benadryl. No response and getting worse. Then on day 11 he said come get 80mg shot of steroid. Did that. No better. It is now up my face to my eyes, swollen on my back and stomach. Went to health food place and got lymphatic cleaning drops and cell cleaning minerals. Red rash started becoming pimples on day 11 and now on day 12 every red rash place is pimples. Face is the worse. Using Kara Vita Oregano line for blemishes and push thru trying to clean this out of my system. I agree with everyone that this does not come up
    as a side effect and that is just impossible. It had to have appeared in drug trials and therefore is required to be advised. Hang in there everyone.

  49. Currently 18 years old been on and off zoloft many times currently on 100mg doseage and my doctor wants to bump me to 150mg! Zoloft does seem to calm me down but makes me feels very tired and groggy I’ve had clear skin ever since I went to my dermatologist but after taking zoloft it became a nightmare! You are not alone switch medications as this is your bodys reaction to rejecting this terrible SSRI. Talk to your doctor either about switching medications or just get completely off of it. I’m not stop itching even as I post this. My skin has never been the same since….

  50. Yeah, I have been on Sertraline (50mg) for about 3.5 weeks, and I have broken out in acne really severely. I used to get it quite bad as a teenager, but generally speaking it’s been ok. I’m 23 now, I don’t think I should be getting it this badly… It’s completely taken over the left-hand side of my face. Certainly doesn’t help with confidence/self-esteem.

    Can’t drink, can’t have caffeine and now this! Almost doesn’t seem worth taking it.

  51. My daughter is 6 years old and I had Pregnancy Mask during my pregnancy and it didn’t go away after I delivered her. I been suffering with dark spots on my face for over 6 years. I lost a baby at 23 weeks November 17, 2017 and became very depressed and my doctor suggested I should get on Zoloft and after a few days my skin started looking better and the dark sport started disappointing. I’ve only been on Zoloft for 3 weeks. I been searching info but I can’t find any concreta information.

  52. I am 63 yrs old and have been on antidepressants al my life. I was just put on Zoloft and it’s been 2 weeks. I started noticing tiny blisters showing up on my face. I see other people have had the same problem. No other drugs have caused this.

  53. I am 63 yrs old and have been on antidepressants al my life. I was just put on Zoloft and it’s been 2 weeks. I started noticing tiny blisters showing up on my face. I see other people have had the same problem. No other drugs have caused this.
    This will make me more depressed. I haven’t had acne problems, since being in high school. I’m tired of trying all these medicines.

  54. It’s just so frustrating this has happened to me on many other antidepressants such as seroxat Prozac and citapram . Was taking the pill for acne for a few years had good skin the its seems like the first few week days even I break out and have to stop. I finally found the holy grail in effoxer was brilliant for years then just seemed to stop working. Tried amiltripline and just had same response. Just fed up as I can’t cope with acne but depression and anxiety sucks too will just have to try other ones

  55. Just started taking 25 mg of sertraline, the generic version of Zoloft. Around the end of the second week I’ve begun to break out horrible across my whole face and in places I’ve never even had acne before. After reading through all the comments I don’t have much hope that it will clear up unless I stop the medication. Guess I’ll just deal with depression lmao

  56. Wow, I am so glad I found this site. I’ve recently been breaking out on only the right side of my face. And this isn’t just acne, it’s cystic. I’ve always had pretty good skin, with just an occasional pimple here and there. Today I can tell that two more are forming to create a perfectly straight line of angry red bumps that almost look like small boils. I didn’t think about Sertraline being the culprit (I’m on 50 mg), but after researching this, I believe it is. It makes sense with the timeline, as I’ve been dealing with this for a few months, which is around the time I started this medication. But hell if I’m taking this anymore. This skin problem is giving me more anxiety than I had before I started taking this! You all are wonderful for sharing your story. I wish you all the best of luck in your mental health recovery- it’s so hard! Sending love, light, and healing to all spirits (and skins)!

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