Yes, you read right. There are many who treat this drug as the Holy Grail of acne treatment, which is why it is so difficult to get your hands on it. People with psoriasis or rheumatoid arthritis might also find methotrexate an effective solution for their skin or joint problems.

But not everyone can use methotrexate for acne without risking permanent damage to their liver. Let’s see if you qualify for this drug and whether the benefits outweigh the risks in your case.

What is methotrexate and how does it work?

Methotrexate is a type of drug called an immunosuppressant. Immunosuppressants help reduce inflammation by decreasing the activity of your immune system. In the case of methotrexate, it targets the activity of the liver. It inhibits certain enzymes that process and metabolize drugs, vitamins, amino acids and other substances in the liver. As a result, more of the substances remain in the liver, which can lead to side effects.

Methotrexate is usually prescribed to treat certain cancers, psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis. It is also prescribed for certain autoimmune diseases like psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, plaque psoriasis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. This drug is also prescribed for certain severe allergic reactions.

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How can you get methotrexate for acne?

Methotrexate is not a drug you can get over the counter and you will not find it in any acne treatment product for sale. You can only try to get methotrexate for acne after consulting a dermatologist or an oncologist.

Doctors prescribe methotrexate for acne in a low dose of 5-10 mg per week. In rare cases, they might prescribe a higher dose. They may recommend that you take the drug continuously, or they might prescribe it intermittently. This will depend on your acne symptoms and the severity of your dermatitis.

Are there any benefits of using methotrexate for acne?

Methotrexate is one of the few acne treatments that may also treat the dermatitis that often accompanies acne. That means that the drug should help reduce your acne symptoms and the redness and itching of your skin at the same time. However, there are different ways to treat acne without methotrexate, so it’s important to weigh the risks and benefits in your case.

Apart from treating acne and dermatitis, methotrexate can also reduce the number of acne sores, acne scarring, and the amount of oil that your skin produces. If you get enough sleep and eat a healthy, balanced diet, you can reduce your acne symptoms without using methotrexate. However, methotrexate may help clear your acne faster and prevent acne scars from forming.

Why is methotrexate so risky?

Methotrexate, like most prescription drugs, comes with risks and side effects. The most common side effect of this drug is nausea, which usually goes away within a few days of starting the treatment. Other side effects of methotrexate include headaches, vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, diarrhea, rash, joint pain, and fatigue. You should make sure to tell your dermatologist if you experience any of these symptoms.

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The most serious and dangerous side effect of methotrexate is liver damage. It’s important to keep an eye on your liver function while on this drug. If you notice any of the symptoms of liver damage, talk to your dermatologist.

Other drugs that treat acne with less risk


If methotrexate for acne sounds too risky for you, you can try another acne treatment. We have a list of acne treatments that come with less risk of side effects:

  • Benzoyl peroxide – This is the most common acne treatment used by dermatologists and people with acne. This acne treatment comes with very few side effects and will not interfere with your liver function.
  • Retinoids – These acne treatments come with the same side effects as benzoyl peroxide: dryness, peeling, and redness of the skin. All three of these treatments will help you keep your acne under control as long as you continue taking them.
  • Acne antibiotics – Antibiotics like doxycycline and tetracycline are often prescribed for acne-prone skin. However, these drugs are less effective than methotrex- ate for acne.
  • Acne contraceptives – Birth control pills may also be prescribed for acne in women.

However, they may cause side effects like headaches and nausea.

Final Words: Is using methotrexate for acne worth the risk?

Yes, you can use methotrexate for acne. It is a great drug for treating both acne and the dermatitis that often accompanies it. It is important to keep an eye on your liver function while on this drug. If you notice any of the symptoms of liver damage, stop taking methotrexate. If you still want to use this drug, talk to your dermatologist about how to monitor your liver health while on it.

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When it comes to acne, there are many solutions. But not every acne treatment is right for every person. Use this article to learn more about methotrexate for acne, including the benefits and risks associated with this drug.


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The wealthformyhealth.com team is composed of doctors and few students in their final year of medicine who have decided to popularize and share their knowledge.