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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Acne and facial rash
Jan 28, 2011

I am female and started taking Truvada and Efavirenz six weeks ago after being diagnosed with HIV during a routine medical. I have developed an itchy rash on my face that disappears for a day or two when I use hydrocortisone ointment.I also got acne like pimples during my last period and these have left unsightly dark marks on my face.Is this a side effect of the meds and will it go away? Before taking the meds I had a clear skin. What can I do to get rid of this rash if anything? I have used Clinique facial products for years but now have to stop each time the rash comes back on. I am a 43 year old woman.

Response from Dr. Henry

Some patients seem to develop reactive (almost teenage like) skin when starting HIV meds perhaps as a part of the spectrum of immune reconsitution. Flares of seborrhea can also be seen as well as occasionally a drug reaction. If due to immune reconstitution then often will diminish over several months. I often get help from a dermatologist in order to make the most precise diagnosis possible in order to achieve best results from any treatment used. HIV meds rarely need to be switched due to facial skin problems but that is on the table if no other conditions felt to be involved. KH

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