PregnancyPreventionCan Birth Control Help Acne?

Can Birth Control Help Acne?


There are many natural ways to stop acne; however the FDA has approved three types of birth control to help acne. Following are the pills that reduce acne effectively in women:

  1. Ortho Tri-Cyclen: Birth control pills that contain small quantities of estrogen combined with the hormone progesterone are known to reduce acne in women. Pills that contain only progestin can actually worsen acne. Ortho Tri-Cyclen is a pill that contains estrogen combined with a progestin also called norgestimate.

What is progestin?

Progestin is nothing but a synthetic form of the hormone progesterone which is naturally found in women’s bodies along with estrogen.

  1. Estrostep: This pill contains estrogen and a type of progestin that is called as norethindrone. These pills generally come in varying doses of estrogen, unlike ortho tri-cyclen which usually come in varying doses of progestin.
  2. YAZ: This contains estrogen with a progestin called drospirenone. However, pills containing drospirenone have been known to have a higher risk of blood clots as compared to pills containing other types of progestins.

These are the pills approved by the FDA and there is no better or worse: each of them show almost negligible differences in how well they reduce acne.

Who is eligible for birth control to help acne?

Well, the answer lies in the question: Girls and women who are looking to reduce acne while needing contraception for their active sexual lives can be treated for acne using oral contraceptives. For girls though, they should be above the age of 15 and must have already started menstruating.

The reason for acne in women is simple:

  • Pre-menstrual acne or acne during menstruation due to a shift in hormone levels in the body.
  • Going on and off the pill which gives rise to changing hormone levels in body.

The acne in these cases can range from really mild to severe which needs to be treated with care. Doctors prescribe birth control pills from a range of options, and not only those approved by the FDA for acne. They might go for additional options if the case is more severe than expected.

For moderate to severe cases, it is important that women do not just rely on birth control pills to do the job for them. First of all, pills take few months to really start showing results, and sometimes severe cases cannot be treated by contraceptives alone. In such cases, it really helps to take birth control pills along with a dedicated acne treatment.

This combination of oral contraceptives and acne treatments will help in reducing pimples, inflammation, acne break-outs and help to reduce severe acne in the long run. Pills are one of the most reliable methods for clearing acne in women, provided the pills are routinely taken on schedule, as prescribed by the doctor.

Remember that you cannot expect direct results immediately after you start taking oral contraceptives. Patience is key as pills start showing results after some time. It is recommended that women and girls wait up to 90 days to gauge a prescription before deciding whether to continue or consult the doctor for alternatives.

Hi, I'm Samantha. I live in Seattle and I develop logistics management software. I'm also a fitness and health advocate and an assistant editor for the AP!

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