Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Does The Birth Control Pill Help Acne

Does Birth Control Help Cystic Acne

How Do Birth Control Pills Affect Acne? | Acne Treatment

Yes! Birth control is a great treatment option if you are looking to eliminate cystic acne. Cystic acne occurs when the hair follicles get clogged with sebum, dead skin cells, and bacteria, forming an acne cyst under the skin. The infected cyst can become red, swollen, and very painful. The cysts can also contain pus and should not be popped, for the risk that the pus could spread the infection. It is imperative to consult a dermatologist, such as Dr. Green, to receive treatment for cystic acne in order to prevent scarring. Combination hormonal birth control pills work to combat all kinds of acne cystic acne included.

When Would Birth Control Be A Good Option To Try

Whether taking birth control pills for acne is the best option will depend on your personal situation. If you are also looking to prevent pregnancy at the same time, birth control might actually be a good first option to treat your acne. Otherwise, your healthcare practitioner might recommend trying birth control as an acne treatment when topical acne creams and oral antibiotics have failed.

Keep in mind that even if youâre on birth control for acne, your practitioner will often recommend a topical agent to go along with it.

Common topical agents used alongside birth control include a retinol containing product or a topical antibiotic .

The combined effect of the pill plus a topical agent is typically best for keeping acne under control. â

Some Of The Common Causes Of Acne Include:

â Genetics

â Our lifestyle and activity levels

â Being pregnant

â Having an underlying condition, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome

Acne is most common during adolescence . Although teenage boys experience bouts of acne due to higher levels of male androgens, women and teenage girls often experience acne in sync with their cycle. This comes back to changes in our hormone levels, with varying levels of estrogen shown to increase the chance of blockages and inflamed pores.

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Does Progestin Cause Acne

In most cases, an excess of progesterone causes hormonal acne. Progestin is a synthetic version of progesterone found in birth control. Some progestins activate androgen receptors and ultimately make your skin more oily, resulting in acne. But in some cases, progestins can block androgen receptors and do the complete opposite, lessening acne.

How Can Birth Control Prevent Acne

Does Birth Control Help or Hurt Acne? A Dermatologist ...

Acne is a direct result of an imbalance of hormones produced by the ovaries: estrogen and progesterone . Sometimes, when the ovaries produce estrogen, it gets turned into progesterone it is the excess of this hormone that can lead to acne. Fortunately, birth control pills turn this function off, preventing the excess of male hormones in your system. More specifically, being on the pill creates a protein that binds to the extra male hormones, resulting in less production of them.

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How Does Birth Control Help To Treat Acne

A common cause of acne, especially present among teens, is an imbalance of androgens, a type of hormone found in both men and women, but some people may produce it in higher amounts. One side effect of this overproduction is an increase in sebum, a type of oil that your skin naturally produces. Excess sebum can clog pores which leads to acne.

Birth control, however, can help to regulate hormones, reducing androgen production and thereby decreasing the amount of sebum production, and acne as a result.

Hormonal Birth Control And Acne

Acne is often the result of hormonal imbalance in the body your doctor might call it an androgen-mediated problem. In other words, androgens play a key role in your body regardless of your sex or gender. Androgens, such as testosterone, boost skin cell growth and stimulate the skin to produce more oil. This can then lead to blocked pores and thus acne.

Most hormones have a counterregulatory hormone a hormone that opposes its effects. The counterregulatory hormone of testosterone is estrogen, which is commonly supplied in birth control pills. This is why many doctors recommend hormonal birth control for treating acne. The estrogen supplied in the birth control can counter the effects of testosterone.

So now we know why birth control methods are often prescribed for acne, lets go back to our original question does birth control cure or cause acne? The reality is that birth control can both cure AND cause acne. Studies show that birth control pills can reduce acne by 55% on average. However, acne may come back even worse after the pill is stopped. Birth control can also make your acne worse if it lacks sufficient antiandrogenic properties.

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Skin Conditions Caused By Birth Control

If youre on a progestin-only method such as the implant, hormonal IUD, or shot, it may worsen acne, hirsutism, or hair loss. There are different types of progestin, and it varies between methods, which can cause changes to hair and skin.

  • Some progestins are more androgenic, meaning they are likely to activate androgen receptors and cause oily skin or excessive hair growth.
  • Other progestins are anti-androgenic and block the androgen receptors, resulting in dry skin or hair loss.

You may want to research the type of progestin in your birth control and watch out for unwanted side effects or changes to hair and skin. The dosage and way its administered also can impact how it works with your body.

If youre considering the implant or IUD, you want to do as much research in advance. These methods are designed to be long-term and harder to undo once youve had them placed.

Can Birth Control Help With Acne

DOES IT EVEN WORK? | how the pill affected my acne | birth control for acne month ONE

Yes! When patients ask, which birth control helps acne, the answer is that hormonal birth control that contains estrogen and progestin in combination can work to treat and prevent acne. This combination birth control pill has been clinically proven to be effective in reducing acne and there are four types of birth control pill that have been FDA approved specifically for the treatment of acne. The birth control patch has also been shown to reduce and prevent acne. Research has shown that birth control pills are effective in treating all types of acne, including noninflammatory acne such as blackheads and whiteheads, as well as inflammatory and cystic acne. Taking combination birth control pills can control breakouts as well as reduce the severity of flareups and inflammation.

Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Acne On Your Chin

Does Birth Control Help With Acne

Birth control can be a very effective way to treat hormonal acne in women. Contraceptives release hormones which make it unnecessary for the body to produce as many androgens. The lower androgen count in the bloodstream means that less sebum is produced and the pores in your face can operate as usual.

Hormonal Contraception As A Hirsutism Treatment

Hirsutism is excessive male-pattern hair growth in certain areas of a woman’s face and body such as the mustache and beard area. Androgens, the dominant sex hormones in men, can be responsible for these conditions. Women normally have low levels of androgens, but abnormally high levels of androgens can lead to excess hair growth. Given that hormonal contraception can reduce the levels of free androgen in your system, certain combination birth control pills can be a helpful hirsutism treatment.

If you use this type of birth control, you may not even be aware of its non-contraceptive benefits. Certain hormonal contraceptives have been shown to diminish the effects of hirsutism. It is important to note that women may react differently to specific contraception, so this information is intended as a general overview. Please keep in mind that hormonal contraception is meant to be used for birth control potential non-contraceptive benefits can be considered when determining which hormonal birth control method to use.

Also Check: How To Fade Acne Scars

Why We Develop Acne After Stopping Birth Control

There are several factors that contribute to post-birth control syndrome acne. Many of which are a direct result of what birth control has done to our bodies while on it.

Alice explained that her skin seemed oily within the first couple months of stopping the pill. What followed were small zits on her chin and jawline the week before her period. When she presented in my office she was noticing acne that was deeper and more inflamed 10 days before her period.

It seems to be coming on sooner and sooner and Im afraid my face is going to look like this all the time, she shared during her first visit with me.

There were several reasons why Alices skin was rebelling and they are common after coming off of hormonal birth control.

What Helps Get The Best Results

Birth Control That Helps Acne

When taking hormonal therapy for acne, it helps to:

  • Give the medication time to work

  • Take the medication at the same time every day

  • Use everything on your acne treatment plan

  • Keep all follow-up appointments with your dermatologist

  • Contact your dermatologists office right away if you experience signs of a serious side effect, such as cramping in your leg or arm

Hormonal therapy is an option for many women with stubborn acne, but its not always the only option. A dermatologist can tell you what can help clear your stubborn acne.

ImagesGetty Images

ReferencesCarol, R. Hormonal therapies serve as key adjunct acne treatment. Dermatol World. 2012 May . 2-6.

Ebede TL, Arch EL, et al. Hormonal treatment of acne in women. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2009 2: 1622.

Harper JC. Use of oral contraceptives for management of acne vulgaris. Practical considerations in real world practice. Dermatol Clin. 2016 34:159-65.

Kim GK, Del Rosso JQ. Oral spironolactone in post-teenage female patients with acne vulgaris: Practical considerations for the clinician based on current data and clinical experience. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2012 5:37-50.

Plovanich M Weng QY, et al. Low usefulness of potassium monitoring among healthy young women taking spironolactone for acne. JAMA Dermatol. 2015 151:941-4.

Zaenglein AL, Pathy AL et al. Guidelines of care for the management of acne vulgaris. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2016 74:945-73.

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The Risks Of Birth Control Pill Could Outweigh Its Benefits

You shouldnt forget that the tablet still comes with some serious risks, and it may not be worth the risk.There are some health concerns you ought to take into account if youre thinking of getting on the pill. Women who are under the medicine are at a much higher risk for developing blood clots than those who dont- 4x more likely. Visit your doctor and get a proper prescription on birth control- your dermatologist will assist you in taking care of your health, and with the assistance of your doctor, you can discover if taking the pill for acne is worth it for your case.You should also remember that even if the pill clears up your breakouts, that still might not be the end of your skin complications. According to skin specialists, birth control is just a surface solution for the acne you might be going through. It clears up your skin in the short term, but it wont fix whatever issue was causing the acne at the beginning. Other risks of taking birth control pills for acne are:

  • Hypertension and other cardiovascular complications
  • Depression and mood changes

How To Heal Acne After Stopping Birth Control

Many women begin birth control to reduce or eliminate acne. Because of this, it can come back full force when you stop hormonal birth control as part of post-birth control syndrome.

Acne after stopping birth control, how long does it last?

For Alice, she had never had acne before starting the pill. This was a new struggle and one that left her feeling embarrassed and confused.

Whether you had acne or not before starting birth control, you can develop post-birth control acne, which is a common symptom of post-birth control syndrome.

If you’re coming off the pill, and you’re feeling afraid of having that post-pill acne or cystic acne come back, let me assure you there are steps that you can take that dont include another round of hormonal contraceptives.

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How Long It Takes To See Results

ohlamour studio / Stocksy

While it can take as little as a month to notice an improvement, says Twogood, “in most studies, it took three to six months to show a reduction of acne due to birth control use.” Of course, oral contraceptives are considered long-term treatment, and acne may flare back up with discontinued use of the medication.

Birth Controls Effect On Acne

Does Birth Control Help Acne? – Pandia Health

The hormones in combination birth control pills can help reduce acne. The pills decrease the circulation of androgens, which decreases the production of sebum.

The pills must contain both estrogen and progestin to be effective against acne. The minipill only contains progestin, so it doesnt improve acne.

Many combination birth control pill brands are available. Each contains its own variation of hormones. Pills prescribed for acne should contain progestin with low androgenic possibility. This means the progestin has less androgenic side effects, such as oily skin and acne.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the following pills for use in the treatment of acne:

  • Beyaz, which combines drospirenone, ethinyl estradiol, and levomefolate calcium
  • Estrostep Fe, which combines norethindrone acetate, ethinyl estradiol, and ferrous fumarate
  • Ortho Tri-Cyclen, which combines norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol
  • Yaz, which combines drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol

However, other combination pills that arent on this list may still help to improve acne.

Recommended Reading: Why Is My Hormonal Acne So Bad

Benefits Of Birth Control For Acne

Several clinical trials have shown that taking combination birth control pills can result in:

Many women with severe acne take oral contraceptives with other acne treatments. For women who also want contraception, taking birth control pills for acne also offers one of the most reliable forms of contraception, as long as the pills are taken on schedule as prescribed.

Who Can Take Birth Control For Acne

Depending on the brand of birth control, you may need to be at least 14 to 15 years old to use birth control for acne, but you should certainly have already started menstruation. Your provider will also evaluate you to make sure you dont have any health conditions that make taking birth control potentially dangerous, including:

  • Migraine headaches with visual changes

  • History of blood clots or blood clotting disorder

  • High blood pressure

  • Being over 35 years of age

  • Liver or gallbladder disease

  • History of breast or uterine cancer

Women with a history of migraines with aura, blood clots, or high blood pressure have a higher risk of having a stroke if they take estrogen-containing birth control pills. This also applies to women who are older than 35 years old, especially if they smoke.

In the case of liver or gallbladder disease, birth control pills can make these illnesses worse. And birth control may not be an option for women with a history of breast or uterine cancer because the added estrogen might make their cancer come back.

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Learn More About Treating Acne

If youve previously used birth control pills to treat and prevent acne, its important for you to be prepared if you decide to stop taking the pill.

Post-pill acne can range from a few extra pimples to severe, painful breakouts. Using the topical treatments we recommended above, you can usually keep post-pill acne under control and stop future breakouts from occurring.

Want to learn more about treating acne? Our guide to the causes of acne goes into more detail on the two most common types of acne, and our guide to acne treatments goes into more science-backed treatments you can use to protect your skin, get rid of pimples and keep breakouts at bay.

What Are The Possible Side Effects

Birth Control for Acne!!

To reduce the risk of a woman developing serious side effects, dermatologists carefully screen their patients before prescribing hormonal therapy. Possible side effects include the following.

The pill. Taking the pill increases the risk of:

  • Blood clots

  • Heart attack

  • High blood pressure

While these side effects may not seem worth the risk, most women who are healthy do not have side effects. In fact, the risk of developing blood clots is greater during pregnancy and just after having a baby than when taking the pill.

Its also important to know that there is less risk of serious side effects today than in past. Today, the pill contains less estrogen.

Some women taking the pill develop melasma, or dark patches on their face. Protecting your face from the sun can help prevent these patches.

Breakthrough bleeding is another possible side effect. You can often prevent this by taking the pill at the same time each day.

Acne and the pill

If you take the pill, you can reduce your risk of blood clots by staying active, drinking lots of water, and not smoking.

Spironolactone. When taking spironolactone without a birth control pill, the most common side effects are:

  • Painful periods and cramping

  • Breast enlargement

These side effects may be decreased when women also take the pill.

Other possible side effects of taking spironolactone include fatigue, headache, and dizziness. These rarely cause a woman to stop taking the medication.

Also Check: Why Do I Have Bad Acne

Blood Sugar Balance Is A Must

If testosterone is your issue then working to balance your blood sugar is a must. When your blood sugar is wild then your ovaries and adrenals get the signal to make androgens.

Eat regular meals and include protein and fat with each meal. This will help you optimize your blood sugar, which will balance all your hormones.

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