Wednesday, February 1, 2023

How To Treat Acne From Birth Control

How Well Does Hormonal Therapy Work And Is It Safe

Acne & Birth Control!!!!

The pill: Many studies have looked at how well oral contraceptive pills fight acne. The pill has been found effective at treating blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, and acne nodules and cysts.

In fact, the pill has proven so effective that the US Food and Drug Administration has approved some oral contraceptives for treating acne.

The pill is generally considered safe for women. Some women, however, should not take it. Your dermatologist can tell you whether the pill may be a safe and effective treatment option for you.

Spironolactone: Doctors prescribe this medication to treat high blood pressure. Its also prescribed for people who are retaining too much fluid.

Dermatologists have been prescribing it for many years to treat acne and excess hair growth in women. When other acne treatments dont work, it can effectively treat deep-seated, tender acne on the lower face, jawline, or neck.

Spironolactone is not prescribed to treat acne in men due to side effects. Men have developed breasts while taking this medication to treat acne.

Spironolactone is generally considered safe for healthy women.

Taking both spironolactone and the pill can increase effectiveness. This combination has another advantage. Its essential to use birth control while taking spironolactone. If you get pregnant while taking spironolactone, your baby can have serious birth defects.

A word of caution

If you can get pregnant, youll need to use birth control while taking spironolactone.

Is Severe Acne A Sign Of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormonal disorder that causes cysts to develop in the ovaries. Sometimes, PCOS prevents women from ovulating every month, resulting in irregular and/or painful periods. Severe hormonal acne can be a sign of PCOS, but not always. Symptoms normally show up around an individuals first menstrual cycle during puberty. Irregular periods excess facial and body hair, and trouble losing weight are some of the most common symptoms for PCOS. Going on birth control pills can help balance the hormones and, thus, decrease the severity of symptoms.

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.

Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Severe Acne Fast

Risks Of Oral Contraceptives

Today’s birth control pills contain lower doses of estrogen and progesterone than in the past. This has significantly lowered their medical risks. Still, women taking oral contraceptives do have a higher risk of side effects, including heart attack, stroke, and dangerous blood clots in the legs or lungs.

Other risks include:

You also shouldn’t take oral contraceptives if:

Why Does The Pill Reduce Acne For Some Women

Acne After Stopping Birth Control and How To Heal Your ...

The hormones contained in the Pill can play a role in reducing acne. Particularly for those suffering from hormonal acne, the Pill can lower the circulation of androgens which also decreases the production of sebum . Less oil can mean less acne for some women.

However, effective acne reduction is only seen with types of contraception that contain a combination of both estrogen and progestin. That means the minipill wonât have an impact on improving acne.

For those of us who experience breakouts in sync with our cycle, the Pill can be an effective acne treatment. When looking for acne-fighting Pill prescriptions, your doctor should recommend a Pill variation that contains progestin with a low androgenic possibility . In most cases, it will take a few months to see the full impacts so itâs important to be patient.

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Which Birth Control Helps Acne

Only 4 types of oral contraceptives have been approved by The Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of acne. All 3 of these types of birth control have estrogen in the form of ethinyl estradiol and have multiple studies conducted over the span of 6 period cycles which show a reduction in inflammation and acne in study participants .

Limit Caffeine And Alcohol

Limiting caffeine and alcohol is another way for how to treat PCOS acne without birth control. While caffeine and alcohol may not directly cause acne, they can have an affect on the body in ways that tend to lead to higher likelihood of acne, especially if you have acne-prone skin. Both caffeine and alcohol can affect your bodys stress response. An altered stress response can have a downstream effect on the rest of our hormones. Alcohol specifically can negatively affect your GI tract and balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut, which as we discussed can have a link to skin health. Limiting caffeine and alcohol can help to prevent acne before your period.

Source: 16204431,16891439

Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Stress Induced Acne

How Will Stopping Birth Control Affect Your Acne

Changes in hormone levels play a central role in post-birth control acne. When you take the pills or use any other hormonal contraception, the continuous supply of hormones prevents your body from developing acne.

This is because the hormones from birth control pills can help control the male hormones, a major player in acne development. A study from the Oulu University Hospital found that using patches and vaginal rings can also significantly reduce levels of hormones that trigger acne production.

Therefore, when you stop the birth control, the hormones gradually get back to their pre-birth control levels and contribute to acne resurgence.

Interestingly enough, many other factors can contribute to acne. Such examples include oxidative stress and decreased insulin sensitivity. Increased oxidative stress causes inflammation and creates an environment suitable for acne-causing bacteria P.acnes.

Likewise, high insulin levels trigger cellular changes in the skin that increase sebum and pimple production. High insulin levels, or decreased insulin sensitivity, can lead to an imbalance of cholesterol and fats. For this reason, patients with acne are more likely to have unhealthy fat levels in the bloodstream.

After coming off the pill, you might experience acne resurge due to one or more of the following reasons:

  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Chronic inflammation

Certain Oral Contraceptives Are Approved For Acne Treatment

Treat hormonal acne without birth control – fast!

Oral contraceptives are one of the most effective methods for preventing pregnancy. Commonly called birth control pills , theyre also becoming a popular treatment for another condition that affects many women: acne. When other acne treatments have not been successful, birth control pills may be the answer.

Exactly how does birth control help with acne? Birth control affects hormones, and hormones play a major role in acne. Hormones called androgens promote the production of sebum, an oil made by your skin. Too much sebum can lead to clogged pores and bacterial growth, which create breeding grounds for acne.

Women usually produce low levels of androgens, but hormonal changes related to their menstrual cycle can raise androgen levels and, consequently, trigger acne breakouts. For some women, acne persists throughout their cycle. Even during perimenopause, when a womans body prepares for menopause, hormonal changes can continue to promote acne.

Birth control pills that contain both the hormones estrogen and progesterone reduce functional androgen levels, thereby reducing sebum production and acne. Pills that contain only progesterone can actually make acne worse.

Which types of birth control pills treat acne?

The best choice for one woman may not be right for another, says Dr. Dunn. Some women need higher levels of hormones for the most effective results with fewest side effects, while others do better with lower levels.

Also Check: How Does Diet Affect Acne

Late Reproductive Age And Combined Contraception

Combined contraception may be used in women in late reproductive age without smoking, hypertension, and BMI higher than 35 kg/m2. In this group, higher risk of cardiovascular disease and brain stroke should be kept in mind. In these women the lowest dose of ethinyl oestradiol should be chosen. Apart from effective contraception, these pills may ameliorate irregular menses, heavy bleedings, climacteric symptoms, and bone density loss .

Hirsutism and acne may occur for the first time or aggravate in late reproductive age. This phenomenon is related to decrease of oestrogen level and no change in androgen secretion .

Do All Birth Control Pills Improve Acne

There are two main types of birth control pills, the combination pill and the mini pill. The combination pill contains both estrogen and progestin. It is more likely to clear up your skin because it has estrogen in it. The mini pill contains only progestin, and won’t help your skin.

Birth control pills that may improve acne include:

  • Brevicon

  • Ortho Tri Cyclen

Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Redness On Acne

Types Of Acne That Birth Control Can Treat

Acne can take the form of a blackhead, whitehead, a small mark, or even a cyst, but it’s the underlying cause of your acne that determines whether birth control might be an effective treatment. “While teenage or inflammatory acne is commonly treated with oral antibiotics if appropriate for hormonal acne, the failure rate of antibiotics is 70 to 80 percent,” Levin says.

That’s where hormonal medication, such as birth control, can come into play. If home treatment doesn’t help your breakouts, or if you’re finding yourself with large, hard, or pus-filled bumps, you may want to consult your doctor to learn if you’re experiencing hormonal or cystic acneboth of which may be treated with birth control. Other signs that you’re dealing with hormonal acne rather than good old-fashioned inflammatory acne include breakouts that follow a cyclical pattern with your menstrual cycle and acne that pops up mainly along your jawline or chin.

Related: Pcos Diagnosis Criteria And Pcos Treatment


Beyaz is approved for moderate acne for women at least 14 years old if the patient desires an oral contraceptive for birth control. It is a combination pill that also contains folate. Like Yaz, it can treat symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder for women. It contains drospirenone , ethinyl estradiol and levomefolate.

Birth control pills contain low doses of both estrogen as well as progesterone. While estrogen works to reduce acne, progesterone, in fact, interacts with the reception of acne contributing hormones and further aggravates acne. When estrogen and progesterone are used in combination, many patients experience a reduction in acne. However, pills that only contain progesterone also known as the mini pill can actually make acne worse .

Also Check: What Is Retinol For Acne

How Do Dermatologists Get Rid Of Acne

Topical treatments, which you can get over the counter or through a dermatologist are one way to treat acne. Look for products with benzoyl peroxide, since it can help the skin topically. Benzoyl peroxide helps kill acne-causing bacteria and unclog the pore.

Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Back Acne Fast

Traditional Treatments For Hormonal Acne

Unless your hormonal acne is mild, over-the-counter products usually arent successful.

This is because hormonal acne typically takes the form of cystic bumps. These bumps form deep under the skin, out of reach of most topical medications.

Oral medications can work from the inside out to balance your hormones and clear up the skin. Common options include oral contraceptives and anti-androgen drugs.

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How To Treat Post

Time might be the most important factor in treating post-birth control acne, as your body will take anywhere from weeks to months before returning to its natural hormone levels.

In the meantime you can help your acne heal by limiting your intake of high-sugar foods, avoiding dairy products, and using zinc and antioxidant supplements.

Can Dirt Cause Acne

Acne after stopping birth control – NATURAL HORMONAL ACNE TREATMENT

Dirt does not cause pimples. Pimples occur when pores become clogged with oil. Your skin naturally produces oil to keep it from drying out, but a surge of hormones can cause skin to produce too much oil. A pimple is formed when the oil mixes with dead skin cells and forms a plug that blocks the pore.

Recommended Reading: What Helps Acne During Pregnancy

How Does Birth Control Treat And Prevent Acne Breakouts

Millions of people suffer from painful and embarrassing acne breakouts. Unfortunately, they can happen at any time during a persons life, not just during their teenage years. For women especially, acne can be incredibly hard to treat, as it is often related to hormonal fluctuations associated with the menstrual cycle and perimenopause.

Unlike teenage acne, hormonal adult acne is stubborn and if left untreated, can lead to physical discomfort and emotional distress. One way that individuals with a uterus can safely and effectively treat stubborn breakouts is by implementing hormonal birth control. For teenagers and adult women alike, taking the birth control pill can lead to health benefits such as clearer skin, decreased stress, and improved self-esteem. The following content will delve into the relationship between birth control and acne treatment.

Why Do Androgens Cause Hormonal Acne

For the majority of women, hormonal acne occurs because their skin is sensitive to the normal levels of androgens like Testosterone.

Although considered to be a male hormone, it is normal for women to produce small amounts of Testosterone. Testosterone is an important hormone for women as it helps strengthen bones and muscles, provides a healthy libido and regulates the menstrual cycle. Androgens are the name for male hormones. Women produce other androgens as well as Testosterone. These are dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate , dehydroepiandrosterone , androstenedione . These three androgens are not very active by themselves and have to be converted to Testosterone or Dihydrotestosterone first.

Testosterone is produced by the ovaries and the adrenal glands. However, cells in the skin also make Testosterone from DHEAS. Skin cells, especially the cells in the sebaceous glands, also make DHT from Testosterone.

Hormonal acne also occurs when there are conditions in which too many androgens are produced such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

Recommended Reading: Why Am I Getting Acne In My 30s

Read Also: Does Acne Go Away Naturally

What Are The Possible Side Effects

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.

Acne After Stopping Birth Control: How Long Does It Last

Treat acne after stopping birth control

My clinical experience shows most women who are actively working to heal their body experience acne flares for the first couple of months post-pill, which decreases generally by months 3-5 off the pill. In women not actively working to undo the effects of the pill, the skin battle is often much longer.

Eight months into working with Emily I got a message with an image attached. It was Emily! The girl who had hid from the camera for years just took her first selfie and sent it to me with this message:

Dear Dr. Brighten,

I can not tell you how amazing it is to see my face looking this good after so many years. Not a single birth control pill could do what Ive been able to do with your help!

I not only look better, but I feel better too. I never told you I was seriously considering an anti-depressant before our first visit because my mood had become so bad. Im glad I found you before I started any other medications.

I feel like I have my life back and Im confident Id never be able to say that if it werent for you.

Thank you!!!

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Tips For Maximum Benefit

Here are tips for getting the most benefit from your acne treatment:

  • Continue taking other acne treatment prescribed by your doctor. An oral contraceptive targets only part of the acne problem.
  • Be sure to precisely follow the schedule for taking birth control pills. Doing so provides the maximum benefit and safety.
  • Talk with your doctor about possible side effects of the birth control you’re considering. These can include breast tenderness, headaches, breakthrough bleeding, or an initial, temporary flare-up of acne. It’s important to know what to expect.
  • Tell your doctor about any other medications you’re taking. Some can interfere with the effectiveness of an oral contraceptive and lead to an unwanted pregnancy. Taking some types of birth control pill together with oral rifampin may make it necessary to use a back-up form of contraception.

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