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Which Is The Best Birth Control For Acne

Side Effects Of Oral Birth Control

Best Birth Control for Acne

Todays birth control pills contain lower doses of estrogen and progesterone than in the past, which translates to lower side effects. That being said, there are many side effects associated with the pill, some of them serious. Its important to weigh the risks and benefits when considering oral contraceptives.

Common side effects include nausea, cramping, breakthrough bleeding and vaginal discharge, bloating and weight gain, headaches and migraine, breast tenderness, dizziness and decreased libido. It is worth noting that these symptoms are temporary for most women.

Can Birth Control Help With Acne

The hormones in combination birth control pills can really help reduce acne. The decrease of androgenic compounds will cause less sebum production, which is the main cause for your skins greaseiness when it comes to breakouts! The different types that are present need both estrogen as well as progestin so they have an effect on what you see under those pesky clogged pores.

How To Pick The Best Hormones That Will Help Acne In Women

There are two main groups of medications used for hormonal treatment of acne in women—hormones types that occur naturally and medications that influence hormonal activity. Hormones that are natural to women include estrogen and progesterone. These include Oral Contraceptive Pills and estrogen supplementation around menopause. Medications that influence hormonal activity include Spironolactone and Cyproterone. Cyproterone is not available in the U.S.

Also Check: How To Clear Acne Naturally

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Faqs: Birth Control Basics

Birth control for acne: How it works, types, and side effects

Some common side effects of birth control pills are:

  • Spotting or bleeding between periods

  • Nausea

  • Breast tenderness

  • Headache

Breakthrough bleeding is actually the most common side effect from oral contraceptives. All in all, minor side effects may disappear over time, or may improve if you switch to another pill.

Other minor side effects include:

  • Irregular bleeding

  • Yeast infections

  • Weight fluctuations*

*Editor’s note: To date, studies have shown that birth control pills do not cause weight gain, so any weight changes may simply be normal weight changes over time.

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What Causes Adult Acne

While acne typically disappears when a person reaches adulthood, many women still suffer from breakouts for decades thereafter, especially in the week leading up to menstruation. Apart from natural cycles and hormone changes, a hormone imbalance may be causing you to have an abnormal amount of acne. Because of how difficult it can be to identify the root cause of a hormonal imbalance, women often use birth control to regulate their hormones, thereby controlling acne outbreaks.

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What Is The Best Birth Control For Acne And Weight Loss


The estrogen component of birth control is the main source of weight gain. While progesterone-only birth control pills can reduce the effects of weight gain, they are generally not effective for acne. The best birth control for both acne and weight loss would be a combination pill with the lowest dose of estrogen i.e. ultra low-dose pills.

Also Check: How To Fix Acne Scars At Home

Potential Side Effects Of Taking Birth Control For Acne

Side effects of taking birth control pills for acne are the same as those of someone who takes the pill for contraception or any other indication. The most common short-term side effects of birth control are nausea, breast tenderness, and bloating. You may also experience longer-term mood changes and changes in libido. You should speak with your doctor about whether you’re a good candidate for this medication given your medical history and to get more information about other possible side effects.

“If a person has a history of a blood clotting disorder, is a smoker, or suffers from migraine headaches, they are not good candidates for a birth control pill,” warns Birmingham-based dermatologist , MD.

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.

Also Check: What Ordinary Products Are Good For Acne

When Should You Talk To Your Doctor About Birth Control For Acne

If acne is interfering with your quality of life, you should consult a healthcare professional. It is always a good idea to see your dermatologist or gynecologist if the problem is becoming significant enough to interfere with your quality of life and livelihood, says Dr. Chacon. If you think birth control can help resolve your acne issues, its important to bring it up with your dermatologist.

Next, read about how to relieve your acne woes.

What Skin Problems Are Treated Using Oral Contraceptives

Best Rated Birth Control For Acne

Oral contraceptives are used to treat signs of hyperandrogenism in women. The associated skin problems are

Hyperandrogenism refers to an excess of male hormone either in the circulation or due to increased sensitivity of individual pilosebaceous cells .

Women with signs of hyperandrogenism should be evaluated for underlying disorders such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, adrenal or ovarian tumours.

Skin conditions treated with oral contraceptive

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What Types Of Acne Can Birth Control Treat

The main types of acne that birth control can address include hormonal acne, or acne that typically worsens in menstruation and also typically presents around the chin/jawline after the third decade, Dr. Chacon states. It also helps to treat comedonal acne, or acne characterized by whiteheads and blackheads.

Thankfully, the signs of hormonal acne are easy to spot. First, pay attention to the timing of the breakout. You can identify hormonal acne based upon when you break out or if your breakout is triggered by stress. While stress doesnt cause acne directly, it is a contributing factor as stress causes a rise in cortisol which affects hormone levels and can trigger breakouts, says Dr. Green.

Second, notice where the acne is popping up. Thats also a strong indicator.

For example, if your breakout is along your jaw and chin area it is a sign of hormonal acne, Dr. Green explains. These breakouts are usually cystic, painful and a result in overproduction of sebum along the jawline. The sebaceous gland is responsible for producing sebum. Sebum is the waxy like substance responsible for keeping your skin moisturized. If you produce too much sebum your pore become clogged from bacteria, and excess dead skin cells resulting in pimples.

Is Getting An Iud Painful

Some women worry that IUD insertion is painful Dr. Stanwood says the experience varies for each woman. For most, its similar to a typical pelvic exam with a Pap test, but with a little more of a cramp, she says. For others, Im all done and they ask, Thats it? I didnt feel anything. Yet other women might feel more crampy. For most, its a procedure that takes about five minutes totalwith a few minutes of cramps that are worth it in exchange for many years of birth control.

IUD insertion is performed during a standard office visit. Some spotting is expected after and might last the rest of the day, Dr. Stanwood says. Women whove recently given birth have a particularly easy time with the experience, she notes. I like to let women who have recently delivered a baby know that they will have the least amount of discomfort in terms of insertion if they do it within a couple of months of having their baby, because the cervix tends to be open and the uterus isnt as bothered by it.

Dr. Stanwood jokes that, in general, it takes longer to talk to women about IUDs than it does to insert them.

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The Best Type Of Birth Control Pills For Acne

Acne & Birth Control!!!!

There are two main types of birth control pills:

  • Combination birth control pills
  • Progestin-only birth control pills

Short answer: Out of the two types of birth control pills, the best type of birth control pill for acne is a combination birth control pill. This is the most common type of birth control pill.

Combination birth control pills “combine” two hormones called estrogen and progestin.

If you’ve been prescribed birth control pills, chances are that you’re taking a combination pill. There are tons of different brands of combination pills like Vienva, Yaz, or Loestrin.

However, there are birth control pills that have only one hormone, progestin. It’s a progestin-only pill, also called the “mini-pill.”

And there are other types birth control methods that add hormones to your body, like the IUD.

However, these other methods seem not to affect acne. Some researchers have found that hormonal IUDs like Mirena may even increase your likelihood of getting acne. Their research also seems to show that birth control pills that contain only progestin could make acne worse.

For the best answer on these other methods and their effect on acne, though, talk to your doctor. They’ve seen it in action from their experience with helping their patients!

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Do Hormonal Contraceptives Treat Or Cause Acne

In general, hormonal birth control pills are considered an effective treatment for acne in some women. In fact, using the pill to treat acne has been an accepted FDA-approved practice for many decades. Heres why it works.

As we mentioned, all women need androgens for their overall health , but when they have too much coursing through their veins, their skin gets too oily, their pores clog, and they develop acne.

But the estrogen and progesterone in oral contraceptives lowers your androgens, calms down the sebum production, and decreases your acne breakouts.

Does Hormonal Birth Control Cause Acne

Acne is complicated. Not only are there many different causes, but there are many different treatments as well. Adding to the confusion are the mixed messages surrounding hormones and acne: Do they cause the problem, or solve it?

Dr. Robert B. Topham and our experienced team of skin experts at Holladay Dermatology & Aesthetics in Holladay, Utah, are here to set the record straight, explore the link between hormones and acne, and discuss hormonal birth control as a treatment option.

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Hormones And Acne: Whats The Connection

Acne occurs when the hair follicles in your skin become clogged with oil, dirt, and dead skin cells. While diet, certain products, the environment, and some medications can contribute to the problem, the underlying culprit is often a hormonal issue heres why.

Although commonly called male hormones, both men and women have androgens in their bodies. Since androgens are responsible for sebum production, and sebum is responsible for clogging pores and causing breakouts high levels of androgens often lead to acne.

Which Birth Control Is The Best For Weight Loss

This Is the Best Birth Control for Cramps, Acne, and PMS

Women often report that they gain weight after opting certain birth control methods such as pills and contraceptive patches. There has not been any conclusive evidence to prove that the birth control method causes weight gain. Theoretically, the gain in weight due to birth control may be a result of fluid retention or fat gain. Some women also report an increased appetite following birth control pills. Although studies have not supported the role of contraceptives in causing weight gain, if you believe that you are gaining weight because of a birth control method, you can consult your doctor for an alternative. Generally, non-hormonal birth control options such as condoms, sponges, diaphragms, cervical caps, and ParaGard are considered to not cause weight gain. If you are on birth control methods and wish to lose weight, you must eat healthy, cut down on salt and soda, and stay physically active to lose weight.

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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.

How Does It Work

Both men and women produce androgen hormones, such as testosterone, which is responsible for the development of male characteristics. These levels are naturally lower in women but can fluctuate during such times as puberty or during menstrual cycles.

Oral birth control addresses acne by regulating these fluctuations. Combination birth control, commonly known as the pill, contains both estrogen and progestin to balance hormone levels by decreasing androgen circulation. This action effectively reduces sebum production and clears acne.

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How Does The Pill Treat Acne

Acne occurs as a result of several factors relating to a hormonal imbalance, including the overproduction of a natural oil called sebum on the skin and the accumulation of dead skin cells in the hair follicle or pores.

In addition, some females have abnormally high levels of androgens, such as testosterone. High androgen levels can stimulate the production of sebum and increase the growth of skin cells in both the skin and hair follicles.

Hormonal medication, including the birth control pill, can help regulate these hormones and minimize acne.

Many different kinds of birth control pill are available, but the most effective type for acne is the combination pill, which contains forms of the hormones estrogen and progesterone.

The birth control pill works best when a person takes it at the same time every day and as the prescription specifies. Sometimes, the birth control pill is more effective alongside other medications.

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