Birth control pill may be used as a treatment for acne when other types of treatments including topical creams and oral antibiotics fail to clear up the skin. The birth control pills contain some hormones that are helpful to reduce oil production of your glands and decrease the breakouts.
Advantages of Birth Control Pills for Acne
It is scientifically proven that the level of some hormones in your body has a direct relationship to the acne breakouts. Many women usually experience acne before their menstruation due to the hormonal changes. Normally, women’s body produce a low level of androgen, a group of hormones including testosterone. A high level of androgen can trigger the skin to excess secretion of sebum, which may lead to clogged pores bacteria buildup. This results in acne breakouts. Birth control pills containing estrogen and progesterone can bring about the reduction of androgen in your body, lowered production of sebum and less acne.
Women with severe breakouts can take a combination of oral contraceptives and other acne treatments. Moreover, when using birth control pills to treat acne, people can at the same time avoid unplanned pregnancy. Just one thing to remember: take the pills on schedule as prescribed.
Types of Birth Control Pills to Treat Acne in Women
There are only three types of birth control pills that have the approval of FDA for using as acne treatment. These three contains both estrogen and progesterone. While they all have the same low dose of estrogen, the forms of progesterone are different.
- Ortho Tri-Cyclen.This pill contains estrogen and a progestin named norgestimate. A progestin is a synthetic, or artificial form of progesterone. There are different doses of progestin available for this pill.
- This pill is the combinationof estrogen and a progestin called norethindrone. It is available with multiple doses of estrogen.
- YAZ. This pill has estrogen combined and a progestin called drospirenone. The FDA has concluded that birth control pills containing drospirenone may have the higher risk of blood clots than pills containing other progestins.
Side Effects of the Birth Control Pill
If you are taking contraception to treat acne, there are some of the pill’s side effects that should be taken into consideration. Some normal side effects of birth control pills include:
- Nausea, vomiting
- Stomach cramps
- Mood swings and depression
- Change in your weight (weight gain, weight loss)
- Changes in your periods
- Breast tenderness
Some dangerous side effects of birth control include deep vein thrombosis, hypertension (high blood pressure), liver and gallbladder disease. Those who smoke, are older than 35, and have risk factors for cardiovascular disease are more likely to suffer heart attack, stroke, and dangerous blood clots in the legs or lungs.
To get the greatest benefit of treating acne by using birth control pills, you should consult your health care provider as well as your dermatologist.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: May 12, 2017 | Last Modified: December 4, 2019
Using Birth Control to Improve Acne. http://www.healthline.com/health/best-birth-control-for-acne#1. Accessed May 9, 2017.
Birth Control for Acne. http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/birth-control-for-acne-treatment#1. Accessed May 9, 2017.