Acne



For women, acne , especially severe acne , can lead to embarrassment, anxiety , social isolation, and permanent skin scarring. In actual practice, doctors prescribe birth control for the full spectrum of acne, from mild to severe. Several birth control pills contain synthetic forms of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. These view siteÂ… types of pills are known as combination pills. The ratio of the hormones differs in each form of the combination pill. When stopping the pill, your hormones will take some time to normalize. Your hormones could take several months before returning to their pre-pill levels, during which your skin can be prone to breakouts.



Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list of all the birth control pills you should take or avoid. However, it is worth knowing which types of progestin are androgenic vs. antiandrogenic so that you can gauge whether a birth control pill is suitable for your needs. Progesterone-only pills are generally not recommended for acne treatment because they tend to worsen acne. While anti-androgenic progestins (i.e. chlormadinone acetate, cyproterone acetate, dienogest, drospirenone) are more beneficial for acne, there are currently no progestin-only formulations available with these progestins.



The hormones in combination birth control pills can help reduce acne. The pills decrease the circulation of androgens, which decreases the production of sebum. A study published in 2017 concluded a 3 to 7 fold increase of VTE risk in women who regularly use combination pills. Furthermore, this risk is evidenced to be higher in combination pills that contain cyproterone acetate and especially drospirenone, the progestin that is considered most effective against acne. Birth control pills contain synthetic hormones that aid in reducing the secretion of oil from the glands resulting in minor breakouts. Oral contraceptive pills that contain both progesterone and estrogen aid in reducing the amount of androgen within the body. When there is less presence of androgen, the body produced less sebum which results in reduced acne breakouts.



Also keep in mind that birth control can make your acne-flare up at first before you start seeing improvement in your acne. It may be beneficial to wait a few months before deciding to switch to another formulation. If you think the pill might be a good option for your skin issues, conversational tone talk with your doctor. They can help you weigh the pros and cons in terms of side effects and help you figure out which type of pill the best for you. Speaking with your doctor is the best way to determine which is the best birth control for acne, for your body and lifestyle.



There is no benefit to consuming more estrogen when a lower dose will offer equally effective contraception and acne reduction without the unfavorable side effects. It’s also very important to consider the type of progestin in the pill, something we’ll look at in more detail in this next section. In one study , 30-40% of women using progestin-only birth control reported worse acne upon using these methods. Another study reported acne present in 34% of women on mini-pills, compared to 8% of those on combination pills (estrogen and progestin) and 18% of those on the copper IUD.



Combination pills containing drospirenone were then found to be less effective than those containing cyproterone acetate. This distinction isn’t significant enough to favor one type of combined birth control over another, though. A 2018 review confirmed that all of the different hormones in combination birth control pills are effective in reducing inflammation of acne. Depending on the type of birth control, acne can be a side effect. This is especially prevalent in progesterone-only formulations (‘mini-pills’) and birth control containing androgenic progestins.



It’s important to remember that birth control is not a ‘cure’ for acne, but rather a temporary treatment. As long as you’re taking the pill and introducing the right combination of hormones into your body, you’re likely to see an improvement in your acne. According to a study in moreÂ… the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology , birth control can be a first-line alternative to antibiotics in the long-term treatment of acne in women. All birth control pills contain varying levels of hormones, which are released into a woman’s body to prevent pregnancy.



Many women experience side-effects when taking the pill, as a result of the estrogen component. These symptoms include water retention, weight gain, and breast tenderness. The progestin drospirenone has actually been shown to counter these effects , making an ideal choice for women who suffer with any of these estrogen-associated symptoms while taking the birth control. Lastly, remember that hormonal birth control is a temporary treatment for acne, not a cure. Once you stop the pill, hormones will return to their natural levels and acne may return. Many women find that the post-pill acne is much harder to get rid of than the acne they had before starting the pill.



Before we answer this question, let me first explain how hormonal birth control works and how it affects acne. Serious side effects of birth control include deep vein thrombosis (DVT) , heart attack , and stroke People who smoke , are older than 35, and have risk factors for cardiovascular disease are at a higher risk of these severe side effects. When using either the 28- or 21-day packs of combination birth control pills, you will still have a monthly menstrual cycle. For many years, doctors have been prescribing birth control pills to help with acne in women of all ages.



Your doctor might also recommend using another combination birth control pill off-label to treat your acne. The different hormones in combination pills can play a helpful role in fighting acne and related skin inflammation, a 2018 review concluded. Studies have not shown a major difference among these three pills in terms of how well they treat acne. Estrostep uses estrogen combined with a progestin called norethindrone The pill is available with different doses of estrogen. Our body has to adapt to receiving the hormones that will stimulate ovulation again. Most hormonal contraception interferes with the signals sent from the pituitary gland (brain) to prevent ovulation, or release of an egg from the ovaries each month,” said Dr. Lucky Sekhon , Board certified OBGYN, Reproductive Endocrinologist and Infertility Specialist.