Should You Take a Birth Control Pill for Acne?
Your doctor may prescribe an oral contraceptive, or birth control pill, for acne if you're experiencing break outs that aren't responding to other treatments.
Birth control pills may help with acne because they reduce the amount of androgens in the body, which are partly responsible for oil gland activity.
Keep in mind, you'll still need to use other treatment methods in addition to taking the birth control pill for acne. Since oral contraceptives only target oil production, you'll also need to use topical treatments with exfoliating and antimicrobial agents to get clear skin.
Some birth control pills are higher in estrogen potency. These pills are more appropriate for people with acne prone skin.
- Desogen (Apri)
- Demulan (Zovia)
- Diane 35 (Dianette)
- Nevicon modicon
- Ortho evra
- Ortho tri cyclen
- Yasmin (Yaz)
It is best to avoid pills that are higher in androgen effects, because they have more potential to cause acne.
- Depo Provera shot
- Estrotrep Fe
- Nuvo ring
Some side effects of taking birth control pills include weight gain, breast tenderness, risk of developing blood clots, nausea, mood changes, and depression. Serious side effects can include digestive problems, stroke, and embolism.
Be sure to carefully weigh the pros and cons before choosing birth control pills for acne control.
If you're otherwise healthy, you're not interested in preventing pregnancy with oral contraceptives, and your only reason for taking the pill is to get clear skin -- there may be better options.