If you’re dealing with acne and nothing is really improving your condition, then try your luck with birth control pills. Acne is a problem that is faced by millions of people during their adolescent and adult years throughout the world.

A wide range of products can be used for the treatment of acne and scars, including topical creams (meant to be applied on the skin) that contain benzoyl peroxide. However, a little way-out category of medications that are known to help improve the appearance of acne is oral contraceptives, otherwise known as birth control pills. Doctors prescribe birth control pills as off-label acne medications when other acne-fighting treatments fail. Recently, the Food and Drug Administration has approved different types of birth control pills to be prescribed to specifically combat acne.

Skin Friendly Birth Control Pills

The contraceptive pill and acne:

The main culprit behind the development of acne is the male sex hormone androgen, which is made in larger amounts during puberty. This hormone is present in small amounts in girls too. Inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne can improve in girls and women who use contraceptive pills as birth control. The pills that help against acne have the hormones estrogen and progestin in them. But most contraceptive pills have not been specifically approved for the treatment of acne. There are also non-hormonal therapies which can help against acne, some of which have fewer side effects.

The frequency and severity of side effects are influenced by the dose of hormones in the birth control pills. But the possible side effects might still play an important role when deciding which pill to use. So knowing whether some contraceptive pills are more likely than others to improve your complexion, and which side effects they might have, is helpful.

Also Read: All you need to know about birth control methods

Pills Approved to Fight Acne:

The three types of birth control pills, namely, Yaz, Estrotep and Ortho Try-Cyclen are now FDA approved to fight acne. The main active ingredients comprised in these pills are estrogen and progestin which work to lower the levels of androgens (male hormones) in the body. When the level of androgens in the body decrease, the production of sebum, or oil also decreases which results in the breakout of acne. It’s important to note that it may take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to notice an improvement in your acne.

Usage Directions:

Birth control pills are normally taken consecutively for 21 days followed by two days of placebo pills, which trigger menstruation. Pills should be taken at the same time each day. However, if you miss a pill, take it as soon as you remember, even if you must take two pills at the same time. While each brand has certain benefits, you need to keep in mind that everyone has different benefits. Thus, there are possibilities that a certain brand may not be able to help in treating your condition. In that case, try other available options to improve your condition.

Added Benefits:

Birth control pills give a boost of estrogen to your body which may prove helpful in staving off the signs of aging. Many doctors who conducted studies on women found that increased amounts of estrogen in the body improve skin’s elasticity. A good amount of elasticity in the skin makes it resistant to wrinkling and other signs of aging.

Possible Side Effects:

Birth control pills give you the dual benefit of controlling acne along with preventing pregnancy but just like any other medication they pose the risk for side effects too. Common side effects of birth control pills that users have reported include nausea, moodiness, weight gain, breast tenderness and, breakthrough bleeding. More serious, but very rare, side effects include headaches, depression, hypertension, migraine, blood clots, and stroke.

Also Read: How to Handle Postpartum Depression

Other Acne Treatment Ideas:

If using birth control pills to manage acne doesn’t appeal to you, there still are many other options to fix this problem. Get the hang of your present acne situation by a dermatologist and get yourself prescribed some antibiotic medications that are exclusively designed to fight acne. These medications may include Erythromycin, Accutane and, Minocycline, among others.


Using birth control pills can improve the complexion of girls and women who have acne. The artificial hormones incorporated in birth control pills can help reduce the oil secretion and help ward off acne. If none of these birth control pills are right for you, there are many other options available. The choice is all yours, weigh all of the benefits and do your research, you can also take the help of a physician. You will certainly find the best birth control pills that best suits you and your condition.


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