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Birth Control Pills, A Cure For Acne?

Updated on June 30, 2012

At first, taking birth control pills to cure the problematic acne is totally a ludicrous idea. It turns out that the idea is not as far fetched as we thought at first. Birth control pills, depending on the situation, can help teenage girls handle a terrible acne problem.

For teenage girls, or even older women, acne problems can be a source of embarrassment. There are several remedies for acne. Doctors, of course, can help determine what kind of medication is necessary and appropriate for each individual in order to solve their acne problems. Medications can range from acne creams to antibiotic, and to the occasional birth control pills.

Birth control pills seem to work on teenage girls since the pills contain synthetic hormones that help balance the already fluctuating hormones inside their body brought about by puberty. These hormonal fluctuations are seen as one of the causes of acne problems. Doctors have prescribed the use of birth control pills to control acne for years. Although, the pills are not labeled to be of such use, the effectiveness of them to some people is notable. Fortunately, the FDA has begun approving the use of some birth control pills as alternative medications to treat acne.

Even though FDA has already approved the use of oral contraceptives for acne treatments, doctors often prescribe their use only after several medications and treatments were tried and were found to be ineffective. It is also common that oral contraceptives are used alongside other conventional acne medications. This method has been proven to be more effective than using it alone.


All birth control pills contain synthetically produced progestin and estrogen hormones. These two are responsible for preventing the ovulation of eggs in the woman's ovary. Oral contraceptives reduce the production of testosterone in the female body. When the production of testosterone is reduced, the amount of oil produced by the skin is also reduced. Consequently, the skin has a lower chance of experiencing pore blockage due to the decrease of the oil being produced.

Some oral contraceptives, meanwhile, contain progesterone that helped reduce the androgen hormones in the body. By doing this, the breakout activity of acne can be reduced.

However, some brands of oral contraceptives actually increases the levels of testosterone in the body and instead of preventing acne, it can result to a possible major outbreak. This is why it is important to consult your doctor before taking matters into your own hands. There's only so much you can read from the labels of the drugs and read in the internet. Professional opinion is still a valued one and should be asked for every time situations like this arise.

It is common for doctors to prescribe a daily dosage of birth control pills for a period of three weeks. Afterwards, you will have to take placebo pills to induce the normal menstruation cycle. Don't be too impatient and begin taking more pills that what was prescribed. It is normal to see any noticeable effects only after the third month that you began taking the pills.

The use of birth control pills as a cure of acne is not without side effects. The most common side effect includes weight gain, nausea, mood swings, breast tenderness, and menstrual spotting. There are situations where the side effects are very serious.

Stroke, headaches, gallstones, increase blood pressure, blood clots, and even depression, are some of the observed serious effects of using oral contraceptives for acne control, although, these effects are very uncommon.

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