Birth Control Pills & Acne

The last decade has seen an upsurge in the number of uses for birth control. Not only do women use birth control pills for family planning, it has also become a popular medication to treat inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne. Many a time, acne is the result of hormonal imbalances in the body, which is why some women experience increased breakouts during certain times in their menstrual cycle. In general, birth control treatments are initiated after other typical acne treatments such laser treatments or home-remedies are administered and have failed. Scroll through this post to understand more on birth control pills and acne, so that you can make an informed decision when determining the right treatment for you!

How Does It Treat Acne?

Certain hormones in a woman’s body directly affect the function of the sebaceous glands. When these hormones are on ‘overdrive’ mode, the glands produce too much sebum, which in turn, clogs pores and results in acne. Women are prescribed birth control pills to keep androgens (male hormones) ‘in check’. Birth control pills that contain estrogen or progesterone can lower the level of androgens in the body, which results in reduced bearing on the sebaceous glands and ultimately, lesser acne.

Did You Know?

Using birth control pills as a regular acne treatment is not recommended. Conversely, a number of women suffering from severe cases may have to use these pills for the long term, because if the increased androgen levels are left untreated, it could even go on to affect fertility. So far, only three types of birth control pills have been approved by the FDA for treating acne conditions and the three pills are to be used as ‘combination’ drugs. Many more birth control pills are in the process of getting FDA-approval. Let us take a look at some of the benefits of using birth control pills for acne.

The Benefits

  • Regularizes hormones
  • Reduces sebum production, which means that your pores stay clear and oil-free
  • Decreased appearance of acne breakouts
  • Lesser inflammation

It is important to note, that birth control pills work only one of the factors of acne – sebum. If you are looking for best possible results, you could get your doctor to administer topical medications, antibiotics or alternate treatments for clearing the skin.

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