Does Birth Control Help with Acne?
Ahhhh, clear skin. Something that we all strive for, but have you ever noticed that certain weeks are better than others?
Did you know that your acne pattern could be trying to tell you something? Our bodies have an interesting way of trying to communicate with us. Acne around the jawline can be caused by hormones, stress, diets high in sugar or dairy products, as well as medications. And as if we didn’t already have a hard-enough time with our periods, women are more likely than men to get acne along their jawline and chin… awesome.
But why does this occur, and when should we expect it? Well, it turns out that these breakouts are usually due to an increase in androgens, which stimulate the oil glands in our skin. Some women notice more acne around the time of their period or the days leading up to their period as their hormone levels shift.
Good news! The hormones found in combination birth control can actually help reduce acne, and some are even FDA approved to treat acne. YAY! This is because the combination pill essentially levels out your hormones, so less elevated hormone spikes occur. These stabilized levels decrease the release and circulation of androgens, which in turn reduces the production of sebum, giving your clearer skin. *Boom*.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved some combination pills for the treatment of acne; these include Beyaz, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, and Yaz. But this does not mean that these are your only options. Since all combination pills are known to level out hormones, most will have a positive long-term impact on acne. Things to remember or consider when looking to treat your acne with birth control:
Some physicians are not comfortable in prescribing birth control. Why? It is complex and unless you are up to date with the most common practices, guidelines, screenings, and treatments, it can be extremely difficult to find your contraceptive match.
If you have tried multiple types of combination pills, tell your healthcare provider what you liked or did not like about each. This might provide them a roadmap of what works best with your body.
Tell your healthcare provider about any new goals or expectations that you may have about using the pill as an acne treatment.
Since there are so many different types of combination pills on the market, it is important to tell your physician that you want a low androgenic option. This will decrease your body’s creation of sebum, often leading to a decrease in acne.
At OvaryIt, our goal for every patient is simple, get the most out of each healthcare encounter. But what you put in, is what you will get out. If your healthcare provider is comfortable prescribing birth control for acne treatment, this may be a great place to start. Be sure to tell them about your contraceptive history and goals. If you have an adverse reaction, don’t give up, just pivot, and communicate effectively. If you get frustrated, remember that birth control is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and not all healthcare providers have the same level of knowledge on the subject. You are likely to get the best results if you find a healthcare provider that specializes in birth control and is willing to work with you to find your perfect fit.