Dermatologist Questions Birth Control

Birth control for acne?

I heard that birth control can actually help my acne. I've been on birth control before to regulate my period, and took myself off of them because of the side effects. But now I have a really bad acne problem, and am considering going back on birth control if this is true. Can birth control help control acne? How does it work?

8 Answers

Yes, it can help, but it can also make it worse, too.

Birth control pills control acne because the female hormones suppress the small amount of male hormones in your system that all females have.
Sometimes birth control helps to improve acne.
Birth control pills can help acne, but you should see dermatologist also because some forms of acne may no systemic antibiotics and pills must be of neutral androgens ask your doctor the pill that has lowest androgen in it.
Some types of contraceptive pills do control acne. If you have no contraindication for those pills, you can try it. It works.
Birth control can help with acne, though depending on the type, some more than others. The primary and most common pathway is through increasing sex binding hormone production which will capture more testosterone, the primary hormone related to acne, limiting its effects. There are are also brands which are specifically "anti-androgenic" and thus go further to block testosterone and its effects.
Birth control can help or make it worse depending on the type ingredients in the pill prescribed. Speak with you doctor regarding an Rx for a pill know to work well to help with acne
It can work well for combination (estrogen/progestin) but if intolerable there are many other options for acne. Certainly first line therapies for acne may work well and there are other hormonal therapies available other than oral contraceptive birth control pills. They work by regulating menstrual cycles and flares of hormonal acne.