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Birth Control for Acne Treatment


Acne Vulgaris, known in layman terms as acne, is a result of clogged up dead skin cells and oil. They appear as blackheads, whiteheads, zits, pimples and blemishes. Unattended, these spots may turn into red cysts too. Acne are rampant in teenagers and, lead them to social isolation, anxiety, scarring and embarrassment.

Types of Birth control

Birth control pills have been suggested by dermatologists to combat acne, of which three are FDA approved for acne treatment. The three pills recommended are a combination of oestrogen and progesterone hormone with oestrogen content on the lesser side.

  • Ortho Tri-Cyclen – This is also known as norgestimate which is a combination of estrogen and progestin, a synthetically made progesterone.
  • Estrostep – Also known as Norethindrone, it comes with varying potions of oestrogen.
  • YAZ – This is a combination of oestrogen with drospirenone, which has been found to increase the risk of blood clots as compared to other progestins.

The above mentioned contraceptives have been prescribed for treatment of mild to severe acne in young women who are around 15 years of age, or have just entered menarche or, need contraception.

Apart from the above mentioned FDA approved medications, other brands containing drospirenone that advocate for acne treatment are

  • Gianvi
  • Beyaz
  • Loryna
  • Ocella
  • Safyral
  • Syeda
  • Zarah
  • Alesse
  • Yasmin

Although Yasmin and Alesse are not FDA approved, they have been clinically shown to reduce acne. The clearing of the skin takes a few months that initially begins with a flare up of acne. Sometimes, topical medications are also prescribed along with these contraceptives to get better results.

If the acne aggravated with cascading symptoms such as obesity, irregular periods and facial hair, testing for hormonal conditions like Polycystic ovary syndrome is carried out.

Benefits of Birth control over Acne

After a series of clinical trials, it has been observed that a combination of contraceptives have aided in below mentioned benefits, thereby restoring the skin to its normal tone and texture.

  • Lesser pimples
  • Mitigated pus formation
  • Less inflammation
  • Lesser flare ups of acne
  • Lesser severity of acne

Risks of Birth Control over Acne

Levels of oestrogen and progesterone in the birth control pills manufactured today are much lower than the potions in the pills manufactured in past. This variation has lowered medical risks in women. Although, the repercussions of side effects have increased such as:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Blood clots in lungs and legs
  • Liver and gall bladder diseases
  • Migraine
  • Hypertension
  • Erratic mood swings
  • Depression

These pills are not advised or prescribed for women under following medical conditions such as –


  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Medical history of heart and lung ailments
  • Blood clotting disorders like V Leiden deficiency.
  • Liver, Uterine and Breast cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Migraine
  • Liver diseases


Women beyond 35 years of age and those who indulge in smoking are also strongly advised against intake of these pills. It is to be noted that women following prescription of birth control pills must religiously stick to the advised schedule.

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