Acne and Birth Control

safe birth control for acne

Many of us have a false notion that a prescription for birth control can clear your skin. The reality of birth control is that options such as the pill, IUDs, shots and implants have the potential to cause acne rather than prevent it. This is especially true in women with acne prone skin. If you suffer from acne, it is important to take a few things into consideration when selecting your birth control method in order to prevent breakouts.

As a general rule of thumb, pills with the potential for higher androgenic symptoms should be avoided in women who are prone to acne. Birth control pills are typically divided up as estrogen or progestin dominant and have varying degrees of androgenic (testosterone like) effects. Ultimately, you will want to talk with your doctor about using a birth control pill that is high in estrogen potency and low in androgenic effects in order to avoid breakouts.

Here is a rough list of prescriptions that are high in androgenic effects and low in estrogen. These should be avoided, as they can cause breakouts.

Alesse
Triphasil//Trivora
Azurette
Amethyst
Cryselle
Caziant
Jolessa
Lo-Ovral/Ovral
Cyclessa
Lessina
Low-Ogestrel/Ogestrel
Desogen
Levonest/Levora
Lo-Feminol
Emoquette
Lutera
Ortho tricyclen Lo
Kariva
Nordette
Estrostep Fe
Linessa
Portia
Loestrin
Marvelon
Seasonale/Seasonique
Microgestin
NuvaRing
Sronyx
Apri
Depo-Provera
Mirena IUD
Mircette
Reclipsen
Implanon
Nexplanon
Norplant
Paragard/CopperIUD

*Although the Paragard/Copper IUD does not contain any hormones, we have observed that it has aggravated acne with our clients.

The following is a list of birth control pills that are higher in estrogen and low in androgenic effects. These are safer options for women who suffer with acne.

Brevicon
Demulan/Zovia/Kelnor
Modicon
Ortho tricyclen
Necon
Sprintec/Tri-Sprintec
Ortho-Novum
Previfem/Tri-Previfem
Ovcon
MonoNessa/Tri-Nessa
Femcon
Zovia

As an acne specialist, it is important to me that you understand that birth control is not needed to clear your acne. If you are using birth control pills for the sole purpose of clearing your skin, please stop. These pills are not the simple answer to your acne problem and it might be true that you are only aiding your breakouts by using a birth control with the wrong ingredients.

The only sure answer to clearing your skin is to create a habitual program of product use, extractions, and chemical peels until your pores are cleared. Working with an acne specialist can help ensure the most effective skin clearing process for you regardless of your birth control use.  We at Skintherapy Acne Clinic can help get you clear without the use of prescription medications or birth control.

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