Pills or Hormonal Treatment as Acne Cure


Some women love using birth control pills or oral contraceptives to cure or prevent acne. Through oral contraceptives, they are able to tackle two medical issues with just one set of pills. Women can use these pills as their primary method of contraception. They can also use them to prevent or cure acne. Birth control pills contain female hormones. So, men cannot take advantage of this particular acne cure. Pills, however, can be utilized by both grown women and teenaged girls. The latter group may be using pills for contraception and/or for regulating their periods.

Why Birth Control Pills are Effective as Acne Cures

Birth control pills can cure acne because they regulate the hormone levels in the body. When hormones are not in balance, just like before a period, acne breakouts may occur. Birth control pills help in preventing these breakouts from happening by keeping your system stable. Also, the female hormones contained in the birth control pills can counteract the effects of androgens in the body. When in excess, androgens can cause overproduction of sebum and, in effect, acne. The best way to tackle the male hormone problem is to take birth control pills that contain both progesterone and estrogen. 

Birth Control Pills Specifically Advertised as Acne Cures

Birth control pills that are also designed to tackle the acne problem are combination contraceptives. This means that these pills contain both progesterone and estrogen. Progesterone-only pills may actually even worsen acne in some cases. 

Specific birth control pill brands that are being advertised as acne cures are Estrotep, Ortho Tri-Cyclen and YAZ. Studies have not seen any significant difference among the three brands in terms of efficacy in acne cure. 

Who Can Use Birth Control Pills as Acne Cures

Birth control pills are recommended as acne cures for teenagers who are at least 14 or 15 years old and have already started menstruating, and for grown women who need contraception. They can be used to treat all types of acne, from mild to severe cases. Women who experience other symptoms that suggest higher male hormones, such as facial hair and obesity, should get tested for polycystic ovary syndrome or any other hormone-related condition. 

Who Should Not Take Birth Control Pills as Acne Cures

Not every woman can take birth control pills to cure her acne, however. Those who have a history of blood clots, cancer, heart disease or hypertension, diabetes, migraine or liver disease should not take birth control pills for whatever reason. The same goes to female smokers over the age of 35, pregnant women or women with conditions that have left them immobilized, and have therefore made them more prone to blood clots. 

Birth Control Side Effects

Women taking birth control pills are more likely to develop blood clots, liver disease, migraines, heart problems, mood disorders and more. 

There may be side effects to taking birth control for acne treatment, but there are also significant benefits to consider. Birth control pills promote less inflammation, fewer pimples and a decrease in severity of acne. Your doctor should be the one to decide if you can take birth control pills as a cure for your acne, based on your medical history.