Severe acne cases can cause a confidence crisis for some women. Acne can leave scars and the long healing process will quite disturb the appearance of a person. In fact, sometimes, appearance and acne become one of the factors for a person to be accepted to work in several areas of work.
Birth control for acne has become another alternative if other remedies do not succeed to relieve inflamed acne. It may sound strange, but in fact, the birth control Pill is indeed one of the recommended acne therapy by many dermatologists over the past few years. In general, birth control pills that are deliberately prescribed to treat acne are aimed at women who also need contraception.
Birth Control for Acne, How does it Work?
There is a clear link between hormones and acne. Some women experience acne breakout during menstruation due to soaring hormone levels of the menstrual cycle. While in other cases, acne becomes a regular visitor to the face, even after menopause.
Acne is triggered by excess sebum production. Sebum is the oil that released by the glands in your skin. Sebum and dead skin remnants can clog pores and stimulate the growth of acne-causing bacteria. Androgens, the hormone that surrounds testosterone, encourage your skin to produce sebum.
Female ovaries and adrenal glands usually release low levels of androgen. Higher androgen levels lead to increased sebum production. Taking birth control pills containing estrogen and progesterone will depress androgen levels in the body. This sends signals to skin cells to minimize sebum production, which in turn reduces acne.
Birth Control for Acne, Treatment for Mild to Severe Acne
Oral contraceptives aka birth control pills have been approved by the US Food and Drugs Association (US FDA) to treat mild to moderate acne cases in women who:
- At least 14-15 years old, depending on the brand of product used
- Have already had menstruation
- Requires contraception
In fact, doctors prescribe birth control for acne, for various cases, from mild to severe. In addition, your doctor may prescribe additional contraceptive products to deal with acne. For example, Yasmin and Alesse birth control pills that have been clinically proven in reducing acne.
If you have already taken one type of birth control pill that is effective in dealing with your complaints, there is no need to change the brand. But if you use birth control pills for the first time specifically to treat acne, the best way to recommend is to use only one of three medically approved pills to treat acne.
You may be required to take the Pill for several months until your face is clear of acne. The first time you start taking birth control pills, the pimples will arise and become inflamed. This is a normal body reaction.
Birth control pills only react to one factor causing acne, that is excess oil. Doctors often prescribe other medications for the treatment of acne, such as external drugs or antibiotics, to be used simultaneously for the ultimate solution of a clean face, free of acne.
If you have severe inflammatory acne and irregular menstrual cycles, fine hairs growing on the face, or obesity, your doctor may perform special tests for certain medical conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, or other hormonal disorders.
The Benefits of Birth Control for Acne
A number of clinical trials have shown that taking birth control pill combination will produce the following effects:
- Improved acne inflammation
- Acne gradually decreases
- Red irritation due to decreased acne
Most women who suffer from severe acne, take birth control pills and also doing other acne treatment for maximum result. For women who also need contraception, birth control pills that are prescribed can be used to treat acne as well, provided that the birth control pills are consumed regularly.
Risk of Using Birth Control for Acne
Current birth control pills contain lower doses of estrogen and progesterone compared to older versions. This means the risk of side effects they contain will also be lower. Still, some birth control pills cause certain higher side effects, including heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots inside legs or lungs that is lethal.
Other risks, including:
- Hypertension and other cardiovascular problems
- Liver disease and gallbladder
- Headache (migraine)
- Depression and mood changes
People Who Should Avoid Birth Control for Acne
The decision of taking birth control pills should be discussed first with your doctor, to take your medical history into account. Certain medical conditions can be exacerbated by the reaction of birth control pills in the body. You will not be prescribed birth control pills if you have any of the below conditions:
- History of heart disease, hypertension, blood clots in the legs and lungs
- Clotting diseases, such as Leiden deficiency factor V
- History of cancer, especially breast, uterus, or liver
- Liver disease, diabetes, or migraine
You are also not allowed to use birth control for acne, if:
- You are a smoker and over 35 years of age
- You are pregnant or nursing
- You are either obese or have limited physical mobility