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Birth Control Pills and Acne

Women looking for a way to reduce acne breakouts can speak to their doctors about special low-dosage birth control pills. The FDA has approved certain low-dosage birth control pills for use in the treatment of acne. The approved pills include Ortho Tri-Cyclen and generic norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol.

How do birth control pills work on acne?

The increase in oil production that often leads to acne is thought to be related to the body's androgen, or male hormone, production. A woman's androgen levels are at their highest just before menstruation starts. Low-dosage birth control pills seem to decrease the excess androgens, thus decreasing the associated breakouts. They work even better when used in conjunction with other products including topical antibacterials and/or tretinoin and other Vitamin A-based products.

So birth control pills, despite their effectiveness, are not a replacement for a full anti acne skin care regimen. But they can definitely add to the effectiveness of your current anti acne skin care.

Is taking birth control pills for acne right for you?

There are some risks associated with birth control pills when taken for any reason. Some of the side effects can be severe, so you should speak to your doctor before making this important decision. These risks are increased when combined with smoking - and since smoking can worsen acne outbreaks, you should stop smoking as soon as possible.

But if you are already considering using a birth control pill for contraception or another reason, this particular remedy for acne may be perfect for you.


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