Can birth control pills cause acne | ClearSkin, Pune
Book Appointment

Does Birth control pills cause acne?

Jul 1, 2021

Do you think does birth control pills cause acne? Acne, generally seen in adults age when there is a change in the hormonal level. Other causes of acne are stress, medication, diet, weather, family history, hormonal changes due to changes in the menstrual cycle, etc. Acne occurs on a certain part of the body such as face, neck, chest, back, shoulders & arms. A birth pill can be used to regulate your menstrual cycle, which is one of the reasons for acne i.e. irregular menstrual cycle.

What is the birth control pill?

Birth control pills, are usually taken to prevent pregnancy. It consists of both hormones, estrogen & progesterone which help to prevent the release of an egg from the ovaries. Because of birth control pills, you might see some side effects such as nausea, weight gain, swollen breast, spotting between periods & mood changes. Some serious side effects such as abdominal pain, chest pain, headache, blurred vision, and swelling of the legs or thighs.

Worried about your skin condition? Get in touch with best of our skin specialists in Pune. For a skin treatment, book an appointment with our dermatologists near you +919584584111

What happens during the menstrual cycle?

Generally, during the menstrual cycle, estrogen & androgen hormone reaches their peak. While progesterone hormone is at its lowest point, due to this hormonal changes occur. Because of this some females might see acne breakouts.

Birth Control pills and Acne: How are they related?

Acne occurs due to a change in hormonal level i.e androgen hormone, this androgen hormone. This is basically the male hormone, which is found in both male & female. But the increase in more number of androgen hormone leads to an increase in sebum production. Which leads to more production of oil & increase in skin cells in pores resulting in clogged pores. These clogged pores can form acne such as open & closed comedones, papules, pustules, nodular & cystic acne.

Types of Acne

Birth control pills and Acne, connected with each other with a more positive way. Birth control pills can be one of the effective ways to control acne. But It is not the sole solution to treat acne. During acne treatment, the oral contraceptive pill given for preventing pregnancy. And these birth control pills work amazingly in some females who are suffering from acne due to hormonal issues. These birth control pills consist of estrogen & progesterone. Which are 2 female hormones, and it will never cause acne. Whereas these 2 female hormones will help in reducing hormonal acne, by balancing excess androgen hormone.

When you take birth control pills, estrogen & progesterone in pills helps in reducing the androgen level. This causes a decrease in sebum production, which decreases the risk of hormonal acne. But if you are on the pill which contains Progestin no estrogen, then this pill might cause excess fluctuation in androgen hormone, resulting in an acne outbreak.

Which birth control pill is best for acne?

These medicines are FDA approved & these medicines have shown great efficacy in treating hormonal acne.

Does birth control pills cause acne?
  • Ortho Tri-Cyclen- In this estrogen is combined with a man-made form of progestin known as norgestimate & these pills are available in different doses of progestin. This helps in reducing androgens level & therefore reduces acne.
  • Estrostep– Estrogen is combined with a progestin called norethindrone. It reduces acne by increasing sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), SHBG helps to decrease free testosterone level.
  • YAZ- YAZ is a combination of estrogen & manmade form of progestin, known as Drospirenone. This has the benefit of anti-androgenic activity & hence reduces androgen & testosterone hormone level.

Benefits of birth control pills for acne

  • Birth control pills help in controlling hormonal acne in females.
  • It reduces the sebum production & excess production of skin cells.
  • Controls new acne burst, caused during hormonal imbalance.
  • Reduces the risk of blocked pores.

Birth Control Pills VS Other Acne Treatments

  • Birth control pills

This birth control pills are also US FDA approved medicine to treat Acne. These birth control pills are generally prescribed to regulate their menstrual cycle. If they face acne due to PCOS, once your menstrual cycle gets regular. Automatically you will notice a reduction in Acne. Birth control pills also used to avoid some serious adverse effect of Isotretinoin medicine in married women so that they can avoid conceiving during acne treatment. These birth control pills help to reduce acne by decreasing the androgen hormone level in the body. This causes a decrease in sebum production, less skin cell production & due to which there are fewer acne breakouts.

  • Isotretinoin, Retinoid, Tretinoin & Antibiotics

Ideally, To control acne many medicines prescribed such as isotretinoin, retinoids & antibiotics to control acne. These retinoids, tretinoins & isotretinoin helps in reducing acne by boosting up the body’s skin cells turnover. Which is the fast process of skin cell turnover, there is less time for dead skin cell and sebum to block pores. And therefore the risk of developing new acne breakout reduces. Whereas antibiotics help your acne prone skin from bacteria.

  • Spironolactone

Some doctors prefer spironolactone because it blocks the androgen hormone and therefore it prevents excess sebum production and acne breakouts. Ideally which medicine has to be given to individual acne sufferer is completely decided on their symptoms. The same treatment will not suit everyone, because everyone has their unique skin type & texture.

  • Laser Treatments

Intense pulsed light (IPL) acts by photodynamic therapy (PDT) in the treatment of acne

Intense pulse light
  • Chemical peels

Chemical peels are the fruit acid extracts which are applied to the skin to have chemo exfoliation of the skin. Depending upon their level of penetration peels can be classified as superficial peels, Medium depth peels & deep peels. A consultation with an experienced dermatologist is needed to get a desirable outcome after treatment.

How long does birth control take to clear up acne?

Oral contraceptive pills or birth control pills are effective in treating acne because it can reduce the amount of androgen. Which is responsible for hormonal acne, it might take around 3 to 4 months to improve acne. But definitely, it varies individual to individual acne suffers. Solely, Birth control pills will never help to control acne. It has to treat with a combination of treatments like topical creams, oral medicines, and some procedures.

Must Read

How to get rid of hormonal acne?


For any doubts, treatments, and consultation regarding cystic acne, contact us at ClearSkin Clinic 

For treating your skin condition, feel free to get in touch with one of our best dermatologists in Pune. You can also call on +919584584111 to book an appointment at one of our skin clinics near you.


Dr Dhanraj Chavan

About the Author: Dr Dhanraj Chavan

Dr. Dhanraj Chavan is a globally trained, young, and dynamic dermatologist. He is a Consultant Dermatologist and Varicose Vein Specialist at Clear Skin, VeinMD, and HairMD.

Previous Post


How to get rid of acne dark spots?

Acne Pimple, Question|Dr Dhanraj Chavan|
July 1, 2021

Acne is really frustrating, so are you suffering from acne-related issues? Don’t know how to get rid of acne dark spots? Don’t take stress, you are on the right page to... 4380

Next Post


Carbon laser peel for acne: Is it effective for acne?

Acne Pimple, Question|Dr Dhanraj Chavan|
July 1, 2021

Nowadays acne is one of the major problems not only in females but also to males. As acne problem is increasing day by day, therefore many treatments are also getting...

Leave a Comment

Your email id will not be published.Required fields are marked*

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *