Birth Control and Acne

Birth Control for Acne Simplified

Birth control pills, IUDs, implants and shots are widely used today and prescribed often as a means to control acne. Most forms of birth control can have the potential to cause acne and weight gain in those susceptible. Typically birth control is divided up as estrogen or progestin dominant and have varying degrees of androgenic (testosterone like) effects. As a general rule of thumb, those with the potential for higher androgenic symptoms should be avoided for people prone to acne because they promote breakouts. As an acne sufferer, it is important to speak with your doctor about selecting a form of birth control that is higher in estrogen and lower in androgen potency.

The most commonly prescribed in this category are:

Brevicon

Necon

Tri-Nessa

Demulan

Ortho Tricyclen

Tri-Previferm

Femcon

Ortho-Novum

Tri-Sprintec

Kelnor

Ovcon

Zovia

Modicon

Previferm

 

MonoNessa

Sprintec

 

 

It is best to avoid the following that are high in androgen activity and low in estrogen, which are some of the following:

Alesse

Kariva

Nexplanon

Amethyst

Lessina

Nordette

Apri

Levora/Levonest

Norplant

Azurette

Linessa

NuvaRing

Caziant

Loestrin

Ogestrel

Cryselle

Lo-Feminol

Ortho Tricyclen Lo

Cyclessa

Lo-Ogestrel

Ovral

Depo-Provera

Lo-Ovral

Paragard/Copper IUD*

Desogen

Lutera

Portia

Emoquette

Marvelon

Reclipsen

Estrostep Fe

Microgestin

Seasonale/Seasonique

Implanon

Mircette

Sronyx

Jolessa

Mirena IUD

Triphasil/Trivora

 

Only you and your doctor can determine what form of birth control is right for you. The above is just a basic guideline that should be used to initiate a conversation between you and your physician. If you are considering using birth control, it is important to know that it can be associated with a high risk of blood clots, weight gain, nausea, mood changes, depression and breast tenderness. Serious side effects include strokes, digestive issues and embolism.

Finally, it is entirely possible to treat acne without using birth control. If you have no underlying health issues that require you to be on birth control and are considering using birth control only to control your acne, please feel free to talk with one of the estheticians to get some additional perspective on how we can help you with the use of topical products and treatments.

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