At the Natural Acne Clinic, we educate our patients about everything, including birth control and everything around it. 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 high androgenic symptoms should be avoided by people prone to acne because they promote breakouts. If you are an acne sufferer, it is important for you 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:
- Ortho Tricyclen
It is best to avoid the following that are high in androgen activity and low in estrogen, which are some of the following:
- Estrostep Fe
- Mirena or Skyla IUD
- Ortho Tricyclen Lo
- Paragard/Copper IUD*
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 our Clear Skin Coaches who will help you to get some additional perspective on how we can help you with the use of topical products and treatments.
Take a look at our other recent post all about avoiding acne after stopping birth control.
*Although the Paragard/Copper IUD does not contain any hormones, we have observed that is has aggravated acne with our clients.