Can Birth Control Really Improve Acne?

Whether you have mild or severe acne, there are different treatment options to take advantage of. Did you know birth control is one of those options? You’ll need to speak with your doctor or dermatologist about getting a prescription for birth control. Here’s a close look at how birth control helps improve acne. 

How Does Birth Control Reduce Acne?

Via Flickr by simmons.kevin4208

Birth control pills have a combination of hormones in them. The pills work by decreasing androgen circulation and slowing down the production of sebum. To effectively fight acne with birth control, you must take a pill that has both estrogen and progestin. This means you can’t take the minipill to combat acne because it only contains progestin.

There are lots of different combination birth control pills that reduce acne and prevent pregnancy at the same time. Each brand will have its own variation of hormones. Those prescribed for acne reduction will contain progestin that has low androgenic possibility. This type of pill has fewer androgenic side effects, which tend to include oily skin or acne.

Which Birth Control Is Best for Acne?

Want to know the good news about using birth control, like Microgestin, for acne? Just about any brand of combination birth control will be equally as effective in reducing your acne. There are many forms of acne that birth control can reduce, including: Nodules; blackheads; whiteheads; pimples; small red, tender bumps; and Cystic lesions

Some of the factors that increase acne are stress, hormonal changes, makeup, medications, and rubbing your skin. If you have a family history of acne, you are more likely to develop acne, too.

Side Effects of Birth Control

If you want to use birth control for acne reduction, it’s important to be aware of the possible side effects. Some of the most common side effects include:

Stomach cramps


Weight gain




Weight loss

Changes in your period


Breast tenderness


Some people who take birth control for acne suffer from more serious side effects, like a heart attack or stroke. Another serious side effect is deep vein thrombosis. If you smoke, have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and/or are older than 35, you have a higher risk of experiencing these more serious side effects.

Alternative Acne Treatments

If you want to try something besides birth control for acne reduction, you can speak with a dermatologist about your options. There are numerous types of over-the-counter options, as well as lotions, topical treatments, and cleansers, you might want to try. Some prescription medications in the form of antibiotics and retinoids are extremely well-known for their effectiveness in treating acne.

Always speak with your doctor or dermatologist about any type of medication you want to use to reduce acne. The condition of your skin and the severity of your acne will likely impact which acne reduction medication will work best. Before taking any medication, make sure to read up on the side effects. This ensures you know what to expect and how the medicine will impact your body. Don’t forget that you can use telemedicine to access birth control. Companies like Nurx allow you to take full advantage of telemedicine to access birth control to improve acne.

WE SAID THIS: If you’ve been fighting a long battle with acne, it might be worth trying brith control pills, but consult your doctor first.