Birth Control for Acne-Prone Clients
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:
It is best to avoid the following that are high in androgen activity and low in estrogen, which are some of the following:
Mirena or Skyla IUD
Ortho Tricyclen Lo
Ovral 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 me to get some additional perspective on how I can help you with the use of topical products and treatments.
*Although the Paragard/Copper IUD does not contain any hormones, I have observed that is has aggravated acne with my clients.