Birth Control Acne Remedies: Myths and Facts

birth control acneSince it’s not uncommon for pregnancy and acne to go hand in hand, it’s also likely no surprise to many that oral contraceptives can be useful in combating facial acne as well. Birth control is useful as a tool to treat acne when the root cause is sebum, and is most often employed alongside other topical products designed to treat acne externally.

There are many myths about birth control acne treatments, and we’re debunking some of the most popular ones to help you better understand this type of treatment for facial blights.

MYTH: Birth Control Pills Clear Up Acne Fast

FACT: This couldn’t be further from the truth! In fact, it may take months for you to see any results from taking contraceptives to reduce skin blemishes. If you are looking for fast and effective acne treatment, birth control pills are not the first solution, they should be tried after other remedies such as over the counter creams, cleansers and devices have failed. Even prescription acne options could be considered before turning to birth control acne treatment.

MYTH: All Oral Contraceptives Reduce Acne

FACT: Not so! There are only three oral contraceptives that are approved by the FDA for the management of acne, so if you are already on birth control pills, your acne will remain just as pimply as ever if you aren’t taking one of the three brands that is useful for that purpose. Yaz, Ortho-Tricyclen and Estrostep are the only birth control pills that can be useful in treating acne.

MYTH: I don’t have to worry about the risks of birth control pills such as stroke because I am not taking them for pregnancy prevention, just a birth control acne treatment.

FACT: Another bogus myth! Just because you are not trying to prevent pregnancy doesn’t mean that you should take birth control pills if you are over 35 or you are a smoker. Planning babies or not, people with a history of cardiovascular disease or those who have had blood clots are still at risk for strokes and even if contraceptives might be the best acne treatment for you, your doctor won’t let you have them if he or she thinks that it will be a risky endeavor.

MYTH: Birth control acne treatment won’t produce undesirable side effects because it isn’t being used for the intended purpose.

FACT: No matter why you are taking contraceptives, whether to prevent babies at times that you aren’t ready or as a birth control acne treatment, side effects are side effects, and you can expect them just as you would if you were using the medication for its intended purpose. Some users experience headaches, tenderness in the breasts and changes in menstrual cycles. Your risk of heart disease, blood clots and an increase in blood pressure are all also elevated and this is another reason why birth control acne treatment is often one of the last recommendations made by a health care provider. However, there are times that contraceptives are considered sooner such as when they can provide additional benefits to the user such as regulating menstrual cycles and reducing some of the symptoms of the monthly period.