Daily life-changing care

The pill as an acne treatment

The contraceptive pill is part of the daily life of many girls and women to prevent unwanted pregnancy. However, this medicine based on one or two hormones can have consequences for the skin. It can improve or on the contrary worsen acne. It is therefore important to choose the right contraceptive pill in case of acne.

What role does the pill play in acne?

The pill contains a mixture of estrogens and progestogens, or progestogens only (progestin pill).

Estrogens are the female hormones par excellence and are therefore anti-androgens, androgens being the male hormones involved in the development of acne. Estrogens are therefore beneficial for the skin and help fight acne.

Progestins, also known as progesterone hormones or progesterone, have a very variable effect on the skin. Some are clearly androgenic, meaning they mimic the effects of androgens on the pilosebaceous follicle and aggravate acne. Others have little or no androgenicity and are to be preferred in the case of acne so as not to accentuate it. This does not prevent women from having a bad image of progestin pills for acne.

Which is the best pill for fighting acne?

In the event of acne, tell your doctor which pill you are taking. If acne appears, persists or worsens, or if the acne treatment does not work, there may be a link between the pill and acne. The doctor will then suggest another pill for acne. Stopping the pill in the event of acne and without medical advice is not recommended, as the contraceptive effect is lost!

In some cases, the doctor prescribes a hormonal combination of cyproterone acetate and ethinyl estradiol (Diane 35 and generics), because cyproterone acetate is an anti-androgenic progestogen which tends to improve the condition of the skin, usually after several months. This pill is often called the acne pill.

Adapting the pill you use if you have acne sometimes helps to remedy hormonal acne, which is acne in adult women related to hormonal changes in the menstrual cycle. Many women want a pill-free treatment for hormonal acne. Unfortunately, conventional acne treatments don't work much on hormonal acne.

Changing the pill you use when you have acne can improve your skin condition. That said, keep in mind that every person is unique! What worked for your high school girlfriend or office colleague may not work for you. And remember: the pill is not a replacement for the acne treatment prescribed by your doctor.

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