Does contraception help with acne?
Yes! Some contraceptive pills, also known as oral contraceptives, can help improve acne in women. If your acne doesn’t respond to other treatments, including oral antibiotics and topical creams, your doctor might prescribe a contraceptive pill for acne.
Acne is the result of excessive production of oil, or sebum, by the sebaceous glands in your skin. Excess sebum clogs your pores, along with dead skin cells and dirt, and contributes to the growth of acne-causing bacteria.
The production of sebum is influenced by the level of androgens in your body. Androgens are male sex hormones produced by adrenal glands and the ovaries. An androgen imbalance during your teenage years can lead to higher levels of these hormones, which in turn can result in excessive sebum production.
Acne can manifest in various forms including whiteheads, blackheads, nodules, pimples, small red and tender bumps, and cystic lesions.
The following are common causes of acne:
- Hormonal changes that occur during puberty and adulthood (also known as hormonal acne)
- Using the wrong makeup for your skin type
Taking contraceptive pills that contain both progestin and estrogen may reduce the androgen levels in your body. This can result in decreased production of sebum, reducing the severity of acne.