Understanding The Relationship Between Hormones, Birth Control and Acne


Understanding The Relationship Between Hormones, Birth Control and Acne

For millions of adolescents entering puberty, the early and mid teen years can be a time of changes, challenges, and adaptation. One particularly challenging thing for many teens to deal with is the sudden onset of acne that results from hormones. In addition, to those hormones that are produced by the body, women taking birth control may also suddenly develop acne as a result of the hormones in it. With that in mind, let’s take a quick moment to understand the relationship between hormones, birth control and acne.

Why Should I Care About Birth Control And Acne?

Simply put, acne is a disease that directly affects the oil glands on our skin.  While acne can occur chest, shoulders, and neck, acne flare-ups are most frustrating and alarming when they occur on our face.  Now it is normal for oil to be released by our skin.  However, when the process becomes blocked for whatever reason, pimples and acne will follow.  Though it is not a serious health risk, it is possible for acne to cause scars, leading many to seek out treatments for the acne before scarring can take place.  So, if you are taking birth control and acne begins to develop, having it quickly treated can eliminate the chance of permanent scarring.

Understanding More About Birth Control And Acne

While taking birth control can sometimes lead to acne flare-ups, it is far more common that birth control will reduce the chances of acne developing on your skin.  Why is there a relationship between birth control and acne reduction?  Well, birth control helps to regulate your hormone levels, causing fewer fluctuations and fewer flare-ups as a result.  There are currently 3 different kinds of FDA-approved birth control and acne treatments.  All three include the same type of estrogen, as well as different levels of a second hormone known as progesterone.  The estrogen hormone is widely considered the component that reduces the risk of acne flare-ups.

Beware The Side Effects Of Birth Control And Acne

Birth control and acne prevention may seem like a smart idea.  However, there are some considerations that you should be aware of.  Changing the hormones of the body can lead to a range of side effects, like irregular periods, obesity, or even excessive facial hair.  During every step of the process when considering birth control and acne prevention, be sure to ask your doctor and make sure you make him or her aware of any side effects you are experiencing.

References:

  1. What Is Acne?
  2. Acne And Birth Control