Article by Flor Serquina
Birth Control Background Information
Birth control is used to treat acne nowadays because of its ability to change hormone levels in a person’s body. Few people are aware that women, like men, have the male hormone testosterone inside their bodies. Now, testosterone has been identified as one of the causes for acne growth because increased levels of it cause a proportional increase of sebaceous glands and lead to excessive oil production.
When a woman takes birth control pills, they are able to stop her ovaries from producing more testosterone. Birth control pills contain progestin and estrogen – both female hormones – and these promote menstruation cycles to regulate and continue while balancing the levels of male and female hormones in the body. Although prevention of conception is the main purpose of birth control pills, they do have the power to reduce acne growth as well.
Potential Advantages of Using Birth Control for Acne
Convenience. With birth control doubling for acne prevention, you will only have to take one medicine for dual purposes. This is certainly easy to remember and beneficial to people with hectic lifestyles.
Affordability. Again, you get two for the price of one. Compared to the expensive costs of other acne treatments like light therapy and laser surgery, birth control as a possible acne cure certainly sounds inviting.
Potential Disadvantages of Using Birth Control for Acne
Most of the disadvantages cited by experts for using birth control to treat acne are directly concerned with the use of birth control and not its effectiveness or safety as a possible treatment for acne.
Worse Acne Problems. Until estrogen levels in your body normalize or become ideal, it is possible that you will have to suffer from worsening acne problems. You will have to wait for your birth control pills to take effect completely before you can enjoy flawless healthy skin.
Increased Risk of Cancer. People who smoke and take birth control pills for whatever reason should be aware that their decision increases their risk of having cancer in the future. This is due to the substances contained in birth control pills. If you are a frequent smoker, you might do well with a different acne treatment instead of using birth control pills.
Age. Minors and relatively young people are discouraged from using birth control pills as an acne treatment because doing so could lead to acne yeast infection. When this occurs, you will find it harder to cure than normal acne problems. If your child is suffering from serious acne problems, you would do better to advise your child to take other acne treatments.
Side Effects. Birth control pills are not without their share of side effects regardless of your health condition. When taking birth control pills, you could suffer from fatigue, abdominal pain and headaches. This can be quite a bother if you are leading a very active lifestyle.
Possible Medical Complications. Be careful when choosing which medication to use for both birth control and acne prevention. A teenage girl was reported dead due to blood clotting caused by a certain brand of contraceptives. The girl had used it for birth control and acne control. If you are determined to use birth control for acne, make sure you are using the right one.
Also, birth control can have dangerous chemical reactions when mixed in with other medications. If you are currently medicated, please do inform your doctor about your decision before proceeding any further.
Other serious side effects that may be experienced when taking birth control are increased heart risks, depression, melasma or having uneven coloring due to skin patches, problems with fluid retention, and vaginal bleeding.
In the end, using birth control for acne is not worth the risk if you do not take professional advice. A potentially wrong choice would not only damage your skin permanently but affect your chances of giving birth in the future. If you want to solve your acne problems with birth control, do so with the aid of your physician or dermatologist.