Acne after stopping birth control pills

318 posts in this topic

I went of oral birth control in January 2009, opting instead at for a Mirena. I was 26 at this time and had only occasional acne. I began birth control at the age of 15 due to issues related to periods and mild acne. In the months after stopping birth control and placing the Mirena I had a lot of skin changes, body weight changes, etc but I knew that my hormones were trying to figure themselves out after ten years of endogenous replacements so I was trying to be patient.

Finally, this August, I lost patience. My body overall has evened out from the change but my acne continues to worsen. My acne is primarily on my jawline, upper neck, and in front of my ears with occasional pimples on the rest of my face. I tried a variety of washes and creams before beginning the Acne.org regimen mid-November. My acne has calmed down a bit but continues to flare cyclically indicating that there is certainly a hormonal component. Sigh.

I went to an alternative medicine practitioner for acupuncture to treat (unrelated) anxiety and he mentioned the possibility of estrogen dominance. To balance this, he suggested taking a high-dose of folic acid and DIM (herbal remedy). I haven't yet tried these as I was hoping that the regimen alone would clear things up. Has anyone heard of similar supplementations working?

I do not want to take accutane and I'd like to avoid antibiotics as much as possible. I am absolutely unwilling to remove the Mirena despite the fact that this one action may decrease my acne. I eat a high-fiber, low-fat diet; drink plenty of water; and minimize sugar and processed foods. I try to exercise regularly but often that fails.

I'm going to make an appointment to see my doctor soon to discuss other options, but am mostly curious if anyone has taken high-dose folic acid or DIM. Thanks for your time and input!

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it makes me so sad to think of what happens after getting off the pill

doctors should warn people of this.

there must be something we can do for the transition phase..

i read vit B5 AND B6 regulates hormones... and primerose.

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I am in the same exact boat...I am 25 and have been on birth control since I was 15. I stopped it for the first time a year ago and broke out super bad. My dermo put me on accutane from October 2008 to April 2009. I was back on birth control while I was on the Accutane and my skin was really clear. Then, I stopped birth control again in July 2009 and I broke out about 3 months after that and my skin has continually gotten worse. My husband and I want to have a family and I cannot be back on birth control and Im def not doing accutane again. Im super sick of this acne, I am 25 and I should not be going through this!

here is a pick:

photo.jpg


The American dream is more like a nightmare...

My Routine (chinese medicine) :)

16 pills/day of Bu Xue Tiao Jing Wan

12 pills/day of Huang Lian Jie Du Wan


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damn thatsso horrible...i wonder why celebs dont go threw that

i remember reading how angelina jolie was on the pill for a lil while and then got off..her face was fine lol

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I've experienced the same thing once stopping BCP- horrible acne on my face, back, & chest. Hair loss, lil baby hairs on my face, etc. I've been dealing w/this problem for a year and a half now. I hardly leave the house & my face has started to scar from the nasty cystic acne. :cry: I'm at my wits end. I cannot take this anymore. I'm so depressed b/c of how awful my skin looks. If I would have known about these side effects from stopping BC, I would have never started them. :eh:

I'm taking probiotics & liquid chlorophyll (which I just started.) I wash my face w/Cetaphill twice a day. I've been using Lily of the desert 99% Aloe Vera gelly to help w/the redness. I've noticed some additional breakouts from using the aloe vera, but it really helps the pimple heal & go away a few days later.

I've been doing a lot of research online about acne after stopping birth control pills. I believe it is a hormal imbalance along w/ a candida infection. I've come across Symbiotics Colostrum Plus which helps fight candida. It also helps get your immune system back on track. It's gotten a lot of positive reviews too. I'm def. going to give this a try after I finish my probiotics.

I'm tired of suffering :cry: ... Good luck, everyone

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I actually am having a very similar problem, I signed up for acne.org because of acne after going off of birth control. I'm in the same boat as a lot of people it seems. The only difference is that my skin isn't oily at all. My skin is dry and extremely sensitive. I can't use the benzoyl peroxide and I'm scared of accutane because I heard it dries out skin. Any other options?

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Hi,

Just an update on my situation. I have been off the Diane 35 pill now since 4 weeks. It seems that I have my energy back which is the main reason I wanted to stop the pill.

On the acne front I'm doing good so far.

I'm taking:

- 550mg capsules of Niacinamide a day (sometimes when I drink ,eat less healthy or feel some little spots coming up I take 2 a day for 2 days in a row)

- 1 tablet of Zinc Picolinate a day (sometimes 2 a day, same as with niacinamide)

- 1 B-complex tablet

- 1 vitamine C tablet

- 1 tablet of Omega 3, 6, 9 a day.

- 2 tablets of Vitamine B5 a day.

It sounds like a lot maybe but it's only a few pills really and my skin is good so far, it's better then 4 weeks ago while I've stopped the pill now so hopefully it stays that way. Also my skin feels very very soft now and very smooth.

I will do a full hormonal test next week and see what comes out of that.

I have also ordered an Australian Tea Tree soap as this is a good antibacterial soap,tea tree cream etc.

I have been using pure tea tree oil on any spots since 2 weeks and this works really well. I have also used it on my coldsores and this seems to work also.

I'll keep you updated in a month or so.

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Thanks, your update is very useful. I'm also on Diane and contemplating stopping the pill. I hope yours will be a success story that will encourage many on this board to follow in your footsteps.

Hi,

Just an update on my situation. I have been off the Diane 35 pill now since 4 weeks. It seems that I have my energy back which is the main reason I wanted to stop the pill.

On the acne front I'm doing good so far.

I'm taking:

- 550mg capsules of Niacinamide a day (sometimes when I drink ,eat less healthy or feel some little spots coming up I take 2 a day for 2 days in a row)

- 1 tablet of Zinc Picolinate a day (sometimes 2 a day, same as with niacinamide)

- 1 B-complex tablet

- 1 vitamine C tablet

- 1 tablet of Omega 3, 6, 9 a day.

- 2 tablets of Vitamine B5 a day.

It sounds like a lot maybe but it's only a few pills really and my skin is good so far, it's better then 4 weeks ago while I've stopped the pill now so hopefully it stays that way. Also my skin feels very very soft now and very smooth.

I will do a full hormonal test next week and see what comes out of that.

I have also ordered an Australian Tea Tree soap as this is a good antibacterial soap,tea tree cream etc.

I have been using pure tea tree oil on any spots since 2 weeks and this works really well. I have also used it on my coldsores and this seems to work also.

I'll keep you updated in a month or so.


Have been off Diane 35 since 9 April 2011.


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This is my first post here, but I been visiting frequently over the past months as my acne became awful after stopping birth control in August. Like many of you there was a "honeymoon" period during which my face was fine and I felt great. About the middle of November my face began to get these awful cystic bumps right below my earlobe. I have suffered from pimples since puberty, but I had never experienced these massive cysts before. I was determined to fight everything naturally (my mother has always been into alternative medicine) and believe me I tried just about everything! I did acupuncture, a liver cleanse, all kinds of vitamins, tea tree oil, jojoba oil, and at a low point I had a derm give me cortisone injections HUGE MISTAKE...I now have indentations there and I have NEVER scarred before! Hopefully they will fill in with time. Anyways, none of the things I tried really worked well and looking back on the experience I believe that I made some huge errors: I lacked consistency, patience, and my scope was too large. Doing everything at once randomly will not yield positive results. That said, I do think acne can be minimized naturally, but one has to be their own doctor/detective.

The reason I am posting today is because I vowed to come back here and post if I got to the point where my face was clear...I am ecstatic to say that my face is 90% clear and I am now trying to even out the tone and get rid of the red marks left behind. I am loving my skin again thanks to Dan's Regimen. I did not think it would work for me because my acne was so cystic and hormonal, but it did! I had tried Proactiv so I wondered how different Dan's approach could be since both use BP, but for some magical reason Dan's regimen has cleared my skin! That said it took 5-6 weeks until I saw promising results and I almost quit during weeks 1-3 when my face was not only pimply but red and flaky...it was REALLY bad, but it was a small price to pay to have clear skin now!!!

In addition to following Dan's regimen I also drastically altered my diet (see my signature below), although I was always a healthy eater. At times it is frustrating but I find it easier and easier as the weeks go by to stick to my diet! In addition, I did lose some weight quite effortlessly.

Here are some other tips that worked for me:

*Icing active acne in morning and evening after washing face but before applying BP. I take icecubes and rub them on the active acne areas for about 2-4 minutes. This helps the healing process and reduces the redness.

*Changing pillowcases

*Not touching my face in any way

*NO PICKING...this is VERY hard for me, but I have found that the BP makes my skin more sensitive and the slightest scratch of the skin will result in a red mark

*Using AHA every night....I saw a huge difference in the tone of my face...although I am not to perfect yet

*Jojoba oil massage everyday in the shower, someone posted this somewhere on this site and it is AWESOME for removing all the dead skin

*Being GENTLE with my skin!

*Thinking positive thoughts / affirmations as I gently rub BP and lotion on my face (a little nutty perhaps, but I find that nurturing your body is as much physical as it is mental, the mind is a powerful healer)

*Regular exercise - yoga, pilates, cardio

The only supplements I am taking currently are: grapefruit seed extract (for candida) , alpha lipoic acid (Dr. Perricone is a big fan of this one), Ester C, B complex

I am thinking about integrating a lemon juice/egg white mask into my regimen, but I going to wait until I have been on Dan's regimen for 3 months until I integrate anything new.

The good news is that Dan's regimen works for really bad, hormonal acne, the bad news is that my husband and I would like to try to get pregnant in the next year and my OB/GYN says no BP. I am looking into some alternatives...but if any of you used anything that worked during pregnancy I would love to hear about it.

I am sorry this post is so long, this board was my saving grace during my really, really low points when my face was so bad I didn't want to get out of bed! I hope that my post gives someone else out there reason to believe that they too can have clear skin!!! :)


90% clear today!

AM:

Dan's cleanser

Dan's bp

Dan's mostirizure

L'Oreal Mineral Powder

PM:

Dan's cleanser (to remove make-up)

Jojoba oil massage (while in the shower)

Dan's bp

Dan's aha

Diet:

No white (sugar, grains, etc)

No dairy

No salt

Organic meats and produce


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Thank you for the post. This is so comforting to me - I'm trying to stick with the regimen after stopping the pill.

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This is my first post here, but I been visiting frequently over the past months as my acne became awful after stopping birth control in August. Like many of you there was a "honeymoon" period during which my face was fine and I felt great. About the middle of November my face began to get these awful cystic bumps right below my earlobe. I have suffered from pimples since puberty, but I had never experienced these massive cysts before. I was determined to fight everything naturally (my mother has always been into alternative medicine) and believe me I tried just about everything! I did acupuncture, a liver cleanse, all kinds of vitamins, tea tree oil, jojoba oil, and at a low point I had a derm give me cortisone injections HUGE MISTAKE...I now have indentations there and I have NEVER scarred before! Hopefully they will fill in with time. Anyways, none of the things I tried really worked well and looking back on the experience I believe that I made some huge errors: I lacked consistency, patience, and my scope was too large. Doing everything at once randomly will not yield positive results. That said, I do think acne can be minimized naturally, but one has to be their own doctor/detective.

The reason I am posting today is because I vowed to come back here and post if I got to the point where my face was clear...I am ecstatic to say that my face is 90% clear and I am now trying to even out the tone and get rid of the red marks left behind. I am loving my skin again thanks to Dan's Regimen. I did not think it would work for me because my acne was so cystic and hormonal, but it did! I had tried Proactiv so I wondered how different Dan's approach could be since both use BP, but for some magical reason Dan's regimen has cleared my skin! That said it took 5-6 weeks until I saw promising results and I almost quit during weeks 1-3 when my face was not only pimply but red and flaky...it was REALLY bad, but it was a small price to pay to have clear skin now!!!

In addition to following Dan's regimen I also drastically altered my diet (see my signature below), although I was always a healthy eater. At times it is frustrating but I find it easier and easier as the weeks go by to stick to my diet! In addition, I did lose some weight quite effortlessly.

Here are some other tips that worked for me:

*Icing active acne in morning and evening after washing face but before applying BP. I take icecubes and rub them on the active acne areas for about 2-4 minutes. This helps the healing process and reduces the redness.

*Changing pillowcases

*Not touching my face in any way

*NO PICKING...this is VERY hard for me, but I have found that the BP makes my skin more sensitive and the slightest scratch of the skin will result in a red mark

*Using AHA every night....I saw a huge difference in the tone of my face...although I am not to perfect yet

*Jojoba oil massage everyday in the shower, someone posted this somewhere on this site and it is AWESOME for removing all the dead skin

*Being GENTLE with my skin!

*Thinking positive thoughts / affirmations as I gently rub BP and lotion on my face (a little nutty perhaps, but I find that nurturing your body is as much physical as it is mental, the mind is a powerful healer)

*Regular exercise - yoga, pilates, cardio

The only supplements I am taking currently are: grapefruit seed extract (for candida) , alpha lipoic acid (Dr. Perricone is a big fan of this one), Ester C, B complex

I am thinking about integrating a lemon juice/egg white mask into my regimen, but I going to wait until I have been on Dan's regimen for 3 months until I integrate anything new.

The good news is that Dan's regimen works for really bad, hormonal acne, the bad news is that my husband and I would like to try to get pregnant in the next year and my OB/GYN says no BP. I am looking into some alternatives...but if any of you used anything that worked during pregnancy I would love to hear about it.

I am sorry this post is so long, this board was my saving grace during my really, really low points when my face was so bad I didn't want to get out of bed! I hope that my post gives someone else out there reason to believe that they too can have clear skin!!! :)

This post is extremely helpful and comforting to me. I'm trying to stick with the regimen after stopping the pill in the fall and experiencing a really bad breakout. Thank you.

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sorry where is dans regemin?

I went to a health store and they advised me what suppliments to take a week before i get off the pill and for the next 3-6 months

this may ease the transition

magnesium for cramps

don qui for cramps

3000 gm primerose

vitex for hormonal balance

B-5

zinc

b-6

cherry leave tea

L-glutamine detox pills for a month to cleanse the blood of toxics from the pill.

of course i take reg suppliments already like omega 3

probiotics

VIT A

B-complex

multi

biton

and if u look up on google tomato for acne, it eating it helps hormonal acne..actually tomato paste works better

and applying tomato to your face for an hour 2 times a day will clear it..

we willsee if it all works..i start in a week

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Any updates ladies? I just hit month 3 off of orthotricyclen and my skin is SO oily and has been continuosly breaking out... Is there any hope!?

Edited by Polska Laska

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oh no r u serious????

darn im scared now..ive been off just hitting 3 weeks...imdue for my period now..i can feel the cramps.

but ive prepared....im taking vitex, done qui, borage...B5 , B6, PRIMEROSE..

ALSO EATING TOMATO PASTE HELPS WITH HORMONAL ACNE..if u google it theres a ingredient lycopene that helps control it..

also applying tomato to your skin and using a parsely toner has antibacterial agents in it and helps for ACNE...

so hopefully all this helps to control the problem before it comes out worse....

im really nervous about it..i was on tri cyclen for years.

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BUMP - any updates? I've been off the pill for 101 days today.. so just over 3 months, and I've been taking Vitex for 75 days, and borage oil (when my EPO ran out ) for about a month. Also been taking calcium D glucarate to help bind excess estrogen and bring it out of my body more efficiently (other supps to mention that I've taken even before coming off bcp when I had clear skin are a multi vit, b complex, omega3-6-9) I started taking NAC (n-acytl-cysteine) when I got off bcp to help detox my liver and promote toxins to leave my body more efficiently. I don't know why this is, but in the past 3 months, I've experienced terrible skin, and I've experienced quite clear skin.. but way more terrible days than clear. I feel like my skin can completely change in only a few days, and it's really upsetting. I get so happy when I see it clear up, and I get brought right back down when it gets worse again. I've also developed eczema around my nose since going off the pill.

Some other things I've noticed:

There are days when my skin is EXCESSIVELY oily, and when it's not too oily at all.

There are days when I have odorless sweat, and there are days when my sweat is quite odorFULL (sorry for too much information!)

There are days when my skin is quite red and inflamed looking, and days when it looks very calm.

There are days when my forehead and cheeks are VERY clear, but my chin is inflamed and full of acne.

There are days when the eczema around my nose that I developed after coming off bcp is inflamed, and days when it's literally NON-EXISTANT.

..and I find that I experience all of the good symtoms when I eat very CLEAN, and all of the bad symptoms when I have a slip up (like eating a donair, even after eating clean for WEEKS, one tiny slip up can mean breakouts for days). I never realized the diet/acne connection, because my whole life, I was one of the people that I now rant about; could eat ichiban soup, canned ravioli, pop, not wash my makeup off before bed, and have crystal clear skin... It was only until I started breaking out after coming off of birth control (this is the 2nd time I've tried to come off) that my skin has EVER been an issue for me. It's kind of a blessing in disguise because even though my skin is crap right now, my body is thanking me for the healthy changes that I've made.

I hate this rollarcoaster of ups and downs of skin days. The only positive thing that has come out of this situation is that I've dropped over 10 lbs and gotten quite toned up. My height is 5"6, and my weight on bcp (at my heaviest) was 130. Before bcp, when I was 18, my weight was consistantly around 117-120. Even when I exercised on bcps, I found that it was so hard to lose any weight and tone up. I think that has something to do with excess estrogen.

On another side note, I feel that everytime I eat anything that is high GI, or causes my blood sugar to spike, I exprience red, inflamed face either later that day, but most definately by the next morning. I'm trying to stick to an anti-inflammatoy, low GI, PH balanced diet, but sometimes falling off track (not very often though!)

I purchased MSM over a month ago, but haven't gotten the guts to try it due to the initial detox breakout I so often hear about. However; after my final exams are over, I am going to start gradually introducing it into my regimin. I am hoping that it helps with inflammation, which I feel that I have a large problem with.

I am also unsure if I have a candida overgrowth problem, but the low GI diet hopefully will help this. I also just remembered that I am also taking a good quality probiotic daily.

I've had to keep a REALLY strict diet to maintain DECENT skin, but I do slip up at times and eat too many fruits, dark chocolate, and nuts which I know make me SUPER oily the next day, and my pores become enlarged. I've also noticed baby hairs on my face (fine, colorless hairs) that I NEVER had. I hope whoever previously posted in this thread will come back and let us know of their progress!

Edited by Polska Laska

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im so sorry to hear this is happening...was your skin fine before 3 months???

ive been off for nearly 2 months..but im taking alot of stuff suggested and also the woman at the health store said to take wild yam to balance estrogen and womansense menapousal stuff...because it has a combo off stuff for hormones..she said it helped her with her face and cramps.

also tomato paste is good for hormonal acne as lycopene in the paste is what helps with the acne.

also applying tomato to your face as a toner is good.

im doing all of this to try to prevent it coming.

I also use the tanda blue light to prevent it.

hope this helps:)

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Polska Laska,

Hi :)

This was exactly what I went through with the food. I would eat like a rabbit out of desperation to keep my face clear and then slip up and eat a Hershey bar or something and get pimples galore, many cystic. I began having acne at age 13 but only on my forehead and as the years progressed it became worse and worse. It made no sense that I was into my 20's and had acne worse than when I was a teenager! I had tried antibiotics, (even begged my derm for accutane and THANK GOD ALMIGHTY he refused me that poison!!!!!!!!!!!) I have tried virtually everything that will pop up when you google "What all medicines, herbs, vitamins, facial cleansers help with acne?" This is what forced me to get on the pill and stay on it for 7.5 yrs (UGH!) But what was the answer to my prayers was something really so simple: Colon cleanse and then liver flushes. God has definitely lead me to this because I had done soooooo much praying, lol. You mentioned you did one LF, but it will take more than that. It took years and years of eating the SAD (Standard American Diet) for the liver to become congested and the colon clogged that it can't be remedied in one short cleanse. I have cleansed my colon until there are just regular eliminations and take psyllium fiber daily to keep it clean. I have just completed my 10th liver flush (this is normal to keep cleansing this much and then some until you quit passing stones for 2 consecutive flushes). I swear this will VASTLY improve or more likely completely eliminate acne, just keep with it until you completely clean the colon and liver. You may break out from doing a LF, and if it does, it's just proof that the nasty stuff the liver released is highly toxic, and what was keeping the poor thing from being able to cleanse the blood properly. Simply, the liver is congested with toxins and stones so that is why when you eat junk it gets recirculated back into the blood since the liver is congested and gets eliminated through the skin since it has no where else to go. It explains why my acne kept getting worse over the years, the colon and esp. the liver kept getting in worser shape. This is why teenagers (and adults) get acne because the liver already began getting clogged up, and the hormones that emerge in during puberty is too much for the liver to clean out because it's weak. The liver is amazing too. You should read about its functions, what all jobs it has, the number of enzymes it makes, and it's the only organ that can regenerate itself, kind of like a starfish! Cool right? My other post is on the previous page if you are interested, telling what I did. I have such a simple life now just doing my 1 liver flush every two weeks and waiting for the last one I'll have to do which seems just right around the corner, taking my daily dose of fiber daily and taking my 2 superfoods (listed in other post). I also try not to eat poor excuses for food but when I have, such as pizza or icecream, my face does pretty good...better with each LF. Eating healthy has trained my palate to dislike artificial food more, so weird, but highly prefer real foods like butter over margarine (which I wouldn't touch anyways). :) My posts are long and I appologize, it's just that I am overjoyed about the answer to my prayers! I am so glad my search has ended and the days of taking all those man-made meds and supplements are over! I wanted to share this....wish you well and take care. :)

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I'm trying to control acne that started once I went off birth control after 10 years. I had a huge breakout in mid February and just past the 3rd month trying Dan's regimen and it's way better but still a struggle -- I'm not clear yet....I guess I'm one of those people that might have to wait 4 months or more to get clear skin.

Has the same thing happened to you or are you thinking of going off the pill?

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I have been taking ortho tri cycline for two weeks now and I am not seeing any results for my skin. I have been lucky and really have had no side effects. Can anyone tell me how long it will take for me to see some improvement in my skin. I do seem to have more pimples on my jawline. Is this common?

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it takes about 3 months for your body to get used to it,.,,give it time and try not to look at your skin everyday...

u will slowly start to notice it clearing...

it worked for me well..but that was with good diet, working out and a few suppliments like B5, B6, OMEGA 3, primerose.

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I am freaking out after reading all of these! After finding new "cystic" acne on my face over the past few days (something I've NEVER had before) I started searching and I came to this thread.

I am 21 years old and I had been taking Yaz birth control for about two years. I recently stopped because I ran out and I cannot get more for another few months. Over the past few days I have found 3-5 cystic acne on my face.. I never had this severe acne trouble before birth control and I never would have started birth control if I'd known this would happen once I went off of it.

It has only been exactly 24 days since stopping birth control and now I am showing these horrible signs. I am in fact terrified after reading all of your post. I do eat healthy and I do wash my face regularly.. I hope it doesn't get worse..

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I also have to add to this horror story - I was on Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo for 5 and a half years and stopped in December. My OBGYN then prescribed regular Ortho Tri Cyclen, but when I went to get my prescription filled, I ended up with the generic Trinessa. Since it was cheaper I decided to try it - BIG MISTAKE!. After about a month and a half of use I noticed that I was starting to break out a lot, I used it til the end of the cycle. Then about a month later I decided to get back on it - now 7 months later I don't even recognize myself. I discontinued Trinessa mid-May and I have developed SEVERE acne on my cheeks, chin, and jawline. Before I would have the occasional break-out, now I wake up with patches of acne. Just last week I started Ortho, the one I should have been on but it's still too early to see if it will help. But seven months later I'm afraid my skin is beyond damaged by the effects of being on a bad pill and no pill and fear it is beyond ruin without a heavy chemical peel. So far I've tried Epiduo which seems to accomplish nothing and over the counter - before BP would work or even a small bead of salicyclic - now my skin seems to be immune to all topicals. I follow a weight-conscious diet (minimal dairy / gluten / lean meats, take probiotics, B vitamins and Zinc) and I was exercising regularly - mostly swimming. But now I'm pretty much at the end. I have no idea what to try now. My self esteem has been obliterated. I don't even bother leaving my house.

Edited by endocardia

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I had oily skin and acne problems since early teens and birth control pills have been the only thing to help. Each time I go off the pill to have a baby I break out. I went off Yaz months ago bc I was concerned about the health risks and my face was oilier than EVER and my hair was a greasy mess. I'd wash it at night and already oily by the next morning even though I used the blow dryer on it. My face is a mess. The depression got so bad I started a new BCP and just want it to clear everything up. It has already helped with all the oil and slowly the breakouts but just had a bad one recently. I just don't want to feel like I HAVE to take BCPs!!!! Even after being off the BCP for months this time around no improvement.

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