I've read this thread a little while back and wanted to thank you all for sharing your stories. Based on the advice I found in this thread, I was finally able to deal with this acne issue.
I was on Yaz for about 2 years and TriCyclen for 1, and about 6 months ago I found myself getting severely sick after taking the pill. It was bizzare and I still can't determine why all of a sudden something that had worked quite well for me was making me so sick. I would take the pill, and about 8 hours later I would wake up with some of the worst nausea, which would stay with me for hours. Needless to say, after a few weeks of feeling disgusting I stopped taking it and I felt good again. Then, about three months later, I started breaking out severely. Prior to and during birth control I never really had acne and I can tell you it was pretty awful. It was the kind of under the skin acne that HURTS. It would start as these swollen red bumps and develop into something that resembled boils. Not only did these take about a week to develop, but as soon as one was sort of reduced in size, another three would pop up right next to it. It was pretty tough to manage on a daily basis - not only because of the appearance of the acne, but because of the pain!
I tried Biore (which had always worked on minor acne in the past), as well as a Neutrogena spot treatment, and I even got a prescribed hydrocortisone acetate cream that did nothing.
Then I found this post and noticed some people recommended things like Evening Primrose Oil and Maca alongside other suggestions. I've purchased both and have since been taking them daily.
I started with 2 pills (500 mg each - 100 mg/day) of Evening Primrose Oil and progressed to 3 pills (a total of 1500 mg/day) and I saw immediate results. I would say right now, three weeks in, about 97% of the acne is gone. The only imperfections that are still left are very minor blackheads along the jawline, but I believe these may have to do more with sweating from working out than with BCP side effects.
Initially I would take 1 Maca pill a day (500 mg/day) but I've noticed that it doesn't have any impact on my acne. It does however give you a great boost of energy that lasts throughout the day. I found that I can now feel rested on 4 - 5 hours of sleep (whereas before I needed a full 8). It's also a big libido booster so there's also that.
I haven't changed my diet one bit (I eat ridiculous amounts of cheese), I take no antibiotics, and use no prescribed ointments - it all has to do with taking 1500 mg of Evening Primrose Oil a day.
I just thought I'd share this with the ladies who are still looking for options. This has worked out great for me and I would recommend it. Before trying anything extreme (like Accutane for example - please please please do not try it unless you are desperate and have fully researched it), give Evening Primrose Oil a try. I got a bottle of 180 - 200 capsules at a health store in the mall for about $15 (Canadian) but I bet you ladies in the U.S. can find it for much cheaper in stores, or even by ordering it online.
Let me know if you guys have any questions. I've been there and I've been lucky enough to have gotten a handle on it early, so I'd love to help you gals that are still trying to find options.