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Good & Bad Birth Control Pills And Implants For Acne

acne hormones birth control bcp mirena iud pills oral contraceptives yaz ortho tri-cyclen

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#41 brenmc

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 12:30 PM

Three years. But I've heard of it working on people for ten years, so don't freak out.

#42 JennaBean

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 02:13 PM

Three years. But I've heard of it working on people for ten years, so don't freak out.



Wow. What does your Derm say? I didn't think it would be something that would stop working. Is it possible to increase your dose?

#43 brenmc

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 03:12 PM

He's completely unhelpful. He simply said "I suppose it's possible (to become resistant)". I tried increasing my dose and it did not help. :(

#44 JennaBean

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 04:45 PM

He's completely unhelpful. He simply said "I suppose it's possible (to become resistant)". I tried increasing my dose and it did not help. :(



Ugh what the hell! I'm so sorry.
It still baffles me how there are so many cures for other disease and we can send people into space....yet no 100% cure for acne.

#45 brenmc

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 06:21 PM

I don't want to sound like a conspiracy theorist but I bet you there is a cure or they're close to a cure but corporations suppress it reaching market because billions would be lost in the business of addressing the symptoms (versus cause).

Thanks for the support and I definitely wish I had an answer about why spiro stopped working for me because I had perfect skin for years!

Anyone know of any drug or vitamin interactions that may reduce spiro's effectiveness?

#46 dance0550

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 10:32 PM

I found this info really helpful, so thank you!  I have a question though.....I am 36 and was on the pill for years.  I also have monthly migraines.  I have 2 children and am not having any more.  I got an IUD (Mirena) 4 months ago.  I was also on Spiro for my acne.  Since getting off the pill my acne has blown up!!!! It's devastating!  I am not getting any more migraines though, which is awesome.  I just want to know if it is ok to take the pill and have an IUD at the same time?  This would cure all my problems.......well, health stuff anyway.  Ha ha!! :)  Thanks!!!!!! 



#47 JennaBean

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 03:29 PM

I don't want to sound like a conspiracy theorist but I bet you there is a cure or they're close to a cure but corporations suppress it reaching market because billions would be lost in the business of addressing the symptoms (versus cause).
Thanks for the support and I definitely wish I had an answer about why spiro stopped working for me because I had perfect skin for years!
Anyone know of any drug or vitamin interactions that may reduce spiro's effectiveness?


I've thought about that too. How horrible would that be if there was a cure and "they" are keeping it from the world.

You can find a list of drug interactions by googling it. It will show light, to moderate, to high drugs that interfere with spironolactone

#48 smichelle

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 01:57 PM

Green Gables,

 

Do some birth controls help or reduce oily skin at all? I was on Alesse/Seasonale before this which is known for it's worsening of acne and I know that alot of birth controls make acne and therefore oily skin even worse..But its been a full month on Ortho Cyclen- which has low androgenic effects and I still have veryyy oily skin and clogged pores. Does this ever change?! Or will I have to stop BC completely for the oily skin to reduce? :(

 

Please any advice!!!

1. Type of Progestin

Every birth control uses progestin (a synthetic form of the progesterone hormone). There are many different types of progestin. It is very important that the type of progestin is LOW in androgenic activity, meaning it doesn't send your testosterone into overdrive and create acne.

 

Here is a list to help choose a birth control.


Neutral (won't affect acne either way)
No hormones. Copper Paraguard IUD

Good (can reduce acne)
Drospirenone. Anti-androgenic. Used in Yaz, Yasmin, BeYa, Gianvi, Loryna, Ocella, Zarah
Norgestimate. Low androgenic. Ortho Tri Cyclen, Tri Sprintec, TriNessa, Ortho Cyclen, MonoNessa, Sprintec.
Cyproterone acetate. Low androgenic. Diane-35, Dianette.

Chlormadinone. Low-medium androgenic. Belara. 

Not-so-good (may not make it worse, but probably won't make it better)
Ethynodial diacetate. Medium androgenic. Zovia, Demulen.
Desogestrel. Medium androgenic. Mircette, Apri, Reclipsen, Desogen, Kariva.
Gestodene. Medium androgenic, Femodene, Femodette, Millinette.
Norethindrone. Medium androgenic. Estrostep, Ortho Novum, Loestrin, Minestrin, Brevicon, Synphasic, Ovcon, Cyclafem.


Bad (pizza face alert!)
Levonorgestrel. High androgenic. Enpress, Plan B, Mirena IUD, Seasonique, Lutera, Portia, Amethyst, Alesse, Seasonale, Triquilar, Triphasil, Aviane.
Nogestrel. High androgenic. Cryselle, Ovral, Ogestrel, Ovrette.
Etonogestrel. Medium-high androgenic. NuvaRing, Implanon, Nexplanon.
DMPA. Medium-high androgenic. DepoProvera.

 

 

2. Level of Estrogen

Most birth control pills add in estradiol, which is a synthetic form of the hormone estrogen. Generally, skin is clearer when a pill has a moderate to a high level of estrogen.

 

The new "low-dose" pills basically take an existing pill, and cut down the estrogen, so you have way more progestin circulating in proportion to estradiol. It still works for birth control, since you can prevent pregnancy with progestin alone. But cutting the estrogen is bad news for acne most of the time.

 

This isn't a comprehensive list, but some common low-dose BC you should avoid:

 

No Estradiol, all Progestin

Depo Provera

Implanon

NuvaRing

Mini-pill

Mirena IUD

Nexplanon

 

Ultra Low-Dose

Alesse (AvianeLessina, Lutera, Sronyx)

Levlite

Loestrin Fe

Mircette

Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo

 

Low Dose

Cyclessa

Desogen

Levlen21

LoOvral

Microgestin Fe

Nordette

Orthocept

Seasonale (Seasonique)

 

 

3. Hormone Stability

For many, the right progestin type and the right estradiol level will clear them up just fine. For others, however, an extra step is needed. Some acne sufferers have breakouts every time their hormones fluctuate, such as at ovulation (when testosterone rises), or leading up to menstruation (when progesterone rises). Many pills, since their primary purpose is to prevent pregnancy as invisibly as possible, try to replicate normal hormone fluctuations. So each pill has a slightly different set of hormones, to put your body in a cycle. Some people just cannot get clear with their hormones changing all the time. If this sounds like you, please consider trying a "monophasic" pill, which keeps your hormone levels at an even keel throughout the month.

 

Example: Ortho Tri Cyclen is a "triphasic" pill which varies your hormones. A better option would be "Ortho Cyclen", a "monophasic" pill that keeps them stable.

 

Monophasic Pills (NOT a comprehensive list, same colors from Progestin Type List)

Alesse

Brevicon

Diane-35 (Dianette)

Kariva

Ortho Cyclen (MonoNessa, Sprintec)

Yasmin

Yaz

Demulen (Zovia)

 

Make it easy for me, what do you recommend?

For some of you, this is just way too much information. However, don't just go to your dermatologist and tell him/her you want birth control. Many dermatologists, however educated they are, don't make very informed choices about hormonal acne. They'll just give you whatever brand is giving them free samples that month, or else their knowledge of hormonal acne is 10+ years old (concurrent with when they graduated medical school).

 

So, if you just want an easy answer, this my Top 6 list.

 

1. Yasmin (or Ocella or Zarah)

     • best type of progestin, monophasic, 30ug of estradiol

2. Yaz (or BeYaz)

     • best type of progestin, monophasic, but only 20ug of estradiol

3. Ortho Cyclen (or MonoNessa or Sprintec)

     • good progestin, monophasic, 35ug of estradiol

4. Diane-35 (or Dianette)

     • good progestin, monophasic, 35ug of estradiol

5. Demulen 1/35E or Demulen 1/50E (or Zovia 1/35E or Zovia 1/50E)

    • okay progestin, monophasic, 35ug or 50ug of estradiol

6. Ortho Novum 1/35 or Ortho Novum 1/50

    • okay progestin, monophasic, 35ug or 50ug of estradiol

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What about the mini-pill?

There are several different brand names for the mini-pill. A mini-pill uses only progestin and has no estrogen at all. Mini-pills are a terrible choice if you have acne, as they frequently cause acne in people who never had it in the first place. Some of the implant types of birth control, such as the Mirena IUD, also only use progestin, and can increase acne.

 

But my friend is on ______ and her skin is great! Even though it's on your bad list!

Look, I am just here to provide information and some general principles. There are always exceptions, and new information is coming out all the time. Feel free to ask questions, but in the end, you're gonna do what you want...if it doesn't work out in the end, well I won't say I told you so.



#49 cincin17

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 03:00 PM

Hi Green Gables!

 

Your post is awesome! Do you have any idea which would be an okay pill for acne and endometriosis? Based on the information I've read so far, the best pills for acne higher estrogen and lower androgen potency but the best ones for endometriosis have lower estroge, higher progestin potency and higher androgen potency. It looks like the complete opposite but I'm hoping you know of something that may work for both.

 

Thanks!



#50 prickly1

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 08:57 PM

.


Edited by hedgehogcatcher, 16 October 2014 - 09:32 PM.


#51 CarpeMomentum

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 07:30 AM

Hey there!  I'm a follower of this thread and read your post.  Green gables is not active on the site much anymore I don't believe.  But I am happy to try and weigh in on your questions.  I use Yasmin and also Spironolactone to control my hormonal acne.  It can take 2-4 months for any hormonal treatment to start to have an effect on balancing out levels.  Yasmin has been great for me and few side affects, it tends to make women very moody, which I can say the first time I took it this was the case, but I do believe it leveled out over time.  Spironolactone is an androgen blocker that helps with higher testosterone or sensitivity to it.  Yasmin and Diane have similar effects but at lower doses.  I take 75mg Spiro in addition to Yasmin, it's been about 3 1/2 months and am starting to see results.  There are many posts on here about both treatments for hormonal acne.  I would definitely suggest looking into these methods before Accutane.  Accutane has helped many people, however if you problem stems from a hormonal issue, it may return even after stopping accutane.  Monophasic pills are helpful at maintaining levels throughout the month.  However when you do take your inactive pills and have a withdrawal bleeding "period" your hormonal levels will change just as any pill.  Over time this should stabilize.  Hope this has provided some kind of insight!

So this post was very enlightening. 

I've been on hbc for a while. Was on Alesse for ages, and I didn't really notice the whole acne thing - I'd always had it, was a teenager, as well as an athlete. Happens, ya know? It seemed fine, it wasn't super unmanageable but it made me sad. Then I had a whole bunch of other medical problems and wound up on lamotrigine. I don't know why but maybe this seemed to make my acne a bit worse. So my doctor suggested switching my birth control I went on (I think it was) Diane, but apparently estrogen cuts lamotrigine levels noticeably, so it was a disaster.  I totally bailed on that front and decided Mirena would be way better for my brain and I could figure out my meds without too much interference, and in that sense Mirena was really awesome. But yeah definitely didn't do squat for my acne. It didn't actually get worse until a year in, though, and now I have bad body acne and acne on my jaw/near my ears. With retin-A and BP though my actual face is pretty clear, but my back and chest seem to be getting worse despite all kinds of topicals (I refuse antibiotics) 

 

So now, before I try accutane or something, I'm thinking of going on Yaz, because it has the good kind of progestin, but the way lower estrogen levels than yasmin or diane, and it's monophasic so no hormone changes to mess with my meds (if my blood levels are lower at least it'll be consistent)... 

 

How quickly do you think I would see a difference in my skin, and how fast does your body typically adjust to a big hormone change? Also does monophasic actually make your hormones almost exactly the same 30 days a month..? I'm going in to my doc on monday and I'd like to be well prepared/have made a difference. 


Spiro 50 mg

Yasmin

Doxy 100 mg 2 x day

 

Am and Pm

 

Cerave Foaming Cleanser

DDF Glycolic toner (LOVE this!!)

Spot treat with Tea Tree Oil

BP- 2.5% or 10%

Cerave PM

 

Dairy, Gluten, Sugar and Caffeine free.  Boring I know ;)

 


#52 prickly1

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 08:11 PM

.


Edited by hedgehogcatcher, 16 October 2014 - 09:33 PM.


#53 MissSac17

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 07:24 AM

Hi there Green Gables, I don't know if you will get to answer as I see you are not around much.

I was really just wondering what your take on Cilest is? I really am not sure if this is the UK version of Ortho Tricyclen (sp?) or not.

I am basically looking into to taking BCP for my acne now that it is doing my head in again, seems a last resort but its either that or Accutane.

I am based in the UK and trying to find one that will work for me, I don't want to go on Dianette since I have been on it before and although it helped my skin previously..well I have family history with DVT and there is a high risk for the thrombosis with this pill.

Any advice would be grateful.


DIET
ACCUMAX - 2000iu Vitamin A: 19·6mg Vitamin E: 40mg Vitamin C: 80mg DIM
Solgar - Vitamin A - 5000iu. 
Limited dairy/gluten - everything in moderation.


#54 paigems

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 05:19 PM

1. Type of Progestin

Every birth control uses progestin (a synthetic form of the progesterone hormone). There are many different types of progestin. It is very important that the type of progestin is LOW in androgenic activity, meaning it doesn't send your testosterone into overdrive and create acne.

 

Here is a list to help choose a birth control.


Neutral (won't affect acne either way)
No hormones. Copper Paraguard IUD

Good (can reduce acne)
Drospirenone. Anti-androgenic. Used in Yaz, Yasmin, BeYa, Gianvi, Loryna, Ocella, Zarah
Norgestimate. Low androgenic. Ortho Tri Cyclen, Tri Sprintec, TriNessa, Ortho Cyclen, MonoNessa, Sprintec.
Cyproterone acetate. Low androgenic. Diane-35, Dianette.

Chlormadinone. Low-medium androgenic. Belara. 

Not-so-good (may not make it worse, but probably won't make it better)
Ethynodial diacetate. Medium androgenic. Zovia, Demulen.
Desogestrel. Medium androgenic. Mircette, Apri, Reclipsen, Desogen, Kariva.
Gestodene. Medium androgenic, Femodene, Femodette, Millinette.
Norethindrone. Medium androgenic. Estrostep, Ortho Novum, Loestrin, Minestrin, Brevicon, Synphasic, Ovcon, Cyclafem.


Bad (pizza face alert!)
Levonorgestrel. High androgenic. Enpress, Plan B, Mirena IUD, Seasonique, Lutera, Portia, Amethyst, Alesse, Seasonale, Triquilar, Triphasil, Aviane.
Nogestrel. High androgenic. Cryselle, Ovral, Ogestrel, Ovrette.
Etonogestrel. Medium-high androgenic. NuvaRing, Implanon, Nexplanon.
DMPA. Medium-high androgenic. DepoProvera.

 

 

2. Level of Estrogen

Most birth control pills add in estradiol, which is a synthetic form of the hormone estrogen. Generally, skin is clearer when a pill has a moderate to a high level of estrogen.

 

The new "low-dose" pills basically take an existing pill, and cut down the estrogen, so you have way more progestin circulating in proportion to estradiol. It still works for birth control, since you can prevent pregnancy with progestin alone. But cutting the estrogen is bad news for acne most of the time.

 

This isn't a comprehensive list, but some common low-dose BC you should avoid:

 

No Estradiol, all Progestin

Depo Provera

Implanon

NuvaRing

Mini-pill

Mirena IUD

Nexplanon

 

Ultra Low-Dose

Alesse (AvianeLessina, Lutera, Sronyx)

Levlite

Loestrin Fe

Mircette

Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo

 

Low Dose

Cyclessa

Desogen

Levlen21

LoOvral

Microgestin Fe

Nordette

Orthocept

Seasonale (Seasonique)

 

 

3. Hormone Stability

For many, the right progestin type and the right estradiol level will clear them up just fine. For others, however, an extra step is needed. Some acne sufferers have breakouts every time their hormones fluctuate, such as at ovulation (when testosterone rises), or leading up to menstruation (when progesterone rises). Many pills, since their primary purpose is to prevent pregnancy as invisibly as possible, try to replicate normal hormone fluctuations. So each pill has a slightly different set of hormones, to put your body in a cycle. Some people just cannot get clear with their hormones changing all the time. If this sounds like you, please consider trying a "monophasic" pill, which keeps your hormone levels at an even keel throughout the month.

 

Example: Ortho Tri Cyclen is a "triphasic" pill which varies your hormones. A better option would be "Ortho Cyclen", a "monophasic" pill that keeps them stable.

 

Monophasic Pills (NOT a comprehensive list, same colors from Progestin Type List)

Alesse

Brevicon

Diane-35 (Dianette)

Kariva

Ortho Cyclen (MonoNessa, Sprintec)

Yasmin

Yaz

Demulen (Zovia)

 

Make it easy for me, what do you recommend?

For some of you, this is just way too much information. However, don't just go to your dermatologist and tell him/her you want birth control. Many dermatologists, however educated they are, don't make very informed choices about hormonal acne. They'll just give you whatever brand is giving them free samples that month, or else their knowledge of hormonal acne is 10+ years old (concurrent with when they graduated medical school).

 

So, if you just want an easy answer, this my Top 6 list.

 

1. Yasmin (or Ocella or Zarah)

     • best type of progestin, monophasic, 30ug of estradiol

2. Yaz (or BeYaz)

     • best type of progestin, monophasic, but only 20ug of estradiol

3. Ortho Cyclen (or MonoNessa or Sprintec)

     • good progestin, monophasic, 35ug of estradiol

4. Diane-35 (or Dianette)

     • good progestin, monophasic, 35ug of estradiol

5. Demulen 1/35E or Demulen 1/50E (or Zovia 1/35E or Zovia 1/50E)

    • okay progestin, monophasic, 35ug or 50ug of estradiol

6. Ortho Novum 1/35 or Ortho Novum 1/50

    • okay progestin, monophasic, 35ug or 50ug of estradiol

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What about the mini-pill?

There are several different brand names for the mini-pill. A mini-pill uses only progestin and has no estrogen at all. Mini-pills are a terrible choice if you have acne, as they frequently cause acne in people who never had it in the first place. Some of the implant types of birth control, such as the Mirena IUD, also only use progestin, and can increase acne.

 

But my friend is on ______ and her skin is great! Even though it's on your bad list!

Look, I am just here to provide information and some general principles. There are always exceptions, and new information is coming out all the time. Feel free to ask questions, but in the end, you're gonna do what you want...if it doesn't work out in the end, well I won't say I told you so.

Green Gables, I have PCOS and I am currently taking zovia. I have taken zovia for a while and it seems to help my PCOS symptoms including acne and oily skin somewhat, but not as much as I would like. I cannot take yaz or yasmin. Do you think ortho cyclen would be more helpful than the zovia? I'm trying to decide if it's worth making the switch.



#55 katieschni

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 12:32 PM

Hey all -

I was just on Apri birth control for two months and my acne was absolutely horrific.  I had mild breakouts before getting on a birth control, but Apri made my skin disgusting.  It also gave me a crazy appetite and I've gained about 8 pounds since I started taking it.  After calling my doctor, I switched over to Ocella today and just took my first active pill.  Any thoughts on Apri vs Ocella for anyone who has taken either?  I know that all bodies are different so Ocella may work for me and not others or vice versa, but I'd like to hear what people have to say.

- K



#56 Kmac34

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Posted 15 November 2014 - 05:51 PM

This post has so much great info, I'm hoping someone can give me some advise though. I'm 34, and recently went back on birth control after being off it for a few years after I had my son. I'm on Tri-cyclen 28. Been on it for 3 mths. It's great for clearing up acne, but I'm having a really tough time with migraines, particularly on the end of the 3 rd week and starting the 4th week which is the plazbo week. I was thinking of switching to the mini pill but it sounds like everyone here says it causes acne. Is there a pill that would be better at decreasing the chance of me getting these horrible migraines every month. I'm not as concerned about actual birth control as I am with keeping my skin clear. Is there a birth control that has lower hormones and you take them for 28 days vs. Mine each week the hormones fluctuate and the last week is just a placebo. Advise pls. Thanks 😊




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