Hi Green Gables,
Thanks for such an informative post! I have been suffering from severe acne for a long time and was once on accutane and my acne cleared up for about three years. This past year ive been on sprintec (which my doctor said was the generic version of ortho cyclen and you recommended) and have seen a reduction on my cystic acne but alas, i still have whiteheads that pop up frequently around my jawline and mouth. I've been thinking about making the switch to ortho tri cyclen because I read it is one of the few oral contraceptives approved by the FDA for acne. Like I previously stated, I know you recommend people to try ortho cyclen of the stability of amount of hormones. Would this be a good switch?
In my opinion, Ortho Cyclen is better for acne overall than Ortho Tri Cyclen.
The FDA recommends Ortho Tri Cyclen for acne because it was one of the first to ever be used/studied for acne and show some improvement. That doesn't mean a whole lot in context.
If you've been on Ortho Cyclen for a whole year and don't feel that it has reduced your acne enough, it may be time to switch to Yasmin, Yaz, or Diane-35.
Should note though...
If the main problem is whiteheads and not cysts anymore, sometimes this is linked to irritation from toothpaste/mouthwash products. You can ask your dermatologist about "perioral dermatitis". However most derms just give you an antibiotic for this. I found this didn't help in the long run. What worked for me was using fluoride-free and sulfate-free tooth care products.