Jump to content
Acne.org
Search In
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
emhdel

Acne after stopping birth control pills

Recommended Posts

I have the same story as everyone else here, was on the pill and now have acne even though before and after I was on the pill I had flawless skin.

.... I want to know if anyone has any SUCCESS stories?

Im taking fish oil and evening primrose oil, are there any supplements that are very helpful in getting my hormones back to its natural balance? I know people take vitex sometimes, but it seems to me thats more for if you have PMS and problems with your cycle coming off the pill.

SO: has anyone experienced a breakout after stopping the pill but their skin went back to normal? How long did it take and did you take anything to help the process? Would a liver cleanse help? Chaste berry? saw palmetto?

I have the same story as everyone else here, was on the pill and now have acne even though before and after I was on the pill I had flawless skin.

.... I want to know if anyone has any SUCCESS stories?

Im taking fish oil and evening primrose oil, are there any supplements that are very helpful in getting my hormones back to its natural balance? I know people take vitex sometimes, but it seems to me thats more for if you have PMS and problems with your cycle coming off the pill.

SO: has anyone experienced a breakout after stopping the pill but their skin went back to normal? How long did it take and did you take anything to help the process? Would a liver cleanse help? Chaste berry? saw palmetto?

I've had clear skin and a "normal" cycle since going off BCP and taking Vitex. Believe me, I had the worst skin of my life when I went off BCP 2 years ago. I also really didn't get a period for the first month, and had very irregular and light ones after that.

It's amazes me how Vitex has worked so well this time around. I did break out with a few white heads the first few weeks (nothing major though). I haven't broken out since (knock on wood!).

I also eat an extremely healthy diet, and still use topical meds on my face (it helps keep pores clean). I've always used topicals on my face though, even when on BCP.

The problems with going off BCP is that your body has trouble making the hormones right away, since they were suppressed for so long. Vitex helps that way, since I think that the post-BCP acne is caused by a hormonal imbalance, in many cases. Like, for example, it can take a long time for many women to get a period after going off. However, each body is different! I can post some info on Vitex if you're interested. Good luck!

Link to post
Share on other sites
wow..see i know my acne was hormonal..

after accutane my face improved a great deal but would still get mild breakouts

for months now, my face is clear..and im on the pill

so i wonder if the hormonal stage is over now that im clear.

ever since i started taking more suppliments, change of diet and workouts, ive been the clearest

BUT i also use that new device called tanda.,,,the blue light

but i still dont know if ill get acne back if i get off the pill

my sex drive is totally gone too, so im think of alternatives and stay on the pill till i have kids.

im 29 already

hi, i'm 39 going on 40. i had adult acne since mid 20's, on expensive products, then antibiotics and finally BC diane 35. i had clear skin most of my 30's until i stopped BC for almost two years. mid of 08, i find my face getting oily and occasional breakouts. i should have got on BC again. before i could do that, i became pregant and i had an operation TOP. afterthat, the hormones just have to do its thing. i had the worst cystic acne!! i'm battling it for the 5th month now with accutane and it does not seems to end!!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I almost feel bad saying "I'm glad I'm not alone," as I wouldn't wish any type of acne on anyone as the emotional scars can be deeper than the physical ones.

But it is a relief to know that I can now pinpoint the cause to my current flare-up with acne since stopping the pill (Yasmin).

I had minor/moderate acne while on the pill, but it was localized to my jawline. This acne consisted of medium to large cysts and nodules that would take weeks to heal and would always leave behind discolored skin and scar tissue. Often I'd have to go into my doctors office to have Cortisone injected into them so they would go down. Even the day before my wedding!

I quit taking the pill in late December because my husband and I were talking about starting a family and I heard it could take a while for your body to get back into it's usual rhythm. Almost immediately my face broke out worse than before in it's usual spots. As the following months progressed, the acne spread to my forehead and cheeks. Most surprisingly, my whole back and chest broke out as well. My once dry and flaky face has now become one big oil slick.

Now I haven't had any of the huge cysts I'd had before, but my acne transformed into almost a rash-like breakout. A lot of it is discoloration of the skin, almost like a sunburn. Even in places where I'm not breaking out. Very strange.

I've gone through the spectrum of emotions since dealing with my acne. Some days I don't feel confident enough to leave the house. Some days I feel my make-up does an OK job at covering my flare up. Some days I wake-up extra early to put on my foundation so my husband doesn't see how bad it's gotten. He constantly tells me that he doesn't even notice it. He always tells me that I'm beautiful. But it's hard to feel that way looking the way that I do. It is especially hard to become intimate with the intentions of starting a family when you don't want your significant other to see your broken out back and chest. I've almost given up and thought about starting the pill again. But what would that do to prevent this from happening again? Absolutely nothing.

Over the years, I've tried everything not even to cure, but just to maintain my acne. I've tried all the usual over-the-counter suspects such as ProActive, TriClear, Neutrogena, Clearasil, Mary Kay etc. with no luck. I've tried many prescribed medicines such as Differin, Clindamycin gel, Tetracycline, Retin-A, etc. with no luck. I've even wasted thousands of dollars on the high end skin care lines such as IS Clinical, Mario Badescu, SkinCeuticals, Phytoceane, MD Forte, etc. And NOTHING works.

I'm not looking for some miracle cure that will vanish my acne forever. Yes, it would be nice, but I accept that it isn't realistic.

The products that I'm using now are the best I've found for the time being. They don't make my acne any worse, which is a good thing. But they don't completely cure it either.

I use ONLY oil-free and hypoallergenic products in both my make-up and my skin care products.

I've been using the following every morning:

Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser

Aveeno Clear Complexion Moisturizer with SPF 15

Maybelline Superstay Silky Foundation

Maybelline Mineral Powder Natural Perfecting Concealer

I've been using the following every night:

Pond's Clean Sweep Moist Wipes to remove make-up

Aveeno Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser

Aveeno Ultra-Calming Moisturizer

Having a sensitive face, Aveeno seems to be the only product I've found so far that doesn't irritate it further. Even after all the products I've used...the over-the-counter, the prescribed, the cheap, the expensive...I'll only use Aveeno for now.

I'm so glad I found this message board. It's been bittersweet to read everyone's stories. Sad that other's are having the same problem I am, but glad that I'm not alone.

Hope everyone has a good day today. Take care!

-Charlie

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Everyone - I've been reading all of the stories posted and feel really sad that so many of us are going through the same things. I've been on the pill for nearly 10 years and recently decided to stop (it's been 2 weeks!).

I was on Diane for 8 years and my doctor put me on it when I was 17 for acne issues. I would say that my acne was a little more severe than moderate but the Diane really helped to clear my skin over time. This is why I've been on it for so long - fear that my acne would come back. After hearing about the risks of Diane, and nagging from my Doctor, I finally got off Diane a year ago and went on Yasmin. I was terrified that this transition would cause my skin to break out but it didn't. My skin was actually much nicer on Yasmin than Diane.

I am now 27 years old and recently got off the pill. I had enough of always feeling blah, vaginal dryness and did I mention lack of libido! I'm only 27 and I'm no longer enjoying sex. I feel menopausal! I've also started to experience pain during intercourse a few years ago and I'm convinced that it's the BCPs.

Two weeks ago I finally came off the pill. I am generally a healthy person - I eat well and practice yoga and pilates 5 times a week. I felt like ingesting synthetic hormones was completely undoing all of the good I was trying to do for my body. I hated that I didn't have a sex drive anymore.

Before comming off the pill, I went do see a Naturopathic doctor for natural remedies to balance my hormones during the transition period. Hopefully by making efforts to balance my hormones, I will be able to ease the break outs. On a more optimistic note, I'm hoping that I've outgrown acne since I'm now 27. I guess time will tell. Being on the pill for so long has actually made me forget that I have bad skin.

Here is a list of what my naturopathic doctor suggested:

Iron supplements (two times a day - natural)

Vitamin D drops (once a day)

Vitamin B50 and B6 (once da day - our bodies are depleted of vitamin Bs from BCP)

Silica Complex (once a day - for the skin)

Cod fish oil (2 capsules a day)

Evening Primrose Oil (2 capsules a day - helps to regulate hormones)

A mixture of Dong Quai and Chaste Berry (2 table spoons a day - helps to regulate female hormones)

I also use the proactive repairing lotion and toner, and spectro gel cleanser

I drink tons of water through out the day

Excercie 5 times a week

I am also undergoing blue light therapy once every two months which helps to kill the acne bacteria underneath the skin. It's a safe and effective way to prevent break outs or treat current break outs

And, I stay away from sugar and dairy

So far I am feeling good with no break outs. I do feel that my skin is a little more oily but I've recently purchased the deslick mattifying rice powder from Urban Decay. It's a little expensive but it has definately helped to reduce the amount of oil on my face (what a great product!). You can find it at Sephora. So far so good. I also feel much happier - perhaps it's the Dong Quai but I'm soooooo glad to finally be off the pill. Never again!

Okay, I know I've just provided a lot of detail with my daily routine but I think it's important that we support each other and share products and remedies to combat the break outs and hormonal imbalance.

Good luck

Link to post
Share on other sites

AGGGGH! I have basically the same story as everyone else. I was on BC for 3 years, 3 months (ortho tri-cyclen lo and then nuvaring) before I decided to stop because I didn't need it anymore and I could save some money, not have to think about it, etc. I figured I would just start again if I planned to become sexually active again. Before the BC I had moderate acne that cleared up quite a bit using Proactiv and generic versions of it. I didn't notice a dramatic improvement in my skin on BC, but maybe a slow and slight one that looking back did occur.

Well, my last ring was in December and it took about 1.5 months before I ERUPTED. I'm not kidding, I thought I had a rash on my back. My chest too broke out in all kinds of bumps, and I'd never had 'chestne' before which is just horrendous, let me tell you. I waited another 1.5 months hoping it would clear up after my body got used to being on its own but it is warming up outside and I can't wear normal clothes that show my back or are lower than a crew neck without embarrassment.

Luckily I am not trying to get pregnant or anything so I'm just giving up and going back to the BC-- the ironic thing is I don't need it now but with skin like this I never will again, hahaha. I'm 23 but that is too old for this! Why didn't anyone warn me?! I'd rather stay on BC then have my skin like this.

I may be switching from Nuvaring to something generic that is a cheaper copay so hopefully it will do the same thing...

Link to post
Share on other sites
omg that is awful....how do celebs do it..i mean some r on the pill and u see them now like angelina jolie with babies...she went off the pill..NO ACNE..

i mean what do they have a miracle cure?

there must be a way to balance hormones with something else besides the pill...like something to help with the transition phase of getting off the pill

my family doctor said thier isnt but i dunno

You have to remember that celebs get airbrushed photos in magazines all the time. They can touch up any flaws these celebrities have. Also, they have lots of money, they can go to the dermatologist, and get injections in their face to make a horrible cyctic pimple go away overnight. They can be getting collagen injections, or whatever else they have access to I don't know about. :)

I have been on Ortho Novum 7/7/7 for about 15 years. I'm now 38, and I am going to stop taking it the beginning of next month. I am scared too! I have breakouts a week or so before I get my period on my chin, so i'm used to that already I guess. I just hope it does not get worse once I am off. I've always had problems with acne. I took accutane when I was a teenager and my face was clear for a few years after that. I guess I can live with some pimples, but I shouldn't have to since i'm 38- you'd think I wouldn't get them anymore. But my sister is 44 and she still gets ones, so I guess acne does not age discriminate. :rolleyes:

Link to post
Share on other sites

I forgot to ask- has anyone that has been on BCP's got reddening of their upper cheek area? I started to get this over the years where it has gotten darker each year it seems the past few years. It isn't roseacea, and i'm wondering if the bcp caused this?

Link to post
Share on other sites

this was very helpful!! ive been on the pill for my acne since i was like.... 13? and my acne has never gotten as bad as it was BEFORE i started the pill. i finished accutane 3 months ago (im 21 now) and have BEAUTIFUL skin and was thinking about quitting my birth control pills because i have had side effects... but i guess any pill is better than no pill (especially since i dont plan on having kids very soon). ive serioulsy switched BCpills about 10 times and havent seen much change... and today my gyno gave me a different pill to try (turns out it isnt so good for acne prone skin but is supposed to help with spotting and water retention) and im REALLY scared that it is going to bring my acne back! i go to my derm in a few days for a check up... so maybe i'll ask him. but you guys helped my make up my mind to stay on some sort of a pill! thanks

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow! What an amazing resource this is. Your stories have been so helpful and its such a relief to know there are other women out there with similar problems.

I wanted to ask you ladies about your thoughts on the CONNECTIONS between mood, weight changes, birth control and acne.

I have mild to moderate acne that noticeably fluctuates with my hormones, stress, and mood. Out of all the products, diets, etc that I have tried, these biological factors seem to have the biggest effects on the clarity of my skin. Two years ago, I tried going on birth control for 10 months and became quite depressed. I tried changing brands, but ended up quitting it entirely because I couldn't stand crying all the time. Since I went off it though, I have increasingly gained weight, still have mild anxiety/depression, have noticed a slight reduction in sex drive, and have increasingly bad skin. I have actually considered going back on BC in hopes that it would reduce these symptoms. (although after reading your posts, I doubt I will)

Anyway, the theme with all of us seems to be hormonal imbalance. Has anyone noticed other post BC side effects, along with their acne, that they think is caused by a hormonal imbalance? ie. weight gain, mood changes. What are your thoughts on how these symptoms are related?

Also: has anyone actually done hormonal testing? Is it expensive and what was your resulting treatment?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow...it is amazing to see everyone's similar stories. Of course I have my own version: I've been on the pill (ortho tri-cyclen) since approx. 16 and I am 23 now (so 7 years). Last year I decided I wanted to quit the pill for various reasons, but nearly as soon as I did I BROKE OUT like never before (face, back, and chest...I never had to deal with body acne before)! It was awful! I waited it out for 3 months hoping things would get better, and when they didn't I went back on the pill. About 4 or 5 months later I am JUST back to a manageable skin state.

I still would prefer to leave the pill behind. It completely kills my sex drive, which is frustrating for my husband and I. BUT I do not think I can deal with the breakouts again (and they may never go away without the pill?). If anyone has advice or if you were able to successfully wean off the pill without massive breakouts please let me know!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Wow...it is amazing to see everyone's similar stories. Of course I have my own version: I've been on the pill (ortho tri-cyclen) since approx. 16 and I am 23 now (so 7 years). Last year I decided I wanted to quit the pill for various reasons, but nearly as soon as I did I BROKE OUT like never before (face, back, and chest...I never had to deal with body acne before)! It was awful! I waited it out for 3 months hoping things would get better, and when they didn't I went back on the pill. About 4 or 5 months later I am JUST back to a manageable skin state.

I still would prefer to leave the pill behind. It completely kills my sex drive, which is frustrating for my husband and I. BUT I do not think I can deal with the breakouts again (and they may never go away without the pill?). If anyone has advice or if you were able to successfully wean off the pill without massive breakouts please let me know!

ive seriously tried about 7 different pills... and a couple of them killed my sex drive and others didnt. so maybe try a different pill? im too scared to go off the pill after reading everyones stories.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So, I see this post is still going. Now that I'm caught up, I wanted to give everyone an update of what happened after my January 5th declaration. (its on page 2 or 3 if you want to go back and look)

I was so upset by my skin and then this thread and a quick google search (effects of long term bc usage) basically put me over the edge about my suspicion about coming off the pill and unbalanced hormones and acne. I figured feel the pain now and figure it out than dealing with it while trying to get pregnant or being pregnant. I did follow my word and immediately stopped taking the pill (nervous as I was) (Yasmin... which is supposed to help skin but after a year, i really didn't feel like it was anyways). In trying to brace myself for the ensuing flare up, I went to Whole Foods and found some things to help promote hormonal balance. I got 2 items: Traditional Medicines Female Toner herbal tea (raspberry leaf) and a supplement called Femmenessence with Maca powder by Natural Health International (the name is cheese-y I know). The whole foods herbalist recommended it. I looked it up when I got home and Maca powder has been used in South America for centuries for its hormonal balancing properties. Well, I am happy to report that I never got the breakout that I expected. And five months later, my skin is not nesseccarily better, but certainly no worse. There was a period where I was eating lots of yogurt (I just discovered this great Canadian company called Liberte that has a Mediterrean style yogurt in coconut and lemon flavors that are divine), and my skin got worse when I was devouring it. Alas no more coconut yogurt. :( Stress clearly makes me break out too.

So, I feel happy that I am not on bc pills. My cycle is somewhat regular. Surprising b/c the reason I originally went on bc is b/c I was ammenoreic (sp?) when I was 18 and to participate on the college level cross country team, the health services pretty much forced me to go on it. So the fact that I have a period monthly now (much lighter than when on the bc pills), makes me actually feel more like a woman. The few intervals of going off bc in the past I would get my period once then it would disappear again and my skin would go crazy. So now I'm regular, have a libido, and weigh less. All pluses in my book (and now my bf has the expense of buying condoms-- its all him for once!). Still have regular moderate/severe breakouts (but I had them with bc too). My upper back had a period of breaking out but i did get it under control with the Murad body clearing spray (I was skeptical but using daily has helped). I dropped off the Female Toner tea after March mostly b/c I'm busy and forgot. But I still take the Femmenessence daily (two am and two pm). I don't know if its helping, but at least its natural and I'm regular.

I am now trying to get back on track with my diet. Its funny b/c sadly my standards are way lower for my skin. I'm happy if I have clear skin for a couple days or only 1 or 2 pimples instead of 10. lol. So I recently had a reality check/humbling moment and am now getting back on track with my diet and additional supplements. Sometimes I just have to put on makeup and get on with life. Otherwise I get upset and obsess and "poor me". I haven't gone to a dermatologist in 2.5 years. Clearly I am not good with following a special diet.... so we'll go back to that and see what happens. You can search my posts to see what my history is.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi,

I am 26 years old and have taken Ortho TriCyclen birth control pills since I was 18 (about 8 years). I never had major problems with my skin before or during my time on birth control pills (I was VERY blessed). I stopped taking the pill about 5 months ago because my husband and I want to start having children within the next year, so I figured this would give my body time to get adjust. I have had terrible problems with my skin for the past five months! I am breaking out all over my face and back, my skin is VERY oily, and my hair and scalp are SOOO greasy! The breakouts mainly occur one week before my period and the week during. I know it has to be directly linked to the pill and hormones, but I thought it would get better with time!! It actually seems to be getting worse with time. I have tried Proactiv and tons of other face washes and products. Has anyone else experienced this and had anything work for them? Thanks!!

Hi, I was 25 when I started getting cysts on my face due to changing types of contraceptive pill.

I tried loads of things, creams, lotions and potions that cost a LOT of money. Anyway I eventually was prescribed Tetrysal tablets and they worked a treat. I was over the moon.

I then fell pregnant last June and had to stop taking the tablets. Luckily they were not high risk category but I didnt want to risk it. I was prescribed pan oxyl cream and for the first three months I was fine. During months 4-6 I was a nightmare. My spots got really bad again. So I looked up online for some tips - and someone suggested a Benzyl peroxide 10% lotion (I bought pan oxyl 10% lotion from eBay). And my lord it has been my salvation. That, along with the cream the doc prescribed, worked an absolute treat. I had my baby two and a half months ago - and Ive decided to carry on with the Benzyl peroxide lotion rather than going back on the tablets.

Im not saying it will work for everyone but it certainly helped me. I just wish someone had told me about it earlier!

Oh and I have started using Bio Oil on my face to clear up old scars - seems to be working a treat.

Good luck :dance:

Link to post
Share on other sites
So, I see this post is still going. Now that I'm caught up, I wanted to give everyone an update of what happened after my January 5th declaration. (its on page 2 or 3 if you want to go back and look)

I was so upset by my skin and then this thread and a quick google search (effects of long term bc usage) basically put me over the edge about my suspicion about coming off the pill and unbalanced hormones and acne. I figured feel the pain now and figure it out than dealing with it while trying to get pregnant or being pregnant. I did follow my word and immediately stopped taking the pill (nervous as I was) (Yasmin... which is supposed to help skin but after a year, i really didn't feel like it was anyways). In trying to brace myself for the ensuing flare up, I went to Whole Foods and found some things to help promote hormonal balance. I got 2 items: Traditional Medicines Female Toner herbal tea (raspberry leaf) and a supplement called Femmenessence with Maca powder by Natural Health International (the name is cheese-y I know). The whole foods herbalist recommended it. I looked it up when I got home and Maca powder has been used in South America for centuries for its hormonal balancing properties. Well, I am happy to report that I never got the breakout that I expected. And five months later, my skin is not nesseccarily better, but certainly no worse. There was a period where I was eating lots of yogurt (I just discovered this great Canadian company called Liberte that has a Mediterrean style yogurt in coconut and lemon flavors that are divine), and my skin got worse when I was devouring it. Alas no more coconut yogurt. :( Stress clearly makes me break out too.

So, I feel happy that I am not on bc pills. My cycle is somewhat regular. Surprising b/c the reason I originally went on bc is b/c I was ammenoreic (sp?) when I was 18 and to participate on the college level cross country team, the health services pretty much forced me to go on it. So the fact that I have a period monthly now (much lighter than when on the bc pills), makes me actually feel more like a woman. The few intervals of going off bc in the past I would get my period once then it would disappear again and my skin would go crazy. So now I'm regular, have a libido, and weigh less. All pluses in my book (and now my bf has the expense of buying condoms-- its all him for once!). Still have regular moderate/severe breakouts (but I had them with bc too). My upper back had a period of breaking out but i did get it under control with the Murad body clearing spray (I was skeptical but using daily has helped). I dropped off the Female Toner tea after March mostly b/c I'm busy and forgot. But I still take the Femmenessence daily (two am and two pm). I don't know if its helping, but at least its natural and I'm regular.

I am now trying to get back on track with my diet. Its funny b/c sadly my standards are way lower for my skin. I'm happy if I have clear skin for a couple days or only 1 or 2 pimples instead of 10. lol. So I recently had a reality check/humbling moment and am now getting back on track with my diet and additional supplements. Sometimes I just have to put on makeup and get on with life. Otherwise I get upset and obsess and "poor me". I haven't gone to a dermatologist in 2.5 years. Clearly I am not good with following a special diet.... so we'll go back to that and see what happens. You can search my posts to see what my history is.

Sorry me again - just read this post and noticed you were going to take raspberry leaf tea. Just to let u know if you are pregnant DONT drink this in the early stages (before 37 weeks) as it can trigger miscarriage. They suggest you drink this from 37 weeks as it can trigger labour. Sorry dont want to preach but Ive just had a wee one so been baby tastic over the past year!! Hope this helps xx

Link to post
Share on other sites

What a cool thread. Full of info!! I'll share, too. I dunno, maybe it could be useful?

I started taking BCPs when I was 13 and stopped taking them at 17 when I got married. The 4 years of BCP yielded pretty decent skin. Blackheads were always an issue and an occassional pimple, but nothing crazy. About a month after stopping BCPs the acne started getting worse. Three months later I found out I was pregnant and the acne actually cleared up. After I had my daughter I immediately got on the shot, Depo Provera. It didn't take long before the acne returned and this time it was cystic. I finally approached my doctor about it.

Between 18-30 I took antibiotics (on top of taking Depo Provera for several years). Being on DP was the worst time for my skin. Eventually the shots ceased because my ex-husband got a vasectomy, but the acne only slightly improved. I could take the antibiotics for several months straight, but would start having side effects so would stop. Each time, the cysts came back worse than before.

There was a short stint when I was 28 when I was still taking antibiotics, but tried using the BC patch. Nothing special regarding acne happened. After my tubal ligation I figured a more holistic approach could work because again, the antibiotics were giving side effects. I went vegan for roughly 3 months, boosted the exercise, drank lots of water, and made sure to eat a well balanced diet to ensure I got proper nutrition. It didn't help the acne one bit. My body looked better, but my face was a mess.

So once again, I went crawling back to antibiotics and topicals. After 3 months of that not knocking the cysts out either, the derm finally said Accutane might help. It did. After 12 long years of battling acne and screwing with my hormones and diet, Accutane was the only thing to knock it out. Who knows if it'll last for life? I don't, but for now I'm enjoying the clear skin. I hope my story helps in some small way. Thanks for reading!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I started the pill to improve my teenage and adult acne 3 years ago, I'm 27 now but none of the pills I tried worked. I started spiro too which gave me a small improvement. I'm still on the pill but the breakout I got after stopping Spiro and the pill for a short time was just unimaginable! I'm seriously considering accutane now; it was my last resort but I really can't take it anymore.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have an update-- I did not go back on BC immediately as I'd planned and opted for nutritional supplements instead. After much research on this site and other places on the web, on 4/22 I began taking:

In the morning:

-800 mg chaste tree fruit (vitex)

-1000 mg fish oil

-500 mg evening primrose oil

In the evening:

-600 mg calcium

-200 mcg chromium piccolinate

-"zinc for acne," which included

*1000 IU vitamin A

*150 mg vitamin C

*50 IU vitamin E

*20 mg vitamin B6

*50 mg zinc

*10 mg rosehips

-1000 mg fish oil

-500 mg evening primrose oil

Throughout this, both during and after the time I was on BC, I used Proactive/AcneFree topically on my face and sometimes the lotion on my back and chest as well as exfoliated my back and chest every time I showered.

I was most hoping that the vitex would get my hormones back in check and make the acne stop since it so clearly flared up as a result of stopping BC. The fish and EPO oils were other ideas that I thought would be good for me in general and might help acne, zinc for acne I found on Puritan's Pride while buying these supplements and decided why not throw that in, and the calcium and chromium piccolinate I took for other reasons.

I did see some results, especially on my chest. The number of bumps decreased over time, and the red spots began to fade, but it wasn't gone. My back got a little better but not very much at all, still full of large spots and blackheads and pimples.

On 6/3 I added in another 800 mg vitex to the night supplements but didn't notice any significant improvement. Also, somewhere in there I began to forget to count out the second fish oil in my PM vitamins so I was only taking it in the morning but I doubt that did much to my acne either way.

As it stands, 3 months after starting the supplement regimen and 4.5 since my last birth control use, my chest acne is almost gone, with the exception of some red marks left behind and maybe one or two stubborn comedones. My back acne is maybe halfway gone as far as blemishes themselves, but I have lots of large red spots everywhere that have not improved at all. Unfortunately these are also the most unsightly part of the whole thing.

Long story short, I'm going back on NuvaRing next month. The supplements didn't work sufficiently for me, and I actually need BC again |::). I will continue taking the supplements though, with the exception of the Vitex-- remember never to combine that with BC as it can render the BC less effective.

I'll post again in a few months when I can see if the BC really clears it up for good-- I sure hope so. I've spent half the summer trying to find clothes that cover me up because I don't want to wear any tank tops.

Edited by myrtab229
Link to post
Share on other sites

I went through a similar experience. I never had acne before going on birth control. I was on it for 4 years. When i went off, i had the best skin of my life for about 4 months, then started getting moderate breakouts, then the breakouts got more severe / cystic. A year later, I am getting acne cysts every time I get my period, and it is ruining my confidence, desire to socialize, EVERYTHING. I feel like my hormones are completely screwed up. i never want to be on birth control again because it makes me very depressed, but i'm worried that i will never normalize. Has anyone gone through this and then found that their body naturally fixed itself? It's nice to know that I'm not the only one dealing with this but it would be great to hear a success story!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi. I also took Ortho Tri Cyclen for about 5-6 years. It cleared my acne completely, but it also killed my sex drive completely. I stopped taking it and my acne came back. I am now 30, it's been 5 years since I stopped, and I have been taking topical antibiotic creams to deal with the acne. By the way, my sex drive has not come back.

This is my theory on all these contraceptive pills. Yeah they are great because during your puberty stage they keep you clear. But, they are the worst things ever created. They are not natural. They supply your body with all these fake hormones, so your body stops producing its own hormones. Your body should go through a natural cycle of leveling off after puberty. But the pill halts this, and when you get off it, your body isn't producing the right amount of hormones. So you get stuck with acne.

I made an appointment with the gynocologist next week and I am demanding that he tests my hormone levels to see if they are still off after all these years of being of the pill. If they are, that could be the cause of my acne.

Anyways, I think the pills are a death trap, and had I known, I would not have dealt with them in the first place. I would have found a different way to alleviate the acne.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, it is good to know that I am not the only one going through the SAME EXACT thing!

Here is my story:

At age 15 I started taking Birth Control Pills, I had moderate acne, nothing too bad. A few zits each month, and an uneven skin tone. My doctor prescribed me Ortho Tri-Cyclen seeing as how it is supposed to help with acne, and I'd say it worked pretty decently. I'm now 22 and have taken Birth control since I was 15. I've switched kinds more times than I can count, but the most recent birth control I have taken was Yaz which also is supposed to help with moderate acne. It was no miracle BC, but I would say that it definitely helped.

So here is where it starts getting strange. For the past 10 months I was using Yaz, and at age 22 my insurance ran out since my mom works for the goverment. I am a poor college student and wasn't worried about getting health insurance back until I graduated and found a job, but recently I've been forced to do otherwise. I stopped taking Yaz in the middle of May '09 and to my shagrin, my skin looked really great. I didn't feel like I needed to wear makeup at all! Which was pretty much a first for me. Unfortunately, after being off the pill for about 2 months, my skin started freaking out! I didn't know your skin could go from being almost totally clear to being a rash-like acne, pepperoni face overnight! I am not kidding or overexaggerating in the slightest. At first I thought it was incredibly strange, and it made me question my health..why else would I be breaking out all of a sudden and worse than I ever had in my ENTIRE LIFE! I mean the acne I had in puberty couldn't touch what it is now. After about a week of sitting in my room crying my eyes out because I didn't want to go anywhere, I started researching the effects of getting off of BC. I had always been told that when you initially get off of BC that it can be difficult to get pregnant at first, basicallly it takes a while for your body to go back to normal. So it started to dawn on me that something seriously wrong was going on with my hormones all of a sudden after stopping BC. I don't understand why stopping it would make you break out worse than you ever had..but after reading all of these posts I know that I am not alone. My self-esteem has just plummeted, I mean I don't want to do anything at all, and there will be times that I literally do not step foot out of the house. Thank god, for my wonderful and supportive boyfriend. He has held me and told me that everything is going to be alright, and that I am beautiful regardless. He really is my rock. About 2 weeks after starting to breakout with no end in sight, I decided that it didn't matter how much I had to pay without insurance to get back on my BC Yaz. I had my prescription refilled ($75)! EXPENSIVE. I am now 1 week into the BC, and I would love to say that my skin is clearing up, but unfortunatley the breakout is still in full mode. I realize that my hormones are totally out of wack, and it is going to take them awhile to go back to normal...I just pray that it comes sooner rather than later because school is getting ready to start back up and this acne is seriously turning me into a hermit, I wouldn't even want to go to class and sit next to my friends like this! It's so embarassing, and I do not mean to be shallow one bit. I realize that there are worse things in life than having bad skin, but I didn't realize how horrible this could make one feel. I have always been sympathetic toward anyone who suffered from acne since I have never been blessed with flawless skin. I just don't know how to deal with this anymore. I am so desperate that I am resuming my health insurance coverage which is going to cost me $130 a month, not to mention co-pays for doctor visits/dermatologist visits/and prescriptions! But honestly, when your skin is this bad spending $1500 seems reasonable! Unfortunately my health insurance coverage doesn't begin immediately, and I have to wait until Aug 15 until it is effective. I thought, thank god! I will only have to deal with this for a few more weeks, if that, until I decided to go ahead and book an appt with my derm an appt no sooner than Aug 15 and they told me they were booked all the way up intil the beginning of Sept! I broke down into tears. I am to the point that I already have my mind made up that I am going to start Accutane after seeing my derm. I have high hopes that it may help my skin, and could possibly make the acne go away forever.

Does anyone else have any experience with Accutane? I can directly relate my acne to hormones, and I was wondering if anyone who has hormonal acne and has tried Accutane has had any luck!?? Pleassssssssssseeeee tell me YES!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi,

I am 26 years old and have taken Ortho TriCyclen birth control pills since I was 18 (about 8 years). I never had major problems with my skin before or during my time on birth control pills (I was VERY blessed). I stopped taking the pill about 5 months ago because my husband and I want to start having children within the next year, so I figured this would give my body time to get adjust. I have had terrible problems with my skin for the past five months! I am breaking out all over my face and back, my skin is VERY oily, and my hair and scalp are SOOO greasy! The breakouts mainly occur one week before my period and the week during. I know it has to be directly linked to the pill and hormones, but I thought it would get better with time!! It actually seems to be getting worse with time. I have tried Proactiv and tons of other face washes and products. Has anyone else experienced this and had anything work for them? Thanks!!

I have a very similar story, but I'm 39 years old & was on the pill since I was 16 years old (about 23 years). I was on Triphasil until I was about 35, then they switched me to Mircette, then Kariva. I've been off of the pill for over 9 months now & NOTHING has helped at all. I think it's getting worse too! It is all over my face, my body & even my scalp, which I've never experience before in my entire life! I've always had oily skin & hair, but this is RIDICULOUS! I've tried Pro-Active, Murad, Philosophy, OTC stuff like Oxy 10, Clearasil, Neutrogena, Aveeno and NOTHING has helped at all. If anyone has any answers, I would be eternally grateful, because this is just unbearable for more than just the obvious reason. Thank you soooooo much in advance!

Link to post
Share on other sites
I forgot to ask- has anyone that has been on BCP's got reddening of their upper cheek area? I started to get this over the years where it has gotten darker each year it seems the past few years. It isn't roseacea, and i'm wondering if the bcp caused this?

No, I didn't get Roseacea, but I did get blotchy dark skin patches on my face. My doctor said it is called Melasma & it's brought on by taking the pill & also by pregnancy. It doesn't go away & it gets worse when you get a tan. Nothing can be done about it according to my doctor, so that's that, I guess. I'm grateful that it's mostly on my forehead. I wear bangs, so it's easy to hide.

Good luck with your Roseacea.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Wow! What an amazing resource this is. Your stories have been so helpful and its such a relief to know there are other women out there with similar problems.

I wanted to ask you ladies about your thoughts on the CONNECTIONS between mood, weight changes, birth control and acne.

I have mild to moderate acne that noticeably fluctuates with my hormones, stress, and mood. Out of all the products, diets, etc that I have tried, these biological factors seem to have the biggest effects on the clarity of my skin. Two years ago, I tried going on birth control for 10 months and became quite depressed. I tried changing brands, but ended up quitting it entirely because I couldn't stand crying all the time. Since I went off it though, I have increasingly gained weight, still have mild anxiety/depression, have noticed a slight reduction in sex drive, and have increasingly bad skin. I have actually considered going back on BC in hopes that it would reduce these symptoms. (although after reading your posts, I doubt I will)

Anyway, the theme with all of us seems to be hormonal imbalance. Has anyone noticed other post BC side effects, along with their acne, that they think is caused by a hormonal imbalance? ie. weight gain, mood changes. What are your thoughts on how these symptoms are related?

Also: has anyone actually done hormonal testing? Is it expensive and what was your resulting treatment?

Actually, other than the most horrible & painful acne I've ever had in my life (face, body & scalp, believe it or not!) I actually LOST 17 pounds when I got off of the pill. My moods have mellowed out tremendously (No severe mood swings like when I was on the pill). The other thing (which is a blessing for me right now since I'm going through a divorce) is that my sex drive is just about non-existent & I've ALWAYS had a prettty great sex drive. I'm not complaining about it right now, because of my CURRENT situation, but eventually, I'm gonna want to get it back again, so if anyone has answers, about the sex drive part of it, that would be great!

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is exactly what happened to me. I just turned 28 years old and I NEVER had acne when I was in my teens or early 20s. Maybe like one small pimple every once in a great while during my period, but I would never break out. I went off the pill when I was about 26, and now I've had mild/medium adult acne ever since. Now it seems like everything breaks me out. I'm super sensitive to all sorts of makeup, skin care creams, face washes, toners, etc. It's so frustrating because I'm nearing my 30s now, and I never thought I'd have to deal with acne at this age.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I know how you all feel, its such a distressing situation that we are all facing. My story is that I am 34 years young and was on Trifeme from late 1997 - 2004 (Oct) for painful period pains. Then I had mild breakout around my chin and I went to the doctor and she prescribed Diane 35. I stopped that pill August 2008 and so now its been a year not using the pill and so glad, even though its tempting to go back on it to have nice clear face. I broke out pretty badly around late October/November 2008 with cystic acne and acne popping up everyday, every week. My hair was oily, and pimples pimples pimples. Errr frustrating.

Before I went on the pill, I probably had one or two pimples a month or so but no chest acne, no shoulder acne nor bacne nor pimples on scalp nor on neck either. The doctors should be ashamed of themselves to think its the solution. Now we have to go in on life and feel like s&^t.

I am seeing a naturopath very soon and I hope to get a hormonal test done. As I really want to return back to my home country soon but not face with this terrible acne. It has to get better surely. I think so far my acne has calm down slightly but it would be nice to be normal again.

Iam keeping hope and wish for you all to do the same keep hope :shifty:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Personalized Advice Quiz - All of Acne.org in just a few minutes


×