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2 hours ago, snarkygirl said:

I've heard the best for acne are either monophasic like orthocyclen or ones with drospirone like Yaz or Yasmine.
I did well on orthocyclen and now I'm on Yaz but its only been one month.


I think Yasmine will be my next try if I do three packs of Ortho and still am breaking out. If Yasmine is still bad, then I am giving up lol... and will go back to non-hormonal methods of BC and just deal with my insane cycle. 

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what birth control should i choose while i'm already on accutane? i don't want these anti-acne pills like yaz or diane, just something that won't make my acne worse and doesn't have too much side effects. i'm on nuva ring right now (it's not progestin only, it delivers 120 µg of etonogestrel (which is basically the same thing as desogestrel, because desogestrel is a prodrug to etonogestrel) and 15 µg of an estrogen each day. it shouldn't make acne worse but i've noticed that i have more clogged pores than before. i don't know if it's related to nuva ring but i think about switching to a pill, also because the ring is quite uncomfortable during sex. which pill should i use? i'm thinking about mircette because it's low dose.

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8 hours ago, awwdear said:

what birth control should i choose while i'm already on accutane? i don't want these anti-acne pills like yaz or diane, just something that won't make my acne worse and doesn't have too much side effects. i'm on nuva ring right now (it's not progestin only, it delivers 120 µg of etonogestrel (which is basically the same thing as desogestrel, because desogestrel is a prodrug to etonogestrel) and 15 µg of an estrogen each day. it shouldn't make acne worse but i've noticed that i have more clogged pores than before. i don't know if it's related to nuva ring but i think about switching to a pill, also because the ring is quite uncomfortable during sex. which pill should i use? i'm thinking about mircette because it's low dose.

Orthocyclen or orthocyclen low doesn't cause skin issues in most people. Doesn't have the same ingredients as Yaz...idk anything g about Mircette.

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Hi all! I'm new to the group and almost a year ago I was switched from Ortho Cyclen (I'd been on versions of that before for many years as well) to the progesterone only pill Ortho micronor because I'm 35 and a smoker. My periods are WAY better (I suffered pretty severe periods all my life) but my skin is way worse! I've never had acne problems (I've been blessed) but my back acne, chest acne and forehead/ear area/chin acne seems to ebb and flow and is constant. I've tried everything. I now use cetaphil but it still persists. I'm assuming it's from the new pill as it started mildly a year ago but it seems to be getting worse over time. Also I've always had dry skin, but the past month some spots seem to be getting oily. Any suggestions?? Thank you!!!!

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Hi...green gables

im one of those acne sufferers that cannot be on high dose of estrogen bc of side effects. I have been on ortho tri cyclen Lo for years with decent success but would like to completely clear my face. I only was completely clear while on ortho tri cyclen bc of the higher estrogen but had other bad side effects. 

Would i be better switching to something like Yaz? Better progesterone and monophasic? Also low estrogen? Should I be concerned with its safety? 

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5 hours ago, Cherryhause08 said:

Hi...green gables

im one of those acne sufferers that cannot be on high dose of estrogen bc of side effects. I have been on ortho tri cyclen Lo for years with decent success but would like to completely clear my face. I only was completely clear while on ortho tri cyclen bc of the higher estrogen but had other bad side effects. 

Would i be better switching to something like Yaz? Better progesterone and monophasic? Also low estrogen? Should I be concerned with its safety? 

I did well on orthocyclen regular for years but didn't have bad side effects. Orthocyclen lo didn't do much for my skin. Im on yaz and spiro 50mg now .Some people get migraines or increased risk of blood clot on Yas or Yasmine. Maybe you should consider adding spironolactone or green ta to your birth control since the higher dose ones give you issues.

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I just wanted to say thank you to green gables for putting together and sharing this infomation here!I have been on loestrin generics for years and have always struggled with break outs, I never imagined my birth control might be making me worse! just started on ortho cyclen (generic) a week ago and a major part of that decision is due to the recommendations here. my obgyn had no suggestions for me at all as far as which pill to try, he simply said that everyone is different (which is true, but he's the doctor prescribing things, I'd think he'd at least give me some options). anyway, thanks for the information! 

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Where are the sources for this information behind these claims of birth controls and their levels of estrogen, progesterone, and their andronocity being bad or high coming from? I've found conflicting information from dermatology texts, journal articles, and other pamphlets and charts that make claims that Alesse (supposidily high androgen and "bad" for acne) is either a go to for acne or a stay away from. Here are some snap shots of what I'm talking about: 
 
The last table states Alesse is high androgen and bad for acne sufferers...then the first says it's low estrogen, low progesterone, and low androgen and a good choice for acne sufferers. 

Then I've found out that though Yaz, Estrostep, and ortho tri cyclen are FDA approved for acne -- Health Canada has for sure approved Alesse and I believe Yaz and one other but I cannot recall the next ones name. 

Anyways -- I don't understand how Alesse can be both high androgen and low androgen? 

Its so strange to me as well as infuriating. But I believe the conclusion can be made that no matter what -- it all depends on the individual. 
 
Case and point - I was free and clear with Alesse and broke out for the first time at 25like no ones business on Yasmin. Been birth control free since January but considering going back on since im
still experiencing minor hormonal acne that's bothersome -- but scared to have back lash -- as there's so many people now saying alesse failed them. 

IMG_2157.PNG

IMG_2171.PNG

Edited by Snowkistx

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18 hours ago, Snowkistx said:

Where are the sources for this information behind these claims of birth controls and their levels of estrogen, progesterone, and their andronocity being bad or high coming from? I've found conflicting information from dermatology texts, journal articles, and other pamphlets and charts that make claims that Alesse (supposidily high androgen and "bad" for acne) is either a go to for acne or a stay away from. Here are some snap shots of what I'm talking about: 
 
The last table states Alesse is high androgen and bad for acne sufferers...then the first says it's low estrogen, low progesterone, and low androgen and a good choice for acne sufferers. 

Then I've found out that though Yaz, Estrostep, and ortho tri cyclen are FDA approved for acne -- Health Canada has for sure approved Alesse and I believe Yaz and one other but I cannot recall the next ones name. 

Anyways -- I don't understand how Alesse can be both high androgen and low androgen? 

Its so strange to me as well as infuriating. But I believe the conclusion can be made that no matter what -- it all depends on the individual. 
 
Case and point - I was free and clear with Alesse and broke out for the first time at 25like no ones business on Yasmin. Been birth control free since January but considering going back on since im
still experiencing minor hormonal acne that's bothersome -- but scared to have back lash -- as there's so many people now saying alesse failed them





I think that your own hormonal norm determines how a birth control is going to work for you. I've been on ortho tri cyclen (5 months, would always clear up on my placebo week) and ortho cyclen(only on it a month, same issues and made my skin and hair extremely oily), both made me break out all over my nose and chin. I have also been on loestrin which I am going back to (I switched off of it because I was having breakouts around my forehead and blamed the pill since it's supposed to be a bad one for acne) and my skin stayed far clearer with less effort on my part when I am on that. I think in my case, I am sensitive to the amount of estrogen and require a lower dose pill. 
a pill can have a progestin with high androgenic activity but have less of it in it than a pill with a lower androgenic progestin, making it less androgenic ovethat's how I understand it anyway. it's more about the ratio of estrogen to progestin than the amount of whatever is in it. that and how sensitive you are to that particular progestin or progestin in general. 
for the record, I do not experience typical hormonal acne. I don't get cysts or deep pimples often and there isn't much rhymeerhymes or reason to when I break out other than stress. my acne is more like a mild case a teenage boy might have, lots of comedones scattered kinda everywhere. 

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1 hour ago, sosickofzitz said:
20 hours ago, Snowkistx said:

Where are the sources for this information behind these claims of birth controls and their levels of estrogen, progesterone, and their andronocity being bad or high coming from? I've found conflicting information from dermatology texts, journal articles, and other pamphlets and charts that make claims that Alesse (supposidily high androgen and "bad" for acne) is either a go to for acne or a stay away from. Here are some snap shots of what I'm talking about: 
 
The last table states Alesse is high androgen and bad for acne sufferers...then the first says it's low estrogen, low progesterone, and low androgen and a good choice for acne sufferers. 

Then I've found out that though Yaz, Estrostep, and ortho tri cyclen are FDA approved for acne -- Health Canada has for sure approved Alesse and I believe Yaz and one other but I cannot recall the next ones name. 

Anyways -- I don't understand how Alesse can be both high androgen and low androgen? 

Its so strange to me as well as infuriating. But I believe the conclusion can be made that no matter what -- it all depends on the individual. 
 
Case and point - I was free and clear with Alesse and broke out for the first time at 25like no ones business on Yasmin. Been birth control free since January but considering going back on since im
still experiencing minor hormonal acne that's bothersome -- but scared to have back lash -- as there's so many people now saying alesse failed them





I think that your own hormonal norm determines how a birth control is going to work for you. I've been on ortho tri cyclen (5 months, would always clear up on my placebo week) and ortho cyclen(only on it a month, same issues and made my skin and hair extremely oily), both made me break out all over my nose and chin. I have also been on loestrin which I am going back to (I switched off of it because I was having breakouts around my forehead and blamed the pill since it's supposed to be a bad one for acne) and my skin stayed far clearer with less effort on my part when I am on that. I think in my case, I am sensitive to the amount of estrogen and require a lower dose pill. 
a pill can have a progestin with high androgenic activity but have less of it in it than a pill with a lower androgenic progestin, making it less androgenic ovethat's how I understand it anyway. it's more about the ratio of estrogen to progestin than the amount of whatever is in it. that and how sensitive you are to that particular progestin or progestin in general. 
for the record, I do not experience typical hormonal acne. I don't get cysts or deep pimples often and there isn't much rhymeerhymes or reason to when I break out other than stress. my acne is more like a mild case a teenage boy might have, lots of comedones scattered kinda everywhere. 

 
Agreed! It's just so frustrating!! I wish there was an easy and simple solution for everyone.  I understand what you're saying though in terms of your acne. Mine probably isn't that bad in the scheme of things but it's bad for me and my experience with skin problems. 

I just got back from my 3rd doctors appointment this month, this time with my gynecologist. She wants me to go back onto my old birth control -- the one with levonorgestrel -- instead of spironolactone or drospirenone(Yasmin) since I clearly had a bad reaction when switching. She had detailed notes of my past experiences as a temnager and believes what has worked for me in the past  will work again. I'm nervous from all the bad reviews on levonorgestrel but I guess I just need to have faith that what has worked for me will work again! 

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28 minutes ago, Snowkistx said:
 
Agreed! It's just so frustrating!! I wish there was an easy and simple solution for everyone.  I understand what you're saying though in terms of your acne. Mine probably isn't that bad in the scheme of things but it's bad for me and my experience with skin problems. 

I just got back from my 3rd doctors appointment this month, this time with my gynecologist. She wants me to go back onto my old birth control -- the one with levonorgestrel -- instead of spironolactone or drospirenone(Yasmin) since I clearly had a bad reaction when switching. She had detailed notes of my past experiences as a temnager and believes what has worked for me in the past  will work again. I'm nervous from all the bad reviews on levonorgestrel but I guess I just need to have faith that what has worked for me will work again! 
yup, loestrin is supposed to be one of the absolute worst pills you can be on for acne since it has low estrogen and an androgenic progestin. I've always been on it inbetween pregnancies...I've always had pimples, mostly those skin bumps and blackheads too but nothing that other people would probably even think I had an issue with. I thought by switching all my problems would be solved! nope! I honestly have no idea what my skin is like completely off the pill as I've only ever been off during pregnancies it's just so frustrating that everyone has to find what works for them....from topicals to medications to what they eat. oh well, there are worse things than having some zits. 

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Hi, I know this post is 3 years on but I can't seem to find anybody including doctors who knows anything about which contraceptive pill is good and bad for the skin. I had to come off of the combination pill because of family history of blood clots, and onto noriday the mini pill (which my doctor never told me was bad for my skin)! I noticed my skin get terrible when I was on this and even though I have been on it for nearly a year I didnt have it down to the mini pill as it never crossed my mind because I also came off of my acne treatment pill at the same time so always put it down to that. I was never informed the mini pill could be bad for me. I can't seem to find anybody who can help or give me the right answer as I also read coming off of a pill completely gives you acne (I have been on contraceptive pills for about 6 years). Any ideas which mini pill is the best? Or do you think coming off of the mini pill altogethr and being on nothing is a better answer or is that worse? Many thanks!!

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I don't know if anyone will check this thread anymore, but I'll try anyway. So, I had forgotten how terrible my skin is when I'm not on birth control, and I quit taking Yasmin last September. My skin gradually got worse, but right now it's the worst it's ever been, ever. It started to get very bad 3 weeks ago when I started taking Ocella (I can no longer get name brand Yasmin). I think I get a new cyst every day. My skin is a nightmare. I went to the doctor and she prescribed me some minocycline to take temporarily, and she also switched me to MonoNessa. I know Ocella is supposed to be better for acne... should I try to stick with it? Or should I switch to MonoNessa next week? (currently on my inactive pill/period week) I know it takes a few months to adjust to any bcp, but I'm having such a difficult time with the Ocella. :/ I had good experience with Sprintec in the past, but I do think Yasmin kept my skin clearer. 

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I started MonoNessa 2 and a half months ago. I had very mild acne before starting this birth control. My skin has gotten worse since starting, when did most people start to see results?

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Has anybody tried gedarel 20/150? I think it's the lower dose version of marvelon. My doctor has prescribed it me as Yasmin gave me headaches, but I've not heard of it before and am curious to know if anybody has had success with it? 

Thanks :-) 

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I have been on Logynon for 3 years due to severe menstrual issues, but I was concerned that it may be affecting my hormonal acne negatively and I think I'm right. I tried Yasmin for 3 months and had to come off due to verysevere side effects in the second month, I only stayed on a month longer to give it a chance to settle, but no luck. I'm back on Logynon (limited choices in my country) because there was one more stronger pill but I didn't think any more side effects were worth it. Yasmin didn't help my skin all that much, I noticed a slight calming on it. Logynon I think is causing acne in bouts. Normally I would just have hyperpigmentation and the odd spot, but it causes large, painful red spots, especially along jaw and mouth. I'm going to try coming off the pill altogether for a while now that i am older to see if that helps in any way. I've tried everything else.

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Hi,

What are your thoughts on Sprintec - it says "norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol tablets 0.25/0.35) my doctor just switched me to this for my acne.

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On 6/19/2013 at 7:04 PM, Green Gables said:

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 (Aviane, Lessina, 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.

Does anyone have experience with blisovi? 

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Because of this article, I started taking Zarah birth control pills around 2 years ago and my acne was completely cleared within 6 months. For the past two months however, my skin has been going back to it’s old habits. My pharmacy stopped carrying the Zarah birth control pill around 3 months ago, so they started giving me the generic brand called, drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol tablets USP. I’ve inquired several times about whether they’re the same as the Zarah pill and my pharmastist insists they are. I’m wondering if I’m becoming immune to this birth control after 2 years or what is going on. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Your article already had such a positive and life altering impact on my skin and I thank you for that. Thanks!

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Hi :) wondering if anyone can help

I need a high estrogen/low androgen oral contraceptive and between Cilest and Femodene, I’m a little confused as to which one would be better and have less androgenic activity.  

Femodene is 30 estrogen and 75 progestin (gestodene)

Cilest is 35 estrogen and 250 progestin (norgestimate)

I understand that they are both low in androgenic activity as third generation progestins, but as Cilest’s dose is over twice the amount in Femodene, does this make Femodene more estrogenic and therefore better for skin? I know Cilest is FDA approved for skin as Ortho Cyclen in the US…. But is it really more estrogenic than Femodene when it has twice the progestin? Which is more estrogenic and therefore better for skin?

Can anyone help with this? I found this online but I get a little confused with the sciency stuff…..

In a recent review, it was pointed out that after administration of 75 µg of gestodene in combination with 30 µg of ethinylestradiol to women, circulating levels of gestodene were high relative to levels of other progestins measured after treatment with combined oral contraceptives (44). These elevated levels occurred after both single and multiple doses of gestodene/ethinylestradiol. The finding is surprising because the 75-µg dose of gestodene is the lowest of any progestin in a combination pill.

The results indicate that, overall, levonorgestrel is the most androgenic and gestodene is similar or slightly less androgenic, followed by 3-keto-desogestrel and norethindrone. Norgestimate has not been directly compared with the other progestins but is essentially devoid of androgenic activity.

Thanks for any help

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I feel like its  important to get your hormones tested before starting any medication. Go to your  doctor and ask them to test your hormones by testing your blood

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Does anyone have any experience switching from Yasmin to Spiro? 

Or if taking them together (which I've done, worked great for acne, yasmin alone - not as much), can Spiro decrease the risk of blood clots that Yasmin increases? Because possible blood clots scare me so much. 

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