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One year ago, when I was 19, I went to Planned Parenthood for birth control pills (as a contraceptive, not for acne). I was given Aubra, the generic for Alesse, which is known as one of the worst birth control pills for those with acne-prone skin (of course I didn't know this at the time!) Keep in mind, my skin was totally 100% acne free for about 2 years before I started Aubra. 

I took Aubra for about 4 months (mid-July to mid-October) and had no new acne at all in this time frame. I then stupidly stopped taking it for 2 months (wasn't sexually active) and then decided to restart Aubra in the beginning of January 2016. BIG MISTAKE. 

I had the worst T-zone breakout of my life at the end of January. I assumed it was an initial breakout, and since I had been off the birth control for 2 months prior, my hormones were out of whack. I continued taking Aubra until early July of this year and my skin progressively got worse in those 7 months. I tried Epiduo and Solodyn for 10 weeks during those 7 months and not only did I not see an improvement -- I got cystic acne on my cheeks which has NEVER HAPPENED. I stopped the Epiduo and Solodyn which was a very good decision as the Epiduo only seemed to make my face more oily yet dry and the Solodyn did absolutely nothing. I then stopped the Aubra.

I just finished my first pack of TriSprintec yesterday. In this first month, I noticed the same amount of acne. Got 2 new cysts on my cheeks.

I'm dying to know if any of you ladies have switched from a highly androgenic birth control pill (Alesse/Aubra) to a low androgenic birth control pill (Ortho Tri Cyclen/TriSprintec) and have seen results in terms of acne. I know it will likely take about 4 months to see results, but I would love to hear about others' journeys. 

p.s. GreenGables' guide to birth control is what made me realize Aubra was the cause of my acne! Go check it out


 

Edited by MuchoKaren
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Hey! so I have only been on 2 birth control pills. I have 4 children and have always gone on a generic for loestrin in between pregnancies. while I do not have several or really inflammatory acne, I have lots of closed and open comedones and tend to be very oily. after my last baby, I decided to go on ortho tri cyclen because I heard it was good for your skin and I was going to go on birth control anyway. I was on it for 5 months. at the time, I was using the regimen (I have always used some form of BP cleanser or proactive type system and never dried out nearly as much as while on the regimen, I had this awful flaky look and just felt all tight all the time). anyways, on the OTC, I would usually get a couple of whiteheads on my chin when i started a new pill pack. my skin was generally pretty clear otherwise. I attributed the otc to my skin being dry (my hair grew way more slowly too, rarely ever had to shave) and was annoyed with those little breakouts so I decided to go back to trusty old loestrin (the generic I was prescribed is gildess 1/20. I've also been on the 1.5/30). i started the pill, no new breakouts and i was like, yep, did the trick! three months in and I am super oily and have a ton of congestion on my forehead, even with using the regimen. I don't really get any whiteheads, just so much oilyness and clogs. my hair is back to what i thought was its normal growth rate all these years, but im now realizing that may have just been all because of the loestrin. I did some research and discovered loestrin is actually one of the most androgenic pills. while I have mild to moderate acne I'm never 100 percent clear, even while I'm following a pretty good regimen. anyways. I decided to go ahead and try ortho cyclen which is the monophasic version of the otc. My uncle is actually an obgyn and said he would always aviod any triphasic pills unless they were necessary and that the ortho cyclen should help although everyone has their own individual experience. anyway, I start that on Wednesday and can check back in if you'd like. from the research I've done around here, ortho cyclen comes pretty well recommended due to the fact that it is monophasic and has a decent amount of estrogen as well as a less androgenic progestin. anyways., I hope you get good results from the tri sprintec! I was on that same generic for the otc. I'm going to start the plain old sprintec this time around and hopefully it works the way I want it to. 

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sosickofzitz -

something new I'm also noticing with the Tri Sprintec is very small, painless whiteheads popping up on different parts of my face, which is something I've never had before. they're barely noticeable and I can easily get rid of them with my clarisonic. maybe these whiteheads are an OTC thing! I recently had to get 3 nodules on my face injected w/ cortisone...hopefully these deep painful pimples are just leftover from the Aubra. I've never experienced anything worse than very mild acne before the Aubra! I'm now on week 2 of my second pack of TriSprintec.

Loestrin is another one of those androgenic birth control pills I've read about...a lot of women I know are taking Lo Loestrin and they all coincidentally struggle with some sort of acne. 

I'd love to hear back about your experience with Sprintec! 

Also...my dermatologist put me back on Solodyn. I'm hoping it will cancel out any initial breakout from the TriSprintec/ any lingering acne from the Aubra. I'm hoping to continue with the Solodyn for another 4-5 months and see if it will keep me clear until the TriSprintec takes over!

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yes, little painless whiteheads were exactly what I got on the tri sprintec. when I switched to the lo loestrin I never got them again. i dont normally get painful pimples but i do occasionally get them and they are horrendous and massive (a few times a year, one at a time). but now I have closed comedones everywhere. looking back, I've always struggled with them, even while on proactive and using the regimen from here(I know lots of people love it but the cleanser totally dries me out, cracked lips and dry eyelids, so i know it wasnt the BP, and the moisturizer beaks me out something awful). but I've always used loestrin so now I'm wondering if that's my issue. currently, I use cetaphil and benzoyl peroxide from here. I ordered a clarisonic since I noticed I have more closed comedones while using a 'gentle' rather than an exfoliating cleanser. I also ordered a salicylic acid based serum from skinceuticals to try out since most of my research seems to recommend that over benzoyl peroxide for comedonal acne. anyways, I start the sprintec on Wednesday and will keep you updated! 

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Little update: I am now nearing the end of my second week of my second pack of Tri Sprintec. Last Thursday, I started taking 55 mg Solodyn every night before bed and I haven't gotten a new pimple since. Normally I would have gotten 3-4 new ones by now. The 3 nodules I did have are gone and I have nothing left except a couple very small whiteheads (from the tri sprintec) and some post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Last night I started using Ziana topical gel...I'll be mixing it in with my moisturizer to minimize irritation and will eventually apply it straight to my skin without diluting it once my skin has gotten used to it.

P.S. I wash my face once per day before bed with CeraVe SA cleanser. I use CeraVe normal/dry skin moisturizer, as well as Meladerm on my hyperpigmentation!

Edited by MuchoKaren
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glad to hear that things are improving for you! I'm only on the third day of the sprintec, so I'm not seeing any noticable changes yet. how do you like the cerave cleanser?  I was using the gentle cetaphil stuff but to be perfectly honest I think it might be clogging my pores. I am using the acne.org cleanser at the moment and spot treat in my breakout areas with benzoyl peroxide from the regimen. I have yet to find a moisturizer that doesn't make me break out, right now I'm trying clearskin by pca, it's a niacinamide lotion. it works well for my sister but she never breaks out normally. I am also testing out a salicylic acid serum from skinceuticals (just applying on my forehead, willing to sacrifice that if it doesn't help!). I've only ever used BP, so we'll see how that goes.

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Hey, what is going on with your skin right now? Have you made any progress? I hope so. I truly empathize with you as taking a crappy BCP that was highly androgenic [Lo loestrin fe] ruined my face as well, even after I stopped taking the pill. I developed cheek bumps for the first time on it, which eventually did go away, but I got a new weird lump/cyst on my chin and jawline every 5-7 days with it, even some on my eyebrows! Literally. The other OBGYN I went to who did not originally prescribe it was a moron and said it was an IB and I should wait it out, conveniently forgetting to tell me LLF is androgenic and can produce more acne in sensitive types like me [who used to get mild PMS breakouts with a cyst or two]. 

Alesse is also awful. So is Mirena. I have heard terrible things about both when it comes to acne. 

I am on Spiro 50 mg/day [split into 25 mg supplements, one in the AM and at lunch]. I'm not sure if it works yet since it's been only a little under a week for me; I'm still breaking out a bit but I am way less oily. You could always try that since if your acne really is androgenic [and you have other signs too, like sudden oily skin, abnormal coarse hairs on your chin/lip/cheek, excess belly weight, etc.] it is worth a shot. 

Edited by cloudydreamer
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cloudydreamer,

My skin has made a miraculous recovery THANK GOD!! This is my fifth month on Tri Sprintec, and while I still get occasional pimples, I no longer deal with the deep, painful ones on my cheek and my scars have cleared so much! I am also taking 50 mg Solodyn once a day at night. I was previously on Ziana topical treatment and found that it made my face ridiculously oily throughout the day (even though I used it at night). 

I started an entirely new skincare regimen as well, which I think I can partly owe my tremendous progress to. I used to wash with Cerave salicylic acid wash and moisturize with Cerave moisturizer for normal skin. 
I switched to Drunk Elephant face wash, glycolic serum, and moisturizer along with Saadia brand argan oil. It's a pricy brand, but if you're able to splurge, buy Drunk Elephant! IT'S THE BEST. This regimen has improved my skin so much it's unbelievable.
My face is still a little oily, but definitely so much improved. Perhaps it's my age...I've read that when women reach age 20 their skin chemistry changes. I think the Aubra was definitely causing my cystic acne though.
Which birth control are you taking currently? Still the Lo Loestrin Fe? 

Edited by MuchoKaren
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In case you're interested, here are all the new products I've used that have performed miracles! Way better than any prescription I've used! (Keep in mind they're all pretty expensive, but worth it in my opinion.) 

image.jpeg

Edited by MuchoKaren
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Hi guys hope your all well. Sorry to but it. I was put on marvelon 6 months ago but it's made no change to my acne. My acne is mostly on cheeks and forehead. Does that just mean this pill doesn't suit me ? Thanks 

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On November 17, 2016 at 5:03 AM, Misssadsack said:

Hi guys hope your all well. Sorry to but it. I was put on marvelon 6 months ago but it's made no change to my acne. My acne is mostly on cheeks and forehead. Does that just mean this pill doesn't suit me ? Thanks 


If you are aiming to clear your acne with your birth control pill, you want a low-androgenic or anti-androgenic pill. Yaz, Yasmin, Ortho Cylen/Ortho Tri Cyclen are just a few that are good for clearing acne. Seemingly, Marvelon is low androgenic. You could try one of the birth controls I've mentioned, or consider that maybe your acne isn't hormonal at all. If that is the case, look into a topical treatment and/or Solodyn antibiotic from a dermatologist! If you do try a different BCP, remember to give at least 6 months to see results!
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Little update: I've decided to ditch birth control altogether and within 9 days I've already noticed a positive difference in my skin. It's so dry it's starting to flake, (compared to my extremely oily skin) not just on my face but on my hands and back. The little white bumps I used to have on Tri Sprintec have also dried up and my skin is slowly starting to go back to what it was before I ever went on BC. It's AMAZING and goes to show you that while BC helps acne in many people, it really worsens it in some no matter what brand you are on. I think the hormonal imbalance on BC was the root cause of all of my acne problems!!! BC definitely increased the oil production in my skin all over my body and hair. Something to consider if you're on BC and still struggling with acne...your BC could be the cause!

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Lo Loestrin is the ZitSatan's dirty lil w#0re for sure. Ugh.. it has been a long time since i was on Lo Lo and i never really paired it previously to what was causing my adult acne way back when i was on it. Well.. got off of BC for several months and just started taking it again.. (i've been stockpiling BC since i knew Trump/Pence would wage war on women so i was filling ALL my various BC refills i had even though i wasnt using-anyway..)..... holy hell.. i went from smooth AMAZING pre-BC skin to these lil oil pit-pores. Like they start off just like a lil white bump.. well im a horrible picker.. squeezer.. whatever it takes... i can squeeze white stuff out of like any random hole in my face. iTs so effing gross. I squeezed so much on one stubborn and painful deep one that my skin around it peeled so now its like a big wound-looking thing. 

My point is, thank you wonderful ladies for being my google gods as i was on a self-diagnosis mission tonight and this thread put the light bulb above my oily puss filled pored head. 

Adios Lo Loestrin... Im going old school.. no more BC.. i'll keep my fertility tracker on and if i mess up Planned Parenthood here i come. 

(Ps.. i am extremely liberal...not religious nut or anything re to the "Satan" thing.. but if there is such a thing as "Satan" that bastard pops lo lo like friggin skittles no doubt.) 

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