Oral Contraceptive
Reviews
2.9
27 Reviews
Oral Contraceptive
Efficacy
56%
Based on All Available Studies
Strength of Evidence
1
2
3
4
5
Note: Improvement significantly increases after 24 weeks.
Oral Contraceptive
Side Effects
High
Oral Contraceptive
Acne.org’s Real World Take
All oral contraceptives appear to clear the skin about the same amount. Some people report cessation of acne symptoms and others see partial relief. However, messing with hormones is messing with hormones and it’s best to proceed with caution. But if you’re looking to take the birth control pill anyway, one of the benefits is clearer skin.
Oral Contraceptive
How to Get It
Have a dermatologist? Make an appointment to get this medication.

Don't have a dermatologist? See The American Academy of Dermatology Physician Database to find one.
Read All About Norethindrone (Estrostep)
5
25.9%
4
3.7%
3
25.9%
2
22.2%
1
22.2%

Used Norethindrone (Estrostep)? Rate It:

Choose from 1 to 5 stars
December 9, 2019
Worked for my acne!

I switched to Estro Step after taking Tri-Sprintec for many years because my previous birth control no longer worked for treating my acne. This HAS improved my acne significantly, my only complaint is that my period is no longer regular and is extremely heavy. On my previous BC my period was like clockwork and considering that I have taken Estro Step for 9-12 months I would have anticipated that it would be regular by now! 

April 3, 2018
From little acne to a whole lot of acne
Oh my goodness. I'm currently on my 3rd pack of Lo lo and I'm planning on stopping it asap. Pros: No pms symptoms! No bloating, no cramps, no feeling fatigue. 2 days of bleeding or none at all. Didn't feel any mood swings. All of that is awesome. Cons: This is probably the worst I've ever broken out. I got these as samples from my obgyn and I wanted to get the pills for birth control but mostly to help w my acne that I assumed was hormonal (mostly 2 to 3 pimples on my cheeks and a lot of little tiny bumps on my chin. It had to be hormonal because my usual acne products just wasn't working anymore and Ive switched products many times already). Like most people here, my acne wasn't terrible to begin with. There was a week or two between the first and second month I was on Lo lo that my skin looked pretty nice. I still had some blemishes but i thought the pill might be working because i was glowing. But not for long!!!! 2 weeks after that I started getting a whole bunch of little and average sized pimples on my cheeks and more bumps on my chin. Way more than Ive ever gotten! They were almost like in clusters or constellations on my face. I didn't know how to get rid of them and I switched between many cleansers and moisturizers already (i switch them pretty quickly because most of the time i can tell right away if something works for my skin or not) but nothing seemed to be working. And i of course resort to picking and squeezing because sometimes thats the only way to get them out! it looks like i have a rash on my cheek or like how teens break out, and ive never had my face look like this before. It's not super bad and i can just hide it with makeup a little bit but it's very annoying because I had close to clear skin before!!!! Definitely steer clear of this if you already have some acne issues..as others have said.
June 15, 2017
20 years later
I've had acne since I was 11 (face and body). Nothing has ever fully worked 100%, however I decided to try birth control to keep from getting pregnant. My skin never really changed until 4 months in I started to really clear up. I went from taking two showers a day to being able to go camping all weekend with no shower and NOT ONE PIMPLE! I stopped using all my acne skin care products, and actually got to use products that didn't dry, bleach or irritate my skin.
This Was Helpful

5 user(s) found this helpful

Report
May 2, 2017
Recommended to NO ONE
I started taking this because of the painful cramps I get once a month. I've only been on it for a little over two weeks, and my typically clear face is now covered in cystic acne that nothing seems to get rid of. I feel tired and just want to spend my days sleeping or resting (even when I get 7-9 hours of sleep at night!), I've gained a few pounds each week, and now I'm getting painful cramps (the reason I even started taking this stuff) weeks before my period is supposed to start. I went online and realized many women are having the exact same symptoms as me! I wish I would have read reviews before just doing what my gynecologist suggested. I do not recommend this to anyone!
This Was Helpful

1 user(s) found this helpful

Report
January 21, 2017
So far, so good!
I've had acne for about two years after the birth of my son. I've always had oily skin with clogged pores but as a teen I only ever got one or two spots. As a young adult my skin never gave me any complaints. However, after the birth of my son my skin got quickly worse and worse until I was waking up every morning with 6 or 7 new big lumps around my chin, neck and cheeks. I also had tiny white pimples all over my cheeks and neck. My spots were red aggressive looking- my face was just a mess and people couldn't help but comment because no one was used to seeing me like that. I tried prescribed creams, drinking lots of water, going cold-turkey on makeup, taking antibiotics, hot cloth cleanses... they all made it worse. I tried one or two different contraceptives and they did nothing for me. Some made me bleed constantly, others made my face break out even more around my cycle. I was reluctant to try loestrin as I was beginning to think contraceptives were a waste of time, but it was my last attempt at avoiding roccutane treatment. At first, loestrin made me really sick, for the first few days I was throwing up and had headaches but it soon cleared up. It does make me very tired and has increased my appetite but I'm getting to grips with that. Anyway, after about four months I woke up one morning and realised, for the first time ever, that I didn't have any spots whatsoever. As I ran my fingers over my face there were no lumps or bumps or boils! Today is my fifth day of the same! I've still got scarring and red marks from previous spots but I'm sure I can start to move forward now. I'm already leaving the house without makeup and taking more pride in my skin. I'm really pleased I have given loestrin a chance and hope it continues! Ps- my periods have been very light, I've been a bit more laid back and I think my breasts are bigger!
This Was Helpful

4 user(s) found this helpful

Report
August 22, 2016
thought it wasn't helping, until I switched!
while I am not prone to inflammatory acne, I have lots and lots of closed comedones, clogged pores, etc. I am also very oily. i have 4 childrwn and have been on this pill inbetween each pregnancy. after my last baby, i had my face relatively umder control and went back on the pill. I was using the generic of this for 3 months and my forehead broke out in tiny rashlike pimples that you could only see in certain lighting but felt horrendous. I would also get flare ups of these along my temples and sometimes my cheeks, even though I was using BP. they never became inflamed, but continued to worsen. I have always had this issue but am now thinking it may have been exasperated by the birth control. this birth control pill also makes my hair grow faster. I had no other symptoms on it, my periods were very short and light. also, after doing some research on here, I discovered that loestrin in particular is pretty androgenic and best avoided if one already has issues with breakouts. I'm hoping getting on a different pill will improve things.
September 30, 2016
update! I switched to a good birth control for acne, ortho cyclen. never again. I broke out all over my nose, my upper lip has this weird rash like thing that I can't get rid off, I started getting painful under the skin bumps, and I turned into a total oil slick. my skin felt so greasy it was like I was sweating. I couldn't take it and am back on this. it also messed with my eyesight. my obgyn had me switch back after a month because he thinks I may be estrogen sensitive. I'm sad it didn't work for me and will be sticking with loestrin from now on.
March 1, 2016
ZERO Acne, No Mood Swings, Bigger Boobs
I honestly only started taking this birth-control to get rid of acne that I had my whole entire life. I wish I had listened to my doctor and friends sooner. I suffer from acne since high school. NOTHING worked... I went to the best dermatologist in Miami, the best products for use, the best make up etc. I tried Ortho Tri-cyclen Lo and it made me CRAZY. I honestly felt possessed. However, birth control is a hit or miss. You need to try what works best for you as my friends have used Ortho Tri-cyclen and were extremely happy. Anyways, LoEstrin Lo has seriously completely gotten rid of all my acne. I do not break out AT ALL. I do not have Moodswings, and not that I needed, but it does make my breast size fuller also. Getting rid of acne was the only reason I tried birth control, so I am scared to stop taking it for when I try to have more children. I am now 33 years old and have been on this birth-control for three years and I love it!
This Was Helpful

14 user(s) found this helpful

Report
April 5, 2015
Best thing that ever happened to me
I have suffered from acne since middle school and as I got older it got significantly worse. I have tried every topical and oral medication. I have done ACCUTANE TWICE and my acne would resolve and come back 10x worse. I quit all meds and went natural route which helped some but I needed something else. I finally decided to give into birth control. I was first on ortho tri cyclen which helped my face a lot but still had a few breakouts. I had severe migraines so I asked my gyno to switch. She recommended loloestrin FE 28 (not 24) since it had less horomomes. Before I started it I was very nervous because everywhere I read the horrible reviews. But I went with my gut since I had no other option. All I can say is I have not had a clear face like this in years. I dont breakout at all like nothing at all. All my acne is gone all I have are old acne scars that with time are healing. I don't know why this medication works for me but not others. What I can say is that I'm happy I can go out without wearing make up And I'm not embarrassed like I use to be. I don't have acne at all. My face has NEVER EVER been this clear. So give it a chance. This medication has changed my life. I also believe that changing eating habits and lots of fluids helps to. Don't just make it easy and simply rely on medicine.
This Was Helpful

17 user(s) found this helpful

Report
March 1, 2016
SAME exact story for me! ZERO acne!
March 1, 2016
Mck45, give it about 3 to 6 months. seems like a long time but if you've been battling acne for years, it really isn't.
May 30, 2013
horrible acne

Pros:

bigger boobs
no weight gain
tired

Cons:

CYSTIC ACNE
mood swings ( you learn to control them)
low energy levels

I am against putting things in your body but since i'm in my child bearing years i do not want any surprises. I asked my gyno for a birth control with very low hormones since i am very sensitive to them, i noticed a few mood swings but nothing major. My boobs normally are a full C but with the the loestrin fe 24 have gotten fuller, now a D cup and i have developed acne. Its been 3 months since ive been on the pill and the acne seems to getting worse! I have always had great skin, the occasional pimple now and then but never suffered from CYSTIC ACNE :(!!!! Also, In the time i have been on this pill i havnt had a period either. I am currently on the sugar pills and will not continue to use this product.
This Was Helpful

10 user(s) found this helpful

Report
May 22, 2013

Pros:

Bigger boobs
Effective contraceptive
Light periods

Cons:

Acne
Mood swings

I've been taking LoEstrin for a little over a year now. Since high school I've always had mild breakouts here and there, but nothing severe at all. I'm going into my third year of college now and I would say my breakouts are the worst they've ever been. They're not horrible, but I've had pretty clear skin most of my life and to have acne now at age 20 is a bit out of the ordinary. The pill does its job for a birth control pill and I have very regular, light periods on it. However, if you're prone to acne, I wouldn't recommend taking this. I am planning to switch to Ortho Tri-cyclen asap.
This Was Helpful

4 user(s) found this helpful

Report

Finding a Doctor

The right dermatologist can make a big difference to your patient experience and the success of your acne treatment plan. Here are the steps to find a dermatologist who is a good fit:

  1. Use the search feature on the American Academy of Dermatology website to look for board-certified dermatologists in your area, and filter the search results for doctors with a special interest in treating acne.
  2. Read online patient reviews of any dermatologists you are considering and ask people you know whether they have any experience with these dermatologists.
  3. Do your research and go to your first appointment with questions prepared.
  4. Listen to what your gut feeling tells you once you see a dermatologist in person. If you are not completely comfortable, try a different dermatologist.

Finding a Doctor

Only a select few plastic surgeons specialize in acne scar revision surgery. Be certain to find a provider who specializes in acne scar repair and who is passionate and experienced in this area.

Be sure to:

  • Look at before and after photos, the more the better, especially patients with similar scarring to your own.
  • Be realistic about results. Look for improvement, not a cure.

Questions to ask a potential scar revision specialist:

  • Are you board certified? Be certain that they are board certified.
  • How long have you been performing these procedures? Normally, the more experience the better, however, some younger surgeons may be more on top of the latest procedures.
  • Can I speak to some of your other patients? Ask for references for several patients who had similar scarring and speak to them about the process and their satisfaction with results.

Red flags:

  • Their story changes: As you discuss different treatment options, if they tend to change their mind easily, or agree with whatever you say, consider this a red flag. A confident, experienced surgeon will possess strong, unwavering opinions.
  • Your gut tells you "no": Trust your gut. If you just don't feel that the doctor is the right fit, trust that and move on. On the other hand, if you feel they are the perfect specialist for you, trust that feeling.