THE main purpose of the contraceptive pill is to protect against pregnancy, but several women have found these pills to be very effective at clearing up acne as well. Taking certain brands of contraceptive pills usually results in smooth, clear skin, because they contain hormones which slow down excess sebum production, therefore causing less oil build-up to clog the pores.
Dermatologist Dr Neil Persadsingh in his book Acne in Black Women, noted that some birth control pills could cause acne to either clear up or improve.
"There are some female patients who can be put on the birth control tablet Diane and that will offer protection from pregnancy and help the acne also," he said, while pointing out that the active ingredient in this drug is cyproterone.
But while Diane was made specifically for acne patients, Dr Persadsingh noted that some forms of birth control tablets could actually worsen your acne.
"Since birth control pills contain hormones, they may sometimes cause your acne to break out more severely," he said.
Contraceptive pills are usually prescribed as acne treatment for healthy women who also need a contraceptive method. They are most often used after other topical creams have failed to work and are prescribed for females who have already started their menstruation.
Acne is a common skin problem that is characterised by pimples and inflamed patches of skin on the face, shoulders, back and chest. Pimples are formed when the pores are clogged and cause outbreaks, especially during the teenage years.
Doctors are still not sure about the real cause of acne, but experts believe hormonal changes is a contributing factor, which is the reason acne worsens nearing the menses and during pregnancy.
While acne can't be cured, you can talk to your dermatologist about using contraceptives if nothing else seems to be working for you. You can also speak to your pharmacist about the various creams, lotions and gels that can be used for the treatment of acne.
Benefits of using birth control pills include less inflammation and pimples and decreased acne flare-ups, however, the use of oral contraceptives does have some side effects. These include hypertension, blood clots, migraine and depression or mood swings.
So as to not worsen acne, it is important that you wash your face daily and control your urge to burst the pimples. Also try to refrain from putting your hand in your face too much and remove your make-up from your face before you go to bed at nights.