Acne can be hard to treat, but birth control pills can help! Acne is a skin condition, where hair follicles on your face and other parts of your body are blocked because of oil and/or dead skin cells. Acne affects 51% of women in their 20s, and more have experienced acne at some previous point in their lives. Women typically suffer from hormonal acne that is caused by periods or hormonal changes. Birth control pills can help alleviate acne prominence, severity, redness, and other hormonal side effects! 

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How Do Birth Control Pills Work?

Hormone-based birth control pills come in two forms: progestin-only pills and combination birth control pills, containing estrogen and progestin. Both medications prevent fertilization by stopping the sperm from joining the egg, by thickening the cervical mucus, making it difficult for sperm to get through to the eggs. In addition, the estrogen containing birth control pills inhibit ovulation, preventing eggs from popping out of the ovary. Hormonal birth control also thins the uterine lining, reducing the chances of fertilized eggs implanting. In addition to improving menstrual irregularities and reducing ovarian and uterine cancer risk, birth control pills can also be used to treat PCOS, endometriosis, and acne. 

How does Birth Control Help Treat Acne?

Combination birth control helps treat acne by decreasing Testosterone levels. Testosterone increases with puberty, perimenopause, and PCOS, and fluctuates throughout the menstrual cycle. Birth control pills decrease circulating Testosterone and that reduces sebum production and acne. High testosterone, specifically, can cause sebaceous glands to produce more sebum, or oil, which contributes to hormonal breakouts. Birth control pills decrease testosterone which results in the sebaceous glands producing less oil which can help aid hormonal breakouts. For a birth control pill to decrease hormonal acne breakouts, it needs to contain both estrogen and progestin, these combination pills are the most successful because they decrease Testosterone levels. 

What is the Best Birth Control to Treat Hormonal Acne?

The best birth control and most popular contraceptive to treat acne is an oral contraceptive pill. Different forms of birth control include implant (nexplanon), IUDs, the ring, and the Depo-Provera shot. The FDA has approved 3 specific oral contraceptives to treat hormonal acne. However, research has shown that all combined birth control pills help treat acne. The pill is the simplest and most effective method of preventing pregnancy and acne. Pandia Health delivers birth control medications by mail and can prescribe birth control online, sign up today to use Pandia Health’s expert birth control doctors to get the best birth control pill for you!

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What is the Best Birth Control Pill to Treat Acne?

Combination birth control pills work best to treat acne because they decrease circulating Testosterone. Combination contraceptive pills differ by their different forms of progesterone. Specifically, 3 birth control pills are FDA-approved to treat hormonal acne. However, research has shown that all combined birth control pills help treat acne. These are just the drugs that paid money to get FDA approval for acne.

Yaz  has drospirenone. only has 20 mcg of estrogen, so Pandia Health’s expert birth control doctors do NOT recommend these pills if you are under 30 years old, because it’s not good for your bones. However you can use Yasmin and its generics which have 30 mcg of estrogen and thus would be OK for your bones if you are under 30 years old. 

Estrostep 21 or Fe (1 mg norethindrone acetate and 20-35 mcg ethinyl estradiol) 

Ortho tri cyclen (NO longer on market), but generics exist. contains norgestimate (progestin)

From our expert birth control doctors’ experience, birth control pills containing norgestimate and desogestrel have also been good for acne.  And our expert acne doctors recommend monophasic over triphasic birth control pills in general, but also for acne patients.

How Long Does it Take Birth Control pills to Treat Acne?

Birth control pills can take several weeks up to multiple months to help treat acne. Birth control pills, unlike some topical treatments, need more time to get hormones in your system and your system has to recalibrate levels. Sometimes, women report experiencing birth control making acne worse. Birth control pills should not be used alone to treat acne. If you have acne, you will need more treatment than just birth control pills. Use Pandia Health’s expert birth control doctors to find the best birth control pill for you with the least, if any, side effects.

Benefits of Birth Control pills for Acne

Estrogen/progesterone birth control pills can decrease acne flare-ups, specifically those that occur around your period. Many users experience fewer pimples when on combined birth control pills, as well as less inflammation and less severe acne. Birth control can help treat pesky and persistent hormonal acne, decreasing flare-ups. It’s a simple solution!

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Risks of Oral Contraceptives

Birth control pills have some risks that may be more severe for people with underlying conditions. The greatest risk of combined oral contraceptive pills are blood clots in your head, lungs, leg, heart. However, this is generally in older women and smokers. For those under 35 years old and non-smokers, the risk is generally low.  Liver and gallbladder problems can be caused by taking oral contraceptives. These =occur because of the estrogen and progesterone inside of the combination pill. For women with migraines, estrogen/progesterone birth control may increase the risk of more migraines. Additionally, it can increase the risk of headaches for individuals who don’t experience migraines. Although birth control pills can trigger depression in women, the number affected is small (increased from 1.7/100 women not on birth control pills to 2.2/100 women on birth control pills). The risks of oral contraceptives should be considered and you should consult with a doctor before you choose to use prescription birth control for any purpose. 

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Should I Use Birth Control to Help Treat Acne?

Birth control can be used easily for more than just contraception. It can decrease symptoms of monthly hormonal fluctuation, resulting in gradually clearer skin, fewer breakouts, and less severe pimples. It is important to consider if combination birth control pills are right for you by consulting with a doctor. The expert doctors at Pandia Health can review your health history and prescribe birth control pills for you today. Sign up now and experience the many benefits of birth control pills.


There are 2 distinct oral birth control options, combination pills and progestin-only pills. Oral contraceptive pills are commonly taken to prevent pregnancy but are far more than just birth control! People also use birth control, topical treatments, and oral antibiotics for treating acne. The hormones used in birth control pills, estrogen and progesterone, lower the circulating Testosterone in your body, acting as acne treatment and reducing sebum levels! 

Whether you’re prone to it or currently suffer from acne, look to Pandia Health for birth control to help in your acne treatment! Not only do we offer oral acne treatment but topical treatments as well. You don’t have to put up with acne. Get on the road to clearer skin today.