Birth Control and Your Skin

March 29, 2017 2 min read 0 Comments

By: Abbey 

If I could sum this article up in one sentence, it would be “Don’t go on prescription birth control for your acne, especially Yasmin; just don’t do it.” However, a lot of you probably credit your skin’s glow to these same hormones. So if you are considering the “magic pill” for your acne woes, let me fill you in on my horrendous experience:

I am currently a freshman in college, one who has suffered from acne since I was in the 7th grade, both on my face, my back and my shoulders. After about 6 years of trial and error with prescription medication, advertised systems, and both high end and drugstore product, I finally found my answer in a renewed diet that cut out dairy and gluten. This along with oil cleansing allowed me to ditch all of my prescriptions and wear absolutely no makeup for a majority of my senior year. Moving into the summer, I wanted to start on birth control, as I heard it did wonders for your skin and had a significant list of benefits to PMS, cramping etc. I talked to my doctor and was prescribed Ortho Tri Cyclen-Lo, a low dose prescription that was highly anti-androgenic and known to help those with acne.

This was a huge mistake, as when I started taking it, I noticed my skin breaking out immediately. I should have stopped at this point, but after reading up on birth control I learned that an initial breakout is common and would clear up in “2-3 months”. Well, that didn’t happen, and after two months of agony from cystic spots and redness, I finally asked to switch prescription. My mom agreed and I was then switched to Yasmin. The thought process from my doctor was that Ortho Tri Cyclen lo works to deliver three different levels of hormones throughout the month- slowly climbing in strength until your placebo week at the end of the month. This constant fluctuation of hormones can be caused by the hormonal acne I was having because my body wasn’t given enough time to respond to the doses it was being given. Reasonable enough to me, ok. So I did make the switch to Yasmin and again experienced an initial breakout, but at this point, I was so lost in my own acne, I barely even noticed it- as the spots were so normal to me. Sad, I know. Well two months down the line, and I didn’t even want to leave my couch. Leaving my dorm room to go down the hall to the bathroom was enough to give me screaming anxiety, and the additional stress was definitely not helping my complexion.

 Long story short, if I could give any advice it would be to not start on birth control before research and if your reasons are acne related, just skip it and try something else- trust me it is not worth it.