I am not a doctor, so obviously everything I say is only my opinion, based on my research, and not on a medical background. Please check with your doctor for his or her own medical opinions about various treatments for acne. I have personally had tremendous success with use of The Pill for my hormonal acne. I am not exactly sure how I decided I had hormonal acne, rather than it being caused by something else, but the fact that The Pill worked for me is the biggest clue. There are some pills that are good for acne, and some that can make it worse. Generally pills that are higher in Estrogen (typically 30-35mcmg) and lower in Androgenicity will improve hormonal acne, and pills higher in Androgenicity and lower in Estrogen can make acne worse. Based on this premise, here is a list of pills that will most likely help hormonal acne:
Diane-35 (not sold in US)
Ortho Evra (the patch)
Based on this premise, here is a list of pills that can make acne worse:
Loestrin 1/20 Fe
There are lots of other birth control pills out there, all of which address different concerns such as weight gain, depression, PMDD, and break-through bleeding. There are some that sort of fall in between these two extremes of being good vs. bad for acne, which is why I didn’t include them here. Also, I typed up this list about two years ago, so I’m not sure if there are any new pills on the market I’ve missed. The only ones I know about are Yaz and Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo, and they are both lower than 30mcmg in Estrogen. There’s also Seasonale, but I wasn’t able to determine from their website its hormonal composition. Also keep in mind that everyone has a different level of hormones that is natural to their body, so The Pill is going to effect everyone differently. Before deciding on going on The Pill, read up on it and weigh your decision carefully, because it can have serious side effects, so it’s not for everyone, especially smokers.
If you don’t want to go on The Pill, there’s a pill that is similar to Yasmin, in that it’s an anti-Androgen pill, but it’s not an oral contraceptive. Spironolactone is a water pill (diuretic) that helps with water retention and high blood pressure, but it’s also had success in helping with hormonal acne. One final note: The Pill can make you more photo sensitive. Thus, you should always wear sunscreen or you may end up burning more easily, or you could develop Melasma (skin hyperpigmentation)!!! Let me know your pill stories and how it’s effected your acne!