Once upon a time birth control pills were just used as a contraceptive, but today they are being increasingly prescribed by doctors as an effective way of controlling acne. Just as a potential drug for hypertension, Viagra, became a runaway success for treating impotence, so contraceptive pills are finding a use that no-one was expecting.
Though this technique for the treatment of acne has been successful it still has to be used alongside other methods of treatment to have the best effect. The pill is typically recommended when existing methods of treating acne have not been very successful. A synthetic hormone found in the pill, progestin drospirenone, which is excellent for the treatment of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) has been shown to be effective in reducing acne as well. Acne can be brought on by sudden hormonal changes and women tend to be more affected than men. In fact it has been noticed that particular women only have a breakout of acne close to their menstrual cycle.
There is an obvious need for caution though as birth control pills are not for everyone. Some individuals can have serious side effects from their use. These can range from a severe headache, vomiting, or feelings of nausea to changes in the menstrual flow and depression. In some cases it is also known to increase the possibility of blood clots, elevated blood pressure, heart disease and high potassium levels. There is also the significant time delay between starting treatment and seeing the first visible improvements in skin condition.
Using a serious medication, like the contraceptive pill, for a relatively trivial purpose like reducing acne obviously needs to be discussed with a medical professional first. If you’re already on the pill it may just be a matter of changing your prescription. Whether that, or a completely new prescription, keep in mind that it will take some time for the improvements to be noticed and that any topical medications should be continued to get the best overall results.
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