Why do I have acne after stopping birth control & How to avoid it

acne after stopping birth control

You might have known about all the effects that you experience when you start to use birth control pills like fewer cramps, hopefully, no pregnancy scares, as well as lighter periods. Meanwhile, are you aware of what happens when you opt-out of your pill?

Even though you discontinue the pill to get pregnant or probably you don’t want to use it again at the moment, you probably might be wondering the kinds of changes you will experience when you do so. Always put in mind that these symptoms can be different for various women, but it is pertinent to know what they are. Such changes might also include acne breakout which is one of the common concerns.

Checkout How to prevent/stop acne with hemp Seed Oil

birth control tablets
birth control tablets

Causes of Acne after stopping birth control

One reason to continue with the pill is to control your acne in the first place. Meanwhile, the unlucky thing about this is that probably experience acne after stopping birth control. Breakouts are avoided while you are on the pill due to the going down of the testosterone levels, but this eventually goes up when you discontinue using it and your acne comes back again. The best decision to take if you experience serious acne is to visit a dermatologist. 

Does stopping birth control cause acne?

It is clear and open to every teenager that there is a simple and plain relationship existing between acne and hormone. It is not news that some women often experience a premenstrual outbreak of acne because of the level of their hormones shifts during their cycle. For others, acne simply remains through the years, as far as even menopause.

Over-production of sebum can trigger acne. Sebum is known as oil produced by glands in the skin. Together with the skin cells, sebum has the potential to block the pore and hence promoting bacterial growth that contributes to acne. A group of hormones, Androgens such as testosterone, helps in stimulating the skin to produce sebum. The ovaries and adrenal glands of a woman customarily produce androgens at a low level. Higher levels of androgens can result in excess sebum.

Ingesting birth control pills containing both progesterone and estrogen results in the reduction of androgen’s amount in the body. This hence leads to less sebum and less serious acne.

birth control pills
birth control pills

Does birth control stop acne?

Excess production of oil is one of the common problems women face if they have over-production of androgen. This product can be huge before the start of menstruation. It seems like low-dosage birth control pills can help in decreasing excess androgen presence, hence decreasing breakouts and ameliorating an acne problem.

They work well specifically when it is used together with other therapies like tretinoins or topical antibacterial agents. For a lot of women, this isn’t a surprise, as most of them have observed an improvement in their skin as an effect of taking birth control pills. According to research published in Fertility and Sterility, birth control pills with low-dose can be a safe and efficient treatment for moderate acne.

According to the clinical trial discovered that the birth-control pill having levonorgestrel helped in the reduction of the appearance of acne. Oral contraceptives with low-dose also result in a minimal occurrence of estrogen-related side effects like headaches, breast tenderness, and nausea.

You should always consider a lot of issues before you choose any birth control pill as a treatment for acne. What you should always consider is whether you have made use of other options of treatment before making your choice. There are a lot of advantages and disadvantages of taking birth control pills, without having consideration of whether they are for acne or not.

In most cases, birth control pills aid in reducing the acne effects, but this is not the case all the time. For birth control pills to be effective or not, it is dependent on the type of skin, heredity factors, and hygiene habits. Potential benefits using birth control pills are that they will ameliorate some of the problems associated with acne because of hormones amount that maintains hormonal balance of the body. Aside from this, birth control pills may aid in regulating periods and avoid pregnancy.

The cons of using a birth control pill are that smokers are likely to get cancer if they ingest them. It is also pertinent to understand that the pills do not avoid sexually transmitted diseases, as well as preventing pregnancy. For people who are too young, there is a propensity of having acne yeast infections. Such infections are hard to cure totally.

Acne after stopping birth control how long does it last?

In most cases, the acne may last for six months up to a year. It is also dependent on the individual, and there is a probability of experiencing acne for 3 months after stopping birth control, that is when the hormonal imbalance begins and the process hormone regulations starts.

To avoid breaking out seriously, ensure that you do some exercise, take a proper multivitamin, eat good food, and also take an omega-3 supplement. You should stay away from citrus, processed food, sugary baked goods, etc.

Types of acne after stopping birth control

1. Hormonal acne after stopping the pill

Unluckily, it is common to have acne after stopping the birth control pill, even though you haven’t experienced bad acne before. First off there is a need for you to understand that the pill masks your hormones, so whenever you stop it, it is easy for it to return.

How to get rid of acne caused by birth control

pills on the hand
pills on the hand

Birth control for women can be an option for acne treatment, as it can help in regulating the hormones, which in turn results in breakouts on the skin. Acne and birth control are often linked to each other, as it serves an important function in the trigger of acne and pimples on the skin. In this article, we shall be looking at how to get rid of acne caused by birth control. 

  1. Moisturize properly

In the attempt of treating acne caused by birth control, ensure you moisturize your skin properly. You should always choose an oil-free and non-comedogenic moisturizer, to prevent clogging the pores and triggering further acne. Use your fingers to apply moisturizer and spread it evenly on the face. 

  1. Treatment of Lemon Juice

One of the easiest ways to treat acne caused by birth control is by the use of lemon juice. Lemon juice possesses anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties which can aid in the treatment of acne. Also, the citrus acid seen in lemon can aid in drying the acne and also avoiding birth control pills from causing any more harm.

  1. Take lots of water

One simple way of keeping the body and skin healthy is to keep yourself hydrated. Consuming lots of water can aid in flushing out the toxins from the body and also aid in keeping the skin healthy and supple. It is needful to consume lots of water always to keep the skin healthy and avoid acne caused by birth control. It is recommended to take averagely 8 to 12 glasses of water consistently in a day.

  1. Opt for peels

A lot of scientists have said that peels should be applied on the skin, to help heal the acne on the skin. Generally, you should use peels that possess alpha hydroxyl or glycolic acids which can aid in healing the acne on the skin as well as keeping it healthy all through the day. The use of these chemical peels do not only aid in sloughing off the dead skin cells from the face, but it also serve in healing the acne caused birth control.

  1. Apply some yogurt

Fixing some bacteria on the face is a simple remedy that can aid in controlling the production of acne on the face, caused by birth control. Yogurt possesses good bacteria which can aid in healing the acne and also keeping the skin healthy and supple. Yogurt contains some probiotics that can aid in easing the inflammation as well as preventing other skin conditions. Get some fresh yogurt and then apply on the skin, keep for some time and wash it off with warm water.

  1. Make use of rose water

The use of rose water can aid in keeping the skin healthy, moisturized, and supple. Rosewater possesses natural skin soothing and skin healing properties, which can aid in soothing the skin as well as promoting glowing and clear skin. Get some fresh rose water and then apply on the face, and then keep it to dry on its own. 

Birth control for acne before and after

There are several reasons why acne can break out after stopping birth control. These reasons may include;

1. Excess production of sebum

Some hormonal contraceptives mask the production of sebum. Sebum is considered a natural oil that is produced by the skin that aids in keeping the skin hydrated and protected. Once the birth control pill is taken off, the skin begins to respond by unregulated production of sebum, thereby resulting in excess production and hence to oily skin and consistent breakouts.  

2. Androgen rebound

The birth control pill affects the ability of the body to produce hormones naturally on its own. One of the ways the pill serves in reducing acne is by the reduction of the number of androgens such as testosterone, circulating in the body.

3. Zinc depletion

It is known that the pill can deplete many vital nutrients such as zinc, which is important for the health of the skin and is a better treatment for acne. Zinc aids in reducing the particular bacteria on the skin that can result in breakouts.

Can birth control make acne worse?

Using birth control should not make acne worse, but it is pertinent you check with your physician to know which type of birth control is suitable for you. Birth control pills alter the levels of hormones in the body, which could, in turn, result in complications if not taken with caution. With this notwithstanding, a lot of women still experience serious breakouts of acne immediately beginning their contraceptive treatment. Nevertheless, if you have just begun taking a pill and you notice serious acne, consult your gynecologist as soon as possible so that he or she will make the right diagnoses. 

Kindly contact us if you have any questions about why one can have acne after stopping birth control. We will love to hear from you soon!

Mary is the Senior Director of Medical Affairs at Health Parrots. She brings her years of clinical and healthcare technology experience to help consistently create high quality, concise and engaging content and products that uphold the highest medical integrity. She is an M.D. recipient from Baylor College of Medicine and completed her residency at St. Joseph Hospital in Houston, TX. After years of clinical practice, Dr. Le transitioned from clinical medicine to healthcare technology through her work at Epocrates, where she developed clinical news products and disease and drug content. With her wealth of experience, She has also helped create an EHR, secure messaging products, and clinical decision support tools for healthcare systems.


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