Birth control is a widely-used method of contraception, providing women with reproductive control and serving as a treatment option for various health conditions. However, a common concern that arises when discussing birth control is the potential side effect of acne. While some studies suggest a correlation between certain hormonal contraceptives and increased acne, it is important to weigh these findings against the diverse perspectives and consider the overall impact on women’s health.

I. The Link between Birth Control and Acne: Exploring the Evidence

1.A Study on Oral Contraceptives and Acne: A study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology concluded that oral contraceptive pills containing progestin with anti-androgenic properties can improve acne symptoms. The study found that these types of pills can decrease sebum production, leading to a reduction in acne lesions .

2.A Review of Combined Oral Contraceptives (COCs): According to a review conducted by the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, acne can be improved or worsened depending on the type of progestin used in COCs. Some progestins, such as norgestimate and drospirenone, can improve acne, while others like levonorgestrel may exacerbate it .

3.Hormonal IUDs and Acne: A study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology found that levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine systems (IUDs) do not exacerbate acne symptoms. In fact, the study indicated that these devices could even improve acne in some cases .

Diverse Perspectives and Considerations:

1.Individual Response to Birth Control: It’s crucial to highlight that everyone’s response to birth control can vary. Some individuals may experience improved acne symptoms, while others may notice a worsening of their condition. The specific hormonal composition of the chosen contraceptive plays a significant role in determining its impact on acne.

Individual Response to Birth Control

2.Influence of Underlying Medical Conditions: Acne is a complex dermatological condition influenced by various factors, including hormone levels, genetics, and lifestyle. It is necessary to consider that women who seek birth control for reasons other than contraception, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) management, may have different experiences with acne and birth control due to their underlying hormonal imbalances.

Influence of Underlying Medical Conditions


The relationship between birth control and acne is a nuanced topic, with studies revealing mixed findings regarding its effects. While certain types of hormonal contraceptives can improve acne symptoms, others may have no effect or potentially worsen the condition. It is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most suitable birth control option for individual circumstances and to address concerns about potential side effects.


  1. National Library of Medicine, Low-dose adjunctive spironolactone in the treatment of acne in women: a retrospective analysis of 85 consecutively treated patients. J Am Acad Dermatol.
  2. Cochrane, Effect of birth control pills on acne in women