I have acne that doesn't clear up when I use medications or creams. Could birth control pills help?

Answers from Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D.

Though typically safe and effective, birth control pills aren't for everyone. Side effects can include headaches, change in menstrual flow, breast tenderness, and slightly increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and blood clots.

Talk to your doctor about how your health history and age may affect your risks with birth control pills for acne.

Don't take combination estrogen-progestin pills if you:

  • Are age 35 or older and smoke
  • Have a history of cardiovascular disease
  • Have a history of breast, uterine or liver cancer
  • Have a history of blood clots in your legs or lungs
Sep. 22, 2011