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How Long Does It Take for Birthcontrol to Clear Acne? (Everything You Need to Know)

Acne often leaves us searching for effective treatments. Among the myriad solutions available, an unexpected solution comes in the form of birth control pills. Many ponder, "How long does it take for birth control to clear acne?"

This article will unveil the ties between birth control and acne and the transformative potential of the pill on skin health. Discover whether birth controls are an excellent addition to your skincare routine.

Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment

Biggest Take-Aways:

  • By regulating hormone levels, birth control pills can reduce sebum production and potentially help manage acne.
  • It can take two to three months of consistent birth control use before noticing significant improvements in acne.
  • While birth control offers an effective way to prevent pregnancy and manage acne, side effects, including potential acne flare-ups, need consideration.
  • Exposed Skin Care stands out as a complementary treatment, working alongside birth control to offer a holistic approach to acne management.

Woman holding a pack of birth control pills

The Link between Hormones and Acne

Acne is not just about the skin; it's deeply rooted in hormonal changes within the body. The ebb and flow of hormones can directly influence sebum production and skin cell behavior, leading to acne flare-ups.

Hormones Called Androgens and Their Impact

  • Androgens and Sebum Production: Androgens are hormones that can stimulate skin sebum (oil) production. Increased sebum, combined with dead skin cells, can contribute to acne.
  • Estrogen and Progesterone Balance: Birth control pills that contain estrogen and progesterone can help regulate androgen levels. This balance often reduces sebum production, which may help with acne.

Birth Control Pills: The Acne Connection

While it's renowned for its contraception capabilities, the birth control pill also plays a vital role in acne treatment for many women.

How Birth Control Pills Help with Acne

The main components in most birth control pills, estrogen, and progesterone, can significantly impact hormonal acne. These pills can help regulate the hormone levels in your body, decreasing androgens and thus reducing sebum production.

Woman looking at face with small table mirror

Different Types of Birth Control for Acne

There are three types of birth control pills often prescribed for acne:

  • Combination Pills: These birth control pills contain both estrogen and progesterone. They can be used for acne treatment and improve acne in women.
  • Progestin-only Pills: These pills contain only progesterone. While they're primarily used for contraception, some women experience improvement in acne.
  • FDA-Approved Pills for Acne: Some pills are approved by the FDA specifically to treat acne in women.

How Long Does It Take for Birth Control to Clear Acne?

Starting a hormonal birth control regimen can be a journey of patience. The time it takes to see visible improvement varies among individuals.

A Gradual Transition

Typically, it may take two to three months of consistent birth control use before noticeable improvements in acne. For some, it might be quicker, while others might take longer. Remember, every individual's body reacts differently to hormonal changes.

Factors Influencing the Outcome

  • Severity of Acne: Mild to severe acne can influence how quickly birth control starts to clear the skin.

Close up of woman with mild acne

  • Type of Birth Control Pill: Different doses of estrogen and progesterone in various pills can impact the speed at which acne improves.
  • Underlying Hormonal Imbalances: If acne is triggered predominantly by hormonal imbalances, using birth control pills to treat such acne may yield faster results.

Side Effects and Considerations

Every treatment comes with its caveats. While birth control pills can help with acne, being aware of potential side effects is essential.

Can Birth Control Pills Make Acne Worse?

The birth control pill can sometimes exacerbate acne, especially during the initial months. Switching to a different pill or method might be necessary if one experiences worsened acne breakouts after starting the pill.

Other Notable Side Effects of the Birth Control Pill

While primarily focused on acne, it's crucial to consider other effects of the birth control pill. From weight fluctuations to mood changes, it's always advised for healthy women to discuss potential side effects with their doctor before beginning any birth control method.

Other Acne Treatments to Consider

While the pill is a recognized solution for hormonal acne, it's essential to understand the breadth of acne treatments available to cater to diverse skin types and concerns.

Topical Creams and Oral Antibiotics

  • First Line of Defense: They are often the primary solution for many battling acne.
  • Topical Creams: Target the skin's surface. Reduce inflammation and bacteria that lead to breakouts. Common ingredients include benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and retinoids.

Close up of woman puting topical cream on acne

  • Oral Antibiotics: Act internally. Address the bacterial elements of acne. When paired with birth control, they offer a comprehensive approach to acne management.

Lifestyle Changes

  • Regular Skin Cleansing: Helps remove excess oil and reduces the risk of pore clogging.
  • Balanced Diet: Opt for foods rich in antioxidants and limit processed foods. Include Omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish and walnuts). Consume vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables to decrease inflammation linked to acne.
  • Stress Management: Techniques such as relaxation exercises, regular physical activity, and ensuring adequate sleep can contribute significantly to improved skin health. Integrating these methods with birth control treatments can enhance the path toward clearer skin.

Benefits of Using Exposed Skin Care for Acne Management

When dealing with persistent acne, many women explore varied treatments. One such remedy that stands out is Exposed Skin Care.

Exposed Skin Care Basic Kit

Here are the benefits of this product line:

  • Complementing Birth Control Treatments: While many women take birth control pills for acne, Exposed Skin Care can work hand in hand with oral contraceptives to maximize results. A dermatologist may prescribe both, especially if birth control pills work slowly for an individual.
  • Reduced Flare-Ups: Those who experience acne along with side effects from taking the pill might find Exposed Skin Care as a soothing solution to manage flare-ups of acne.
  • Alternative to Progestin-Only Pills: Not all birth control options are suitable for everyone. Women who have a history of blood clots or experience irregular periods might be prescribed pills that contain only progesterone. In such cases, Exposed Skin Care can be an effective treatment for acne, complementing the contraceptive pills.
  • Diverse Treatment for Various Acne Types: Whether it's cystic acne or occasional breakout, Exposed Skin Care offers solutions available with different doses, making it a versatile treatment.

In summary, for healthy women who also need contraception and are starting or already taking birth control to treat acne, Exposed Skin Care offers a safe and effective way to help treat skin imperfections.


While a doctor can help prescribe birth control as a tool to regulate levels of androgens, it's often a multifaceted approach that yields optimal results in treating acne. The journey to clear up acne, especially if one has started taking birth control, can take several months of treatment.

With its specialized formulation, Exposed Skin Care emerges as a beacon for those battling skin and acne woes. It not only complements oral contraceptives, also known as oral treatments but ensures that users have a robust line of defense against breakouts.

However, it's imperative to acknowledge the complexities. While birth control pills, especially those with different levels of progesterone than in the past, offer an effective way to prevent pregnancy, they can sometimes exacerbate acne. It's here that Exposed Skin Care stands out, ensuring skin remains resilient.

In conclusion, the nuanced world of acne treatment demands a comprehensive understanding and approach. With the dual power of prescribed birth control pills and Exposed Skin Care, many find their path to clearer, healthier skin.


How does birth control help acne in women?

Birth control pills regulate hormone levels, especially androgens, reducing sebum production and potentially improving acne.

Are all birth control pills effective for acne treatment?

Not all birth control pills are designed to treat acne. Only specific pills with certain levels of estrogen and progesterone have been shown to help reduce acne.

How long should I wait before seeing improvements in my acne after starting birth control?

Generally, it may take two to three months before you notice improvements. However, individual experiences can vary.

Can switching to a different pill help if my current pill isn't improving my acne?

Switching to another kind of birth control pill might make a difference. Always discuss with your doctor about any concerns.

Are there risks or side effects to using birth control for acne?

Yes, like all treatments, there can be side effects. Some women may experience weight gain, mood changes, or even worsened acne. It's crucial to consult with a professional before starting any treatment.