A new clinical study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology shows that oral contraceptive pills are as effective in fighting acne as oral antibiotics. The study showed that while oral antibiotics deliver better complexion-clearing results in the first three months, both the pill and antibiotics are equally as effective after the six month mark. Both the pill and antibiotics reduced acne by over 50% at six months. This is great news for young women who are looking for a way to clear their skin as well as protect themselves from pregnancy.
Antibiotics, while a proven way to treat acne, are not ideal for those who do not want to subject their whole body to medication while trying to target their acne. People are also concerned about becoming antibiotic-resistant, making the pill an ideal alternative treatment for persistent acne. Antibiotics work by reducing inflammation, while oral contraceptives help reduce the hormone androgen, which leads to oil-production. While the anti-inflammatory properties lead to a quicker reduction in inflammatory acne lesions, the reduction of androgen takes a little bit longer to enjoy the results, hence the reason why antibiotics take effect quicker.
The best oral contraceptive pills to take for the treatment of acne, include YAZ, Ortho Tri-Cyclen and Estrostep. All three of these pills have a low dose of estrogen and progesterone. There is no difference between their acne-clearing results. Talk to your dermatologist about which pill is best for you.