How Do I Choose the Best Hormonal Acne Treatment?

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  • Written By: M. Walker
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2019
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Hormonal acne treatment can be an effective method for reducing hormone-related acne breakouts, inflammation, and cystic acne. While it often comes in the form of a hormonal contraceptive, androgen blockers and homeopathic remedies are also available. Finding the best hormonal acne treatment will depend on a variety of factors, including cost, side effects, and hormone ingredients. Many acne sufferers will also want to weigh the pros and cons of conventional acne treatments with homeopathic treatments.

Androgens are generally responsible for stimulating the sebaceous glands, which produce oil that can clog pores and trap bacteria under the skin’s surface. These glands are most active during times when hormones are not in balance, such as puberty, pregnancy, or menopause in women. They are also usually more active during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, which occurs after ovulation and before menstruation. Blocking androgens and lessening the stimulation of the sebaceous oil glands can be an effective method for removing hormonal acne.


One of the most common types of hormonal acne treatment is hormonal birth control, which contains estrogen and progesterone mimickers. This method of acne treatment, which comes in the form of pills, injections, and implants, carefully regulates the hormone levels in the bloodstream. Not only does it prevent breakouts from occurring due to hormone fluctuations, it also slightly increases the levels of estrogen-like hormones and decreases the acne-causing effects of androgens. Androgen blockers act in a similar manner by preventing the stimulating effects of androgens on the oil glands. Homeopathic remedies are also available, but the mechanism of action is often specific to the individual treatment.

When choosing the right hormonal acne treatment, cost is often one of the main factors. Some prescriptions for hormonal birth control can cost upwards of $50 US Dollars (USD) per month, especially brand name drugs. Many less expensive generic versions are available, some of which cost less than $10 USD per month. Health insurance coverage is also available for many of these acne treatments.

Depending on the exact make-up of the drug, various side effects can occur for individuals pursuing hormonal acne treatments. Common side effects include mood swings, anxiety, weight gain or weight loss, and in some cases risk of blood clots. Different brands of hormonal birth control will often have different side effects for individual patients, many of which are inconsistent throughout a population. When looking for the best treatment options, it’s best to keep in mind that switching brands is possible if unwanted side effects occur.


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Post 3

@ddljohn-- I took birth control pills for three years for my acne. It worked but I had a lot of side effects from them like weight gain and migraines. But I also know people who didn't experience much side effects.

I think you have to try them and decide for yourself if they're good for you or not. For some people, it's worth it and for others it's not.

And I'm sure you know that a hormone treatment for acne is only going to be effective when the cause of the acne is a hormone imbalance. So you cannot make this decision yourself. You have to have tests done to check your hormone levels and if there is an imbalance, you can consider hormonal therapies with your doctor.

Post 2

Is anyone on birth control pills for acne?

I've heard that birth control pills have a lot of side effects. Is it worth it for acne treatment or not?

Post 1

I was put on a hormone medication three months ago for my cystic acne. The medication is labeled as both a steroid and a hormone. It helps balance androgen, progesterone and estrogen in the body. Technically, it's a diuretic medication but it's also being used off-label for acne because it reduces androgens.

I am amazed with this medication because it has completely cleared up my acne. I used to get painful cysts and nodules that would take weeks to heal. Ever since I started this hormonal treatment, I don't get any more breakouts.

I have no idea if it's as effective for other people, but I think I've finally found the acne skin treatment I've been looking for.

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