Birth Control Pill or Accutane for Treating Acne?

I've had a few consultations with dermatologists asking them if i could take accutane and the response was always no, because they only prescribe it for those with severe acne (i have mild). I'm a little bit concerned about taking birth control pill because i have varicose veins and i do not want them to get worse than what they are. Creams i've tried but are typically temporary .

Doctor Answers 4

Acne treatments: Accutane vs Birth Control vs OTHER

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The aforementioned treatments are great for treating acne, but do know that there are other options out there.  Birth control is great for controlling hormonally-influenced acne, some brands better than others.  Accutane, generically referred to as isotretinoin, is generally reserved for the most severe of acne--in particular, those with significant scarring and/or intractable to other therapies.  There are a number of topicals and oral medications, frequently antibiotics, that are often tried before or concurrently with oral contraception and isotretinoin.  I would discuss this with your dermatologist to determine what treatment course would be best for you and your type of acne.

Dallas Dermatologist

Accutane vs Birth Control

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I would have to see the type of acne you have. Typically for adult Acne, Birth Control works great. We do worry about clots mostly if you smoke or have family history of blood clotting. If more than 1 Derm suggests birth control, I would go for it. If you are against taking birth control, Spironolactone works great for adult acne.

Tracy Kuykendall, MD
Tulsa Dermatologist

Consider topical treatments and diet modification for mild acne

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Any treatment besides Accutane is temporary.  Accutane is the only treatment for acne that has the potential for putting acne into remission.  About 80% of patients that take Accutane at proper doses for a proper amount of time will have long term resolution of their acne.

That said, Accutane has the potential for a number of side effects and the risk vs reward needs to be addressed when dealing with mild acne.

There are excellent topical medications that can treat mild acne.  Consider excluding all dairy and milk products from your diet, including protein drinks for muscle building.  All milk and dairy products contain hormones that can stimulate or worsen acne.

Emily Altman, MD
Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon

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Birth control for acne

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Birth control pills are an excellent approach to acne . However, I recommend that the gynecologist evaluate any patient prior to instituting these medications. Birth control is not a substitute for accutane as they are used for entirely different reasons and types of acne. Accutane is in fact for the most severest of acne.

Steven Hacker, MD
West Palm Beach Dermatologic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.