Why Do Dermatologists Never Sugguest or Write a Prescription for Birth Control for Hormonal Acne?

Birthcontrol vs oral antibiotics/retinoids for hormonal breakouts - The past 3 yrs I've had the worst acne of my life. I've seen several dermatologists who upon a consultation will only offer me retinoids (which I hate) as a solution. I'm curious why dermatologists will never offer or sugguest birthcontrol as a preventative measure for acne. I feel that bc is more effective and safer that retinoids.

Doctor Answers 2

Birth control for acne and your dermatologist

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Never say never.  Some dermatologist do discuss birth control for acne.  Many of my patients who come in with acne are already on birth control--i.e. it doesn't always work.  Spironolactone is an alternative which has an affect on hormonal acne.  As a dermatologist, even when I discuss birth control, I don't personally write it.  As there can be other issues with taking oral contraceptives I feel it more appropriate that the patient have a relationship with a gynecologist for this.  Topical retinoinds generally have a much better safety profile than oral contraceptives.

New York Dermatologist

Oral contraceptives for acne

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I always discuss oral contraceptives as a potential treatment for any female with acne.  It doesn't always work, but I think its worth a try for many people.  I don't know why your doctors are not addressing hormonal causes, especially in adult women hormones play a big role.  Sometimes spironolactone is needed also.  Many of my patients don't want to take pills and we also offer laser and light therapies as well as topicals, injections, and peels. 

Rebecca Baxt, MD
Paramus Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

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