Oral contraceptive pills change the way our bodies natural hormones function and are produced, depending on the type of pill you take it can have different effects on the body. For those with pre-existing acne, some of the most commonly prescribed pills will be Brenda, Dianne, Estelle and Yaz or Yasmin. These pills contain either Cyproterone or Drosprienone which reduce the amount of free androgens hormones such as testosterone and reduce the amount of sebum (oil) we produce in our skin, less sebum will reduce blocked pores, therefore, reducing acne breakouts. This reduction in our skins own natural oils is also the reason so many people suffer from dry skin whilst on an oral contraceptive pill.
When stopping an oral contraceptive pill, this suppression of hormones and sebum secretion can rebound increasing some of the key drivers behind acne breakouts. Most commonly I will see acne rebound for people within 3-6months of coming off an oral contraceptive pill.
First and foremost, when managing post-pill acne, we need to address your previous menstrual health. This form of acne is not always just about a rebound from coming off the pill. The pill may have also been masking undiagnosed hormonal health concerns such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) which will need to be identified and addressed to provide long term clear skin.
A Naturopathic approach to managing post-pill acne is individualised and specific for YOU – as everyone will be different. It focuses on supporting hormone balance post oral contraceptive pill use and reduces any other key drivers behind acne such as correcting skin care products, stress and diet.
And let’s not forget our skin is an organ of elimination, a way for our body to release toxins, so if our other organs of elimination (Liver, Kidneys, Lungs, Intestines, Lymphatic system) aren’t working optimally our skin tends to bear the burden.
To provide the best support it is often best to commence Naturopathic care two months before stopping any oral contraceptive pills, this often helps the skin to be less reactive. If you have already stopped an oral contraceptive and noticing breakouts, this is fine too as we work with you where you currently are and design a treatment plan to address your needs.
If you are interested in finding out more about how Naturopathic support may be the key in helping you clear your skin once and for all, you can book a complimentary health chat to discuss your concerns here.
Natalie Earles (Clinical Naturopath)
Natalie is a Clinical Naturopath and runs the Natural Dermatology program at Essendon Natural Health. She has a special focus on treating dermatological complaints and takes care in providing a personalised treatment plan to support her patients. She is available for consultations on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and the first Saturday of the month.