How can birth control impact the skin?

How can birth control impact the skin?

Mar 27, 2023Zaryab Fayyaz

Birth control can have both positive and negative impacts on the skin depending on the type of birth control and individual's body it is being used.

Some birth control methods, such as combination hormonal birth control pills, contain estrogen and progestin hormones that can help improve the appearance of the skin by reducing the production of oil and decreasing the severity of acne. This is because these hormones can lower the levels of androgens (male hormones) in the body, which are known to contribute to acne.

However, other types of birth control, such as the progestin-only pill or the Depo-Provera shot, can have the opposite effect on the skin. These methods may increase the production of oil, leading to more acne and breakouts.

Here are some ways that birth control can impact the skin:

  1. Acne

Hormonal birth control can help improve acne for some women by reducing the amount of androgen hormones in the body. 

Androgens are a type of hormone that can cause the sebaceous glands in the skin to produce more oil, which can lead to acne. Some types of hormonal birth control, such as combination birth control pills, may contain estrogen and progestin, which can help to reduce acne.

  1. Melasma

Melasma is a condition that causes dark patches on the skin, usually on the face.


 Hormonal birth control can increase the risk of developing melasma in some women, particularly those who are prone to the condition.

  1. Dryness or oiliness

Hormonal birth control can affect the skin's natural oils, which can lead to either dryness or oiliness, depending on the individual's response to the medication. 

Dryness or oiliness

Some women may experience dryness, while others may experience increased oil production.

  1. Sensitivity

Some women may experience increased skin sensitivity while taking hormonal birth control. 


This may cause the skin to become more easily irritated, especially during the first few months of starting the medication.

  1. Hyperpigmentation

Certain types of birth control can cause hyperpigmentation, which is the darkening of areas of skin.


 This is more common in women with darker skin tones who take birth control pills or use hormonal intrauterine devices (IUDs).


It's important to note that every individual's body chemistry is different, so the effects of birth control on the skin may vary from person to person. If you're experiencing any negative effects on your skin as a result of birth control, it's important to talk to your healthcare provider about any concerns you have about how birth control may impact your skin, to find out the best option for you. Additionally, maintaining a consistent skincare routine and using sunscreen can help to minimise any negative effects and keep your skin healthy.

Tell us how birth control impacted your skin ?




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