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How do oral contraceptives help treat acne?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner
For some women who experience worse acne outbreaks during menstruation, oral contraceptives might be prescribed as treatment. Levels of hormones-especially androgens like testosterone-are often increased during menstruation, which causes sebaceous glands to produce an overabundance of an oily substance known as sebum that then clogs pores. Oral contraceptives stabilize hormone levels and can reduce the amount of androgens the body produces. That means that the sebaceous glands are no longer over-stimulated, which helps reduce the chances of developing acne.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.