One of the most common questions that we are asked when a woman comes off birth control is how to manage rebound acne.
Women report feeling liberated through taking control of their reproductive health and relieved they don’t have to deal with the short and long-term side effects of birth control, but how do they manage their skin after birth control when acne flares?
Causes of Post-Pill Acne
Certain birth control methods suppress sebum or skin oils. When a woman comes off the pill, the skin responds by up-regulating sebum and an overproduction of sebum and this up can last 3 to 6 months.
In addition, there is a significant surge of male hormones as the ovaries are awakened to function properly.
This is like a drug withdrawal process which peaks at 6 months and will eventually return back to normal once hormone levels stabilize.
How Do You Treat Post Pill Acne
It is very common in mainstream healthcare to be placed on hormonal birth control or spironolactone for acne but we have a better choice–the natural approach.
1. Avoid or limit dairy because it contains an inflammatory protein called A1 casein and a hormone called IGF-1. Foods to avoid are yogurt, cheese, ice cream and coffees with milk. Butter, sheep dairy and goat dairy are acceptable.
2. Avoid or limit sugar. Like dairy it spikes the hormone IGF-1. The worst form of sugar is in high fructose found in most desserts, honey, fruit juice, and dried fruit. Whole fruit is acceptable.
3. Take a zinc supplement. Zinc reduces keratin, kills bacteria and reduces testosterone. The recommended dose for post pill acne is 30 mg a day of high quality zinc.
4. Take a diindolylmethane supplement. This is a phytonutrient from broccoli. It is an androgen (male hormone) blocker and a widely used treatment for acne.
5. Take the herbal medicine berberine. Berberine is an antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory herbal supplement that reduces IGF-1. It reduces androgens in women. It should not be taken if you are pregnant, nursing or combined with other prescription medications. Consult a physician beforetaking berberine.
6. Support health stomach acid with betaine hydrochloride. Birth control is as harmful as antibiotics to the stomach so many people who have been on birth control or have acne have low stomach acid.
While reducing inflammation and histamine will show some improvement in a few weeks, long-term results will take at least six months so this course may be challenging and require patience.
Alternative Birth Control Resources
At True Choice Medical Clinics, we understand that women are showing more dissatisfaction with the current birth control methods and their adverse side effects including post-birth control acne.
TCMC offers programs like FEMM education empowering women to achieve hormonal health through charting their cycles while working side-by-side with a medical professional who will help them significantly improve their overall health.