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J Drugs Dermatol. 2016 Jun 1;15(6):670-4.

Hormonal Contraceptives and Acne: A Retrospective Analysis of 2147 Patients.



Although hormonal contraceptives may help acne or worsen it, there is limited evidence on the effects of many commonly prescribed agents. The present study evaluates patient-reported effect on acne from 2147 patients who were utilizing a hormonal contraceptive at the time of their initial consultation for acne.<BR />


At the time of initial consultation for acne, each of 2147 consecutive patients using hormonal contraception provided her assessment of how her contraceptive had affected her acne. The Kruskal-Wallis test and logistic regression analysis were used to compare patient-reported outcomes by contraceptive type.<BR />


Depot injections, subdermal implants, and hormonal intrauterine devices worsened acne on average, and were inferior to the vaginal ring and combined oral contraceptives (COCs; <em>P</em> &le; .001 for all pairwise comparisons), which improved acne on average. Within COC categories, a hierarchy emerged based on the progestin component, where drospirenone (most helpful) &gt; norgestimate and desogestrel &gt; levonorgestrel and norethindrone (<em>P</em> &le; .035 for all pairwise comparisons). The presence of triphasic progestin dosage in COCs had a positive effect (<em>P</em> = .005), while variation in estrogen dose did not have a significant effect (<em>P</em> = .880).<BR />


Different hormonal contraceptives have significantly varied effects on acne, including among types of COC.<BR /><BR /> <em>J Drugs Dermatol</em>. 2016;15(6):670-674.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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