Examining the use of oral contraceptives in the management of acne

Int J Womens Health. 2010 Aug 9:2:69-76. doi: 10.2147/ijwh.s5915.


Combined oral contraceptive pills (cOCPs) are often used in the treatment of acne in females. They are effective, safe, and easy to use in appropriate patients in combination with more conventional acne therapies. This article will briefly address the physiologic rationale for the use of cOCPs in the treatment of acne. It will also review efficacy by examining relevant clinical trials. Safety considerations and the adverse event profile for oral contraceptives will be presented. Finally, practical considerations for prescribing cOCPs will be discussed.

Keywords: acne; oral contraceptives; treatment.