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Birth Control Helping Acne

From the Colorado Dermatology Institute in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Colorado Springs Dermatologist Dr. Reagan Anderson

Video Transcript

So here’s another daily do from your friendly local dermatologist!

All right, so can birth control pills help with acne? And the answer is absolutely yes, and Dermatologists, we write these all day long to help control for acne. Now, birth control is a is a really controversial topic and I kind of pause there because I just had all these memories go through my mind of when we talked to patients, especially when they’re you know sixteen or seventeen year old girls, and their parents are in the room and the word birth control comes up because it might as well be a four-letter word and It’s just a hard conversation to have, but because acne is mostly caused by hormonal changes in the body, whether those are from what we’re going through developmentally or because we have an underlying condition or disorder or because our diet is horrible or because of stress, regardless, it’s mostly a hormone driven process and birth control pills alter hormonal levels. So you can see that if you pick the right birth control pill for a slight hormonal imbalance, for any one of these reasons, that it can really help with acne and so that’s what we use them for. You know, I stopped writing birth control pills for my patients years ago because I personally think that the primary care or the ob/gyn should really be the person writing those so they can do the appropriate genetic testing beforehand to see if they have a certain gene that could increase some of the risk profile, especially the blood clot risk profile, before you start the birth control pill. So they can also follow the symptoms because I’m a, I’m a skin doctor, right? I need somebody who can look more globally internally and does that all day long in their training, and so I’m more comfortable if the primary care doctor or the ob/gyn, who does this all day long, actually writes for the medication and monitors it. So I usually send them off to somebody else to start that so that you have this whole team concept around the patient where I’m helping with the acne, they’re taking control of the whole patient and we’re making sure that the two are heading in the direction of first do no harm. So, if you have acne, especially if you have acne where men get a beard. Right in this area and you get the oily forehead and nose way before the end of the day, so it happens in the morning instead of at the end of the day, then talk to your dermatologist. Talk to your primary care doctor about which birth control pill might be right for you after you have a discussion of the risks and benefits and ask him to do the genetic testing on you so that you make sure that you are not more predisposed to blood clots because the last thing you want to do is get a blood clot from one of these medications because you didn’t do a 50-dollar genetic test. Actually, I don’t know how much it costs, but I’m told it’s very cheap. All right guys, please talk to your providers about this and parents if you’re listening to this, when you hear the words birth control, please know that more birth control pills are written for medical conditions than they are to control pregnancy. So I get it’s a hard subject. I understand that and I understand the uncomfortableness in the room but if that’s all we have that’s going to help or at least the best thing that’s gonna help your daughter get through a very difficult portion of their life, then please just hear us out. Please consider it ask all the questions you have because we are here to guide you through this process.

Because Dermatologists treat more than just skin cancer!

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