Hormonal Therapy for Acne Using Oral Contraceptive Pills

The etiology of acne vulgaris is multifactorial and complex. The four key factors involved in the development of acne include follicular plugging, inflammation, the presence and activity of Propionibacterium acnes, and sebum. Androgen hormones stimulate the sebaceous gland and promote sebum excretion. Therefore, therapies that have an overall antiandrogen effect, like combination oral contraceptive pills, may be useful in the management of acne vulgaris. Numerous combination oral contraceptive pills have been evaluated in the treatment of acne vulgaris and have been found to be effective. With a thorough understanding of their proper use and potential associated risks, these hormonal treatments may be prescribed safely and effectively to women with acne.

Semin Cutan Med Surg 24:103-106 © 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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