Contraceptive use in acne

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29 Scopus citations


Acne vulgaris is an inflammatory disorder of the pilosebaceous follicle. It is well established that androgen hormones play a major role in sebum production and excretion, and are vital in the pathogenesis of acne. Isotretinoin notwithstanding, hormonal therapies such as combined oral contraceptives (COCs) and spironolactone are the only treatments that can affect sebum production and the androgen component of acne. Contraceptives are also used during isotretinoin therapy for pregnancy prevention. It is important for a dermatologist to be familiar with all the available methods of contraception to provide essential counseling to patients. The aim of this paper is to review the role of hormones in acne pathogenesis, discuss the use of hormonal therapies for acne, and detail various alternative contraceptive methods in relation to isotretinoin treatment and pregnancy prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)502-515
Number of pages14
JournalClinics in Dermatology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dermatology


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