Q&A: Is the Pill Effective for Treating Acne?

Find out whether oral contraceptives can help clear up teenagers' skin, and if so, which brands are safe.

Q. My 15-year-old daughter's doctor recommended the pill to clear up her acne. Is this safe and will it help?

A. Oral contraceptives (Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Estrostep, or Yaz) are generally prescribed for teens after other acne treatments, such as topical creams and antibiotics, prove ineffective, says Paula Hillard, MD, chief of the division of gynecologic specialties at Stanford University School of Medicine in California. "Young women can go on the pill anytime after they begin menstruating. And there's absolutely no evidence that taking the pill for non-contraceptive reasons makes a teen more likely to be sexually active."

All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.