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Contraceptives for Clear Skin


diane-pdt_pack_hk.jpg

Update (6/3/10): Please take note that I am NOT a doctor. Before asking any questions, please bear in mind that I will be answering based on my experiences and not out of any medical knowledge. I strongly suggest that you go to your doctor for any questions regarding birth control pills.

Update (8/10/10):The comments section has been permanently closed. Please direct all your contraceptive related inquiries to your health care provider. Thanks!

As an extremely acne- prone teenager, I tried all sorts of topical creams, medicated soaps, drying lotions etc. etc. just to keep my zits at bay. You know what they say about the teenage years being the most challenging stage in life? Being a pimply teenager makes it doubly challenging. Here you are trying to come to grips with your rapidly changing body, hair is sprouting in the weirdest places, you have to wear a training bra (as if you need practice for that) AND your crush called you pizza face! No wonder teenagers and angst go hand in hand.

I'm gonna dispel any possible rumors and say outright that I wasn't referring to myself in the previous paragraph, my crush never called me pizza face (he just never called me... *sniff!*). But I had more than my share of teenage sullenness no thanks in part to my wonderful skin which my mom claimed I got from my dad, and which my dad flatly denied (sniff! sniff!). I guess my mom finally felt sorry for me because after our nth unsuccessful attempt at obtaining clear skin, she finally handed me a packet of Diane contraceptives.

It was definitely weird to receive contraceptives from my mom (does this mean...) but apparently Diane, aside from being birth-control pills, was primarily meant to clear skin up. Diane inhibits androgen (or is that testosterone?) in the body. Androgen is what's responsible for the manly features we associate in guys (facial hair, pronounced features, excessive body hair etc.) while estrogen, in turn, is responsible for the feminine attributes.

Unfortunately, girls also have androgen and some more than normal. Hence, some girls tend to be oilier or hairier than others. This is where Diane steps in. By inhibiting androgens, it minimizes oil production leading to less clogged pores and less acne and a happier, less-pimply you.

Diane is taken like a regular birth control pill. It has 21 pills, with the first one to be taken on the first day of your monthly period. After the third or fourth day of taking Diane, your period will stop. Don't get freaked out and just continue taking it until you finish all 21 pills. After the 21st day, you are to take a 7 day rest from taking Diane and during this period of time, you'll get your, um, period. Again, don't get freaked out. I'm not really sure why that happens, just that it does. You can start with a new pack after the 7 day period and just do the same as above.

I noticed a significant change in my skin during the third month of use. My skin stopped being oily, my acne flares were gone and my pores were no longer crater-like. Although I did notice my appetite soar to an all-time high. I must have gained ten pounds during the time I took the pills, which was just as well because I was skinny as a stick back then. I stopped using it after the fifth or sixth month because my skin really cleared up and I was getting anal about tampering with my body and the possible future repercussions that might bring forth. Sadly, my skin went back to Oilville about a month after I got off Diane. Thankfully though it was no longer as bad as it used to be. I guess my hormones finally settled down.

I'm not sure if Diane is readily available without prescription but just by reading the enclosed pamphlet and the numerous contraindications, I think it's best to mosey on to your physician's office first before self-medicating.

*Pic taken from schering.com

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Anonymous's picture

if tataba ba ako if magta-take ako ng pills??kasi i'm chubby na eh ayoko na tumaba..and I have pimples..so i want to try if the pills can clear that up..thanks

queennie's picture

just want to know if after having contact with my bf on the 5th and 6th days after menstration is it safe to take the 2nd pack on my 8th days after mentration???is it safe or is it possible for me to get unwanted pregnancy??tnx

queennie's picture

hi,
good day po,just want to ask and seeking some answers for my questions about taking diane pills...
having contact on 5th and 6th day after menstration,then start taking my second pack on 8th days..is it safe or is it posible for me to get unwanted pregnancy???
tnx so much and i hope u can help me..
tnx more power

liz's picture

It is ok for me to use althea? I am already ligated, and 34 yrs. old. My problem now is my pimples, I am not a teenager anymore but still i have lots of pimples...ty.

Jillsabs's picture

Hi Liz,

Best to consult your derma regarding your adult acne :)

Anonymous's picture

hi po ask ko lng kung mgkanu price ng dianne35 n pills saka yung althea n rin thanks sana my response

Anonymous's picture

I don't know the price for dianne but for althea it's 300plus. Yan kasi ang pinapagamit ng OB ko.

Jillsabs's picture

Hello,

I'm not so sure but I think Diane costs about 500p a pack, while Althea is much cheaper :)

Ms.white Sn's picture

Just found out recently that i have small breast mass and it's benign which means it's not cancerous. Just a question, can i take Althea pills? it's not a contraindication right? i mean, it's my first time to take pills. any advice? i really wanted to take althea pills because i've heared that it makes your skin look good and it regulates your hormones which means i can have fuller breast. :) can i i buy over the counter? -> the pills.

thanks! :)

Jillsabs's picture

Hi Ms. White,
 
Please direct your questions to your physician because I do not know if you can take pills if you have a breast mass. I am not a doctor :)

Anonymous's picture

Hi, i'm 19 years old..turning 20.. i have no pimples at all and my MP is irregular? i mean..i'm always delayed for 5-7 days, sometimes 2 weeks delayed..is it normal? i wanted to take althea pills because i want to increase the size of my breast. i've heard that they are OTC meds, should i ask a doctor? because i really don't know how to tell why i need one.
thanks! :)

Jillsabs's picture

Yup, you should definitely consult a doctor if your irregular period is bothering you :)

white princess's picture

kse po mauubos ko na ung 1st althea pill n inintake ko nong una po clear na yung skin ko then nito pong 5 nlng natitira ngka pimple ulit ako, is it natural?thanks po sana ma receive ko po agad ung ans. sa qtion ko

Jillsabs's picture

Hi White Princess,
 
I started to see a noticeable improvement on my 3rd or 4th pack  of pills. So I think getting a pimple every now and then even when you're on the pill is normal :)
 
But please consult your doctor if you have any worries.

Anonymous's picture

as far as i rmmber wen i read d leaflet encl0sed 2 althea pill,u cn take d 1st pill even f 8s n0t ur 1st day of mens.Just make sure u d0nt have c0ntact on d 1st 7days.I aCtualy tried 8.I alrdy fnshd my 21 tblet,im n0w on 3rd free day bt stil i d0nt have my mens.Bkt gnun?Im w0rid bka buntis aq.I gave birth 2 m0s ago.

Jillsabs's picture

Naku, I'm not familiar how pills would work if you don't take it on the first day of your menses, because I always took my first dose on the first day of my menses. I remember though that it tooke 3-5 days before I started bleeding again. Maybe you can talk to your doctor about this.
 
And regarding pregnancy, just take one of those home pregnancy tests to confirm. But if you were on the pill the entire time, I doubt you'll be pregnant.

Anonymous's picture

hi can i use pills even if um only 19?

Jillsabs's picture

I'm not sure if there is a starting age for taking pills, please see your doctor about this and also so that she can prescribe regimen for you :)

Anonymous's picture

hi can i use pills even if um only 19?
:)

Jillsabs's picture

I'm not sure if there is a starting age for taking pills, please see your doctor about this and also so that she can prescribe regimen for you :)

Anonymous's picture

gus2 ko try ung althea to enhance my bo0bs.. does it really make my breast fuller? kaso nttakot aq bka nman nkka taba sya.. pls advice.. thanks po..

Jillsabs's picture

I don't think birth control pills can make your breasts bigger, I know that's only a side effect when guys take it. But the weight gain may happen, that's what happened to me. I found that my appetite really increased so I was eating almost 4 full meals a day:p

Anonymous's picture

im using althea po kse as a contraceptive and at the same time i have some pimples after po na makunan ako ng feb 2008 until now my pimple parin ako i start using althea since may 28 how long po it will take bgo mging pimple free ang skin ko kc i think kahiyang ko naman sya thnks

Jillsabs's picture

I remember it took about 3 months before my pimples subsided.
 
After 1-2 months of use, my skin wasn't as oily anymore and on the 3rd month, I wasn't breaking out anymore. So hang in there :)

ami-dolla's picture

good day..

its my first time to take contraceptive pills due to hormonal problems and irregular menstruation, and althea is what my OB suggested..

i've been using althea pills for almost 2 weeks now, and i noticed that pimples are starting to grow in my face, i dont usually have pimples unless its my time of the month, and my breasts are a lot sensitive and bigger somehow.. are all these side effects of althea? should i be worried and consult my OB or its normal, and would soon pass? thanks a lot.

Jillsabs's picture

Hi Ami-Dolla,
 
I think these are side effects that should be brought up with your OB so that he or she could prescribe a new set of pills or tweak the prescription you now have. With the availability of pills in the market now, you shouldn't suffer through thouse side effects from Althea.

Anonymous's picture

hello ask ko lang poh bakit ganun.. i'm taking trust pill ung kulay pink.. until now wala parin akong period.. d nman ako nakakamis uminom at palage ako ng tatake ng trust pills.. worried na poh ako.. is there somebody that can help me please.. :(

Jillsabs's picture

Hello,
 
You're supposed to finish one pack of 21 pills and then take 7 days off before starting a new pack. You will get your menses during the 7 day rest period
 
Please read the piece of paper inserted in the box of pills. It usually explains how the pills work, how to take them and what to expect when you're on them :)

Anonymous's picture

kakamustahin ko po ung dan kern method,effective din po ba ung recommended products kahit iba ang climate dito sa pinas?salamat..

im on my first month of althea due to acne problems din..

Jillsabs's picture

I'm happy to report that the Dan Kern method really worked for me! My face is now practically acne/pimple free although I got a few breakouts because I've been lax with my benzoyl peroxide application in the last few weeks. But the pimples were not the angry and painful ones like before, and they easily subsided with a few days of BP application.
 
I thought that I could get away with not using BP because of our humid weather, but I was wrong! My skin got really dry and flaky without BP. So now I use VMV Creammmmy moisturizer during the day because it has SPF 15 and Celeteque moisturizer at night.
 
I'm coming up with a follow-up post to my experience with the Dan Kern regimen as soon as my pimple scars fade:p That should be in 2-3 weeks time, do watch out for that!