Hormonal therapy

Hormonal therapies can often benefit women with acne, especially if the acne flares up around periods or is associated with hormonal conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome.

If you do not already use it, a GP may recommend the combined oral contraceptive pill, even if you're not sexually active.

This combined pill can often help improve acne in women, but may take up to a year before the full benefits are seen.

Co-cyprindiol

Co-cyprindiol is a hormonal treatment that can be used for more severe acne that does not respond to antibiotics. It helps to reduce the production of sebum.

You'll probably have to use co-cyprindiol for 2 to 6 months before you notice a significant improvement in your acne.

There's a small risk that women taking co-cyprindiol may develop breast cancer in later life.

For example, out of a group of 10,000 women who have not taken co-cyprindiol, you'd expect 16 of them to develop breast cancer by the time they were 35.

This figure rises to 17 or 18 for women who were treated with co-cyprindiol for at least 5 years in their early 20s.

There's also a very small chance of co-cyprindiol causing a blood clot. The risk is estimated to be around 1 in 2,500 in any given year.

It's not thought to be safe to take co-cyprindiol if you're pregnant or breastfeeding. Women may need to have a pregnancy test before treatment can begin.

Other side effects of co-cyprindiol include:

  • bleeding and spotting between your periods, which can sometimes occur for the first few months

  • headaches

  • sore breasts

  • mood changes

  • loss of interest in sex

  • weight gain or weight loss

This information is courtesy to https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/acne/treatment/

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