A Plan B emergency contraceptive pill and acne connection- a brief overview.
By Shilpa Makhija
Plan B is an emergency contraceptive that is able to prevent conception even after sexual union has occurred (thus the name “morning-after”). Like standard birth control pills, morning-after pills contain progestin but in much higher doses. While the contents are similar, the mechanism of action of Plan B is dose related. The drug’s principal effect is to prevent ovulation, but it may also prevent implantation of a potentially fertile egg into the uterine wall.
Plan B contains 1.5mg of levonorgesterel (a potent progesterone like compound that is called a progestin), and no estrogen. This synthetic hormone acts like an androgenic progesterone. An androgen is the generic term for any natural or synthetic compound, usually a steroid hormone that stimulates or controls the development and maintenance of male characteristics. Both males and females have androgenic and estrogenic hormones in a delicate balance.If this balance is disturbed by an overly high androgen level or surge, some troublesome and chronic side-effects like acne, may result. While the cascade of events is complicated there has been much documentation on this association between progestins and acne.
Progestins are classified by generation. Levonorgesterel, a second generation compound, is considered to have a potent androgenic effect in comparison to the newest fourth generation compounds such as drospirenone. Typically the androgenic effect is dose related and the resulting acne is directly proportional. In simple terms, the higher the progestin dose, the greater the likelihood of getting acne.
The acneic effects of Plan B can range from moderate to severe. Clients, upon initial inquiry, report none to minimal precedence of acne prior to ingesting Plan B. The onset is rapid and can manifest as a severely inflamed or a severely non-inflamed (but rarely combination) condition and may last 3-6 months until the hormones levels dip below threshold. It appears that the threshold is subjective and varies greatly. The most common and lasting side effects are reddish and brownish marks known as post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation. Face Reality Acne Clinic can provide both treatments and products to fade these marks safely and effectively.
Clients report an elevation in emotional trauma associated with the use of Plan B. The circumstances surrounding the use of the medication, the resulting acne and stress can be quite devastating for clients. However, the prognosis for this type of acne is quite encouraging. Supervision and adjustment of the homecare regimen by an esthetician that specializes in acne is imperative, as the skin is sensitized and may be extremely tender. With proven and effective topicals such as benzoyl peroxide, mandelics and Vitamin A derivatives in combination with regular mild antibacterial peels and supplemental extractions, the client can experience a return to healthy skin within a matter of a few months.
If you want to achieve clear skin, let Face Reality Acne Clinic help you.
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