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i just started taking the contraceptive pill. my face is full of sore, red pimples. i’ve been stressed lately, but i’ve never had such a breakout. plus, shouldn’t the pill be helping?

Yes. Protection against acne is a known benefit of combination pills — pills that contain both estrogen and progestin. But combination pills do not have an immediate impact on acne. It might take up to six months of use for the pill to bring relief. However, if you’re taking a progestin-only pill, it will not offer this benefit.

If, after six months, your acne has not been relieved by taking the combination pill, you should talk with your health care provider about this. She or he can determine whether or not your acne it a sign of a condition that should be looked into.

Tags: birth control, the pill, acne