The pill. A tiny little addition to your daily life, with a large impact if you, like me, have problematic skin. Introduced back in 1961, it was heralded as the breakthrough for womens freedom, and today is known to be one of the most significant medical advances of the 20th Century. However, those reasons lie with its ability to act as a contraceptive, and less for its effects in other areas.
Problematic skin is most usually an attribute of hormones, ofcouse there are many other external factors, but there seems to be a pattern of hitting your early teens and then becoming inundated with lumps and bumps on the skin. Whether it be acne, backne (acne on your back!) or just a breakout, most teens are familiar with the struggle. For us girls, there is a simple alternative: The Pill.
Ofcourse, its advisable to try a wide variety of alternatives first, such as changing your skincare routine, your diet or trying external lotions on potions to eradicate those menacing blemishes. However, sometimes there is little option when presented with a throbbing, angry mob of spots and this is where the pill is an option that you could explore.
Its simple, a tiny little pill that is to be consumed on a daily occurrence. It is simply another thing to add to your daily routine, just like brushing your teeth or having your breakfast. However, it is important that you get the right one for you. Every body is different, and with 30 different types of pill, its vital that you get the right one to benefit your skin. Not all pills are contraceptives, there are those pills thats sole purpose is to balance you internally, hence improving certain elements, such as your skin.
I began taking Yasmin in 2011, when I was sixteen as I was struggling with my skin. I had tried all alternatives, and washed my face religiously. I was disappointed that all my hard work in caring for my skin (and all the money that I was spending on products!) was going to waste. I had been prescribed many skin serums by doctors to no avail. Several of my friends were already taking the pill for their skin woes, and easily influenced and desperate for the answer, I began to take Yasmin. Doctors advise that you take the pill for approximately six months, before deciding that 'this ones not for me', as you won't begin to see a change until roughly around the six month mark. Its easy to be disheartened at first, when you don't see instant results, but sadly these things don't happen over night and require some time and patience.
After roughly nine months of taking Yasmin and combining it with my everyday skincare rigmarole, it was clear that it wasn't the one for me. I was then changed to Microgynon, which is the most commonly used pill by many. I took it for approximately three years, and noticed a tiny difference, and because I was so happy to see a tiny change, I stuck with it. It wasn't until around eight months ago, that I started to realise that my skin was changing, I was getting large lumps under my skin, that never came to a head, and stayed rock solid and sometimes painful. I put it down to my diet at first and also changed up the skincare I was using, all to no avail. I then decided that my body must have changed, and therefore Microynon wasn't being as effective as it once was. This is something that I believe is key, as you grow and change, your pill will need some updating, as what once worked may loose its effect.
I went to the Doctors again, and was then changed to Cilest (pictured), which I was very negative about to begin with due to its notoriety for having many side-effects. This is another thing to take note of, certain pills will have varying side effects, such as weight gain, migraines, change in your temperament, (read here to view side effects of the pill). Cilest is commonly slated online for having a negative impact on those who start taking it. Regardless, I gave it the benefit of the doubt, and it appears (so far so good!) that Cilest is my current soul mate. Within two months of taking Cilest I could see a noticeable difference in my skin, and this was further improved by my strict skincare routine.
Its vital with the pill, to change it if it isn't working for you, but do be patient with it and hold on for atleast six months before you decide its not working for you. Above is simply my experience will the pill, I have been lucky never to experience any side effects and I am fortunate that I have now found the one that works for me. I recommend the pill as someone who tried all the alternatives available beforehand, and as someone who wishes to pass on the message to others who are maybe a little self-conscious of their blemishes.
The pill is free, and you'll need to visit your doctor regularly, to begin with I visited my doctor every three months (thats how long one box will last), and each time my doctor would weigh me and take my blood pressure, just to check that everything is as it should be, which is reassuring. I now have my pill on a repeat prescription, and visit every nine months.
For more details on the pills available/side effects/other peoples experiences, you may find these links beneficial:
Which Pill is Best For Me?
The official NHS page dedicated to 'The Pill'
Birth control for acne
A Forum with discusses the pill and acne
Another forum discussing acne and the pill