Can an IUD Help Acne?
Can an IUD Help Acne?
Women's health advocates tend to be big fans of the intrauterine device, otherwise known as the IUD (or the IUB in the case of CopperPearls) - and there are plenty of reasons why.
The small, T-shaped or spherical-shaped contraption is inserted into the uterus by a trained health care provider to prevent pregnancy by keeping sperm from joining an egg. IUDs are extremely effective (every year, less than 1 out of 100 women get pregnant while using an IUD), and are also "some of the least expensive, longest lasting forms of birth control available to women today," according to Planned Parenthood. (IUDs don't, however, protect against sexually transmitted infections.) The insertion procedure, which is done by a health-care provider, generally takes only a few minutes.
Are there any other health benefits – especially in terms of skin condition -0 that women can expect to reap from using the IUB?
How IUD’s Affect Hormones and Skin
For many women, an IUD is a total dream option in a world of pill reminders, uncomfortable vaginal rings, and prescription renewals. But, like with all medicine, the hormonal IUD (which includes Skyla, Mirena, Kyleena, Liletta, but not the hormone-free copper IUD ParaGard or CopperPearls IUB) carries some side effects. And one of them, as women across the internet are starting to discover, can come in the form of massive cystic acne.
"A few weeks after I got my IUD, my skin started breaking out into horrible cystic acne that left me with dark marks and scars," says one Marie Claire editor. "I've always been blessed with relatively clear skin, so it was a total shock." After four months, she opted to have IUD removed, and her skin "cleared up almost immediately."
Annoyingly, this story is actually pretty common, especially if you're prone to hormonal acne: "It's not unheard of for women to get their IUDs, fall in love with them, and then find themselves suddenly breaking out a few months later, completely out of the blue," says dermatologist Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin, MD, clinical professor at NYU Langone Health and Mount Sinai. "Unlike birth control pills, which are available in either Oestrogen and progestin combinations, or in just progestin by itself, all hormonal IUDs are progestin-only."
It is vitally important that if hormonal issues and hormone-related acne is of concern to you, to rather consider a hormone-free IUD.