What is Acne

Acne happens if the body produces higher levels of androgens or the skin becomes too sensitive to normal levels of circulating androgens. This leads to over-stimulation of the skin's oil-producing (sebaceous) glands, resulting in a greater production of the oily substance called sebum.

The more sebum is produced by the skin, the more likely it is that a skin pore will become blocked, resulting in early acne spots called

Other hormones can also be involved. Some women are genetically prone to having more pronounced hormone swings, with higher levels of androgens, and, at certain times of their periods, oil glands that are more sensitive to circulating hormones.

This is the cause of pre-period breakouts of acne that so many women complain of. When hormone levels stay stable, it's easier on the skin. When they fluctuate a lot, the skin breaks out.

Some women battle acne into their adult years. And increasingly, many of them are trying a new approach that goes beyond the traditional treatments. They are using the birth control pill to control acne.

Hormone manipulation (which is how the pill works) becomes an option especially for women wanting both birth control and acne treatment.

These pills reduce androgens (male hormones) and regulate a woman's hormones so their swings aren't as severe and don't throw a woman's body - and complexion - out of balance.

While all women have some level of androgens, an excessive amount can lead to acne.

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