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November 1974

Acne Stimulation by Ovral

Author Affiliations

Pendleton, Ore

Arch Dermatol. 1974;110(5):812. doi:10.1001/archderm.1974.01630110090040

To the Editor.—  In the June issue of the Archives (109:912, 1974), Dr. Gibbs alluded to the stimulation of acne by the oral contraceptive Ovral.Since entering the private practice of dermatology two years ago, I have seen at least 20 cases of acne induced by Ovral, occurring in females, whose ages range from adolescence to the mid-30s. In many instances, this occurrence was the patient's first experience with acne; in others, it was an exacerbation of existing or preexisting acne. Several patients were given Ovral for treatment of their acne.All cases were of a rather sudden onset of moderate to severe papulopustular acne. Most patients responded within one to three months to tetracycline, good topical care, and switching to an oral contraceptive with an estrogen-dominant progestin.Ovral contains 0.5 mg of Norgestrel and 50μg of ethinyl estradiol. Norgestrel is an androgen-dominant progestin, which is undoubtedly the mechanism of

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