Tess Holliday says her IUD caused her skin to break out

Model Tess Holliday posted a candid photo on Instagram sharing her struggle with acne. (Photo: Instagram/tessholliday)

In case anyone forgot, “even ‘supermodels’ have breakouts,” says Tess Holliday.

The 32-year-old model, frequently outspoken on her own Instagram page, posted a photo on Tuesday of her profile with makeup-free skin, revealing blemishes that are common to many but certainly not a fixture on Instagram.

Here to tell you that even ‘Supermodels’ have breakouts. Hormones are a killer. Also can I just say that ever since my IUD my skin has been whack. Can we please have better birth control options,” Holliday captioned the photo.


It’s not the first time that Holliday, the “face of the self-love movement,” has been candid about imperfect skin. In June, she posted a similar photo with the caption, “When you are stressed AF and your skin shows it.” June happens to be “Acne Awareness Month,” at least on Instagram, where some influencers felt empowered to publicly address their own struggles with the skin condition.


While some doctors prescribe birth control, such as oral contraceptives, to help reduce hormonal acne, certain birth control methods or switching regimens can cause skin to break out. One 2016 study found that IUDs worsened acne in patients, while oral contraceptives helped improve it in some.

“The Pill contains the same hormones that your body makes, called estrogen and progestin, just in different amounts, so it can override your body’s signals to release an egg (or ovulate). It also lowers your body’s testosterone level, which in turn can reduce acne,” ob-gyn Jennifer Ashton told Teen Vogue.

But not everyone benefits in the same way from birth control. In fact, some people who use it see their skin negatively affected, echoing Holliday’s claim.

Since there’s no real cure for acne, doctors often recommend various cocktails of topical products, oral antibiotics, hormone-regulating drugs, and dietary changes to people who have suffered from acne as early as adolescence, as well as those in their adult years.

The process of searching for solutions can be stressful. For some, like Holliday, expressing their frustration via Instagram is one way to find relief and some support.

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