October 08 2021
What do we mean by hormonal acne?
So as it sounds, hormonal acne is the acne tied to changes in your hormones. Puberty is often linked to hormone fluctuations and hence hormonal acne is more commonly observed during puberty. That being said, hormonal acne can affect an individual at any age. Women are most commonly affected with it due to many factors, including menstruation and menopause.
According to research, nearly 50 percent of women between the ages of 20 and 29 have acne. Further, 25 % of women aged 40 to 49 are affected by it.
When it comes to hormonal acne, experts have varying opinions. Some say that hormones are not generally a factor in adult acne. However, hormonal imbalances may cause acne in adults with underlying medical problems.
Other cases show that adults with acne don't have any measurable hormonal problem. And this makes the treatment as well as diagnosis quite challenging.
To know more as to what causes hormonal acne, what they look like and how to clear them, keep reading.
Characteristics of hormonal acne
Hormonal acne in puberty is often observed in the T zone, including Forehead, nose and chin.
Hormonal acne in adults is more commonly seen in the lower part of the face including the bottom the cheeks and around the jawline.
In some people, hormonal acne takes the form of blackheads, whiteheads, pimples or cysts. Cysts are formed deep under the skin. These bumps don't come to the surface and are often tender when touched.
What causes hormonal acne?
Hormonal acne can be the result of hormones for menstruation, polycystic ovarian disease, menopause or increased androgen levels. The fluctuations in hormones can aggravate acne problems by increasing inflammation and oil production in the pores. Also, they increase the production of acne-causing bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes.
Menopausal acne: a form of hormonal acne?
Women begin to experience menopause around their 40s and 50s. At this age, there is a natural decline of reproductive hormones resulting in menopause and end to menstruation.
Often women experience acne due to drip in estrogen levels or an increase in androgen hormones like testosterone in their menopause. If you are on Hormone Replacement Therapy or HRT in short, then also you may experience menopausal acne. The reason for this is that most HRTs use an influx of the progestin hormone to recover the estrogen and progesterone your body loses. And this influx of hormones might result in acne.
In many cases, the menopausal acne gets treated with medications. In some women, natural methods also work to treat it. You may talk to your doctor to find the best treatment option for you.
Treatment for hormonal acne
Hormonal acne usually takes the form of cystic bumps that are deep-seated under your skin. Hence topic medications won't be successful in treating them. However, oral medicines can help you to balance the hormones, thereby clearing up the skin. Oral contraceptive and anti-androgen drugs are commonly used for hormonal acne.
However, if you have a history of high blood pressure, blood clots, or breast cancer or even smoking then you should avoid taking oral contraceptives.
Be it a man or a woman, both of them have natural levels of androgen. Too much of androgen in women can lead to acne by increasing oil production. Spironolactone is a drug used for the treatment of hypertension. However, it has anti-androgen properties as well. Hence this drug can be used to stabilize your hormone levels.
For milder hormonal acne, retinoid cream, gels, and lotions can be used. Retinoids are the derivatives of vitamin A. For the effective clearing of your skin, see your doctor and look for prescribed products. Since retinoids can increase the risk of sunburn, you must use sunscreen along with it daily.
Natural ways to treat hormonal acne
Prescription options might result in certain side effects. On the other hand, the natural treatments may not be as effective but would be free of these side effects. More research is needed on natural options as till date nothing has proven to produce the results. Let's have a look at some of them.
Tea Tree oil
Tea tree oil decreases inflammation and thereby helps in the treatment of mild to moderate acne. You can find tea tree oil in many skin care products like cleansers and toners. Make sure to dilute the tree tea oil with a carrier oil before its use. You can dilute it with coconut oil, jojoba, and olive oil. The general rule is to add 20 drops of carrier oil to one or two drops of tea tree oil. Before using tea tree oil, make sure you do a skin patch test.
Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA)
Alpha hydroxy acids are derived from citrus fruits. They remove excess dead skin and also minimizes the appearance of acne scars. You can find Alpha hydroxy acids in various OTC masks and creams. Similar to retinoids, AHA increases your skin's sensitivity towards the skin. Hence it becomes important to wear sunscreen while using products with AHA.
Since green tea has anti-inflammatory properties, drinking a few cups of green tea each day can help you to have clear skin. Lotions and creams with a minimum 2% green tea extract are considered to be beneficial. For a holistic approach, besides using it and topical skin care regimen, consider taking it in the form of beverage or supplement as well.
The timeline for hormonal acne varies from individual to individual. Usually, it takes 8-10 weeks for a treatment plan to take its full effect. However, if your acne persists, you may talk to your doctor for long term treatment plans. Your doctor may incorporate new treatment methods to maximize the results.
You may check Alvizia Aleneve soft-gel capsules consisting of primrose oil. Besides treating acne, the ingredient in it facilitates eye health as well as counters hair loss. Also, it helps to relieve PMS and menopause symptoms. Alvizia Aleneve acts as a hormone balancing supplement.