Hormonal imbalances can be a major contributor to acne, a common skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide. According to PupMed, up to 50% of women between the ages of 20 and 29 experience acne, which can be persistent and frustrating. This guide will explore the causes of hormonal acne, how to differentiate it from other types of acne, and the most effective treatments available to help you achieve clear, healthy skin.
What is Hormonal Acne?
A type of acne that is caused by hormonal imbalances in the body. It is typically characterized by breakouts on the lower part of the face, including the chin, jawline, and neck. These breakouts are often deep and painful and may be accompanied by inflammation and redness. This type of acne is also associated with hormonal fluctuations, such as those that occur during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause.
According to Dr. Debra Jaliman, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, “The hormonal fluctuations that cause acne can lead to overproduction of oil, clogged pores, and an increase in the bacteria that cause acne.
“I had such bad acne when I was younger. It was all over my forehead and cheeks, and I felt so self-conscious about it. I tried every product and treatment out there, but nothing seemed to work. Finally, I went to a dermatologist who diagnosed me with hormonal acne and prescribed medication that helped clear it up.”, Kendall Jenner
How To Know If It’s Hormonal Acne?
- Location of the Acne:
It tends to occur in the lower part of the face, such as the chin, jawline, and neck. This is because these areas are rich in oil glands that are sensitive to hormonal fluctuations. On the other hand, other types of acne, such as bacterial acne, can occur anywhere on the face and body.
- Timing of the Acne:
It is often associated with hormonal fluctuations, such as those that occur during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. As a result, acne may occur in a cyclical pattern, with breakouts occurring around the same time each month. In contrast, other types of acne, such as bacterial acne, may occur at any time and may not be associated with hormonal fluctuations.
- Severity of the Acne:
It tends to be deeper and more painful than other types of acne. It may also be accompanied by inflammation and redness. In contrast, other types of acne, such as bacterial acne, may be milder and less painful.
It often occurs during puberty and may persist into adulthood. It may also occur later in life during menopause. Other types of acne, such as bacterial acne, can occur at any age.
- Response to Treatment:
It may not respond well to traditional acne treatments, such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. Instead, it may require treatment with medications that regulate hormonal imbalances, such as birth control pills and spironolactone. Other types of acne may respond well to traditional acne treatments.
Hormonal Illnesses And Problems That Can Cause Acne
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): PCOS is a hormonal disorder that affects women and can cause a range of symptoms, including irregular periods, excess facial and body hair, and acne. PCOS is characterized by an excess of androgens (male hormones) in the body, which can stimulate the oil glands in the skin and cause acne.
- Cushing’s Syndrome: Cushing’s Syndrome is a rare hormonal disorder that occurs when the body produces too much cortisol, a hormone that regulates the body’s response to stress. Excess cortisol can cause a range of symptoms, including acne, thinning skin, and facial hair growth.
- Hyperthyroidism: Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone, which can cause a range of symptoms, including weight loss, nervousness, and acne.
- Menstrual Cycle: Hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle can cause acne in some women. During the menstrual cycle, estrogen levels decrease and progesterone levels increase, which can stimulate the oil glands in the skin and cause acne.
- Pregnancy: Hormonal changes during pregnancy can also cause acne. During pregnancy, estrogen and progesterone levels increase, which can stimulate the oil glands in the skin and cause acne.
Hormonal Acne Treatment
- Consult with a Dermatologist:
The first step is to consult with a dermatologist. A dermatologist can perform a thorough examination of your skin and determine if your acne is hormonal. They can also recommend a personalized treatment plan that addresses your unique skin type and hormonal imbalances.
- Birth Control Pills:
Birth control pills can help regulate hormonal imbalances and reduce the production of sebum, the oily substance that contributes to acne. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, “Combined oral contraceptives (COCs) are an effective and safe treatment option for women with acne, particularly those with hormonal acne.”
Spironolactone works by blocking the effects of androgens, hormones that can trigger the production of sebum. According to a study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, “Spironolactone has been shown to be effective in the treatment of acne in women, particularly those with hormonal acne.”
- Topical Treatments:
Topical treatments can also be effective. These include retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid. These treatments work by unclogging pores, reducing inflammation, and preventing the growth of bacteria that cause acne. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, “Topical retinoids are effective in treating inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne lesions and can be particularly effective in the treatment of hormonal acne.”
- Lifestyle Changes:
In addition to medical treatments, lifestyle changes can also be effective:
- Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
- Getting regular exercise
- Reducing stress through meditation, yoga, or other relaxation techniques
- Avoiding skincare products that contain harsh chemicals or fragrances
Dr. Angela Lamb, a board-certified dermatologist, recommends lifestyle modifications to help manage hormonal acne. She advises that “eating a healthy diet, managing stress, and getting regular exercise can all help to balance hormones and reduce the severity of acne.”
“I struggled with hormonal acne for years. It was frustrating because I felt like I was doing everything right, but my skin just wouldn’t clear up. Eventually, I found a combination of treatments that worked for me, including birth control pills and a retinoid cream. It’s been a game-changer for my skin.”, Emma Stone
Hormonal acne is a common skin problem that affects many people, particularly women. Identifying hormonal acne and treating it requires a comprehensive approach that addresses the underlying hormonal imbalances that cause it. Consult with a dermatologist to determine the best treatment plan for your skin, and consider lifestyle changes to reduce hormonal imbalances. With the right treatment and care, these acnes can be managed and controlled, leading to clearer and healthier skin.