When To See A Dermatologist
Whether your acne has persisted since your teenage years or has appeared as a new skin problem in later life, consider seeing a dermatologist if you’re looking for treatment options.
A specialist can help you determine the factors which may be triggering your acne and can help you with prescription medications to help regulate hormones or treat your breakouts without drying or otherwise irritating your aging skin.
What Are The Best Oral Contraceptives For Women With Hormonal Acne
We know that dealing with hormonal acne can be super frustrating, so the idea of taking a birth control pill sounds like an appealing way to help to regulate hormones and get breakouts under control. However, before you start taking birth control pills, you should know that not all contraceptives work the same way and that some birth control pills can actually make acne worse. Seriously. Talk about a bummer. But knowledge is power, and here’s what you need to know.
The best oral contraceptives to control hormonal or adult acne are the ones that contain Ethinyl estradiol and one of the following: drospirenone, norethindrone, or norgestimate. Beware that oral contraceptives are contraindicated in women with a history of blood clots, high blood pressure, breast cancer, and women that smoke.
A study recently published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology categorized the different types of contraceptives by their efficiency in clearing acne. These are the birth control pills the study said significantly improve hormonal acne: Yaz, Ocella, Yasmin, Trinessat, MonoNessa, Apri, and Reclipse. Pretty long list, right?
There are also some contraceptives that the study found to have little or no effect on acne. Those are Nuvaring, Microgestin pills, and Orthoevra . The study also found that some contraceptives can actually make acne WORSE. That list includes Depo-Provera , Skyla, Lylema, Implanon, and Nexplanon .
Eliminate Sources Of Chronic Stress And Reduce Cortisol Output
Hormone imbalances are strongly connected to stress. Chronic cortisol, a stress hormone produced by the adrenals, can disrupt the entire endocrine system.
Common sources of chronic cortisol output include lack of sleep, over-exercising and undereating, constant anxiety and worry, unresolved trauma or mental and emotional stress, and even chronic inflammation from a poor diet.
For hormones to be in balanceand hormonal acne to go awayyou must prioritize eliminating sources of chronic stress in your life , improving mental and emotional health , and getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night. Get to bed before 11pm to make sure your cortisol rhythms are properly balanced.
Belly Fat And Persistent Weight Gain
Because hormones are connected with your weight, imbalances in hormone levels can make it more difficult to lose weight.
Dr. Natasha Turner on the Doctor Oz Show said that any hormonal imbalances will make it difficult to lose weight. For example, high levels of estrogen, cortisol, and insulin along with low testosterone and DHEA can cause you to put on extra belly fat.11
In fact, researchers from Harvard say that having excess abdominal fat can also disrupt your hormones even more. They found that excess fat around your belly can also produce hormones that can affect your health.12
The European Thyroid Journal also reported that low thyroid hormones slow down metabolism and can lead to weight gain.13
There are many great ways to lose belly fat naturally. For example, certain foods can help to shed a few inches from your waist while other foods should be avoided, or you can try some my 12 simple tweaks for weight loss.
Try An Oral Contraceptive To Balance Hormones
If you’re comfortable and if a gynecologist says you’re a good candidate, oral contraceptives can help balance out your hormones, including those that are responsible for acne. Zeichner says that the best prescription options for hormonal acne are birth control pills and Spironolactone . Birth control pills help regulate your hormones and decrease testosterone levels, which can mean fewer hormone-induced breakouts. Zeichner notes the four birth control pills currently approved for acne: Yaz, Beyaz, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, and EstroStep.
Another option is the aforementioned Spironolactone. Though not specifically designed to treat acne, it is often used for exactly that purpose because it prevents testosterone from stimulating the oil glands. “Less oil means less shine, fewer clogged pores, and less food to feed acne-causing bacteria,” Zeichner explains.
“Certain oral contraceptives have even been approved by the FDA to be used in the treatment of acne,” explains Fenton. “If you are already on birth control or thinking of going on it, make sure to ask your gynecologist for an oral contraceptive that will also help your acne.”
“In addition to clearing existing acne, Differin Gel will also help to prevent future breakouts from forming by increasing skin cell turnover to minimize clogging of pores.” Additionally, Fenton recommends using an OTC acne wash and non-comedogenic moisturizer regularly.
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Are Eggs Bad For Acne
Can eggs cause acne? Eggs are replete with nourishing components for the skin, and unless you are specifically allergic to any of the micro-nutrients, there are no way eggs can be the reason behind your blemished and spotty skin. If anything, eggs are proven antidotes to acne, and certainly not the cause of it.
Natural Remedies For Hormonal Acne
Certain plant-based strategies can treat mild hormonal acne. However, they may be not as effective as conventional methods, and research on the efficacy of these treatments is lacking. One of these natural treatments is tea tree oil. Although tea tree oil is generally safe, your health care provider can verify whether it will interact with any medications youre taking.
These self-care tips may help clear acne or keep it from getting worse:
- Wash your face gently, no more than twice a day, and after heavy sweating.
- Use mild cleansers or soaps and lukewarm water.
- Avoid exfoliating products or harsh scrubs.
- Dont rub, pick, or scrape your pimples since this can cause inflammation.
- If you wear makeup, look for non-comedogenic options when possible.
- Avoid humid environments, which lead to sweating.
Excessive washing and scrubbing can actually worsen acne, as it may remove too much oil from your skin and cause irritation. In response, your skin may secrete more oil, worsening the acne.
Read Also: How Much Does Acne Medication Cost
If You’re In Menopause
Did you think you were out of the acne woods once you started going through menopause? Not so fast. While most skin care changes during this time have to do with increased dryness, collagen loss, and increased sensitivity, menopausal acne is certainly something that can happen.
Menopausal acne has more to do with the changes in the microbiome, since acne is highly influenced by changes in the makeup of your skin flora. “As our hormones diminish in menopause, the functions they perform to maintain the health and vitality of the skin diminish as well, characterized by a change in sweat, sebum, and the immune functions resulting in significant alterations in the skin surface including pH, lipid composition, and sebum secretion,” board-certified dermatologist Keira Barr, M.D., previously told us about menopause and skin. “These changes also provide potential alterations in the skin that may affect the skin microbiome.”
Identifying Hormonal Male Acne
Hormonal acne is characterized by raised, red, and tender bumps or large red/white bumps filled with pus. Cysts are deep pimples without an opening on the surface. These pimples tend to be deeper than superficial whiteheads or blackheads. Hormonal acne often involves the lower half of the face including the cheeks, jawline, chin, and neck. Hormonal body acne is also common because men have a higher density of sebaceous glands per hair follicle on their chest, shoulders, and back.
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Hormonal Acne Isnt Normal
Everyone has occasional acne and blemishes. Breaking out when youre going through stressor even a few zits around your menstrual cyclecan all be 100% normal. But painful, chronic cystic acne as an adult is a result of hormonal imbalances, and its not normal or something you should have to live with.
But theres one big problem: the #1 prescribed solution for hormonal acne doesnt actually solve the problem.
Thats right, treating hormonal acne with the birth control pill doesnt actually solve the problem. There is a root cause of hormonal acne, and you can treat hormonal acne naturally. Once you know what is REALLY behind your hormonal acne, you can take steps toward healing it.
What Is Hormonal Acne And How Can I Treat It
- Reviewed By: Julie Lamonoff, CNM, OBGYN-NP, Shannon DeVita DNP, FNP-BC, CPNP-PC
Everyone tells us that acne is supposed to go away after puberty is over. In an ideal world, this would be true.
In our world, acne breakouts can and do happen well into adulthood. If you’ve noticed your acne flaring up around the same time each month , you may be experiencing hormonal acne.
Read on for a breakdown of what hormonal acne is, why it happens, and what you can do to get rid of it and get back to your life.
- Hormonal acne happens when hormone fluctuations create the perfect storm for clogged pores.
- The good news is hormonal acne is usually treatable.
- Treatments range from over-the-counter cleansers to prescription medicine to topical creams.
- There are things you can do at home to help prevent breakouts.
Recommended Reading: Who To Go To For Acne
What Does Hormonal Acne Look Like
Whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules, cysts and nodules are all common hormonal acne symptoms. Normally, whiteheads and blackheads do not cause pain, inflammation or swelling, but if they do, then they are most likely forming into cysts and pustules. If you do not know what a cyst is, it forms underneath the skin. It is typically tender or sore to the touch. Inflamed acne can cause redness, swelling, soreness and pain.
While hormonal acne can appear anywhere on your body, typical places depend on your age and health. Teenagers tend to have these lesions on the T-zone . Adults who are 20 years or older have breakouts, usually at the lower parts of their face like the jawline, chin and bottom on the cheeks. However, hormonal acne can appear on the neck, back, shoulders and chest as well.
Can Hormonal Acne Go Away
Yes, hormonal acne can go away with proper treatment. You must consult a dermatologist for safe and effective acne treatments and before using any supplements or ânaturalâ remedies because they may do more harm than good.
Based on your acne severity, your doctor may prescribe any or a combination of the following acne treatment options:
- Topical retinoids such as adapalene and tretinoin
- Topical antibiotic medications that include creams and gels containing antibiotic medications such as erythromycin, clindamycin, sulfacetamide, azelaic acid, and dapsone
- Oral medications
Moreover, your dermatologist may recommend certain lifestyle changes such as:
- Get adequate sleep
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Why Is My Face Breaking Out
Stress is one of the most common causes of acne. That’s because it causes the body to produce excess cortisol and other hormones in response, and these hormones trigger the overproduction of sebum in the skin. While sebum is important for keeping the skin hydrated and youthful, an excess will clog pores quickly.
What Else Can Cause Acne
Testosterone fluctuations arent the only cause of acne. The following may also be contributing factors:
- Genetics. If one or both of your parents had acne, youre more likely to be prone to it, too.
- Excess bacteria. A specific strain of bacteria that live on your skin called Propionibacterium acnes play a role in causing acne.
- Cosmetics. Some types of makeup may clog or irritate the pores on your face.
- Medications. Some medications, like corticosteroids, iodides, bromides, and oral steroids, may cause acne.
- A diet high in refined carbs. Eating a lot of refined and high-glycemic carbs, like white bread and sugary cereals, may contribute to acne. However, the acne-diet connection is still being researched.
Its difficult to treat hormonal acne without stabilizing your hormone levels. However, adopting the following healthy habits may help reduce acne caused by other factors:
- Wash your face twice a day with a gentle, nonabrasive cleanser.
- Use warm water. Dont scrub your skin too hard. Be gentle!
- When shaving your face, shave downward to avoid ingrown hairs.
- Avoid touching your face or picking at your pimples. This exposes your pores to more bacteria that can make your acne worse.
- If you smoke, quit. Research has shown that smoking can increase your risk for getting acne.
- If you wear makeup, use water-based, noncomedogenic makeup products. These wont clog your pores.
- Completely remove any makeup or cosmetics before bed.
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Lifestyle Changes And First Line Treatments
Making a few modifications to your routine could be very effective in controlling mild hormonal acne.
- Avoid harsh face washes and skincare products with chemicals and rough exfoliants to keep from irritating your skin
- Avoid scratching or picking at your pimples and blemishes
- Avoid makeup if possible if you want to use makeup try to use makeup that is water-based
- Shower right after working out or sweating
- Try over-the-counter washes and masks that include salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, two proven acne-fighting ingredients
If It Comes From Stress
We know that hormones can be affected by internal and external factors: Research shows that stress changes the levels of the corticotropin-releasing hormone both in the blood and in the sebaceous gland itself, which doubly affects sebum production. In other words: Stress can cause more sebum production which can help create an ideal environment for bacteria to flourish on the skin. We also know from research that stress causes more inflammation in the body, including skin. The combination of these factors can cause hormone-related breakouts during times of stress.
Board-certified dermatologist Jaimie Glick, M.D. agrees that together these form a one-two punch: Overactive sebum production means excess oil traps dead skin cells in our pores. This becomes an ideal environment for the rapid multiplication of the common bacteria that live on our skin. The result is pores that are very inflamed and can quickly become painful pimples. And to top it all off, your body may be less able to deal with existing acne and scarring when you’re really stressed. ” has shown that stress can slow down healing, which may worsen acne and acne scarring,” says Glick.
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What Are The Signs Of Hormonal Acne On The Face
Here are some telltale signs: Development of painful cysts that look like bumps deep under the skin’s surface that are not easy to remove or remove. Sometimes painful pimples and cysts form around the lower face, especially around the and jaw, and sometimes around the neck, shoulders, and back.
Consider Your Diet To Avoid A Hormonal Imbalance
How to treat hormonal acne has a lot to do with your diet, namely the consumption of dairy. “Studies have shown that dairy can worsen acne,” says Jeremy Fenton, MD, of Schweiger Dermatology Group.” Dairy has been shown to stimulate testosterone production in people who consume it, and spikes in testosterone can worsen acne. Dairy also naturally contains its own hormones, such as estrogen, which can exert their own impact on a person’s hormonal balance.” The worst culprit, believe it or not, isfat-free dairy. Fenton explains that removing fat from the dairy concentrates its food items and causes them to be absorbed by the body faster, meaning hormonal spikes occur more quickly.
Foods high in sugar are another culprit to blame. “I would recommend avoiding refined flour, sweets, and processed carbohydrates,” says Fenton. “The exact mechanism isn’t known for certain, but we believe that these refined carbs lead to an insulin spike, which causes a hormonal cascade that can increase inflammation and oil production.”
Try these acne treatment pads from First Aid Beautythey contain maximum strength two percent salicylic acid to minimize inflammation in existing acne flare-ups and also keep new ones at bay.
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What Foods Cause Hormonal Acne
Eat for optimal blood sugar control
- Choosing foods with a high GI, such as soda, white bread, candy, sugary cereals, and ice cream, cause dramatic fluctuations in blood sugar and can exacerbate acne .
- This increase in hormones leads to hyperkeratinization and excess sebum production, which can worsen acne .
Testosterone And Acne: Are They Connected
Yes, testosterone and acne are connected. Hormonal acne usually occurs in response to a rise in certain hormones, especially testosterone. During puberty, the production of testosterone increases and can prompt hormonal acne in teenagers. Rising testosterone may stimulate more sebum production from glands in the skin. Then, excessive sebum combines with dirt and dead skin cells, clogging the skin pores. The infection of these clogged pores by acne-causing bacteria may lead to pimples. Your bodys immune system may react to the bacteria and its metabolites and produce inflammation, which looks like redness alongside acne lesions.
Acne during menopause can occur because of hormonal fluctuations. People who develop acne around menopause usually have normal androgen levels but reduced levels of estrogen. Due to this imbalance, sebum production increases, and acne may flare.
For some people, hormone replacement therapy can actually trigger acne.
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What Is Hormonal Acne
Hormonal acne is due to hormonal fluctuations, especially an increased level of androgens such as testosterone. Although it often affects teenagers during puberty, hormonal acne may occur at any stage of an adults life. Furthermore, hormonal imbalances may lead to acne in adults who have underlying medical conditions.