Your Diet May Be The Culprit
Food is one of the primary contributors to fluctuating or increased hormone levels in our bodies.
The typical American diet is acidic and high in saturated fats, processed grains, meat fats, and refined sugar. It is also low in fresh vegetables, fruit, fish, fiber, and antioxidants. Research has shown that this can cause an imbalance in testosterone and androgen levels, respectively. Therefore, a healthy diet is one form of natural treatment for hormonal acne. Another way to balance hormone levels is by taking certain herbs and vitamins. Both these items are discussed in more detail below.
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.
How Aldactone Is Used
Unlike most acne treatments, Aldactone isn’t applied to the skin. Instead, it’s taken orally. When Aldactone is used as an acne treatment, the most common dosage is between 50 and 100 milligrams daily.
Your dermatologist may start you on a lower dose. It is common to start at 25 mg daily and work up to a target dose over several weeks. Your doctor will base the dosage on your personal situation.
If your breakouts only happen around the time of your menstrual cycle, you may only need Aldactone during the week before your period. This can help even out the hormone spikes that trigger acne.
Aldactone is often prescribed with oral contraceptives, or birth control pills. You will probably keep using topical acne medications while using Aldactone. It tends to work best alongside other acne treatments, rather than as the sole treatment.
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Skin Care Ingredients That Can Help With Hormonal Acne
NiacinamideUnsurprisingly, the ultra popular Niacinamide is also a friend to hormonal acne thanks to its calming abilities. It can help soothe irritated, red skin, explains Dr. Joshi.
Azelaic Acid A very gentle chemical exfoliant, azelaic acid also has many benefits for those prone to hormonal breakouts. Azelaic acid also helps soothe redness and inflammation in addition to increasing cell turnover, says Dr. Joshi, adding that it can also assist with evening out skin tone and reducing pigmentation.
AHAs and BHAsShort for Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids, AHAs and BHAs are another form of chemical exfoliant that can be beneficial as part of your at-home hormonal acne skin routine. AHAs and BHAs can help, but used too often, or incorrectly they can make matters far worse, warns Dr. Joshi. Check in with your doctor, derm, or skin specialist to find out the best way to work them into your routine.
How Do You Treat Hormonal Acne
When you sense a breakout brewing under the skin, your first instinct might be to pile on the spot treatments. However, most of the products available at the drugstore arent strong enough to combat the deep pimples associated with hormonal acne.
One of the hallmarks of hormonal acne is that it is typically resistant to over-the-counter remedies, but we include these treatments in addition to hormone-specific remedies for the best chance at clearance, MacGregor said.
Your favorite drugstore toners and acne treatments are likely no match for stubborn hormonal acne breakouts, but that doesnt mean hope should be lost. There are a few things to try for stubborn hormonal acne breakouts, including changing your diet, topical treatments and oral medications, according to Jaber and MacGregor.
I always tell people to cut out sugar and dairy, Jaber said, citing a study that showed a link between skim milk and low-fat milk and acne. Ive definitely seen a correlation with low-fat milk and acne. But Ive also seen it with any dairy.
Jaber also said he recommends his patients cut out simple sugars, which include white rice, white potatoes, candy, cake, soda, juice and processed foods. He made sure to note, though, that a change in diet may work for some patients and not for others.
MacGregor takes a similar approach, telling her patients to try a 60-day gluten-free, dairy-free diet that is free of processed carbs to see if it helps clear acne.
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How To Treat Hormonal Acne Naturally Top 3 Ingenious Ways
Hi! Im Jessica Gremley, Founder and CEO of Natural Acne Clinic. This blog post is a personal one for me as it took 15 years of education and research to figure out how to clear my own hormonal acne.
I launched NAC out of my passion to share the truth about acne and how hormonal acne can be treated naturally. With each client we serve, my hope is to debunk misleading myths and incorrect information about how hormonal acne can be cleared once and for all because I was able to do it for myself.
When we consume the wrong information, we often think the natural approach will not be as effective as a more harsh treatment like Accutane. Not true!
Harsh topicals, birth control pills, and pharmaceuticals can destroy the body from the inside out and are not the only option. Honestly, these are pretty old-school approaches that dont consider the whole body as we do at NAC.
The American Academy of Dermatology has found the onset of adult acne is becoming increasingly common in women in their 30s, 40s and even 50s. Studies show that up to 50% of women in their 20s and 25% of women in their 40s struggle with acne triggered by hormonal changes in the body.
Pregnancy, diet, stress, and menopause can cause hormonal imbalances triggering acne on the jawline, chin or lower cheek. It can often appear red and inflamed causing some amount of pain.
How Soon After Treatment Will Hormonal Acne Go Away
Treating acne can be different for each individual, but patience is key. Generally, it could take up to four to six weeks to see improvement in your skin after you begin treatment. Even if you dont notice that the treatment is clearing your skin, it is recommended that you continue treatment to prevent new acne from forming.
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How Do I Treat Hormonal Acne
Based on the severity of your acne, different treatment options are available to reduce sebum production, pimple formation and painful inflammation:
- Blackheads and whiteheads: Topical cream .
- Inflammatory acne: Topical retinoid and/or topical antibiotic and/or benzoyl peroxide.
- Moderate to severe acne: Antibiotic and/or isotretinoin .
- Cystic acne: Steroid injection .
Risks And Side Effects
While you can begin by tackling hormonal acne on your own at home, you may want to visit a dermatologist if your condition is reoccurring or worsening. Your doctor/dermatologist can help pinpoint any underlying conditions that might be contributing to our breakouts, such as PCOS, high testosterone or cortisol levels, a thyroid condition, or another hormone issue.
If the treatments above dont seem to be doing enough to reduce your breakouts, speak with your dermatologist about other options such as antiandrogen drugs, which block androgen receptors to decrease the actions and effects of testosterone, or stronger topical prescriptions to fight acne-causing bacteria.
When treating hormonal acne yourself, theres potential to experience some side effects depending on the specific products and treatments you use. Some topical products might cause dry, red, flaky, painful skin at first, so make sure to follow directions, and remember that less may be more when it comes to improving your skins appearance.
If you have sensitive skin, such as eczema, dermatitis or rosacea, some products, such as retinoids and certain cleaners, may be too harsh. Certain products are also not safe when youre pregnant, so get your doctors advice if this applies to you.
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Hormonal Acne: The Root Cause And How To Treat It Naturally
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure.
The big red bumps start on your jawline. They spread all around your mouth and on the lower half of your face. Then they start appearing on your forehead, cheeks, and back.
Its embarrassing, its painful, and long after the bumps are gone, the scars stick around.
Hormonal acne is different from the breakouts you had as a teenager or when you dont wash your face before bed. First, treating hormonal acne is really hard to do with conventional topical skincare treatment. Hormonal acne is more complicated than a special cream .
And then, when a blemish finally goes away it doesnt feel like its truly goneit just recedes a bit. You know it will be back .
While most people only deal with acne on their face, hormonal acne often spreads to the shoulders, back, and butt. This makes most people painfully aware of its presence, especially when its summer and youre excited to wear that cute sundress or tank top.
Thats the reality of hormonal acne, and having many clients deal with it personally, I can tell you: it really sucks.
Why Hormonal Acne Happens And What To Do About It
Sick of dealing with pesky pimples well past your teenage years? Read this.
You might assume that pimples disappear later in life. However, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, fifty percent of women ages 20 to 40 deal with adult acne.
Fluctuating hormones, bacteria, excess oil, and dead skin cells all contribute to these types of breakouts. They usually occur throughout your chin, T-zone, and jawline.
It can be challenging to keep your skin blemish-free. Luckily, dermatologist-backed solutions do exist, and were here to help. Read on to learn why hormonal acne happens and what to do about it.
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Best Herbs For Hormonal Acne
This herb helps clear hormonal acne by indirectly raising your progesterone levels. Vitex works on your pituitary gland and suppresses the release of a hormone called prolactin .
Stress causes your pituitary gland to release extra prolactin which in turn suppresses progesterone production. Less progesterone means more oil and more acne. So Vitex prevents this happening.
Common signs youre making too much prolactin are feeling irritable before your period and your breasts swell or are tender before your period.
Licorice & PaeonySaw Palmetto
This herb stops testosterone exerting a strong effect on your cells. The weaker the effect of testosterone the less oil your skin produces and the less acne you have.
How To Prevent Hormonal Acne Without Medication
Once you have treated the root cause of your hormonal acne with lifestyle changes, hormonal medications or antibiotics, you may start focusing on preventing hormonal acne from returning.
While it isnt possible to eliminate acne-causing hormones without disrupting essential body functions like the menstrual cycle, it is possible to establish a consistent skincare routine as a method of preventing acne flares.
Luckily, most of the treatments for hormonal acne double as prevention methods, including:
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Check For Deeper Causes
We also check for signs of more significant issues that induce hormonal acne. Acne is one of the symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome . To find out if this is a potential cause, we ask women about their cycle regularity, weight gain, and unwanted hair growth. If we suspect PCOS, well involve a gynecologist for testing. Early detection and treatment is important to help decrease the likelihood of potential complications such as difficulty with conception, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
What Is The Best Topical Treatment For Women With Hormonal Acne
The same as teen acne adult acne treatment should be personalized to the skin type and acne and acne severity type. The best topical ingredient for mild hormonal acne is salicylic acid, retinol, niacinamide, and benzoyl peroxide for moderate acne. Benzoyl peroxide is regarded by the American Academy of Dermatology as the best FDA-approved single anti-acne ingredient. It is frequently more effective than any other over-the-counter prescription acne medication. Unlike adapalene , they are often very irritating new preparation of micronized benzoyl peroxide 2.5% can be used on acne-prone and sensitive skin without significant side effects.
The best cleansers for women with hormonal acne include a low percentage of salicylic acid. Salicylic acid at a concentration of 0.5% can help unclog the skin pores without over-drying the skin. Plant-based ingredients can further help fight skin inflammation and reduce the dryness and redness frequently associated with regular anti-acne cleansers.
Choosing the right moisturizer is crucial for women with hormonal acne. Anti-wrinkle moisturizers can increase the risk of acne breakouts. For best results, look for moisturizers oil-free and specially formulated for acne or acne-prone skin people. Women with normal – oily skin can benefit from an active moisturizer with niacinamide, and women with drier skin can befit from a more hydrating moisturizer.
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Why There Is No Best Birth Control For Hormonal Acne
When I was researching for this blog post, I found that LOTS of women were searching the phrase the best birth control for hormonal acne.
I dont blame women for thinking hormonal birth control is the solution. Most women know a beneficial side effect of hormonal birth control is a reduction in acne. And if you go to your doctor complaining of hormonal acne, theyll likely prescribe you the Pill and send you on your way.
But, have you ever heard about birth control making acne WORSE?
Heres the funny thing about the Pill: for some women it clears acne up, and for others, it makes acne worse. In both cases, the root cause of hormonal acne still isnt being addressed, and long-term it makes matters worse.
What Does The Doc Say
Hormonal acne can be stubborn AF. If at-home treatments arent working its time to call a dermatologist. They can provide you with a tailored treatment approach. They can also help identify any underlying health conditions that might be triggering your acne.
Here are some common treatments your derm may recommend.
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Sweat Spots Are Wreaking Havoc With Our Skin Right Now So Here’s How To Tackle Heatwave Acne
The sweat pimples did *not* come to play.
If you can’t afford a chemical peel with an experienced practitioner, consider adding a low-dose chemical exfoliator to your skincare regime, one that contains an alpha and beta hydroxy acids . Products that contain glycolic or lactic acid help lift the upper layer of dead skin cells which can brighten skin and break down those hard-to-rid blocked pores you’ve been battling.
- Kiran Meeda
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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Adult Acne: How To Get Rid Of Hormonal Acne Naturally
If youre someone who suffers from hormonal acne, chances are youve tried numerous home remedies for acne but may not be getting the results you hoped for. Thats likely because this type of acne can be complicated to treat, considering it occurs for reasons beyond having clogged pores, which is often the case with other forms of acne.
How can you stop hormonal acne? One of the first steps is working on balancing your hormones, such as by eating a nourishing diet, managing stress and getting enough sleep.
The next layer in your treatment plan is using the right types of cleansers and topical products. That means those that help clean and soothe your irritated skin without worsening symptoms.
The good news? Youre not alone if youve developed adult-onset acne, since this affects most people at one point in their lives or another based on a variety of factors.
Signs You’re Dealing With Hormonal Acneand How To Treat It
Ah, hormonal acnethose pesky, painful, and unpleasant pimples that show up at the worst times imaginable . Werent you supposed to shake off acne in your teen years?
Sadly, notespecially if youre battling bouts of hormonal acne, which most commonly appears in adult women ages 20 to 40. And even the post-40 crowd is not in the clear, New York City-based dermatologist Cherise M. Levi, M.D., tells SELF. There can be a resurgence of breakouts around menopause due to hormonal fluctuations in the body.
How can you tell if youre dealing with hormonal acne versus run-of-the-mill acne? Dermatologists use a few key characteristics to pinpoint if a pimple is hormonal. Keep reading to learn how to spot hormonal breakouts, plus six expert-approved hormonal acne treatments.