What Is The Best Hormonal Acne Treatment
Now that you understand all the ins and outs of hormonal acne, you can choose the best treatment to conquer it once and for all.
One option is consulting a dermatologist. But whether youre struggling to get an appointment or youd prefer to do your own research, were here to help you understand the available treatments.
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This is all important because research has shown there are androgen receptors in the base of the oil gland and also in the cells that line the pores! If there are high levels of testosterone floating in the body, they are highly capable of binding to these receptors.
To put it simply, when these hormones attach to the oil glands in the skin, they trigger the gland to produce more oil as well as feed the bacteria. Then, an inflamed acne lesion is well on its way to the surface of your skin.
The key takeaway is that by lowering androgen and testosterone levels in the body, the skin will not produce as much acne or not produce ANY at all.
So how does Estrogen play into all this?
Estrogen and testosterone frequently act like a teeter totter. As one goes up the other goes down.
Hormonal acne is an elevated androgen/testosterone and low estrogen issue. It is not an elevated estrogen problem. Therefore, taking herbal supplements that block estrogen, such as DIM, will make your acne worse and increase testosterone causing cystic breakouts. I do not recommend DIM for hormonal acne for these reasons.
So it makes sense that if you lower androgen levels, the skin will not produce as much oiland your acne will improve!
Utilize Chemical Peels Or Exfoliants
Chemical peels help remove dead skin and other debris that clog pores. You can go to the dermatologist for a chemical peel, but there are at-home options, too. For hormonal or adult acne, you can do some chemical peels every two weeks.
Like chemical peels, exfoliants get rid of dead and dull skin cells on your skin. By removing the extra baggage, exfoliating keeps your skin youthful and healthy. If you struggle with acne, a regular exfoliant will help smooth your complexion and reduce breakouts by preventing clogged pores.
Chemical exfoliants are usually better than physical exfoliants since they dont rub your skin or make acne irritation worse. The best way to exfoliate a face with hormonal acne skin is through alpha-hydroxy acids , which are plant acids that help:
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Treatment Options For Hormonal Acne
There is currently no cure for acne, so treatments aim to heal the skin, and prevent new breakouts and scarring. The severity of the acne may influence the type of treatment a person chooses, and people with more severe breakouts may prefer prescription oral medications or topical treatments, such as creams or gels.
A person may use acne treatment for at least 46 weeks before they see results. It is best to avoid using multiple acne treatments, to prevent irritation and new breakouts.
Hormonal acne treatments fall into the four categories below.
Self-care techniques that can help clear mild and moderate hormonal acne breakouts include:
- avoiding exfoliating face washes, astringents, and masks
- using noncomedogenic, oil-free skin care products
- washing the face twice a day, once after waking up and again before going to bed
- washing the face and showering after workouts
- avoiding picking, touching, or popping acne
- shaving gently and only when necessary
- using sunscreen
There is debate about a possible link between the diet and acne. Some studies suggest that certain foods can worsen acne, while others can be beneficial. However, researchers have yet to make definitive conclusions.
Dietary changes that might help hormonal acne breakouts include:
- Applying green tea to the skin. A
Doctors can prescribe oral medications, topical medications, or a combination to manage or cure hormonal acne, and a person with severe acne may prefer this approach.
Take Oral Acne Medication Or Birth Control
If there are no additional concerns, hormonal acne is relatively easy to treat. We typically start treatment with a birth control pill containing estrogen and progesterone. The FDA has approved several contraceptive medications specifically for acne in women.
Unfortunately, the convenient forms of birth control do not help with hormonal acne. These are only progesterone-based, which can make acne even worse. If a patient is already using one of these devices, well use an alternative treatment rather than ask them to change their birth control method.
Spironolactone is often our first choice for patients not wanting or needing birth control. A low-dosage form of this oral pill is a highly effective method to get rid of hormonal acne.
It blocks the androgen receptors in the skin that are responding to the testosterone by increasing our oil production and making us breakout. Spironolactone essentially blocks the skin from hearing the testosterone say, Hey, make a pimple! Its tolerated well by patients and can be used for long periods of time . Its a highly effective option that often eliminates the need for patients to eventually take Accutane.
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One: Understand That Hormonal Acne Is An Inside Job
The root causes of acne start deep within your body. They dont start at the level of the skin. That means that any changes you make to your skin care routine will only help so much and, if you do nothing else, the root causes of your acne will smolder on. So your first step in easing hormonal acne is shifting your mindset. You can only truly address hormonal acne by understanding it for what it is a condition with internal root causes and then using food, supplement, and lifestyle strategies to address those root causes.
Consult Your Doctor About Oral Medication
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So what exactly do hormones have to do with your skin? To answer that, Benjamin first gives us a quick biology lesson for those who experience a menstrual cycle. Your 28-day menstrual cycle can be broken down into three sections. During the first seven days, estrogen levels are high. On days seven to 14, estrogen begins to drop. Day 14 through day 28 is when estrogen reaches its lowest levels. Benjamin explains that breakouts are most likely to occur seven to 10 days before your period because thats when estrogen, which helps keep your skin clear, is lowest. Also during this time, testosterone increases, leading to an increase in sebum production. Progesterone levels increase, too, causing your pores to constrict. So, youve got low levels of the skin-clearing hormone, plus excess oil and constricted poresthe perfect storm for an acne flare-up.
If your cystic breakouts dont respond to topical spot treatments, talk to your doctor about different oral medication options. Depending on your specific circumstances, they might suggest birth control or spironolactone to regulate hormones and oil production or an antibiotic to target bacteria.
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Causes Of Hormonal Acne
There are two main indicators: Your breakouts happen along the lower third of your face, and they get worse before your period when there is an excess build-up of testosterone, according to Joshua Zeichner, MD, the director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology and assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.
Besides Aunt Flow, there are a few other hormonal acne causes. Pregnancy and the fluctuating hormones that come along with it, for one. Also, the decline in reproductive hormones can cause hormonal acne due to your body adjusting to fluctuating levels. Polycystic ovary syndrome is another culprit. It can occur in women at a reproductive age and causes a fluctuation in hormones that can increase the length of your menstrual cycle, cause obesity, and result in breakouts.
Whats The Difference Between A Papule And A Macule
Papules are a form of acne. Macules are smooth areas of discoloration that appear on a persons skin that may be from a variety of causes.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Acne papules are a common skin condition that affects most people, especially teenagers. Because they mainly affect teenagers, many people think that papules are part of the transition from childhood to adulthood and dont see a healthcare provider about them. But a dermatologist can help treat your acne papules and limit any long-term damage to your skin.
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Can Taking Vitamin A Help Acne: Dealing With Acne 101
Suffering from acne is something that you might think will only happen to teenagers going through puberty.
However, this can affect you at any age and be an annoying and frustrating thing to deal with.
Acne can take away your self-confidence when you are going out in public, and this can negatively affect your life if you deal with this issue all the time.
Are there ways to help get rid of acne without using chemical products that could hurt your skin? Can taking vitamin A help acne?
These are the questions we will answer today so that you will find the right solution for your problem.
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Try To Reduce Your Stress Levels
In addition to sticking to a hormonal acne-friendly diet and skincare routine, Dr. Zeichner recommends finding stress-reducing outlets, such as yoga or meditation. You should also make sure you’re getting the proper amount of sleep you need every night. Beyond that, if you’re looking for other ways to treat your acne naturally, ingredients like tea tree oil may help, though this may be a better choice if you’re only dealing with mild to moderate breakouts, rather than cystic breakouts.
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Factors That Contribute To Hormone Imbalances And Cyclical Acne
Hormone imbalances are the root cause of adult acne, and there are several key ways our hormones get out of balance. Here are five main factors that affect hormonal harmony:
Whats The Difference Between A Cold Sore And A Pimple
Cold sores are tiny blisters that appear on your lips and around your mouth. Herpes simplex virus type 1 causes cold sores, and the virus is highly contagious. You can spread cold sores very easily through saliva or close contact with another person who has a cold sore outbreak often through kissing or sharing utensils, straws, towels or lip balm.
Pimples dont form on your lips or inside your mouth. You cant spread pimples through saliva or close contact with another person who has pimples.
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How To Get Rid Of Adult Acne Fast
Most people dont realize that prevention is the key word when it comes to acne. A pimple or cyst can start to form weeks before you actually see it. So, youll need to be consistent with a skincare routine for adult acne.
Here is the best skincare routine for hormonal acne based on expert recommendations.
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.
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Giving Yourself A Steam Treatment
Worst Foods For Your Skin
One of the most powerful ways to balance your hormones and support clear skin is by what you eat and what you dont eat.
Your liver needs enough key micronutrients from food to help your body detoxify excess hormones and other skin damaging waste products, so its important to prioritize foods that contain those micronutrients and liver support compounds foods like cruciferous vegetables, dark leafy greens, and small, oily fish like sardines . Because inflammation drives acne, its important to avoid eating inflammatory foods, like sugar and dairy.
Here are some of the specific foods I recommend saying goodbye to entirely if you experience cyclical breakouts:
What foods are best for clear skin? I give you my top recommendations below, in my step-by-step guide to clear skin.
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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.
Steps To Eliminate Hormonal Acne Naturally At Home
In this section, were going to look at how to use your diet, lifestyle and skin care routine to start clearing up your skin quickly.
If your acne is really severe, its best to follow all of these steps.
However, you can start with whichever ones make the most sense for you and add on others as time goes by.
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How To Get Rid Of Hormonal Acne
Medical Review By: John Minni, DO
Getting acne in your twenties, thirties or forties seems unfair, but blame your hormones.
Hormonal acne, or adult acne, is more common than youd think, said John Minni, DO, a board-certified dermatologist at Waters Edge Dermatology. In my practice, there are times when the number of adult patients I see for acne is higher than the number of teenage acne patients. Some of them never even had acne earlier in life.
To learn how to get rid of hormonal acne, read on.