What Is Hormonal Imbalance
Hormones catch a lot of blame for our fluctuating moods, weight, and energy levels, but theyre actually pretty awesome.
Hormones are essential chemicals that are sent around your body to deliver signals to your tissues and organs, affecting your metabolism, mood, growth, and development.
A lot of people associate hormones with puberty, precisely because of their role in growth and development. The increased hormone activity during this period is also why many teens deal with acne. But this is a natural part of human development, and not considered a hormonal imbalance!
True hormonal imbalance is a very different problem.
Theoretically, your hormone levels should begin to regulate themselves after puberty, and settle into a natural rhythm. That is, until you encounter disruptions.
Hormones like to work in harmony, so if one isnt functioning right, theyre probably all out of whack. When theres too much of one hormone, or too little of another, their harmony goes out of tune and you are officially suffering from hormonal imbalance.
This can occur in a lot of ways. Hormones can be influenced by factors like diet, beauty products, or even our own stress levels.
However, hormones are complex. Even when theyre not being influenced, they still fluctuate naturally for example, during the female menstrual cycle, which can make it tough to identify hormonal imbalance in women.
First, youll need to know what normal fluctuations look like!
How Is It Hormonal
Hormonal acne is triggered by fluctuating hormone levels. Thats why you might get more breakouts if you have a vajayjay.
Females are more susceptible to hormonal acne since we experience fluctuations in female sex hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone monthly with our menses, says Zenovia Gabriel, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist and hormonal skin care expert.
A breakout can be the first sign of hormonal imbalance. The pimples are proof your body is adjusting.
An increase in testosterone stimulates our oil glands to produce excess sebum, which is one major cause of acne, says Zenovia.
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
Recommended Reading: Breakthrough Bleeding On Bioidentical Hormones
Make Skin Care Tweaks Based On Your Cycle
Given many people’s adult acne comes around when they get their period, you may consider making skin care adjustments around your cycle. This way you’re not using potent products daily, and deploy them only when you know zits might be coming. So when should you get prepared? Start around the second week of your cycle.
“On Day 14 there is a surge in luteinizing hormone , which not only harkens a rise in progesterone, but testosterone peaks at Day 14, and these two hormones both contribute to increased sebaceous gland activity and oilier skin including an oily scalp and greasy hair,” says Barr. “As estrogen levels are declining, there may be more inflammation, irritation, and disruption of the skin barrier and microbiome, which can also contribute to breakouts.”
Hot Flashes And Night Sweats
A sign of hormonal imbalance is experiencing hot flashes and night sweats. Hot flashes are commonly associated with the menopause.
According to the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, hot flashes are one of the most common reasons for women to visit their doctor during the menopause. This is because the hot flashes can affect quality of sleep, cause depression, and result in a decreased quality of life.24
Dr. Louise Newson on Patient.info says that an estrogen imbalance can cause an intense feeling of flushing and heat in the face, neck, and chest. This makes many women self-conscious because the sweating the flushes cause are difficult to ignore.25
If you feel like you are living in the tropics during the menopause, then please try some of my natural remedies for hot flashes. There you can find out how remedies like flaxseed, red clover, and evening primrose oil can give you a welcome relief from menopause symptoms.
Also Check: How Much Do Estrogen Patches Cost
Why Do Androgens Such As Testosterone Cause Acne
Androgens cause changes in the skin and directly drive inflammation. Here are the three reasons why androgens cause acne:
This diagram shows the complex effects of androgens in the skin that cause acne:
Or About Halfway Through Your Cycle
The androgens we talked about earlier dont fluctuate too much throughout your cycle, and stay at reasonably similar levels except for one time: ovulation.
In females, testosterone gets itself all excited and spikes around ovulation, which is when an egg is released from the ovary and occurs around day 14 of a regular 28-day cycle.
Ovulation is also the time where you are most fertile, which is where the testosterone spike comes ina subtle nudge from mother nature to get busy in the name of reproduction.
So, if you experience a few chin or cheek zits around the middle of your cycle, this slight surge in androgen activity may be why.
While we realise that you may not be in love with your mid-month zits, theyre not necessarily a bad thing. Theyre just a sign from your body that you probably ovulated that month, which is great news and a biological miracle! So try to look upon these spots with admiration for the amazing things that your body is capable of.
Read Also: Can Estrace Cause Weight Gain
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.
How To Deal With Hormonal Acne During Pregnancy
Having a baby can be one of lifes great joys. Pregnancy comes with many positives, but unfortunately for some, there can be a few drawbacks as well. This can include hormonal acne, where your skin begins breaking out like it would if you were a teenager.
The good news is that hormonal acne in pregnancy does not happen to everyone. If it does happen to you, there are some pregnancy-safe remedies to zap those zits. Keep reading to see what expert dermatologists recommend if you start to break out during pregnancy.
What Causes Hormonal Imbalance
Your hormones have to work together in balance to help your body thrive. However, hormone ups and downs in women are very common, so if you feel that you have a hormonal imbalance, you are not alone.
Doctors from WebMD say that some of the common causes of an imbalance in hormone production in women are pre-menstrual syndrome, pregnancy, and the menopause. However, other lifestyle factors can cause hormones to fluctuate. Being overweight, not getting enough exercise, or a lack of sleep can all throw your hormones off balance.3
Other reasons for hormone fluctuations are an underactive thyroid that doesnt produce enough thyroxine . Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that hypothyroidism can leave you feeling lethargic, cause changes in your menstrual system, or make it difficult to lose weight.4
Also, diabetes is a common cause of hormonal imbalances and can affect, not just the insulin hormone, but also other blood sugar-related hormones, sex hormones, and growth hormones.5
Four: Find Good Skin Care
There are a plethora of organic skin care lines to address acne-prone skin, from to Renee Rouleau Anti Bump Solution. Check out Credo Beauty and Cap Beauty for more excellent options. This is an important step because if youre giving up the medicated topicals, you will need something to help with skin turnover, pore decongestion, excess oil, and cysts.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Inflamed Acne Fast
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.
Learn More About Acne
Acne is one of the most common skin conditions, affecting around 50 million Americans every year. While all acne is hormonal, it can be triggered by a variety of factors, from androgens to stress, medication and more.
Interested in learning more about acne? Our guide to androgen hormones that cause acne goes into more detail about how testosterone and other androgens can trigger an acne outbreak. You can also learn more about common acne triggers in our guide to what causes acne breakouts.
Want to solve your acne breakouts as quickly as possible? Our guide to getting rid of acne fast covers the most effective acne treatments available, as well as the amount of time required for you to see results.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of any treatment.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.
Recommended Reading: Tubal Ligation Cause Early Menopause
How Can You Cure Hormonal Acne Without Knowing The Hormone Levels
This seems like a pretty obvious question, but as I was just saying, you might find your doctor doesnt see it this way though.
You might have already experienced going to your doctor and asking to get your hormones tested and found there werent too keen to do it. The reason for this is because medical treatments are really strong. The birth control pill and Accutane/Roaccutane usually work regardless of what type of hormone imbalance you have, so your doctor thinks why to bother testing.
They know the medications are that powerful that they will just override any hormonal imbalance.
But the problem with these treatments is that when you stop them, your hormonal imbalance returns and so does your acne. So if you want to get rid of your acne for good, then you need to balance out your hormones.
So when you want to solve your hormonal acne issues naturally, we need to know what your hormone levels are like. So testing becomes critically important. When you do the testing, you know what your hormone levels are which then allows you to be very specific around the herbs and supplements youll use.
Because if you dont test, all you can do is guess at what you need, and this is where most people are at.
So what I see a lot in my clinic is patients come to see me and theyre taking a whole heap of supplements, but theyve still got acne. And this is because they dont really know what they should be taking and what theyre taking isnt correcting their hormone imbalance.
Sign : Other Symptoms
Unbearable cramps and pain during menstruation, heavy / absent / irregular periods, fatigue, brain fog, low libido, depression, hair loss, stubborn weight gain, insomnia, etc., are few other symptoms other than the pimples that should not be ignored.
Hormonal acne may take longer time to heal than the usual acne, but it is curable if your hormones are balanced. While a doctors intervention is necessary, exercising to reduce stress, eating a healthier diet full of fibre, fruits & vegetables, and using acne soap to clean the skin can help you stay fit.
Proper medical guidance, small changes in your lifestyle, eating habits and a topical acne gel or anti-acne cream can cure your problem in no time.
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Practical Tips For People With Acne
Over-washing is not good for acne.
Too much washing and scrubbing can remove oil from the skin and irritate it more. The skin can respond by producing more oil and so worsening the acne.
Acne is treated according to severity. Mild acne can be treated with over-the-counter products as well as with medicines offered by doctors.
There is no quick-fix treatment for acne. All treatments take weeks to show effect.
Retinoids And Other Topical Products
Natural products like green tea may have some positive effects on mild acne. However, theyre usually not powerful enough to produce any improvement in moderate to severe outbreaks of hormonal acne.
Retinoids, on the other hand, can be powerful tools for controlling your hormonal acne. Made using a derivative of vitamin A, retinoids work by speeding up your skins growth process and causing your skin to turn over more quickly than normal.
This faster turnover process means sebum doesnt have as much time to build up inside your pores, resulting in fewer pimples and milder hormonal acne outbreaks.
Retinoids can be applied topically or taken orally. The most common topical retinoid is tretinoin, a retinoic acid that you can find in our acne and other skincare products.
Using tretinoin is simple all you need to do is apply it daily. Studies of tretinoin for acne usually show that it takes three to six months to control most acne, making topical retinoids like tretinoin a mainstay of medical acne treatment.
Hormonal Acne: The Root Cause And How To Treat It Naturally
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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.
Take Your Vitamins And Herbs
While hormonal acne is stubborn, there are some easy strategies you can take to balance hormones for acne relief naturally and it starts with vitamins and herbs.
Vitex for Acne
In women, hormonal acne typically manifests along the jawline and chin. If this sounds familiar, taking Vitex for acne may be a successful treatment.
Vitex agnus castus, also known as Chasteberry, is a womans herb thats been traditionally used for hormonal imbalances. Its been used for menstrual symptoms of low progesterone in the luteal phase . These symptoms include depression, crying, mood swings, acne, nervousness and anxiety.
Vitex has also been used as a natural remedy for treating such symptoms of high estrogen levels as pain, tender breasts, bloating and heavy periods.
Current research shows that Vitex can support healthy hormone levels and relieve pre-menstrual symptoms. It can also be an effective natural hormonal acne treatment.
How does Vitex for Acne Work?
The Vitex herbs act upon the pituitary and hypothalamus glands by increasing luteinizing hormone production and mildly inhibiting the release of follicle-stimulating hormone . This results in a shift in the ratio of estrogen to progesterone, with a rise in progesterone. The ability of the Vitex to increase progesterone levels is an indirect effect.
Vitex itself is not a hormone, but rather an herb that helps the body balance natural estrogen and progesterone. By balancing the estrogen, the androgens then come into balance as well.