What Medicines Treat Hormonal Acne
Medicines for treating hormonal acne include the birth control pill and spironolactone. Birth control works by suppressing estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone hormone production, while spironolactone blocks androgen, the hormone that contributes to hormonal acne. While these medications work for some people, they often come with side effects or could worsen acne, especially once you stop taking them. You can learn more about acne after birth control here.
What Gets Rid Of Hormonal Acne
Before you get downtrodden about the finicky nature of hormonal acne, remember that its pesky, but perfectly normal. So normal, in fact, that there are many methods to help treat it.
Most people with hormonal acne have tried over-the-counter treatments to no avail. If they arent working for you, you may need to seek the help of a dermatologist, who can offer prescription hormonal acne treatments. In general, its a good idea to see your dermatologist if you have deep or cystic pimples, because they could be a marker of something more serious, such as a thyroid condition or abnormal hormone levels, says Dr. Jegasothy.
If youve stumbled across natural treatments for hormonal acne, like using certain essential oils or other home remedies, Dr. Rodney says theyre not really legitand can sometimes make the situation worse. She recommends trying one of the hormonal acne medications or treatments listed below instead:
The hormonal acne treatment pyramid starts with good over-the-counter cleansers. When choosing yours, look for alpha7 or beta hydroxy acids, such as glycolic, lactic, or salicylic acids8. As you wash your face, each of these ingredients helps exfoliate the skin by unclogging pores to varying degrees of intensity. Finding the right kind that works for you might take some careful experimentation, but the La-Roche Posay Effaclar Medicated Cleanser and the Paulas Choice Pore Normalizing Cleanser are two derm-approved face washes for acne-prone skin.
Dont Underestimate Natures Healing Power
As you can see, I am very passionate about the topic of hormonal acne because it is often not discussed by mainstream skincare professionals when treating blemished skin.
Although there are wonderful topical products on the market , addressing hormones is a huge component for achieving lifelong clear skin. Not only have I successfully done this for myself, thousands of NAC clients have as well, and so can you. Let us show you how!
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Stress Can Increase Breakouts
If you’re experiencing a time of high stress, whether it’s physical or emotional, your body might produce an excess amount of cortisol.According to WebMD, cortisol is your body’s primary stress hormone. It works in tandem with your brain to control your motivations, fears, and moods.
If your body is producing too much cortisol to help combat the stress it’s feeling, it could result in your other hormones being shifted out of balance. Hormones like progesterone and estrogen have an effect on hormonal acne if they’re not managed. For additional information read Healing Estrogen Dominance: Symptoms and Treatment Option.
Causes Of Acne Vulgaris
3.1.1. Infectious Contribution
Staphylococcus aureus and Propionibacterium acnes have been attributed to acne vulgaris. However, their exact contributions in the acne process are not entirely clear. There are sub-strains of P. acnes in normal skin and some others in long-term acne complications. Therefore, it is unclear whether these strains are involved in this condition or they are pathogenically acquired. Resistance of P. acnes to commonly used drugs has been shown to be increasing . These strains are able to change, perpetuate, or adapt to the abnormal oil production, inflammation and inadequate sloughing of acne pores. Infection with Demodex, which is a parasitic mite has been shown to be associated with the development of acne. However, eradication of the mites has not improved acnes .
3.1.2. Dietary Contribution
The relationship between diet and acne is unclear as there is no good quality evidence. However, a high level of glycemic diet has been shown to be associated with worsening of acne vulgaris. A positive correlation between the use of milk, chocolates or salt, and increase in the severity of acne vulgaris has also been suggested. However, the contribution of chocolates is disputable, as they can be made with different amounts of sugar, with or without milk. A relationship between obesity and acne has also been reported .
3.1.3. Genetic Contribution
3.1.4. Hormonal Changes
3.1.5. Psychological Contribution
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How To Adjust Your Diet For Hormonal Acne
There’s no one-size-fits-all diet for hormonal acne, but there are some general guidelines that might help. The dietary changes that I suggest focus on eating foods that decrease inflammation in your body and dialing back foods that could contribute to increased androgens.
High glycemic foods break down quickly into sugar and cause a spike in blood sugar and insulin. Insulin is the hormone that helps bring your blood sugar back to normal, but it also can increase the production of hormones that contribute to acne, including androgens and insulin-like growth factor 1 .
Milk products also increase IGF-1, so you may want to limit or avoid these if you have hormonal acne.
On the other hand, beautifully colored and nourishing foods containing anti-inflammatory phytonutrients and omega-three fatty acids help decrease inflammation in your body. Fiber-rich carbohydrates can also help to regulate blood sugar and insulin levels and regulate hormone balance.
And gut healing foods are also helpful in reducing inflammation and keeping your microbiome healthy and happy. I have a diet and hormonal acne guide that goes into specific details along with a free meal plan and recipe guide to help you get started.
Peach & Lily Pore Proof Perfecting Clay Mask
Best hormonal acne treatment mask
Its makers say that this clay face mask exfoliates and provides a deep clean while calming inflammation and redness of sensitive, acne-prone skin. It also targets other common issues, such as blackheads, oiliness, and uneven skin texture.
The mask contains bentonite clay, kaolin clay, wild cherry extract, glycerin, and licorice root extract. It is gluten- and cruelty-free, vegan, and suitable for dry, normal, oily, and sensitive skin, the company says.
A 2.7-oz jar costs $43.
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Stay Away From Cows Dairy :
Research shows that dairy can cause acne due to high levels of iodine. While milk itself does not naturally contain iodine, farmers give their cows iodine-fortified feed to prevent infection. They also use iodine solutions to sanitize cow udders and milking equipment. As a result, the iodine gets into the milk itself.
According to research published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology consuming dairy specifically, low fat/skim milk is much higher in teenagers who have acne. Safer options are goat and sheep milk.
Hormonal Acne: Diet Dos And Donts
The exact role between diet and hormonal acne isnt fully understood. Some foods may help prevent acne particularly inflammation-fighting foods.
Plant-based foods high in antioxidants may help reduce inflammation and promote clearer skin. Omega-3 fatty acids may also decrease skin inflammation.
Contrary to popular belief, junk food alone doesnt cause acne. But overdoing it on certain foods may lead to increased inflammation.
You may consider limiting the following:
- refined carbs, such as white bread and pasta
To clear up hormonal acne and keep it at bay its important to establish an appropriate skincare routine.
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Remedies For Hormonal Acne: 8 Ideas That You Must Try
Fluctuations in testosterone, estrogen, progesterone and adrenocortical hormones levels can increase sebum production and cause acne.1
Whatever our life stage, hormonal changes have a way of fiddling with our skin too. Ask any teenager 8 out of 10 have acne woes! 2 But puberty isnt the only factor that causes hormonal changes which trigger acne. You can also get them before your periods. On the other side, pregnancy and menopause can improve acne in some and worsen them in others.3 Men and teenage boys arent immune to hormonal acne either.
In some cases, acne can be a sign that youre suffering from a condition such as polycystic ovary syndrome which is characterized by an imbalance in your hormone levels. In these cases, you will need to treat the underlying hormonal issue as well.4
So how are hormones connected to acne? The pores of your skin have sebaceous glands which produce sebum, an oily substance that coats your skin, lubricates it, and helps to keep it from drying out. Hormonal changes cause your sebaceous glands to become bigger and produce more sebum. Excess sebum along with dead skin cells can clog up your pores. Bacteria caught inside then start to multiply and this leads to reddened skin and swelling the beginning of a pimple.
What Is Hormonal Acne Anyway
First, its important to understand the difference between hormonal acne and good old-fashioned pimples. Hormonal acne is intrinsically linked to your hormones, resulting in cyclical breakouts that usually coincide with a persons menstrual cycle, Joshua Zeichner, M.D.2, board-certified dermatologist and director of cosmetic and clinical research at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, tells SELF. It can also match up with other hormonal shifts in your life, meaning your menopausal acne or postpartum pimples could be hormonal.
One important thing to note: Hormonal acne is technically not a medical term, board-certified dermatologist Ife J. Rodney, M.D.3, founding director of Eternal Dermatology + Aesthetics and professor of dermatology at Howard University and George Washington University, tells SELF. However, when a person tends to get very specific types of breakouts around the time of their period or when their body is experiencing vast hormonal shifts for other reasons , dermatologists generally describe it as hormonal acne.
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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 .
Why Do Androgens Cause Hormonal Acne
For the majority of women, hormonal acne occurs because their skin is sensitive to the normal levels of androgens like Testosterone.
Although considered to be a male hormone, it is normal for women to produce small amounts of Testosterone. Testosterone is an important hormone for women as it helps strengthen bones and muscles, provides a healthy libido and regulates the menstrual cycle. Androgens are the name for male hormones. Women produce other androgens as well as Testosterone. These are dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate , dehydroepiandrosterone , androstenedione . These three androgens are not very active by themselves and have to be converted to Testosterone or Dihydrotestosterone first.
Testosterone is produced by the ovaries and the adrenal glands. However, cells in the skin also make Testosterone from DHEAS. Skin cells, especially the cells in the sebaceous glands, also make DHT from Testosterone.
Hormonal acne also occurs when there are conditions in which too many androgens are produced such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
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Why The Conventional Acne Treatments Youre Using Arent Working
When I had acne, I tried everything my doctor would give me. I was desperate to improve the way my skin looked and the way I felt about myself. I imagine youve also gone through a list of potions and pills, hoping each would work for you. I personally tried a long course of antibiotics to stop the acne, which permanently stained my teeth slightly yellow and destroyed my gut microbiome so badly that I spent my entire freshman year of college with viruses, yeast infections, and flu-like symptoms. I tried Retinol-A cream and Salicylic Acid and Benzoyl Peroxide thinking I could heal my skin from the outside and just fix the surface of the issue. Needless to say, none of those things worked.
Theres a reason these commonly prescribed medications dont work and most even come with dangerous side effects:
The birth control pill: The pill disrupts your microbiome, endocrine system, and micronutrient levels all systems essential for keeping your skin clear. You may have clear skin while youre taking it, but not without added side effects that can worsen issues like PCOS, plus increase your risk of some reproductive cancers. Once you decide to stop using hormonal birth control, a common symptom of the withdrawal period is acne, often worse than youve had before because of the internal disruption that has occurred as a result of the medication.
Ayurvedic Therapies To Balance Hormones
Oil massage with essential oils helps to balance the doshas and clear out ama. Useful essential oils include turmeric oil, neem oil, jojoba oil, etc.
Shirodhara involves pouring medicated oil on the forehead. It helps relieve stress and hence reduce stress and cortisol levels. It also balances doshas.
Nasya involves pouring medicated oils like ghee down the nostrils. It is especially useful for relieving Pitta.
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Increase Alkaline Foods And Decrease Acidic Foods:
Meat-based proteins coffee, alcohol, sugar and processed grains all foods that are a big part of the typical American dietare acid-forming in the system. This leads to a condition called acidosis. Acidosis is the technical term for over-acidification. The main symptom of acidosis is fatigue.
Other symptoms include loss of enthusiasm for life, loss of sex drive, poor sleep quality, depression and tiring quickly both mentally and physically. Advanced stage symptoms of acidosis include sensitivity to cold, low blood pressure, hypo or hyperthyroid and low blood sugar.
These symptoms are caused because the main minerals that are required to nourish the nervous system, such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, are the very same minerals that the body uses to neutralize acids!
Studies show that alkaline foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains help neutralize these acids Just by eating more fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains in replace of meat, sugar and other processed foods you will not believe how amazing you feel in just a few days!
What Is Hormonal Acne Hormonal Acne Treatment
Hormonal acne is acne caused by genetic and hormonal factors that cause breakouts well past puberty and the teenage years. Hormonal acne occurs more often in women and is typically located on the lower part of the face. Breakouts happen along the jawline, the chin, and the perioral region . The breakouts consist of inflammatory lesions, cysts, whiteheads, and blackheads.
When it comes to adult acne, genes have proven to play a role in its existence. Genetics influence the number, size, and activity of the sebaceous glands the sebaceous glands are the oil glands in the skin that create sebum , can get clogged, and cause breakouts.
The two hormones that need to work harmoniously together when it comes to clear skin are androgens and estrogen hormones. Androgens stimulate sebaceous gland growth and increase sebum production. Estrogens work in the opposite way and slow sebum production. So when androgen levels are abnormally high, breakouts occur often. Similarly, when estrogen levels are lower especially during the premenstrual period in women, acne is more likely to occur.
The most common reasons for hormonal acne breakouts are:
There are some natural ways to treat hormonal acne.
- Dietary Changes
- Limiting dairy, artificial sugars, alcohol, red meat, and overly processed grains can help to lower inflammation and reduce breakouts.
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Exercise The Right Way
Exercise is a great way to manage stress and support our overall health, but it’s crucial to exercise the right way. Too much high-intensity exercise can actually increase cortisol levels, so it’s important to find a balance.
If you like high-intensity activities, I recommend mixing in exercises like walking, yoga, or light weight lifting to keep your hormones in check.
What Are The Symptoms Of Hormonal Acne
For teenagers, hormonal acne breakouts will often appear in the same places as typical teen acne: the forehead, cheeks, around the mouth, and the chin. Unlike teenage acne which is predominantly on the upper parts of the face, hormonal acne appears mostly on the lower parts of the face around the mouth, chin, and lower jawline. Though the chin and jawline are the most common locations for adult hormonal acne, the face and sides of the neck may also be affected.
Like teenage acne, hormonal acne will include comedones . Many women with hormonal acne will also have “under-the-skin bumps”, cysts that are not red or visible on the skin’s surface.
Also Check: How To Know If Your Acne Is Hormonal