Regardless of your gender and age, sometimes acne can occur either once a month or week or multiple times a week, sometimes it is mostly caused by other factors like hormones. For this reason, it is important to know how to treat hormonal acne if you have this type of acne. Regardless of the reason, it forms and the amount of time it appears, it is usually a very frustrating experience dealing with the breakout. In order to have a clear skin, it is vital to clear hormonal acne from the skin and prevent further occurrence.
Treating hormonal acne can be confusing because sometimes it clears up and sometimes it doesn’t react to treatments. When they are treated sometimes they return and the process of having them treated has to be repeated as a result. Understandably most of the people who have acne breakouts would rather have an acne-free skin permanently, so learning the process of getting rid of them would definitely be a useful tool.
What is Acne?
Acne or acne vulgaris is a very common skin disease that affects a wide range of people. Although, acne can occur at any age, it usually begins when people reach puberty and becomes critical during adolescence. The majority of the people who suffer from acne are usually between the ages of 12-25years. It is the most noticeable when pimples appear either on the face, chest and sometimes the back. It occurs when the oil pores become obstructed by either dead skin cells, bacteria, and oil from the skin.
Acne is also represented by areas covered with blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and sometimes very oily skin. Sometimes when the acne clears up, it leaves behind scars or marks which stay for a long period of time.
Signs and Symptoms of Acne
Although the degree of the signs or symptoms of acne varies, there are always some major noticeable especially on parts of the body which have a lot of oil glands like the face, back, chest, shoulders and the upper part of the arms. The common symptoms are;
- Whiteheads and pimples; this is basically caused by blocked or closed pores
- Blackheads; these are caused when the oil from an open plug pore is exposed to air, turning the oil brown.
- Papules; is the swelling of part of the skin without any visible head or pus, they come in different shapes and sizes. They could be brown, red or pink in color.
- Pustules; this is also a swelling of part of the skin; it is also in different shapes and sizes. They could both be white or red in color and they contain a lot of pus.
- Cysts; these are inflammations on the skin filled with pus and fluids. They are also usually very painful.
The least serious of the following symptoms are the whiteheads and blackheads because they are usually very easy to manage and treat.
Well Known Causes of Acne And Some Uncertain Causes of Hormonal Acne
Although there hasn’t been any specific reason singled out as to what causes acne, the following factors play a major role in acne outbreaks even though they differ depending on the person. These factors include:
- Hormones; this is a major factor that influences acne. Change in hormones caused by pregnancy or the use of some oral contraceptives may be one of the reasons for acne breakouts. This happens because of the increase in sebum. Androgens are hormones that elevate in males and females during puberty which makes the sebaceous gland protrude and make more sebum than needed. Also, acne cases can worsen in women if a low amount of androgens are circulated in the blood.
- Medications; Certain type of drugs, containing lithium or androgens can make acne outbreaks worse in people. Steroid medications used to treat depression and bipolar disorders contain lithium, and so do some drugs used to fight epilepsy.
- Hereditary; sometimes, acne can be passed down in families. If your parents once had acne outbreaks when they were younger, there is a high possibility that you may also end up with acne. Studies have shown that if both parents of a child had acne at one point or the other, it’s very likely the child develops more severe acne outbreaks early in life. It also shows that if one a child’s parents had acne as an adult, it is very possible the child gets acne as an adult as well.
- Using skin care products that end up blocking your pores and causing acne outbreaks.
- Stress; there are a lot of reliable studies that have been performed which have shown that stress actually causes and makes acne worse. Although the correlation between stress and acne is still being debated, some researchers have shown that high-stress level can actually worsen acne.
- Smoking; even though this is also still uncertain, many medical literature reviews have portrayed that smoking cigarettes actually compound acne, and others have stated that it’s not certain if smoking has no effect or it actually makes acne worse.
- Diet; although how diet affects acne is not really certain there are many unproven ideas about it. Studies have shown in most cases that specific meals which include food containing milk or any other products gotten from dairy and food containing a high level of carbohydrates such as bread and chips can be a very serious acne trigger. Also, chocolate has been seen as another major suspect right from time, as studies have shown that most people tend to get more acne outbreaks after consuming chocolate. Vitamins may also trigger acne outbreaks or make existing outbreaks worse especially if taken above the regular daily dose.
- Picking your pimples; because pimples can be so frustrating, most people end up picking them with their nails and popping them prematurely. Asides from the fact that this is a very bad idea because you may pick pimples and turn it into a permanent scar, when you try to press the pus out of the pore, it’s very likely you end up helping the bacteria bury itself deeper into your skin, making it spread and multiplying your pimples.
- Using the wrong detergent; sometimes some detergents contain chemicals that are too severe for your skin, and residue that’s left on your hands may be passed down to your clothes or your bed. Your skin may end up getting affected by the residue resulting in breakouts on your face, back or chest as the case may be.
- Hygiene; although declared a myth, this is sometimes another factor. When people head out under the sun and bacteria coupled with other forms of dirt gets stuck the face, if you go back home without taking a shower or at least washing your face, it may end up in acne breakouts as the bacteria can easily find its way into your skin pore. This is also applicable to women who apply makeup, head out and come back home to sleep without washing it off.
Some of the following causes above are still under debate, although some people agree with them as causes of acne, others would strongly disagree.
How to Pinpoint if You Have Hormonal Acne
If as an adult you still keep having issues with acne, it is understandable if you are worried. But many people still suffer from acne even as adults. Acne is very frustrating, especially after you have tried out every option and nothing seems to be working. If that is the case, you have to consider and try to study and know if your acne may be hormonal.
It is mostly believed that if you are past the age of puberty, and you break out at specific times, especially around your period for women, mostly around your jaw line as studies have shown, then you may as well be suffering from hormonal acnes.
Acne and Hormones
Hormonal acne can occur for the following two main reasons.
- When you have breakouts; acne that has to do with your hormones are usually mostly consistent. You can basically tell when they are going to occur especially in women. If as a woman, you always have acne outbreaks during moments of your menstrual cycle then you may have hormonal acne. Acne that is hormonal would mostly appear when women go through their cycle because of the cyclical nature of hormones during the cycle. Some women get major outbreaks the week before their cycle begins while other women experience outbreak during their menses and sometimes during ovulation.
- The part of your body the breakouts occur; studies have shown that acne that occurs or appears along the jaw line or underneath the cheekbones are often associated with issues that have to do with hormones than those that appear on the forehead or on the nose. Acne that appears around the mouth is connected to the reproductive system according to some traditions of facial reading.
More Factors that Influence Hormonal Acne
If you still can’t pinpoint it from the earlier methods, one of these two might just help you determine. They include:
- The way your acne looks, size and how painful it feels; acne that has to do with hormones is usually deep and very sensitive to touch.
- A pimple usually makes you feel a tingling sensation of pain even though your hands are nowhere near it or applying pressure to it, sometimes it feels extremely painful when you touch your face either while cleaning it or washing it.
- This type of acne would possibly leave scars if you try to pop them before they go because of the pain.
- Sometimes it may refuse treatment from creams and other acne products and it most times you can still feel a pimple underneath your skin even though the surface looks dried up.
Effective Hormonal Acne Treatment Tips
Hormonal acne, unlike normal acne, is caused by a number of reasons, and although most of the treatments are similar for both, hormonal acnes require extra special attention to get rid of it. This type of acne can be treated or at least controlled as the case may be using the following methods, including some that will help to clear up even normal acne, but they can also be used to get rid of hormonal acnes from the surface.
- Using birth control pills or contraceptives; although not everyone is comfortable using pills to treat hormonal acnes, there are prescriptions that help control hormones. There are a number of approved contraceptives that can be taken orally to help fight breakouts. Birth control pills help by reducing the androgens and testosterone hormones that cause breakouts.
- Because stress has a great impact on your hormones, which in turn bring about acne, it is best to try and reduce your stress level as much as possible. When you get stressed, your body releases stress hormones called cortisol in your system. Too much cortisol increases androgens and ends up causing acne
- Reduce intake of drugs that aggravate acne; reduce the intake of drugs that have been known to aggravate acne like some anti-depressants, you can ask your doctor for other drugs that perform the same function without causing acne outbreaks for you. Also, some steroids which help increase performance also increase outbreaks.
- Use cleansers; using cleansers used for normal acne treatments can go a long way. Purchasing products that contain benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid would help unclog your pores leaving you a clear skin.
- Timing; since women who have acne consistently around their menstrual cycle, it’s best to purchase products containing benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid and attract the outbreaks as soon as they begin.
- You are advised to use more vitamins to help your skin dealing with this type pf acne.
- Take more food that has anti-androgens so they can help reduce the androgen in your system which causes acne.
In conclusion, there is no specific rule on how to treat hormonal acne, it’s just best to find what works for you and stick to it so that you can enjoy a clear skin always.