Have you ever wondered why you have acne when menstruating?
Many times, I have heard women complain about their acne coming back even after using products that once cleared the acne.
And often times, I have realized that this occurs when they are ovulating or menstruating. Why? Because during these periods, hormonal fluctuations are taking place in your body.
The type of acne that pops up during these periods are hormonal.
What is hormonal acne?
Hormonal acne is acne that pops out due to hormonal changes in your body. They occur during puberty, pregnancy, ovulation, menstruation and even menopause.
This happens when hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, etc., have increased levels which creates an imbalance in your body system.
Signs you have hormonal acne
You know it is hormonal acne when:
It comes out sometime during your menstrual period
This is the most common factor that causes hormonal acne.
One of the hormones responsible for this is the progesterone. When progesterone levels rise during your cycle, it can lead to acne during your menstrual period or even before then.
Increased progesterone levels cause your skin to swell and it compresses your skin pores. This leads to the buildup of sebum underneath the surface of your skin.
Excess sebum mixed with dead skin cells, dirt and bacteria leads to acne.
You are menopausal and still having acne
Acne in women who are experiencing menopause is usually triggered by hormonal imbalance.
This is what happens…
Women who have acne during menopause have normal levels of androgen, but their estrogen hormone levels are reduced.
Their sebaceous glands can be stimulated by the imbalance and work overtime, creating excess sebum which clogs the skin pores and triggers acne.
You are stressed
If you have a job that stresses you out, this is for you.
I think I need to state it here that skincare products do not control how your hormones work. So, if you are stressed out, do not expect a product to magically prevent it.
The best it can do is treat it quickly and prevent it from flaring or getting worse.
With that being said, how is hormonal acne caused by stress?
When you are stressed, it causes a spike in your stress-related hormones, cortisol, both in the blood and in the sebaceous glands.
This causes the secretion of excess oil and in turn, acne.
Acne pops out around your jawline and chin
One of the ways of knowing if it is hormonal acne is where it pops up on your face.
If your acne pops up around your lower face, especially around your jawline and your chin area, you can be sure that it is hormonal acne.
Like I have said repeatedly, excess hormones in the body stimulates your oil glands and many of them are around your chin area.
Since there are a lot of oil glands around that area, acne tends to pop up more. Also, hormonal acne can pop up at the side of your face and down your neck.
How can you deal with hormonal acne?
Let me begin by saying that hormonal acne is caused by hormones so it is hard for a skincare product to prevent such type of acne.
The best to expect from a product is for it to help treat the acne that pops up. They won’t stop coming out until you attack the root of the problem, hormonal imbalance.
Here are some tips that can help you do that:
Get an anti-acne product
Even though you have to deal with the root of the problems, the hormones, you still need to treat it like you would treat normal acne.
Get an anti-acne product to help get rid of the acne.
Even if that does not prevent the acne from popping up since it is caused by hormones, it will clear those that have popped up and prevent them from flaring up.
If your hormonal acne is mild, then this alone might even work.
Stay away from anything that stresses you
I feel I need to emphasize this.
I understand that most of us have jobs that are strenuous, and we get home tired at the end of the day — and it is impossible to stay away from your job.
So, try to look for means to stay relaxed.
After a long day at work, take a long soak in the bathtub. Do things that put you in a relaxed mood. Sleep, watch a movie, listen to music – whatever it is that relaxes you.
Use a product containing retinoids
You can make use of skincare products, especially creams that contain retinoids, especially if your hormonal acne is mild.
It is easy to find many retinoid creams, gels and lotions over the counter in pharmacies and drug stores, but you have to be careful. It is best you ask from a dermatologist or doctor for a prescription before you go ahead to buy.
Take birth control pills
Contrary to what you might be thinking, birth control does not make acne worse.
The work of birth control pills is to alter the high hormonal levels in your body, especially during ovulation, to prevent pregnancy. The good news is: while it does that, it also affects the hormones that cause acne, to stabilize the excess levels of these hormones.
This helps to prevent hormonal acne from coming out in the first place
But beware! Do not just take pills just because you think they will work for acne. Remember they alter a lot of other things in your body.
Speak to a doctor first to be sure that it is okay for you to do and what dosage is necessary.
Use anti-androgen drugs
Androgen is one of the hormones that can trigger your sebaceous glands.
These drugs help to reduce the levels of androgen in the body especially when they become high. This stabilizes the hormonal levels in your body and prevent your sebaceous glands from going out of control.
Drugs like spironolactone have anti-androgen effects, but you have to be careful. Speak to a doctor to know what drugs to take and how to use them
Hormonal acne are more common than you think and most women experience it.
It is important you know the difference between hormonal acne and normal ones. If your acne is hormonal. Then, you have to look for a solution that will help stabilize the levels of hormones in your body.
I advise you speak to a doctor about this before taking any action that will affect your hormones.
If you have any questions, leave a comment. I will answer as soon as I can.