Hormonal Acne: Overview
One of the most challenging skin conditions to cure or treat is acne, especially one that results due to hormonal imbalance in the body. Acne, whether hormonal or otherwise, arises due to the clogging of the hair follicles situated in the skin's dermal layer by oil and/or dead skin cells. This only represents its onset but for acne itself, its exact cause is still under investigation.
Hormonal acne, as the name suggests, refers to acne that comes up due to hormonal imbalances in the body. Many of our life's processes are controlled by hormones and many of these hormones begin their functions at a particular stage of growth in life. Androgens, primarily found in males, are the set of hormones often implicated in the onset of hormonal acne.
Androgens are produced in females too howbeit in a very minute quantity. The effects of the female sex hormones namely estrogen and progesterone often overshadow those of androgens in a "healthy" female. But where hormonal acne would result, more androgens are released into the body and that in turn, stimulate an increase in the secretion of sebum which eventually clogs the hair follicles.
In the next section below, we shall consider some of the things that bring about hormonal imbalances in the body; that would help to understand better how to cure hormonal acne.
Causes Of Hormonal Imbalance
Any of the listed life events and functions could result in a hormonal imbalance in a woman for instance. And when that results, hormonal acne may just be near. These include
1. Stress (Stress increases the production of androgens)
It goes without saying, therefore, that hormonal acne results when a woman is undergoing any of the things listed above. If not, it can be hard to attribute such acne to hormonal change.
A person not undergoing any of the above and still having acne can trace such to the disproportionate increase in the production of a particular bacteria known as Propionibacterium acnes which are known to induce acne.
That said, it would be nice to briefly consider some of the common symptoms of this disfiguring skin condition. Read on to find out the symptoms of hormonal acne.
Symptoms Of Hormonal Acne
It is necessary to state here that acne is most prevalent in parts of the body where the oil glands are more in numbers, and such include the face, chin, and chest. So, while confirming whether what you have is hormonal acne or not, check out your chin and face for these symptoms.
3. Cyst beneath the skin (especially in adults)
5. Acne Scars
All these are the possible manifestations of hormonal acne and for adults, they can assume two to three of the above symptoms. The good news is that acne can be cured. Its treatment lies in following diligently some skin care regimen which shall soon to rolled out here.
How To Treat & Cure Hormonal Acne
The degree of your acne would determine which treatment plan would be suitable to cure the breakout. Most acne would require a more drastic approach more than the external application of topical medications to clear them off. That said, here are some of the available treatment options for acne.
1. Over-the-Counter Drugs (OTC)
2. Birth Control Pills (for Adults)
3. Anti-Androgenic (AAD) Drugs
4. Home remedies
Hormonal Acne Cure Method #1: OTC
If the hormonal acne on your chin, forehead, or chest is still very mild, that is, it has not developed into cysts, you can opt for any of the over-the-counter products to treat it. Usually, you should look out for any of the following ingredients in any acne treatment medication for your mild acne.
1. Benzoyl Peroxide
2. Alpha Hydroxyl Acid (AHA)
3. Salicylic acid
The acne medication of your choice should contain any of the above active ingredients. One of such drugs is retinoid which is also very rich in vitamin A.
However, your choice would have to depend on the sensitivity of your skin as well as the degree of the severity of acne. The gimmick here is to first test your skin with the product that works best for you before applying it all over your face or chin.
Hormonal Acne Cure Method #2: Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills such as oral contraceptives are able to cure hormonal acne from within by regulating the level of certain hormones in the body. When taken, the birth control pills work directly to limit the number of androgens in the bloodstream. Many of the drugs are a combination of ethinylestradiol and any of norethindrone, drospirenone, or norgestimate.
So, during certain periods such as when ovulating, taking drugs having any of these active ingredients to control childbirth can simultaneously cure your hormonal acne. But then, women that suffer from breast cancer, hemorrhages or high B.P are completely dissuaded from using birth control pills for whatever reason.
Hormonal Acne Cure Method #3: AAD
As earlier noted, increased androgen levels in the blood can raise up the level of oil production hence, trigger hormonal acne. Both sexes produce this hormone although at a different level. Stress is one lifestyle habit that can raise up the androgen level in adults and thus, predispose them to hormonal acne.
There are certain drugs such as spironolactone also known as Aldactone that works to reduce the level of androgen in the body. Although it is majorly used as a drug control pill, it has also been found to fight against hormonal acne leaving you with clear skin.
Hormonal Acne Cure Method #4: Home Remedies
The good news is that hormonal acne can be treated at home with common products available at your beck and call. But then, apart from the fact that home remedies are typically slow in addressing any skin condition, it may not work if the acne has become very severe.
Severe acne would require that you see a dermatologist who would assess the situation and prescribe necessary drugs for you. In some cases, the doctor might advise that you go through some minor surgical procedures especially if acne Scars have surfaced.
That said, here are some proven home remedies for addressing moderate or mild hormonal acne. By moderate acne, we mean one that hasn't started producing cysts. If your acne is still mild, here are some home remedies you can use.
1. Tea Tree Oil
The usefulness of tea tree oil in combating skin conditions of which acne is one cannot be overstated. This very useful plant is reputable for its anti-stringent, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial actions. Since most hormonal acne surface as pimples and blackheads, these properties of tea tree oil are no less needed to address these symptoms.
Tea tree oil is usually very strong on the skin especially sensitive ones; and since it is intended to be applied to the face or chin, you would need to mix it with other oils that are not as strong as it is to the skin. These oils which are known as carrier oils include jojoba oil, olive oil, or coconut oil.
Any of these oils would help to properly dilute the tea tree oil and make it mild on your skin. Even with this dilution, to be on a safer side, you should experiment with a little quantity of the mixture before applying en masse to your skin. Once you are satisfied the dilution is okay with you, you can then apply it to the acne spots twice a day to relieve you of the symptoms.
2. Green Tea
Hormonal acne can also be treated at home by using the green tea. Unlike the tea tree oil which would have to be applied directly on the acne, you would have to drink the green tea to hasten your hormonal acne treatment. This does not disturb you from continuing any of your earlier treatment plans such as retinoids, anti-androgenic drugs, and even tea tree oil application.
That means that green tea is a supplementary treatment plan and its specific relevance in hormonal acne treatment is predicated on its anti-inflammatory powers. A cup of green tea per day would go a long way in reducing inflammation and also help other treatment methods applied.
3. Exfoliate Regularly
Recall that we earlier said that hormonal acne arises due to some blockages in the hair follicles, and one of such things that can clog the follicles are dead skin cells. Of course, the skin's cells die often and are replaced by new ones.
When you exfoliate, you are removing these dead skin cells capable of clogging your hair follicles and even reducing the amount of sebum accumulating on your skin. Exfoliation should be done at least twice a week as a preventive measure not only for hormonal acne but other skin conditions.
Exfoliation of a skin already pervaded by acne would, however, have to be done gently using a loofah so that further irritation is not caused. You can include some sugars for the exfoliation as it has been found to be a mild exfoliator for the skin too,
The successful treatment of hormonal acne would demand that you are patient and ready to follow your regimen religiously. In most cases, you would need a dermatologist to prescribe a medication for you to clear off those annoying things from your skin.
For now, it is not clear if there is a link between what we eat and acne but several physicians would advise that those having hormonal acne should refrain from consuming alcohol and also from smoking.
The home remedies preferred here are suitable if the acne symptoms haven't become severe. There are actually more of those remedies but the few ones highlighted here in this piece appear to be the commonest. We hope you found the information exciting and useful.