Acne doesn’t just appear on the faces of teenagers. In fact, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, between 40 and 50 million Americans experience acne at some point in their lives (a problem which usually strikes in the late teens and early 20s). This means that many adults struggle with acne, as well. The most common form of acne is called acne vulgaris, or common acne, and it accounts for almost 90% of all cases of facial breakouts.
What are hormones?
Hormones are chemical messengers that circulate throughout the body and regulate various bodily functions. They can be produced by the endocrine glands, or they can be created artificially. In terms of acne, hormones can trigger excess oil production, which can lead to clogged pores and breakouts. Hormonal fluctuations during puberty also play a significant role in acne severity as teens enter their teenage years. However, even adults can experience hormonal acne due to fluctuating hormone levels during menstruation, pregnancy, menopause and other times when hormone levels change.
Your skin and hormones
Acne is not just a teenage problem. It can affect people of all ages, and even though the causes may be different for each person, hormones often play a role. Here’s what you need to know about hormonal acne and how to deal with it.
One way that hormones affect your skin is by increasing production of oil (sebum) by your sebaceous glands, which sometimes leads to clogged pores and blackheads.
Another way that hormones might cause breakouts is through stimulation of growth within your hair follicles that leads to increased production of natural oils and shedding dead skin cells, which can create blockages at the surface level or lead to inflammation if they don’t get flushed out quickly enough.
One other thing that might affect your skin is hormone fluctuations during menopause or pregnancy. Although hormonal acne is not very common, it’s best to get any acne treatment from a dermatologist before you enter perimenopause and become more susceptible to changes in hormone levels. Your doctor can prescribe topical treatments, antibiotics or hormonal therapies such as birth control pills or spironolactone.
The link between Hormones, Acne, Menstruation, Stress,
Hormonal acne is not just a teenage problem. In fact, hormonal imbalances can cause acne at any age. The link between hormones and acne is well-established, and there are a number of factors that can contribute to hormonal imbalances, including menstruation, stress, and weight gain. Women often experience breakouts around the time of their menstrual cycle due to fluctuating hormone levels. Menstrual periods can also trigger the overproduction of sebum from oil glands on the skin’s surface and make existing pimples worse. Stress is another major contributor to hormonal imbalance because it affects how your body reacts to different hormones – for example, cortisol (a type of hormone) will increase during times of stress and has been shown to exacerbate breakouts by interfering with your skin’s natural protective oils.
Ways to control your hormonal acne
There are a few things you can do to help control your hormonal acne.
- Make it a priority to keep your stress in check. Stress can cause an increase in hormones that can lead to breakouts.
- Eat a healthy diet and avoid foods that may trigger breakouts.
- Be sure to clean your face thoroughly every day and remove all makeup before going to bed.
- Talk to your doctor about birth control options if you think your acne is hormone-related.
If you have hormonal acne, don’t despair. Acne is very common and can usually be controlled with proper skin care and changes to your diet. If it doesn’t improve after four to six weeks, talk to your doctor about other possible causes.