Everything You Need to Know About Hormonal Acne
If you’ve ever noticed an uptick in pimples on your skin around that time of the month, it likely won’t come as a shock to you that our hormones can influence the blemishes on our skin. When we’re nearing our periods, puberty, menopause—or any other time where our hormones are fluctuating—it’s quite common to see breakouts occur. These blemishes—which often crop up along the lower face, jawline, and neck—are often referred to as hormonal acne. To learn more about what separates hormonal acne from other zits, along with how to go about addressing hormonal breakouts, we turned to board-certified dermatologist, and Skincare.com consultant, Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali. Read on to discover everything you need to know about hormonal acne.
HOW HORMONES AFFECT ACNE
When we think of acne, many of us picture a teenager going through puberty with a face covered in pimples. While many teens do have their fair share of acne struggles, the same can be said about adults. In fact, dermatologists are finding more and more cases of late-onset acne among women in their 20s, 30s, 40s and even 50s. For some of these women, the sudden onset of acne beyond their teen years could have to do with fluctuating hormones.
“Hormonal acne generally correlates with a menstrual flare or change in body chemistry,” Dr. Bhanusali says. During puberty, before your period and during pregnancy are common times these changes can occur. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), the role of androgrens— the male hormones present in both men and women—should also be taken into account. Androgens can overstimulate oil glands and alter the development of skin cells that line hair follicles, which may result in clogged pores and an acne flare-up. Most women with acne have normal androgen levels, but a hormonal imbalance could be responsible for any excess acne on the complexion.
HOW TO ADDRESS HORMONAL ACNE
The good news is that hormonal acne is quite common, so if you’re dealing with it, you’re surely not alone. More good news? Managing your hormonal acne breakouts isn’t too difficult. With the right products and regimen, you can help to manage your breakouts and pave the way to clearer-looking skin.
Before you take the plunge and experiment with the first acne treatment that you see, it’s essential to keep your skin type and the severity of your acne—mild, moderate, or severe—in mind. For example, mature skin is often drier, and topical acne treatments, which are notoriously drying, may cause additional skin irritation. It’s a good idea to visit your dermatologist for guidance.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
Acne can be incredibly bothersome. Of course you want address yours (and see results) as quickly as possible, but it’s important to remember that most acne products won’t work overnight. For best results, follow the advice of your dermatologist. This often means sticking to a consistent regimen and following it every single day. Some results can take many weeks, so don’t lose momentum if your zit isn’t disappearing as quickly as you’d like.
Resist any urge of picking, popping, and squeezing your zits, too. Chances are you won’t do it correctly, and you run the risk of scarring your skin permanently and/or introducing new bacteria onto your complexion which can wreak additional havoc. Having trouble curbing the bad habit? We’re sharing tips on how to stop popping your pimples once and for all—and what to do instead—here.