Female Hormonal Acne: Causes and Treatments

female hormonal acne

Female Hormonal Acne can be a hard problem to deal with. Not only is it emotionally trying and frustrating, but you may not know what is causing it and how to treat it. There are plenty of causes for acne and even more myths.

What is Female Hormonal Acne?

The leading causes of acne tend to be inflammation and bacteria. However, some hormones may trigger oil production in higher amounts than needed. This can lead sticky skin cells to promote clogged pores, thus influencing breakouts. This tends to be the case when androgen receptors are particularly sensitive to a woman’s body. It isn’t a condition that discriminates regarding age. While fifty percent of women between twenty and twenty-nine have acne, there is still twenty-five percent of the female population who is between forty and forty-nine who have to deal with this problem. It is believed that hormones alone cannot cause acne, but that they tend to be a catalyst to an underlying condition.

What Does Female Hormonal Acne Look Like?

It will form the bottom of your cheekbones and the jawline. They can manifest in the form of blackheads, whiteheads or small blemishes that come to a head. Which shape it will take depends on the person and their skin. In some cases, cysts may form instead of pimples. These form deep under the skin and will not come to a head. They are tender to the touch and can be caused by a build-up in your pores. Sometimes dead skin or sebum can clog these pores and cause cysts. Other times, the culprit may be testosterone. This is where you will want to see a professional and have them assess the bumps and tell you what the problem is. They will be able to recommend a treatment that will put you on the path to healing those lesions. Start here.

What Causes Female Hormonal Acne?

There are quite a few factors that can influence female hormonal acne. You may have increased androgen levels, polycystic ovarian syndrome, menstruation or even menopause. These can cause imbalances in hormones and testosterone. This will cause an increase in inflammation, high sebum production, skin cells clogging hair follicles and bacteria production. During menopause, acne may be due to a drop in estrogen levels and a rise in androgen hormones. Even with a replacement, you may experience dermatological side effects. This is because introducing those new hormones can cause your skin to react negatively. You may be losing the estrogen and progesterone your body needs. But, trying to replace them with progestin may not be something your body will accept readily. There can be an adjustment period, or it may react negatively and consistently through your treatment.

How Can I Treat Female Hormonal Acne?

There aren’t a lot of treatments you can acquire over the counter unless your acne is relatively mild. Remedies can be prescribed to control your hormones and thus keep your acne in check. Anti-androgen drugs and contraceptives tend to be the most common oral medications. The contraceptives tend to contain drospirenone, norgestimate, or norethindrone and almost always have ethinylestradiol also. This isn’t something that you should exercise if you smoke, have a problem with blood clots, high blood pressure or a history of breast cancer. This means that if any of these are common in your family, you will want to discuss them with your doctor before ingesting any of these pills.

Spironolactone is a standard anti-androgen prescription, though it is intended to control high blood pressure. It has been known to prevent your body from producing more androgen and allowing your body’s hormones to balance. Retinoids can be found over the counter. However, prescriptions tend to work better. They are a vitamin A derivative and have been known to increase your risk of sunburn. You will want to supplement a sunscreen to your daily regimen when these products are in use.

Natural Remedies

There are some remedies that you may try if your acne isn’t severe enough for prescriptions and contraceptives. Tea Tree Oil can decrease inflammation and is found in many cleansers and toners. You can also use the oil itself to spot treat any problem areas. To ensure you won’t have any reactions to the product, you will want to try a test area, first. Apply a small amount to your forearm and wait twenty-four hours. If there is no inflammation or irritation, you should be able to implement it as needed. Alpha Hydroxy Acid will clean your pores of any dead skin cells, preventing clogging. There are many products available with this tincture, including masks, cleansers, and creams. You’ll also want to include sunscreen, as it will leave your skin sensitive. Read more about them here.