How To Get Rid Of Hormonal Acne Effectively?
Having hormonal acne in teenagers is something we all have experienced. But breaking out in adulthood does not sound pleasing at all. Here is a complete guide on how to get rid of hormonal acne, its causes, and treatment options.
What Is Hormonal Acne?
Hormonal acne, as it sounds like, is acne caused due to fluctuations in hormones. However, it is associated with hormonal fluctuations during puberty and can affect adulthood. It is especially common in women.
There are a number of factors that can contribute to hormonal acne, like menopause and menstruation. It is estimated that around 50% of women aged 20-29 get hormonal acne, and around 25% of women of age 40-49 are affected by acne.
There are varied expert opinions on hormonal acne. In some cases, adult acne is not caused due to hormonal imbalance, which makes acne treatments more challenging.
Keep reading to learn more about hormonal acne causes, treatment methods.
Characteristics of hormonal acne
Hormonal acne first starts appearing in the T-zone during puberty. T-zone includes the area of your forehead, nose, and chin. Hormonal acne on the lower part of the face, like chin, cheeks, or jawline, is pretty common.
For some people, hormonal acne transfers into blackheads, whiteheads, and small cysts or pimples on the forehead. Cysts start forming deeper under the skin and do not come in contact with the surface.
Common hormonal acne fluctuation causes:
- polycystic ovarian syndrome
- increased androgen levels
These above mentioned fluctuations can aggravate hormonal acne by increasing:
- overall skin inflammation
- oil production in the pores
- clogged skin in hair follicles
- production of acne-causing bacteria
How To Get Rid of Hormonal Acne?
Traditional Methods for Hormonal Acne Treatment:
Unless you have mild hormonal acne, over-the-counter medicine is not really an effective treatment. Hormonal acne usually takes the form of cystic bumps, which form under the deeper layers of skin that are out of reach of topical medicines.
This is why oral medications work inside out and balance the hormones, thereby clearing the skin.
Some common options for oral contraceptives for hormonal acne treatment are:
Oral contraceptives are used specifically for the treatment of acne. These oral contraceptives contain ethinyl estradiol along with:
These ingredients together target the hormonal fluctuations which cause acne. This is helpful to treat acne during a peak time like ovulation.
Oral contraceptives may not be suitable for you if you have high blood pressure, blood clot, or breast cancer. Also, you should not take these medicines if you smoke.
Anti-androgen drugs decrease the male hormones named androgen. Both women and men have natural levels of stable hormones. Too much androgen can sometimes lead to acne issues by interfering with hair follicles regulating skin cells and increased sebum production.
Anti-androgen medications like spironolactone prevent the production of androgen in the body and allow the hormone levels to stabilize.
If you have mild hormonal acne, then you can use topical retinoids for treatment. Retinoids are extracted from Vitamin A. There are many retinoid gels and creams available over the counter. However, you must visit a doctor for the right strength formulation to get rid of hormonal acne.
If you are using topical retinoids in your skincare routine, you should apply sunscreen every day. Retinoids make your skin more prone to getting sunburn.
How to treat hormonal acne naturally?
If you are not willing to use medications to treat hormonal acne, you can also try some plant-based treatment options to clear mild hormonal acne.
Natural treatments are free of side effects that are possible with prescription medicines. However, natural ways to get rid of hormonal acne may not be as effective.
Below we have mentioned some of the most commonly used natural methods to treat hormonal acne.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil reduces inflammation which can lead to acne. In research, it was found that topical tea tree oil helps in minimizing the symptoms of mild to moderate acne.
You can find tea tree oil in various skincare products like toners and cleansers. Tea tree essential oil can also be used as a spot treatment. When applying tea tree oil on the skin, always dilute it with a carrier oil like jojoba, olive, and coconut.
The general rule is to use 12 drops of carrier oil with 1-2 drops of essential oil. Also, it is important to do a patch test before diluting tea tree essential oil. You can test it on the inner forearm. If you do not experience any inflammation or irritation after 24 hours, it is safe to use anywhere on your body.
Alpha hydroxy acid
Alpha hydroxy acids are acids derived from plants of most citrus fruits. AHAs help in getting rid of excess dead skin cells which clog pores. One best things about AHA is that it minimizes acne scar appearances.
AHA can be found in creams and OTC masks. Like retinoids, AHA increases the sun sensitivity level of the skin. Whenever you step out of the house, always remember to apply sunscreen generously.
Green tea helps in decreasing inflammation in the body. You can drink a few cups of green tea every day besides practicing a good topical skincare routine. Creams and cleansers containing at least 2% green tea extracts will be effective.
Do’s and Don’ts of Hormonal Acne Diet
There is no complete research on diet and hormonal acne yet. However, some inflammation-fighting foods help to prevent acne. Some plant-based food items that are rich in antioxidants can help reduce inflammation and also promote clear skin.
Omega 3 fatty acids help to reduce skin inflammation. Eating junk food in minimal quantity does not cause inflammation; however, overdoing certain food items can do it.
Avoid limiting these items in your diet:
- refined carbs, like pasta, white bread
- dairy products
- red meats
To get rid of hormonal acne and keep them away, there are some other measures that you can take:
- Always wash your face two-three times during the day.
- Do not use more than a pea-sized amount of acne creams. Applying too much product can dry out your skin and also cause irritation.
- Always apply sunscreen before stepping out of the house
- Use non-comedogenic products to reduce clogged pores.
The exact timeline of hormonal acne is different in different people. Being proactive can help in keeping acne breakouts at bay. Hormonal acne usually takes around 8-10 weeks to go away completely.
If you still cannot get rid of your hormonal acne, you should talk to your doctor about a long-term treatment plan. They will help in incorporating different methods or change your current routine for maximum results.
If you find this article useful, do not forget to leave a comment down below. What did you use to treat your hormonal acne? Share your experience below.