All You Need To Know About Hormonal Acne & How To Treat It
Hormonal acne, also known as adult acne, occurs in adults aged between 20 and 50. Hormonal acne is a direct result of excessive sebum from your oil glands. Hormonal acne affects men and women, but most cases are found in women, pregnant women, and women going through menopause.
How Is Common Hormonal Acne?
Acne is the most common skin disease in the United States. It affects almost 80 percent of the population over their lifetime. About 50% of women in their twenties and 25% in their forties develop hormonal acne.
Fungal Acne vs. Hormonal Acne
Fungal and hormonal acne is often confusing with one another, as both types of pimples begin within your hair follicles.
Fungal acne occurs when excessive yeast is present, while hormonal acne is caused by excessive sebum. Fungal acne may lead to whiteheads and itching, usually red, irritated, and inflamed. Fungal acne is caused when the pores are blocked. Hormonal acne occurs when hormones change the amount of oil your skin produces.
Does Pregnancy Cause Acne?
When you are pregnant, fluctuations in hormones may trigger acne. Usually, pimples improve with the progression of pregnancy.
There are a few treatments that you should avoid using while pregnant, including topical retinoids, salicylic acid, and isotretinoin. Ask your healthcare provider for the safest acne treatments to minimize and eliminate breakouts during pregnancy.
Symptoms Of Hormonal Acne
Acne causes lesions (damaged skin tissues) that may become red, painful, or ulcerated.
- Papules (raised tissue on the skin, 2-4mm diameter).
- Pustules (skin blotches that contain pus, 2-5 mm in diameter).
- Cysts (pockets beneath the skin containing fluid).
What Makes Hormonal Acne Worse?
- Squeezing or picking at blemishes.
- Bad hygiene habits.
- High humidity.
- Poor diet (specifically refined carbohydrates and sugars).
How Can I Tell If I Have Hormonal Acne
Hormone acne is diagnosed through a physical exam performed by a healthcare professional, who will examine your pimples and evaluate contributing factors.
How To Get Rid Of Hormonal Acne?
- Blackheads & Whiteheads: Topical (Tretinoin) cream.
- Inflammatory acne: Topical retinoid and/or topical antibiotics and/or benzoyl peroxide.
- Moderate or severe acne: Antibiotics and/or isotretinoin (retinoid).
- Cystic acne: Steroid injections (intramolecular triamcinolone).
When To Get Hormonal Acne Treated?
It is recommended that you address acne as soon as it begins so that you do not let the breakouts continue. This can cause permanent scarring and potentially cause issues with your self-esteem if left untreated.
How To Lower My Risk For Hormonal Acne?
Make lifestyle changes to lower stress, sleep better, and follow a healthier diet. Use skincare products that do not clog pores. Talk to your healthcare provider about treatment options for ongoing acne.
How long does hormone-based acne last?
Acne hits every individual in different ways. It may last for just a few days or up to several weeks. However, if left untreated, pimples can persist for months.
How Quickly Does Hormonal Acne Disappear?
Acne treatment may vary from person to person, but patience is the key. You may need to wait four to six weeks before seeing improvements in your skin once you start your treatment.
Even if you do not notice the treatment clearing up your skin, you are encouraged to keep treating it to prevent any new pimples from developing.
Visiting A Dermatologist
If your acne is not going away or getting worse, you are advised to see a dermatologist. A dermatologist will be able to suggest more advanced treatments for controlling pimples.
It may be disappointing to see breakouts appear on my skin as an adult, considering that they are more common in teenagers. Talk with your healthcare provider if you are experiencing lingering pimples, and they may be able to suggest more advanced treatment options for eliminating those nasty pimples.
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Dr. Scott is a doctor from Harvard Med School and a dermatology resident at the University of Miami. Laura is known for her authentic advice. Her goal is to find beauty in all things and to enjoy every moment of life...