How Do Hormones Affect Skin? Hormonal Acne Therapy For Women

  • Dermatology
  • dermatology - Skin Care
  • April 14, 2023

Hormonal changes clog pores due to too much oil production and bacteria. Acne therapies include medications and home remedies.

Hormonal Acne Affecting Skin

Persistent acne happens due to clogged pores, and breakouts can vary from whiteheads and blackheads to cysts. The pores become clogged because of bacteria, dead skin cells, and too much oil production. Hormonal acne occurs because of hormonal changes that cause increased oil production, which is then combined with bacteria. Hormonal acne can be managed with various medical and home therapies.

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The medication approach to acne

Treating hormonal acne with medications is dependent on various factors. These factors include the type of acne, severity, response to previous treatments, and pregnancy status. Treatment for hormonal acne is either oral or topical medications. Topical medications include retinoids, antibiotics, benzoyl peroxide, sulfones, azelaic acid, and combined therapies. Oral medications are contraceptives, antibiotics, anti-androgens, retinoids, and steroids. Similar to topical medications, some patients may require combined oral medications for effective treatment.

Choosing the right treatment

Some hormonal acne medications have side effects, such as causing dryness, and doctors may recommend additional products, such as moisturizers, to some patients. Certain treatments require time to work, while others can result in quicker improvements to the skin. Pregnant women should always consult with a doctor before starting any skin care treatment. Certain medications can increase the risk for birth defects and should be avoided entirely during pregnancy. After an evaluation, the dermatologist or doctor can help the patient choose the proper treatment.

When acne is too stubborn

Sometimes doctors have to consider other types of treatment besides or in conjunction with medications when acne is stubborn. These treatments are minimally invasive procedures such as the manual removal of comedones, electrocauterization of larger comedones, and microdermabrasion. Laser therapy, chemical peels, and draining of cysts can also help improve the health of the skin.

The importance of maintenance

After hormonal acne treatment, there is a chance the acne could reappear. Therefore, doctors suggest maintenance therapy which is usually a combination of azelaic acid, retinoids, and retinoid-like compounds. This combined treatment reduces the probability of acne recurring and keeps the skin healthy.

Treating mild acne naturally

People with mild hormonal acne can attempt over-the-counter (OTC) medications like azelaic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Natural home remedies can also help stop breakouts. Natural treatments include tea tree oil, green tea, and masks or creams with alpha hydroxy acid. Skin is a sensitive organ, and applying any skincare product without medical advice is not recommended. Therefore, before trying out any OTC medications or skin care products, consult with the pharmacist or healthcare provider.

Timeline to clear skin

The effectiveness of hormonal acne treatment varies from person to person. For some patients, acne goes away in a few days, while others may take up to 6-10 weeks. Continually applying the recommended treatment as directed guarantees the greatest chance of success.

Healthy life, healthy skin

Although hormonal acne is primarily due to hormonal changes, maintaining good hygiene and a healthy lifestyle may help with skin health. Some tips include face washing twice a day, wearing sunscreen, and drinking plenty of water. Minimize stress, get enough sleep, use good quality skincare products, eat healthy food, and avoid known skin triggers. With the right treatment plan in place, clear skin is possible.

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