How do you know if your acne is hormonal?
Most of us have battled breakouts at some point in our life, but what if you’re frequently experiencing them in adulthood? 55% of women over 25 have adult acne, and you may even experience angry breakouts during menopause due to fluctuating hormone levels in your body. The good news is that you’re not alone, and several in-clinic treatments and homecare products can help you manage your acne effectively. Here is everything you need to know about hormonal acne, and how to tell if you have it.
What is hormonal acne?
Hormonal acne or breakouts are stimulated by hormonal changes in the body that are sometimes hard to pinpoint. It’s often caused by an imbalance, such as a hormonal disorder, excess oestrogen production, or coming on and off the pill. And it’s certainly not a teenage thing – in fact, it’s more common in women aged around 30 to 40 for several reasons, such as underlying hormonal imbalances and pregnancy.
Acne breakouts are common for women who still get their period due to the normal fluctuations of progesterone and oestrogen throughout the 28-day cycle. These shifts can stimulate the production of sebum and acne-causing bacteria, which causes skin inflammation. It’s also common in women in perimenopause, due to declining oestrogen.
What does hormonal acne look like?
Fortunately, hormonal acne can be easy to identify. Breakouts on the chin and jawline are directly linked to the reproductive organs of the body, so hormonal acne will almost always present itself there. Recurrent breakouts are also highly likely to be hormonal. Hormonal acne often reappears in the same spot due to oil production patterns, so if you’re noticing breakouts continually recurring in the same area, it could well be the result of hormones. These breakouts can range from mild skin congestion to painful cystic acne.
Does hormonal acne go away?
All forms of acne, including hormonal acne, can improve over time as your body adjusts to hormonal or physiological changes. However, in many cases, it’s a chronic problem that can be challenging to get rid of without personalised treatment.
What gets rid of hormonal acne?
Most people with hormonal acne have tried over-the-counter treatments to no avail. If they aren’t working for you, you may need to seek the help of a specialist who can offer targeted treatments and medical skincare.
Topical retinoids are an excellent first step in treating mild to moderate acne, especially when it’s hormonal. Retinoids help your skin slough off dead skin cells at a more normal rate, so the dead skin cells don’t bind together and clog your pores. They are the preferred avenue for long-term treatment because of the minimal side effects, and they are known for preventing new acne in the long term.
Beta hydroxy acids like salicylic acid and alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic acid help unclog the pores and reduce excess sebum. Follow up with hydrating and calming ingredients like niacinamide or hyaluronic acid to support the skin barrier.
In-clinic treatments include chemical peels to help regulate oil control and target the harmful c. acnes bacteria within the skin and LED light therapy, which targets different depths of the skin to kill bacteria and reduce inflammation and oil production, resulting in improvement in skin tone, texture, and clarity.
Ultimately, everyone’s skin is different, and getting to the root of your acne may be a lengthy process. While no single route leads everyone straight to clear, healthy skin, the principles of reducing inflammation and treating your skin barrier with kindness are universal first steps that everyone can employ.
If you’d like to discuss the options for effectively tackling hormonal acne, click here to book a consultation.
Disclaimer: Please be aware that results and benefits may vary from patient to patient taking into consideration factors such as age, lifestyle and medical history.