Acne happening due to hormonal fluctuations, mainly increased levels of androgens like testosterone is referred to as hormonal acne. It is common mostly in teenagers who are undergoing hormonal fluctuations of puberty. Hormonal imbalances lead to acne in those adults who have underlying medical conditions.
Symptoms- the hormonal acne during puberty mainly occurs on T- zone which has your forehead, nose and chin. In adults it mostly occurs in the area around the jawline and the bottom of the cheeks. It appears as comedones-whiteheads and blackheads. It may also appear as –
1.Papules – small, red bumps due to infection of hair follicles.
2. Pustules – small red pus filled.
3. Cysts – large lumps under the skin, contain pus and are painful.
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Increased level of androgens
50% of females between 20 to 29 age and 25% between 40-49 age suffer from acne
Severity Of Hormonal Acne –
1. Mild Acne – consist of whiteheads and blackheads. You need not consult a Dermatologist to treat it.
2. Moderate – consists both inflamed and non inflamed lesions.
3. Severe – contains widespread inflammatory lesions which may lead to scarring.
Acne of any severity leads to distress. Even mild acne may hurt your self esteem.
Hormonal Acne Treatment
There are Different ways to treat hormonal acne as follow:
Over-the-counter treatments are not successful unless you have mild hormonal acne. Balancing the hormones and clearing the skin may be done by oral medicines.
1. Oral Contraceptives- Oral contraceptives contain ethinyl estradiol along with any one of the following ingredients-
These in combination target the acne causing hormone. May be helpful at times of hormonal peaks such as ovulation. Those who have high blood pressure, blood clots or breast cancer should not take oral contraceptives also those who smoke should also avoid them
2. Antiandrogen Drugs- These drugs reduce the androgen hormone. In both men and women natural levels of androgen are present. Excess androgen may cause acne by the production of sebum. Spironolactone Used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) also has anti androgen effects. It may prevent the body from producing excess androgen and stabilize the hormone levels. For all women spironolactone is not appropriate so with the doctor discuss its benefits and risks.
3. Retinoids – Mild hormonal acne may be treated by using topical retinoids, which are derivatives of Vitamin A. Many retinol lotions, gels and creams are available as counter products, but your Dermatologist will give you a prescription strength product as it may be most effective to keep your acne at Bay.
It is imperative to use sunscreen daily while using topical retinoids as they may make you prone to sunburn.
Natural treatment- mild hormonal acne may be treated using plant based treatments. But they may not be as effective as other methods. To prove the efficacy of these treatments not much research is done. One of them is tea tree oil. Consult your doctor to ensure that this treatment won’t interact with any medications you are undergoing.Excessive scrubbing and washing are not good for you if you are having acne as it will remove oil from your skin and cause irritation. The skin may then secrete more oil and may worsen the acne.