Your Guide to Hormonal Acne

As the name suggests, hormonal acne is acne that is caused by fluctuations in your hormones. Every woman is different, which means that every woman’s hormonal acne can be different. For some women, hormonal acne means blackheads or whiteheads. For others, hormonal acne means deep, painful cystic acne.

Why does hormonal acne happen?

The hormonal fluctuations caused by menstruation, pregnancy and menopause can increase things like:

  • Your pores’ oil production
  • Skin inflammation
  • Clogged hair follicles
  • Production of acne-causing bacteria

Hormonal Acne Treatment Options

At-home Treatments

Unfortunately, most cases of hormonal acne don’t respond to over-the-counter spot treatments unless it’s a very mild breakout. If you only have one or two pimples, it may be worth it to give a spot treatment with salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or hydrocortisone. You can also try using natural remedies, like a tea tree oil or evening primrose oil spot treatment, to heal your hormonal breakout. If you have severe hormonal acne, you may want to seek professional medical advice.

Prescription Treatments

If your hormonal acne is severe, or isn’t responding to over-the-counter treatments, it’s time to talk to a dermatologist or your doctor. There are two prescription-strength treatment methods that are effective in treating hormonal acne:

1. Oral contraceptives

These pills help balance hormones from the inside out. While there are many different types of oral contraceptives, the ones that are designed to prevent acne contain a combination of ethinylestradiol plus one of the following:

  • Norethindrone
  • Norgestimate
  • Drospirenon

Your doctor will be able to decide which combination will be most effective for you. Contact them today to learn more about this option.

2. Topical retinoids

Derived from vitamin A, prescription-strength retinoid creams are the most effective way to keep your skin clear from hormonal breakouts. One downside to using this method is that your risk of sunburn increases. You can prevent sunburn by remembering to always wear sunscreen when you go out. Speak with your doctor to learn more about this treatment method.

Summary

Hormonal acne can be frustrating, especially if your skin is otherwise breakout-free. To add to the frustration, many hormonal acne breakouts don’t respond to typical over-the-counter treatments unless they are mild. By managing your stress, eating well and practicing proper facial hygiene, you can greatly increase your chances of keeping hormonal acne under control.

If you’re experiencing hormonal breakouts, know you’re not alone. Women all over the world go through it, too. If your breakouts are severe, please reach out to your doctor to discuss treatment options.

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