Acne in adulthood: how to get rid of hormonal acne
If you have hormonal acne, then most likely you have already tried quite a few different methods of getting rid of it, and most likely did not get the results you wanted. This is probably because every type of acne is different, and not always acne is due to clogged pores.
How do you stop your hormonal acne? The most important thing is to come to a balance of your hormones. This is what special diets, managing your stress and getting proper sleep are for.
The next step on the road to treatment is the use of certain cleansers. You need exactly the products that will soothe your skin and not disturb your symptoms.
Let's look for the pluses even in such an unpleasant situation. At least you are obviously not the first and not the last person to be disturbed by acne at a mature age. Depending on various factors, acne can occur at any age.
What is hormonal acne?
Hormonal acne is acne that is caused by various hormonal or genetic factors. This kind of acne can appear well after your teenage years, that is, even after 30 and 40 years of age.
The hormones that cause this type of acne are various reproductive hormones (testosterone, progesterone, estrogen). Acne can affect both men and women, but most dermatologists agree that it occurs more often in women during adulthood because of certain changes in the menstrual cycle and changes in hormones due to pregnancy or menopause.
How do you know what type of acne you have and if it is hormonal? Here are some signs to help you decide:
- Painful cysts that resemble bumps under the skin. They are impossible to remove.
- Pimples and cysts in the jaw, chin and on the shoulders, back or neck.
- Skin becomes more oily and shiny
- Pimples begin to appear every month around the same dates (in women, they can coincide with the menstrual cycle).
- Pimples appear in more or less the same places all the time because the pores gradually expand and become more susceptible to various inflammatory and infectious processes.
How are these symptoms different from other types of acne?
Hormonal acne and cystic acne are actually quite similar - in both cases, painful pimples form under the skin.
These pimples are not blackheads on the surface of your skin, nor are they white dots on your skin (which are caused by bacteria getting stuck in your skin pores). Hormonal acne and cystic acne cause the development of painful cysts - and this is no longer just an indicator of poor hygiene, but specifically of an inflammatory reaction.
Hormonal acne (judging by its name) appears because of an imbalance of hormones in your body, which we have already listed (testosterone, progesterone, estrogen), but you can also add to them various "stress hormones" - such as cortisol.
Women are more prone to this type of acne than men, especially between the ages of 20 and 30, when they are at the peak of reproduction, and their bodies produce a lot of hormones.
Hormal acne provocateurs and the most common causes:
- Changing hormones due to locomotion. Most likely acne will appear before menstruation, and sometimes it can appear during ovulation - it is during these periods when the level of hormones in a woman's body is the highest.
- Changes in hormone levels cause the body to produce more fat, which clogs pores and leads to an abundance of acne. It is the excess hormones that activate the sebaceous glands, and then the skin begins to shine.
- Pregnancy, breastfeeding or childbirth can affect hormone levels.
- Menopause, during which your production of progesterone and estrogen decreases markedly.
- Genetics. Still, quite a few types of acne are passed down from our parents.
- Stress, which can disrupt our usual hormonal balance.
- Contraceptives, especially the first time you start taking them.
- Serious weight changes, additional physical activity, all of which cause your hormones to produce more.
- Some medications can change your hormone levels.
Prevent and treat
If you're reading this article, you definitely have a question: what methods are available to get rid of hormonal acne?
The experts give us some basic options that we should pay attention to:
1. Cleanse your skin gently and as often as possible
Acne in adulthood is most often related to stress and to changes in your hormones, but still we should not forget about the usual hygiene. Unclean skin will definitely not help your fight against acne. Remember to wash your face at least twice a day and at night let your skin rest, wash off your makeup.
Dermatologists advise using products that contain glycolic or salicylic acid. They exfoliate the top layer of the skin, remove dead cells and various bacteria. This way you can get rid of clogged pores.
Another interesting option is to use products that contain probiotics. It is probiotics that fight against harmful bacteria and create a healthy microbiome on your skin. These cleansers are also useful for proper skin pH levels and in fighting inflammation.
If your skin is prone to acne, it is likely to be quite sensitive - which is why you need to avoid products that contain various dyes, fragrances, refined oils or other chemicals that can increase the dryness and irritation of your skin. Also, you don't need to wash your face more often than necessary, and you don't need to peel your face all the time. Your skin's fat level should be at a normal level.
Use sunscreen if you have to spend too much time outdoors, because if your skin is overdry, it will have to secrete even more fat, and that is when you will start to get rashes. Don't give up sun exposure completely, because without the sun you won't have the necessary amount of vitamin D - which is also your ally if you want healthy skin and a properly functioning immune system).
There are a variety of retinoid medications that you can buy both prescription and over-the-counter. Retinoids help with mild to sometimes moderate acne - clogging your pores, and removing dead cells. They can also visibly improve your skin tone and overall texture. Also consider these products if you want to get rid of acne scars or dark spots.
Retinoids don't always work well with sensitive skin, especially if you start abusing these products. Start with small amounts, and if your skin feels good, you can start using these products every day.
Also consider other soothing remedies to combine with retinoid products - like calendula, aloe, or colloidal oatmeal. Also safe for your skin would be lavender and tea tree oils (just don't overdo the amount). If you have dry skin, use them in combination with coconut oil, or any other carrier oil.
3. Anti-inflammatory diet
Diet can certainly have a key effect on the hormones in your body. What you eat always affects all the organs inside you. To deal with acne - you need to have more anti-inflammatory foods and antioxidants in your body that straighten out your hormones, fix your immune system, and improve your skin. For example, foods like:
- Probiotic foods. If your gut feels good, your bacterial balance will be fine. Yogurt, kefir and other foods high in probiotics - will help strengthen your gut and create a healthy hormonal balance. This is how you can fight inflammation before it occurs.
- Zinc-rich foods. Zinc - gives our body more room to regenerate. People with acne usually have low zinc levels, but you can always increase them. Consider pumpkin seeds, chickpeas and beef. These foods are rich in zinc.
- Vitamin A and C. Foods such as citrus fruits, carrots, peppers, spinach, cabbage, sweet potatoes, herbs and various berries are rich in vitamins A and C, which help our body fight infections, protect the body from damaging oxidizing processes, and allow wounds to heal faster.
- Fiber. Legumes, fruits, seeds, nuts, and vegetables are rich in fiber and that's what will help our colon cleanse properly.
- Protein foods. Protein needs to be high quality, which is why make sure you eat wild-caught fish, grass-fed beef, free-range eggs. These are high in protein, and a variety of healthy nutrients that help keep your sugar levels in check. And this is very important when hormones start to fluctuate.
- Foods that are good for our liver. Hormones are processed in the liver, and foods that improve liver function are what we need more than anything else. Cauliflower and broccoli, pears, apples, berries and leafy greens are all foods that improve liver function - which means they are our choice.
Some bodies don't do well with processed foods, or don't respond well to certain food allergens - which is why you need to know how your body reacts to each food, so you know which specific food you should eat and which you should avoid. Some foods should be avoided altogether, such as:
- Refined grains
- Added sugar
- Dairy products
- Foods high in trans fats
- Processed meats
4. How to deal with stress and sleep properly
If you don't get enough sleep and your body is stressed, your adrenal glands start secreting more and more cortisol and with this hormone, your body produces too much subcutaneous fat (which, as we already know, leads to cysts and pimples under the skin).
Try relieving your stress with natural remedies, such as:
- Reading your favorite books
- Spending more time outdoors
Regular exercise helps the immune system work properly. They improve detoxification, and if you combine exercise with enough sleep (8 hours a night), your health will improve noticeably. And even if acne doesn't go away right away, your hormones will only improve day by day.
5. Useful supplements
Below are various supplements that can help you fight bacteria and balance your hormones:
- Probiotics (15,000-45,000 ME per day, usually up to three capsules twice a day). Taking probiotics improves your body from the inside out, and if you don't forget your skin care products - they will help you from the outside in - protection from all sides.
- Zinc (up to 30 milligrams twice a day). As we said, people with acne don't have enough zinc in their blood.
- Omega-3 acids (1,000 mg of fish oil, or up to 3,000 mg of flaxseed) will suffice. Omega-3's keep hormones in balance and help reduce inflammation.
- Vitex (150-180 mg of chestnut or Vitex). This herbal remedy will be especially helpful for women who have developed hormonal acne.
You may have already started fighting hormonal acne on your own, at home, and you probably already want to go to a dermatologist if you're not happy with how you're doing. Your doctor will tell you what medical conditions led to your acne. He will identify your hormone levels, check your thyroid gland and tell you how to proceed.
If the methods mentioned in this article do not help to reduce the rashes - then talk to your dermatologist, perhaps he can prescribe you anti-androgenic drugs (they can severely reduce the production of testosterone).
If you decide to treat your acne on your own, don't forget that some products can have side effects. Sometimes you may experience redness, soreness or dryness on the skin, so don't forget to read the instructions, and remember that the skin can be very sensitive and delicate to different medications - so it is best to reassure yourself and consult your doctor.
If you have any skin conditions (such as dermatitis or eczema), some products may be harsh on your skin. Also, if you are pregnant - be sure to consult your doctor before making a decision.
Summing it up:
Hormonal acne is the type of acne that is caused by some hormonal and genetic factors. It can appear much later than puberty age. Typically, during the development of hormonal acne - acne is located on the lower part of the face and on the neck. Causes are due to excessive production of hormones (cortisol, progesterone, testosterone, estrogen), as well as due to excessive stress, lack of sleep, improper diet, menopause, pregnancy and changes in the habitual rhythm of life. It is possible to get rid of hormonal acne by remembering to: nourish and cleanse your skin in time, eat right, monitor your stress levels, don't forget to get enough sleep, and eat healthy supplements.
Was this article helpful?2 Posted by: 👨 Becky C. McGhee