What do you think about when you hear hormonal acne? Well if you’re thinking acne linked to the fluctuations in your hormones, then you’re thinking right. Although it’s typically associated with hormone fluctuations during puberty, hormonal acne can affect adults of any age. It’s especially common in women. Several factors may contribute to this, including menstruation and menopause.
It’s estimated that 50 percent of women ages 20 to 29 have acne. It also affects about 25 percent of women ages 40 to 49.
It’s probably hormonal acne if:
You’re no longer in your teen years. Like puberty, hormonal acne often appears in the T-zone. This includes your forehead, nose, and chin.
It’s happening around your chin and jawline. Hormonal adult acne typically forms on the lower part of your face. This includes the bottom of your cheeks and around your jawline.
It’s not blackheads and whiteheads, but more painful cysts. For some people, hormonal acne takes the form of blackheads, whiteheads, and small pimples that come to a head, or cysts. Cysts form deep under the skin and don’t come to a head on the surface. These bumps are often tender to the touch.
Specifically, these hormone fluctuations may aggravate acne issues by increasing:
- overall skin inflammation
- oil (sebum) production in the pores
- clogged skin cells in hair follicles
- production of acne-causing bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes
Hormonal Acne and the Connection with Your Diet
One component to fluctuating or increased hormone levels is the food we consume.
The typical American diet is acidic and high in saturated fats, processed grains, meat fats, refined sugar. It’s also low in fresh vegetables, fruit, fish, fiber and antioxidants. Research has proven that this can cause an imbalance in testosterone and androgen levels, respectively.
Therefore, a healthy diet is one form of natural treatment for hormonal acne.
Reduce Your Stress Levels to Help Limit Your Hormonal Acne
And if you’ve notices extra pimples during times of stress, you’re not alone. Research shows there’s a definite link between stress and acne breakouts.
Simply put, stress activates the adrenal glands to produce extra androgen hormones which eventually results in inflamed acne breakouts in acne-prone skin. These extra hormones stimulate the sebaceous glands in the skin and trigger a breakout.
The stress-hormone connection is more of a problem for women than it is for men because they produce most of their male hormones (androgens) in their adrenal glands. Men, on the other hand, produce most of their male hormones in the testes and only a very small amount in the adrenal glands.
Men’s primary hormone is testosterone is even when they do get stressed and the body produces extra, it does not have as big of an impact as it does for women. Since women produce about one tenth of the amount of testosterone as men, a sudden surge of additional testosterone can have a significant impact on the body and the skin.
So, it’s super helpful to learn ways to manage and reduce your levels of stress. Which may include a regular fitness routine, monthly massage sessions, or just a nice walk a few times during the week.