Acne affects adults of all ages, but it doesn’t just affect young people going through puberty. 40% to 50% of adults between the ages of 20 and 40 have some form of acne on their body.
Although hormonal acne can occur in adults of either gender, it often affects women more than men. According to research, 25% of women between the ages of 40 and 49 and 50% of women between the ages of 20 and 29 suffer from acne. But do you know what causes hormonal acne? Let’s simplify it in this blog.
What exactly is hormonal acne?
Hormonal changes, especially increases in androgens such as testosterone, cause hormonal acne. Hormonal acne commonly occurs in teenagers during adolescence, but it can occur at any stage of adulthood. Adults with underlying health conditions may develop acne due to hormonal abnormalities.
What are the symptoms of hormonal acne?
The location of the acne on the skin, the person’s gender, age, and lifestyle factors all influence the main symptoms of hormonal acne.
Symptoms of adult acne vary from person to person. However, it often includes:
Whiteheads: Also known as closed comedones, whiteheads are sealed beneath the skin’s surface. Whiteheads often appear on the back, chest, and face, and the white surface may be soft or hard.
Blackheads: These open comedones form clogs around the pores. “Open” refers to the blackhead not being covered by skin. Comedones are black because they are open. It can also appear on the chest, back, face, and shoulders.
Papules: These hard, inflammatory lumps are often cone-shaped. They are the same color as your skin and may be small. Papules can turn into acne over time.
Pustules: Unlike papules, the tips of pustules are filled with yellow or white pus.
Cysts: Painful, pus-filled pimples that grow on top of inflamed pimples that grow deep into the skin. The most painful and severe acne can leave scars.
Where on the skin does hormonal acne occur?
In adults, these rashes occur in the T-zone, under the cheekbones, and on the jawline. Back acne refers to acne that occasionally appears on the back. Hair loss and menstrual irregularities that occur simultaneously with skin development are signs of hormonal acne in adolescent women.
The T-zone, the area above the eyebrows from eye to eye and down the bridge of the nose in a “T” shape, is where hormonal acne typically appears in teens. It can also appear on the chin.
Hormonal acne can occur on the forehead, upper back, and face, where the largest sebaceous glands are located. In some cases, it can be mistaken for fungal acne, which is a great reason to get a formal diagnosis from a dermatologist. Acne scars can be prevented with early diagnosis and treatment.
Why does hormonal acne occur?
Hormonal acne can occur when a person’s hormone levels change. Changes in testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen levels can lead to acne and pimples. These fluctuations often occur primarily during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause.
Here are some examples:
Fluctuations in the levels of sex hormones, especially progesterone, during the menstrual cycle can also affect premenstrual acne. Around the middle of your cycle, progesterone levels increase. This can irritate the sebaceous glands in your skin. However, the contribution of progesterone to sebum production needs to be elucidated.
Too much progesterone can cause you to sweat more, raise your body temperature, and clog your pores. Acne breakouts occur before and during menstruation due to sebum, debris, dead skin cells, and bacteria that build up beneath the skin’s surface.
There is a relationship between acne and testosterone. Hormonal acne usually occurs due to an increase in certain hormones, especially testosterone. Teens may experience hormonal acne due to increased testosterone production throughout puberty. Elevated testosterone can increase the production of sebum by skin glands.
Therefore, excess sebum combined with debris and dead skin cells clogs skin pores. Acne-causing bacteria can infect these clogged pores and cause acne to develop. Bacteria and their metabolites cause an immune response in the body, leading to inflammation, which appears as redness next to acne lesions.
3 Menopausal disorders –
Acne can occur due to hormonal changes caused by menopause. Acne patients who have reached menopause usually have normal androgen levels but low estrogen levels. When this balance is disrupted, sebum secretion increases, causing acne to worsen.
HRT (hormone replacement therapy) can cause acne for some people.
Hormonal acne frequently occurs during pregnancy due to the numerous hormonal changes that occur in a pregnant woman’s body. Women produce more progesterone than normal during the first trimester. This hormone often increases sebum production in the body, causing acne rashes. Pimples often persist until the baby is born.
Skin spots and pimples are more likely to occur during pregnancy, but acne does not necessarily occur during pregnancy. Because acne often has a genetic cause, babies may be born or soon develop a moderate skin condition known as infantile acne. This type of acne will disappear on its own. There is no medical need and it does not leave any scars on the skin.
Other common causes of hormonal acne include:
Lack of sleep.
Hair and skin care products that do not clog pores, are oil-free or contain no non-comedogenic (or non-acnegenic) ingredients.
A male patient receiving testosterone therapy.
Acne runs in your family (genetic tendency).
side effects of steroid drugs.
Current medical problems (metabolic disorders, polycystic ovarian syndrome, other ovarian diseases).
What treatments are available for hormonal acne?
Unless you have mild hormonal acne, the effectiveness of over-the-counter medications may be questionable. Your doctor may suggest oral medications to regulate your hormones and clear your skin. Oral contraceptives and antiandrogens are common choices.
1 Oral contraceptive method –
Combined oral contraceptives restore normal testosterone production and help reduce acne. After weighing the pros and cons, your doctor may recommend taking oral contraceptives if your acne is severe and other treatments are not working.
2 Antiandrogens –
Other drugs work by lowering androgenic hormones. Most people have healthy androgen levels, but excess can increase sebum production and cause acne. Antiandrogens stabilize androgen levels and prevent the body from producing too much of this hormone.
3 Retinoids –
Some people may need topical retinoids for treatment mild hormonal acne. These vitamin A compounds are available over-the-counter as gels, lotions, and creams. Your dermatologist may also recommend products with prescription-strength ingredients to manage acne.
Fluctuations in hormones, especially those related to testosterone, can cause hormonal acne. The increase in testosterone is sebaceous gland Producing excessive amounts of sebum. When this sebum interacts with waste products, bacteria, and dead skin cells, it can clog pores and cause acne.
Acne can also occur during menopause due to changes in hormone levels. When you see a dermatologist, your hormonal acne may be classified as mild, moderate, severe, or very severe. Hormonal acne can be treated in a variety of ways, including topical treatments, oral contraceptives, and anti-androgens.