Skin problems affect almost anyone. It lowers the self-esteem of a person and causes stress. According to statistics, eighty percent (80%) of men and women worldwide have been struggling with acne. It commonly occurs at ages between 20’s and 50’s. Hormonal acne occurs in certain areas. It is hormonal because the acne is affected by hormones. But the hormones aren’t the root cause of acne. Acne is an androgenic disorder and is usually treatable. (Read more about Acne Causes).
Hormonal acne is caused by the increase in oil production within the oil glands. It usually looks like small bumps. The color is red because it is inflamed. You can probably see it first along the sides of the mouth and chin or below the nose and jaw line. But in severe cases of hormonal acne, you can see it at the shoulders, back, and arms. To address this problem, there is a need to correct the hormonal imbalance of the person.
Hormonal Acne occurs at times of:
- Ovulation, occurring two weeks after the first day of bleeding
- Few days before a period
- First day of woman’s period
Few tips for you to know if your acne is related to your hormones:
- The timing of the breakouts
- It usually occurs at cyclical nature of hormones (menstrual cycle) for women. You can see the symptoms a week before the menstruation. Some would experience changes in characteristics which can also happen during ovulation.
- It is more likely related to hormonal acne issues if it is located at the lower part of your cheekbones and along the jaw line rather than acne found in other parts of the body.
- Shape, size, sensation, and appearance
- Hormonal acne should be deep, cystic, and sensitive to touch. This type of acne usually leaves a scar.
- Treatment response
- If your acne gets better or worse with hormonal birth control, then there is a possibility that it is related to hormones
Facts About Hormonal Acne:
These are the reasons of irregular hormones that cause hormonal acne;
- High testosterone from PCOS (specifically the overweight and insulin resistant types of PCOS)
- Low estrogen from low body fat levels, chronic restriction, or living with energy deficit
- Low estrogen for menopause
- High progesterone from general hormone imbalance; related to PMS
- Any of these conditions worsened by stress or hypothyroidism.
Factors Aside From Hormones that Can Worsen Acne:
- Heat – It can cause sweating which can clog pores.
- Stress – It is an inflammatory agent. It decreases the number of healthy hormones like estrogen and increases the number of bacteria that cause acne.
- UV Rays
- Inflammatory Foods
- Dairy – It is hormonal food containing insulin that promotes acne in our body and causes androgen to increase.
- Phytoestrogens – Found in legumes and nuts, this has the ability to act as estrogens in the body.
- Low Carbohydrate Diets
- Poor Sleep
Wrong Beliefs About the Cause of Hormonal Acne
- Poor hygiene
- It is just a simple infection
- Frequent washing of the affected area
- Medical treatments will not help
- Diet is not an important factor for acne
Treatments and Medications
Lots of treatments and medications that have been discovered work in different ways for hormonal acne. It depends on the degree of acne you have:
- Spironolactone and Flutamide are the primary ones but are not advisable to use.
- Spironolactone will decrease the testosterone activity by blocking the testosterone receptors. But it induces an infamous “initial breakout” that can last for weeks or months. And most of the time, women don’t see any improvement in using this. Sometimes, it even causes the acne to get worse. This is not advisable for pregnant women because it may cause birth defects.
- Non-Prescription Acne Treatments are for mild acne. Use the best over-the-counter medicine which is benzoyl peroxide. It is antibacterial and reduces the oiliness of the skin. You do not have to apply this every day.
- Topicals are the most common among medical treatments. These decrease the number of pimples; but this pill is not good enough to clear the acne.
- Isotretinoin (Accutane) blocks not only the outbreaks of the skin but leaves a clearer appearance on the damaged part.
It is localized inflammation also known as “Abscess.” Cystic acne is a condition wherein the pores in the skin are blocked. It mainly affects the face of one’s person. It is common during the teenage years but can strike someone as young as 8 years old. It is formed when oil ducts become clogged and subsequently rupture, which can lead to changes in your skin. Hormonal changes are the biggest factor that causes cystic acne.
Cystic acne is the most severe form of acne, even worse than hormonal acne. It can last for weeks, months, and even years.
Factors That Cause Cystic Acne
- Hormonal changes – puberty stage, menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and using birth control
- High level of humidity and sweating
- Some drugs and chemicals
Cystic Acne Is Not Caused by:
- Food that we eat like chocolates, nuts, or greasy food.
- Poor hygiene
Cystic Acne Treatment
These are over-the-counter medicines that are highly recommended:
- Oral Antibiotics – It can treat cystic acne by regulating or controlling the bacteria and lowering the inflammation.
- Birth Control Pills – It is a cystic acne treatment which regulates the hormones of individuals.
- Vitamin A – A cystic acne treatment in which all causes of acne are attacked. It completely and permanently clears the skin. Read more about vitamins for acne.
- Spironolactone – Is a cystic acne treatment that works as a hormone blocker which takes out the unneeded water of the body.
There are a lot of ways to get rid of cystic acne. Researchers say that the best solutions to treat cystic acne quickly are using plant-based cleansers and natural regimens.
- Facial Mask – Using a facial mask can get rid of cystic acne because it can flare up due to imbalanced pH levels. Especially if the mask is made of lemons (skin repairer) which serve as astringents, apple cider vinegar (restores the pH levels), and an organic turmeric powder (anti-inflammatory), you can see the difference in just a few days.
- Choice of Beverage
- Vitamin C will be of great help to get rid of cystic acne. It will remove toxins in your body and at the same time boost your immune system. (Read more about Best Vitamins for Acne)
- Honey Mask – It can heal wounds and scars from cystic acne because it has antiseptic qualities. Over-the-counter cystic acne treatments make your skin look dry. So, this will help restore your skin from damage.
- Baking Soda and Epson Salt
- Clove oil is known as a warrior in “Battling Cystic Acne.” Baking Soda proves that there is no need to worry for the dryness of the skin. Use this treatment twice a day to see better results. It will quickly get rid of the cystic acne.
- Ice – It can get rid of the cystic acne by reducing the inflammation. This method is effective to only one cyst at a time.
Best Steps to Follow at Night
- Start with Salicylic Acid – It will gently exfoliate your skin; can get rid of excess oil.
- Tackle the swelling
- Ice – Cold temperatures will help you get rid of the cystic acne by constricting blood vessels, thus reducing the redness. Do this three times in an hour with 10 minutes interval.
- Kill the Bacteria – Killing the bacteria can get rid of the cystic acne. Use Benzoyl Peroxide that will trap within the follicles the bacteria that cause inflammation.
- Reduce Redness – With the use of Hydrocortisone bacteria cream, which includes a low dose of steroids, the pimples will shrink and redness will be reduced.
Medical Options for Treating Cystic Acne
- Wash your face twice a day with a water-soluble cleanser.
- Use moisturizer after washing your face.
- Exfoliate at least once a week.
- Don’t pick at your cysts or skin.
- Keep your daily routine.
Ways in Treating Cystic Acne
- Talk to your doctor about antibiotics
- Talk to your doctor about hormonal treatments (females only)
- Talk to your doctor about topical retinoid. It can unplug the clogged pores.
- Talk to your doctor about systemic (oral) retinoid. It reduces the visibility of cystic acne.
- Talk to your doctor about laser therapy. It fights the outbreaks of the skin.
How to Get Rid of Acne Scars
You get your scars from picking at your pimples and leave you with scars that will make you feel helpless and hopeless. There are natural remedies to fix it; but for those with darker pigmentation, brightening creams might help you. But in severe cases, you should undergo some medical treatments that will work faster than you think. In this article, you will see some ways to get rid of acne scars.
There are a lot of ways to get rid of acne scars:
- Chemical Peels – Chemical peel treatment can get rid of the acne scars by eliminating it. The top of the skin where the scarring happens is burned away. It also stimulates the growth of new skin.
- Collagen Injection – It is effective in eliminating the scars; but it can only last for up to six months.
- Dermabrasion – It is a treatment similar to chemical peels. It is only effective for those scars that are on top because it cannot go through deeper layers of the skin. This kind of treatment uses a fast-rotating object such as wire, brush, or diamond. This treatment can only be done by a dermatologist.
- Laser Treatments – It can get rid of the acne scars easily. It’s quite expensive but is more effective because it can penetrate the deeper layers of the skin. It can kill off the scar tissues and can circulate new cell growth.
- Cortisone Creams – These creams help to get rid of acne scars by reducing the inflammation and healing the scars quickly; but put the cream only on the affected area.
- Skin Lightening Cream – Over-the-counter products are likely recommended because it contains vitamin c, mulberry extracts, licorice extracts, arbutin, and kojic acid. It can get rid of acne scars by fading the hyper pigmentation of certain parts of the skin.
- Retinoid Skin Products – Products that contain Vitamin A, Retinoids are usually used to cure different skin problems (get rid of the acne scars, wrinkles, liners, blackheads, skin discoloration, etc.). It can also be used to increase collagen which leads to cell regeneration that attacks the acne. Although these creams seem to be more expensive compared to others, these are the most preferred by dermatologists.
- Laser Treatment – If after trying all the methods you still cannot get rid of acne scars, this is the best way out of that. Laser treatment will stimulate collagen production, giving new cells a chance to grow in the place of the foregone scars.
- Fillers – Filler injections lessen the appearance of scars and also minimize the effects of the scars.
- Lemon Juice – It has a bleaching and exfoliating ability that will help lighten the scars. Apply these directly to the affected areas. Do not forget to use moisturizer after washing using the juice. Lime juice is preferred.
- Use Baking Soda – It will exfoliate your skin and also lighten the acne scars.
- Honey – It can be used to treat skin problem because it contains a natural effective antibacterial product that helps reduce the inflammation of the skin. It is also best for sensitive skin types.
- Aloe Vera – It will rejuvenate your skin because it is a natural moisturizer.
If you happen to be keeping your acne diaries for quite some time, there are already several ways to look your best. Just pick whichever is the best treatment for your skin type. If needed, medical advice will be needed to properly diagnose and treat hormonal acne or cystic acne.