What Causes Hormonal Acne?
Have you heard about hormonal acne? This is a type of acne that is due to the hormones in your body.
So what are the characteristics of hormonal acne? Hormonal acne usually starts during puberty. It usually appears in the nose, forehead and chin, the parts of the face belonging to the T-zone. This also includes the areas on the bottom of the cheeks and at the jawline.
For some people, hormonal acne appears as blackheads, whiteheads and smaller pimples that have heads or cysts. Cysts that are from the deeper part of the skin do not usually come out of the surface and are tender to touch.
Hormonal acne is often caused by imbalance of hormones, which may be due to stages in life such as menstruation or menopause. It can also be present in women who have hormonal imbalances such as those with polycystic ovarian syndrome and increased androgen or male hormone levels.
All these conditions lead to hormonal imbalance and create a scenario in the skin that makes it prone to pimples. This will then lead to increased inflammation in the skin and increased oil formation in the pores. This later leads to clogged skin pores even near the hair follicles which lead to the increased collection of acne-causing bacteria such as Propionibacterium acnes. This infection of the skin pores cab lead to acne formation.
How Is Hormonal Acne Treated?
Hormonal acne cannot just be treated by typical over-the-counter (OTC) products for acne, except when it is very mild. This is because this type of acne leads to the formation of cystic bumps which form deeply under the skin which cannot be treated by soaps, creams, ointments and washes.
People with hormonal acne would usually need oral medicines to counteract their hormonal imbalances. The usual options for people with this type of acne are oral contraceptives and anti-androgen drugs. It would take a dermatologist or a general physician to treat hormonal acne.
If hormonal acne appears mild, the sufferer may be given retinoids applied to the skin which are products derived from vitamin A. There are many over-the-counter retinoid creams, washes, gels and lotions. However, you may need to see a doctor for prescription-strength retinoid products that can treat your acne effectively.
When used consistently, retinoids can keep your skin clear and pimple free, that is, if its only a mild case of acne.
Are There Natural Treatment For Hormonal Acne?
Since we have mentioned that this type of acne is often treated by oral medications, we cannot say that these treatments are not without side effects.
If you have a milder form of acne, you can try these natural methods to treat hormonal acne. These plant-based remedies are free from side effects that are usually associated with prescription drugs. It’s true that research is lacking as to the efficacy of these natural methods, however it’s not bad to try out things which may be effective for you. After all, these are natural treatments from plants. You can ask your doctor also whether these natural treatments may work for you.
So, what are some of the natural options available? Here they are:
Natural Options for Hormonal Acne
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is said to be effective against acne because it has the ability to decrease inflammation in mild to moderate acne. One product we can highly recommend is Essential Oil Labs Natural Therapeutic Grade Tea Tree Oil. This product is 100% pure and natural, is sourced from sustainable farms and is free of chemicals, additives and fillers. Massage a few drops of the oil into your skin after showering to help stay clean, clear and free of acne.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
These are acids from plants that are from citrus fruits. They work by removing excess dead skin cells which may clog pores in acne. AHAs can also minimize the appearance of acne scars. However you should use sunscreen while using them, as they can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun.
One product we can highly recommend is Alpha Hydrox AHA Enhanced Lotion. This is concentrated pure glycolic acid (one of the most effective alpha hydroxy acids on the market) that works diligently on your complexion, leaving skin visibly firmer, smoother, and more refined with a simple, once-a-day application of this treatment lotion. For added moisturizing benefits, pure vitamin E–long known to beautifully rehydrate skin–is also a key ingredient. This is recommended for dry to normal skin types but not for delicate or sensitive skin.
Green tea works by decreasing inflammation in the skin which contributes to acne formation. When choosing skin gels and creams, choose those with at least 2% green tea extract to maximize its benefits.
One product that we highly recommend is St. Ives Blackhead Clearing Face Scrub with Green Tea. This green tea scrub helps unclog pores, clear blackheads and calm redness. This is a derma‐tested, blackhead‐tackling scrub made with salicylic acid. It moderately exfoliates, helping to clear blackheads, unclog pores and calm redness, for a more even skin tone. It’s also infused with olive leaf extract which the Egyptians saw as a symbol of heavenly power. This green tea leaves come from China and are processed in the traditional Chinese way. This involves heating them to stop oxidation so they stay with that lovely vibrant green color. The goodness is then extracted very gently by soaking them.