Hormonal Acne Key Takeaways
- Hormonal acne takes a multifaceted approach, but supplements can be a part of the solution.
- Antioxidant-supportive supplements like vitamin C, zinc, and vitamin E could help lower inflammation and stop free radical damage.
- Addressing acne with supplements that target healthy hormone balance like probiotics, DIM, or myo-inositol is a helpful root cause approach.
- In combination with lifestyle habits like diet, sleep, and exercise, supplements can brighten your complexion and help you feel confident in your skin
Can Testosterone Cause Acne In Women
Even though women dont produce as much testosterone as men, testosterone may still play a role in acne flare-ups.
Testosterone levels naturally fluctuate throughout your life. Levels of this hormone tend to rise during puberty for both boys and girls. Your production of testosterone tends to start dropping after the age of 30.
Its been theorized that female testosterone levels might increase during ovulation.
However, suggests that changes in testosterone levels during a womans cycle are relatively low compared to day-to-day fluctuations. Acne flare-ups during a menstrual period are more likely due to changes in estrogen and progesterone levels.
Polycystic ovary syndrome can lead to elevated testosterone levels in women.
In rare cases, testicular tumors can lead to high testosterone in men.
Taking anabolic steroids or corticosteroid medications can also lead to elevated testosterone levels.
Adopting healthy lifestyle habits may help keep your testosterone levels balanced. Some habits that may help keep your testosterone at a healthy level include the following:
- avoiding corticosteroids and anabolic steroids
- getting enough sleep
- exercising regularly
Treatments that target your hormones are typically more effective at reducing hormonal acne.
Here are some treatment options to consider:
Does Diet Cause Acne On The Chin
Another major cause of acne on the chin is the food you eat, impacting your skin from the inside and out!
- Oily Foods: Consumption of salty, greasy foods such as chips and french fries can leave oil residues around your mouth to clog skin pores and cause pimples.
- Dairy & High GI Foods: As with all other acne types, there appears to be a correlation between certain foodsâ consumption and breakouts on the chin, mouth, and jawline. The worst culprits? Dairy and high-glycemic foods such as sugar and refined carbohydrates. Eating large amounts of these goods has been shown to trigger and worsen. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, avoiding foods with high GI is one of the best ways to prevent acne.
To learn more, check out this blog, the best diet for people with acne.
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Does Hormonal Acne Go Away
If you have hormonal acne now, know this: Youre not doomed to live with it forever. All forms of acne, including hormonal acne, can improve over time as your body adjusts to hormonal or physiological changes, Dr. Rodney says. However, in many cases, its a chronic problem that will be tough to get rid of without personalized treatment.
Foods And Beverages To Enjoy
- Vegetables: broccoli, spinach, kale, peppers, zucchini, cauliflower, carrots, beets, etc.
- Fruit: berries, grapefruit, oranges, apples, cherries, bananas, pears, grapes, peaches, etc.
- Whole grains and starchy vegetables: Sweet potato, quinoa, butternut squash, farro, brown rice, oats, buckwheat, etc.
- Healthy fats: whole eggs, olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, nut butters, coconut oil, etc.
- Plant-based dairy alternatives: cashew milk, almond milk, coconut milk, coconut yogurt, etc.
- High-quality protein: salmon, tofu, chicken, turkey, eggs, shellfish, etc.
- Legumes: chickpeas, black beans, lentils, kidney beans, etc.
- Anti-inflammatory herbs and spices:turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper, parsley, garlic, ginger, cayenne, etc.
- Unsweetened beverages: water, sparkling water, green tea, hibiscus tea, lemon water, etc.
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Are Levels Of Testosterone And Of Other Androgens Raised In Hormonal Acne
There is conflicting evidence on this though the majority of studies show that elevated androgen levels are are frequent.
A large study from 2013 showed that of 835 women with hormonal acne, 55% had elevated levels of androgens DHEA being the one most frequently elevated. A Turkish study from 2017 of 207 women showed 55% of women with acne had elevations in one androgen. Smaller studies from Brazil and Japan have also showed elevated levels of androgens in adult women with acne.
A Czech study from 2000 of 90 women with acne showed that 81% had an elevated level of at least one androgen. The severity of acne did not vary with the degree of elevation however. However a British study from 1989 showed no elevations in androgens in women with acne.
Our clinical impression is that some women do have elevated androgen levels and hormonal acne may be the only sign of this. Other signs include excessive facial and body hair, irregular periods and hair loss. However, a large number of women have normal levels of androgens and it is believed that these women may just be more sensitive to these androgens. This is the reason they get acne.
The bottom line is routine hormone blood tests may be normal in hormonal acne. Hypersensitivity of the skin means that anti-androgen treatment is still important. Also Testosterone and DHT can be produced in the skin and blood tests would not show if too much of these hormones is being produced in the skin in some people.
Dim Supplements And Weight Loss
Taking DIM supplements as part of a healthy diet was found to help with abdominal fat loss. Estrogen dominance was linked to abdominal fat gain, common in post-menopausal women. DIM activates the enzyme that converts E1 and E2 to the good estrogen: E3. DIM inhibits an enzyme called aromatase, which converts testosterone to estrogen. It may also help decrease the effects of 16 alpha-hydroxyestrone linked to weight gain. DIM supplements may also stimulate fat breakdown and inhibit fat cell formation. In one lab study, DIM significantly reduced the formation of new fat cells.
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How Can Hormonal Acne Be Treated
Treatment is a challenge, says Dr. Joshi, explaining that hormonal acne is known for recurring even after oral or topical treatments have been used.
Beginning with a clear and correct diagnosis is key, she says, noting that a simple, effective home skin care routine is another important part of the treatment puzzle.
Everyones skin is different, so personalised advice from a trusted skin specialist is the best way to begin managing your hormonal acne. Lifestyle changes, topical and oral prescription medications, personalised at-home skin care products, and in-clinic treatments such as chemical peels are all often used within treatment programs, says Dr. Joshi.
Commonly doctors would choose a mix of treatment options, simply because this type of acne is so hard to treat and to keep at bay and tends to recur with hyperpigmentation and scarring risk, she explains.Results can take anywhere from a few weeks to months to appear, so dont be disheartened if the healing process takes time. Check back in with your skin care specialist, and they can help guide your treatment program moving forward.
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How Does Testosterone Cause Acne
Testosterone is thought to contribute to acne by increasing production of sebum, an oil that can clog pores. When pores are clogged, it can make it easier for acne bacteria to grow and cause pimples.
A 2011 review reports that acne patients produce more testosterone in the skin than healthy controls. Testosterone enhances the activity of sebaceous glands in the skin, leading to increased sebum production, which then increases acne.
Two common acne & testosterone links
The link between testosterone and acne also helps explain why acne is so common during puberty, when hormones are surging. In addition, another clue that testosterone may contribute to acne is that acne is a common side-effect of testosterone hormone replacement therapy in female-to-male transgender individuals.
Testosterone is a steroid hormone. Other steroid medications, which may be prescribed to treat a condition or taken as performance enhancing drugs, can also cause acne. Like testosterone, steroid medications increase the activity of sebaceous glands in the skin, contributing to acne.
Low testosterone does not usually cause acne, but treating low testosterone by taking testosterone may cause acne as a side-effect.
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How Well Does Hormonal Therapy Work And Is It Safe
The pill: Many studies have looked at how well oral contraceptive pills fight acne. The pill has been found effective at treating blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, and acne nodules and cysts.
In fact, the pill has proven so effective that the US Food and Drug Administration has approved some oral contraceptives for treating acne.
The pill is generally considered safe for women. Some women, however, should not take it. Your dermatologist can tell you whether the pill may be a safe and effective treatment option for you.
Spironolactone: Doctors prescribe this medication to treat high blood pressure. Its also prescribed for people who are retaining too much fluid.
Dermatologists have been prescribing it for many years to treat acne and excess hair growth in women. When other acne treatments dont work, it can effectively treat deep-seated, tender acne on the lower face, jawline, or neck.
Spironolactone is not prescribed to treat acne in men due to side effects. Men have developed breasts while taking this medication to treat acne.
Spironolactone is generally considered safe for healthy women.
Taking both spironolactone and the pill can increase effectiveness. This combination has another advantage. Its essential to use birth control while taking spironolactone. If you get pregnant while taking spironolactone, your baby can have serious birth defects.
A word of caution
If you can get pregnant, youll need to use birth control while taking spironolactone.
Do Birth Control Pills Cause Or Cure Acne
Birth control pills may help some women control acne. The hormones in birth control pills can help block androgen hormones. Androgen puts oil glands into overdrive. Some birth control pills, though, can make acne worse. So even if you take birth control pills, youâll still need a good acne skin care routine.
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The Link Between Our Hormones And Acne
Before we get to the three best natural treatments for hormonal acne, lets first discuss how hormones trigger breakouts. Bear with me for a moment while we have a mini biology lesson!
Hormones have a major role in the development of acne. Although the exact mechanism behind their powerful influence is unknown, we do know that androgen hormones gum up the follicle by triggering oil production.
Androgens are the so-called male hormones and are present in males and females. The testes, ovaries and the adrenal glands all produce androgens. The most well-known androgens are testosterone and its breakdown product is dihydrotestosterone .
Why Do Androgens Such As Testosterone Cause Acne
Androgens cause changes in the skin and directly drive inflammation. Here are the three reasons why androgens cause acne:
This diagram shows the complex effects of androgens in the skin that cause acne:
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Is Hormonal Acne Caused By Pregnancy
When you are pregnant, hormonal fluctuations can cause acne. Often, acne gets better as your pregnancy progresses. There are several treatments that you should avoid during pregnancy, including topical retinoids, salicylic acid and isotretinoin. Ask your healthcare provider about the safest acne treatment for you to reduce and eliminate breakouts during pregnancy.
Natural Remedies For Hormonal Acne
Certain plant-based strategies can treat mild hormonal acne. However, they may be not as effective as conventional methods, and research on the efficacy of these treatments is lacking. One of these natural treatments is tea tree oil. Although tea tree oil is generally safe, your health care provider can verify whether it will interact with any medications youre taking.
These self-care tips may help clear acne or keep it from getting worse:
- Wash your face gently, no more than twice a day, and after heavy sweating.
- Use mild cleansers or soaps and lukewarm water.
- Avoid exfoliating products or harsh scrubs.
- Dont rub, pick, or scrape your pimples since this can cause inflammation.
- If you wear makeup, look for non-comedogenic options when possible.
- Avoid humid environments, which lead to sweating.
Excessive washing and scrubbing can actually worsen acne, as it may remove too much oil from your skin and cause irritation. In response, your skin may secrete more oil, worsening the acne.
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What Can I Do To Help Keep My Hormones And Acne Under Control
- Get professional advice. If you experience acne consult your doctor who will advise you on the best treatment options for your skin. They may recommend that you talk to an endocrinologist or to a gynecologist . Some women find that the contraceptive pill can help with menstrual acne. It does so by producing a protein called Sex-Hormone Binding Globulin which sponges up the testosterone thereby raising oestrogen levels in the blood.
If you are pregnant, or planning to get pregnant, you should avoid all acne medication and ask your doctor or gynecologist for alternative recommendations. Acne medication contains chemicals that are dangerous for a developing baby.For men, there are medical options available that help to keep testosterone levels, and acne, under control and your doctor will be able to advice on which are most suitable for you.
- Look after yourself. Exercise and a healthy, balanced diet will help you to keep your body in good shape . A diet rich in phytoestrogens may also help you to keep you hormones in balance. Find out more in what changes can I make to my diet to help my blemish prone skin?
- Take care of your skin. A regular skincare routine, using non-comedogenic products specially formulated for blemish-prone skin, will help you to keep your skin healthy and complement any medication you may choose to take. Find out more in the ideal skincare products and routine for blemish-prone skin.
Foods To Avoid For Hormonal Acne
A few researches carried out to establish a link between diet and acne have shown that the following foods may trigger acne in some people.
According to several studies, dairy is a trigger for hormonal acne. Aside from dairy products, most processed junk food you eat also contains traces of dairy.
Prefer plant-based milk such as almond milk, soy milk, and oat milk. which can help keep your hormonal acne under control.
2. Refined carbs and sugar
Consuming excessive amounts of foods that contain high amounts of carbohydrates or sugar, such as pasta, white bread, cakes, and processed foods, can lead to acne.
Choose foods with low glycemic indexes such as kale, spinach, lentils, and wheat, as they are healthier alternatives to refined carbohydrates and can help clear up your skin.
3. Fast foods
Fast food can be a trigger for acne due to its high fat and sugar content. It is advisable to avoid processed junk food and go for healthier, homemade meals if you want to clear up your acne. Choose foods that contain healthy fats and nutrients required for skin repair and hormone regulation.
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The Connection Between Testosterone And Acne
Testosterone belongs to a class of male sex hormones called androgens, which can trigger acne by over-stimulating oil glands. They can also change the skin cells that line hair follicles, making them sticky and more likely to clog pores.
Heres how it works: Tiny glands are inside the pores of your skin, and they produce an oil called sebum. Sebum carries dead skin cells from follicles to your skins surface, but when there is too much of it, follicles become clogged and pimples can emerge. Testosterone increases the production of sebum, making it a prime acne culprit.
What Makes Mdacnes Dim Capsules Unique
MDacnes DIM supplement has significant advantages over traditional DIM tablets.
1. The vegan capsules are smooth and easier to swallow than conventional tablets. If you prefer, you can even open them up and sprinkle the powder into a smoothie or over food.2. The supplement is vegetarian, gluten-free, and cruelty-free.3. There is no aftertaste.4. One MDacne DIM capsule provides the full daily dosage of DIM . Most tablets require that you swallow 2-4 pills/day to get the same dose.
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What Foods Trigger Acne
Foods that trigger acne include milk, whey protein, refined carbohydrates, high GI foods, sugar, alcohol, and inflammatory fats. These foods impact your skin by increasing the production of hormones that worsen acne. Not everyone will react to all these foods, but consider eliminating them if you deal with stubborn acne.
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The 5 Natural Supplements To Stop Hormonal Acne
Last updated on by Alisa Vitti
Is there anything more cruel than adult acne? Youve suffered through the skin issues of adolescence only to discover that adulthood comes with its own host of blemishes. So unfair, right?
Trust me, Ive been there. Before I created and then lived, the FLO Living protocol, it took me an hour and a half just to leave the house. My face and back were covered in cystic hormonal acne that I had to cover with heavy makeup just to feel confident enough to carry on with my life. If that painful scenario sounds even remotely familiar, then youll really want to pay attention. Your skin shouldnt rule your life and hurt your self-esteem. By learning to heal your endocrine system naturally, you can regain control of your beautiful face and body and learn to love your skin again. I certainly did!
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