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Signs Your Acne Is Hormonal

Do you find yourself wondering, “Is my acne hormonal?” Here are a few indications that you’re experiencing hormonal acne versus some other type of acne.  


Hormonal acne is something that many of us ladies deal with every month. It’s also common around the time of menopause and during pregnancy. Basically, any major event in our lives that is marked by changes in hormone levels can become a trigger for hormonal acne breakouts. 


It’s normal to wonder, “Is my acne hormonal?” Though some people think it’s unnecessary to determine what type of acne they have, it’s actually pretty important. When you know what’s causing your acne, you can take steps to treat it or prevent it. If you don’t currently know the underlying cause of your dreaded pimple breakouts, here are some signs your acne may be hormonal. 


What Is Hormonal Acne?


Hormonal acne is often called adult acne when it occurs in post-adolescent people. If you experience hormonal breakouts, know that there are millions of other women who go through the same thing. Some women wonder, “Is it hormonal or something else?” This guide seeks to answer that question and meek it easier for women to figure out whether their acne breakouts are due to a hormonal imbalance. 


Before we dive into the symptoms associated with the different types of acne, let’s talk about what hormonal acne is. Hormonal acne affects teens and adults. In teens and adolescents who are experiencing puberty, hormonal acne happens when the body begins to produce more androgen hormones (especially testosterone). Androgens such as testosterone are male hormones that females also have. 


During puberty, increased androgen levels cause the oil glands in the skin to create excess oil. As sebaceous glands go crazy pumping out oil, some of that oil becomes trapped in hair follicles and pores on the skin (along with dead skin cells). This can lead to inflammation and the development of acne vulgaris. When testosterone and other androgen hormone levels remain imbalanced, hormonal acne continues to be a problem. 


Some adults outgrow hormonal acne and have clear skin for the rest of their lives. But for many of us, hormonal acne breakouts return when we get a little older.


Though hormonal acne during adolescence impacts both girls and boys, women are much more likely to experience adult acne than men. You’re probably wondering why we get to have all the fun, right? Well, the reason women are more prone to hormonal acne as adults is because our hormone levels are constantly shifting. Every month, we experience hormone fluctuations that guide us through different cycles of our menstrual period. 


While the process of monthly hormonal changes is normal, some of us may experience hormone imbalances during certain times of the month. These imbalances can lead to a variety of unpleasant symptoms, including bloating, abdominal cramps, weight gain, and adult acne breakouts right before and during our periods. 


What Are Some Different Types of Acne?


We have talked a lot about hormonal acne, but what about other types of acne? Some types of acne aren’t triggered by hormonal imbalances at all. Instead, they’re triggered by acne causing bacteria such as Propionibacterium acnes (Also known as P. Acnes). Bacterial acne is best treated with anti-bacterial products. 


Other possible acne triggers include:


  • Greasy, pore-clogging cosmetics
  • Emotional stress
  • Certain medications (especially those containing lithium and androgen)
  • Hormonal birth control pills

The type of acne treatment you should receive for your breakouts depends on the type and severity of your acne. If you’re experiencing mild acne, it may respond well to over-the-counter topical treatments such as topical retinoid creams or products with salicylic acid. Retinoid creams contain vitamin A, which is well-known in the beauty industry as a skin-nourishing ingredient. It also helps to naturally exfoliate the skin to get rid of old, dead cells that would otherwise clog your pores. Salicylic acid is another type of exfoliant commonly used in acne products. It can be drying to the skin over time but helps some women get rid of acne breakouts quicker. 


More severe types of acne may require a visit to a dermatologist. You may also experience great success by using natural acne treatments or changing your diet and lifestyle to balance your hormones and support skin health. 


What Are Signs of Hormonal Acne?


Whether you experience mild acne or severe acne, here are some signs it might be hormonal:


  • You tend to experience breakouts the week before your period or during your period.
  • You have cystic acne, which is a type of acne that develops beneath the skin and often appears red and inflamed.
  • You have been diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (also known as PCOS). This condition causes a variety of symptoms, including mild to severe acne, irregular menstrual periods, and infertility. 
  • Your acne tends to affect your chest, back, face, and shoulders. You’re also more likely to experience breakouts along your jawline, chin, and cheeks when you have hormonal acne. 

These are just a few of the most common signs of hormonal acne. Hormonal acne can come in many different forms, including nodules (firm, hard lumps under the skin), papules (small red bumps), whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, and cysts (deep and painful bumps beneath the skin). 


What Is Causing My Hormonal Imbalance?


Now that you have a pretty good idea that you’re dealing with hormonal acne, it’s time to figure out what acne treatments are available. If left untreated, hormonal acne breakouts can lead to diminished self-esteem and long-lasting acne scars. Even mild hormonal acne can be an embarrassment and can diminish the health of your skin. 


Before you can prevent hormonal acne from occurring, you need to determine what is causing your underlying hormonal imbalance. Are you currently taking an oral contraceptive or other medications that can alter your hormone levels? Have you been diagnosed with PCOS or PMS? These are all common causes of hormonal imbalances. 


If you aren’t sure whether you have a hormonal imbalance, you may want to visit your doctor and have some bloodwork done. A comprehensive hormone panel for women will test 10 key hormones to see if any are out of balance. This type of test can be expensive, so you may want to check with your insurance provider to see if they cover it before you go to the doctor.  


How Can I Treat Hormonal Acne?


The nice thing about hormonal acne is that it can be treated by dealing with the underlying hormonal imbalances you’re experiencing. Some doctors may recommend taking hormonal therapy to balance your hormones. This may be a good solution for some, but there are women who may not want to take the risks associated with hormonal treatment. For these women, natural hormone-balancing supplements provide a good alternative treatment option. 


Supplements such as Hertime are not associated with a long list of side effects like those that come with hormone replacement therapy. Hertime contains a variety of vitamins and minerals known to support reproductive health. It also contains herbs such as dong quai, Siberian ginseng, and white peony root. These herbs help to keep female hormones in balance so you not only experience fewer acne breakouts, but less bloating and discomfort around your period as well. 


To learn more about how Hertime can help you achieve better hormone balance, take a look at the fun and informational articles we have at Mixhers resources. Our goal is to help you balance your hormones, improve your sex drive, and boost your overall health and happiness. Here’s to harnessing Mother Nature’s most powerful ingredients to make our lives as females even better!