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How do hormones affect acne?

Updated on November 24, 2014

How do hormones affect acne?

Your hormones govern your skin and its possibility of getting acne to a large extent. What are the most influential hormones residing in our bodies and how do they influence our skin? This question might be quite significant for the females, as they go through the monthly cycle, when hormonal levels increase and fall depending on the time of the month.

Acne is basically governed by two hormones - “estrogen” which can lessen it and “progesterone” - which can increase it. This is the reason why women with “hormonal acne” start getting flare-ups the week just before their menstrual cycle because of the rise in their progesterone levels.

Taking birth control pills may assist in reducing your acne, as the pills tend to suppress and substitute your own natural hormones with the synthetic hormones. These synthetic hormones are quite less stimulating to the oil glands that cause increase in acne.

However, taking birth control pills may worsen the acne, if the synthetic progesterone works in the similar way as your natural progesterone does in flaring up the acne.

Apart from this, hormonal acne can also be caused by male hormone – androgen.

In the beginning of the menstrual cycle, the estrogen levels of the female bodies increase continuously and approach its peak about 36 hours prior to ovulation. 

The female body demands extra estrogen for this to happen. The body receives this extra estrogen by converting the androgens to estrogen in the ovaries. Because of the enhanced androgen level, oil secretion of the skin also gets enhanced. Even though, this being a natural process, that results to acne, some women may experience severe fluctuations in their hormonal levels leading to high levels of androgens and hence severe hormonal acne.

How to treat hormonal acne?

It is necessary to understand how hormones impact our bodies and the biochemical reasons that result in acne. Hormonal imbalance can be rectified by appropriate medicines. A topical cream can work well in curing already existing cysts and pimples. Go for the products that have natural ingredients and skin rejuvenating agents.

Disclaimer: The article is written with a sole purpose of information sharing and reference and must not be taken for medical consultation. Readers are advised to consult proper physicians before choosing any of the treatments.


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