How To Get Rid of Hormonal Acne
Hormonal acne is tough stuff to deal with. Sufferers might be doing all the right stuff per general acne treatment wisdom – the best cleansers, the right topical treatments, the right everyday acne prevention routines – and yet they still find themselves fighting acne that seem to pop up out of nowhere with alarming frequency.
What is Hormonal Acne Anyway?
Before even beginning to delve into how to deal with hormonal acne and maybe even get rid of it you must understand what it is and what makes it different. It is not – as some people assume – just a teenage problem. Sure, hormones are raging during your teenage years but that’s far from the only time. Hormonal fluctuations, especially in women, can affect them on for much of their life.
Hormonal acne is primarily caused by these imbalances. That means that no matter how much you spend on pills and potions, how diligent you are about learning about acne treatments in general and how committed you are to getting rid of it your own body betrays you with chemical complications that even the best pimple prevention methods in the world sometimes can’t combat.
Do I Have Hormonal Acne?
The next step in understanding what’s really going on with your skin is to determine if the acne you have to suffer through life with is actually hormonally triggered in the first place. Fortunately, that’s not too hard to do.
There are four big things to analyze to determine if your acne has a hormonal root:
- The timing of breakouts
- The location of breakouts
- The shape and sensation of pimples and acne spots
- The treatments that your acne has – and has not – responded to in the past
As we take look at these factors one by one tick them off in your head. The more that applies to you, the more likely it is that those pesky hormones are the big problem.
Hormonal acne will often, for women, break out at rather predictable times based around their menstrual cycle. For some that means the week or so before their period starts while for others the onset of their menses also signals the return of their acne.
No one is sure why, but acne that appears along the jawline and around the cheekbones is most often hormonal acne.
Shape and Sensation
Hormonal acne is the kind of stuff that usually hurts, often even when you are not touching it. Cystic in nature, it often results in pimples that never quite break the skin or even forms a proper head. And even if it does these are the kind of pimples that are most likely to leave a scar behind if you do try to pop or squeeze them.
Responses to Treatment
Perhaps the biggest clue that the pimples making your life a misery is being caused by hormonal changes is that it will improve if you take birth control pills. A close second is the fact that topical treatments are not very effective, no matter which ones you try and how well they have worked for others.
All in all, we’d forgive you for being down at this point. If hormonal acne is such tough stuff to treat that means you are pretty much stuck with it for good, right? The good news is that no, you don’t have to be. You can get rid of hormonal acne, you just have to approach the problem in different ways than you might if you were dealing with a different form of acne. Here are some of the most effective treatments, ‘tricks’ and lifestyle changes to try starting today on your own personal battle against hormonal acne.
6 Simple Ways to Get Rid of Hormonal Acne
Get Serious About Eating Healthier
You may have heard that the old wisdom that chocolate and fried foods cause acne is just that; an old wives tale that science has pretty much disproved. And in many ways, that is correct, one single foodstuff or preparation style has not been proven to cause, or worsen, acne.
A generally poor diet however? That has. Junk food is called junk food for a reason; it offers very little in terms of nutritional value. Processed foods, excess sugars and excess fats are bad for your body in general – and your waistline – and that includes the condition and resilience of your skin.
But what is a ‘healthy skin’ diet? Simply put one that contains lots of fruits and vegetables, puts lean meats and whole grains ahead of processed foods like chicken nuggets and TV dinners and one that involves drinking lots (and lots) of water to keep your whole body – including your skin – as toxin free as possible.
Supplement Your Dietary Efforts
A healthier diet will go a long way to help defeat recurring hormonal acne but you can also make use of health food store supplements to give it a bit of an extra boost. Vitamin C and the family of B vitamins are especially skin friendly, as are Omega 3 Fatty Acids, zinc and the antioxidant selenium. All of these can be found in food but a good daily supplement – there are a number of common multivitamins that contain all of these skin saving substances – can do no harm and may actually do a lot of good.
Another big cause of hormonal imbalance in both sexes is excessive amounts of stress. A certain amount of stress in anyone’s life is unavoidable and may, according to some researchers, be beneficial to a certain degree. Excess stress however – the kind where you end the day a semi emotional wreck and then have tremendous difficulty sleeping because your stressed-out brain just won’t ‘turn off’ – is bad for your body in general and often will manifest itself as stubborn hormonal acne.
Just how you ‘de-stress’ does vary for everyone, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. For some a good workout at the gym or a calming yoga session helps while for others a blast of their favorite music, a great book or even just some simple alone time help do the trick. Find out what works for you and then make a conscious effort to keep excess stress at bay; your body and your skin will thank you for it.
Make Some Tiny Lifestyle Changes
Sometimes the smallest tweaks can make the biggest difference, and that holds true for those battling hormonal acne. All the following tiny lifestyle changes may make a big difference to the health of your skin and help prevent hormonal acne breakouts.
Wash your face twice a day with a good PH balancing cleanser. Hormonal imbalances lead to disruptions of the delicate PH balance of the skin which can quickly lead to acne. By making use of a gentle PH balancing cleanser on a daily basis you’ll minimize that risk while also keeping skin nice and clean in general.
Change your pillowcases more often. As we sleep all kinds of oils, dead skin cells and general gunk transfers from your face to your pillowcase. If that pillowcase gets too dirty you will then transfer it all back as you sleep, clogging pores, another of the major causes of acne in general. To help prevent the problem change your pillowcases often and consider swapping your standard ones for a bamboo version, as bamboo has natural antibacterial and natural cooling properties that can be even more helpful.
Stop going product crazy
You keep trying all kinds of acne treatments and they don’t work. The salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide that works for your friends just does not get the job done for you. So, you move up to stronger versions to see if that will help. But that’s a bad idea.
As we mentioned previously, sometimes hormonal acne just does not respond to standard treatments, so switching to stronger products is not going to help. In fact, it may make things worse, as many anti acne treatments are rather drying, which will only make your skin dry, dull, flaky and you’ll still have acne.
That is not to say that you should not try to treat hormonal acne. But instead of relying on OTC treatments try something a little less harsh, like using fresh lemon juice as a soothing astringent after you wash your face.
Consider Talking to Your Doctor
Unless you suffer from it it’s hard to understand that acne – especially hormonal acne – is far more of a problem for many people than others realize. It can be painful, leave scarring, lead to infection and it certainly saps your self-confidence and your self-esteem.
If you have tried ‘everything’ and the acne persists talking to your doctor can help. There are prescription medications available that can be every effective against hormonal acne and a medical professional may also be able to help you learn to restore hormonal balances to prevent acne naturally as well.
In conclusion, it is not easy to get rid of hormonal acne and it certainly presents more challenges than other acne types. However, it can be done, given time, patience and a little discipline so don’t give up!
Now over to you. Have you found any treatments to be effective against your hormonal acne that you can share? If so we’d love to hear about them.
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