What Causes Hormonal Acne?

Woman with acne breakout on her chin, neck, and cheeks
Hormones are one of many components that contribute to acne but trying the following steps can help you put the brakes on blemishes.

How Do I Get Rid of Hormonal Acne?

Hormonal breakouts typically affect the jawline and chin and can be caused by factors like:

  • Your period
  • Menopause
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Increased androgen levels

You can reduce your hormonal acne flare-ups in much the same way for other causes of acne. These steps include:

  • Taking birth control pills containing ethinylestradiol to keep hormones balanced
  • Using prescription strength retinoids like Retin A
  • Taking a prescription medication that decreases androgen, a male-dominant hormone

Prescription Treatment Options

Although birth control pills are effective at controlling acne, there are other valuable treatment options to consider.

Because over-the-counter acne preparations aren’t particularly helpful against adult hormonal acne, your doctor may prescribe the following treatments may help reduce breakouts:

  • Accutane: This powerful acne-fighting drug can eliminate cystic acne, which is deep under the skin and painful.
  • Retin A: Derived from Vitamin A like Accutane, this topical cream eliminates blemishes while also reducing the appearances of fine lines.

Which Foods Cause Hormonal Acne?

There may be a link between acne breakouts and the following foods:

  • Sugary foods
  • Dairy
  • Red meat
  • Refined carbohydrates like pasta and white bread

At Home Remedies

If you have mild acne breakouts, you may want to try other remedies before turning to prescription acne medications. Try these tips to reduce your acne flareups naturally:

  • Cleanse: Wash your face twice a day with a mild cleanser containing salicylic acid. Don’t over scrub which may cause aggravated skin. Keep your face as free from oil as possible.
  • Use Toner: After cleansing, dab toner on your blemishes to keep a balanced pH level.
  • Exfoliate: Visit a spa for an expert facial or microdermabrasion treatment to remove dead skin that clogs pores.

Other at-home remedies include:

  • Tea Tree Oil: Spot treat blemishes to decrease inflammation.
  • Alpha Hydroxy Acids: These over-the-counter formulations contain a mild form of plant acids that remove dead skin cells that clog pores and aggravate breakouts.
  • Green Tea: Drink green tea to help reduce inflammation in the body.

Does Hormonal Acne Ever Go Away?

If you have hormonal acne, you may have periods of clear skin with intermittent breakouts. You should experiment with finding a skin care regimen that’s right for you to keep breakouts to a minimum. Try each new product for eight to 10 weeks to see if you get desired results.

Can Eating Healthy Prevent Acne?

Although diet is definitely linked to your overall health, there’s no one diet to follow that will completely prevent acne. The best plan is to eat a healthful diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, healthy oils, low-fat meat, and reduce dairy intake. Eat foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids that are shown to reduce inflammation. Drink plenty of water to keep skin hydrated.

Which Foods Clear Up Acne?

In addition to eating a healthful diet, these foods show promise in helping reduce acne flareups:

  • Coconut oil
  • Avocados
  • Omega-3 fatty fish
  • Dark chocolate
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Brazil nuts
  • Carrots

If you have acne that you believe may be caused by hormones, contact Greater Miami Skin and Laser Center for more information. Our dermatologists will thoroughly examine your skin and recommend the best treatment options for your needs.

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