What Does Hormonal Acne Look Like? Its Causes And Treatment

Acne is a disorder of the skin which occurs when the hair follicles get occluded with sebum and dead skin cells. Typically, acne develops on the face, neck, back, chest, and shoulders. The pimples heal gradually, and when one fades away, new ones seem to break out.

Hormonal acne is exceedingly common among teenagers, with an incidence of about 70 %.

Acne is seen as

  • Whiteheads
  • Blackheads
  • Tiny red lumps
  • Pimples
  • Large lumps beneath the surface of the skin.
  • Pus-filled, painful lumps underneath the surface of the skin.

What Are The Causes Of Hormonal Acne?

Acne develops on those areas of skin which have a lot of sebaceous glands. Acne develops when the hair follicles get blocked with oil and dead skin cells.

The hair follicles and the sebaceous glands are kinked to each other. These glands release sebum to lubricate the skin and hair. Sebum travels along hair shafts and through the opening of hair follicles onto the skin surface.

When large amounts of sebum are manufactured, sebum along with dead skin cells accumulate in the hair follicles.

They create an environment which encourages bacteria to multiply. The occluded pores cause the wall of the follicle to swell and form a whitehead. The whitehead could open to the surface and become dark, and form a blackhead.

Pimples develop as red spots with a white center when blocked hair follicles get inflamed or infected. Inflammation which develops inside hair follicles produces cyst-like bumps underneath the surface of the skin.

During puberty, the level of androgens increases in boys and girls and cause the sebaceous glands to get bigger and manufacture more sebum. Changes in the hormone profile related to pregnancy and the use of oral contraceptives also affect the production of sebum.

How To Cure Acne Due To Hormonal Imbalance?

  • Your dermatologist will prescribe acne medications which work by decreasing the production of sebum, accelerate the skin cell turnover, battle bacterial infection and reduce inflammation. You can see results after 4 to 8 weeks, and sometimes the skin tends to get worse before improving.
  • You may be given topical medication or oral medication drugs. Pregnant women are not prescribed oral medications for acne.
  • Retinoids: Topical retinoid application is the most common prescription. Retinoid drugs are derived from vitamin A and you have to apply the cream in the evening, initially 3 times a week, and then everyday once the skin gets used to it.
  • Antibiotics: These are prescribed to kill the skin bacteria and decrease the redness. Antibiotics are usually combined with benzoyl peroxide to decrease the possibility of antibiotic resistance.
  • Wash the affected area twice a day using a gentle cleanser.Avoid astringents, scrubs and masks; they tend to irritate skin, and aggravate the acne.
  • Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil is a very effective essential oil that is used widely to deal with acne. You can apply the essential oil on the acne afflicted area 2 to 3 times every day. Tea tree oil helps battle bacterial infection and gets rid of the whiteheads and blackheads effectively. You could also add a couple of drops of tea tree oil to your shampoo, conditioner and face wash.
  • Alpha hydroxy acid: This is found in citrus fruits. When applied to the skin, it gets rid of dead skin cells and unclogs the blocked pores. It improves skin texture and reduces the appearance of acne scars.