Every woman knows and dislikes it: the monthly period with all its side effects like cramps, bloating and acne breakouts. Experts know that acne is influenced by hormones, but research on the theme has been relatively limited — till now. Alan Shalita, a well-known dermatologist lately released a report that proved that approximately 50% of all women have acne breakouts throughout  the week preceding their period.

The problem with this type of acne, called hormonal acne, cannot always be treated with traditional therapies like antibiotics, topical creams etc. There are a few clues that may help your dermatologist to identify your acne as hormonal acne:

– adult acne or rather acne breakouts that occur for the 1st time in adults

– acne breakouts right before a woman gets her period

– A chronicle of irregular menstrual cycles

– Increased facial oiliness

-increased growing of hair, sometimes even growing of hair in uncommon spots

– Elevated levels of particular androgens in the blood stream

normally hormonal acne starts effecting women in their early twenties, but it can also occur in teenagers or older women, the most cases of hormonal acne are known amongst women over the age of thirty. These patients usually get lesions on the lower face, especially the chin and the jaw line. luckily most women happen to have pimples only on the face, just a few women also have pimples on the chest and the back. Hormonal acne usually occurs in form of a mild or moderate acne with small papules and nodules showing. But how does it form?

The puberty: the years where it all starts. Starting sometime before adolescence (around the age of nine or 10) the adrenal glands begin to produce dihydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), an androgen. more androgens — the “male” hormones at work in a woman’s body — such as testosterone and dehydrotestosterone (DHT), join in at the beginning of puberty. All of these hormones stimulate the sebaceous glands to release more of the skin’s natural oil, or sebum. This is the real reason why so many teens suffer from acne and oily skin. unsurprisingly, since boys have more “male” hormones, teen acne tends to be more severe in males.

It is rather hard to cure teenager acne, since the hormone levels in teens´ bodies are continually changing throughout puberty. It might happen, that topical retinoids, oral antibiotics and over-the-counter products with benzoyl peroxide work well, but there is no guarantee. And even if these products and treatments work, that doesn´t mean that they do work long term. Due to the changing hormonal levels, it may happen, that certain treatments just stop being efficient out of the blue. That basically means, that a regular modification needs to made to find the best working acne treatment for the hormonal state the young person is in.

lots of women pass into maturity without “outgrowing” their acne. Others might not develop it until their 20s or 30s, experiencing persistent breakouts the week before their period. But why? During the course of a normal menstrual cycle (if a woman is not taking any sort of hormonal birth control pill), estrogen levels peak at mid-cycle, then drop as she nears her menstruation. After ovulation, the ovaries start to produce progesterone, another hormone which stimulates the sebaceous glands. And this excessive oil production leads to the appearing of acne. Hormones are also responsible for acne in a percentage of pregnant women, as well; the sebaceous glands go into high gear during the third trimester, causing oily skin and repeated breakouts. a few women even experience acne after menopause, when estrogen levels start to taper off and testosterone becomes the dominant hormone.

 According to Dr. Shalita, the “wait and see” attitude is especially inefficient for hormonal breakouts: “Acne that worsens during a woman’s monthly cycle isn’t something that women will grow out of as they get older. Seeing your dermatologist to find the best treatment plan for acne flare-ups is recommended for the most successful solution.”

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