Today I’m writing about something that hits very close to home: Hormonal Acne. This is different from most other types because THERE’S JUST NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT. By “nothing you can do about it” I mean that no amount of facials or creams or topical medication you use actually comes to anything.
Okay, to simplify things, here’s some background on Hormonal Acne
How to Identify
All of us have different types of acne (besides those who are blessed with extremely good skin *life is unfair*): some of us have comedones, some of us have blackheads that just won’t get off our noses, and some of us have acne vulgaris. It all varies, but their common ground is that no one likes or wants them.
Hormonal acne CAN look typical, but you can differentiate them by the time they choose to appear at. For females, this can happen at ovulation, a few days before one’s menses, or the very day itself. This does happen in cycles, but is not exclusive to that. Sometimes, it can occur due to hormonal problems such as PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome). This is, of course, one of the more severe situations, so don’t be too quick to jump to the conclusion that you have it too,
What They Look Like
Most of the time, hormonal acne present themselves in the forms of cysts. I am sure most of you know what Cystic Acne looks like, and even if you didn’t, I took the courtesy of finding you one that doesn’t look so gag-inducing (Not saying that people who have it are disgusting, but some internet pictures really test boundaries, I’m sure you’ve seen those types of pictures). In fact, it’s one of me, and one I put up quite awhile ago in this post.
They can also present themselves in comedones and small pimples. Like a mixed nut party pack lol. It’s just a jumble of crappiness on your face. As you can see, I do have some cysts (typically pus-filled and red), some whiteheads, and some headless bumps. Those are THE WORST by the way because you can’t get rid of them – you just wait and wait till they either appear or go away.
Places They Commonly Appear
Hormonal Acne appears most commonly on the lower part of the face; For instance, they appear around the mouth, on the chin area, lower cheeks, and jawline. If it worsens, however, it can even spread to your forehead and upper cheeks.
If there is none around your mouth/lower face area, chances are high that your acne has nothing to do with hormones at all.
WHY WHY WHY ME!?
Because no one likes you, that’s why. KIDDING. If you want an emotional answer, it’s just one of life’s lemons being thrown at you so deal with it.
If you want a completely logical, scientific answer, it’s because of the oil glands working overtime under your skin. Instead of being regulated, and spewing let’s say… 10g/hr, your face has become an oil spill below the surface. And since the oil has to go somewhere… it appears in the form of acne. What makes it worse, is that it isn’t always easy to eliminate. Sometimes, it looks ripe and you think it’s good to pop it.. only to realize it doesn’t pop at all. So your face is left red, inflamed and, worst of all, scarred.
Do note that washing your face 10x a day will not solve this oil problem. The issue is happening internally more than externally. Moreover, over washing your face will only make your skin dehydrated, and your body will produce more oil to compensate.
In some cases, your body could be producing more testosterone than estrogen, which also explains the hormone imbalance. That is also why your skin’s flare-ups commonly occur during ovulation, which is when testosterone levels hit their peak and your estrogen drops.
What’s The SOLUTION Then?
Time. Time is the solution. Honestly. Only time will cure this sick occurrence. Medication, facials, and what not help lessen the issue and curb the inflammation, but the whole phase really just needs time to finish.
In the meantime, try not to be too stressed out or pick at it. Also, stay away from the typically unhealthy foods and dairy. Dairy is often said to be an acne aggravator, as it can increase testosterone in the body. Nuts and grains should also be taken in moderation.
If you really HAVE TO HAVE TO HAVE TO get rid of it ASAP, well you can go to a dermatologist to see what your options are. Otherwise, you can opt for Birth Control Pills (BCPs) which are supposed to regulate your hormones and thus lessen your acne. There are side effects to BCPs, however, so do be careful and do your research before deciding to go for it. There are some topical medications known to work, such as Differin, Fucicort, Epiduo, but it really depends on your skin type as well.
When it comes to Hormonal Acne, I would wholeheartedly recommend seeing a doctor rather than purchasing over the counter products, really.
If none of these work, you may have PCOS. In this case, it’s best to get some blood work so you know where to go from there.
I’m sorry to say that hormonal acne seems like it’d never go away, and sometimes it can be the case because you’d never know just how long it feels like staying on your face.
Don’t be disheartened though, you’re not the only one going through it (YOU HAVE ME, HEY!) and many people are dealing with the same sad issue. Look on the bright side, try to have plenty of exercise, eat healthily, and DRINK LOTS OF WATER! I cannot even begin to mention how important water is. It helps hydrate your body and lessen the need for oil production in your body, which could help a lot.