When you have the health and wellbeing or your patient at heart, the first thing you should do is provide thorough and accurate information for the patient so that he/she knows the predicament they’re in. You should then proceed and systematically go through all the steps needed for the successful treatment of their condition. This article will go through some of these steps so that as a potential patient you will also know what to expect and do.
What does it mean to have hormonal acne?
To be told that hormonal acne is all tied up with the fluctuations of your hormones may be difficult to understand but that is exactly what these words mean.
In a sense, because hormonal fluctuations occur mainly during the years of puberty, you and I tend to think that it’s reserved only for the teenagers to experience, which is of course not strictly true.
The reason is that hormonal acne can also invade the lives of adults irrespective of age. The condition is especially prevalent in women with a variety of factors held responsible for causing them, including menstruation and menopause.
Estimations can actually support this claim with facts and figures, for instance 50 percent of women aged 20 to 29 suffer from acne and clarify the position even further, around 25 percent aged 40 to 49 also have this condition.
It’s also worthwhile to know that experts are divided on the subject. One school maintains that while hormones may not be a major factor that causes adult acne, they concede the point that in some cases, hormonal imbalances can trigger acne in adults who have certain “underlying medical conditions”
The main features of hormonal acne
There’s an area on your face that’s called the T-zone that specifically refers to the area where hormonal acne often makes its appearance. Typically this zone consists of your forehead, nose and chin.
It has been found however that in most cases, hormonal acne usually begins its formation on the lower zone of your face that includes the lower part of your cheeks and also around the jawline.
In some cases that involve some people, hormonal acne may appear as whiteheads, blackheads, or small pimples that end up as conical shaped cysts.
Unlike blackheads and whiteheads that appear above the skin surface, cysts are rather deep formations that form and stay under the skin and become very sensitive when touched.
The direct cause of hormonal acne through intakes of hormones that result from:
In turn, the above fluctuations of your hormones can worsen your acne condition by triggering an increase to the:
- production of Propionibacterium acnes which acts as a acne-causing bacteria
- amount of dead skin cells clogged up inside your hair follicles
- general state of inflammation on and around infected areas of your body
- production of sebum oil inside the pores of your skin.
What of menopausal acne?
It’s also known that many women normally start their menopausal existence when they are in their 40s and 50s.
When this happens, there is a natural decrease in the level of your reproductive hormones which marks the end of your menstruation events.
Menopause is a time when some women experience the appearance of acne due mainly to a drop in your estrogen levels or an increase in the levels of androgen hormones such as testosterone.
Women can also get menopausal acne despite their use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for relieving menopausal symptoms.
This happens because some HRTs employ a surge of hormone progestin that serves to replace the estrogen and progesterone which your body loses.
The influx of hormones into your system dramatically makes your skin literally explode with acne breakouts.
For most menopausal acne cases, it’s possible to use prescription treatment to treat and dissipate menopausal acne.
Some women may opt to use other methods both natural and traditional to treat their menopausal acne but you are advised its better to talk to your doctor to find the most suitable option for you.
Traditional medications for hormonal acne
Your hormonal acne has to be mild, otherwise it won’t benefit from the probing potency of over-the-counter (OTC) medications.
The main reason for the ineffectiveness of these medications is that hormonal acne typically take the form of cystic bumps that for deeply under the skin so they are out of range for the majority of topical treatments to have any effects on them.
On the other hand oral medications can do the trick by working from the inside outwards in an effort to balance out your hormones and return your skin back to its normal status.
These oral treatments can include oral contraceptives or birth control pills as well as anti-androgen drugs.
Using oral contraceptives
The main oral contraceptives that are used for the treatment of hormonal acne carry ethinyl estradiol together with one other of the following treatments:
All of these ingredients specifically target hormones that have the propensity to result in acne formation.
They can be very useful during peak moments in hormone levels, especially during ovulation times.
The only impediments against your ability to use oral contraceptives are that if you have a history of suffering from blood clots, breast cancer, or high blood pressure. Smoking is also another impediment to taking oral contraceptive medication.
The role of anti-androgen drug treatments
As a woman who is consistently on the lookout for effective treatment of hormonal acne, this section will serve your well.
The main function of anti-androgen drugs is to reduce the male hormone androgen in the body which both men and women carry in their body as natural hormone.
It’s a good hormone to have especially by men which gives them their male characteristic macho trait.
However, too much of it can directly to the occurrence of acne by its interference with your hair follicles that regulate skin cells and cause an increase in the production of oil in the skin,
One hormone stabilizing agent is spironolactone (Aldactone). While it’s mainly used for treating high blood pressure, it also has anti-androgen effects which prevents the production of more androgen and therefore stabilizes your hormone levels and of course acne.
Treatments of retinoid can be very effective in treating hormonal acne provided your acne is mild and there’s a variety of retinoid treatments.
They come in the forms of creams, lotions, liquids and gels and can be obtained over the counter and used on your mild acne condition.
If you want a prescription potent version of retinoid treatment you should consult your doctor or pharmacist first.
The reason is that a prescribed version of retinoid is the most effective way to keep your skin continuously free of infections.
A word of caution
If you are inclined to add topical retinoid to your traditional prescription treatment, you must ensure that you use sunscreen as retinoid topical treatments can increase the risk of sunburnt skin.
Getting infected with a condition like hormonal acne is anything but pleasing because by its very nature, it’s a discomforting, irksome and highly embarrassing position for teens and adults to be in at the very best of times. In this article we have attempted to bring to light for you, the main traditional treatments for hormonal acne and we sincerely believe that we’ve done it correctly so that you can take appropriate action when you need to,