How to Clear Hormonal Acne: 3 Steps to a Clearer Face Today!
Hormonal Acne: An Introduction
Hormonal acne is the persistent reappearance of pimples and blackheads due to fluctuating hormone levels in your body or a hormone problem, but it is possible to learn how to clear hormonal acne permanently. Acne that lasts into a person's twenties and thirties is usually caused by unnatural hormone levels.
Hormonal acne is usually caused by excessive androgens, especially testosterone, in the body. Among other things, a female having too much testosterone can also cause unusual body hair growth, as well as pimply skin, so it's best to treat this condition as soon as possible.
Here is a 5-step plan for learning how to clear hormonal acne and getting started on a permanent cure for pimples today.
Step 1: Are You Making It Worse?
You've probably heard that chocolate, fatty foods, or lack of exercises, among others, can cause acne. Hopefully, you've also heard that's not true. With the exception of topical and oral medicine, there is nothing you can do to cure acne on your own.
However, there is a lot that you could be doing to make your hormonal acne worse.
- If you use makeup, make sure it says non-comedogenic on it, meaning it won't clog your pores.
- Don't dry out your skin excessively. Putting astringent or rubbing alcohol on your skin might make it feel nice and dry, but all this does is stimulate your pores to produce even more oil to make up for this dryness.
- Be gentle with your skin. It make seem tough (your acne is certainly resistant), but your skin is actually inflamed and especially delicate with acne. You need to use a gentle cleanser, like Cetaphil, and gently pat it dry after cleaning.
- After washing it, rub a non-comedogenic lotion lightly onto your face. Think of it as adding moisture under your own terms, not the oily, pimple-producing moisture your face will produce if you don't keep it moist enough.
Step 2: Hormone Testing
You can skip this step if you're really low on money, but a trip to the endocrinologist will tell you exactly what hormones are unbalanced in your body, and they can tailor a solution to your exact situation.
- You may be prescribed oral contraceptives or a testosterone-blocking medication to protect your oil glands and regulate your hormone levels. With health insurance, these prescriptions should not cost you more than $20-30 a month.
- You should make sure the doctor has experience working with acne. If you can't find an endocrinologist with the proper expertise, contact gynecologists, too.
- No acne medication can magically stop a current breakout, and hormone treatments are no exception. Instead, they work to prevent future breakouts, and thus you will need to be patient to see visible results.
It's important to note that these are moderate to long-term solutions, and it takes several weeks after beginning a new regimen to see changes and clear hormonal acne. On that same note, you should expect to continue these medications for several years, if not longer, to see permanent changes.
Step 3: Topical Treatment of Hormonal Acne
To clear your skin with over-the-counter medications, your absolute best bet is a low concentration of benzoyl peroxide cream, an anti-bacterial cream that you should apply daily or every other day. You can use BP with other hormonal treatments or instead of them. You can get a tube from your drugstore, preferably in a 2.5% concentration.
- There are higher concentration available, but these will dry your skin excessively without providing any more acne-preventing benefit. As it is, you should wear sunscreen and be gentle with your skin while you are on benzoyl peroxide.
- Redness and irritation are the two major side effects of BP, but you can diminish these problems by gradually increasing the amount you put on your face, as well as how often you put it on, working from a couple of hours every third day to overnight daily.
If this treatment doesn't work for you, I'd recommend stopping by a dermatologist and getting a prescription for Retin-A or Differen, both highly effective topical creams that work to control and un-clog your skin cells. For more on moderate acne treatments, you can read this "Female Acne and Hormones" guide.
If you're still struggling with significant hormonal acne, and you're already on hormone-regulating medication, you may need isotretinoin, or Accutane, to cure your acne. If you haven't visited an endocrinologist yet, now is the time. The oral contraceptives they prescribe you may have the double benefit of regulating your hormone levels as well as improving your acne.
- Accutane is a potent drug that has many potentially serious side effects, as well as being very expensive and difficult to convince health insurance providers to cover. There are some dermatologists who will prescribe you isotretinoin without having tried oral contraceptives to control your acne, but many will want you to give birth control pills a chance first.
- Considering the fact that an informed endocrinologist will probably recommend an oral contraceptive, too, you may want to skip the dermatologist for the time being and take the birth control pills they recommend.
Do-It-Yourself Hormonal Acne Treatment
Final Thoughts: How to Clear Hormonal Acne
For acne that fluctuates with your hormones, your best bet to learn how to clear hormonal acne is to seek treatment from a doctor, whether that is an endocrinologist, a dermatologist, or a gynecologist. Natural treatments and over-the-counter medications, along with proper skin care, can provide substantial relief from acne, but a permanent cure will probably need to come in the form of hormonal regulation to treat the cause and not just the symptoms.