Although it is usually associated with hormonal changes during puberty, hormonal acne may affect adult men as well. It is especially common among women. Some contributing factors may include menopause and menstruation. It can also affect adults with other underlying medical conditions as well. Hormonal acne is a very common condition, but understanding how it works and what one should do when it strikes can help prevent future outbreaks and possible treatments for this annoying and often embarrassing problem.
Hormonal acne occurs when the levels of several hormones in the body suddenly change. For most adults it is due to the regular changes that occur as the body undergoes hormonal changes throughout life. As men and women enter their mid to late twenties, their bodies go through significant hormonal fluctuations. The ovaries release estrogen and progesterone, while the adrenal glands produce adrenaline, which helps fight off infections and control other hormones.
Many people who have hormonal acne go through a series of intense flare ups and breakouts between periods in which the level of these hormones in the body fluctuates dangerously. During this time, pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, and nodules can form, often without any obvious source of irritation. The good news is that hormonal acne is not a long term skin condition, and the good news is that it can be treated effectively and safely. If you are an adult experiencing this skin condition for the first time, it is recommended that you visit a dermatologist for an evaluation and treatment recommendation.
The causes of hormonal acne are complex and involve both bacteria and hormones. While bacteria are typically found on the skin’s surface, if acne occurs because of clogged pores or excess oil production, it is usually caused by acne bacteria. On the other hand, excess hormones that cause hormonal acne are usually the result of another condition, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome, or some other hormonal imbalance. Bacteria and hormones are drawn together by a substance called sebum, which is made by the sebaceous glands located in the hair follicles. This can be irritated by various conditions, including stress and oily skin care products, and the hormonal acne is a by-product of this reaction.
The most common cause of hormonal acne is the imbalance of one major hormone, namely testosterone, which is also known as the male hormone. Testosterone and other hormones play many roles in the body, including regulating and controlling the menstrual cycle and helping to shape the developing fetus. As males age, they produce less testosterone, which can play a role in the skin in the same way that excessive hair oil can. Therefore, it is not uncommon for older men to experience acne outbreaks as a side effect of taking testosterone and other hormones for various reasons.
For many teens and adults with hormonal acne, there is little that can be done to treat the acne except for avoiding certain products that exacerbate the hormonal acne. Some adults and teens with hormonal acne have been able to control the acne by taking supplements that contain specific ingredients that balance the levels of the various hormones in the body. Although it can be difficult to do so without first consulting with a doctor, a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle can help balance out the hormones and prevent acne from reoccurring.