Hormonal acne is simply acne which occurs when a woman’s hormone level changes. Generally, hormonal changes happen mostly during menopause, pregnancy and puberty. Hormone levels can affect the sebaceous glands, which is what causes acne. The sebaceous glands produce sebum, a natural oil that keeps the skin moisturized. The overproduction of sebum leads to clogged pores, and eventually to pimples and whiteheads.
In order to treat hormonal acne, you need to use certain hormonal acne treatments, which must be prescribed by your doctor. Some of these treatments are oral contraceptives, antibiotics, Accutane (a prescription treatment) and topical medication containing 5% hydrocortisone. These medications must be used as a part of your acne treatment option only after your doctor has advised you to do so. Accutane is not advisable for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
One of the most popular medications used in hormonal acne treatment is spironolactone. This is an antiandrogen, which means that it stops the conversion of testosterone into estrogen and DHT. The excess production of testosterone and DHT can lead to excess sebum production, which leads to acne. It is taken in tablet form and is usually taken on a daily basis. It can be applied directly to the acne lesions or taken orally with a meal. However, it must not be used in combination with any other medication.
The effects of spironolactone on hormonal acne are quite effective in reducing inflammation and relieving pain. The antiandrogen properties work by drying up the oil glands. They also cause the lesions to shrink because they inhibit the formation of new lesions. This medication can lead to mild stomach upsets. You should avoid taking this medication if you suffer from frequent stomach upsets, because it can make them worse.
Another medication used to treat hormonal acne is isotretinoin. This drug reduces the oil produced by the sebaceous glands, which clogs the pores. It is taken in tablet form and works by constricting the blood vessels, so that excess oil is not produced and causes pimples and whiteheads to appear. It should not be used in conjunction with other medications because it may cause skin sensitivity, especially to the rays of the sun.
If hormonal acne persists despite your efforts at oral medication, then your doctor will probably recommend topical retinoid therapy. This type of treatment consists of a cream that is applied topically to the affected area. It contains vitamin A, which helps prevent the production of sebum, which in turn leads to clogged pores. Topical retinoids have been shown to reduce the formation of blackheads and whiteheads, and they tell self-conscious people that they look just like everybody else.