Female Hormonal Acne

Female Hormonal Acne

As a general rule, women's hormones tend to fluctuate more than men's, which helps explain why acne in women tends to be less constant and more erratic than acne in men. More than half of all adult women experience at least occasional breakouts. Approximately 60-70% of women battle with acne experience premenstrual flare-ups. Acne can occur throughout a woman's adult life: in early adulthood, in the late twenties and thirties, during pregnancy, and during menopause. While female adult acne can be frustrating to deal with, it can be prevented and effectively treated.


Acne is an androgenic disorder. In other words, the effects of hormones called androgens set off acne. Testosterone generally plays the biggest role in acne. Men and women both produce testosterone. The testosterone stimulates the sebaceous (oil-making) glands in the skin. However, when excess testosterone stimulates too much oil production, pores will clog and trap the oil inside. Bacteria begin to grow in the trapped oil, causing the body's immune system to respond. At that point, the immune system responses thus causing the redness, swelling, pus-like fluid and scarring that are associated with acne.


Puberty is the most notable time acne flares up. As you enter adolescence, increased amounts of hormones begin surging through your body. While girls will experience heightened levels of estrogens, they will also experience a boost in androgens as boys do. It is believed these androgens are mostly responsible for the appearance of hormonal acne.


In some cases, an underlying condition may not be to blame, but a simple hormone imbalance could cause unexpected acne breakouts. Women with very oily skin, breakout often and show signs of other hormonal problems like irregular periods and increased body hair in women. They should consult with their physician and have their hormonal levels tested.


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