Although acne is common during puberty, many women also struggle with it in adulthood. This skin problem often affects the psyche and leads to a lack of self-confidence, increased stress and fear of being judged, thus impairing the quality of life. Unfortunately, we encounter acne more and more often in adulthood, and the most common cause are hormones. More precisely, it is their fluctuation during the cycle, which has a great influence on the formation of acne.
There are certain clear signs by which you can assess that your acne is most likely hormonal:
They appear on the chin and jaw
Localization of your acne is key. Acne that appears primarily on the lower part of the face, the so-called U zone (jaw, chin, neck), while the rest of the face is generally clear, indicates a hormonal cause.
They always come back in the same places
Hormonal acne can appear once a month, very often in the same place where you have already experienced this problem, because there is still deep inflammation in the skin, which makes this skin area more sensitive to acne-causing hormones.
They appear regularly during PMS
During the menstrual cycle, hormone levels change all the time. It is precisely during PMS that the skin can look its worst. At that time the level of estrogen and progesterone lowers. Meanwhile, dominant testosterone converts dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which directly affects the sebaceous glands, causes increased secretion of sebum and, consequently, acne.
They manifest as painful cysts
As opposed to closed and open comedones (blackheads), your main problem is red papules. Hormonal acne tends to present itself as deeper bumps below the surface of the skin, last longer than a regular pimple and are often very uncomfortable and painful.
You are stressed
Stress stimulates the adrenal gland to produce the stress hormone - cortisol, the increased level of which also results in more intensive secretion of sebum. Sebum then accumulates in the pores and potentiates the onset of inflammatory acne. It’s a vicious circle. Stress being the cause only worsens acne and prolongs the treatment.
We talked about this problem with an expert, Dr. Dora Madiraca Glasović, a specialist in dermatovenerology from KBC Sestre milosrdnice in Zagreb:
"When we talk about hormonal acne, we usually mean adult acne in women that first appear after the age of 25 or persist after puberty. They are caused by an imbalance between estrogen and androgen hormones or hypersensitivity of receptors to androgens. They occur more often before menstrual bleeding, in women with polycystic ovary syndrome, during pregnancy or, for example, after quitting oral contraceptives. Inflammatory changes are most often present in the U area of the face. They often leave scarring and hyperpigmentation and have a significant impact on the quality of the patient’s life. The treatment of milder forms of hormonal acne is based on local treatments such as vitamin A derivatives, AHA/BHA acids, benzoyl peroxide and dermocosmetics intended for acne-prone skin. More severe forms require a multidisciplinary approach (dermatological, gynecological and endocrinological treatment) with systemic treatment with antiandrogen drugs such as spironolactone and oral contraceptives.
If you are struggling with this form of acne, remember that patience and persistence are key because there is no magic formula or treatment that will improve the condition overnight.”
SKINTEGRA ROUTINE RECOMMENDATIONS:
For starters, don't squeeze inflamed acne yourself. Choose gentle cleansing and moisturizing products that won't stress the skin and will help reduce the skin's inflammatory response. A good active ingredients to try are acids and retinoids that stimulate cell turnover and have anti-inflammatory properties. During the day, it is essential to protect the skin from UV radiation.
Cleansing with Amphibian gel: Gentle cleanser in gel form intended for all skin types. It removes impurities without drying or damaging the skin's protective barrier.
Hydration with Spectra Serum Emulsion: Light and emollient, fast-absorbing texture of Spectra is recommended for hydration, protection, renewal and soothing of irritated and inflamed skin.
Clarion for chemical exfoliation: A chemical peel in the form of a serum containing a combination of 2% salicylic and 4% glycolic acid, unclogs pores, reduces inflammation and is an ideal ally for combination and oily skin prone to (hormonal) acne problems. It can also be used as a local treatment on the acne itself on less oily skin types with adequate hydration.
Sun protection with Solar I: Light, fluid texture of this product provides high broad-spectrum protection, without feeling heavy and greasy on the skin.
Adequate cosmetics can help a lot with acne, reduce it, and keep it under control, but don't forget that in more severe cases, you need the help of a dermatologist, as well as additional advice from an endocrinologist and gynecologist that will help you find out if there is an internal problem that needs to be addressed.