Acne, the most frequent and perturbing skin disorder is mostly known to strike us at the onset of adolescence irrespective of sex, race, and origin. But nowadays it is not an unknown fact that this could also ravage our social life at any point of time between the age of 20 years and 40 years intermittently and even sometimes beyond that. Unfortunately for adult women the situation worsens when all of the standard acne medications fail to respond and such problems are mainly attributed to complicated hormonal acne.
Role of Hormones
It is believed that the presence of complex hormonal combination in female body and their erratic behavior during the onset of puberty as well as premenstrual period and pregnancy is the prime reason behind the sudden acne flare ups during adulthood.
As per the scientists of the American Academy of Dermatology and many other skin specialists male hormone androgen initiates hormonal acne in our pubertal as well as in adult stage. It is called male hormone even though it is present in both male and female body. At the beginning of puberty a surge in androgenic hormonal level in serum induces the oil glands (sebaceous glands) beneath the epidermal skin layer to secrete surplus body oil (sebum) through the narrow canals of pilosebaceous units.
The excess sebum, instead of reaching skin surface, clogs up hair follicles by getting mixed up with the heap of dead skin cells. The whole situation results in acne breakouts through out the skin surface. The presence of charred oil attracts skin dwelling Propionibacterium acnes bacteria to proliferate inside the blocked pores eventually turning them into severely inflamed acne lesions.
In case of males the level of androgen leaves off in their twenties which holds up the total process of acne formation and that is why the rate of adult acne in men is only ten percent and that is also not due to hormonal cause.
Unfortunately in female body the upsurge of androgens occurs during the premenstrual period and pregnancy causing severe acne problems which generally do not respond to traditional topical over-the-counter products and they need doctor’s advice and prescribed medicines with a proper regimen.
But how to understand that you have got hormonal acne that needs medical attention?
A Few Things to Look Out
You should look out for any of the following indications of hormonal imbalance, which causes acne breakouts:
1) If you have got acne first time during adulthood and never been diagnosed for this disease.
2) If acne flare ups reappeared long after it has been cleared up completely.
3) If it is not responding to any standard medications.
4) If your acne condition worsens during premenstrual days or pregnancy.
5) If you are bearing symptoms of hirsutism along with acne.
How to Treat Hormonal acne
It is not impossible to get rid of hormonal acne. A professional dermatologist could easily ascertain a suitable acne treatment based upon your nature of acne and other associated risk factors. The available treatment options are mainly categorized into three types:
Treatment with birth control pills: Doctors most often prescribe certain contraceptive pills to alleviate adult acne in women caused by hormonal fluctuation. These pills are prepared using two hormones: estrogen and progestin. Some pills also contain a combination of these two hormones.
Estrogen or ethinyl estradiol acts to control the production of androgen in female body which in turn cuts back the drive of oil glands which are responsible for the popping up of acne blemishes. Some useful progestins work like antiandrogenic agents which when used in the form of pills work in a similar fashion like estrogens to reduce the hormonal acne formation.
Treatment with oral corticosteroids: These antiinflammatory drugs are prescribed to suppress male hormone production and to mitigate intense inflammation in severe acne lesions.
Treatment with spironolactone: This drug is often prescribed in combination with birth control pills to adult women acne patients. The weak antiandrogenic effect of this drug is quite helpful in minimizing the premenstrual acne outbreaks.
Side Effects of This Hormonal acne
Hormonal therapy might welcome some mild to serious side effects. A few common side effects are nausea, weight gain, breast tenderness, headache, bone thinning, depression and mood swings, and irregularity of menstruation. If you face any of these side effects or any other discomfort while undergoing hormonal acne therapy please consult the concerned physician as early as possible so that he or she might help to put you on the right track of treatment in order to eradicate acne blemishes permanently.