Thursday, August 15, 2013

Hormonal Acne: Causes and Solutions

What Causes Hormonal Acne?

I've been struggling with hormonal acne for years, so I know how frustrating and persistent it can be.  Hormonal acne is caused by hormonal imbalances, which can be linked to a variety of causes.  Actually, one of the main reasons that teenagers are often plagued with acne is because of the hormonal fluctuations that are occurring during puberty and sexual maturation etc.  For many people the teenage acne phase ends once puberty ends, but for an unfortunate few, acne continues on into adulthood.  I suffered from severe acne during my teenage years, but I thought that it would eventually go away on it's own once I was out of the awkward teenage phase.  Well, I waited...and waited...and waited some more only to be disappointed when I hit my 25th birthday and was still struggling with acne and breakouts. 

When I turned 25 I swore of any harsh store bought acne product and went the all-natural route, which has had a HUGE improvement on my acne.  If I do end up using a store bought product I go for products meant specifically for sensitive skin and I always look at the ingredient list and go with the product with the least amount of ingredients as possible (and of course no harmful irritants). Although this has greatly improved my acne, it has not completely solved the problem.  Until you solve the hormonal imbalance that is causing acne, no product will completely eliminate your breakouts.  So, treating the cause of the hormonal imbalance is a must!

Hormonal acne typically appears in areas along the jawline, chin, cheeks, and temples (as shown in the photo).  It can even extend down the neck.  If you have tried everything to get rid of your acne but nothing seems to work, you may be suffering from hormonal acne.  To find out for sure you will need to see a physician who can do some blood work to determine whether or not you have any hormonal imbalances.  Based on my experiences a dermatologist typically doesn't focus on hormonal causes of acne, they tend to prescribe topical treatments that may help, but unless you get your hormones under control the acne will not completely go away.  So, if you have tried every product known to mankind and you still have acne, you might want to ask your doctor to check your hormones.  Hormonal acne is more than just skin-deep.  The cause of the acne lies on the inside, which cannot be addressed by simply putting a layer of benzoyl peroxide on your face.

A hormonal imbalance can be cause by a number of things.  Some common causes of hormonal imbalance can include high stress levels, food allergies or intolerance, birth control pills, and other environmental factors that can affect hormones within the body.  If you're an adult female with acne you might want to ask to be tested for Polycystic Ovary Syndrom (PCOS) which can cause acne and high levels of testosterone in females. 

Possible Solutions...

Seeking professional medical help is the first step in eliminating hormonal acne.  As previously mentioned, hormonal imbalances can be linked to a number of causal factors. Doctors can help pinpoint what is causing a hormonal imbalance and an appropriate treatment plan can then be implemented.

There are some products available that may help prevent hormonal fluctuations for females which can in turn help with hormonal acne.  One such product is MigreLief+M which helps to manage hormonal and blood sugar fluctuations in females by harnessing the power of several key supplements, like Chasteberry, biotin, and feverfew, which are all known to help level out hormones naturally.   

*If you decide to give MigreLief+M a try, click here for valuable coupons!

What worked for me...

To address my hormonal acne I decided to eliminate all dairy products from my diet.  Dairy products are full of hormones, which can throw of your body's natural hormone balance and cause breakouts.  In order to keep dairy cows producing milk they pump them full of hormones, which are then transferred to the milk and dairy products that we consume.  If you're suffering from hormonal acne, you might want to consider going dairy-free for a few months to see what effect it has on your acne. (Check out my blog post that focuses specifically on how dairy can cause acne)

In addition to cutting out dairy I also started taking Evening Primrose supplements.  Evening Primrose helps balance hormones naturally, which can help alleviate hormonal acne.  Evening Primrose is also great for hair, skin health and anti-aging, and alleviating premenstrual symptoms.  Read more about Evening Primrose here.

The combination of going dairy-free and taking EPO supplements has basically eliminated my hormonal acne.  I tend to get occasional breakouts, but they are typically linked to my stress levels.  I'm still working on lowering my stress levels, but that's a work in progress.  I've started exercising more, which is said to help lower stress levels.  (My idea of exercising is speed walking 2 need to run a marathon or anything!)  So far this has really helped, so if you have hormonal acne you may want to consider adding some light exercise to help lower stress levels.

If nothing seems to be working for your hormonal acne, you may want to further consult with a physician who can point you in the right direction.  Sometimes there's no easy fix for balancing hormones, but there are prescriptions and drugs that may be able to help which your doctor can help you with.

*Always consult your doctor prior to adding or eliminating any supplements to your diet.

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