Acne treatment Acne treatment

Help for Hormonal Acne

Help for Hormonal Acne Help for Hormonal Acne Help for Hormonal Acne

Acne is a common skin condition experienced by most people at some point in their lives. However, there are certain periods in your lifetime where you are at greater risk for developing acne. These periods revolve around hormones. Your hormones largely control the development and secretions of the sebacious glands in your skin. Sebacious glands produce a protective oil called sebum. When excess sebum oil is produced, it can combine with dead skin cells on your body to form clogs in your follicles, resulting in acne. Hormone related acne hits hardest during puberty, pregnancy and menopause, with different treatments available depending on the severity of the outbreak.

Salicylic Acid

Use an over-the-counter product containing salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is the first line of defense against hormonal acne. Salicylic acid is a keratolytic agent that works to prevent, as well as treat, acne outbreaks. After you apply the salicylic acid to your skin, the product goes to work breaking down the keratin proteins in the acne plug, clearing up current acne. When used on a regular basis, salicylic acid slows down the rate in which dead skin cells shed in the follicles, helping prevent acne from occurring in the future.

Prescription Products

Use prescription-strength products for more severe inflammatory cases of hormonal acne. When over-the-counter products containing salicylic acid not effective in treating hormonal acne, prescription products, such as antimicrobials (benzyol peroxide), antibiotics (erythromycin), corticosteroids or azelaic acid may be used for treatment. Antimicrobials and antibiotics are used to target and kill the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), which plays a part in acne inflammation and infection Corticosteroids are injected into acne lesions to reduce inflammation. Azelaic acid is used to treat a variety of acne causes including P. acnes, inflammation, and irregular skin cell shedding in the follicles.

Oral Contraceptives

Consider taking oral contraceptives. Though traditionally used to prevent pregnancy, the hormonal changes that oral contraceptives cause in the body, can also affect the sebacious glands. This effectively reduces the amount of oil the glands produce, acting as a long-term solution to hormonal acne outbreaks. Oral contraceptives are only effective on acne in women.


Isotretinoin is a popular acne treatment medication due to its ability to not only address excess sebum production, but also other contributing factors to acne formation, such as irregular skin cell shedding, bacteria and inflammation. Isotretinoin is an oral retinoid medication that is synthesized from vitamin A. Due to its abilities to cause severe birth defects, the Food and Drug Administration has designed a monitoring program, called iPLEDGE, to insure the safe use of the medication.

Laser Treatments

Laser treatments may also be used to treat hormonal acne. Laser treatment for acne involves using the heat energy of laser light to damage the sebacious glands in the skin. This alters the amount of sebum the glands produce. The less sebum there is present in the follicles and on the skin, the less material there is to form acne plugs.

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