Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

Hormonal Acne Treatment how does that work?

Hormonal Acne Treatment – how does that work?

You may have heard that hormone imbalances can be a major instigator of acne but do you know why and how? More importantly what can you do about it?

You may have heard that hormone imbalances can be a major instigator of acne but do you know why and how? More importantly what can you do about it?

Your first question should be - do hormones really cause acne? The short answer is yes. Acne is commonly found in adolescents, teenagers, pregnant women and women during specific times of their menstrual cycle. It does not take a medical genius to identify changing hormones as the common denominator.

More specifically, it has been shown that hormonal acne is caused by androgens, which are primarily made up of testosterone but also include other hormones. Both men and adult women have testosterone although women normally have only about 10% of that found in men.

Although the above categories of acne sufferers could be considered 'normal', or at least understandable, there are many people in their 30's and even 40's who do not 'grow out of' teenage acne and continue to suffer in the same way due to hormone imbalance problems.

What Do Hormones Do?

Skin contains sebaceous glands which normally produce oil and 'clean' the pores Together with hair follicles, they make up what we commonly refer to as skin pores. The sebaceous gland responds to testosterone by making more oil and the hair follicle responds by growing hair that is longer, thicker and darker. The increased oil and increased hair size combines with dead skin cells to create blockages in the hair follicle that eventually result in acne.

As the oil cannot flow to the skin's surface and 'clean' the pores bacteria is allowed to flourish. The immune system then attacks the bacteria causing the redness, swellings and puss that are the classic spots and zits of acne.

Although an increase in hair growth is normal in young men it, unfortunately, also occurs with women's acne because the hormone change (i.e. the increase in testosterone) causes both conditions . The increased oil production normally occurs as soon as the hormone levels rise but the increase in hair growth may not occur for some months afterwards so acne can start well before the hair growth is seen.

Treatment

The most popular form of hormonal acne treatment for women is the birth control pill. This works by controlling progestin and estrogen ('female' hormones) to replace the testosterone. This in turn reduces the production of oil in the sebaceous glands and can be a very effective treatment. The obvious downside to this is that birth control pills cannot be taken by women who are, or wish to get pregnant. Even for those that can there are serious concerns over the use of these hormones in oral contraceptives.

Other hormonal acne treatments are primarily anti-androgen drugs or oral corticosteroids. These are suitable for men and possibly pregnant women or women who do not want to take oral contraceptives but they are known to have side effects including irregular periods, nausea, weight gain and thinning of the bones. Of course all these drugs will need a prescription from a doctor. Pregnant women should be extremely careful when considering any oral medication and should only do so on the advice of an appropriate medical expert.

These associated problems with conventional treatments are driving many people to look to a more natural hormonal acne treatment and many of these can be found on the internet. Now, with an understanding of the underlying causes, conventional treatments and their associated problems you should now be in a position to make an informed decision on the kind of treatments you need and are happy to use.

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