Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

How to Fight Hormonal Acne

How to Fight Hormonal Acne How to Fight Hormonal Acne

Overview

Hormones can affect oil gland production and other factors that contribute to acne. Androgens, or the male hormones present in both sexes, can over-stimulate both oil glands and skin hair follicles, leading to acne flare-ups. Women are more likely to suffer adult acne than men after the age of 20. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) reports that more that 50 percent of women between ages 20 and 29 and more than 25 percent of women between ages 40 and 49 suffer adult acne. Hormonal therapy can help some of these women fight acne, according to the AAD.

Step 1

Get screened by your doctor or dermatologist to see if you are a good candidate for hormonal therapy. Bring your health history and information about any drugs you are taking. Hormonal therapies, such as combination oral contraceptives, can increase risks associated with some medications, so this must be considered before any contraceptives are prescribed, according to the AAD. The health care provider also must consider risk associated with numerous health history factors, including previous heart attack, breast cancer, stroke, high blood pressure or migraines.

Step 2

Gain a prescription for hormonal therapy if you are a good candidate. You may be prescribed combination oral contraceptives, anti-androgen medications, or both. Contraceptives can help treat inflammatory acne, such as pustules, as well as blackheads and whiteheads, which are considered non-inflammatory. Anti-androgen medications that reduce activity of testosterone include dutasteride, spironolactone and flutamide.

Step 3

Choose one of the three estrogen/progestin combination oral contraceptive pills approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat acne along with your health care provider, recommends to the Mayo Clinic. They are ethinyl estradiol combined with drospirenone, known as Yaz; ethinyl estradiol combined with norgestimate, called Ortho Tri-Cyclen; and ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone, commonly known as Estrostep.

Step 4

Ask your health care professional about adding topical retinoids to your regimen. Women who use retinoids in combination with hormone therapy have the best results, according to a report by dermatologist Bethanee J. Schlosser, M.D., director of the Women's Skin Health Program at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

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