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Ways to Prevent Menstrual Acne

Ways to Prevent Menstrual Acne Ways to Prevent Menstrual Acne Ways to Prevent Menstrual Acne

Hormone fluctuations, when associated with the menstrual cycle, can cause the body to produce excessive amounts of oil. All types of acne, including blackheads, whiteheads, and cysts occur when the oil becomes trapped along with dead skin and bacteria. Acne can be painful and difficult to hide. Fortunately there are many ways to both treat and prevent it.

Birth Control Pills

According to the Women’s Health website, birth control pills can help prevent menstrual related acne. During menstruation, the body increases the levels of androgen hormones. These hormones overstimulate the oil glands, causing them to produce excess oil. Birth control pills lower the amount of androgen hormones, slowing down oil production. Although this method is effective, birth control pills don’t come without side effects. Nausea, depression, headaches and depression are all associated with oral contraceptives. Be sure to discuss any complications with a physician.

Topical Medications

The Mayo Clinic recommends using over-the-counter acne medications to help control excess oil—especially as menstruation approaches. Acne gels and lotions work by killing bacteria, drying up oil and sloughing away dead skin cells. These medications are usually mild and often improve the skin’s appearance with repeated use. Look for a treatment containing sulfur, benzoyl peroxide, lactic acid or salicylic acid as the active ingredient. Side effects, such as dryness, irritation and flaking, are usually temporary and disappear after about a month.

If over-the-counter products do not provide relief, a doctor can prescribe a prescription topical mediation such as tretinoin or adapalene. A combination of treatments, such as prescription-strength benzoyl peroxide and clindamycin, can be more effective.

Wash Regularly

Be sure to remove surface oil by cleansing your skin and hair often. The Women’s Health website suggests using a gentle facial cleanser twice a day, especially after hot weather or exercise. Avoid harsh scrubs, strong soaps or scrub pads. All can further irritate sensitive skin, making menstrual-related acne worse. Wash the entire face, including the jaw and hairline, where hormonal acne can erupt. In addition to the face, wash your hair regularly. Oily hair, when it touches the skin, can clog pores and trigger acne.

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