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Hormonal acne – Causes, symptoms and treatment. What hormonal tests to perform?

What is hormonal acne? Quite often you hear this term, but what does it really mean and how does hormonal acne differ from other types of acne? Is there a cure for hormonal acne? You will find the answers to these and many other questions in this article.

Hormonal acne

Hormones and acne

Hormonal acne is a common form of acne vulgaris. It arises as a result of an increase or decrease in the concentration of certain hormones and is associated with the overproduction of sebum by the sebaceous glands. When the tubules leading to sebum secretion become clogged, painful pustules, papules and nodules appear on areas such as the face and décolleté. These symptoms can be attributed to hormonal imbalances, e.g. caused by increased levels of male sex hormones (androgens) – testosterone, dihydrotestosterone and androstenediol – or female sex hormones (estrogens).

Hormonal acne – the causes of formation

The main causes of hormonal acne are:

  • Hormonal disorders
  • Long-term stress
  • Improper skin care
  • Use of stimulants
  • Improper diet
  • Genetic factors
  • Excessive secretion of sebum and disorders of the sebaceous glands

Hormonal acne symptoms

Depending on the level of hormones, patients may have both inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne lesions at the same time. Common symptoms of hormonal acne include blackheads, blackheads and pimples with a tendency to leave red or purple marks after healing. During each relapse, one or more of these symptoms may occur, and their severity can be very different from person to person.

Under normal conditions, sebum lubricates the hair follicles and keeps them open, but if there is too much of it or if the follicle clogs with dead epidermis, pimples appear.

What hormonal tests for acne should be done?

For people with moderate to severe acne, it is important to find out the cause of this condition. This is a difficult task that requires a thorough medical examination. This means performing blood tests, which should be ordered by a dermatologist or endocrinologist. The most frequently tested are:

  • total testosterone
  • testosterone free
  • dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)
  • thyroid hormones
  • prolactin
  • follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
  • luteotropic hormone (LH)
  • insulin
Hormonal acne - hormonal tests

How to treat hormonal acne?

The first step in treating hormonal acne is to make sure that all the necessary nutrients are supplied to the body. Take a multivitamin with zinc and vitamin B3 every day. Zinc strengthens the immune system and accelerates healing, while vitamin B3 helps increase blood circulation around the skin and minimize sebum production. Consume fatty fish, such as salmon, twice a week, and choose natural oils, such as olive oil or coconut oil, instead of butter or margarine for cooking.

In addition, drink at least 10 glasses of water per day. Water keeps the skin supple and hydrates the body, preventing dehydration, which can increase susceptibility to breakouts. Drinking water also flushes toxins out of the body, which reduces their concentration in the bloodstream and makes them less likely to cause breakouts on the skin.

In addition to these daily activities, it is also worth using methods such as acne pills, dietary supplements and home remedies based on natural ingredients. The combination of all these methods will provide even more effective treatment, as well as quickly stop the development of acne.

Tablets for hormonal acne without a prescription

It is important that hormonal pills for acne act in a way that corrects the problem, and not just masks it. That is, they should contain a healthy dose of vitamin A, which is necessary for the self-regeneration of the skin, as well as vitamin B3 (niacinamide). Other active ingredients to look out for are arbutin and salicylic acid, which help control the growth of bacteria, and azelaic acid, which helps prevent sebum formation. Good quality over-the-counter tablets will prevent the formation of pimples and correct current pimples. They will also take care of the softness and smoothness of the skin. Examples of such dietary supplements are: Royal Skin 500, Zinamax, Nonacne.

Hormonal acne – natural treatment

Many people have found relief from hormonal acne by reaching for natural remedies. These agents either reduce the production of hormones that contribute to the formation of acne, or kill the bacteria that cause the formation of pimples. Some of the best natural remedies include:

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil, commonly used in the household, has antiseptic properties that kill bacteria and reduce inflammation in the pores. This is a good choice when it comes to killing bacteria and reducing inflammation without drying out the skin.


Oatmeal has exfoliating properties that help remove dead skin cells from the pores and bring relief from skin inflammation caused by acne.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a good choice when it comes to killing bacteria because it is high in nutrients.

Lemon juice

Lemon juice contains citric acid and vitamin C – two excellent ingredients for treating acne, as they act as astringents and antioxidants. Citric acid contained in lemon juice helps to remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals that damage healthy cells, which can cause irritation and inflammation.

Hormonal acne – a diet to follow

Treating hormonal acne involves avoiding anything that could cause hormonal fluctuations in your body. So if you’ve just started taking contraceptives, you should give up spicy foods and limit your caffeine intake. If you are going to start hormone replacement therapy, you should avoid any foods that may trigger a reaction of the digestive system. Acne can also be triggered by foods that we eat at certain times of the year – for example, many people begin to notice breakouts around menstruation due to hypersensitivity to dairy.

To prevent the appearance of hormonal acne, avoid foods with a high glycemic index (avoid processed carbohydrates), improve your sleep rhythm and exercise regularly. Also, be sure to check the ingredient list of all the products you use – some endocrine disrupting chemicals. However, you can not overdo it in your choices. Remember that the diet for hormonal acne must be properly balanced and provide the body with the necessary nutrients.