Hormones can cause acne breakouts. Using over-the-counter topical remedies for hormonal acne is fruitless because the source of the acne is not being treated. Individuals suffering from hormone imbalance acne have an increase of androgens, a hormone in the system causing excessive oil production. The key to getting rid of acne caused by hormones is to treat the androgens, not the skin.
Hormonal imbalances occur when there is an overproduction or underproduction of specific hormones. Symptoms of hormonal imbalances include acne, depression, reproductive problems, weight gain or loss and fatigue. Doctors treat these conditions with prescription medications.
Prescription medications for consideration when treating hormonal acne include low dose estrogen birth control pills, low dose corticosteroids drugs, and antiandrogen drugs.
An example of a low dose estrogen birth control pill would be Lo-Overal and Yasmin. Birth control pills help regulate the menstrual cycle and decrease the amount of androgens in the body which lead to less frequent breakouts. Women taking birth control during their childbearing years have often attested to the benefits of acne cessation while using birth control pills.
An example of a corticosteroid drug used for acne treatment would be dexamethasone which may have an antinflammatory affect on the adrenal glands which produce androgens. Again, this is a prescription drug that can only be obtained from a doctor.
Finally, spironolactone is an example of an antiandrogen which halts the production of androgen in the ovaries and adrenal glands which in turn turns down the oil production in the skin. The results are fewer acne flares.
The options are numerous for women suffering with hormonal acne from topical creams, oral antibiotics, retinoids and antimicrobial treatments. For the more severe types of cystic breakouts, Accutane can be used, which can drastically clear up the worst cystic acne in a matter of weeks with a strict regimen of daily treatment, and some have called Accutane an acne “cure.”
Another medication that may be prescribed in conjunction with an oral contraceptive is spironolactone, an anti-androgen. Spironolactone prevents excessive oil production by blocking androgen receptors and decreasing androgen production in both the ovaries and adrenal glands. This leads to decreased acne breakouts.
When it comes to acne, women can benefit from several different methods when hormone imbalance acne is involved. It just takes a little bit of time and patience to find what works for each individual on a case-by-case basis.