By Karyne Santiago
They usually appear in early adolescence, are undesirable, sometimes painful and almost always appear at the wrong time. But what is it that makes the famous “pimples” continue to appear in adulthood? We invite dermatologists Graziele Morais (CRM-SP 184839 | RQE 85647) and Laís Mutti (CRM-SP 144165 | RQE 42932) to clarify the various doubts about Hormonal Acne. Check out!
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What is hormonal acne?
According to Dr. Graziele Morais, the term “hormonal acne” refers to several types of acne that are directly or indirectly related to hormonal fluctuations. However, she explains that the term is used in a layman’s way. “The presence of acne is related, among other factors, to the activity of the sebaceous glands and the production of oil and this characteristic is related to the action of hormones, especially androgens (such as testosterone) on the skin”, says the doctor.
In addition, according to Dr. Laís Mutti, only 30% of patients who have acne after the age of 25 have any hormonal disorder detectable in a blood test, for example, but he points out that this “does not mean that hormones are not important in pathophysiology of acne ”. The dermatologist also explains that all types of acne can have hormonal influence, since the activity of the sebaceous gland depends on the relationship of the hormones: estrogen, which inhibits the function of the gland, and androgen, which stimulates its growth and function.
Among the causes of the appearance of hormonal acne, both experts point to the natural fluctuations in hormonal production during the stages of life, such as puberty, the menstrual period, pregnancy and menopause; food with a high glycemic index, with carbohydrates, sugars and dairy products; sleep deprivation; stress and smoking. “The skin reflects our state of mind and balance. In my view, a healthy diet, a well-functioning intestine, adequate sleep, water intake, physical activity and stress control do influence acne control, ”points out the dermatologist Graziele.
Types of hormonal acne
As stated by doctors earlier, when we talk about hormonal acne, we are talking about more than one type of acne. So we asked the doctors to explain briefly about each type. See below!
- Acne Vulgaris: this type of acne, according to dermatologist Graziele, affects adolescents, due to the increased production of androgen and estrogen hormones in this age group;
- Adult Woman Acne: in these cases, what occurs are hormonal oscillations related to the body of an adult woman, which can be due to either hormonal changes in the skin, or hormonal disorders that must be investigated by a specialist doctor. In addition, acne can worsen in premenstrual periods and even in menopause;
- Pregnancy Acne: this type of acne is linked to hormonal changes resulting from pregnancy, which cause the activity of the sebaceous glands to become more active, causing inflammation;
- Acne related to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: in these cases, acne is caused by the increase in androgen hormones, resulting from the syndrome that, as said by Dr. Laís previously, stimulates the function and growth of the sebaceous glands.
Experts also claim that, because it covers several types, hormonal acne is common. However, Laís explains the confusion that can occur with the term: “Acne associated with hormones in its etiopathogenesis is common! Genetic and hormonal factors are believed to contribute to adult acne pathogenesis. Acne with detectable hormonal changes does not ”.
Symptoms of hormonal acne
When we talk about symptoms, we talk about changes that arise in the body or body, whether or not they are the result of an illness. In this sense, the dermatologist Graziele explains to us that acne, as a body change, causes the following signs:
- Comedones, or “blackheads”, as they are commonly known, which can be white or black, when oxidized;
- Inflammatory papules, which are small elevations in the skin, red and inflamed;
- Pustules, when there is pus in the inflammations;
- Cysts and nodules in more severe cases.
In addition, Dr. Laís says that “the first studies showed that adult woman’s acne lesions were located mainly on the lower part of the face, including the mandibular, periodal and chin regions, with a U-shape, in addition to the anterior cervical region” . However, the dermatologist says that recently, this presentation was questioned.
With this information, it is understood that this type of acne is a symptom in itself, derived from hormonal changes that, as the experts said, may or may not be linked to pathological hormonal disorders. To investigate its causes and perform a good treatment, see a dermatologist.
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What to do to treat hormonal acne
Now that you know a little more about the causes of hormonal acne, you also need to understand how to treat it to prevent its onset and to prevent blemishes or scarring. About this, Dr. Laís comments that the treatment of this type of acne is challenging, since it has a tendency to return in certain periods. Dr. Graziele points out that it is necessary to have patience, because in addition to slow responses, acne can oscillate between improvement and worsening during treatment.
Graziele also states that the treatment involves an assessment of acne and its severity, in addition to laboratory tests to investigate pathological hormonal disorders, and that because of this, it often needs to be multidisciplinary, with a dermatologist, gynecologist and nutrologist, since it has different causes .
Both experts agree that home treatments against hormonal acne are not effective, and point out that this type of treatment can cause or worsen scars and blemishes. However, the dermatologists told about some special care that must be taken with acneic skins.
- Skin care routine: one of the main cares for acneic skin is hygiene. The famous “skincare”, if done correctly and with the use of specific products for your skin type, can assist in cleaning, hydrating and skin care of the face. According to Dr. Graziele “since the soap in use, the sunscreen … must be suitable for this type of skin so as not to make acne worse”. In this type of treatment, products such as facial soaps, hyaluronic acid, a good facial moisturizer and sunscreen are essential;
- Drug treatment: of topical or oral use, medications are usually part of this treatment. According to Laís, depending on the cause and degree of acne, medications such as antibiotics, some types of contraceptives, isotretinoin (commonly known as Roacutan) and even treatment with hormones can be indicated by a dermatologist;
- Dermatological treatment: in some cases, a dermatologist may recommend skin cleaning with comedone extraction and / or pustule drainage, as well as laser and other aesthetic procedures for the treatment of scars and blemishes.
The doctors also claim that good nutrition, water intake, physical exercise, hygiene and correct skin protection are essential to improve and prevent acne. Both also emphasize the importance of not poking or squeezing pimples to avoid scarring.
Taking care of the skin is a task that requires a lot of attention, affection and care. Speaking of which, how about learning some great skincare tips to start this self-care process? Check out the article by clicking on the link!
The information on this page is for information purposes only. They are not a substitute for advice and support from doctors, nutritionists, psychologists, physical education professionals and other specialists.