Hormonal Acne... What The Flip Is It?
You’re either a fibber or just very lucky if you managed to escape the awkward years of teenage acne. Just the odd spot, or like myself, a face looking like a legitimate dot-to-dot. Spots are just a part of growing up, however, for many of us, we do not out-grow them.
You thought acne was locked away far back into your memory, alongside that questionable seventeen blue eye-shadow paired with glitter liquid liner, right behind all those uncomfortable flashbacks of your awkward teenage self that make you quiver. But, unfortunately for some of us, well statistically, 50% of people in their twenties and 25% of people in their thirties suffer from hormonal acne. Speaking for myself here; hormonal acne can be confidence eradicating. It’s almost hard to see yourself as an adult if you’re still being plagued with the same spots you had when your only obstacle in life was the boy in the year above not being aware of your existence.
Let’s do a little quiz, to determine whether you’re a part of the hormonal acne girl squad. A far better “squad” than Taylor Swift could even dream of. She is quaking in her boots.
- Are your spots appearing in the same areas of the face? You can normally expect hormonal acne to arise in places such as the chin, cheeks and jawline as well as the temple - in contrast to teenage acne, which tends to be around the t-zone area.
- Are your spots at the same time of the month?
- Would you go as far as to say your spots are cystic and seriously bloody hurt?
If you’ve answered yes to all three questions: welcome to the team.
So, what actually is hormonal acne? Hormonal acne is caused by hormonal imbalances, just like in teenage acne, however this time around instead of it occurring due to puberty (#tbt to that, eh!), and maturing sexually, hormonal acne is due to male hormones. This rascal of a hormone - Androgen is found in both male and females, and is normally a factor for the acne. If this little devil is imbalanced on either side of the spectrum it can then stimulate the oil glands, leading to more sebum production. This imbalance can be for a plethora of reasons, including stress levels, birth control pills, or intolerance to foods.
Remember when we used to run and grab the ‘Sudocreme’ (cringe!) from the bathroom cabinet and smother our faces in the stuff?! Yeah, let’s not do that anymore. It has been suggested that the first step is to always go to your doctors to get your hormone balance read. Hormonal testing can then specifically check for any problems. It is also suggested to get blood sugar level checks, as well as a cortisol check. Your doctor may also suggest birth control - as oral contraceptives can do a great job of clearing acne, but what you can do first of all, is tick the following list off…
- Wash your face every AM and PM, without fail (ugh, I know right?!).
- Change your pillow cases often.
- Drink plenty of water and avoid sugar as much as you can.
- Try to keep stress to a minimum (channeling our inner Buddha’s as we speak!).
- DO NOT PICK OR SQUEEZE! Keep your little mittens away, as tempting as it is.