How to Tell if Your Acne Is Hormonal

How to Tell if Your Acne Is Hormonal

Before you go cursing your face 'bumps', know that adult-onset hormonal acne is a common. Hormonal acne presents with painful red papules, pustules, and deep cysts on the lower face and the body. Typical areas of involvement include: 

  • Lower cheeks
  • Jawline
  • Chin
  • In between the brows 
  • Back
  • Chest
  • Shoulders

Signs Acne is Hormonal

Not everyone with hormonal acne has elevated testosterone, but having more than one of these symptoms makes this more likely. 

  • You are no longer in your teen years
  • Your acne first presented in adulthood
  • Your acne didn't respond to Isotretinoin
  • When you stopped taking birth control pills
  • You have polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Your acne flares with stress
  • During your menopause
  • During your menstrual cycle
  • During your pregnancy
  • You are on lactation (breastfeeding)
  • You’re seriously stressed :(

What can you do about it

  • Try out over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide or antiandrogen drugs 
  • Consider topical retinoids (Avoid retinoids if you're pregnant!)
  • Try cleanser with exfoliating salicylic or glycolic acid
  • Consider probiotics to control the microbiome and pH balance in the skin
  • Try foaming sulphur soap or clay mask to unclog your pores
  • Use non-comedogenic products 
  • Add zinc and phytoestrogens to your diet

Your best bet is talking to a dermatologist if you are:

  • Pregnant, or planning to get pregnant
  • Have particularly sensitive skin
  • Have hormonal acne that is more severe

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