Hormonal acne is an interesting phrase, because so often acne is at least partly caused by hormonal fluctuations, which means that, in a very real sense, acne can very often be categorized as "hormonal acne." Acne can flare at any time, but people are particularly susceptible to it during certain phases of life, including, and perhaps most famously, during puberty (and adolescence in general).
However, adult acne is also increasingly common, and much like adolescent acne, it is essentially hormonal in nature. Generally speaking, adult women tend to be more vulnerable to hormonal acne than adult men, but men can certainly experience it as well.
Of course, women go through several different hormonal stages in their lives, starting with menses (the onset of menstruation), followed by many years of menstruation, perhaps a pregnancy or multiple pregnancies, perimenopause, and finally, menopause. Any or all of these new phases can change a woman's hormonal balance yet again and cause her acne to flare anew.
Some women (and men) experiencing hormonal acne find that over the counter topical treatments, such as ointments and cleansers containing benzoyl peroxide and/or glycolic acid, provide them with all the acne relief they need.
Aleve is an over the counter medication that has been found to alleviate premenstrual acne and menstrual acne in many women because of the anti-inflammatory effect that it has on a person's entire system. However, Aleve (which contains Naproxen) is an NSAID medication, which means that it is not safe for everyone to take. (For instance, people who are allergic to aspirin should not take Aleve.)
When battling hormonal acne, a significant number of women find that when they take a low-estrogen version of the birth control pill, such as YAZ (also known as Yasmin), this goes a long way toward alleviating their adult acne. However, this is not the right solution for all women. For instance, what if a woman is trying to get pregnant? Or what if the idea of taking the Pill does not correspond with her particular religious beliefs? Or what if she is at risk for experiencing some of the physical side effects associated with taking the Pill? As you can see, while the Pill provides an effective solution to the problem of hormonal acne for many women, it is not the right choice for everyone.
Many women visit a dermatologist to get rid of hormonal acne. Some prescription acne treatments include Differin, antibiotics (such as Tetracycline), and Accutane. All three of these treatments work well for some (though again, not all) acne sufferers. And each has potential side effects. For instance, some Differin users report dryness and skin peeling. Also, doctors are not as quick to prescribe antibiotics (such as Tetracycline) as they used to be, because they don't want their patients to develop a resistance to them. Accutane, which can be enormously effective in the treatment of hormonal acne, may also cause some very serious side effects in some patients, including birth defects and/or suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
Tips & Warnings
- What's important to remember about hormonal acne and each of these various acne treatments is that what works for one person may not work well for another. Also, as you can see, each treatment has its pros and cons. But the good news is that there are many different options to consider (and to research further) when on a quest for relief from hormonal acne.
- Photo Credit krystle at Morguefile.com
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