Research in Clinical Dermatology

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Rapid Communication - Research in Clinical Dermatology (2023) Volume 6, Issue 5

Understanding Hormonal Acne: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Jenni Salarno *

Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada

*Corresponding Author:
Jenni Salarno
Department of Family Medicine
McMaster University

Received: 22-Aug -2023, Manuscript No AARCD-23- 112896; Editor assigned: 23- Aug -2023, PreQC No. AARCD-23- 112896 (PQ); Reviewed: 07- Sep-2023, QC No. AARCD-23- 112896; Revised: 14- Sep -2023, Manuscript No. AARCD-23- 112896 (R); Published: 25- Sep -2023, DOI: 10.35841/aarcd-6.5.166

Citation: Salarno J. Understanding hormonal acne: Causes, symptoms, and treatment. Res Clin Dermatol. 2023;6(5): 166

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Acne is a common skin condition that affects people of all ages, but one particular subtype often wreaks havoc on the skin, especially among adolescents and adults: hormonal acne. Unlike regular acne, which can be triggered by a variety of factors, hormonal acne is primarily driven by hormonal imbalances within the body. In this article, we will delve into the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for hormonal acne to help you better understand and manage this frustrating skin issue. Hormonal acne, as the name suggests, is closely tied to fluctuations in hormones, specifically androgens. Androgens are male hormones that are present in both men and women, but higher levels of these hormones can lead to increased oil production in the skin's sebaceous glands. This excess oil, along with the shedding of skin cells, can clog hair follicles, creating an ideal environment for acne bacteria to thrive [1].

Adolescents often experience hormonal fluctuations during puberty, which can lead to the development of acne. This is particularly common in teenagers due to surges in androgen production. Women often experience hormonal fluctuations during their menstrual cycles, with the most common time for hormonal acne flare-ups being the days leading up to and during menstruation. This is often referred to as "premenstrual acne. "PCOS is a hormonal disorder that affects women and can lead to an overproduction of androgens, causing persistent hormonal acne. Certain hormonal birth control methods can either worsen or improve acne, depending on their specific hormonal makeup. Some can help regulate hormones and reduce acne, while others may exacerbate the condition. Deep, Painful Lesions: Hormonal acne tends to produce larger, more painful pimples, commonly referred to as cysts or nodules. These can be deeply embedded in the skin and take longer to heal. While acne can occur on various parts of the face and body, hormonal acne often concentrates around the jawline, chin, and neck. Hormonal acne is known for its cyclical nature. Many individuals with hormonal acne notice that their breakouts worsen around the same time each month or during specific hormonal fluctuations [2].

Over-the-counter or prescription topical treatments containing ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or retinoids can help clear acne lesions and prevent new ones from forming. Prescription-strength retinoids, such as tretinoin, may be more effective for severe cases. Hormonal birth control pills that contain a combination of estrogen and progestin can help regulate hormonal fluctuations and reduce acne in some women. However, not all birth control methods have the same effect, so it's essential to discuss options with a healthcare provider. For individuals with severe hormonal acne, anti-androgen medications like spironolactone may be prescribed. These medications block the effects of androgens, reducing oil production and preventing acne [3].

Oral antibiotics, such as doxycycline or minocycline, are sometimes prescribed to reduce inflammation and control bacterial growth in moderate to severe cases of hormonal acne. However, long-term antibiotic use is generally discouraged due to concerns about antibiotic resistance. Isotretinoin, also known as Accutane, is a potent oral medication used to treat severe acne, including hormonal acne. It works by reducing oil production and shrinking sebaceous glands but comes with potential side effects and should only be used under close medical supervision [4].

Maintaining a consistent skincare routine with gentle cleansers and non-comedogenic moisturizers can help manage acne. Avoiding excessive touching of the face, picking at pimples, and using oil-free makeup products can also prevent further irritation. Some individuals find that certain dietary changes, such as reducing dairy or high-glycemic foods, can improve their hormonal acne. While more research is needed in this area, it may be worth experimenting with dietary modifications under the guidance of a healthcare provider [5].


Hormonal acne can be a frustrating and challenging skin condition to manage, but understanding its causes and available treatment options can help individuals effectively control and reduce breakouts. If you suspect you have hormonal acne, it's essential to consult a dermatologist or healthcare provider who can provide personalized guidance and recommend the most appropriate treatment plan for your specific situation. With the right approach, many people can successfully manage hormonal acne and enjoy clearer, healthier skin.


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