Hormonal Acne 101


I have been encountering hormonal acne more and more lately. A lot of people think acne is a teenage condition and one shouldn't be dealing with it as an adult. Yet 65% of clients in our acne practice are in their 20's and 30's. That's a pretty big number!
What is hormonal acne? 

While all types of acne are triggered by hormones to some extent, the hormonal acne I'm referring to, is the one that appears quickly, in batches of large and painful cysts that are deep and non-extractable. It gravitates toward the chin, jaw and neck area and it takes FOREVER for the cysts to go away. Many times, it comes together with oily scalp, head hair loss and excessive hair growth in unusual body areas.

How do we control it? 

1. We treat the root cause, which is fluctuation in your hormones. When your androgen /male/ hormones are elevated, your pores produce excessive amounts of oil, which inflate your follicles, hence the overnight cysts. There are several things to keep your male hormones at bay naturally: 

  • Avoid or reduce androgenic foods - dairy, peanut products, salty foods, iodized salt, seaweed, whey and casein etc. There are some drugs and birth control pills that also trigger acne. 
  • Add a lot of plants to your diet. I'm not suggesting anything extreme, but just make sure a huge part of your food intake is live plants. I have been really into raw juices lately. I try to drink at least 2 per day and it definitely has made my skin more radiant. It also makes me feel more energetic and focused throughout my day. Our esthetician Maxine introduced me to Raw Generation Juices and I have been ordering them for months. Cold pressed, affordable and delicious. They also have raw soups now, which are just yummy. Tip: They currently have 70% off !!!
  • Supplements - I have found out 4 supplements to be the most helpful for hormonal acne. In the mornings I take Probiotics and Pantothenic Acid. In the evenings I take Fish Oil and Zinc. In combination these supplements work miracles. They reduce oil production, keep your gut healthy , bring inflammation down and regulate your hormones. Turmeric tea is also a great addition to the mix.

2. We manage the symptoms. Regardless of the trigger, acne lesions always form the same way - pores get clogged up by extra dead skin cells and oils. That process forms blackheads and whiteheads. When bacteria gets stuck in a clogged pore , it turns it into an inflamed pimple. Several things need to be done: 

3. Reduce your stress. The Mind Body connection is a real thing. Stress elevates your adrenaline and cortisone levels, which subsequently affects the rest of your hormones and your skin. Personally I use a free app Calm for short daily guided meditations. It's worked miracles for me.

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