Hormonal acne is exactly what it sounds like – acne caused by an imbalance in our hormones. If you have passed the age of puberty and are still getting acne, it might still very well be caused by a hormonal imbalance. Because hormonal acne is not just for teenagers!
After my 18th birthday I thought, “I made it through!” After my 25th birthday I hoped, “It will end soon!” After my 29th birthday I started looking for reasons why my skin was still breaking out. A good friend of mine told me, “Go and check your hormones!” She was totally right. A hormonal imbalance was one of the reasons I was getting heavy breakouts around my mouth area.
What is hormonal acne and who can get it?
Hormonal acne most commonly appears in adult women after puberty. Not only age, but also genetics can determine when hormonal breakouts start and stop. It means that some of us are less lucky than others. Moreover, hormonal acne can raise its ugly head at any age. Add overproduction of oil, bacteria, dead cells, impurities and the wrong skincare routine, and there you have it – hormonal acne madness!
What is the role of androgens?
Androgens, commonly thought of as male sex hormones, are also found in women at lower levels. Androgens stimulate sebum (skin’s oil) production, which (as we know!) plays a significant role in acne formation. If you are preparing for your dermatology appointment, you probably want to write these two names down – dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and testosterone. These two hormones are known as the “classic” acne-causing hormones, because they are the major androgens that can boost sebum production. Ask your dermatologist about them.
Everything is a bit more complicated…
Having acne certainly does not mean that your DHT and testosterone levels are abnormal. They can be normal. Here is the most complicated part: Other hormones can be involved too (please read this article if you are interested).
What do we know for sure? Acne sucks, a variety of sources can cause it and everything starts with clogged pores! But if you are still suffering from acne post-puberty, it may be worth having your hormone levels checked.