About AOA

The joys of motherhood are never fully experienced until all the children are in bed.
- Unknown

 

Adult Acne and Hormones

Adult Acne and Hormones Dermatologists estimate that as many as 30% of women between the ages of 20 and 65 experience breakouts. Your skin has very small exocrine glands that produce an oily substance called sebum. Sebum lubricates and protects the skin. When the exocrine glands overproduce sebum, it can build up, clog pores, and cause a variety of skin problems, including acne.

Hormonal imbalances caused by puberty, monthly menstrual cycles, pregnancy, peri-menopause and menopause can trigger overproduction of sebum. Androgens, the male hormones present in both men and women, can contribute to acne flares by over stimulating these glands and altering the development of skin cells that line hair follicles in the skin. While the majority of women with acne have normal androgen levels, hormonal testing is recommended for females who have acne accompanied by excess facial or body hair, deepening voice, or irregular or infrequent menstrual periods.

Acne therapy must be adapted to a patient’s specific type and severity of acne. The first line of treatment is often topical retinoids, which are medications that contain vitamin A derivatives.

Oral contraceptives also can be very effective in controlling acne flare ups, but you should speak to your AOA doctor about possible contraindications, including a history of breast cancer; heart attack, stroke or blood clots; uncontrolled high blood pressure; and abnormal vaginal bleeding.

And keep in mind that many treatments, both topical and oral, are not recommended for women who are pregnant or trying to conceive.

Some basic skin routines are important in combating acne.

  • Use a gentle cleanser such as Cetaphil
  • Use your hands to wash your face – not a washcloth. It can be too abrasive.
  • Don’t overscrub your face – use gentle motion and don’t spend more than a minute or two washing
  • Use lukewarm water (hot water dries your skin)
  • Rinse and gently pat your face dry

When it comes to acne, there is a good chance that treatment will be successful, but it’s not a quick fix. Usually a patient will have to stick to a regimen for eight to 10 weeks to see any improvement, and in many cases maintenance therapy may be necessary for long-term results.