How To Deal With Hormonal Acne the Right Way

Woman Picking ZitBreakouts are annoying to deal with on any day, but those pesky ones that you always seem to get around your period are even worse. It’s bad enough that we have to deal with the cramps, the nausea and the bloating. Then you throw in zits on top of it. Ugh. Thankfully, you can deal with your hormonal breakouts just like you can your other symptoms.

(Related: I Was Prescribed Tretinoin for My Acne and Here’s What Happened)

If you’re wondering about what exactly hormonal acne is defined as, Dermatologist Dr. Ava Shamban states that it is the excess sebum, or oil gland production influenced by hormones. Skin cells that shed become abnormally sticky and accumulate, or clog up in the hair follicle. Then you get pimples.

What causes breakouts at that time of the month has to do with the hormone progesterone. It is the one that causes an increase in sebum production which then leads to the the pores becoming clogged.

(Related: Beauty Myths: Is it Ever Okay to Pop a Pimple?)

Hormonal acne usually begins about two to seven days before your period, according to Dr. Shamban. Then it normally ends once you get your period. This is because the production of progesterone will go down, while the production of estrogen will go up.

Knowing why you’re experiencing zits around your period is helpful, but of course everyone wants to know what they can do about them. Dr Shamban says, “Using products with salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and other active ingredients designed for acne can help during your period.” She also suggests that patients come in a few days before their cycle for an acne treatment with High Frequency and LED blue lights. You could also try at-home acne-clearing LED light device.

(Related: I Tried This $300 Acne-Clearing LED Light—Here’s What Happened)

If you experience hormonal acne, you’re probably familiar with those painful under-the-skin pimples. You know the ones that are impossible to cover up? When it comes to treating those, Dr. Shamban urges you not to pick them. She cautions, “Picking only causes the acne to spread under the surface.”  She recommends drying out the pimple with an acne product like Acne Control Drying Lotion ($19.99, End-Zit). You could also visit your dermatologist for a cortisone injection which will calm the inflammation.End-ZIt

Do not forget about the importance of diet. If you’re not guzzling water everyday, do it. Hydration is key for ensuring your skin stays looking its best. You can also try upping your Vitamin C in your diet. Eating foods that are high in antioxidants and glycolic acid, such as raspberries and blueberries, can also help. Dr. Shamban explains that we crave foods that are higher in sugar and fat around our periods, but it is best to avoid those because our hormones are already off-balance and our skin can act up.

(Related: How Overcoming Acne Gave Me The Confidence To Stop Wearing Makeup)

We’ve heard how birth control pills can help those with acne, and the same thing applies with hormonal breakouts. Dr. Shamban says that birth control pills can help those with a clear link between acne and their periods. Birth control pills raise your estrogen levels and reduce testosterone.

When it is coming up to your time of the month, stock up on fruits and a good acne treatment, along with your usual hot water bottle and pain medication. And remember pimple rule #1: Do not pick. It’s difficult, but try to resist for your skin’s sake.

(Photo: iStock)

The original article is at:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *