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Addressing Hormonal Acne

Breakouts. The word alone is enough to make even the bravest face want to hibernate at home until the smoke – or the complexion – clears.

These pesky periods of acne can be caused by a multitude of factors, but if you’re noticing a regular pattern in when they make their unwelcome return, the reason may be hormonal.

While acne is the most common skin condition, affecting all ages, genders and races, hormonal acne is most often specific to women, especially surrounding her period cycle or pregnancy.

So, how do you know if you are dealing with hormonal acne, and more importantly, how do you deal?

Here are some helpful hints to identifying this common skin condition and getting a handle on it:

Cue in on hormonal clues. Before you visit an esthetician, you more than likely can determine if you’re in the hormonal acne club by paying attention to the following skin hints:

  1. Timing of your breakouts. Do you breakout a week before your period, during or even at ovulation? Hormonal acne strikes when hormones are on the rise, so cyclical breakouts can be a big clue-in.
  2. Location of your acne. If your pimples appear beneath the cheekbones, along the jawline or around the mouth, all signs point to hormonal.
  3. Shape, size, sensation, and appearance of your acne. Cramping may not be the only pain you experience around your period; hormonal acne tends to be sensitive to the touch and deeply embedded (cystic), often causing painful pressure beneath the skin’s surface.

Enlist the help of an esthetician. While self-diagnosis can seem easy (based on the above), it’s always a good idea to see a skincare specialist who can provide a thorough skin evaluation to determine what kind of acne you’re dealing with. From there, she can recommend an appropriate and consistent treatment program, including facials and at-home care.

Try topical treatments. Control Corrective offers several non-invasive products that can help with the treatment and appearance of hormonal acne. Some favorites include:

  1. Acne Spot Treatment Cream. This must-have blemish fighter packs a powerful punch with antiseptic witch hazel, glycolic and salicylic acids and calming Aloe Vera, breaking up the intracellular cement that clogs pores and helping to dissolve blemishes on contact. Added bonus? It also helps smooth acne scars and dark spots.
  2. Sulfur Calming Mask. Absorb excess oil and calm inflamed skin with this creamy, comforting mask that can be applied as a spot treatment for affected areas or left on overnight to reduce inflammation.
  3. O2 Med.  A definite acne “hero product,” this oxygen emulsion moisturizing lotion treats painful pimples beneath the surface of the skin (hello hormonal acne!) without causing dryness or irritation.

Consider The Pill. When acne is hormonal in nature, birth control pills may help. By raising estrogen levels, testosterone effects – which contribute to hormonal breakouts – are lessened, and birth control pills can also slow down oil production. See your doctor to determine if it might be a good fit.

Make lifestyle choices that support treatment. If you want to see the best results from your hormonal acne treatment, make sure your choices outside of the treatment room support this goal. Don’t smoke, eat a healthy, clean diet and practice good hygiene. Avoid touching your face, clean your cell phone regularly and always use fresh towels and pillowcases.

Buh-bye hormonal breakouts!

What treatments/products/habits help you maintain clear skin when hormones are on the rise?

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