Acne has many causes, which combine to result in the development of these unwanted bumps on your face. One of the questions that we often receive at the Clear Clinic is, “Do hormones cause acne?” According to acne expert Dr. Eric Schweiger, the answer is that, “While hormones cannot cause acne on their own, hormonal shifts can often cause acne to flare. We see this commonly during the teenage years and for women during their 20’s and 30’s. Increases of the androgen hormone stimulate the sebaceous glands of the skin to produce excess sebum, or oil.”
Increased sebaceous gland activity, resulting from an increase in androgen hormone influence on the skin, results in the overproduction of sebum. Sebum, or oil, can clog the skin’s pores. The clogged pores then attract the acne-causing p. acnes bacteria, and acne bumps can develop on your skin.
It is best to visit your dermatologist if you feel that you are experiencing hormonal acne. For most people, the hormonal fluctuations are nothing concerning, and can be addressed with topical or oral medications. However, it is important to determine that there is not a medical concern behind your hormonal fluctuations. Once it is determined that your acne is caused by normal hormonal influence, your dermatologist will discuss anti-androgen medications (such as spironolactone) and topical anti-acne medications (such as Tazorac, Epiduo, and Acanya) to control your acne. Lastly, people with hormonal acne often see an added benefit from beginning in-office treatments, such as Photodynamic Therapy or the Isolaz acne laser, to clear their acne more quickly than prescription medication alone.