Hormonal Acne: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

By the age of 15 years, we witness our first acne. The age of puberty where the hormonal changes take place in our body with the beginning of the menstrual cycle. As the age increases the causes of hormonal acne keep changing and sometimes become a serious issue. Hormonal acne is normal and can happen to anyone of any age. The most common reason for hormonal acne is the increase in the amount of sebum secretion or oil production inside the pores. Apart from it, hormonal secretion also causes several other reasons. Today we will be discussing the causes and treatments of hormonal acne.

What Are the Causes of Hormonal Acne?

We already know that hormonal acne is caused because of the increased secretion of sebum but there is more reason for its causes:

Menstrual cycle: The menstrual cycle causes fluctuation of hormonal levels. During this time your body experiences a decrease in estrogen and progesterone hormones that triggers your sebaceous gland to increase the secretion of sebum. The increase in sebum produces pimples and acne around your T-zone, shoulder, neck.

Pregnancy: Another cause of witnessing hormonal acne is the pregnancy period. In this period your body goes through a lot of changes and massive hormonal ups and downs. The increasing levels of androgen cause the production of sebum into your pores and clogged cells. This sebum is often supported by external factors like dirt and pollutants to cause increased numbers of tiny or large painful pimples.

Menopause: Menopause occurs between the year 45years to 50years of women. The fall in the estrogen hormones triggers hormonal acne to occur. In addition, some women take Hormonal Replacement Therapy (HRTs) to reduce and manage menopausal symptoms. These therapies use the progestin that works to replace the estrogen and progesterone in the body which causes hormonal acne to occur.

PCOS: The high level of androgen hormones causes an increase in sebum. And one of the key features of PCOS is hyperandrogenism. These increasing hormones cause hormonal acne or pimple all through the year and life and it also needs some medical attention. This hormonal acne lasts long and can become severe if not treated in time.

Medication effect /testosterone treatment: Hormonal acne affects both men and women. Most of the men who go through testosterone treatments or who take steroids can experience hormonal acne and pimples.

What Are the Symptoms of Hormonal Acne?

Symptoms are simple and can vary from person to person. They can be easily recognized. Hormonal acne or pimples ar painful and appears reddish externally and are filled with pus which results in pain and blemishes afterward. They can occur in any part of your body as:

● Blackheads
● Whiteheads
● Cyst
● Pustules
● Papules

How to Treat Hormonal Acne?

Some common treatments to reduce hormonal acne are contraceptive pills which use these ingredients, ethinylestradiol, norethindrone, norgestimate, drospirenone. These contents help to work against the hormonal-acne-causing factors.

A point to be noted here is some people are suggested to avoid contraceptive pills if:

● They are hypertensive
● Prone to blood clots,
● Have a history of or are in ongoing treatment for breast cancer.
● They are a chain smoker.

These people who are excluded from contraceptive pills might be recommended with anti-androgen medicine which reduces the androgen hormones in the patient’s body. Retinoids are a certain type of drug containing Vitamin A are also used to reduce hormonal acne.

However, you must seek medical help if you think you have a severity of the acnes.

You Can Cure Acne Through Home Remedies

Home remedies are safe and can be used by anyone. If you have mild acne symptoms you can try applying:

Alpha-Hydroxy Acids are available in creams, lotions, and toners. These are recommended and considered to be very effective when it comes to treating acne.

Coconut oil and olive oil are some great natural remedies that are proven to cure acne symptoms with no side effects. Apply during nighttime for the best result.

Essential or or tea tree oil, not only reduce acne but also offers brighter skin if applied regularly.


Hormonal acne affects both men and women and can be triggered by various reasons as discussed above. Before deciding on any treatment we must seek professional help. Hormonal acne is temporary but can be annoying as it comes back from time to time because of the fluctuating hormones.

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Dr. Abhishek Malviya is a Dermatologist, Cosmetologist, Laser Surgeon Specialist and Hair Transplant Surgeon in Pipliyahana, Indore and has an experience of 9 years in these fields.

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