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Suffering From Chronic Acne? Your Hormones Might Be To Blame

Suffering From Chronic Acne? Your Hormones Might Be To Blame

When we think of acne, we associate it with being a teenager. However, research shows that over 50% of people in their twenties and 25% of people in their thirties or older suffer from adult acne.

Adult acne can be linked to issues with hormonal imbalance. In this case, the acne is actually a symptom of a much bigger problem. However, once you identify that a hormone imbalance exists, treating it, and getting rid of the acne becomes easier.

How does hormones lead to acne?

Hormones influence acne in women through the activation of the oil gland in the skin. These oils are produced to wash out dead skin cells and remove excess bacteria from the pores. Small amounts of this oil in the pores helps to keep them clean, and keeps our skin more flexible, youthful and fresh.

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The oil glands are activated by the production of testosterone, the male hormone (yes, even ladies produce this in small amounts). However, if you produce too much testosterone, too much oil is produced, which settles into your skin creating a blockage to the hair follicles and pores. The oils cannot drain and dead skin cells and bacteria become trapped, manifesting into a pimple.

How do you know if your acne is from a hormone imbalance?

Symptoms:

  • Irregular periods – Periods that don’t come regularly or heavy cycles, cramps and pain
  • Low libido
  • Fatigue, or lack of energy
  • Brain fog
  • Infertility
  • Depression
  • Weight gain

Where the acne appears on your face:

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    credit: Pinterest
    • Mouth
    • Chin
    • Jawline

    Hormonal imbalance causes: 

    • Emotional and physical stress – this can elevate cortisol levels
    • Genetics
    • Birth control
    • Certain medications
    • Synthetic hormones found in plastic
    • Diet
    • Certain health conditions such as hypothyroidism and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

    How to control adult acne?

    The pill

    Birth control pills contain both estrogen and progesterone which lowers the amount of oil-producing androgens your body produces, reducing breakouts.

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    Topical treatments

    Adult skin is thinner than teen skin, so you need to treat it with a gentle, moisturizing method. Wash your face with a gentle cleanser twice a day to clear your pores of dirt and oil. After cleansing, apply a topical acne treatment such as an anti-inflammatory or antibacterial gel. Avoid using benzoyl peroxide, which can dry the skin. Moisturize with an oil-free moisturizer and only apply to areas that tend to feel dry.

    See a dermatologist

    Acne can heal slowly and leave scars. Your dermatologist can prescribe a topical retinoid, antibiotics, or Aczone, and anti-acne gel for sensitive or aging skin. You can also ask about chemical peels. A gentle dose of alpha hydroxy acids slough off the dead skin cells that clog your pores.

    Promote healthy bacteria

    Probiotics, or good bacteria, can combat issues in your gut by easing the inflammation that can cause skin problems including acne. You can find a probiotic supplement at your local pharmacy, health food market, and most grocery stores. You can also eat yogurt with live, active cultures once a day.

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    Change your diet

    Reduce your dairy intake, especially skim milk which may have more acne-producing hormones. Also limit starchy foods such as white bread, rice and pasta.

    Exercise

    Moving more can boost circulation which can reduce skin inflammation.

    Relax

    Practice stress-reducing techniques such as yoga, massage and meditation.

    Find the treatment that works best for you and keep a consistent routine. Most treatments, including powerful prescriptions, can take a few months to clear things up.

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    Melissa Atkinson

    Freelance writer

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    Last Updated on December 9, 2019

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

    Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

    Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

    1. Get Rationally Optimistic

    Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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    This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

    In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

    The result: no more mental stress.

    2. Unplug

    Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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    How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

    It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

    Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

    3. Easy on the Caffeine

    Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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    Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

    4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

    That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

    How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

    • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
    • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
    • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

    While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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    5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

    This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

    The result: mental stress will be gone!

    So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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