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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 2, 2018

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

    The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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    The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

    Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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    Review Your Past Flow

    Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

    Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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    Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

    Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

    Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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    Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

    Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

    We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

    Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

      Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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