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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 July 10, 2020

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

    We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

    So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

    Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

    What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

    Boundaries are limits

    —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

    Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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    Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

    Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

    Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

    How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

    Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

    1. Self-Awareness Comes First

    Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

    You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

    To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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    You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

    • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
    • When do you feel disrespected?
    • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
    • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
    • When do you want to be alone?
    • How much space do you need?

    You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

    2. Clear Communication Is Essential

    Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

    Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

    3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

    Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

    That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

    Sample language:

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    • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
    • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
    • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
    • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
    • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
    • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
    • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

    Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

    4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

    Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

    Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

    Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

    We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

    It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

    It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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    Final Thoughts

    Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

    Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

    Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

    The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

    Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

    Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

    They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

    Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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