You’ve cut out dairy, gluten, and sugar, you rarely drink alcohol, you’ve spent a fortune on Zinc and Vitex and your diet is a healthy balance of protein, carbs and veggies, but you’re still breaking out!!??
This is a common thing to see in our clinic, people who have been trying desperately to self-treat their acne based on what they see online but aren’t getting the results they want.
Here are 6 reasons why your hormonal acne won’t go away
- You are treating the symptoms not the cause
Many topical treatments or medical drugs are treating the symptoms of a hormonal imbalance, not the underlying cause. For example, a hormonal imbalance such as high testosterone causes excess oil production that leads to trapped oil in pores where a bacteria is allowed to overgrow. Topical creams and antibiotics may address and kill the bacteria overgrowth, but the high testosterone will continue to increase the production of oil that leads to the overgrowth.
- You are treating a hormonal imbalance based on symptoms not on testing
Some symptoms can be caused by more than one thing and it’s not always a simple and straightforward answer. A good example of this is ‘androgen dominance’ where androgens (male hormones) cause hormonal acne. Androgen dominance can be caused by the overproduction of male hormones but it can also be caused by low female hormone production. the only way to know is to test your hormones.
- You aren’t treating the right hormonal imbalance
Some of the symptoms of hormonal imbalance can be caused by more than one hormone.
While it’s possible for high testosterone to be the cause of hormonal breakouts, what people don’t realise is that low progesterone can also cause your cells to be more sensitive to testosterone. If you are using herbs and supplements that are designed to target high testosterone you won’t have much success if your breakouts are because of low progesterone!
- You aren’t sticking to treatment long enough
Some herbs and supplements will take longer than others to work. Herbs such as Vitex have shown to have a greater effect after 12 weeks of treatment, and even magnesium takes time to build upon our system particularly if it’s been depleted over time by things like the oral contraceptive pill. It’s important to have a realistic goal when it comes to treating hormonal imbalances because it’s easy to become discouraged if you haven’t seen results within a certain time frame.
- You are only focusing on one aspect of treatment
While it’s well understood that hormonal imbalances are typically the cause of acne, there are other factors that may be contributing to making the situation worse. Cows milk dairy is thought to have some effect on the way hormones are expressed so this is something that may be helpful in conjunction with other treatments but rarely clears acne completely on its own.
- You haven’t tested all the relevant hormones
While it is extremely important to check your sex hormones for any hormonal imbalances, what many people don’t realise is that our stress hormones can play a huge part in how much or how little of our sex hormones are made.
In addition to this, it can be important in some cases to check things like blood glucose, insulin, liver function, and other hormones involved in ovulation to really get a good holistic view of what things are affecting your hormones.
If any of this sounds familiar then you would benefit from getting your hormones tested! Once you have all the relevant information, it is important that you have a qualified health professional interpret the results to make sure you are on the right track!
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