If you suffer with hormonal acne you’re probably wondering where do you start when you want to get rid of it?
Being a specialist in the natural treatment of hormonal acne I’m going to walk you through where you start and what are your options are.
The first step is to consider your options, and there are two options open to you. There’s the medical pathway and the natural pathway.
Now, if you take the medical pathway, the treatments you’re going to be prescribed are topicals, (such as creams and lotions containing benzyl peroxide), or antibiotics, or the birth control pill, or medications like Accutane and Roaccutane.
Natural treatment of hormonal acne, on the other hand, doesn’t revolve around chemicals, synthetic hormones and medications it relies on foods, herbs, vitamins and minerals. Things your body can use to rebalance itself as opposed to medications that poison or take over a function of the body.
So let’s have a look at the medical options.
Now, the medical approach may work faster because the medications are very strong but the thing about them is they don’t fix the root cause or underlying reason for your hormonal acne… which is a hormonal imbalance.
This is why, from what I see daily in the young women who come to see me, acne returns once you stop using topicals, or accutane/roaccutane, or the birth control pill or antibiotics. At some point down the track, acne returns because the hormones are still out of balance, and often it’s much worse than it was in the beginning.
Let’s go through the individual medical options and see why they don’t often work long term.
Topicals – these just work at a very superficial level. They don’t change anything about your hormones. They just reduce oil production or cleanse the skin. That’s all they do.
Accutane and Roaccutane – work by stopping oil production at. But like with topicals, they don’t affect your hormones. So, if you’ve got hormonal acne, when you stop accutane or roaccutane, quite often your acne returns because the hormonal imbalance you had is still there and so oil production just kicks off again.
The birth control pill – this is hormonal, but it takes over your hormones rather than rebalancing them. It eliminates hormonal acne because it balances out the male sex hormone versus female sex hormone issues (only while you’re taking it though). But because it shuts down your natural hormonal cycle, when you stop your original hormone imbalance will return, and so will your acne, and maybe even worse than before.
Another big issue you need to be aware of with the birth control pill, is that it messes up your fertility. While you’ll be led to believe the birth control pill regulates your cycle it does nothing of the sort. It may give you a regular period it’s actually turned shut down your natural cycle and turned off your natural production of hormones. This is why it’s contraceptive, you don’t make any hormones so you don’t ovulate.
So if anything the birth control pill gives you more of a hormone imbalance. The imbalance is just being masked while you’re on the pill.
This spells bad news for later on when you decide you don’t want to take the pill anymore and you stop. Your natural hormone levels are all messed up, and is a big issue if for your skin and a massive issue if you want to get pregnant at some time.
Antibiotics – these work a little bit differently to the other medications. They work by reducing inflammation and infection in the skin that’s triggered by bacteria. But like topical and Accutane/Roaccutane they don’t rebalance hormone levels. So again, when you stop antibiotics, often your acne will return. They may work great while you’re taking them but they do nothing for your acne long term. Often what I find from talking to a lot of young women with hormonal acne is antibiotics usually lose their effectiveness over time as well.
So taking all this into account, medical options may work quicker, because they’re stronger, but they interfere with how your body runs and cause you bigger problems down the track.
Now what about natural options?
Natural options are great. Firstly because they deal with the underlying cause of hormonal acne, hormone imbalance. This is why they can take a little bit longer to work because your hormones run generally on a monthly cycle so they only change to month.
But the beautiful thing is your hormones are actually rebalancing. This means natural treatments are able to eliminate your acne long term. And a bonus is your fertility improves too. So as you rebalance your hormones to fix up your skin, you optimize your cycle. Then down the track when you want to have a baby, you’ll be ovulating regularly, your hormones will be balanced and it should be easy to conceive as opposed to what’s happening for a lot of women now. They’re on the pill for 10 15 20 years, then they stop, their hormones are all messed up and they have trouble falling pregnant.
Step two in the process of working out what you need to do is to find out a few things.
Specifically, you need to find out what your hormone levels are like because if you’ve got hormonal acne, you’ve got some sort of hormonal imbalance, and it’s this hormonal imbalance that’s causing your acne.
Now, there are two types of hormones that can trigger hormonal acne.
The first is sex hormones.
High male sex hormones like testosterone and DHEA increase oil production. And insufficient female sex hormones like oestrogen or progesterone, allows male sex hormones to exert a stronger effect. When female sex hormones are low, you lose their oil reducing effects because they are unable to dominate and suppress male sex hormones.
So when you’ve got imbalances in your sex hormones (testosterone, DHEA, oestrogen and progesterone) it triggers excess oil production in the hair follicles along the jaw, around the mouth and chin, neck, and sometimes on the cheeks and temples resulting in clogged inflamed pores that turn into pimples.
The other type of hormone that can really affect oil production in your skin is stress hormones.
You might never have thought so, but stress hormones (which you’re always releasing because of how stressful modern life is) triggers your oil glands to produce extra oil. And extra oil means clogged pores and acne.
Now besides hormonal imbalances, your acne can also be worsened by diet problems.
There can be certain foods you might be sensitive to that you don’t actually realize. And there are what I call the ‘4 Diet Demons’ for acne…
These foods are inflammatory and can have a highly negative effect on your skin. They inflame the hair follicles which makes the pores smaller, the oil then gets trapped in there, dirt gets trapped in there as well, and then the pores become infected, bacteria flourish, and pimples erupt.
Now if you also have the hormonal imbalance on top of that, where you produce excess oil, that’s a recipe for disaster. The inflammation from eating gluten, dairy, soy, or sugar traps so much oil you start getting big blind pimples and cystic acne. The ones that are really big, painful, itchy, and nasty looking.
So, one of the first things you can do now to start clearing your skin is to look at reducing some of these foods in your diet. And if you can eliminate the 4 Diet Demons totally.
In terms of your hormones, the third step is to now go and get your hormones checked.
But this is where a lot of people run into some frustrating problems with their doctors.
Unfortunately what happens a lot is you go to your doctor and you say “I think I might have got a hormone imbalance, I’ve got hormonal acne, can you check my hormones?”
And you’d think your doctor would be really happy to do this for you. But all too often they aren’t willing to do this for you because in their mind they’re thinking, “okay, if you’ve got hormonal acne, what we’re going to do is we’re going to give you either antibiotics, the contraceptive pill, or accutane or roaccutane, therefore we don’t need to check your hormones.”
And a lot of my patients find that really frustrating because they’d really like to know what’s going on with the hormones, but the doctor won’t check them for them. And the doctor’s attitude really gets my back up. It gets me angry because your doctor is meant to be there to help you. They’re meant to help you get well and help you get your body functioning properly, but all they seem to do is put barriers in your way.
But more and more young women are discovering the medical approach isn’t the best approach and want to fix their acne naturally. So they ask the doctor, “What can I do naturally?” And either they get no response or the doctor says there’s nothing they can do.
However, there’s a lot you can do and this is where I step into the picture. I’m having so many young women come to see me about their hormonal acne because I can offer them a natural solution with great results.
I have access to labs so we can get your hormones checked and your imbalances pinpointed. Then I can then together with a customised program for you to naturally rebalance your hormones so you have picture-perfect skin.
So if you’d like to discover how to cure your hormonal acne naturally then make sure you subscribe to my blog because, in upcoming blogs, I’ll be going through in a bit more detail, the ins and outs of how to clear your hormonal acne naturally.