It is common for acne breakouts to occur at times of increased hormonal activity: during puberty, ovulation/menstruation and menopause. Often, acne disappears or lessens when these periods are over. However, this is not always the case, as people who suffer from adult acne will testify. Acne should disappear when the teenage years have passed or when menopause is reached but, in many cases, it stays around to plague people when they reach adulthood. or it suddenly appears in people who missed out on acne in their teen’s altogether. Why does hormone imbalance cause acne?
Hormones And Acne
Acne is set off by a group of hormones called androgens, which are usually known as male hormones even though they are present in both men and women. Testosterone is part of that group and is the most important when it comes to acne. although testosterone is present in the bloodstream in minute amounts it can have a major effect. if there is too much in the bloodstream it sets off the production of oil from the sebaceous glands, which produces oily skin. This leads to the pores clogging up with oil allowing bacteria to form, which causes irritation. the body’s immune system then acts to heal the irritation causing the redness and swelling we know so well.
Can we Control Hormone Imbalance?
Increased hormone activity can occur when we eat some foods or when we are exposed to stressful situations. the main foods that affect acne are the highly refined carbohydrates – sugary drinks, white sugar and white flour. some acne sufferers have noticed their acne is aggravated when they have eaten this food. the reason this happens is this type of food breaks down quickly to form sugar. the blood stream is suddenly hit with a surge of sugar, which the body has to control. It does this by producing insulin, which is a hormone that sets off the acne-producing process by stimulating the sebaceous glands.
Stressful situations can also increase hormone activity, which can cause acne flare-ups. People may be going through a relationship problem, experiencing stress at work or preparing for a job interview. when the body is stressed the adrenal glands are stimulated, producing hormones, which starts the acne process. Stressful situations cannot always be avoided, as they are part of life, but they may be able to be controlled. It is a matter of finding what works to relieve the stress. most people have a way of relaxing – some like to exercise, some relax with a book, while others might listen to music.
While hormone imbalance is inevitable from time to time we can exercise some control by watching our diet and taking time out to relax, particularly when we feel we are getting stressed.
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