Hormonal Acne: Details, Causes, Prevention

Hormonal Acne: Details, Causes, Prevention
Published : Feb 04, 2024
Last Updated : Feb 06, 2024

As the name suggests, hormonal acne is skin breakouts that occur due to hormonal changes in adulthood. Hormonal acne differs from person to person ranging from blackheads, whiteheads, body acne, cysts, pimples, and much more.

Hormonal acne is caused due to the excessive production of sebum, an oily substance present in skin glands, caused by hormonal changes in the body. This leads to clogging of the skin pores, as a result, skin breakouts in the form of pimples are seen. Although this issue is out of control and cannot be avoided, it can be treated in certain ways to eliminate future breakouts or even minimize the quantity.

Irrespective of gender or immunity strength, hormonal acne affects both men and women, primarily aged between 20 to 60 years. In the majority of cases, it affects women who are pregnant or are going through menopause. It is quite a common sighting for people to suffer from hormonal acne of any type.

Causes of Hormonal Acne

Acne is usually caused by clogged skin pores. Hormonal acne usually develops when oil production rises due to hormonal changes in the body. This oil reacts with the bacteria present in the skin or the pores of the hair follicles, causing the skin to break out.

Pores are clogged due to the following reasons

  • Excess sebum production which is produced by the sebaceous gland, releases an oily substance from the middle layer of the skin
  • Dead skin cells
  • Bacterial growth

However, there are certain hormonal acne growths that you can control as well as not control. They are listed below

Controllable Hormonal Acne Causes

Certain reasons for hormonal acne growth can be controlled by the individual. Some of them are

  • Excessive stress
  • Lack of sound sleep
  • Using hair or skin products that contain oil or specific ingredients like non-comedogenic or non-acnegenic ingredients, that clog the skin pores

Uncontrollable Hormonal Acne Causes

Contrary to a healthy lifestyle and controlling acne causes, there are some reasons why you cannot control the growth of hormonal acne. They are listed below

  • Changes in women's hormonal effects during menstrual cycle, pregnancy, menopause, and discontinued birth control.
  • Genetic history of acne growth, a condition known as genetic predisposition.
  • Side effects of steroids and certain drugs.
  • Men opting for testosterone treatment.
  • Past medical conditions such as POS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), and other ovarian and metabolic issues.

Symptoms of Hormonal Acne

Acne causes breakouts or lesions. The skin can be inflamed, speed, red or painful. Lesions are the most common symptom and can mostly occur on the cheeks. They can also appear in other places like

  • Face
  • Back
  • Neck
  • Chest
  • Shoulders

Hormonal acne can also appear as another type of lesion. Here are some other forms of symptoms

  • Blackheads
  • Whiteheads
  • Pustules, skin bumps with pus inside
  • Papules, sore skin tissues
  • Cysts, bumps in the skin contain fluid or pus

Prevention of Hormonal Acne

Hormonal acne is usually unavoidable and occurs in mostly everyone. However, there are certain preventive methods that one can follow to reduce the chances of hormonal acne.

  • Make changes to your lifestyle by changing your diet, avoiding smoking and alcohol consumption, sleeping enough, and stressing less.
  • Using skincare products that suit the skin and do not clog the pores.
  • Take advice and skincare options with healthcare personnel to treat acne.

Treatment for Hormonal Acne

Based on the type and intensity of hormonal acne, there are different types of treatments available. Some treatments reduce sebum production, some attack pimple formation and some reduce inflammation and pain.

  • Blackheads and whiteheads: Can be treated with topical cream such as tretinoin.
  • Inflammatory acne: Can be treated with a topical retinoid, topical antibiotic, or benzoyl peroxide.
  • Moderate or severe acne: Antibiotic or isotretinoin
  • Cystic acne: Injection containing steroids such as intralesional triamcinolone

Apart from distinguished treatments, there are some common treatment methods to reduce hormonal acne. They are listed below

  • Daily skin cleansing and moisturizing
  • Birth control in the form of oral contraception
  • Change in lifestyle and diet
  • Laser therapy on target areas

Is Dermatologist Required for Hormonal Acne?

Although acne is not a very concerning issue and gets sorted naturally, some may cause long-term trouble. If hormonal acne does not get cured for a long time, consider consulting a dermatologist. They can assist and advise you to take the necessary measures or medications to treat the issue. They can also advise changes to lifestyle, diet, and much more that help to control hormonal acne.


Hormonal acne can be very irritating and embarrassing, especially for youngsters. However, it is not something to be very concerned about. They are cured naturally. If in case it is not cured naturally, you can also consult a healthcare expert or dermatologist for maximum treatment and care for hormonal acne. It can be externally cured through medications, steroids, or even ointments.