Along with mood swings, painful cramps, and bloating, acne before your period is another common symptom of PMS.
Menstrual acne appears or breaks out every cycle that coincides with your period. According to a study, a majority of respondents reported the onset of period-related acne between the ages of 12 and 18. And 65% of people reported that their acne symptoms got worse with their periods.
Acne usually occurs seven to 10 days before menstruation and improves depending on the person’s hormonal levels. Here’s an ultimate guide to menstrual acne: causes, tips, and prevention.
Causes of Menstrual Acne
The first step is to tell the difference between a hormonal surge and a regular surge. Watching when acne appears is the easiest way to do this. Menstrual acne usually appears a week before your period. Moreover, it improves when the period ends or is over.
People who already have acne may see their acne worsen. And those with fair skin may notice tiny pimples.
Hormones fluctuate continuously throughout the 28 days of your cycle. Estrogen and progesterone levels increase during the first and second half of your cycle, respectively. But as your period approaches, these hormones see their levels drop, while the testosterone levels in your body stay the same.
The rise in progesterone midway through the luteal phase (when ovulation occurs and your period begins) stimulates the sebaceous glands to secrete sebum, a thick, oily substance that naturally lubricates the skin.
Additionally, hormonal interactions in the luteal phase can cause skin pores to compress, which can lead to oil buildup below the skin’s surface.
Higher testosterone levels before and during your period can cause sebaceous glands to secrete even more sebum. While some people may have a healthy glow, others may experience menstrual acne when pores become clogged with debris, dirt, and dead skin cells.
This increase in sebum can lead to the formation of bacteria that leads to acne called Cutibacterium acnes, thus interacting with the immune system, causing inflammation and pimples before your period.
Don’t Miss: My Struggles With Acne: How Therapy Helped Me
Menstrual Acne Treatment
There are a number of topical and oral medications available to treat menstrual acne, but it’s important to consult your dermatologist before beginning any treatment.
Alpha hydroxy acids such as lactic acid and glycolic acid improve skin renewal and prevent clogged pores. Azelaic acid and salicylic acid have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, and the latter acts as a chemical exfoliant, seeping into your sebaceous glands and dissolving blocked dead skin cells that lead to acne. Overdoing it can cause irritation.
Additionally, benzoyl peroxide improves oxygen production and kills anaerobic bacteria, while retinoid-vitamin A compounds play a role in immunity and skin health.
Any type of oral medication should be taken with a prescription, such as birth control pills, spironolactone (reduces testosterone levels and oil production), low-dose antibiotics (for acne lesions), and isotretinoin (for acne). cystic acne). They can have side effects depending on the person’s body.
Don’t miss: Pimples on the buttocks: causes and management tips
Prevention of menstrual acne
Bacteria on your skin can exacerbate acne, so it’s important to maintain good skin hygiene by keeping your skin clean, not touching your face, and cleansing your skin twice a day. The phone may contain harmful bacteria and should be disinfected regularly. In addition, taking a bath after exercise is good hygiene practice.
Avoid smoking completely as it has a direct correlation with acne. This can lead to an inflammatory condition called reverse acne or irreversible scarring. And limit your exposure to UV rays by wearing a non-greasy moisturizer with sunscreen.
Above all, maintain a healthy weight. Obesity can reduce sensitivity to sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), which helps fight acne. This protein absorbs testosterone into your blood and having a healthy amount of SHBG means there is less testosterone to cause menstrual acne. A balanced diet with a low glycemic index and lots of foods rich in zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, vitamin A and E can improve your acne.
Did you like this article?
Your skin and your body like you are unique. Although we have taken every measure to ensure that the information provided in this article and on our social networks is credible and verified by experts, we recommend that you consult a doctor or your dermatologist before trying any home remedy, a quick hack or exercise regimen. For any comments or complaints, contact us at [email protected]