Can Irregular Periods Cause Acne?

Experts believe that acne affects women and men in different ways. Though this skin problem both in men and women are closely associated with hormone changes, but the fluctuation of hormone production have much more contribution in women than in men. In fact, women have more episodes of hormone changes than men, such as during pregnancy, puberty, and in the days of menstruation. For these explanations, now you know that there is a link between menstrual periods and acne. How about with irregular periods? Do they can increase your risk of acne much more than a condition when you have regular periods?

The role of menstrual cycle in causing acne

In fact, most of women (especially those with acne-prone skin) experience premenstrual acne flare-ups (typically about a week before the onset of the period which then subsides as soon as bleeding of menstruation begins).

About 63 percent of women with acne-prone skin experience acne flare-ups in the days prior to their period and during menstruation – according to a report published in the Archives of Dermatology.

As well we know, the average length of menstrual period is about 28 days. And you need to know that the hormones of your body for each of these days can be different.

In the end of your menstruation, your estrogen will increase higher than your progesterone. And then the progesterone will be the predominant hormone in the next of your second half of your menstrual cycle.

And eventually, once you begin to bleed in the first day of your menstruation, both of those hormones decreases and falls to the lowest level of the month. But meanwhile, your testosterone (a kind of hormone that often associated with male hormone) keeps on its constant level all month.

In other words, the levels of testosterone are more likely to be higher than your female hormones in the days prior to menstruation and during menstruation. This can be a starting point for the imbalance hormones in affecting your chance of getting acne.

So, you now know clearly that there are some hormonal changes. The hormones that shifts for almost every month (particularly true if you have regular periods) can do all sorts of things in your skin.

When it comes to the case of the flare-ups of acne breakouts, the production of sebum is more likely to increase higher than normal when you have imbalance hormones. The higher levels of male testosterone hormone before and during menstruation can make the problem get worse. More testosterone without the balance of other hormones can affect the performance of sebaceous glands to make and produce more sebum.

menstrual_acne_illustrationSebum is a kind of oil that naturally produced in the skin. It has some crucial functions to help improve the health of your skin. For instances, it has contribution to manage the balance of pH and humidity of the skin – it can act as a helpful lubricant. Even it is also crucial to help maintain the elasticity of the skin.

But when it is produced too over, this can increase your chance of developing breakouts. The excessive production of sebum is also one of many reasons for why some people have oily skin

Having too much sebum in the skin will put you at greater chance of having more clogged opening pores. Once there is an opening pore of your skin that clogged, this can be a starting point for a pimple to form. See also how fast a pimple forms on this section!

Not all women get acne flare-ups before and during their periods, why?

It’s clear that the imbalance of hormones or hormonal changes often have contribution to trigger acne. And as mentioned before, changes of hormones occur before and during menstruation. However, not all women notice any acne flare-ups in their periods.

Though this issue is still not fully understood, but experts believe that the excessive production of sebum due to periods can cause different effects from woman to woman. It can trigger oil slick that also trigger acne, but for some it may only cause a little effect or even can help create a healthy glow.

Furthermore, not all women have acne-prone skin. This may be the major answer!

The kind of your skin such as dry skin, oily skin, or normal skin may also have an effect. Don’t forget to other factors such as your diet and environmental factors – these also can affect your chance of developing some pimples before and during your periods!

Can irregular periods put you at greater chance of having acne?

Both regular and irregular periods can affect the chance of developing acne flare-ups. But there is opinion that having irregular cycles of menstruation have much more contribution if compared with regular cycles. Is it a fact or only a myth?

Unfortunately, there is still no any scientific evidence to confirm this issue. Even theoretically, regular periods may have much more contribution.

Having regular period means you will experience more episodes of hormonal changes. For instance, if your cycle is every 28 days – this means you will experience hormonal changes almost every month if compared to the condition when your menstruation comes irregularly.

Does acne also point to a certain health condition?

Having acne can be bothersome and often affect your confident throughout the day. Fortunately, acne is commonly only associated with minor problem of the skin. But sometime, it may also point to a certain health problem (though again, this is much more unusual).

The following are some health conditions that sometime can be signed by unordinary acne flare-ups:

  1. PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome! It is one of common endocrine disorders in women. About five to ten percent of all women have it (especially those of reproductive age). The exact cause of PCOS is still not fully understood. However, experts believe that the insensitivity of hormone insulin may be the cause of the problem. The common symptoms of PCOS include weight gain without known reason, irregular cycles of menstruation and irregular ovulation. But sometime women with PCOS may also experience less common symptoms such as thinning hair and acne.
  2. Another health problem that may be pointed by the existence of unordinary acne flare-ups is congenital adrenal hyperplasia (a kind of hormonal disorder) – but this is much more unusual.

How to prevent and get rid of menstrual acne?

There is nothing you can do to change the fact that your hormones and acne are linked! However, there are some options you can do to reduce your risk of having acne breakouts before /during menstruation – and if they do occur, you can make them less severe!

Stick with good skin hygiene and good skin care!

Any extra dirt or bacteria that attach on your acne prone skin can make new clogged pores and also will worsen your existence menstrual acne. The following are common recommendations to keep any dirt and bacteria far away:

  1. Wash your body and face twice a day – but avoid over washing! For in-depth information about the appropriate soap /cleanser to wash your body & face, and how to practice a good face wash for acne, visit this helpful section!
  2. Don’t touch your face with your hands /fingers if not needed! You cannot keep your hands /fingers always clean all day long. Touching your face or other acne-prone skin can bring more dirt or bacteria into the skin.
  3. Regularly clean any objects or accessories that may often touch your face /acne prone skin such as your cell phone, makeup brush, and so on!
  4. Avoid smoking or passive smoking! The smoke of cigarette smoking will be bad for any kinds of acne breakouts.

However, menstrual-related pimples are not only a matter of hygiene. You may need to take and follow other appropriate steps to get your best result.