Can Irregular Periods Cause Acne?

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It’s thought that acne may affect women and men in different ways. Though this skin problem both in men and women are closely associated with hormonal changes, but the impact of hormonal fluctuation is probably grater in in women than in men.

In fact, women have more episodes of hormonal changes than men, such as during pregnancy and days of menstruation. How about irregular periods?

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Menstrual cycle and acne flare-ups

Many women (especially those with acne-prone skin) experience premenstrual acne flare-ups about a week before the onset of their period.

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 your hormones fluctuate through this!

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

And eventually, once you begin to bleed in the first day of your menstruation, these hormones decreases to the lowest level. 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 to occur, affecting your chance of getting acne.

So, now you 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 acne flare-ups, 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 provokes the production of more sebum.

Sebum is a natural oil 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 lubricant. So it is crucial to help maintain the elasticity of the skin. But when it is produced too over, this increases your chance of developing breakouts.

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Too much sebum would put you at greater chance of having more clogged opening pores. Once the opening pore was clogged, acne forms.

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

It’s clear that the imbalance of hormones often has to do with acne flare-ups. And as mentioned before, changes of hormones occur before and during menstruation.

However, acne associated with menstrual period doesn’t go for all women. Though this issue is still not fully understood, experts believe that the excessive production of sebum may cause different effects from woman to woman.

Sometimes this may only cause a little effect. Furthermore, not all women have acne-prone skin.

The kind of your skin such as dry skin, oily skin, or normal skin may also have an effect. Your diet and environmental factors, for examples, also have a role.

It seems acne flare-ups have to do with a lot of things, and hormonal changes is only of them.

Can irregular periods cause acne?

Both regular and irregular periods can cause hormonal imbalance so would have an effect on your risk of having acne. But there is opinion that irregular periods may have much more contribution. Is it a fact or only a myth?

Unfortunately, there is still no any scientific evidence to confirm this topic. 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 signal certain health conditions?

Fortunately, acne is commonly only associated with minor problem of the skin (it’s usually nothing more than a cosmetic issue.

But sometimes it may also point to a certain health problem (though again, this is much more unusual). Here are some health conditions that might factor into acne flare-ups:

  1. PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome! It is one of common endocrine disorders in women. The common symptoms of PCOS include weight gain without known reason, irregular cycles of menstruation and irregular ovulation. Sometimes the syndrome may also cause less common symptoms such as thinning hair and acne.
  2. In rare cases, acne might also have to do with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (a kind of hormonal disorder).

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, we also have plenty of options to reduce the risk of having acne flare-ups before /during menstruation – and if they do occur, you can make them less severe (mild)!

These include:

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