Just when women thought they had sailed past the acne years with ease, menopause skin breakouts occur, and they are left with more questions than answers concerning their mid-life acne. Continue reading to learn more about menopause acne, including what you can do to manage acne during menopause and the best treatment options for clear, beautiful skin into your twilight years.
Can Menopause Cause Acne?
In short, yes, menopause can cause acne.Similar to other menopause symptoms, fluctuating reproductive hormones can cause women to suffer from acne during perimenopause.
Because the majority of a woman's estrogen and progesterone are produced in the ovaries, as the ovaries wind down their reproductive functions, drastic fluctuations of both hormones ensue, resulting in various menopause symptoms.
However, another important reproductive hormone in women - testosterone - is continually produced in the ovaries even after estrogen production wanes. Testosterone production from the adrenal glands continues as well.
If testosterone levels surpass those of estrogen, hormonal acne can occur no matter a woman's age, including menopause.
Although, it is important to note that perimenopause breakouts are not always caused by hormones,making it essential for women to seek help from a trusted endocrinologist in addition to dermatologist for appropriate testing.
What Can I Do to Manage Menopause Acne?
To manage perimenopause pimples due to a hormonal imbalance, it is advised that women:
Exercise regularly. Not only does exercise release feel-good endorphins, it also promotes endocrine system health. Aim for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
Sleep well. Sleep deprivation has been linked to increased cortisol levels as well as inflammatory markers, putting the body under stress and disrupting hormonal equilibrium.
Quit additions. Excessive alcohol or caffeine consumption, smoking, tobacco, and other unhealthy addictions disrupt endocrine system functions and further aggravate menopause acne.
Relieve stress. Stress is a major endocrine system disruptor. Practice stress-relief techniques of deep breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, tai chi, among others.
Improve their diet. Consuming smaller meals, more frequently that contain adequate amounts of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs can help balance hormones naturally.
In order to manage menopause breakouts due to other factors, such as poor facial hygiene, women are recommended to:
Evade skin-drying products. Acne occurs whenever hair follicles in your skin get plugged. So, even though oily skin is generally associated with acne, dry skin can also foster breakouts.
Wash with a salicylic acid cleanser. For acne-prone skin, this type of cleanser is proven to help unclog skin pores and clear up a woman's complexion.
Avoid harsh treatments. A woman's skin becomes thinner and drier as she ages, making treatments normally prescribed to teenagers poor options for her.
Wash your face regularly. Women suffering from pimples during menopause should wash their faces in the morning upon awaking and again in the evening before bedtime.
Use acne products sparingly. Applying too much of any acne product can dry out the skin and increase irritation. Use no more than a pea-sized amount at a time.
Best Treatment for Menopausal Acne
Nevertheless, the best way to tackle menopause and acne head on is to treat the underlying cause of hormonal imbalance.While aforementioned lifestyle changes will indirectly support endocrine health, incorporating alternative medicine will reap the most benefits.
Alternative medicine that is commonly used as menopause symptoms treatments due to their ability to balance hormones include phytoestrogenic herbal supplements and hormone-regulating supplements.
Phytoestrogenic Herbal Supplements
Phytoestrogenic herbal supplements, like black cohosh and red clover, contain plant-based estrogens that function as the body's own, thus filling receptors and relieving an estrogen deficiency that may be at fault for the menopause skin breakouts.
However, use of phytoestrogenic herbal supplements may make the body less capable of producing its own natural hormones because they introduce external estrogens into the body. As such, this menopausal acne treatment option is advised for short-term use under close supervision.
On the other hand, hormone-regulating supplements, such as Macafem, nourish and encourage the endocrine system to produce more of its own hormones, thus resolving menopause acne and other perimenopause symptoms.
Because they do not introduce outside hormones into the body, they are considered safer for long-term use throughout menopause and into postmenopause, if necessary.
Moreover, women who suffer from menopause skin breakouts due to other reasons should consult with their dermatologists to find a suitable perimenopause acne treatment for their specific case.
- AlDabal, L. & BaHammam, A.S. (2011). Metabolic, Endocrine, and Immune Consequences of Sleep Deprivation. The Open Respiratory Medicine Journal, 5, 31-43. doi: 10.2174/1874306401105010031
- American Academy of Dermatology. (n.d.). Caring for your skin in menopause. Retrieved April 16, 2019, from https://www.aad.org/public/skin-hair-nails/skin-care/skin-care-during-menopause
- The North American Menopause Society. (n.d.). Changes in Hormone Levels.Retrieved April 17, 2019, from https://www.menopause.org/for-women/sexual-health-menopause-online/changes-at-midlife/changes-in-hormone-levels