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Menopause and Adult Acne

Surgery and Medical

Acne commonly affects women on what seems to be a sporadic basis. This is due heavily to hormonal changes that happen within the body during the menstrual cycle. A large number of women are effected by acne during adolescence. However, many first experience those pesky blemishes between 30 and 40 years old. Menopause can also bring out adult acne like a woman has yet to experience during her lifetime. The causes of acne are numerous, as are the treatments.

What is acne?

Acne is a skin disorder that causes an outbreak of pimples, redness, and skin lesions. A clogging of oil glands in the skin causes bumps and irritation to show on the skin’s surface. Many of these blemishes are made worse by excessive scrubbing, certain makeups, and medications. Acne is not a serious condition, but it can be treated and sometimes prevented.

Why does acne effect adults?

Many people assume acne effects teenagers the most, but the hormonal changes that happen later in life can bring out heavy acne as well. As a menstruating woman, hormone levels change throughout your cycle. Adult acne can come and go as your menstrual cycle begins and ends. The same goes for pregnancy. Some women experience acne due to the hormonal changes their body experiences as they are growing their baby. Hormonal changes during menopause can have the same effect. Some makeups can clog your pores causing an oily buildup as well. Medications and family history tend to have an impact as well.

Why does menopause cause adult acne?

Perimenopause (the phase leading up to menopause) tends to be the time that women deal most with acne associated with menopause. During this time, female hormone levels (namely estrogen) decrease. Meanwhile, androgen hormone levels (namely testosterone) remain the same. This causes skin glands to work in overdrive and produce too much sebum; this oily substance then blocks pores causing bumps and redness. Because women experiencing menopause tend to be older, there is a slower skin regeneration time period as well.

How do I treat adult acne?

First off, it is always best to consult your doctor. Dermatologists specialize in treating skin conditions such as adult acne. For more minor cases, topical medications such as benzoyl peroxide or Retinoids may work. Oral medications for acne can also be prescribed. Using non-comedogenic make up is a good place to start to prevent acne as it doesn’t clog your pores. Gentle cleaning twice a day is another great preventative measure.

Overall, acne related to menopause tends to calm down once hormones have balanced out during the post-menopausal phase. If you have concerns related to hormonal levels or acne scarring, be sure to schedule a visit with your doctor.


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