Menopause is another important milestone in a woman’s life that comes after her first periods, pregnancy and delivery. We are familiar with the Menopause symptoms like Hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and weight gain is the common menopause symptoms that are too familiar to most of us. There are also several other annoying symptoms that are not well-known. Acne is one of them. It is quite surprising for many people to learn that menopause can cause acne.
If you’re menopausal and notice that you are breaking out, continue reading to understand the causes and remedies of this issue.
Does the postmenopause acne differ from normal acne?
Postmenopausal acne tends to be deeper. Blackheads and whiteheads will be fewer when compared to acne appear in teenage. The acne will appear as small, hard, tender cysts. Severe cystic acne, however, is not common. Unlike teenage acne that most likely appears on the chin, menopause Acne usually appears in chin, jaw, and mouth, and also appears on the chest and back.
What triggers adult acne after menopause?
Like all other outcomes of the menopause symptoms, hormone fluctuation is responsible for the breakout of acne. During menopause, levels of the female hormones drop significantly. However, the male hormones (androgen) in the woman’s body remain constant. Testosterone is one of the strongest male hormones. When the level of this hormone increases, it stimulates the sebaceous gland. As the oil production increases the chances of clogging the pore also increases. This leads to the breakout of acne.
Postmenopausal breakout is found to run in the family. If your mother has experienced it, most probably this can be an issue for you as well.
This is the worst but rare cause that leads to acne after menopause. After menopause, the tumor may develop either in the ovaries or in the adrenal gland. This tumor will lead to excessive secretion of hormones, which will, in turn, increase the development of acne.
Change in medication:
Another important reason behind postmenopausal acne is stopping contraceptive pills. When some women tend to end up with clearer Skin, others tend to get breakouts after stopping the pill.
After the menopause, the size of the pores in the skin starts to contract. This can either lead to the clear skin as the small pores make it harder for dirt and oil to trap inside them or it can result in acne as the small pores increase the chances of clogging.
This is one of the leading causes of acne after menopause. It is scientifically proven that stress triggers the production of testosterone, which overdrives the oil glands to generate more oil leading to flaring up of acne.
How to treat postmenopausal breakouts?
Since the main reason for acne after menopause is hormonal, the first option for treating Acne will be hormone replacement therapy. This therapy not only helps you to get rid of a pimple and restore elasticity and complexion, but it will also alleviate other problematic symptoms of menopause like mood swings, insomnia, and anxiety, etc.
Many skin specialists recommend antibiotic gels like Erythromycin or vitamin A derivatives like Retinol-A or benzoyl peroxide creams for acne in menopausal women. As most of these skin creams can trigger dry skin (the main aim of these topical medicines is to bring down the activity of the sebaceous gland)and even increases the sensitivity to sunlight. Therefore, apply moisturizers and SPF based skin creams preceding such treatments.
In addition to topical treatments, depending on the severity, doctors may also prescribe oral medications.Low dose oral antibiotics, low-dose oral isotretinoin, and Antiandrogen diuretics like Spironolactone are another option for treating acne after menopause.
What are the Self-Care strategies for Menopausal Acne?
Along with the treatment, there are some self-care strategies that will help to bring down the acne after the menopause:
- Wash the face twice a day with a gentle soap.
- Even if you are tempted, never wash the face too often. This will aggravate the acne.
- Exfoliation helps to stop the worsening of acne. Gently exfoliate the face once or twice a week. This will help to remove the dead skin that can clog the pores and cause breakouts.
- Avoid picking the acne and never use harsh and abrasive products and scrubs on your face. Pressing or picking the pimples can result in scars that will not go away even if the acne disappear.
- Oil-based cosmetics can aggravate the problems of skin that is already clogged with excess oil. Substitute the oil-based cosmetics with the water-based or mineral-based cosmetics.
- Get rid of all traces of makeup and make sure your skin is free from any kind of cosmetics before going to bed