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A woman’s body goes through a lot of changes throughout the menstrual cycle. This happens because of the fluctuating levels of oestrogen and progesterone hormones. Moodiness, cramps, bloating and menstrual acne are all the results of hormonal fluctuations.
Hormonal fluctuations and period acne
In the first half of the menstrual cycle, oestrogen is the predominant hormone. However, in the second half, progesterone levels rise to become the dominant hormone. This increase in the level of progesterone leads to the build-up of sebum beneath the skin’s surface. Excess sebum can clog pores and produce the bacteria that is responsible for breakouts and inflammation. Moreover, as estrogen and progesterone levels fluctuate, the male hormone testosterone can trigger sebaceous gland activity. This can aggravate acne symptoms.
Treating period acne
Since period acne is caused by internal factors, we can’t really stop them from popping up. But, by taking care of our skin around the time of menstruation, we can make the breakouts less severe.
Practising good skin hygiene is the key to taking care of period acne
Wash your face with a gentle cleanser at least twice a day. Avoid touching your face as much as possible as hands can introduce more dirt and bacteria. Besides keeping the skin clean, here are some other possible treatments for period acne.
You can also look into some topical treatments
Benzoyl peroxide: It works really well for treating period acne by making the pores shed dead skin cells and excess sebum. It also helps in preventing acne by killing the bacteria underneath the skin.
Salicylic acid: It helps in acne treatment by exfoliating the skin and removing dead skin cells that can clog pores. Its anti-inflammatory properties have a soothing and calming effect on the skin.
Retinoids: This vitamin A derivative promotes new skin cell production to push oils and dead skin cells out of blocked pores. They also have anti-inflammatory properties that help in maintaining clear skin.
Home remedies can also help
Turmeric: The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric help in treating acne, reducing scars and healing wounds. Regular use of turmeric gives the skin a radiant glow.
Honey: Its antibacterial properties make it good for the skin. Honey can help in fighting acne by keeping the skin’s pores free of oily dirt while keeping it hydrated at the same time.
Aloe vera: The cooling properties of aloe vera help in soothing redness, rash and itchiness. Its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties help in keeping acne at bay.
Exercising: When you sweat, the pores dilate and the sweat expels the trapped oil and dust. Make sure you dab your face with a clean cotton cloth while you are exercising to take care of the sweat. Avoid harsh rubbing and never repeat the same cloth without washing.
Based on your symptoms, you may require oral medication in combination with topical creams to reduce the acne. Consult a dermatologist before you start any medications or if your condition is getting worse.