Pimples, annoying pimples

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As a part of PMS, besides mood changes, menstrual cramps and fluid retention, some women also experience the appearance of pimples.

Hormonal Influence

A regular menstrual cycle usually lasts between 28 and 30 days and is divided into stages with very different hormonal behavior. 

In the first half of the cycle, the predominant hormone is estrogen, while in the second half it’s progesterone. When bleeding approaches, both fall to their lowest levels. 

In the case of testosterone, which is a male hormone produced in small amounts in women, it maintains a constant level throughout the menstrual cycle. Before and during menstruation, the testosterone is higher than the female hormones (estrogen and progesterone). 

popping carrie brownstein GIF by Portlandia

The way it affects your skin.

The increase of progesterone from the middle of the cycle stimulates the production of fat in the sebaceous glands. The fat is a dense, oily substance, whose function is to naturally lubricate the skin. As the progesterone levels increase, the skin swells and pores close, causing the accumulation of sebum beneath its surface. 

In addition, the high levels of testosterone during menstruation activate the sebaceous glands, triggering more sebum production. This affects every woman differently, while for some it only gives a natural glow to the skin, in others the sebum feeds the P acnes bacteria that causes acne breakouts before the period.

How to control it?

Have good hygiene habits.

  • Avoid touching your face, since your hands can spread dirt and bacteria to the skin in this area.

  • Clean your cell phone regularly, as mobile phones carry lots of bacteria and when you use one, it comes in contact with the areas that are most likely to have hormonal acne: your jaw and chin.

  • When going to the gym, cover the devices with a towel. Don’t let your skin come in contact with other people's germs.

  • Avoid the temptation to pop the pimples, otherwise, you may get marks on your skin.

We’re going to share with you a simple infusion that will help cleanse your face and decrease acne.

You will need green tea (in a bag or loose), apple vinegar, and cotton. You only need to infuse the tea, let it cool, and once it’s cold, add a tablespoon of vinegar and apply it with cotton to the pimples.

Hormonal treatments

It’s very important to consult your gynecologist in order to know how suitable hormonal methods are for you. Some of them can help you reduce the effects of menstruation on your skin, by raising the estrogen levels and decreasing the effect that testosterone has on the skin. Also, this method reduces sebum production. 

Careful, because within the first months of taking the birth control pill, some women can experience an increase in acne breakouts in response to the new hormonal adjustment, but this should subside once your body gets used to it. 

A healthy lifestyle

Gaining weight can lower SHBG levels and increase testosterone, so it's important to maintain a balanced diet and exercise regularly.

Consult the experts

It’s also recommended to consult a dermatologist, so that after a check-up, he or she can tell you which medications can help or recommend an appropriate alternative treatment.