What Causes Hormonal Acne?

What Causes Hormonal Acne?

The American Academy of Dermatology reports that acne is the most common skin problem in the United States, and it can affect males and females of all ages. Often triggered by hormone fluctuations during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause, hormonal acne may become severe and can significantly impact an individual’s self-esteem and quality of life. Hormonal changes are more likely to occur and cause acne in the following three situations.

Puberty and Adolescence

Acne is most commonly associated with teenagers going through puberty, a time when the production of the hormone testosterone increases in both boys and girls. An influx of testosterone increases the body’s production of sebum, an oil that forms at the base of hairs to protect skin and keep it moist. Excess sebum can clog hair follicles and pores, combine with dead skin cells, and can even trap dirt and bacteria, all of which may cause pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, and other signs of hormonal acne. Hormonal acne associated with puberty may persist into early adulthood, especially in women.


A number of hormones are produced during pregnancy to support a woman’s ability to carry, birth, nurture, and feed a baby. When combined with androgen hormones (male hormones such as testosterone and androsterone) and rising levels of estrogen, pregnancy hormones may trigger acne. Women who are already prone to acne during their menstrual periods may be at an increased risk of developing new hormonal acne during pregnancy.


Women may also experience flare-ups of hormonal acne with the onset of menopause. Hormonal changes during menopause often involve decreases in estrogen levels while levels of androgen hormones remain unchanged. This imbalance of new hormone ratios can stimulate the sebaceous glands, which can lead to clogged pores and acne outbreaks.

Regardless of your age, having acne on your face and body can be frustrating and uncomfortable. At The Dermatology Clinic, we offer Baton Rouge-area patients a full range of medical and cosmetic acne treatments. To schedule an appointment, contact us online or call (225) 769-7546 today.

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