During the great hormone surge in puberty the entire body goes through a metamorphosis, and the soft baby skin can begin to look like a battlefield, swarming with red and swollen acne.  Acne during puberty occur due to testosterone fluctuations in both sexes, and this hormone has its role: it shapes a man out of a boy, but it also helps girls get stronger bones and muscles. But it is also the one to blame for the skin changes and excess sebum, the oil that normally lubricates the skin, which clumps together with dead skin cells around hair root and clogs the follicle.

Acne is a chronic inflammatory disease that occurs in three phases: seborrheic – when the excess sebum is produced, but there are still no extreme changes on the surface of the skin; hyperkeratosis – when enlarged sebum glands create a lump on the skin, due to sebum accumulation in the follicle, which results in pus. As this is the ideal place for bacterial growth, it will lead to a bacterial phase, when Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) bacteria causes inflammation. In this phase the acne is very visible, the skin around them being red and inflamed and the peak black or white.

Once the puberty is over and the hormones stop raging, the acne will disappear in most cases. However, unfortunately, during the last couple of decades, adult acne is on the rise, like an epidemic. The latest statistics show that even 50% of women aged 20-29 suffer from acne. Only a half of them will be able to get rid of it, and 25% will continue to battle with the problem until their late forties.

What is the reason for this serious acne epidemic? We know that it is caused by the hormones, and today, more than ever, we are exposed to hormone disruptors which are all around us. They are disguised as time saving amenities that are supposed to increase the quality of our lives: fast food filled with preservatives and trans-fats, sweets that are always at a hand’s reach, sodas, plastic food containers, cups and bottles, non-stick pans, detergents and cosmetics, but also in basic food: fruit and vegetables covered in pesticides, meat and milk filled with antibiotics and hormones… Everything that seemingly saves us time is actually stealing it from us.  

The normal hormonal balance given to us by nature is so easily disrupted by modern inventions. Women are particularly prone to it as they go through the usual monthly hormone changes, which is a part of a normal reproductive cycle. But when the hormones go out of balance, the disorder is usually manifested through irregular periods, cysts, uterine fibroids, polycystic ovaries syndrome (PCOS)… and acne.

PCOS often goes together with acne during reproductive phase of female life, and once the menopause sets in, the drop in estrogen and increase in androgen hormone levels could also lead to sudden appearance of acne. Acne can also be triggered by stress, i.e. rise of hormone cortisol. Hormonal acne normally appear on the jaw and chin area, vary with the menstrual cycle, and all in the same pore already enlarged by the previous pustule.

As much as we hate them, they should never be squeezed and touched. The best thing to do is to consult a dermatologist and get an adequate professional skin therapy and advice. But although hormonal treatment drugs are usually prescribed by doctors, the problem will usually come back as soon as we stop using them. Natural solutions require more time and effort, but they are the best long standing choice. Medicinal herbs can provide a long-term solution.

Femisan A is a completely natural, plant-based medicinal product that helps treat female reproductive system disorders by balancing hormones. It can be even used by young girls, from the onset of the first period. Once estrogen and testosterone are put back to balance, with adequate skin care and nutrition, acne will disappear. But it cannot happen overnight. Herb medicines require long and regular use, and even once the problem is solved, it is good to continue with preventive therapy for a while longer. With proper nutrition and Femisan A, hormonal acne don’t stand a chance.