The Marion Gluck Clinic


Adult female acne: how can hormones help?

By Amélie Seghers

Adult female acne: how can hormones help?

The incidence of adult female acne is on the rise and this chronic condition has an underestimated negative impact on the quality of life of those affected. Some women put their life on hold until their skin clears up as they are too embarrassed to get out of the house during a flare. Too many women are not treated adequately and are suffering in silence whilst there may be a solution to their problem.

What is Adult Female Acne or ‘hormonal acne’?

Acne is usually a curse of adolescence (teenage acne). However, some people continue to suffer from it after adolescence (persistent acne) and some will only experience acne for the first time later in life (adult onset acne).

All acne is actually hormone related but when we talk about ‘hormonal acne’ we typically refer to adult female acne.

The conventional approach to treat adult female acne is similar to teenage acne, however, adult female acne often does not behave the same way and is by many considered a different subtype of acne. Hormonal acne tends to affect more the lower part of the face (around the jawline) in contrast to teenage acne which typically affects the T-zone. Adult female acne can present with cyclical outbreaks and is usually more resistant to the standard treatments. Teenage acne tends to affect boys more severely than girls whilst women are more likely than men to suffer from adult acne.

Which hormones affect acne?

While a rise in androgens (male hormones) play a role in teenage acne, adult female acne can be caused by different hormonal imbalances such as raised male androgens or an imbalance between the female hormones estrogen and progesterone.

What can we offer for hormonal acne?

Like all of our treatments at the Marion Gluck Clinic, we approach acne treatment in a personalized way. A hormone-oriented assessment can be considered when traditional treatments such as prescription creams, oral antibiotics or isotretinoin are insufficient or not suitable or for those who do not wish to take them for different reasons. We firstly carry out all of the appropriate tests to determine what the best course of action would be for each individual. Your treatment may be dermatological and/or hormonally based. Additionally, skincare and nutritional regimes, as well as supplements and lifestyle measures that help skin health, may also be discussed and recommended.

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