A very common form of acne is “hormonal acne“. Many patients are currently under treatment for hormonal acne at the Advanced Acne Institute. Hormonal acne typically affects women and gets worse around the menstrual period. Hormonal acne commonly has breakouts along the jaw lines and lower face. Unlike other forms of acne, hormonal acne can be more difficult to control and resistant to conventional treatments.
Hormonal Acne Can Occur In Different Forms
Hormonal acne is typical in young adult women. It can be very mild or it can be very severe. Many cases can have acne cysts. Scarring can also be a prominent feature. Hormonal acne tends to flare at the time of a woman’s menstrual period.
Hormonal Acne Can Be Resistant To Conventional Treatments
It’s common for patients to come to the Advanced Acne Institute with a great deal of frustration caused by hormonal acne. Many have been treated elsewhere with various interventions. One of the most common prior treatments that they’ve received is the use of topically applied medications. Unfortunately, topical creams and gels are just not very effective for this type of acne. By using topical medications without seeing much improvement, patients just become even more frustrated and desperate.
Sometimes, patients receive oral antibiotics for hormonal acne. Occasionally this type of treatment can show helpful effects but the results are typically not very significant. Hormonal acne tends to be fairly unresponsive to antibiotic therapy. Often, patients are treated with many different types of oral antibiotics including doxycycline, minocycline and others. Nevertheless, they usually have very little effect.
Hormonal Acne Can Require Stronger Treatments
The two most effective treatments for hormonal acne, especially cystic hormonal acne, are spironolactone and Accutane. One of the first things to consider, however, is treatment with a combination birth control pill. Not only can certain birth control pills be helpful for acne in women, especially for hormonal acne, but it is important to start a form of contraception in case one of the stronger treatments is required during which pregnancy is not allowed.
Treatment Of Hormonal Acne With Spironolactone
Spironolactone can be a very effective option for hormonal acne. It works by blocking androgenic hormones that would otherwise overstimulate acne-prone oil glands. By interfering with this hormonal pathway, spironolactone can reduce oil formation and clear hormonal acne breakouts.
Spironolactone is usually very well tolerated by most patients. Of course there are some patients who should not take spironolactone for a variety of medical reasons so every patient must be evaluated by her doctor before deciding if spironolactone is the right hormonal acne treatment for her.
Treatment Of Hormonal Acne With Accutane
Accutane is the most effective form of treatment for hormonal acne. Accutane works by preventing the acne-prone oil glands from becoming overactive. This form of treatment has certain potential side effects, so it is very important for every patient to discuss Accutane treatment in detail with her doctor. Accutane is the only treatment that has the possibility of preventing a recurrence of hormonal acne after the course of treatment is completed. Some patients at the Advanced Acne Institute do very well on Accutane for hormonal acne even when every other form of treatment has not been successful. Often, however, Accutane is reserved as the last treatment because of the potential side effects associated with this treatment.