You’re already freaking out with mood swings, cramps and bloating and the last thing you want to see is a big red pimple – the most dreaded symptom of PMS! That time of the month is never easy and with acne breakouts, it gets even more embarrassing when you have social commitments and important meetings to attend. You don’t want to attend your friend’s cocktail party with breakouts on your face!
Menstrual acne and blemishes are quite common among women, usually appearing 7-10 days before the onset of the monthly cycle. Understanding how your body works and transforms during the 28-day menstrual cycle may help in preventing and fighting menstrual acne.
Acne and Periods – The Underlying Truth
The hormone levels in a woman’s body tend to differ on each day of the 28-day cycle. A hormone called estrogen is predominant during the first half of the cycle and during the second half, progesterone takes the lead, increasing its levels in the body. Also, just before a woman menstruates, a male hormone testosterone is relatively higher than the female hormones.
A sharp spurt in the production of these hormones causes sebum to build up beneath the skin surface. Excess sebum production clogs the skin pores and creates a chronic oil slick which then becomes a thriving zone for bacteria. This bacteria, then causes skin breakouts and inflammation, resulting in acne.
Since menstrual acne is not a matter of hygiene, but an internal effect, there’s not much you can do to change the hormonal levels. Following certain simple measures can prevent breakouts or make them less severe.
6 Measures to Prevent and Cure Menstrual Acne
1.Keep your body Hydrated at all times
Drinking sufficient water flushes out the excess oil and toxins out of your body, keeping the hydration levels in check. Consuming at least 8 litres of water each day, especially before the onset of periods can help in keeping acne at bay. It is also advisable to have green tea which is rich in anti-oxidants and healthy properties that benefit the skin.
2. Birth Control Pills
A gynaecologist can help prescribe a birth control pill that will intervene into the hormonal levels to increase estrogen levels and lessen testosterone in women. Birth control pills release a protein called sex-hormone binding globulin (SHBG) which soaks up the free testosterone in the bloodstream, thus leaving none for acne eruptions.
3. Weight Loss
Women, who are obese, tend to have lower levels of SHBG and thus excess testosterone, leading to acne production. A healthy diet and exercise regime can bring about a healthy balance of hormones, thus controlling skin breakouts and acne. Reduce the intake of fatty foods and sugar laden snacks acne control.
4. Learn to Relax
Stress and over-exhaustion can lead to uncontrolled acne eruptions. Stress brings about a sudden splurge in the hormonal levels, creating an imbalance and release of excess oil and toxins. Yoga, meditation and indulging treatments like a massage can help you relax and stay calm. An 8-hour beauty sleep will also have wonderful results on your skin.
5. Good Hygiene Practices
Though menstrual acne is the result of internal bacteria, any external exposure to bacteria will only worsen it. Avoid touching your face all the time, since our fingers introduce dirt and bacteria into the pores. Wipe your cell phone with sanitised wipes since your face is most vulnerable to catch the bacteria while you talk on the phone. Avoid using too many chemical cosmetics on your face. Opt for natural ones.
6. See a Dermatologist
If you’re facing severe menstrual acne every month, see a dermatologist who will prescribe the necessary medication or treatment. Acne can also be treated with online prescription medications or over the counter products that are applied to the skin or oral tablets.
Following these simple lifestyle changes can go a long way in keeping menstrual acne in control.