Q:

How do you treat hormonal acne?

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Quick Answer

Treat hormonal acne by obtaining a prescription for one of three oral contraceptives approved by the FDA for use as acne treatments, according to WebMD. Estrostep, Yaz and Ortho Tri-Cyclen combine estrogen with progestin to balance hormones in girls and women.

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Full Answer

According to Dr. Bethanee Schlosser, oral contraceptives are very effective but you must give them time to work. You may have to wait three months before you notice a change in hormonal acne, reports WebMD. Results of studies show three months is the time frame during which hormonal acne patients saw a difference between the medication and the placebo. Some patients in these studies waited six months to see a change.

These oral contraceptives use natural estrogen with the synthetic version of progesterone to stop hormonal fluctuations often associated with the menstrual cycle. Spironolactone is a treatment option for patients who do not respond to contraceptives. This medication is not approved for hormonal acne treatment, but most dermatologists agree it is an effective medicine, explains WebMD. Spironolactone is a diuretic that causes frequent urination, but it also moderates the production of male hormones that cause oil buildup. This oil buildup in the skin is the underlying cause of acne.

Natural treatments that tout plant-based hormones have a "shaky" premise to treat adult acne, according to Mayo Clinic. Most adult acne patients have no measurable hormone imbalances that trigger acne.

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