Does it bother you when your skin endures sudden changes? Very often, your hormones are to be blamed. Are you wondering why?
Well, hormones work as chemical messengers in your body. They play a major role in causing skin issues like acne, pigmentation, etc. when they go off balance.
Let’s make it simpler for you and explain everything hormonal imbalance can do to your skin, along with solutions.
What Is Hormonal Imbalance?
Hormones are secreted from the endocrine glands . They travel through your blood, influencing your organs. Thus, hormones control a few crucial functions, which include body development, reproduction and metabolism.
Hormonal imbalance means either excessive or less secretion of a certain hormone. Even a little change in your hormone secretion can cause adverse effects in your body, including skin.
In women, hormonal imbalance can lead to early menopause, primary ovarian insufficiency, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and sometimes even ovarian cancer. Among men, it can cause serious issues like prostate cancer. One of the most common risks of hormonal imbalance is also diabetes and thyroid.
If you notice any symptoms of hormonal imbalances, it can be an indicator of bigger issues. Leaving it unattended can cause life-threatening risks.
Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance
Hormonal Imbalance can happen irrespective of your gender. Here are a few warning symptoms that indicate a hormonal imbalance:
- Sudden weight gain/loss
- Increased stomach issues
- Skin dryness
- Increased urination
- Persistent thirst
- Body ache
- Change in appetite
- Vision issues
- Mood swings
Why Does Hormonal Imbalance Affect Your Skin?
Your skin is the largest organ of your body. The sebaceous glands under your skin generate a natural oil called sebum, which is secreted through your skin’s pores. The process keeps your skin healthy.
However, when there is an imbalance of androgens (group of male sex hormones present in both genders) , it leads to excess sebum production, which becomes the root cause of various skin issues like acne and inflammation.
Estrogen  (female sex hormone) plays a major role in healthy collagen production, thick skin texture, hydration and healing of women’s skin. But with age, the production of estrogen slows down. That’s why women who have entered menopause face skin ageing and sensitivity.
A cross sectional digital survey  established that 2 out of 5 women reported unusual sensitive skin before and during the time of their menstruation. The researchers concluded this situation as a result of low estrogen secretion during periods. Many women notice a sudden increase in facial oil before and during their menstrual cycle as well. Premenstrual acne is quite common among teenagers.
Another study was done among two groups of women that included a premenopausal group and a postmenopausal group. Women in the premenopausal group had higher levels of estrogen in their body and very low skin sensitivity, while the other group faced a major amount of skin sensitivity due to decreased estrogen level. The studies clearly show how your skin gets affected by the dropping amount of estrogen.
Therefore, when your natural androgen or estrogen levels get messed up due to menopause, pregnancy or medical conditions like PCOS, your skin starts showing signs like dryness, acne, wrinkles, fine lines, etc.
What Are The Effects of Hormonal Imbalance On Your Skin?
Estrogen and progesterone  are the two main hormones that influence your period cycle. Your monthly menstrual cycle increases the production of sebum (skin’s natural oil), which clogs your skin pores and causes acne.
Even among men, excessive release of the hormone testosterone affects the oil glands and produces excessive sebum, which leads to acne breakouts. Mostly, acne caused by hormonal changes appears on the forehead, chin and nose. It can be painful and cystic.
Tea tree oil, known for its anti-inflammatory properties, can be beneficial for acne-prone skin. Mix tea tree essential oil with any carrier oil (jojoba, coconut, olive) and apply it every day to see the magic!
2. Under Eye Dark Circle
If under-eye dark circles are your constant companion, you probably have hormone issues. No matter what you do, it stays with you. It happens due to adrenal fatigue.
When your stress levels rise, the production of cortisol  (stress hormone) increases. It leads to lack of sleep at night and makes you feel restless. Constant tiredness and lack of sleep cause dark circles around your eyes.
3. Dry Skin
Your skin may get excessively dry due to hormonal imbalance. If any reproductive hormones like estrogen level fall, naturally, the sebum oil production decreases leading to dry skin. Your skin becomes rough and flaky. Dry skin indicates essential fatty acids and other important nutrient deficiency. Also,thyroid hormones stimulate the oil glands and reduce sebum production.Thyroid hormone hampers your blood circulation which results in dry skin.
4. Skin Tags
Sometimes you may notice tiny growths of skin on your eyelids or neck. These are called skin tags. It happens when your glucose and insulin hormone balance is compromised. While these hormones start to change, your estrogen levels drastically reduce. As a result, your skin elasticity gets affected and the skin layers overlap each other. Constant friction between two skin layers forms skin tags. It is mostly associated with PCOS , metabolic syndrome and diabetes.
5. Pale/Yellow Skin
Pale or yellow skin is considered to be a sign of either thyroid or diabetes. If your blood vessels go through any changes due to hormonal imbalance, your skin appears pale and waxy. Mostly, the lower part of your leg faces this issue. Pale skin can also indicate liver failure.
How To Fix Skin Problems Caused By Hormonal Imbalance?
1. Prescribed Oral Contraceptive
Oral contraceptive prescribed by doctors is considered to be an effective treatment for hormonal imbalance among women. It is specifically used for acne treatment because it contains ethinylestradiol that is an estrogen medication. Oral contraceptive targets acne-triggering hormones, especially during ovulation as the hormones work at their peak at that time. If you have previous experience of high blood pressure, breast cancer or blood clot, then avoid using oral contraceptives.
Topical retinoids derived from vitamin A are great for mild acne issues. Many skincare products like creams, gels, lotions contain retinoid as an acne solution. But retinoids tend to make your skin more prone to sunburn. Therefore, it's important to apply sunscreen whenever you go out in the sun.
3. Anti-androgen Drugs
Both male and female bodies contain a minimum level of androgen that is mostly known as the male-dominant hormone.Excessive androgen in the female body can increase sebum oil production and leads to an acne breakout. Anti-androgen drugs prescribed by doctors can help you balance out the amount of androgen in your body.
4. Testosterone Medications
Many testosterone gels and patches are advised by the doctors to reduce hormonal imbalances among men. It helps to fight the causes that decrease the level of testosterone in men.
5. Incorporation of Few Lifestyle Changes
- Sufficient amount of sleep every day
- Have a balanced diet
- Exercise regularly
- Drink plenty of water
- Reduce your alcohol consumption
- Avoid smoking
- Manage your stress level
- Opt for important nutrient supplements
- Avoid harmful chemical-based skincare products
- Choose a skincare routine that is unique to your skin
- Seek Medication
Hormones influence almost every function of your body starting from your physical development to your mood swings. Therefore, keeping your hormonal balance in check will save you not only from unwanted skin problems, but also from many severe health issues. Following a healthy lifestyle can help you prevent hormonal imbalance.
Mass-produced, over the counter products may not provide you with effective solutions for your particular skin condition. You need a skincare regimen that addresses your individual skin concerns and provides you with products that are made for your skin. SkinKraft offers India’s first-ever customized skincare regimen that is tailored to suit your unique skin.
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