Not only do hormones have a powerful influence on your body, they control a wide range of physiological processes. Hormones influence skin pigment, hair growth (or lack thereof), and much more.
Certain hormonal problems can cause issues like hormonal acne, excess hair growth (hirsutism), dark patches or hyperpigmentation (melasma), and excessively dry skin. Managing hormone-related skin issues can be challenging, so visit a skin expert for an assessment.
At Hines Dermatology, Dr. Yvonne Hines cares for patients of all ages and specializes in stubborn skin problems, so if you’ve tried treatments without success, there is hope! Our team has helpful information about three of the most common hormone-related skin issues and how they’re managed.
Melasma is known as the “mask of pregnancy” due to its characteristic mask-like appearance, and because it develops during pregnancy more so than any other time. While its exact cause is unknown, it appears that changes in levels of the hormone progesterone play a role in triggering melasma.
For many women, melasma goes away after they give birth, but for others it sticks around and can be particularly stubborn. Melasma presents as brown or grayish-brown patches on the face, particularly on the forehead, cheeks, and upper lip.
Because sunlight stimulates the cells (melanocytes) that make skin pigment, it’s essential to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Doing so helps to calm melasma.
Sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide provide better protection against ultraviolet (UV) A and B rays.
Additionally, topical treatments, such as hydroquinone, tretinoin, and azelaic acid, can help fade melasma patches. The goal is to reduce the hyperpigmentation and restore a more even skin tone.
Hormonal acne tends to appear on the jawline, chin, and neck, and it’s most often triggered by hormonal changes that occur during puberty, menstruation, and menopause.
Managing hormonal acne begins with developing a skin care routine that includes gentle cleansing, toning, and moisturizing and using products that are designed for acne-prone skin.
Depending on the severity, Dr. Hines may recommend topical treatments such as retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid. In stubborn cases, hormonal therapy or isotretinoin may be necessary.
Hirsutism is a hormone-related issue that causes excessive hair growth. It’s generally related to high levels of androgens (male hormones) in women and can affect several areas of the body, including the face, chest, and back.
Identifying and treating the underlying hormonal imbalance can help slow the excessive hair growth. However, additional treatment is often needed; once hormones activate hair follicles, they tend to remain active.
Managing hirsutism focuses on balancing the hormones to slow hair growth, and removing the hair that is currently present. Dr. Hines discusses the best approach for you.
Some women choose to take anti-androgen medications or use topical creams to slow hair growth, and opt for laser hair removal to get rid of the unwanted hair. Because laser treatment disables hair follicles, it’s a more permanent solution.
Whether you’re dealing with a mild or common hormone-related skin issue or a rare and complex skin disorder, Dr. Hines can help determine the right solution for you.
For a thorough evaluation, call our Attleboro, Massachusetts, office at 508-222-1976 to get started. You can also send a message to the team here on our website. The Hines Dermatology team looks forward to getting you back on the road to better skin.