Acne Treatment: Androgens

For acne treatment among women and men suffering from hormonal imbalances, androgen treatment is often recommended. Androgens refer to a blend of various hormones that induce masculine characteristics. Some androgens are found in trace amounts and some are secreted in large volumes. Among these hormones, some have been identified as being primarily responsible for the sudden breakout of acne. These acne-inducing androgens include:

  • DHEA-S
  • Androstenedione
  • Testosterone
  • DHT

Androgen Treatment for Female Acne

It should be noted that androgens interpreted as being typical male hormones, like testosterone, are found in very small (trace) amounts in most women. This is why typical, masculine characteristics like substantial body hair and a coarse voice are absent in women. When testosterone secretion in a woman rises, acne often surfaces as a side-effect. This form of acne in women is often referred to as a symptom of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome—the most common cause for increased testosterone levels in women.

Hormonal therapy, combined with lifestyle changes like exercise and dieting, is effective against acne caused by polycystic ovarian syndrome. Adult hormonal acne in women is often related to the overproduction of androgens. Increased androgens also increase the overall sensitivity of the skin. Thus, women struggling with hormonal acne are recommended to take supplementation of counteractive female hormones like progesterone and estrogen.

Androgen Treatment for Male Acne

It is often wrongfully interpreted that androgen-induced acne is only limited to women. However, men suffer from it too. This is particularly true for men who are undergoing puberty or have undertaken a lifestyle change that is stimulating the overproduction of androgens. One of the best examples of this is acne breakouts among men who are undertaking strenuous, physical workouts. This is because testosterone and other androgens are vital for increased sustaining muscle mass and physical performance.

Prescription Treatment for Androgen Acne

Prescription-based acne treatments are a sensible choice to treat androgen-induced acne. This is because most over-the-counter treatments cannot treat androgen-related acne. These medications are prescribed by a dermatologist or a physician. The most commonly-prescribed prescription for androgen acne is an oral contraceptive.

Oral Contraceptives for Acne Treatment

Oral contraceptives are recommended as an acne treatment to women. These tablets contain a high concentration of female hormones like estrogen and progestin. Estrogen is an established source of countering the effects of androgens. Progestin helps to treat acne by reducing the secretion of testosterone. However, these pills cannot be used by women trying to conceive—this predicament is solved through Spironolactone. This synthetic steroid is an effective, anti-androgen agent, but it does not hamper the reproductive process.

Non-prescription Treatment for Androgen Acne

Natural alternatives measures are often combined with a prescription regimen to yield faster results. They are particularly useful for men struggling with androgen-induced acne since hormonal supplementation isn't recommended for them. Common examples include:

Herbal Teas

Herbal cleansing is one of the most commonly-adopted naturopathic alternatives to balance the hormonal imbalances causing acne. Alternative medicine believes that hormonal disorders too are induced by a built-up of toxins. This includes toxins present in the bloodstream and even those in the form of impacted stools in a chronically-constipated colon. Thus, herbal preparations that naturally cleanse the bodily systems are recommended.

Herbal green tea and teas prepared from burdock and golden seal are known cleansers that help to detoxify the body and establish regular, hormonal patterns. Herbal teas prepared from raspberry leaf leaves and ginseng teas are very popular in this regard.

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