As if bleeding, PMSing, bloating and having diarrhea wasn't enough on our period.... acne just have to make an appearance. According to National Health of Institution, 65% of women report worsening of acne during their period.
You're probably wondering how to differentiate a hormonal break out from a regular one. The easiest way to do this is to look at the timing. Acne that’s related to your period is more likely to flare up during the week leading up to your period or during your period. Plus, it tends to clear up or improve when your period is ending or over.
Types of acne:
- Blackheads - When a clogged pore remains open, the pimple rises to the surface of your skin and looks black.
- Whiteheads - These stay under the surface of your skin. They form when a blocked pore closes, causing the top to appear white.
- Papules - This is a type of inflammatory acne. These are the small, pesky pimples that look like pink bumps. They tend to hurt.
- Pustules - Another type of inflammatory acne, pustules are red at the bottom. The tops are white or yellow and filled with pus.
- Nodules - These form deep under the skin. They tend to be large, solid, and painful.
- Cysts - This type of blemish is deep and filled with pus. They’re painful and can cause scarring.
Why does acne flare up before your period?
Yup. You guessed it. Those fricking hormones 😠Your hormones constantly fluctuate throughout your menstrual cycle. Before your period starts,
What does this mean? This can trigger your sebaceous glands to secrete more sebum, an oily substance that lubricates your skin. High amounts of sebum can result in clogged pores and breakouts.
Hormones can also increase skin inflammation and the production of acne-causing bacteria.
These hormonal fluctuations just before your period may also be responsible for other fun period things, including moodiness, sore breasts, and weird poop (aka PMS).
PMS is also associated with increased stress, which might also worsen acne.
How to soothe period acne?
- Acne patch - a quick and effective overnight treatment when a new pimple comes up
- Warm compress - up to 10-15 minutes to draw out the pus
- Cold compress - up to 5-10 minutes to relieve pain and swelling
- Benzozyl peroxide - to kill bacteria
- Tea tree oil - has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties; to calm redness, swelling, and inflammation.
How to prepare for the next cycle?
- Benzozyl peroxide & salicylic acid - make her your best friend.
- Use an over the counter (OTC) benzozyl peroxide spot treatment with a lower strength like 2.5%.
- Salicylic acid keep your pores from clogging to prevent breakouts
- Diet - research has shown that regulating your blood sugar levels by eating food with low glycemic index can help with hormonal acne. This means avoid:
- Sugary foods and drinks
- Processed food
- White bread