What do hot flashes, insomnia, night sweats, joint pain, headaches, irritability, mood swings, and difficulty with concentration all have in common…wait, add acne to the mix! The answer is menopause but interestingly, many women have no idea that acne is a part of the equation. The truth is that women going through the change of life and teenagers entering womanhood have a lot in common. Hormones are going crazy, which causes what else – acne! For most women, they reach a point where they are thrilled that breakouts are a thing of the past only to hit another phase of life when it starts all over again with menopause acne.
It is important to understand how menopause acne occurs in the first place. What happens is that the skin is comprised of sebaceous glands that are responsible for producing a type of oil called sebum. For new skin cells to grow, the old ones must die, which is where sebum comes into play. Then, some hormones, which would include testosterone and DHEA causes the sebaceous glands to produce an even greater quantity of sebum and thus, a great number of cells die. However, what happens is that because of the excess oil and dead skin cells, the hair follicles become clogged up. This in turn creates a buildup of sebum and thereby, acne.
Now consider that all skin has a special bacteria that lives off the oil. When this gets caught underneath the skin, both the bacteria and oil create the dreaded whitehead, which is an inflamed area on the face that collects white puss. For blackheads, bacteria and oil are also trapped below the skin’s surface but in this case, they open partially causing the mass to turn black from the melanin. For menopause acne there is another thing to consider. The sebaceous glands and hair follicles are comprised of an enzyme that is capable of transforming estrogen into androgen testosterone. For menopause acne, what happens is that estrogen levels are increased during the early stages of menopause, which then converts into testosterone, meaning now the glands can produce even more oil that produce more breakouts.
Although menopause acne is a frustrating aspect of the change of life, you have multiple options for clearing up the problem. First, make sure your diet is high in calcium and fiber. In addition, you want to keep the diet low in fat while cutting back on the amount of carbohydrates consumed. The reason this is important is that carbohydrates convert into insulin that then produce androgens that increase the skin’s oil production. Most importantly, make sure you drink a minimum of eight glasses of water every day, preferably ten.
Another way to fight off acne is with the benefit of supplements. Today, there are a number of quality herbs, minerals, and vitamins that can help fight off excess oil. For example, for perimenopausal women, experts highly recommend both Vitamin B and C. In addition to a healthy diet, more water, and natural supplements, you also want to clean your skin at least twice a day. By using a good exfoliate and facial cleanser, you can prevent the buildup of bacteria, dead skin cells, and oil that are notorious for creating acne. Follow that by a good toner to help close off the pores and a moisturizer for smooth skin, and you will look amazing, even throughout menopause.
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