Hormones contribute to acne. Androgen (male) hormones like testosterone can stimulate the growth of sebaceous glands and increase the production of sebum (oily skin). Overactive sebaceous glands and excessive sebum production can contribute to the growth of acne-causing bacteria and caused clogged pores.
Treatments that affect the activity of hormones in the body can imrpove or worsen acne symptoms, depending on the treatment and individual. Two main types of hormone modulating medications are used in treatment of acne – Androgen Inhibitors and Hormonal Contraceptives (Birth Control). A third type of hormone medication, Anabolic Steroids, can significantly worsen acne symptoms.
Androgen Inhibitors are medications that block the affects of androgen (male) hormones. Androgen hormones can contribute to acne symptoms by stimulating the activity of the sebaceous glands and the production of sebum. Androgen Inhibitors can help improve acne symptoms in some individuals. More information about Androgen Inhibitors and Acne.
Hormonal Contraceptives are medications that are used to prevent unintended pregnancies. There are many different kinds of hormonal contraceptives, but most contain the hormones Estrogen and/or Progesterone. The activity of the sebaceous glands, and other aspects of skin biology, are responsive to sex hormones. Hormonal Contraceptives can improve acne symptoms for some individuals, but can worsen symptoms for others. More information about Hormonal Contraceptives and Acne.
Anabolic Steroids are a broad class of medications that mimic the effects of testosterone. Anabolic Steroids are primarily used by people to increase their ability to build and maintain muscle mass. Anabolic Steroids can cause or worsen acne symptoms in many individuals. More information about Anabolic Steroids and Acne.