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Know about the acne flare-ups during menstruation 

Menstruation is mostly associated with cramps, aches, and mood swings; acne flare-ups can cause irritation or impatience.

Acne is a common disease with an underlying physiological hormonal change. Acne flare-up usually seen 7-10 days before the onset of the menstrual period and then subside soon after bleeding begins. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is associated with cramps, aches, and mood swings as a regular symptom; and premenstrual acne flares up in nearly 50% of women (age group 15 to 50). Premenstrual acne flares experience as a red, painful, and pus-filled bumps more in acne-prone skin. And also more common in women over 30 years; compare to young.

Hormonal changes during the menstrual period:

The average menstrual cycle is 28 days; and during this cycle, the body hormones behave differently. During the first half of the menstrual cycle, estrogen is predominant hormone and in the second half dominant hormone is progesterone. Both these hormones fall down as menstruation or bleeding begins. Meanwhile, the male hormone testosterone, present in small doses constantly throughout the cycle; which means that before bleeding starts and during menstruation, testosterone is relatively higher than female hormones

Let us know further, how a shift in hormones affects women skin:

The shift in hormone levels throughout the menstrual cycle will influence skin natural oil production. Due to the rise in progesterone levels during the second half of the menstrual cycle, the sebum or oil production increases; during this time the skin swells up and the pores get compressed, and in acne-prone skin start to get excessively oily skin. But during this phase in dry skin people, the skin glows due to minimized pores and a layer of sebum on the skin.

In addition, higher testosterone levels during bleeding or menstruation further activate the sebaceous glands to produce even more sebum. Due to compression of pores, the sebum gets build up beneath the skin surface, which creates a fertile ground for bacterium P .acnes. These infect the pores leading to inflammation and causes acne flare-ups as red, painful pus-filled bumps.

However with time this condition soon disappears as menstruation or bleeding stops and enters in the first half of the cycle of increased estrogen levels, and skin starts to clear up.


If you have acne-prone skin, to prevent from excessive flare-ups, follow few home remedies: 

Wash your face twice a day

Use a mild cleanser to remove your excess oil.

Use gentle exfoliants to keep your pores open, 2% salicylic acid mask, and <10% glycolic acid mask or lotion; advisable to use once or twice a week… 

Use a gel-based moisturizer to keep skin hydrated. Do not use if your skin is oily or greasy.

Drink plenty of water (2 to 3 liters daily) to keep your skin as well as body hydrated and helps in detoxifying the toxins present in your body. Well, hydration gives a healthy glowing face and also helps to reduce acne.

Avoid greasy & heavy foundation makeup; and use products that are non-comedogenic, sheer, and fragrance-free; if you have a function to attend.

Don’t touch & pick your face as 

Do not touch your face with unwashed hands because this may also spread the infection to your facial skin that damages your facial skin. Do not pick or pop your pimples; it may worsen your problem and can cause marks and or even scars on the face.

Avoid certain foods like oily, fried or junk foods, and dairy products because these lead to acne breakouts. Consume more fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Reduce stress as stress will increase cortisol levels, which in turn can increase the oil secretion. Opt for yoga, meditation to relieve stress.

Good quality sleep well for about 7-9 hours is beneficial to your skin…

However, if the flare-ups are out of control, it is best to consult an expert skin professional; it will help you out with topical medication or with a cosmetic procedure.


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