Estrogen Related Cystic Acne
Estrogen related cystic acne is caused by a surge of estrogen hormones in women, similar to the same hormonal changes seen during menstruation. This surge in estrogen results in the overproduction of oil in the skin, clogging pores and resulting in deep-rooted pimples. Cystic skin breakouts can be more painful than traditional skin problems because it results in not just pimples but cysts. Estrogen related acne has no effects on a woman's health. Problems can, however, leave deep scars and affect a woman's self-esteem and self-perceptions. Some women even become depressed by skin problems and refrain from going out in public. Efforts to cover the breakouts with make-up can fail and don't solve the root of the problem. There are many different acne treatments, some better for estrogen related acne than others. Patients will need to understand the options and talk to a dermatologist in order to decide how to best treat this skin predicament.
There are a number of different options available for cyst breakouts. Some of these estrogen related cystic acne treatments are over-the-counter while others are by prescription only. There are topical treatments as well as oral treatments, depending on what a persons estrogen related acne requires. Different topical applications are meant to reduce the buildup of dead skin cells, reduce oil, and reduce inflammation. Topical treatments include prescription antibiotics and over-the-counter cleansers and creams. Before a person visits a dermatologist, they should take the time to test out over-the-counter products. There are many different types available. One can buy stringent pads for breakouts, special wash clothes, special soaps and foaming facial cleansers. Most of these products will contain the same key ingredient, benzoyl peroxide. Other over-the-counter treatments include gels, creams, and lotions meant to reduce pain and speed up healing.
A common oral treatment for cystic skin treatment is isotretinoin, more popularly known as Accutane, which is to be taken daily for 15 to 20 weeks. Isotretrinoin reduces breakouts by reducing the size of oil glands. Thus, the growth of bacteria is reduced as well. This has been known to have excellent results for estrogen related cystic acne. However, breakouts do occasionally come back and a small percent of patients have to start Accutane medication over again. Accutane does have some serious side effects, though, especially for women. The medication should never be taken during or even one month before pregnancy because the drug can cause miscarriage or birth defects. While taking isotretinoin, women should be on two types of birth control one month before taking the drug and one month after as a precaution.
A person may find that their breakouts will not respond to traditional treatments or even to Accutane. Dermatologists will often prescribe a hormone-based treatment such as a low-dose estrogen birth control pill to help balance out hormones in women and reduce breakouts. Since these types of treatments affect the hormones, women can expect some side effects such as irregular periods, breast tenderness and headaches. Patients may want to talk to their dermatologists about more intense treatments as well. With intralesional corticosteroid therapy, the estrogen related cystic acne areas are injected with dilute cortisone solution. This will reduce the painful inflammation in the cyst. An even more intense treatment is acne surgery. The doctor will go in and literally remove cysts, blackheads and whiteheads. There is a risk of infection during this surgery and it should only be considered in severe cases. Talk over all of the possible risks and side effects with a dermatologist.
This type of acne is particularly slow to heal because of infected waste in the cysts that doesn't discharge. There are a few things that one can do to help overcome estrogen related cystic acne and speed up healing. Women should never break open or pick at a cyst. This will prolong healing. The infected area should be washed daily with special cleansers and it is never advised to scrub the cysts. After cleansing, one should pat the acne dry. Should patients still encounter scarring, there are scar treatments available in many drug stores and through a dermatologist. Women can also help prevent acne by allowing their pores to breathe and avoiding heavy, pore-clogging makeup brands. Estrogen related acne is hormonal so women don't need to worry about eating chocolate or greasy foods and getting stressed.
No matter which treatment one uses for cystic skin breakouts, it is critical to discuss it thoroughly with a dermatologist. It is important that patients disclose any allergies as well as unusual side effects when taking prescription drugs. If patients aren't seeing any results, they should talk with their dermatologists about other options. Each case of estrogen related acne is different so the results of the drugs an individual takes will vary. Dealing with skin problems can be emotionally trying. Sufferers should turn their issues over to the Lord who wishes the best for all his children and who can provide strength during difficult times. "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God." (Psalm 42:11).