Adult acne is a fact of life for many women. Numerous perimenopausal women suffer from acne on the chin for which they try several treatments. Most of these do not help, especially because majority of the over-the-counter products are only meant for acne sufferers in their 20s and 30s. This leads one to wonder if what they are suffering from is indeed acne or some other skin condition.
In this guide, we will consider some important facts surrounding acne after menopause as well as ways of dealing with such perimenopause acne.
Trigger factors of adult acne after menopause:
Hormones– Fluctuating hormones lead to various negative effects on the aging skin and typically, with the hormonal fluctuations, one tends to see acne flare ups, mood swings, food cravings and so on. Declining sexual activity and coital frequency are also the result of hormones called androgens which lead to all kinds of aging effects on the skin, hair and overall health in pre and post menopausal women.
Change in medications- Another reason behind perimenopausal acne is when women stop taking or change their birth control medication. Some women tend to notice clearer skin whereas others tend to get breakouts after stopping the pill. Apart from birth control medication, certain other classes of drugs can also cause acne. These include anti-convulsants, sobriety medication and corticosteroids. If you notice acne on chin after menopause, do not stop taking any prescription medicines before you take your doctor’s advice.
Genes– Most acne sufferers who deal with persistent acne in their 40s and 50s usually have a parent or sibling who has suffered from acne as well.
Stress– Women in the perimnopausal age also have stress stemming from certain life changes. Stress is a leading cause of acne on the chin after menopause. It has now been scientifically proven that stress triggers the androgens, namely testosterone, which stimulates more oil production in the hair follicles leading to acne flare-ups.
Cosmetics used on skin and hair– Certain products used on the face or even those on the hair tend to cause acne on chin and cheeks in perimenopause acne sufferers. It is important to use products that are labeled as non acnegenic or non comedogenic to prevent such acne.
How to deal with perimenopause acne on chin
Following steps may be used for dealing with perimenopause acne on chin:
Androgen therapy– Estrogen therapy at menopause can help eliminate acne on chin and also take care of hot flashes and mood swings that women usually experience in this phase. Estrogen can also help restore overall health and wellbeing. Testosterone therapy is another widely accepted treatment in many countries for menopausal acne though it is not used in the United States. Testosterone is administered in the form of transdermal skin creams or implants but never in the oral form. A combination of methyltestosterone and estrogen has also been used in the US for treating acne after menopause.
Topical creams for acne– Many dermatologists prescribe antibiotic gels like Erythromycin or Clindamycin as well as vitamin A derivatives like Retinol-A or benzoyl peroxide creams for acne and acne blemishes in menopausal women. However, many of these skin creams are drying and some even increase the skin’s sensitivity to sun. Hence, acne specific moisturizers and SPF based skin creams must be used when following such treatment.
Oral medicines– Many low dose oral isotretinoin (Accutane) or other acne medications specifically created for hormonal acne on chin in perimenopausal women can help reduce breakouts. Anti androgen diuretics like Spironolactone are also prescribed for the same purpose. Low dose oral antibiotics are another option for treating acne after menopause.
Self care tips for women suffering from adult acne after menopause
Women experiencing acne breakouts after menopause must ensure following good cleaning-moisturizing routine. It is important to remove makeup before going to bed at night. A mild cleanser such as Cetaphil® or CeraVe® is also ideal for washing the face. Avoid picking the acne and stay away from harsh and abrasive products and scrubs. The skin becomes even more fragile following menopause owing to slowing down of collagen production. Hence, one must avoid the use of tanning beds, creams etc.
Diet after menopause
What you eat is also very important for preventing acne after menopause. One must ensure drinking gallons of water daily and focusing on a diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals and omega 3 essential fatty acids. If needed, talk to your doctor regarding certain skin friendly supplements. Daily exercise of 30 minutes is also recommended to help reduce stress which is the main trigger of acne after menopause.