Acne Again? But I’m Over 40!

Just as you start adjusting to bifocals or readers, you may discover new outbreaks of acne that remind you of being a teenager. It’s ironic, but the difficulties of menopause may include teenage facial skin.

There’s no denying the spots on your face, especially those on your chin and jawline. And there may be a few on your neck, too.

Seems unfair and definitely not what you have planned for menopause. You thought it only brought hot flashes and night sweats, but there’s so much more – including that acne on your face.

Why now?

Once again, the cause of your dreaded acne is hormones. During menopause, estrogen levels drop but your androgens may not. The imbalance of the two can lead to unwanted acne from overproduction of oil in your skin.

With your hysterectomy and menopause, you’ve also stopped taking birth control pills. For some women that means clearer skin, while for others it means more acne. If you’ve changed or added any other medications, they could be the cause of your adult acne.

Some of the symptoms caused by menopause may have led you to switch cosmetics and hair dye. Where those have touched your skin you may find some new acne.

There’s something else, too. You may produce more acne when you’re feeling emotional or stressed, both of which can occur with menopause.

What to do?

Dealing with acne during menopause isn’t the same as dealing with acne as a teenager. It can be deeper and your skin may be more sensitive, so the products that worked before may not work now. You can start with over-the-counter options, but look for those made for sensitive skin.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is another option. It can treat underlying menopause symptoms, help balance out your hormones. and thus reduce acne. Your doctor can recommend other prescription therapy choices, including either topical or oral, or may suggest trying some type of androgen therapy such as spironolactone. Laser treatment is another option you may want to consider.

At home, you can also work to keep your skin clean and healthy by washing regularly with gentle soap, protecting your skin while in the sun, and staying hydrated. Eating healthy and exercising regularly are also bonuses for having good skin.

This content was written by staff of by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support. Reprinted with permission: Acne Again? But I’m Over 40!

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