Hormone replacement therapy (HRT is a very useful tool for women going through menopause. However, it has a side effects that most women fail to consider: It can either cause or cure acne. As contradictory as that sounds, depending on your individual case, hormone levels and reaction to hormones, you may end up with clearer skin due to HRT or a full breakout.
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What is Acne?
Acne is a skin condition that causes the formation of whiteheads, blackheads, pustules or cysts. These blemishes and lesions can be very bothersome and, in some cases, painful. Contrary to popular belief, acne is not caused by dirty skin; rather, it's caused by a buildup of oil and dead skin cells, which feed bacteria that live on the skin.
What is Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, is a type of treatment used in women going through menopause. It typically involves a variety of hormones including estrogen, progestins, progesterone and testosterone. A suitable combination of hormones is prescribed to women to help stave off standard symptoms of menopause, which can be rather uncomfortable like irregular menstruation, hot flashes, night sweats and decreased libido.
Why Do Women Undergo HRT?
Women typically undergo HRT in order to bring balance back into their lives. Since menopause causes a drastic decrease in the amount of hormones in the body, this can result in numerous side effects. Some of these side effects can interfere with your daily life, like fatigue and mood swings, making HRT a suitable way to cope with menopause without the hassle.
HRT Causes Acne
For many women, going on hormone replacement therapy can cause acne breakouts. Even if you've left acne behind since you were a teen, it can re-emerge once you hit menopausal age. With hormones surging throughout your body, acne can sprout up out of nowhere. While usually not reason enough to avoid HRT, in some cases, the breakouts can be pretty severe.
HRT Cures Acne
For some women, going on hormone replacement therapy can actually cure their acne. So, if menopause and its accompanying fluctuating hormones, cause breakouts for you, going onto HRT may help reduce or cure your breakouts. This isn't true for every woman, but for those with menopausal acne, it might just prove to be beneficial.