The 3 Products That Cleared Up My Hormonal Acne Scars
I had clear, porcelain, glowing skin during those memorable teenage years when many adolescents suffer from acne flare-ups and cystic pimples. I never even used skincare products — not a drop. I remember how lucky I felt to not have to suffer through the emotional stress and embarrassment of having a face covered in craters, redness, hyperpigmentation, and dry, flaky skin . . . until it happened to me.
Around the time I attended college, I started noticing small breakouts along my entire jawline. I had no idea why. I wasn't doing anything different than I had been doing my whole life. And ironically, the more I took care of my skin, the more acne I got. I was embarrassed and depressed. Naturally, I ran to the local pharmacy and purchased some products recommended by my acne-prone friends, but with no results. If anything, my skin looked and felt worse. That's when I got serious and made an appointment with a dermatologist, who put me on topical and oral medications to treat my acne, which turned out to be hormonal due to the fact I had stopped taking birth control.
As Debra Wattenberg, MD, explained, "Hormonal acne tends to develop post-teenage years, and it is commonly distributed along the jawline, neck, and cheeks. It often presents with cysts that are caused by fluctuations in hormones . . . specifically increases in androgens like testosterone."
"Irregular menses, discontinuation of birth control pills, and menopause can all cause hormonal acne," she continued. "Treatment often requires oral medication because the cysts which develop from hormonal acne are deep and hard to treat. I commonly recommend antibiotics, birth control pills, and anti-androgens like Spironolactone."
Unfortunately, that's not the happy ending I would have liked. Although my acne was slowly clearing up, it had left behind terrible scars, known as hyperpigmentation and discoloration in the skin. Hyperpigmentation and scarring are caused from excessive picking at areas of irritation, picking pimples the wrong way, and picking away at pimples as they are healing.
I struggled to find the solution to correct my damaged skin. I tried all the top picks for scarring, but none worked. I was left feeling hopeless that my skin would ever be the same.