How do hormones affect the skin
Hormones are essential chemicals that are produced by the body’s endocrine glands. These hormones circulate in the bloodstream and help to control many important body functions, including growth, development, reproduction, and energy balance.
In addition to carrying out these vital functions, hormones influence how we look. For example, one hormone may trigger acne in the skin or hair loss on the scalp. Consequently, when there is an imbalance in our endocrine system that causes too many or too few of certain hormones to be produced, it can result in significant changes to the body, including skin conditions.
What hormones can cause skin problems?
An imbalance in some of our hormones can cause skin problems. In fact, hormonal imbalances are one of the most common causes of skin conditions. The most well-known example is when a woman’s body goes through changes during menopause.
Women experience symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness. However, hormonal imbalances can also occur in men and children and adolescents.
What hormones cause dry skin?
Another common skin condition that a hormonal imbalance can cause is dry skin. This happens when there is a decrease in the production of sebum, which can lead to a loss of moisture and make the skin feel tight and itchy.
Dry skin can occur at any time, but it is most common in older adults, people who live in dry climates, and those who have a thyroid disorder.
The effects of growth hormone on the skin play a critical role in the production of collagen and elastin to improve skin texture and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This is why it is common for older people to experience dry skin. Due to the decrease in the production of growth hormone with age, the skin becomes more dehydrated and thinner.
The thyroid gland in the neck produces two hormones, thyroxine and triiodothyronine. These are essential for regulating how quickly our metabolism works and helping control our blood pressure, body temperature, and heart rate.
When the thyroid gland does not produce enough of these hormones, it is known as hypothyroidism. One of the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism is dry skin. This is because a lack of thyroid hormones slows down the rate at which our body produces sebum, leading to a loss of moisture in the skin.
During menopause estrogen levels decline and many women experience symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness. This can lead to a loss of moisture in the skin and cause it to become dry and irritated.
How to soothe dry skin
Dry skin can be a symptom of many different health conditions, so it is important to see your doctor if you experience it on a long-term basis. They will be able to look for the root cause and suggest ways in which you can manage the symptoms using moisturizer and other treatments.
What hormones cause acne?
It is normal for teenagers to experience fluctuations in their hormone levels as they go through puberty. However, if these changes cause an overproduction of androgens (male hormones), it can trigger acne or make existing acne worse. Acne usually manifests itself as blackheads, whiteheads, and/or red bumps and can appear on the jawline, chin, forehead, and chest.
Hormonal acne occurs if the androgens in the body trigger excess sebum production. Sebum is an oily substance that lubricates and waterproofs our skin and hair, making it healthy and supple. When too much sebum can mix with dead skin cells, clogging pores and causing blackheads and whiteheads to form. If the pore becomes infected with bacteria, it can result in a pimple.
Elevated androgen levels are found in women with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). But the exact cause of PCOS is unknown, but it appears to be linked to insulin resistance or an increased production of insulin by the pancreas.
When a woman with PCOS experiences hormonal changes during puberty, they may not have monthly periods and begin to experience symptoms such as acne and excessive hair growth. This is because an imbalance of estrogen, progesterone, androgens, prolactin, and luteinizing hormone causes cysts to grow in the ovaries.
How to treat hormonal acne
Hormonal acne is a common problem, but it is not always easy to treat. If your acne does not improve after using over-the-counter medications, you may want to see a doctor. They will be able to prescribe more powerful drugs or refer you to a dermatologist for laser therapy or other treatments.
What hormones cause skin discoloration?
Skin discoloration can be a sign of a hormonal imbalance, and it can occur in any area of the body. The most common areas to experience skin discoloration are the face, neck, and chest.
One of the most common causes of skin discoloration is a condition called melasma. This occurs when there is an excess of melanin in the skin, which can make dark patches appear on certain areas.
Hormonal changes trigger melasma. This means it is common during pregnancy when estrogen levels are very high, but it can also be caused by taking the contraceptive pill or other hormone replacement therapies.
How to fix skin discoloration
If skin discoloration is a new symptom you are experiencing or it does not improve after using over-the-counter treatments, you should see your doctor. They will be able to provide a diagnosis and suggest suitable treatments that can help lighten the patches.
Other causes for skin issues
Hormonal conditions are not the only cause of skin issues. There are many different factors that can affect your skin, which is why it is always best to see a doctor if you experience any unusual symptoms.
- Lifestyle and environment. Smoking can cause wrinkles and lines to form on the face, and excessive sun exposure can lead to age spots, freckles, and skin cancer.
- Stress. When we are stressed, our body produces cortisol, which can increase oil production.
Tips to help prevent skin problems
There are a few things that you can do to help prevent hormonal skin conditions:
- See your doctor if you experience any long-term symptoms of a hormonal imbalance
- Make sure to use sunscreen when outdoors, even on cloudy days
- Quit smoking
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet
- Get plenty of rest at night to help your body recover from the day's activities