Really? At our age?? Sigh. And just like during puberty, hormones are to blame this time too. While teenage acne made its appearance on your forehead and nose, menopausal acne tends to appear lower on your face, around your chin and jaw. Lovely.
Is this normal?
Yes, about 25% of women ages 40-49 experience adult acne. The good news is it’s more of an issue during perimenopause than menopause.
What can you do?
For mild cases, over the counter treatments can work. For more severe acne, solutions such as prescription retinoids can be more effective. And of course, managing your hormones can also affect your skin.
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What's the deal with menopausal acne?
Acne! It’s extremely not nice at all to see you again. You probably thought you left acne, along with some questionable fashion and music choices, way, way behind but guess what? Not the case for everyone. This time it’s called menopausal acne, and it’s somehow way more irritating than it was the first time around.
During menopause, hormonal fluctuations can impact your skin health. Symptoms include changes in sebum production, skin type, and dryness, as well as hormonal acne, especially occurring around the mouth, chin, and jawline.
What causes menopausal acne?
We hate to keep blaming estrogen for all of the not-so-fun symptoms of menopause, but, like everything else, menopausal acne likely happens due to a drop in estrogen levels and an increase in androgen hormones. This increase in androgen levels can result in adult acne and other menopausal symptoms.
It makes sense. Acne tends to pop up around puberty, when your hormones are also in flux. Unlike the teenage years, when your T-Zone was probably where you broke out the most, menopausal acne tends to appear lower on your face, around your chin and jaw, near those pesky new hairs that popped up one day and now won’t quit.
Plus, ask anyone, and they'll tell you that menopause is stressful. Women navigating this transitional period are bound to experience extra stress which can also impact hormone levels and trigger hormonal breakouts.
Is it normal?
It was normal at prom, and it’s normal now. Around 25% of women aged 40-49 will experience some sort of adult acne ranging from mild acne symptoms to more severe. Typically, menopausal acne is only temporary, and will go away once your hormone levels balance out.
Anything I can do about it?
You can scream into the void and hope for no huge zits on yearbook photo day. We kid. There are no yearbooks in menopause. In all seriousness, here are some ideas to help treat acne prone skin:
- Wash your face every day, especially if you exercise often. Be sure to take off your makeup every day.
- Use topical over-the-counter treatments.
- Moisturize daily.
- Don’t pick or pop!
- Follow a balanced diet (and avoid foods that may trigger breakouts).
If your acne is severe, prescription retinoids may do the trick. You may also want to look into hormonal therapies, which can help. Talk to a menopause-trained doctor to determine if hormonal acne treatment may be right for you.
Have more questions about menopausal symptoms? Check out our symptoms home page.