By the teenage years of their life, upwards of 85% of the people in this country have experienced some form of acne. This number comes from the American Academy of Dermatology, who also provides information on how and when acne will develop in an adult’s life as well. Often the acne that appears during adulthood is a result of a hormonal imbalance in the body. This is fortunate in an almost cruel way, as only while a person still has acne issues is this exact cause of acne responsive to proper treatments.

There are a multitude of causes for acne to manifest on a person’s skin. These include, but are not limited to occurrences such as: a clogging of the pores, bacterial infection, hormone fluctuation, and an over-production of body oils by the sebaceous glands.


It is within these sebaceous glands that a hormonal imbalance will cause the most harm, as this imbalance will create a large acne outbreak. The sebaceous glands produce oil as a direct result of hormonal stimulation, namely by the androgens of the body. If there is a surplus of androgen hormones in the blood, it is common for the glands under the skin to be over stimulated resulting in an over-production of oil and thus acne.

In addition to this singular cause, acne can be caused by the body trying to dispose of excess hormones that were produced but not deemed essential. This happens quite often in the body, as the body continually produces hormones while only a small handful are needed for the purpose of delivering a message. Thus, the excess need a way to be shed from the body and this is accomplished via excreting them through the pores of the skin.


During the times that body is going through an over-production of hormones, it is much more likely for an individual to have a surge in acne appearing. This is again due to the body being unable to expel the excess hormones in any way but through the skin, making hormonal balance the main cause of acne at certain stages in life. These are the times the body is going through a large change with the production of hormones as well, such as during puberty in both sexes and pregnancy for women.

During puberty in both sexes, the body is being bombarded by an abundance of hormones in an effort to develop the body into adulthood. The liver is simply unable to cope with the sheer amount of hormones, leading to expulsion through the pores. During pregnancy, the body is producing an excess amount of hormones for the benefit of the fetus. In women specifically during this time, acne occurs alongside other issues cause by the hormones such as back pain, dizziness, nausea, and morning sickness.


While it is true it is difficult to prevent hormonal acne during the stages of life where hormones are rampant, it is combatable the majority of the time. Combating hormonal imbalance in the body, and the acne that goes with it, is as simple as keeping the body healthy. Taking care of your body through good hygiene, a good diet, and a regular sleep schedule will help to keep the body on track with its hormone production. This usually, hopefully, helps prevent the excess hormones from existing in the body, rendering acne for expulsion unnecessary.

For those who continue to have acne issues however, it is possible for the body to be in a constant hormonal imbalance. If you believe this is the case with your acne, it is best to seek professional help. Typically this will consist of a measurement of your hormone levels, coupled with treatment to balance them out for your benefit. For women, hormones can be modulated with oral contraceptives and anti-androgenic medications.

Ken Reed

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