Is it possible that having an irregular menstrual cycle could affect your skin? This is a complicated question with no simple answer. The truth is, since your body is going through hormonal changes, there is a very good chance your skin might be affected. Keep in mind that each person’s body reacts differently, so you can’t go by what your mother, sister or friend go through each month.
Let’s start by talking about how your skin is affected throughout your menstrual cycle. Your chances of having an acne or blemish break-out increases* once you begin ovulating. This usually occurs within a few days before you get your period.
There are some clues that will tell you if your complexion problems are hormonal. For starters, where you do you usually break out? If you break out a lot around your jaw line, on your chin or your neck, chances are the break out has something to do with your hormones. Many women suffer from extreme skin sensitivity during the fourth week of their cycle. Excess facial or body hair, acne and irregular periods can all be signs of hormonal issues. Keep in mind that between 4 and 6 percent of women suffer from a condition called Polycystic ovary syndrome, which can cause all of the above things to happen.
Some things you can do at home include making sure you remove* your makeup before bed, using a non-drying toner and to stay well-hydrated throughout the day.
If your body produces more oil than it should, you will get acne. Testosterone is typically to blame. Oil glands are the most testosterone sensitive. Many women with these types of hormonal issues are also diabetic. These conditions have to do with how the body reacts to insulin. Hormonal therapy is typically the answer for women who suffer from hormonal-related skin issues. Some birth control pills can be used as treatment.
You may also notice unusual discolorations in your skin if you have irregular periods. There are many hormonal conditions that can cause issues with your skin. It is important that you seek a medical consultation immediately if you notice one or all of the above described issues.
Making A Doctor’s Appointment
Before making a doctor’s appointment, you should compile some important information that will help your doctor correctly diagnose the issue. For example, you should be aware of your family history, focusing on issues such as diabetes, insulin resistance, high cholesterol, obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease or infertility. Your family history should include problems with your parents, siblings and grandparents.
Make sure you make a list of questions and annoying symptoms. Sometimes doctors start talking about one issue and you don’t have enough time to discuss everything that is on your list. You will also need to have a current list of the medications and dosages you are taking. It may be wise to bring a trusted family member or friend with you who can take notes or at the very least, offer a second set of ears. Sometimes close family members and friends will be able to make further observations about your health than you can.
It will be important for you to be honest when you speak with your doctor. He or she will want to know information about your diet, exercise habits, bad habits (such as smoking and drinking) and your sexual history. You should know what allergies you have. It will also be important for you to tell your doctor about other doctors that are treating you and what they are treating you for.
You can expect to get a physical examination at your first appointment. Your doctor will also look into your medical history and will fill in any information your medical file might be missing. Blood tests may include TSH, Prolactin Test, LH and LSH, Testosterone and DHEA levels, Progesterone levels, blood glucose levels, and cholesterol levels.
Hormonal Issues Can Affect Your Skin At Any Age
Hormonal issues are one of the top causes of skin problems. Unfortunately many women don’t understand this. Hormonal issues can affect your skin at any age. Women sometimes live with embarrassing and/or uncomfortable situations for days, months or years, because they don’t realize the problem can be simply fixed with hormonal therapy. If you are a woman in your 30s or 40s, you may find that your estrogen levels have dropped. They peak around age 25 and first drop in the 30s. Eventually (in your 40s), estrogen levels will drop again. Many women enter premenopausal stage in their late 40s. Women in this age group sometimes experience adult acne, increased facial hair and thinning scalpel hair. Most women enter menopause in their 50s. Skin will get thinner and drier and women will start to see more wrinkles. Menopause can bring on a whole new set of skin problems.
You can help control some of these issues with your diet (avoiding sugary foods and choosing healthier foods, such as whole grain substitutes). Following a smart daily skincare regimen can also help control the amount of oil the body produces, which can help control acne.