Hormones and Your Skin

Hormones are chemical messengers that have a specific effect on certain cells in the body. Specifically, I am talking about estrogens and androgens. Changes in the balance of these hormones can cause acne, hair loss, facial hair, skin pigmentation and wrinkles.

After age 35-40 women lose estrogens and gain androgens.

Androgens or male hormone increase the activity and viscosity of follicular oil and increase follicular plugging. This results in adult acne acne with blackheads and large pores.

Androgens also change hair growth patterns. In the scalp this hormone causes hair to minimize and results in hair thinning (alopecia) and hair loss. On the face and other areas, however, androgens stimulate hair growth in a male pattern, resulting in thick dark hair growth on the upper lip, cheeks, chin, neck, and chest.

Other ways that hormones affect our skin is by increasing pigmentation, wrinkles, and skin roughness. This occurs because along with the dominance of androgens at a certain age, we continue to make a weester estrogen in our fat cells. This weaker estrogen stimulate the pigment cells to over produce pigment especially in sun exposed areas.

The reason we notice dry, rough slack skin at this stage is because we lose the stronger estrogens which are responsible for skin water retention, stronger elastin, and cell turnover. So younger women with stronger estrogen have moist, firm fresh smooth skin. while mature women with weaker estrogen and androgen dominance, start developing dry, dull, slack, rough skin.

Other contributions facial hair growth

Approximately 15% of women experience excess facial hair. Not all of them are over the age of 40. Younger women can have excess facial hair because of a genetic trait, medical condition, or medication.

Genetically, women can have normal levels of androgens and increase facial hair. This occurs because when the hormone stimulates the hair follicles in the face, the receptor on the follicle overreacts causing excessive hair growth for minimal hormone.

Another reasons younger women have increase facial hair is because of diseases like poly-cystic ovary disease and thyroid abnormalities. Poly-cystic ovary disease is an adrenal gland disorder that results in the over production of androgens. The thyroid is a hormone regulator. When it stop functioning, it can cause androgen overproduction.

Excess facial hair is very disturbing for women causing low self-esteem. Therefore, treatment is essential. Laser hair removal is the most effective treatment for permanent reduction of hair growth and for repair of the accompaniment hyperpigmentation and razor bump.