How To Tell If Acne Is Hormonal Or Bacterial

Revealing the Clues: How To Tell If Acne Is Hormonal Or Bacterial

Are you stuck trying how to tell if acne is hormonal or bacterial? Well, you’re in the right place. But before we jump into action, let’s cover the basics. 

Let’s talk about acne, that annoying skin issue that likes to show up uninvited, especially during your teenage years and early adulthood. It’s a common problem that many people face. 

So, what exactly causes this pesky acne? Well, many factors can contribute to it, like hormones, bacteria, genetics, stress, and even your diet. But here’s the thing: how can you figure out if your acne is hormonal or bacterial? And why does it even matter?

So, in this article, we’ll dive into how you can tell whether your acne is hormonal or bacterial, and most importantly, we’ll give you some tips on how to treat it effectively. Because, let’s face it, nobody likes having unwanted visitors on their faces.

Let’s get right into it.

Difference Between Hormonal And Bacterial Acne

Hormonal Acne

Let’s start with hormonal acne. This type of acne is usually connected to hormone changes, like when you’re going through puberty, dealing with your monthly cycle, expecting a baby, or experiencing menopause. It tends to pop up in the lower areas of your face, such as your chin, jawline, and cheeks. 

Hormonal acne can be pretty nasty, with more inflammation, painful cysts, and all-around discomfort than other types of acne.

Bacterial Acne

On the other hand, bacterial acne is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria on your skin. Those little buggers can clog up your pores and lead to inflammation. Bacterial acne can appear anywhere on your face or body, but it has a soft spot on your temple, nose, back, and chest

Unlike hormonal acne, this type is usually less severe, with more superficial whiteheads, and it’s generally not as painful.

How To Tell If Your Acne Is Hormonal

Hormonal acne is a type of acne that is influenced by your hormones, especially androgens, which are male hormones that can stimulate oil production and inflammation in your skin. Hormonal acne usually occurs when hormones fluctuate, such as during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause. 

Hormonal acne can also be caused by certain medical conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), or by some medications, such as birth control pills or steroids.

How To Tell If Acne Is Hormonal Or Bacterial

Signs And Symptoms of Hormonal Acne

Some of the signs and symptoms of hormonal acne are:

  • It affects the lower part of your face, such as your chin, jawline, and cheeks.
  • It appears as inflamed, red, and tender bumps or cysts that may feel deep under your skin.
  • It may flare up before or during your period or when you experience stress or emotional changes.
  • It may persist or worsen despite using over-the-counter acne products.
  • It may be accompanied by other signs of hormonal imbalance, such as irregular periods, hair loss, weight gain, or mood swings.

Common Triggers And Risk Factors Of Hormonal Acne

Some of the common triggers and risk factors of hormonal acne are:

  • Genetics: If your parents or siblings have hormonal acne, you may also be more likely to develop it.
  • Age: Hormonal acne is more common in teenagers and young adults, but it can also affect older adults who experience hormonal changes.
  • Gender: Hormonal acne is more prevalent in women than in men because women have more hormonal fluctuations throughout their lives.
  • Diet: Eating foods that are high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, dairy, or saturated fats may increase your blood sugar and insulin levels, which can stimulate your hormones and cause acne.
  • Stress: Stress can increase your cortisol levels, which is a hormone that can trigger inflammation and oil production in your skin.

How To Tell If Your Acne Is Bacterial

Bacterial acne is a specific kind of acne that develops when there is an abundance of bacteria on your skin. This bacteria can clog your pores and create irritation. Bacterial acne typically results when your skin is in contact with debris, oil, cosmetics, or other items that may contain bacteria. Your immune system can also affect bacterial acne since different bacterial strains may cause it to respond in different ways.

How To Tell If Acne Is Hormonal Or Bacterial

Signs And Symptoms Of Bacterial Acne

Some of the signs and symptoms of bacterial acne are:

  • It affects any part of your face or body, but it is more common on the forehead, nose, and back.
  • It appears as whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, or pustules that may have yellow or green pus.
  • It may be mild to moderate in severity but can also cause scarring or hyperpigmentation if left untreated.
  • It may improve or worsen depending on your skincare routine, hygiene, or environmental factors.
  • It may be resistant to some antibiotics or topical products that are designed to kill bacteria.

Common Triggers And Risk Factors Of Bacterial Acne

Some of the common triggers and risk factors of bacterial acne are:

  • Skin type: If you have oily or combination skin, you may be more prone to bacterial acne because your skin produces more sebum, which can clog your pores and feed bacteria.
  • Climate: If you live in a hot, humid, or polluted area, you may be more likely to develop bacterial acne because your skin may sweat more and attract more dirt and bacteria.
  • Cosmetics: If you use makeup, sunscreen, moisturizer, or other products that are comedogenic (pore-clogging), expired, or contaminated, you may increase your risk of bacterial acne.
  • Hygiene: If you touch your face frequently, share your towels or pillowcases with others, or do not wash your face properly, you may transfer bacteria to your skin and cause acne.
  • Medications: Some medications, such as corticosteroids, lithium, or anticonvulsants, may alter your skin’s natural balance and make it more susceptible to bacterial acne.

How To Treat Hormonal Acne

Treatment for hormonal acne can be difficult because it frequently has more to do with internal variables like hormones than exterior aspects like skin care products. However, certain benefits and possibilities for drugs and supplements can help you regulate your hormones and get rid of your acne.

Medication And Supplements For Hormonal Acne

Some of the medications and supplements for hormonal acne are:

1. Oral contraceptives

These pills can control your menstrual cycle and lower your testosterone levels since they contain synthetic hormones like progestin and estrogen. They can aid women with hormonal acne, reducing inflammation, oil production, and outbreaks. 

They are not suitable for everyone, such as smokers, women over 35, or women with specific medical concerns, and they may also have side effects like nausea, weight gain, mood swings, or blood clots.

2. Spironolactone

This medication prevents androgens’ negative skin-related effects. In females with hormonal acne, it can aid in reducing sebum production, irritation, and cystic acne. It is not suggested for pregnant or nursing women, as well as for males who have hormonal acne, due to the possibility of side effects like drowsiness, exhaustion, irregular periods, or breast soreness.

3. Zinc

This mineral possesses antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. It can aid in lowering skin infections, edema, and redness. It can also assist in the immune system and hormone regulation. You can consume foods high in zinc, such as oysters, steak, pumpkin seeds, or lentils, or you can take zinc as a supplement.

4. Omega-3 fatty acids

These are necessary lipids with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capabilities. They can aid in lowering sebum production, oxidative stress, and skin irritation. They can also support hormone and mood balancing. You can consume foods high in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds or take them as a supplement.

Natural Remedies And Lifestyle Changes For Hormonal Acne

Some of the natural remedies and lifestyle changes for hormonal acne are:

1. Tea tree oil

This essential oil contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects. It can assist in reducing skin irritation and bacterial growth. Apply tea tree oil to your problematic regions using a cotton swab after diluting it with carrier oil, such as jojoba oil or coconut oil. To ensure you are not allergic to tea tree oil, you should conduct a patch test first.

2. Green tea

Green tea is a beverage with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. It can fight free radicals and lessen skin inflammation. It can also aid with blood sugar and hormone regulation. You can use green tea or a cotton pad or cream to apply it topically to your skin.

3. Aloe vera

This herb has relaxing and healing properties. In addition to calming redness and irritation, your skin’s wound-healing process can be accelerated. Fresh aloe vera gel from the plant can be consumed, or you can buy clean and organic goods. Aloe vera can be used on the skin to moisturize or soothe irritation.

4. Diet

Eating a healthy, balanced diet can enhance your overall health and well-being. Giving your body proper nutrition can also help prevent or minimize hormonal acne. Foods heavy in sugar, refined carbs, dairy, or saturated fats should be avoided since they may raise your blood sugar and insulin levels, which might activate your hormones and result in acne. Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, lean meats, fish, eggs, and other foods high in fiber, protein, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

5. Exercise

Doing regular physical activity can help boost your mood, energy, and circulation. It can also help reduce stress, inflammation, and hormone fluctuations. You should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily, such as walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, or dancing. You should also drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise to stay hydrated and flush out toxins from your body.

How To Treat Bacterial Acne

Topical medications and antibiotics that kill bacteria and unclog pores are effective treatments for bacterial acne. However, not everyone may experience success with these therapies, and they may also have unwanted consequences like dryness, irritability, or resistance. 

As a result, it’s critical to utilize them appropriately and mix them with natural therapies and lifestyle modifications that can prevent or lessen bacterial acne.

Topical Products And Antibiotics For Bacterial Acne

Some of the topical products and antibiotics for bacterial acne are:

1. Benzoyl peroxide

Many over-the-counter acne products, including cleansers, gels, creams, and lotions, commonly contain this component. It eliminates microorganisms and lessens skin inflammation to work. 

Additionally, it can aid in removing excess oil and dead skin cells that clog your pores. If you’re not careful, it could also result in negative side effects, including dryness, peeling, redness, or burning, or it could bleach your hair or clothing.

2. Salicylic acid

This is yet another frequent chemical found in various over-the-counter acne treatments, pads, and cleansers. It exfoliates your skin to get rid of dead skin cells, extra oil, and other things that can clog your pores. Additionally, it can aid in reducing skin inflammation and edema. But it could also have negative consequences like dryness, peeling, itching, or stinging, making your skin more vulnerable to the sun.

3. Clindamycin

Your doctor may advise you to use a topical gel, lotion, or solution of this particular antibiotic. It functions by eradicating microorganisms and lowering skin inflammation. 

Additionally, it can aid in stopping the development of fresh breakouts. It could also result in negative side effects like dryness, itchiness, rash, or diarrhea. If the bacteria become resistant to it over time, it might start to lose its effectiveness.

4. Doxycycline

This is another type of antibiotic that your doctor can prescribe as an oral pill or capsule. It works by killing bacteria and reducing inflammation in your skin. It can also help prevent new breakouts from forming. However, it may also cause side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sun sensitivity, or yeast infections, and it may interact with other drugs or supplements you are taking.

Natural Remedies And Lifestyle Changes For Bacterial Acne

Some of the natural remedies and lifestyle changes for bacterial acne are:

1. Honey

Honey has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It can help with microbial eradication and reduce skin inflammation. It might help to moisturize and repair your skin. You can use raw honey as a treatment for your afflicted areas and a mask or cleanser. Processed honey should be avoided, though, as it could include additives or preservatives that irritate your skin.

2. Tea tree oil

This essential oil has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects. It can assist in reducing skin irritation and bacterial growth. Apply tea tree oil to your problematic regions using a cotton swab after diluting it with a carrier oil, such as jojoba or coconut oil. To ensure you are not allergic to tea tree oil, you should conduct a patch test first.

3. Diet

Eating a healthy, balanced diet can enhance your overall health and well-being. Supplying your body with the nutrients it needs to combat infection and inflammation can also help prevent or decrease bacterial acne. 

Foods heavy in sugar, refined carbs, dairy, or saturated fats should be avoided since they may raise your blood sugar and insulin levels, which might activate your hormones and result in acne. 

Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, lean meats, fish, eggs, and other foods that are high in fiber, protein, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

4. Hygiene

Bacterial acne can be prevented or reduced by keeping your skin germ-free and clean. Wash your face with a gentle cleanser and warm water twice daily, then pat it dry with a fresh towel. 

Additionally, you should avoid touching or sharing your towels and pillowcases with anyone else. You should also refrain from scratching or picking at your acne, as doing so increases the risk of bacterial spread, infection, or scarring.

Tips And Precautions For Using Hormonal And Bacterial Acne Treatments

Some of the tips and precautions for using hormonal and bacterial acne treatments are:

  • Before using any topical medication or antibiotic for bacterial acne, speak with your doctor first because they might not be appropriate for your skin type or condition.
  • Do not use more or less of your topical treatment or antibiotic than directed. Carefully follow the instructions and dosage.
  • Do not discontinue using your topical medication or antibiotic without first seeing your doctor. Doing so could make your acne worse or cause it to return.
  • Follow up with your doctor as soon as possible if there are any changes or concerns regarding your symptoms or the adverse effects of your topical medication or antibiotic.
  • Avoid harsh or irritating elements that could aggravate your acne by using gentle and non-comedogenic skin care products that are suitable for your skin type and condition.
  • Use a mild, oil-free moisturizer on your skin every day to prevent dry skin caused by some topical treatments or medications.
  • Wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to shield your skin from the sun. Some topical products or medicines may make your skin more susceptible to the sun.

How To Tell If Acne Is Hormonal Or Bacterial: Verdict

A dermatologist’s knowledge is sometimes required to determine if acne is hormonal or bacterial. However, you can search for a few indicators on your own. Keep an eye out for trends in your breakouts, such as those that occur around your menstrual cycle, as this can indicate hormonal acne. Experimenting with dietary modifications and monitoring how your skin reacts can also provide useful information, as certain foods could worsen hormonal acne.

Additionally, evaluating and monitoring the effectiveness of over-the-counter acne remedies can aid in distinguishing between hormonal and bacterial acne. Keep in mind that everyone’s skin is different, so what works for one person might not work for the next.

I trust that this article has given you the knowledge to distinguish between hormonal and bacterial acne and how to treat it effectively. Please don’t hesitate to post a comment below if you have any questions or suggestions. 

If you enjoyed reading this post, consider sharing it with loved ones and friends who might find it useful. 

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