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How To Treat Hormonal Acne with Tretinoin (Generic Retin-A)

While tretinoin can not help rebalance your hormones, it’s still a great acne treatment option. Let’s get into the details of tretinoin for hormonal acne.

Read on

Tretinoin (the generic form of Retin-A) is a proven effective acne treatment. Some researchers consider it the foundation of effective acne therapy.

In most cases, acne lesions are significantly reduced over 2-3 months of consistent use.  But does tretinoin treat all types of acne?

Hormonal acne is a tricky one because the cause is an internal imbalance. A hormonal imbalance can cause issues such as acne, hair loss, anxiety, depression, and sometimes physical pain.

When it comes to hormonal acne, the driving force is often androgenic hormones. Other hormones, such as estrogen or progesterone can play a role as well.

While tretinoin can not help rebalance your hormones, it’s still a great acne treatment option. Let’s get into the details of tretinoin for hormonal acne.

What is hormonal acne?

Hormonal acne is closely tied to hormone fluctuations. With this type of acne, the root cause is often hormonal fluctuations, spikes, or a hormone-related medical condition. Hormonal acne is strongly associated with an imbalance of androgenic hormones.

This includes major sex hormones such as testosterone. Elevated levels of testosterone can cause an increase in sebum production which can trigger breakouts.

In this article, we go into depth on how testosterone could be causing your acne flare-ups.

Hormone-related acne is typically found on the jawline or the sides of the cheeks. The pimples can range from blackheads, whiteheads, and cystic acne.

Read more: Meaning of Jawline Acne: Acne Mapping

Causes of hormonal acne

When treating hormonal acne it’s best to work with a physician to find and treat the root cause. There are many reasons why hormones might fluctuate or become imbalanced. Here are a few things that might cause hormonal acne:

  • Menstruation
  • Menopause
  • PCOS
  • Hormone replacement therapy

How does tretinoin reduce acne?

Tretinoin helps reduce acne by increasing skin cell turnover. Often, those with acne have a slower than normal skin cell turnover rate which can contribute to clogged pores and breakouts.

Tretinoin works to clear out clogged pores, kills acne-causing bacteria, reduces inflammation, and regulates sebum production. It also helps to keep clogged pores from happening in the first place. With consistent use, it can help clear acne and keep it clear.

This topical medication pushes clogged pores up to the surface and then acts as a comedolytic, preventing clogged pores from forming.

Tretinoin can also help reduce the appearance of leftover acne scarring or hyperpigmentation from past breakouts. It also reduces fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots. Topical solutions like tretinoin are an effective acne treatment option. However, treating symptoms (breakouts) without treating the root cause might make for an uphill battle.

Treatment options for hormonal acne

Treating hormonal acne can be tricky because to be effective, you’ve got to treat it both topically and internally.

Tretinoin can absolutely be used to treat hormonal acne, but it’s best used in conjunction with other therapies. These include hormone stabilizing medications, lifestyle changes, and diet changes to normalize your hormones. Let’s go over a few options you have when treating hormonal acne.

Work with your doctor (normally an endocrine specialist or OBGYN) to find the best course of hormone balancing treatment.

Oral medications for hormonal acne

Often tretinoin is prescribed alongside oral medications that can target hormonal imbalance and treat inflammatory acne. These include:

  • Oral antibiotics
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Spironolactone
  • Isotretinoin (Accutane)

Topical medications for hormonal acne

  • Tretinoin (Retin-A)
  • Topical antibiotics (Clindamycin)

So, can tretinoin help treat hormonal acne?

It can! But tretinoin-only treatment can only go so far with hormonal acne. It’s best used in conjunction with other treatments to target hormonal imbalance. While tretinoin is a very effective acne treatment, acne might still reoccur if the hormonal issues are not addressed.

Strut Health treats hormonal acne online

Our prescription anti-acne formula utilizes both tretinoin and clindamycin to help keep hormonal acne at bay.

If you’re ready for clearer skin, complete a questionnaire-based online doctor's consultation to see if our tretinoin-containing acne treatments are right for you.

If our doctors find this is a good fit for you, we’ll ship your prescription to your doorstep with free shipping.

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