The most potent stimulator of oil gland is the male hormone testosterone. While both women and men produce all three types of hormones (testosterone, estrogen and progesterone), the testosterone levels are much higher in men; and therefore the acne tends to be more severe in men as compared to women
Puberty – Almost 70% teenagers passing through puberty suffer from acne. It is the rising level of testosterone which acts as a trigger.
Oral Contraceptive Pills – Intake of oral contraceptive pills can trigger acne bouts.
Pregnancy – Change of hormones during pregnancy can trigger acne.
Middle Age Hormonal Changes – Testosterone also impacts Adult Acne. Adult men and women, who have never had acne in their entire life, suddenly start breaking out with lumps of acne.
Menstrual Periods – Breakouts of acne typically increase around menstrual periods. It can almost be said that like the menstrual cycle the acne too follows a 28 day cycle with flare-ups during periods. Some studies have shown that the size of the pores keep varying and are narrowest before periods thereby increasing the clogging of secretions.
Polycystic Ovarian Disease – Acne could be a symptom of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is a condition in which the ovaries secrete abnormally high amounts of androgens (male hormones) that often cause problems with ovulation. Women with PCOS have enlarged ovaries which contain multiple, small cysts. The symptoms of PCOS are – Acne, oily skin, weight gain, hirsutism (abnormal hair growth on chin, chest or other unwanted areas), irregular periods, enlarged ovaries. Acne, along with other signs may prompt an evaluation for PCOS.
Thyroid Disorder – Thyroid disorders can cause acne breakouts. A diagnosis of thyroid disorder can be made from its symptoms which include acne, fatigue, menstrual irregularities, weight gain, constipation, depression, inability to focus, brittle nails, dry skin and hair loss. However in mild to moderate cases the above symptoms may not always be present and thus it is best to rule out any abnormality through a blood test.