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Hormonal therapy is the process of reversing the excessive production of male hormones in the body. Hormonal therapy is used to treat hormone-related problems, including acne and hair loss. Hormonal therapy involves the daily administration of anti-androgen drugs to control the freely flowing androgens in a person’s body.
More male hormones lead to enlarged oil-producing glands. More sebum translates to acne. A person would be prone to inflammatory acne if the sebum production is too much.
Both males and females have androgen and estrogen. It just so happens that males have more naturally occurring androgen while females have more naturally occurring estrogen.
Often, women who suffer from acne have more free androgens in their blood. The goal of hormone treatment is to decrease these free flowing androgens. Because once androgen makes contact with the oil producing glands, the overproduction of oil takes place immediately.
Hormone therapy can take many forms, including taking oral contraceptives like the Pill and the Mini-Pill. These drugs can help mop up the free androgen circulating in your bloodstream. They help inhibit or block the male hormones that create the perfect ‘acne’ situation.
Oral contraceptive packs often contain twenty-eight tablets. There are twenty-one active tablets. These tablets directly contribute to the battle against unwanted pregnancies and acne. The seven remaining tablets do not contain anything.
The last seven tablets serve as reminders, so that the next cycle is carried out on schedule. They are reminder tablets. Remember, the last seven tablets have no hormones. They come in different hues, so you won’t mistake them for active pills.
An effective component of drugs like Diane-35 is cyproterone. Cyproterone is an effective androgen blocker. It’s also an effective progestin.
Will the pills work immediately? Will you have clearer skin immediately once you start taking these pills? The answer is unfortunately, no. It may take about ninety days before any results would be seen. The complete clearing of your acne may take longer.
The positive thing about all this is you’re already doing something to counteract your acne. It’s better than doing nothing, or sacrificing your time, effort and money in other acne treatments that have not been studied at all.
All therapies have their own share of risks and benefits. The hormone therapy’s risk of the increased susceptibility of women to certain forms of cancers can be minimized by regular breast and pelvic check-ups. It goes without saying that dermatologists should coordinate with the patient’s gynecologist in order to find the most suitable treatment and maintenance particularly in women over 40 years old or those who have a smoking habit.
The following are documented side effects of taking oral contraceptives:
• Abdominal cramps
• Severe headaches
• Weight gain
• Mood swings
• Tenderness of the breasts
Breast examination is necessary if you’re taking oral contraceptives. Pap smears on the other hand, are used to monitor what’s happening to the female reproductive system.