Getting a huge zit is a girl’s worst nightmare. Especially, when you’re in school on when you’re having a date. Just the mere sight of it makes you want to hide in shame, and cancel all your appointments. I mean, we’ve all gone through it, especially just days before we get our period.
In a study published in the Archives of Dermatology, researchers discovered that 63% of acne-prone women experience premenstrual pimples. They also found that we may experience having the “PMS zit” in 7 to 10 days prior to the onset of a our period, and subside as soon as we hit Day 1.
It’s All in the Hormones
We have to remember that pre-menstrual zits are internal, and cannot be solved by hygiene alone.
Women, have three active hormones active in different phases of their cycle. The predominant hormone in the first half is estrogen; while in the second half main hormone is progesterone. However, a small amount of testosterone is present through out the cycle. Ten days before your period, when the endomentrium lining breaks down, both female hormones fall to their lowest levels.
The shift in hormones during these phases causes a behind-the-scenes reaction to the skin. First, progesterone stimulates sebum, the oily substance that acts as our skin’s natural moisturizer. But as the progesterone levels increase, the skin’s pores are shut, causing sebum and dirt to build up underneath the skin’s surface.
With higher testosterone levels before the onset of menstruation, our skin produces even more sebum. The oil provides food for the bacterium P. acnes. This bacterium causes increased breakouts and inflammation around the time of women’s periods.
Again, washing your face isn’t enough. If you have noticed severe breakouts associated with your period, take a visit to your ob-gyn, endocrinologist, or dermatologist. They will explain which treatment to take to balance out hormonal changes.