Acne only begins after puberty, when hormone production kicks in, and the body begins producing skin oil. Skin oil is required for acne formation, and hormones, particularly androgens, which are male hormones found in both males and females, are responsible for the production of skin oil.
Generally speaking, more androgens means more skin oil, and this equates to a heightened chance of developing acne. The higher the androgen levels the more severe acne tends to become.
So what can be done about it? In males, not much. Medications that reduce androgens can feminize the male body, causing breast development and other problems. However, females do have hormonal treatment as an option. In cases where a blood test comes back showing a hormonal imbalance, dermatologists sometimes prescribe oral contraceptives (birth control pills) and/or medications that suppress androgens called anti-androgens. However, artificially altering hormones should not be entered into lightly, as it comes with a wide array of side effects.
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