Why Women Get Acne During Their Periods

Period acne is often caused by hormones, but their are ways to improve it. Read on to discover why women get acne during their periods.
Why Women Get Acne During Their Periods

Last update: 30 October, 2019

Most women get acne during their periods. In fact, almost all women have been surprised by unsightly pimples that announce that they’re about to get their periods. However, why does this happen?

The menstrual cycle consists of a series of natural hormonal changes that occur in the female reproductive system. The period is the bleeding that occurs through the vagina roughly every 28 days.

Both the entire cycle as well as periods are specific processes that affect the entire body. Hormones have varied effects, including causing period acne. In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about it.

Why women get acne during their periods

To understand why women get acne during their periods, you must understand a little about what hormones do.

First, testosterone is one of the main protagonists. During adolescence, testosterone levels increase in both sexes. Numerous studies claim that this is one of the factors involved in the development of acne. It’s estimated that 70% of teenagers suffer from acne during adolescence.

However, this acne tends to disappear or improve in adulthood. Nonetheless, almost 80% of adults who have acne are women. This is because hormones continue to fluctuate throughout a woman’s life. However, they stabilize in men.

During the menstrual cycle, these hormonal fluctuations result in many changes. Regarding the skin, it can affect hydration, sensitivity, and even regeneration.

Every woman is different and will experience different things. Typically, the skin is oilier during ovulation and menstruation. Therefore, menstrual acne is very common. In fact, it can develop up to five days before the beginning of each monthly bleeding.

Although this acne mostly affects the face, it can also develop in the back and chest. The good thing is that it tends to disappear at the end of menstruation.

A woman with acne.

This article may interest you: 5 Natural Home Remedies for a Heavy Period

When women get acne during their periods

Just before a woman gets her period, androgen levels (a group of hormones such as testosterone) increase in the blood. As we already mentioned, testosterone contributes to the activation of sebaceous glands and sebum production.

The sebum and oil that are produced are factors involved in acne formation. When they build up in the pores, the pores swell up. Thus, they redden and become infected, causing the formation of pimples and blackheads.

What can women do to fight period acne?

If period acne worries you, the first thing you should do is go see a doctor. Numerous tests can help you monitor your hormone levels. Also, there are medical treatments that stabilize hormonal fluctuations.

For example, birth control pills significantly improve period acne. However, we must be aware of all the other side effects they have.

A woman taking birth control pills.

It’s very important to maintain a balanced diet and exercise daily. Scientists are trying to prove the relationship between cholesterol and triglycerides and acne. Also, a good diet always helps improve skin appearance.

Ideally, you should pay special attention to your skin and care for it. Professionals recommend using non-comedogenic products daily to clean and moisturize your skin. Avoiding makeup is also a good tip.

Of course, you should also drink enough water every day. Water helps rid the body of toxins through sweat and urine. This allows the skin to clean the pores since sweat drags dirt and dead skin cells that clog pores.

You might also enjoy this article: 6 Possible Reasons Why You Have Irregular Periods


It’s normal for women to get acne during their periods. Period acne is mainly caused by hormonal fluctuations throughout the menstrual cycle. If it worries or discomforts you, you should go see your doctor.

There are natural ways to reduce it, such as paying attention to your hygiene and eating habits. However, if it persists, you can also try different proven medical treatments. Therefore, consult your family doctor or dermatologist as soon as possible.

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