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Hormones and the Skin: the Role Hormones Play as We Age

Many people say that aging is just a state of mind. However, many dermatologists will tell you that aging can be affected by your hormone levels. Whether low or high, your hormones affect your skin, hair and nails as you age. //

Speaking today at the American Academy of Dermatology’s (Academy) SKIN Academy, dermatologist Debra Jaliman, MD, FAAD, an assistant clinical professor at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York, NY, discussed how hormones levels in your 20s, 30s, 40s and beyond can affect a woman’s skin.

"Fluctuating levels of hormones can have an impact on the skin, hair and nails that can be physically and emotionally challenging," commented Dr. Jaliman. "That’s why it’s important to consult with a dermatologist who can identify problem areas and recommend treatments that will keep them healthy no matter what a woman’s stage of life."

Young Adulthood
Acne typically first appears during adolescence and can persist well into adulthood. The cause of acne is most often linked to androgens, which are the hormones that stimulate the sebaceous – or oil – glands in the skin. When the sebaceous glands are over-stimulated by androgens, acne flare-ups can occur.

For women affected by acne, especially those in the early-to-mid twenties and older, oral contraceptives (OCPs) can be an effective part of their acne treatment plan in conjunction with other therapies. Current OCPs help decrease androgen levels, and therefore decrease acne.

In addition, a dermatologist may prescribe oral medications or topical creams, gels, or lotions with vitamin A derivatives, benzoyl peroxide, or antibiotics to help unblock the pores and reduce bacteria.

Fluctuations in androgens also can cause hirsutism, a condition characterized by excessive growth of hair on the female face and body. Male-like patterns of hair may appear on the upper lip and chin, and more hair growth than usual may be seen on the arms and legs
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