Cystic Acne in Women
Over activity of the sebaceous glands usually results from either the presence of excessive amounts of male sex hormones (androgens) or an increased sensitivity of the sebaceous glands to normal levels of male sex hormones.
One approach to the treating male hormone-dependent acne is to lower the levels of male hormone production. For this diagnosis, it is important to establish the presence of excessive male sex hormones, the cause of its excess and the location of its production.
This is done by simple blood tests for testosterone, free testosterone, and adrenal hormones such as DHEAS and perhaps 17-OHP. There is also a form of excess male hormones associated with insulin resistance-- a new disorder currently under intense investigation.
It should also be pointed out that excessive production of male sex hormones by a female not only causes acne, but also can result in excessive hair growth, menstrual disorders and subsequent lessened fertility.
Therefore, the presence of acne in females may be an important sign of an underlying endocrine (hormonal) problem. This underlying problem, if caused by ovarian or adrenal gland disease and left undiagnosed and untreated, could lead to disorders of the menstrual cycle, PMS, polycystic ovarian disease and other disorders of the reproductive system.
One way to treat this health care problem is an endocrinological approach in order to establish a specific diagnosis, determine the location of excessive male hormone production (the adrenal glands or the ovaries) and develop a therapeutic plan to treat the underlying cause and counteract the effects of the male hormones. Appropriate monitoring of the hormone levels by a laboratory specializing in hormone analysis and evaluation is essential for determining the type of medication, its dosage and its effectiveness during therapy. Do not try this on your own.
Among the endocrine treatments for acne are birth control pills. In theory, birth control pills shut down the ovary that is producing inappropriate male hormones, and then substitute a more balanced hormone mixture.
According to Ayurveda, hormonal imbalances are a symptom of your doshas being out of balance. There are several ayurvedic solutions for balancing your doshas. Ayurveda provides dietary and lifestyle recommendations for balancing your doshas, but also may recommend certain botanical combinations known for their effectiveness at treating specific imbalances. As a good introduction into Ayurveda, we recommend you take the FREE Ayurveda Dosha Quiz to learn about your body type, where the imbalances may be hiding, and how to effectively address them.