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The 3 Stages of Hormonal Skin Care

By: Kris Campbell
Posted: March 29, 2013, from the April 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
Clients with hormonal acne may also experience irregular menstrual cycles, hair loss, diabetes and infertility.

Clients with hormonal acne may also experience irregular menstrual cycles, hair loss, diabetes and infertility.

Life expectancy for humans has doubled during the past 100 years. Because of this, clients living with skin affected by hormonal issues have to learn to manage them for a longer period of time. Hormones are the body’s chemicals that send signals between cells. They control and regulate many functions in the body, including temperature and blood pressure, and they support other diverse functions, such as growth, cell repair, metabolism, fertility and reproduction. The communication that a hormone has with organs in the body, along with other hormones, can also affect the skin of both women and men at various stages of their lives.

With all the skin conditions that can arise due to too many or too few hormones, skin care professionals must be aware of everything they can do to treat their clients, from the initial consultation to professional treatments to home care recommendations. Understanding the types of hormones that women deal with during the different stages will help skin care professionals when analyzing the skin. Side effects can be from one end of the scale with overly dry skin, to the other end—acne breakouts.

Understanding body chemistry

There are naturally occurring changes in body chemistry as people age, such as menopause. These changes can affect hormonal release from glands, thus disturbing their balance. Diabetes is another fairly common hormonal imbalance that occurs when there is not enough insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas that affects metabolism. Hyper- or hypo-thyroidism is also quite common and is sometimes even detected in children. All these imbalances can manifest themselves in a wide variety of physical and emotional symptoms. Sustained hormonal imbalance can have severe—and potentially fatal—complications, so a diagnosis and treatment is critical for general health and well-being. The main hormones that affect the skin include estrogens, testosterone and thyroid hormones.

Estrogen. Estrogen is the most commonly discussed hormone, but is often misrepresented because it is not only a female hormone, but is also found in men and in tissues outside the ovaries. Estrogens are made up of hormones that are chemically similar.

Testosterone. Testosterone is not just a male-based hormone. It affects hair growth and loss, causes coarser skin and increased levels of oil during different stages of a woman’s life.

Understanding Skin Diseases and Disorders Can Increase Your Treatment Offerings in 2013

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