Acne is the result of an inflammation of the sebaceous glands (oil glands). The subsequent spots are caused by oil, bacteria and skin cells becoming trapped in our pores.

This inflammation can be triggered by our environment or by stress, cosmetic products etc., however our hormones can also play a big part in bringing about the skin condition.

Most women will have suffered an outbreak of facial spots at some point in their lives. Outbreaks most commonly occur during adolescence where our hormone levels are erratic causing our skin to become more oily, blocking pores. As we mature, the odd spot here and there will often coincide with being stressed, using new products on the face or having a reaction to something we have come into contact with.

Some women however will suffer from acne which can develop on the face, neck, chest or back. Though treatable, the condition can be painful and a source of much embarrassment.

menopausal acne

Some of the causes of acne:

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

The hormonal disorder PCOS is characterised by an increase in male hormones (androgens), which in turn, can stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce excess sebum, thereby causing acne.


Like with PCOS, higher levels of androgens during pregnancy can cause spots. This may occur for a brief period or last the duration of the pregnancy. Treating acne during this time poses its own challenges as many medications typically used to treat the condition are not suitable for pregnant women.


Low oestrogen levels and increased androgen levels can cause acne during the menopause.

Treatment of acne

In the first instance, changes to personal grooming can help to improve the condition:

  • Wash the area affected with a mild cleansing product twice a day
  • Avoiding oil based cosmetics
  • Remove make-up before bed
  • Herbal remedies such as Tea Tree Oil
  • Over the counter products and antibiotics

However, if the condition has a hormonal element the above remedies will not address the underlying cause. If you have tried other topical approaches without success we can review your situation to determine if hormones are contributing the cause and address this along with other aspects that may benefit from hormone tailoring and HRT.

Related topics PCOS, Hormones & Menopause, Menopause Clinic & HRT

We can assess and treat all female health issues

At the Surrey Park Clinic we specialise in female health and understand the sometimes complex symptoms that accompany hormone imbalances and the menopause.
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