Does Progesterone Cause Acne?


Acne breakouts are very troublesome for people who have it. Acne can cause both physical and emotional trauma, depending on what kind of situation you may have. This particular skin condition is typically very common. Most people can become a victim of an acne breakout starting during their early teens and onwards.

The main reason why acne forms is because the hair follicles found all throughout your skin are prone to getting clogged by oils, dirt, bacteria, and dead cells from your skin. There are a number of factors that can contribute to the formation of acne, these factors mainly include:
Irritated skin-


When skin gets rubbed too hard, there is a high chance that it could get damaged and cause acne. Your skin could get irritated and damaged either when you are scrubbing too hard when cleaning and scratching, or when your skin gets too much friction from rough and uncomfortable clothing or surfaces.

Pore-clogging skin products- Most lotions include an ingredient called mineral oil. Mineral oil is best known for being a heavy moisturizing agent found in some lotions, but this ingredient is also a problem for your skin pores because mineral oil will tend to clog them. Silicone is another thing to watch out for because it also can block your pores.


This ingredient is mostly found in skin care or cosmetic products. To avoid this, be sure to double check if the skin products you are using are labeled to be non-comedogenic. This label ensures that the skin care product you want to use is specially designed to avoid clogging your pores.  

Harmful ingredients from your shampoo- Shampoo and conditioner use is not recommended for everyday use as it can damage your scalp with some of their ingredients. While some shampoos and conditioners are mild, others tend to be harsher with your hair and scalp due to their special ingredients.


These hair care products also contain sulfates, silicones, and heavy moisturizing agents that can clog pores all throughout your face and may cause various kinds of acne to form. To avoid this, be sure to keep the residue of your shampoo or conditioner from dripping on your face when taking a shower to avoid the clogging of your pores.

Dandruff falling from your scalp- The flakes that come from dandruff is basically dead skin cells that form on your scalp. These flakes can be a factor of acne breakouts because it can also block your skin pores. You can prevent dandruff from causing acne or even forming by regularly cleaning your hair and scalp. Just keep in mind that too much scrubbing can worsen your situation, so be cautious about the way you cleanse your hair.

Improper hygiene- Taking a bath regularly, cleansing your face from oils and dirt, and exfoliating are the main things that can prevent acne breakouts. Overlooking these simple hygienic tasks increases the risk of the formation of acne. Maintaining proper hygiene helps your body become free from bacteria , dirt, dead skin cells, and excess oil.

Popping your pimples- Most people have a habit or are always tempted to pick or pop their pimples. Not only does doing this cause red marks or even scars, it also increases the risk of spreading the bacteria and causing more acne to form.


The infection and inflammation could also go deeper because some people tend to press the bumps and cause the pus and bacteria to go deeper and spread underneath the layers of your skin which would likely worsen the current situation. Although popping these bumps will always be tempting, all you need is a little control and patience for the pimples to fade away as time passes by.

Eating too much spicy food- Tomatoes and peppers, which are mostly found in spicy foods, contain a chemical called acidic lycopene. This chemical can cause irritation for some people and even affecting their skin’s pH levels. The skin’s reaction to spicy foods could also be a factor that can cause an acne breakout. If you are starting to get affected, monitor your skin’s situation and if needed, take a break from eating too much spicy food.

Forgetting to rehydrate- Your body needs to retain a certain amount of fluids in order for it to function. Failure to meet these needs will likely result in dehydration. One symptom/ effect of dehydration is dry skin, and when skin becomes dry, your body will likely react by releasing oils from your sebaceous glands to lubricate your skin.


Over-excretion of these oils could mix up with the dead skin cells also result from dry skin and clog up pores, causing acne breakouts. Rehydrating is very easy. Just keep in mind to drink the proper amount of water every day especially after excreting large amounts of liquids from your body.

High hormone levels- People undergoing puberty tend to have a sudden increase in hormone production, which is the reason why people of that age level are more prone to acquiring acne. Testosterone is one of the main hormones that cause the sebaceous glands found in your pores to excrete oils.


Due to the high hormone levels present with teenagers that are experiencing puberty, the production and excretion of oils become too much and highly increases the chances of the skin pores and hair follicles getting plugged which in turn causes acne breakouts.


With various causes, there are also different kinds of acne that vary when it comes to appearance, texture, and severity.

  • Blackheads- Blackheads or open comedones, are known for its black appearance which comes from melanin (surface pigment). This type of acne is mostly found around the facial area, especially around the nose.

  • Whiteheads- Whiteheads, also known as closed comedones, has a white color to its bumps instead of black, when compared to blackheads. Their bumps are usually firmer than that of blackheads.

  • Papules- Papules develop when the walls of a hair follicle breaks down due to the pores becoming very irritated. These are usually filled with white or yellow pus and the surrounding area of the pores are inflamed. This type of acne is more popularly known by most people as zits or pimples

    • Pustules- Pustules have a way of forming which is similar to that of papules, which is the breakdown of the walls of a hair follicle. Unlike papules, pustules don’t have pus inside their bumps. These bumps are usually red and pink in color.

  • Nodules- Nodules are pores that are blocked and become irritated. This type of acne usually affects a deeper layer of skin. Nodules are larger in size when compared to almost all other acne types except cystic acne. Nodule bumps are often hard and painful when touched.

  • Cysts- Cystic acne is known as the worst kind of acne. It is deeper than any acne related infection and is the most severe. The large bumps known as cysts are typically filled with pus. Cystic acne leads to the formation of acne scars.

As we now know, one of the main causes of acne is overproduction of sebum (an oily substance produced by sebaceous glands) caused by high hormone related activities that occur inside your body. The most common hormone that causes acne is an androgen known as testosterone. Although testosterone is more commonly present in a male’s body, testosterone can also be present with women but are much less than that of men.
However, testosterone is not the only hormone that should be blamed for acne breakouts.


This other hormone that could cause acne breakouts is called progesterone.

What is Progesterone?

Progesterone is a vital sex hormone that is produced from the ovaries by female humans and other various species. This hormone is a progestin sex hormone and endogenous steroid which is responsible for the pregnancy, embryogenesis, and menstrual cycles of all kinds of species. Progesterone is included in a group of steroid hormones which are known as progestin, and is considered to be one of the most significant progestin produced in the body.

This hormone is very important for women, as it is important for the regulation of ovulation. Progesterone also regulates a woman’s period and is mainly responsible for the maturity of the uterus in order for it to be able go through pregnancy and conception.

One reason for your progesterone levels to decrease is high levels of stress. This causes your hormones to become highly imbalanced. Progesterone doesn’t directly affect acne, but low levels of the said hormone will cause other hormone levels to become imbalanced, such as excess amounts of androgens and estrogens.


Without enough progesterone, estrogens and androgens become the more dominant hormones and the imbalance caused will be responsible for various symptoms such as:

  • Breast tenderness
    • Feeling bloated
    • Fibroids
    • Weight gain
    • Thyroid dysfunction
    • Mood swings
    • Acne breakouts

Having acne breakouts during your menstrual cycles or pregnancy can be quite troublesome, but keep in mind that breakouts during those periods are only natural because of the high hormone levels that you will experience. Having a normal progesterone count won’t cause acne, but reaching low levels of the said hormone will indirectly cause breakouts. Some breakouts will be inevitable, so the best option is for you to treat your acne cautiously if it ever forms.


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