Hormones are the chemical messengers of our body – they trigger the activation of many important processes including sexual identification, metabolism, and skin health. While they normally do not directly affect any of these processes, they set into motion the action cascades that result in cellular action.
There are two types of ways your skin can be adversely affected throughout your life:
Extrinsic Skin Aging
Extrinsic skin aging is caused by factors outside of the body. These are environmental factors such as ultraviolet ray exposure from being outside without sun block, poor diet, and pollution in the air. These factors can cause deep wrinkling and photo (light) damage to the skin. Extrinsic processes can greatly increase the rate at which your skin ages. These processes are independent of hormone action in the body, but can contribute to furthering their effects.
Intrinsic Skin Aging
This type of skin aging occurs as result of your body’s natural aging processes. Over the years, your skin becomes more prone to experiencing dryness, wrinkles, and paleness as a result of natural cellular aging processes. How are these processes controlled? Some experts believe that the natural decrease in hormones we experience contributes to the deterioration of skin health.
There are two main hormones that contribute to skin health: testosterone and estrogen.
Estrogen is a widely-known hormone that is normally associated with female sex characteristics. Estrogen is present in men as well, and is very important to skin health in both sexes. Estrogens are actually a class of hormone that includes other substances, such as estradiol. Estrogen and estradiol directly affect the thickness, moisture, and tightness of skin. As we discussed, hormones cause other substances to act, and in this case the substances responsible are GAG’s (glycosaminoglycans), the most prominent of which is hyaluronic acid (HA). HA acts to keep skin tight and properly moisturized. If estrogen levels are imbalanced, then skin can lose its ability to maintain a youthful shine.
Testosterone is the main male sex hormone, and results in the characteristics that make men appear as men do. More muscle mass, facial hair, and oily skin are some of the processes testosterone is responsible for. When a hormonal imbalance of testosterone appears in the body, the skin is adversely affected. An abundance of testosterone can result in overly oily skin and acne. This is why during menstruation, females can experience oily skin and breakouts, as the balance of estrogen and testosterone in their body’s has been disrupted.
So now that we know how hormones can affect skin health in both males and females, how should you go about treatment?
The first step is to schedule an appointment with a trusted specialist, such as those at HealthGAINS. It is important to be properly diagnosed, and to demonstrate a real medical need for hormone therapy. The professionals on our team will work closely with you to make sure that hormones are indeed causing your skin problems.
If a medical necessity is found, the hormone specialists will provide you with step-by-step guidance throughout care. They offer multiple treatment options, including creams and safe injections of bio-identical hormones to help safely re-balance your hormone levels at any age. If you want to help your skin look and feel younger and more vibrant, contact us today!