Jawline acne isn’t always due to hormones! Know more causes and how to treat it

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Whether you call them acne, zits or pimples, these red or white-topped bumps can show up anywhere on your body. Acne is one of the most common conditions that we see in our daily lives. However, lower face or jawline acne could be the most difficult to treat and is often prone to recurrence. Underlying hormonal imbalances are the most likely cause of jawline acne. Read on to know more about the causes of jawline acne.

Health Shots got in touch with Dr Agni Kumar Bose, a dermatologist, Venereologist, and Dr Kashish Kalra, MBBS, MD (Dermatology), Gold Medalist, Head of Department of Dermatology and Trichology, Max Smart Super Specialty Hospital, Saket, New Delhi, to understand the various causes behind jawline acne and various ways to cure it.

Lower face acne is mainly attributed to hormonal disturbances. courtesy: Shutterstock

Various causes of jawline acne

Here are some of the most common causes of jawline acne, as per the experts:

1. Hormonal imbalance

As per Dr Bose, “This type of acne is more commonly seen in women than men. It’s usually a tell-tale sign of hormonal acne. This could be a premenstrual flare, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), increased male hormones, or the use of oral contraceptive pills.”

In the words of Dr Kalra, “Lower face acne is mainly attributed to hormonal disturbances and is a common sign of hyperandrogenism (high levels of androgen hormone) which can be due to PCOD, or certain drugs, some benign tumours of adrenal glands or genetic reasons.”

2. Stress

When the flight-fight response of your body is activated, your body releases stress hormones such as cortisol and androgens. With high levels of such hormones, your skin’s natural oil production increases which can aggravate acne. Stress is the major cause of many skin-related issues.

3. Dietary changes

Certain foods can trigger acne. Such foods include milk, whey protein, high GI foods, alcohol, inflammatory fats, and refined carbohydrates. These foods aggravate breakouts by producing hormones that can worsen acne.

Milk can trigger acne. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Other less common causes of jawline acne

As per the noted experts, other less common causes of jawline acne include:

1. Folliculitis

It’s a bacterial infection of hair follicles due to the tendency of ingrown hair being more common in males but also in females who have thick, coarse hair on the chin and jaw and go for procedures like waxing, threading, etc.

2. Rosacea

It’s an inflammatory condition of the skin which stimulates acne and can be present over the cheeks or lower face.

How to treat jawline acne

Jawline acne needs more specific treatment as it is usually hormone-dependent and should be dealt with by a qualified dermatologist only.

1. Oral contraceptive pills or anti-androgen drugs

Dr. Kalra asserts that a dermatologist will most likely use birth control pills or anti-androgen drugs to control the surge of lesions. Under no circumstances, these medicines should be continued without a dermatologist’s prescription. This is the best way to treat the underlying cause of such acne type.

2. Topical treatments

Additionally, your dermatologist might reckon topicals like salicylic acid, retinoids, Benzoyl Peroxide, Azelaic acid, Tretinoin, Adapalene (Not to be used during pregnancy), plain antibiotic creams for folliculitis).

With any skincare active ingredient, a few rules to be followed are:

Dr Bose suggests the following steps to be followed while using topicals.
• Use a pea-sized amount over the pimples (It’s going to sting and burn).
• To be applied at night.
• Initially, the actives are to be washed after 20-30 mins for the first couple of days. Once the skin gets used to it, the contact time can be gradually increased to 1-2 hours and then overnight.
• Needless to say, a gel-based sunscreen and moisturizer go hand-in-hand.

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