The word “Andro” from Androgenic means male, which leaves us thinking of them as male hormones, however, both genders make both female and male hormones. That means Androgens are in women as much as they're in men, and this testosterone issue is one of the biggest stressors for women.
When it comes to Androgenic Acne, the symptoms that show on the face would be within the t-zone. You would notice little individual localized pimples at the t-zone along with comedone zits.
Little did you know that you could also tell who produces more testosterone just by a body type. The typical high testosterone body type includes thinning hair or high hairline, lean and muscular body, with very driven personality.
In males, there is the growth hormone male Testosterone and the male hormone-like substance Dihydrotestosterone (a.k.a DHT), a super growth hormone that stimulates the development of male characteristics (androgen). Testosterone usually wouldn’t be an issue unless it’s overproduced. DHT would be the problematic cause for acne when your body is under certain nutritional deficiency.
Mimic a lot of androgenic-like effects is called Insulin. It’s cousin Insulin-like Growth Factor called IGF-1 which is another problematic cause in androgenic acne (Dairy is a big source of insulin-like growth factor IGF-1). Insulin tells the body to grow in a similar way to testosterone and cause another growth issue in the body.
Androgenic acne is a hyperproliferative disease of the cell. This is when the cells are dividing out of control and too quickly. If we look closer, the hyper-growth state is caused by a lack of nutrients that stabilize growth, resulting in a hyperproliferative condition where cells divide rapidly inside the cavity (pore/follicle), which is acne, but specifically androgenic acne.
When hyperproliferative condition cells are growing out of control under the regulation of Testosterone, Testosterone DHT, Insulin, and Insulin-like Growth Factor Igf-1, we need strategies to keep DHT and insulin down to a minimum, that's the way you handle acne effectively for long term.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (a.k.a PCOS) is an insulin androgen-estrogen issue but it starts off with insulin and androgen issues.
When a woman has androgenic acne, it means angiogenic acne has gone out of sync, usually caused by insulin problems along with her male hormones (Remember, women make male hormones as well). When she gets a proliferation of cells in the ovaries, they end as cysts in the ovaries which is called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
Ovarian tissue produces female hormones. When the high levels of androgens (male hormones) and high levels of insulin cause a hyperproliferation, an over accumulation condition of the ovaries, which in turn, encourages the production of lots of additional female hormones leading up to the condition where women have high androgens. They'll end up with symptoms such as acne, hirsutism, body hair, and balding while also expressing conditions of high estrogen.
There are pharmaceutical drugs such as Finasteride (sold under the brand name Proscar) which is made for a male prostate disorder, Spironolactone made for blood pressure, as well as diabetic drugs for old school pharmacological intervention skin diabetic strategy. These pharmaceuticals were later discovered to have anti-androgenic properties and stabilize the production of DHT, or down regulate insulin. On the surface this might all sound good, however, the drugs are packed with toxins.
Since addressing androgenic acne is mostly caused by insulin levels, you need to work on insulin, in order to work on testosterone. This way, you’ll slow down the hyper-growth state, estrogen, and cysts.
DHT inhibition is on top priority. In order to inhibit without harming the body, Zinc is the best method. Zinc is one of the most abundant minerals on earth. It’s derived out of the soil and wildly available in whole food as well as dietary supplements. It also works for sugar control, benefiting insulin regulation as well.
Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids
Omega 3 soothes body's inflammatory response to excess sebum and bacteria. It also tackles the root of the problem by helping to regulate acne-causing hormones, such as testosterone and androgen. Omega 6 is able to liquify the gunk inside the inflamed acne.
It contains bioactive compounds - Curcuminoids. Curcumin is the most important and known anti-inflammatory among all active ingredients. Though, don’t expect to get the curcumin from the spices in your cabinet since it’s difficult to be absorbed into the bloodstream. You’ll need the extract of turmeric in a supplementary form in order to get enough of a daily dosage.
Since it’s fat soluble, our tips are taking curcumin with essential fatty acids and substances like Piperine (such as Black pepper) which help enhance the absorption of curcumin.
It’s known for regulating cell turnover rate. Bioavailable vitamin A is called Retinoids (retinol). They are fat-soluble and found in synthetic medications or animal products such as poultry, fish, pork, and red meat. These bioactive forms of vitamin A are converted into retinoic acid, retinal, and retinyl esters; the only type of vitamin A that the body can use right away.
Plant-based vitamin A is called Carotenoids, which are found in plant foods like carrots, yellow/orange colored fruits and vegetables, and dark green vegetables. Although a substantial type of different carotenoids, only a small number of them can be used in the human body.
Vitamin B Complex
B vitamins are sugar metabolizer, it’s vital for all skin issues, especially for hyperproliferative skin issues that involve insulin and sugar.
Saw Palmetto can be an effective DHT inhibitor, helping to stabilize cell growth in the follicle and improve androgenic acne.
Chromium & Vanadium
These help normalize cell function, reducing inflammation, and regulating blood sugar levels.
Medium-chain lauric acid is found in MCT oils, such as coconut oil. It contains antibacterial properties that also fight the effects of fungi and viruses.
This is a synergistic association of Zinc and L-PCA. Zinc is to help normalize sebum production by slowing down excessive sebaceous activity which in turn can reduce the development of acne and limit the proliferation with antibacterial properties. L-PCA stands for Pyrrolidone Carboxylic Acid which is a key molecule in the skin that helps with processes of hydration.
- Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA)
It’s in both natural or synthetic form. It helps exfoliate the uppermost layers of skin and retain hydration. The AHA family include the acids Glycolic, Lactic, Malic, Tartaric, Citric, and Mandelic.
This is Omega 6 which has an anti-inflammatory property and can be used topically.
Vitamin A & C
These vitamins are the normalizers. As Retinol they slow down or speed up cell growth.
Coming Up Next
Testosterone is made in the adrenal glands and gonads where they tell the body it’s a growth and reproductive issue. That’s the reason teenage boys get it due to the surge of growth hormone and sexual development.
Skin cells also make testosterone and androgens which work with insulin. This means skin cells produce DHT in the follicle and respond to insulin and insulin-like growth factors. That’s means you have testosterone and insulin effects in the cell area as well as in the adrenal glands and gonads all at the same time.
So that means our next acne article will be Adrenal Acne.