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Hello,

I am a 52 year old woman and I am going through the menopause right now. It is an unpleasant experience overall, much more so than I had expected. The hot flashes aren't nice. The chills are not nice. The mood swings are not nice. And, ehm, intimate symptoms. I have also, in addition to all of these, developed menopausal acne. My skin looks dreadful and I really wish it could go back to normal. I have no idea what to do about it, how to treat it successfully without the risk of making matters worse. Could you help me with some suggestions?

Thanks. 

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Though you could certainly start with over the counter topical products for your menopausal acne, the gold standard in adult acne treatment is definitely Retin-A, or other retinoids such as retinol. Though they can have side effects that include a slight drying of the skin, these retinoids counter both acne and signs aging and with great success too! Please look into it and see if it sounds like you would like to try this out. Retinol is available over the counter, while you need a prescription for Retin-A, which also comes in very many different strengths. Good luck! That has got to suck!

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I've been through menopausal acne myself. I also had acne throughout my teens and twenties and the menopausal acne was different in nature, more microcystic as my doctor likes to say. They appeared along the chin line mostly and lasted much longer, no longer along predictable menstrual cycle lines of course. In addition to Renova (retin-A), Spironolactone is another medication that can work very well for the menopausal skin with acne. Perhaps consider asking your doctor about it?
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As bacterial colonization always plays a role in acne formation, have you tried vinegar and baking soda masks in an attempt to combat your menopausal acne? Honey masks, too, can be very powerful as antibacterials. In addition, they help fade scars left over from acne, making them an extremely worthwhile remedy to try for yourself. 

Should these natural remedies not serve you well, I suggest you look into Retin-A or related retinoids. They simultaneously combat acne and signs of aging, making them an ideal choice for the perimenopausal woman! However, as the skin gets drier when you enter the menopause and retinoids also dry the skin, you will indeed need a very nurturing moisturizer, perhaps something containing bees wax. 

Rosie

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* HRT has gotten a bad press lately but my understanding is that the benefits can still very much outweigh the risks! One of the benefits of HRT is an improved complexion. Thankfully menopausal acne is rarely as severe as teen acne or other forms of adult acne, and sometimes HRT alone clears it right up.

* Both benzoyl peroxide and retinoids can be of great help to people with menopausal acne.

* In more severe cases, both antibiotics and accutane can help.

Don't be afraid to bring your menopausal acne up with your doctor! There are solutions out there for you.
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That sucks!!! If I was you I'd head to my GP and ask what can be done about that... yeah, hormone replacement therapy has some awesome potential for menopause acne from what I hear and there's always Retin-A. Accutane is nasty stuff though... when you know you can't get pregnant on that stuff (not that you could anymore LOL) it's clear that it has some real nasty side effects and then the question is do you wanna put that stuff into your body in the first place, you know? I'd rather start with the natural stuff Rosie suggested cause even if it don't help you know it won't harm you either, kwim?

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Hello!

Have you heard of spironolactone at all? This is an androgen blocker. It helps counter the skin changes that result from the lack of estrogen you suffer from as you enter the perimenopause and move towards being post menopause. This is at the root of the acne so many perimenopausal women expeirence and spironolactone is a great way to counter that. This especially helps with the cystic acne type but can be good for women in perimenopause suffering from any kind of acne.
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Hi,

I didn't suffer from this at all but I can imagine that it has something to do with the hormonal changes. How about look into some hormone replacement therapy? I have heard that there some safety concerns but also that it is OK for ladies who really need it. It sounds like you might be one of them.

Maybe you shouldn't be on it too long though. I had a friend on HRT and she had to come off it but felt absolutely when she stopped it. Then she started on a milder dose again and that was better. She had some acne but nothing terrible so it sounds like the HRT was helping with that.

Best of luck luck.
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I am not at all in favor of hormone replacement therapy. Maybe it will clear your skin up, but then again there was that recent research that showed that taking hormone replacement therapy greatly increases your risk of, what was it, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, cervical cancer? I don't remember but it was not good. Any kind of cancer is bad. I'd rather have bad skin than cancer. Facial estrogen creams would be better than oral HRT I suppose, but you could also just use Cetaphil face wash against acne like any teenager would. And just like any teenager, you will also know that those zits will eventually go away.
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I just wanted to add, after happening upon some information about acne and acne in adults in particular, that you may also want to ask your doc about Erythromycin, OP. Most acne, of any kind at all, has its roots in bacterial problems, and these antibiotic gels can really help you out. This lady whose writing I was reading started on that stuff after she noticed her acne went down like crazy when she got an antibiotic prescription for totally unrelated reasons. Who knows, it may help you too???
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In addition to topical treatments, doctors may also prescribe oral medications such as antibiotics, low-dose oral isotretinoin (an acne treatment commonly known by the brand name Accutane), or spironolactone, an anti-androgen diuretic.

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