Menstruation is one of God’s most perfect creations. It showcases the timely cycle of events and the continuity of things. While gliding through your menstrual period, have you ever noticed a sudden outbreak of pimples on your once perfectly smooth skin? This usually occurs around the time of the commencement of one’s period!


How are Normal Pimples Different from Menstrual Pimples?

PMS pimples are anatomically different from the normal pimples. Usually, pimples develop a white head before, which then gets infected to form a pimple. In the case of PMS pimples, the pimples developed are in the form of papules containing inflammatory fluid.

What is Pre-Menstrual Acne?

PMS acne or pre-menstrual acne occurs every other month and usually coincides with the menstrual phase of every menstrual cycle. The prevalence of menstrual acne is more to 70% in women. Though, the time period of appearance of acne and their clinical manifestations are different for different women. Some women develop acne just during the menstrual period while other females who have pre-existing acne develop a stronger response to periods.

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Why does one get acne before your period?

Hormones are responsible for both, the outgrowth of pimples as well as the menstrual cycle changes. Testosterone is the hormone which is under question. It is general knowledge that testosterone is a male hormone, but women produce it too, in small quantities. Testosterone is the main causative agent of pimple production as it increases the activity of sebum-producing sebaceous glands. Testosterone acts optimally when the estrogen levels are low. Progesterone, along with testosterone plays an important role in sebum production. It is produced during the second half of the menstrual cycle (post-menstruation).

Here are a few tips which would help you control this situation!

1. Don’t meddle with your face!

Acne is usually caused due to penetration of a special bacteria called acne vulgaris through the pores of the already destructed skin layer. Popping pimples and touching them unnecessarily will lead to the formation of itchy and painful blemishes and scabs. You should make sure that you do not touch your face when your hands are dirty. Also, take utmost care while applying any sort of lotion, moisturizer or cream on your face. Washed and dried clean hands are the prerequisite.

2. Try popping a birth control pill!

Birth control pills are special drugs which contain high amounts of estrogen and progesterone. These are usually available as over the counter drugs. This pill helps in reducing the production of sebum by blocking the increase in the levels of estrogen. This causes the pimple outgrowth to be disrupted. Although, not a safe idea, one should use it only when it is an emergen

3. Make sure you shower after a workout!

Showering with lukewarm water and washing your face after a workout and a long day at work is the best way to prevent pimple production. This activity ensures a sure shot removal of bacteria, dirt, dead skin cells, etc. These substances clog the skin pores which are the preliminary cause of pimples.

4. Wait for menopause!

Although, this is not a tip. Be happy that once you strike menopause, you will stop experiencing this annoying monthly outbreak of pimples. Till then, hang on there!


Tags: How to prevent acne before period, Acne before period or pregnancy, Acne after period

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Natasha Patel

Natasha Patel is the senior writer for the women’s health edition at She worked as a primary care provider before joining the writer’s panel of the blog. She is also trained in routine obstetrics and continues to practice in Oklahoma, where she lives with her family.