Period Pimples: Addressing the Common Problem

Rohit Kushwah

Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

Along with period cramps, mood swings, bloating, acne, and pimples can make your period worse. Your hormone levels change throughout your menstrual cycle, which may cause period pimples and acne flare-ups to occur during your period. Menstrual pimple is a monthly outbreak of pimples that co-occur with menstruation. According to a study, premenstrual flare-ups or breakouts before period are reported by 63% of acne-prone women. They often appear 7-10 days before the start of a woman’s period and disappear as soon as bleeding starts.

In this blog, we will understand the relationship between menstruation and period pimples and will learn how to stop period breakouts.

Signs of Period Pimples
Given below are a few common signs and symptoms of a period pimple:
Comes and goes with your period
Found mainly on the chin and jaw
Inflamed lesions
Seen in adults and teens
Comes in a perfect cycle

Regions Where Menstrual Pimples Appear
Given below are a list of body parts where you can typically expect a period pimple:
The lower part of the face, i.e. the chin or jawline
Bikini line

If you are already dealing with acne, you may notice pimple before period or a flare-up of acne right before or during your periods.

Kinds of Acne That Occur During the Cycle
Due to increased sebum production, your skin will be oilier than usual and cause acne as well. Depending on your skin type, various kinds of acne can start appearing at different times of your menstrual cycle. Some of the types are listed below:
Comedonal acne: In the second half of your menstrual cycle, you might notice increased comedones, i.e. blackheads and whiteheads.
Pustular acne: You may develop pustular acne during your periods. It is acne filled with pus.
Nodular or cystic acne: It could also be nodular or cystic acne – both are extremely painful. It is deep-seated acne accompanied by swelling and redness of the skin around the acne.

Medical Treatments for Period Pimple
Period pimples cannot be completely cured, although they can be controlled with topical treatments and oral drugs. If you have severe menstrual pimple monthly, see a dermatologist. They can recommend a medication routine based on acne’s kind, frequency, and severity.

Oral contraceptives: Since period pimples and period acnes occur due to hormonal imbalances, it is important to balance them to prevent and manage acne symptoms. If you have recurrent pimple during period or acne, especially nodular acne, your doctor may prescribe you a low dose of oral contraceptives.
Anti-androgen drug: An anti-androgen drug that decreases the amount of testosterone in the blood is prescribed. As a result, the acne-causing sebum production will also naturally decrease.
Cyclic antibiotics: Your doctor might suggest taking cyclic antibiotics for three to four days before the first day of your period for pimple before period, if you only develop one or two menstrual pimples.
Topical application: Apart from the above-mentioned oral medications, you may also be given topical retinoids, antibiotics, or topical benzoyl peroxide.

Home Remedies for Managing Period Pimples
If you have active acne, you need to take medications to treat it. However, you can try the following home remedies to ease acne symptoms, such as inflammation, swelling, redness, and soreness.

Warm compression: Apply a warm compress to the affected area three to four times for 10-15 minutes. Continue until the symptoms diminish.
Cold compression: You can also apply an ice cube for 5-10 minutes to help settle the redness and swelling caused by acne.
Green tea ice cubes: Green tea is known to have anti-inflammatory properties. Keep these green tea ice cubes ready a few days before your period starts so you can apply them to relieve pimple during ovulation. They will lessen the inflammation and redness and soothe that area.

How to Prevent Period Breakouts
Here are a few tips for managing pimple during period:
Focus on your diet: Eating a healthy, nutritious diet will prevent acne and pimples from aggravating and help you manage the other PMS symptoms that you may be experiencing.
Keep yourself hydrated: Drink lots of water throughout the day. Keep a separate water bottle for yourself, and carry it wherever you go.
Give importance to night sleep: Acne can also worsen due to stress or inadequate sleep.
Engage in relaxing activities: Take time for yourself and do meditation, breathing exercises, and yoga daily.
Adopt personal hygiene habits: Your pillowcase collects oils and dirt, so you must change it at least twice a week. Also, always keep your phone screens clean so the dirt does not transfer to your face.
Do not pick your acne: Resist the urge to pick acne or pop menstrual pimple, as this can increase irritation, swelling, and redness in that area.
Makeup tips: Wear light makeup to avoid pimple during period and ensure your skin can breathe. Also, keep your makeup tools always clean.

Managing 1-2 period pimples at home with skincare tips and remedies is possible. However, if the acne covers 30-40% of your lower face every month during periods, you must consult a dermatologist. Based on your condition, they will prescribe you a combination of oral medications, antibiotic ointments, retinoid cream, etc. In addition, you should follow a skincare regime and take other precautions to prevent pimple during period.

Rohit Kushwah


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