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Hormonal Imbalance: Effects on the Skin

Medically reviewed by Jobelle Ann Dela Cruz Bigalbal, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Jan 13, 2022

Hormonal Imbalance: Effects on the Skin

Having too little or too much of a particular hormone may cause many physical and mental symptoms; interestingly, it can even affect our skin. What are the hormonal imbalance effects on women’s skin? Find out here.

Acne Breakouts

Some women who have naturally oily skin often observe that their skin is oilier about a week before their period. However, if you have long-term oily skin that leads to chronic acne breakouts, you might want to check with your doctor if you’re experiencing one form of hormonal imbalance.

If you have chronic acne breakouts, it might mean that you have higher-than-normal testosterone levels, which is possibly indicative of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

The other signs and symptoms of PCOS are:

hormonal imbalance effects on skin

Dark Under-Eye Circles

Did you know that having bags under your eyes may be one of the hormonal imbalance effects on the skin? It may not be surprising to have under-eye bags if you experience sleep deprivation for a few days in a row, but when they become a constant companion, there’s a good reason to believe that a hormonal imbalance is involved.

According to reports, stress increases cortisol, the hormone produced by the adrenal gland. Over time, when you go through prolonged stress, the adrenal glands may get “tired,” leading to decreased cortisol levels (one form of adrenal insufficiency). One of the symptoms of having too little cortisol is dark circles under the eyes.

Other symptoms of adrenal insufficiency are:

Dry Skin

Just like acne-producing oily skin, dry skin can also be one of the effects of hormonal imbalance. According to studies, a significant decrease in the hormone estrogen may result in skin dryness and even vaginal dryness.

A common reason for low estrogen levels is menopause. However, women who still have their menstruation may have too little estrogen if they encounter issues with their ovaries, have an eating disorder, or are exercising too much.

Finally, please take note that low estrogen can also lead to:

  • Thinning of the skin
  • Increased and more pronounced wrinkles
  • Decreased skin firmness
  • These symptoms are common in women in their menopausal stage. Besides these skin manifestations, low estrogen levels also result in:

    Skin Tags

    This one seems a little surprising, but studies show that skin tags appear to be one of the effects of a hormonal imbalance. But, first of all, what are skin tags? Skin tags are soft, skin-colored growths that vary in size. Most skin tags appear under the breast, on the armpits, neck, and groin area.

    Many people have at least one skin tag in their body; however,  multiple skin tags may indicate insulin resistance or not being able to use high levels of insulin in the body.

    The other symptoms of increased insulin levels are:

    • Frequent hunger and sugar cravings
    • Fatigue
    • Weight gain
    • Lack of focus

    What To Do Next

    In case you have any of the above skin symptoms, there’s no need to immediately assume that there’s a hormonal problem. Remember that there could be a number of reasons for the occurrence of acne breakouts, dark under-eye circles, skin tags, and dry skin.

    If your skin problem comes with other unexplained symptoms, the best course of action is to consult your doctor.  They will be able to diagnose your condition and give you appropriate treatment options.

    Key Takeaways

    Some of the hormonal imbalance effects on the skin are long-term acne breakouts, dry skin, dark under-eye circles, and skin tags. But, remember that if you have a hormonal disorder, it’s likely that you will develop other symptoms, too.

    Learn more about Women’s Health here. 


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Jobelle Ann Dela Cruz Bigalbal, MD

    General Practitioner

    Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Jan 13, 2022

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