Hormones and Health: Pubescent Acne

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Written By: Dr. Melissa Buches ND

The body’s hormonal changes define the stages of our life cycle as human beings.  As children we grow and evolve into adulthood and the reproductive years, then Menopause ceases our ability to reproduce, and we carry out the final phase of the adult human being.  These transitions can be challenging times for the human body, as hormonal signals are strong, and have strong effects on the shape and size of our bodies.  Our environment can help mitigate the symptoms of the transitions of puberty, PMS, Menopause and male hormone imbalances such as acne and weight gain.  As naturopathic doctors, we can help the patient understand what is happening with their internal chemistry, and we have many treatment options to help them through this transition more comfortably.  Nutrition, lifestyle changes, exercise, diet, herbs,  bio-identical hormones and prescription medications can all be of aid during these times. 

ENT Physician Checking Patient's Ear with Otoscope



Puberty is a challenging time for parents and for their children.  This transition into young adulthood is confusing, embarrassing, and awkward for the child, and difficult for parents watching the struggle.

Parents are often sad to see the loss of innocence and childhood.  The child’s body changes dramatically physically, emotionally, and psychologically.  The effect of high hormone levels is strong and shape the body into the adult being.  Externally the changes are obvious – increase in size, shapelier physiques, pubescent acne, hair growth, maturing attitudes and voice changes.  Internally, the chemistry lab of hormones is in full production.  The body needs plenty of nutrient rich foods at this time, to fuel and support the necessary growth.  If the child isn’t already eating a nutritious diet, then now is the time to initiate those changes.


Children often eat a high carbohydrate diet, but now is the time to make protein available at every meal to aid in tissue growth.  The skeletal mass increases significantly during puberty, so calcium becomes more important.  Good calcium sources are dairy, vegetables, and fortified non-dairy beverages.

Good fats are important in healthy hormone production.  These include fish, vegetables, nuts and seeds.  Fried foods and saturate fats can lead to inflammatory hormone production causing pubescent acne and weight gain.  Whole grains, fruits and vegetables provide more nutrients to the growing body.  Exercise is also important for stimulating skeletal density, disease prevention and balancing emotional swings.  A good exercise routine prevents future diseases as you get older.  The pubescent child needs quality sleep and a regular sleep routine of at least eight hours nightly.


If symptoms become unbearable for the pubescent child, there are many ways to help get them through puberty.  There are many herbs, nutrients, amino acids and biofeedback that can treat acne, emotional imbalance, growing pains, sleep disturbances, and other symptoms that persist for the child.

Happy Young Woman Playing in Fields

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