Hormonal imbalances...an underlying cause of your hair & skin woes

Your skin and hair are trying to tell you something about your hormones!

Paying attention to changes and/or chronic symptoms affecting the health and appearance of your skin and hair can give you insight into the health of your hormones.

Here’s an introductory guideline to better understand what’s going on beneath the surface.


  1. Cystic acne around the jawline- painful, deep pimples affecting the lower half of the face, jaw, & neck typically indicates an excess of our androgen hormones: testosterone and/or DHEA. Other symptoms may include shedding or thinning hair. This acne affects men and women, especially women with PCOS.
  2. Acne & congested skin around the mouth- again this symptoms could mean an excess of androgenic hormones and/or excess estrogen or too low of progesterone. This type of acne, tends to be cyclical, often flaring 1-2 weeks before a women’s period.
  3. Acne along the sides of the face/ around eyebrows- this indicates a sluggish liver, which is struggling to properly detoxify hormones, leading to excess circulating hormones, congested pores and propensity towards breakouts around the sides of the face and brows.
  4. Thinning frontal hairline and eyebrows- thinning hair could be mean many things; but with regards to hormones, it could indicate low thyroid function. We especially suspect this if someone is also struggling with fatigue, excess weight, depression, constipation, and dry skin.
  5. Oily skin, enlarged pores, and breakouts of your mid-face- overactive adrenals, the glands which regulate cortisol, our primary stress hormone, can manifest as skin problems around the mid-face and cheeks. High stress = excess cortisol => oily skin and clogged, enlarged pores.
  6. Hyperpigmentation- patches of darker, brownish pigmentation, especially above the upper lip and often affecting the forehead, can indicate an excess of estrogen. This is a common manifestation for women on the birth control pill and/or women going through peri-menopause.
  7. Fine lines & wrinkles- a decrease in moisture and general thinning of the epidermis (top layer of skin), lead to the formation of fine lines, creases, wrinkles, and overall unfavorable changes in skin texture and an aging complexion. This often suggests too low of sex hormones, estrogen & progesterone, which decline during menopausal transition. Chronic stress and hormonal birth control can also cause impede sex hormone production, leading to prematurely aging skin.


If you struggle with any of these symptoms, get your hormones checked out! Addressing hormonal imbalances can help stop the underlying cause of many of these problems. But we can also address the issues on the surface. FoRM Health offers many skincare options and natural aesthetic procedures which can get your skin and hair back on track. For best results, I (Dr. Kai), recommend addressing surface and underlying cause concurrently.

Dr. Kai Herman ND Kai Herman, ND, is as a functional medicine doctor who specializes in hormonal health and natural aesthetic treatments at FoRM Health PDX in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Kai received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology with honors and research credentials from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Starting her career as a mental health counselor, she transitioned to working as a fitness professional, after recognizing the interconnectedness between mental wellness and physical health, dedicating six years in the wellness industry, helping clients through injuries, weight loss, and health optimization. Her experience in mental health and the wellness industry eventually led Dr. Herman to pursue naturopathic doctor training at the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland. After earning her degree, she completed a one-year residency with a focus in regenerative medicine, including Platelet Rich Plasma injection therapy.

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