PCOS and your Skin

Several of you have asked about PCOS, Acne, and Hair Growth and Remedies to these conditions.

Let’s start with what Is PCOS?

PCOS is an acronym for Polycystic ovary syndrome, which is a hormonal condition.

In women who have it, it can affect your ability to have a child (fertility).

It can also:

• Make your periods stop or become hard to predict

• Cause acne and unwanted hair

• Raise your chances for other health problems, including diabetes and high blood pressure

With PCOS, your reproductive hormones are out of balance. Hormones are substances your body makes to help different processes happen. Some hormones are related to your ability to have a baby, and also affect your menstrual cycle. Those that are involved in PCOS include.

• Androgens: Often called “male” hormones, yes women have them, too. Those with PCOS tend to have higher levels, which can cause symptoms like hair loss or hair in places you don’t want it (such as on your face), as well as trouble getting pregnant.

• Insulin: This hormone manages your blood sugar. If you have PCOS, your body might not react to insulin the way that it should.

• Progesterone: With PCOS, your body may not have enough of this hormone. That can make you to miss your periods for a long time, or to have periods that are hard to predict.

Treatments can help you manage the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and lower your odds for long-term health problems such as diabetes and heart disease.

You and your doctor should talk about what your goals are so you can come up with a treatment plan. For example, if you want to get pregnant and are having trouble, then your treatment would focus on helping you conceive. If you want to tame PCOS-related acne, your treatment would be geared toward skin problems.

Some Healthy Habits that will not cure PCOS but will help with the conditions as a result of the syndrome.

  • One of the best ways to deal with PCOS is to eat well and exercise regularly.

  • Many women with PCOS are overweight or obese. Losing just 5% to 10% of your body weight may ease some symptoms and help make your periods more regular. It may also help manage problems with blood sugar levels and ovulation.

  • Since PCOS could lead to high blood sugar, your doctor may want you to limit starchy or sugary foods. Instead, eat foods and meals that have plenty of fiber, which raise your blood sugar level slowly.

  • Birth control is the most common PCOS treatment for women who don't want to get pregnant. Hormonal birth control -- pills, a skin patch, vaginal ring, shots, or a hormonal IUD (intrauterine device) -- can help restore regular periods. The hormones also treat acne and unwanted hair growth. Discuss these decisions with your health care professional.

This is an excerpt from the Journal of Medicine googling PCOS.