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Link Between Acne & PCOS

Link Between Acne & PCOS

Discover how PCOS and acne on face are linked

PCOS or polycystic ovary syndrome is a disorder where the hormones in your body go awry. The result is enlarged ovaries and formation of cysts on the ovary. Now the primary problem PCOS causes in a woman’s body is it affects her fertility. However, there is a secondary concern of PCOS, which also causes acne. Read on to know the link between PCOS and Acne on face.

PCOS and Acne on face

Close to 10% of the world’s young women are afflicted with PCOS. It usually begins in one’s childbearing years. While most of the talk on PCOS is focused on various non-malignant growths it results in, not much is spoken about the hormonal imbalance it leads to. This hormonal imbalance links PCOS to acne.

Let’s understand how this happens.

Our bodies regulate hormones based on the signals it receives from the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is a pea-sized organ located in the brain behind the top of the nose. This gland regulates hormone secretion in the body. So when a woman has PCOS, her body receives disrupted signals from the pituitary gland. This is when her natural hormone Estrogen reduces in quantity while the male hormone testosterone increases in quantity. This imbalance affects her ovulation cycle and leads to hormonal acne.

What can you do?

When you have acne due to PCOS, then normal home remedies for acne may not be adequate. The best way to treat this type of acne is to treat the underlying hormonal imbalance in the body. The various PCOS treatment options to treat hormonal acne are –

Oral contraceptives

Oral contraceptives are prescribed to normalise the hormones during the menstrual cycle. Of course, you should only consume these pills after consulting a doctor as they are not suitable for everyone. To know if you require oral contraceptives for PCOS and acne on face, you can consult a Gynaecologist on DocsApp.

Retinoids

Retinoids are of two types – OTC and prescription strength. OTC ones generally don’t work well for hormonal acne. So it’s best to consult a doctor for prescription-strength ones. Apart from treating acne, retinoids can also help with uneven skin tone and wrinkles.

Anti-androgen drugs

We know that PCOS increases testosterone levels. So the doctor may ask you to undergo a blood test to determine the level of androgen levels in your blood. If your androgen levels are high, you may be prescribed anti-androgens. High androgen levels increase sebum and skin cell production, which are common causes of acne.

Can changing your diet help?

Yes, it can. Eating unhealthy can promote inflammation in the body, another risk factor of acne. Inflammation can increase acne risk multi-fold when you already have PCOS.Here are some anti-inflammatory foods:

  • Spinach
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Turmeric
  • TomatoesBerries

Avoid processed foods, white sugar and red meat. You can also incorporate natural herbs such as Tulsi and Neem to lower inflammation in the body.

Conclusion

The key to treating hormonal acne is to treat PCOS first. If your acne symptoms aggravate, consult a doctor to get rid of PCOS and acne on face.