PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) And Skin Conditions
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, also known as PCOS, can be an extremely frustrating condition. The symptoms of PCOS tend to develop gradually over time, and can include things like infertility, weight gain in the upper body, vaginal bleeding, and irregular menstruation. One of the most frustrating parts of PCOS can be the skin conditions that it causes.
There is an important link between PCOS and a variety of hormonal changes. These can include:
– Androgens. Androgens are hormones that can cause a variety of problems, such as hair appearing in odd places and acne, and it can also interfere with the process of ovulation.
– Ovarian hormones. The hormones that trigger ovulation are an important part of a woman’s cycle. If these hormones are not at the correct levels, the ovaries will not relapse an egg each month and ovulation will not occur.
– Insulin and blood sugar. Roughly 50% of the women who suffer from PCOS will have difficulty with the way that there body uses insulin. This is known as insulin resistance. Insulin resistance causes their blood sugar levels to grow to dangerous levels. IN some instances, this can even lead to diabetes.
The imbalance of hormones caused by PCOS can affect a woman's skin in a variety of ways. Many women with PCOS will develop acne. A woman may have oily skin. Pimples may appear around and on the face, particularly along the line of the jaw, as well as on the back and the chest. PCOS can also cause a woman to have skin tags. Skin tags are thick lumps of skin that are often found on the neck, bra area, or on the armpits. Skin tags must be removed by a dermatologist. Some women with PCOS experience a thickening and/or a darkening of the skin around the groin, neck, underarms, or skin folds. This condition, known as acanthosis nigricans, in particular reflects an abnormality in insulin levels.
Some women, when treated for PCOS with metformin (glucophage), will find that balancing out the levels of insulin in the body will address many of the skin conditions associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome. In addition, for the woman with PCOS who experiences acne, there are some steps that she can take to reduce the severity of acne outbreaks.
In addition, for the woman with PCOS who experiences acne, there are some steps that she can take to reduce the severity of acne outbreaks. These can include:
– avoid using medications that cause acne
– avoid being exposed to grease and oil
– use hypoallergenic cosmetics
– clean the skin frequently to keep off excess oils
– wash clothes, sheets, and pillowcases in fragrance- and color-free detergent
– Get enough exposure to the sun
– Eat a diet that is balanced, avoiding foods that contain fatty acids.