Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome – Know it all about Acne due to PCOS with Expert Dermatologist Dr Sohana
An estimated 1 in every 5 Indian women suffer from PCOS and about 20% of them have acne as presenting symptom.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is the commonest endocrine disorder in women having wide range of clinical manifestation.These women may present with reproductive, dermatological, metabolic, psychological implications from adolescence to menopause.
PCOS individuals have one of the two: higher male hormone levels increased sensitivity and activity of male hormone levels.
In either of the cases the effects of the male hormone dominate the effects of the female hormones affecting the physical appearance and the metabolic functioning in such females.
It is a multifactorial disease with GENETIC, ENVIRONMENTAL and HORMONAL reasons which play together.
While there are 20-60% chances of first degree relatives to get PCOS, the environmental and hormonal factors also play a strong role in development of the imbalance.
One of the key features of PCOS is high levels of male hormones called androgens. They cause the glands in the skin to produce an excess of an oily substance called sebum.Acne occurs when sebum and dead skin cells build up inside hair follicles, trapping bacteria beneath the skin. This leads to inflammation and the formation of pimples.
Common areas affected are:
➡️ Irregular monthly cycles
➡️ Anovulatory cycles presenting as difficulty to conceive
➡️ Hirsutism (excess Facial or Body hair in areas where it is usually absent)
➡️ Hair Thinning and hair loss from the head.
Your doctor (Gynaecologist or Dermatologist or An Endocrinologist ) may ask you for a series of hormonal blood tests during the initial days of the cycle (Day 2-4) along with a sonography to have a look at your ovaries to confirm the diagnosis.
Weight loss by regular exercise in PCOS individuals helps to restore normal ovulation and hormonal balance. It also plays a role in achieving control over symptoms like acne.
Healthy diet in the form of low glycemic Index foods, and methods like intermittent Fasting have also proven to be useful for people with pcos with acne.
Along with standard anti acne care you may need the following: Hormonal correction in the form of Oral contraceptive pills or Finasteride, Medications like Metformin which are commonly used in Diabetics, Supportive treatments for acne like Peels, IPL Photo-facials can help in achieving long term control over resistant acne.
Sometimes simultaneous treatment by a gynaecologist or an endocrinologist may become essential to treat acne if the presentation is widespread and resistant .