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PCOS can affect your skin and hair. Here’s what you really need to do

Updated on:5 October 2021, 18:29pm IST
PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome not only affect a woman's hormonal levels but can impact her appearance. Let’s see how it affects your skin and hair.
Dr Aruna Kalra
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PCOS
PCOS can impact your skin and hair in more ways than one. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome is a complex condition that affects the levels of female hormones. It causes a woman’s body to produce more male hormones than female hormones that cause menopause, and it is harder for them to get pregnant. It is one of the most common cases affecting women worldwide.
Inadequacies can cause problems in the ovaries, which can lead to the ovaries developing cysts. While obese or overweight women are at greater risk for PCOS, some women with normal weight may be affected by hormonal status. This other phenotype is known as dependent PCOS. In this condition, PCOS not only affects the body at the level of hormones but can also affect your appearance.

Effects of PCOS on the skin

While rare cases are the only condition that helps to diagnose and prevent the disease early, there are other problems as well. The abnormal flow of your hormones can also affect your skin and hair.

PCOS
PCOS can also affect your skin and hair health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Effects of PCOS on skin

1. Acanthosis nigricans

This is a skin disease characterised by a dark brown colour, with excess of the skin showing a green, prominent firmness. It affects skin folds in the armpits, groin and back of the neck. Insulin resistance and obesity are two contributing factors, which lead to this skin condition. Also in PCOS, the body does not normally respond to insulin, thus increasing insulin secretion from the pancreas. Certain drugs and abuse can also be the cause.

Weight loss and insulin resistance with a low glycemic diet and regular exercise are believed to be the best treatments for acanthosis nigricans. Other treatments such as TCA peels can also help.

2. Hirsutism

Also known as unwanted facial hair, hirsutism is the result of excessive release of male hormones, which is very common in PCOS patients. The condition of the skin mainly affects the chin, chest, thighs and sides. Weight reduction is going to be followed by exhaustion and tiredness. Medications and surgery such as laser hair reduction can also help.

3. Acne

Tired of rashes and acne on your face? It can be PCOS. Women who have had acne since adolescence or for the first time after 25 should see their dermatologist and get tested for PCOS. Acne-prone PCOS usually appears on the lower part of the face, including the jawline, cheeks, chin, and upper neck. There are a number of treatments available that can help eliminate such problems as oral contraceptives, anti-androgen drugs, and retinoids. When it comes to diet, try including foods such as tomatoes, kale, spinach, almonds, walnuts, salmon, olive oil, berries and turmeric that contain anti-inflammatory properties.

4. Seborrheic dermatitis

A common skin condition, seborrheic dermatitis, can cause a rash on a scale with shiny spaces. It affects the oily areas of the skin such as around the nose, between the eyebrows and behind the ears. It can also cause oily skin and dandruff.

pcos
PCOS can give rise to many skin and hair issues. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Effects of PCOS on hair

As a woman’s body begins to produce more androgens during PCOS, it can cause puberty and promote unwanted hair growth. It can also lead to hair loss. Hair loss caused by women or hair loss is a common hair problem faced by women with PCOS. Do not lose hair on the head and front area. Timely intervention is needed to kick the problem off its edge.

Facial and body hair is often the result of too many androgens in your body. Androgens are present in both men and women, but males have very high levels of active androgens. In women, ovaries and adrenal glands produce androgens.

If your hair follicles are sensitive to hormones, androgens can cause some vellus hair to change into final hair.

The most common areas of hair growth include:
• Over the lip
• The location of the beard
• Breasts
• Lower abdomen
• Inner thighs
• Lower back

So, pay attention to these signs and take action today!

Dr Aruna Kalra Dr Aruna Kalra

Dr Aruna Kalra is the famous Gynaecologist and Obstetrics Surgeon. Dr. Kalra did her MBBS (Graduation) from BRD MEDICAL COLLEGE, Gorakhpur and later did her masters MD in Gynaecologist and Obstetrics from KMC, MANGLORE. Dr Aruna has also done certified training in Ultrasonography and Infertility. She is Gold medalist in academic excellence in  post graduation.