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Why does PCOS cause Acne?

May 03, 2022

Dr Rati Parwani

Why does PCOS cause Acne?

Did you know women are more prone to hormonal changes? Yes, females are very sensitive to the slightest stress. Stress is a very common issue and the majority of us react to stress. Stress can cause a major hormonal shift in females. Hormonal issues are very common leading to thyroid and PCOS. PCOS is a female health condition affecting the reproductive issue. PCOS is a female health issue which is called “Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.” 

What is PCOS? 

PCOS is a syndrome affecting women of reproductive health. PCOS is a syndrome which means it affects multiple organs. Yes, it is a metabolic disorder affecting the reproductive health, digestive tract, mind, heart, and of course the skin. 

How does PCOS affect the skin? 

The symptoms of PCOS vary from weight gain, irregular menses, constipation with defective metabolism, and skin problems like cystic or pustular acne. It also affects the cholesterol level in the body with insulin sensitivity leading to weight gain. This fluctuates and causes a hormonal shift which may lead to stress-causing more acne. 

Let us not forget that all the body parts and hormones are interrelated causing major problems in the body. Hence, this is called a syndrome. 

The skin is not left unaffected. PCOS affects the skin leading to pustular acne. Blackheads and whiteheads are very common conditions too. Your skin reflects the inner system. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome causes the formation of multiple cysts in the ovary. Due to hormonal imbalance, there is the formation of cysts with no release of eggs. 

Normally, the essence of womanhood is menses or periods. Every month women get their period or menses which is considered a 28- day cycle. Every 14th day, there is ovulation. But, in PCOS, ovulation gets affected causing the formation of eggs and irregular menses. This will show up on the skin as well which will result in cystic acne.

Yes, we always talk about internal and external health related to each other. 

How is skin acne different from PCOS acne? 

This is the main reason for acne in PCOS. Once you understand the science behind it. Treating PCOS will be easier with no complications. Getting rid of PCOS does not necessarily mean that you can get rid of acne. Acne itself takes a little time to get rid of. Acne itself is a disease that needs treatment on the skin. However, when PCOS is interrelated with acne, it becomes very difficult to treat the problem because we are not just focussing on skin issues but a syndrome. PCOS is a lifestyle disorder that can be treated with lifestyle modifications. However, acne needs a more focused approach to the skin.  

How to treat acne in PCOS? 

Treating acne in PCOS requires a holistic approach and is very difficult to cure. You need to make sure that you treat acne from the root cause. One needs to find the causative factor in the case of acne and completely eliminate it. Recurrence of acne is a major cause of PCOS. Here, it is important to take care of acne by taking preventative measures for optimum skin health. Some preventative measures to treat PCOS acne are as follows- 

  • Healthy diet
  • Hydration of skin
  • Regular skin care routine
  • Proper exfoliation
  • Relaxing regularly
  • Maintaining hygiene during periods
  • Avoiding bad addictions like caffeine
  • Exercising regularly
  • Good lifestyle
  • Proper quality of skincare products
  • Minimal use of makeup in case of active acne
  • Treat severe cases of PCOS 

Holistic approach for PCOS acne 

A  holistic approach is necessary for treating PCOS acne. PCOS is a lifestyle disorder. Before it gets complicated, you can treat it with healthy lifestyle modifications like exercise, diet, and hydration which can bring about a positive change. Start with a healthy diet and exercise. This will bring back the hormonal balance. 

Boost confidence and treat PCOS 

Weight gain with high cholesterol and sugar levels with insulin sensitivity can be a major causative factor for acne. Reduce the intake of sugary food and drinks. Replace with healthy meals and drinks. Start with simple healthy home-cooked meals and avoid junk outside food. Make sure to exercise regularly by incorporating healthy brisk walking for 1 hour daily. If you find it difficult, start walking slowly for 20 - 30 mins and gradually keep increasing the time frame and pace. 

Watch your skincare routine and practice healthy skin habits with close monitoring week by week. 

Bringing about small changes will help you to make a major difference in PCOS. Bring back the natural glow of the skin and boost your confidence by treating PCOS acne.