A few weeks ago, I made THIS post on my Instagram page with a massive response. So I thought it was a good idea to go into some more detail so I will discuss what PCOS, Some of the symptoms of PCOS, How you can treat or manage, Its relationship to acne,
So let us get started.
What is PCOS?
PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome is a syndrome that causes women to have an abnormal level of male hormones in their system. All human beings have what is called sex hormones oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone, but depending on if, you are male or female different levels in your bloodstream.
Women have higher concentrations of the female hormones, oestrogen, progesterone, and less testosterone while in men it is the reverse.
PCOS distorts this balance giving women much lower female hormones and an elevated level of male hormone in the blood stream. This elevated level of male hormones leads to a variety of issues that characterize PCOS.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a syndrome and is characterized by three main factors
- Cysts in your ovaries,
- Irregular periods,
- High level of the male hormones
Normally for women, release from the ovaries, which then triggers ovulation in PCOS; this does not happen because of the higher level of male hormones. This lack of ovulation is what affects the hormonal level in your blood, with low oestrogen; progesterone and higher androgens are higher than normal. This higher level of androgens is important because of its relationship to acne
The symptoms of PCOS
PCOS has wide range of symptoms, which vary significantly from women to woman with regards severity. The symptoms include
Women with PCOS tend to have irregular monthly cycle. it tends to comes and goes whenever it pleases.
2.Hirsutism (excess facial hair )
There tend to be male pattern hair growth on the face and hair loss the head.
Most people with PCOS tend to be overweight or morbidly obese.
Which is the main reason for these posts due to higher levels of androgens aka male hormones
Causes of PCOS
The truth of the matter is that they are not really sure but a few risk factors have been suggested.
Genetic factors, insulin resistance or inflammation, but no one can really say why this is the case and that is what makes it so difficult to treat
PCOS and acne
One of the symptoms of PCOS is acne and I will explain why this is the case. I have mentioned at the beginning of the video that PCOS causes abnormal male hormonal levels in your bloodstream. If you remember from this post the four major causes of acne are
- Hormonal imbalance with high levels of androgens
- P.Acne bacteria
- Blocked follicles
- Excessive oil production.
Excessive male hormones which occur in PCOS is one of the causes of acne let me explain why. The excess amount of testosterone in your bloodstream triggers oil production from your oil glands, which causes clogged pores and subsequent acne.
So PCOS causes a form of hormonal acne again, which is what makes it so difficult to treat. Because the underlying factor systemic it makes control difficult thus making acne difficult to treat.
How do you treat PCOS?
Because the causes are nebulous and difficult to pinpoint, treatment is difficult. This makes managing the condition is the best option.
The first suggestions to manage PCOS are lifestyle factors
Weight loss and exercise
This may seem counter intuitive because PCOS is what causes you to gain weight and then the management or PCOS are for you to lose weight. Therefore, it does not make sense, however this is the case. While women with PCOS find it difficult to lose weight hey, do well on a low carbohydrate die so keto or Akins diets are going to be very good for you.
This means cutting out carbs or no rice, no bread, no nothing white essentially deal mostly with meat and vegetables to fast track your weight loss.
Exercise also helps to improve your insulin resistance so a combination of a low carbohydrate diet and exercise is important in its management.
There are three drugs that can help in the management.
Hormonal birth control pills.
This should not be a surprise because, PCOS is a hormonal disease with elevated androgen levels so it makes sense to introduce oestrogen into your body elevate the female hormones and balance it out.
This is a drug used in the treatment of Type two diabetes and it improves insulin resistance, which is a cause of PCOS
This is a diuretic and androgen, which prevents androgens from stimulating your oil glands oil production. The reduced oil production, reduces amount of blocked pores subsequently reduces your acne.
The caveat here is that all of these are treatments and MUST be prescribed by a doctor; this should not be taken over the counter because there could be side effects. So go see a doctor and you will be able to give you the recommended dosage and adequate medical supervision.
In addition to all of this that I’ve said, you also need a good skincare routine doing all of this without a proper skincare routine was sort of like spitting in the wind.
Everything works together to make sure that your skin is in the best condition when you are dealing with something likes PCOS. I hope you can now understand why if you have PCOS your acne is so difficult to treat.
If you would like help managing your PCOS related acne you can click the link in my bio to book a CONSULTATION. You can also check the review by my client B how had severe acne due to PCOS and had been on spironolactone for her acne. However it would come back whenever she stopped, but with my help and patience on her part, she is acne free.