Polycystic ovary syndrome is quite commonly associated with acne (or pimples), head hair fall, weight gain and irregular periods in women. The acne due to PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) could be severe and may include not only the face, but also the upper back and front of chest in some women.
Acne mostly develops due to blockage of hair follicles. Once the opening of the hair follicle is blocked it gets covered by natural oils and dead cells producing skin irritation. This gets further flared due to infection by certain germs and bacteria causing ugly looking red pus filled acne.
Women with polycystic ovaries have higher levels of male hormone called androgen in the body. This causes their skin to produce higher amount of natural oils, thus increasing the tendency for acne. Also women with PCOS are known to have higher stress levels due to their tendency for weight gain and other issue. Stress is known to cause acne flares and could be another factor in producing acne in PCOS women.
Medical research suggests that women, who are obese, eat a high carbohydrate based diet and have a family history of diabetes or insulin resistance have a higher tendency for acne. Chocolate and high salt consumption may or may not increase your tendency for acne.
The treatment of acne associated with PCOS remains the same as in women who are not suffering from the same. Keeping the skin clean and minimizing hormonal fluctuations are important all time instructions.
Facial application of creams containing benzoyl peroxide is an important part of treatment. One must remember to use a good sunscreen while on treatment of acne as these creams cause skin dryness and more prone to sunburns. Carrying an umbrella in the sun was a good advice after all…
Antibiotics and retinoids are reserved for more severe cases and one must check with the doctor if you are on such treatment and are planning to conceive.
Women suffering from PCOS benefit markedly from the use of hormonal pills to control the high androgen levels and subsequent acne.