Acne in PCOS patients 

Acne in PCOS patients 

By Melody Simanian 

Let’s face it. Acne sucks.

As women we long for clear, blemish-free, perfect skin. Oh and of course it’s the morning of prom day when we wake up to the largest, most stubborn pimple on the very tip of our nose. It happens, and then we are mortified. Acne can be a source of frustration and self-consciousness for all of us. While acne is a common and treatable condition, it can have a significant impact on one’s self-esteem and emotional well-being.

There is some evidence to suggest that diet plays a role in the development of acne. High glycemic index foods, such as refined carbohydrates and sugary foods, may increase the risk of acne by promoting inflammation and the overproduction of sebum, the oily substance that can clog pores. Dairy products may also be a contributing factor, as they contain hormones that can stimulate the production of sebum.

We’ve all heard it multiple times on the regular. “Drink more water!”  If it’s not your mother it’s your healthcare provider. The benefits of water hydration is a necessity to maintaining clear skin because it’s essential to balancing the amount of both oil and water on the surface of our skin. This helps prevent excess oil or an overproduction of sebum. With increased water intake, our skin has the ability to stay better hydrated, which can help reduce the formation of new breakouts.

Drinking water helps reduce inflammation in the human body, which is a very common cause of acne in young adults. It is recommended to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day for optimal hydration.

Aside from the foods we eat, hormonal imbalances may also have a large effect on our skin. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that can cause symptoms of facial acne because of the increase in androgen hormones (such as testosterone), which can lead to an increase in sebum production. Sebum is an oily substance produced by the sebaceous glands in the skin, and when too much is produced, it can clog pores and lead to the formation of acne. Additionally, PCOS is also associated with an overproduction of insulin due to insulin resistance, which can also contribute to acne formation.

To help PCOS patients with their acne, a prescription medication known as spironolactone is commonly used to help with facial acne. Spironolactone is often used to treat hormonal acne, particularly in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). It works by blocking the effects of androgens (male hormones) on the skin, which can reduce the production of sebum and decrease inflammation.

Another commonly used medication women use to help with facial acne due to hormonal imbalances includes oral contraceptive pills. Birth control pills that contain female hormones such as estrogen and progesterone reduce androgen levels, which ultimatley reduces sebum production and acne.

Stay hydrated! You deserve that glowing skin you’ve always wished for.

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