What To Do When PCOS Comes Calling?
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a metabolic disorder that affects women in their reproductive years. The problem is, it never comes alone. It always brings with it a host of skin and hair issues.
She undergoes months of trauma because she is not getting her periods. She is forced to take period leaves when she gets them because the pain in her uterus is excruciating. She lies curled in her bed with a hot bag for company because she is bleeding a lot. She wears sweatpants the whole day because she is too bloated to fit into her jeans. That is the typical routine of a woman with polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS when it is ‘that time of the month.’ And yet in spite of these difficulties, what affects a woman with PCOS more is the impact it has on her skin and hair.
She uses the best of products, she follows proper AM-PM skin and hair routines, she even visits her dermatologist regularly and yet she has to contend with hyperpigmentation, acne, acne scars, hair loss, hair growth in unwanted places and dry, itchy skin. It is so not fair!
We couldn’t agree more. That’s why we have compiled a list of possible solutions for your skin and hair issues that arise due to PCOS.
Hirsutism or excessive hair growth, especially on the jawline and chin area, is a sign of PCOS. The hair is thicker and darker than usual and can be as prominent as a thin beard in some women. A combination of gynaecological solutions such as birth control pills and aesthetic treatments such as permanent hair removal with lasers can be done to tackle this issue. Temporary hair removal services such as shaving and waxing might come handy for mild hirsutism but it can lead to skin sensitivity. Bleaching is best avoided.
PCOS-led acne occurs due to a number of factors, high androgen levels leading to more oily secretions from skin glands, being one of them. Often the acne is cystic in nature, thereby complicating the treatment process. To treat acne if you have PCOS, you need to work with an endocrinologist and dermatologist. With proper hormonal analysis, the doctors can arrive at the right set of solutions for you. Some of the popular in-clinic treatment options for acne are microneedling, microdermabrasion and chemical peels. For acne scars, your dermatologist will recommend multiple sessions of laser treatments along with home care and oral supplements.
Another unseemly feature of skin problems caused due to PCOS is dark patches. Acanthosis Nigricans refer to the strips of dark skin that appear in the folds and creases of different parts of the body such as the neck. These patches are dense in pigmentation and velvety in texture. Weight loss helps in addressing this issue. For aesthetic solutions, laser therapy will help in restoring the skin.
Dark patches on the face are often noticed in PCOS patients. In fact, it is a symptom that can lead to the diagnosis of PCOS. While you will have to continue with hormonal treatments to address the core issue, certain aesthetic therapies can help you keep the hyperpigmentation in check. Use of retinoids, chemical peels and skin resurfacing are some treatments that your dermatologists might resort to. However, it is not a one-time treatment, and you need continuous support, home care and medication to keep hyperpigmentation at bay.
PCOS also leads to weight gain, which can in turn cause skin tags to erupt, especially in areas such as neck, armpits, bra line and groin. They are best treated with dermatological options instead of home remedies, to avoid infection and scarring. Some of the prominent methods to remove skin tags include cauterisation, freezing them with liquid nitrogen, cutting them off with scissors or a scalpel. All these procedures have to be done by a trained aesthetician only.
PCOS is difficult but you don’t have to live with it. You can take help from doctors across different modalities to overcome PCOS. Thankfully most of the skin conditions caused by PCOS are reversible or treatable, and you will be able to lead the fulfilling lifestyle that you deserve.
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