You have, at least one point in your life, read or heard about PCOS (Polycystic ovarian syndrome). It is either you who is battling it or you know someone who is, the bottom line is — women know. In fact, according to some studies, 1 in 10 women of childbearing age suffer from this condition. More prevalent among women in their 20s and early 30s, PCOS causes fertility issues. It has gained a lot of attention because of its increasing numbers, lack of a cure and other bodily issues caused by it. In this article, we are discussing one of the more pressing issues, which is PCOS-induced hair loss and here's what an expert has to say...
According to dermatologist & trichologist Dr Mrunal Shah Modi, “Polycystic ovarian syndrome triggers the production of extra male hormones, androgens and testosterone in your body. This can result in the thinning of the hair on the scalp, mostly in the frontal area; it is also referred to as female pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia).” PCOS is related to a variety of skin and hair issues — acne, pigmentation, weight loss, hirsutism (increased hair in unwanted body parts face, chin, chest, and abdomen), and of course, hair loss.
- How to deal with PCOS-induced hair loss
- Lifestyle changes that can help counter PCOS-induced hair loss
How to deal with PCOS-induced hair loss
The ideal way to deal with PCOS-induced hair loss depends on the severity of the condition. Other factors taken into consideration are the age of the patient, marital status, pregnancy, lactation history and family planning history (since pregnant or lactating women are not prescribed medicines to counter hair fall). But some of the ways that dermatologists proceed with controlling PCOS related issues are:
01. Oral contraceptive pills — only on the recommendation of a gynaecologist — have shown results in reducing the androgen levels in your body.
02. Anti-androgen tablets like spironolactone can help in mild cases.
03. Biotin tablets with a combination of calcium pantothenate can give good results.
04. A high protein diet helps counter the loss of keratin in your strands.
05. Clinical treatments like platelet-rich plasma done every 2-3 weeks also help to stop the hair fall and boost hair growth. The treatment entails collection of the patient’s blood and separating the platelets and the plasma, post which they are reinjected into the scalp.
06. Supplements like vitamin D3, vitamin B12, iron and others help overcome nutrient deficiency-related hair loss.
07. Topical minoxidil solution is a popular over-the-counter treatment to deal with female pattern baldness as well.
Lifestyle changes that can help counter PCOS-induced hair loss
Certain lifestyle changes can help reduce the impact of PCOS on your system. For instance, your diet! According to Dr Shah, “Zinc reduces the effects of testosterone and androgens. Hence, it can be consumed as a supplement to arrest hair fall and boost new hair growth.”
Similarly, biotin (also known as vitamin H) helps in hair growth and reduces hair fall. There is no clear data if biotin affects PCOS-induced hair fall, but it helps with hair loss and hair growth. Plus, when consumed in the proper quantity, it has virtually no side effects.
Another major aspect of winning the fight against PCOS is weight management. It is almost considered as the best treatment for PCOS as losing weight has been associated with lower levels of androgens in your body. Since there is no permanent cure for PCOS, managing it with a proper diet and healthy lifestyle can help counter its negative effect on your mane.