Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that affects 1 in 10 women of reproductive age. Apart from being the number one reason why women in their 20s and early 30s experience fertility issues, PCOS can also cause other hormone-related issues such as acne and hair loss. Unfortunately, around 30% of women with PCOS suffer from acne. But fret not, it can be kept under control and managed effectively by making a few lifestyle tweaks and switching your skincare routine.
To understand the link between PCOS and acne, we contacted celebrity cosmetic dermatologist Dr Chytra V Anand to answer our queries. Here’s what she had to say…
How are PCOS and acne-related?
“PCOS is a syndrome that affects the ovaries and hormones in a woman's body creating an imbalance. This imbalance causes a sensitivity making them produce high amounts androgens or male hormones. Hence, women with PCOS have irregular periods. The irregularity increases the oil production and clogs the pores leading to inflammation and acne,” explains Dr Anand.
Tips to manage PCOS-induced acne
Acne is a common symptom of PCOS and occurs due to the hormonal imbalance in the body; however, it can be kept under control and managed effectively by tweaking lifestyle and skincare habits. Here are a few tips by Dr Anand to manage PCOS-induced acne.
01. Follow a good skincare routine: A consistent skincare routine is paramount in controlling PCOS driven acne. Follow the cleansing, toning and moisturising ritual regularly. Try to use a cleanser which has salicylic acid or tea tree, their antibacterial properties help in controlling oil production.
02. Use an anti-acne serum: Skincare products with ingredients such as niacinamide, salicylic acid or glycolic acid help in improving the texture of the skin and keep acne under control. For severe acne, opt for photo facials with IPL as the light reduces inflammation and helps control the acne resulting in smooth skin.
03. Contraceptive pills or antiandrogens: The best way to get the PCOS under control is by visiting your gynaecologist and getting a PCOS profile done. If necessary, your doctor may advise you to get an ultrasound done. You also have to take oral supplements like contraceptive pills or antiandrogens that help in regulating periods and control acne.
04. Adopt a healthy lifestyle: Remember, the management of PCOS related acne is a combination of diet, exercise, medications and procedures for acne. It typically takes 3 - 6 months to get this type of acne under control, so one must be patient and consistent to get results.