Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common metabolic syndrome that can manifest as irregular periods, difficulties conceiving, and insulin resistance. In addition to the toll PCOS can take on your body, there are several ways it may affect your skin. If you have PCOS, there are ways to reduce skin issues.
Deal With Insulin Resistance
No amount of topical treatment will improve skin issues related to PCOS if you do not make the effort to control the condition. Your gynecologist or family practitioner may prescribe birth control pills and/or metformin to help regulate your cycles and to reduce insulin resistance. If you are not actively trying to conceive, you may want to try lifestyle changes to avoid medications and their potential side effects. You should focus on changing your diet first. Your goal is to help your body become more sensitive to the effects of insulin. Generally, you will need to adopt a diet similar to ones recommended for people with type 2 diabetes.
Reducing your overall carbohydrate intake can minimize spikes in blood sugar and the corresponding insulin surge. Focus more on plant-based nutrition and good quality proteins. Eating non-starchy vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats does not spike your insulin as much and can help you eat fewer calories overall. Many women with PCOS face difficulties losing weight and reducing your carbohydrates can help. Additionally, try to limit your intake of fruit. Although fruit is a better alternative for something sweet than traditional desserts, over-consumption of fruit can be equally detrimental to your blood sugar and insulin levels.
Manage Oily Skin
Women with PCOS generally find their skin is oily, which can be caused by abnormally high levels of testosterone. This same elevated testosterone also contributes to breakouts. Try to adopt a skin care routine that is focused on reducing excess oil and controlling acne. Wash your face once or twice per day with a mild cleanser. Use facial cleansers without unnecessary oils or perfumes, which may irritate your skin and increase oil production. Finding the right moisturizer is often a matter of trial and error although discussing the issue with a dermatology professional could help give you more direction.
Some options include gel moisturizers, which often work well for oily skin or face oils, such as maracuja oil. Although it may seem counterproductive, some face oils can encourage your skin to turn off excess oil production. You should exfoliate your skin at least weekly to help keep your pores clear and remove dead skin. Instead of using a facial scrub, you may find a serum containing beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) might be more gentle on your skin. As far as acne is concerned, it is best to spot-treat the problem with creams containing salicylic acid. If you have significant acne problems, especially painful cystic acne or breakouts all over your face, these are best treated with the help of a dermatologist.
Eliminate Facial Hair
Another concern for women with PCOS is developing some degree of facial hair. Often the hair appears on the upper lip, chin, and sideburns. Unfortunately, some women develop hirsutism, which can be extremely noticeable and difficult to manage. You will need to choose a hair removal method that will cause the least irritation to your skin and avoid creating new issues, such as hyperpigmentation. Threading can be a better choice than waxing because it is less likely to damage the upper layer of skin or contribute to bumps after hair removal. If your skin is not sensitive, there are some advantages to professional waxing. Since the hair is being removed at the root, it does not return as quickly and over time, the hair may grow in finer.
If you have hirsutism, it may be worth the investment to speak with a dermatologist about laser hair removal options. The goal of laser treatments is not only to remove the hair, but hopefully it will not grow back with repeated treatments. Laser treatments do not always work well depending on the color of your skin and hair. Since lasers generally use the contrast between your skin color and hair color to target the hairs, having the procedure can be more challenging if you have fair skin with light hair or deeper skin and dark hair. If you fit into one of these groups, you should make sure you find a doctor who has experience treating clients with a similar skin and hair color. The laser will need to be adjusted to eliminate the hair without causing damage to your skin.
Working on PCOS-related concerns requires you to manage the underlying condition through lifestyle changes and use available treatments to reduce any obvious impact on your skin.Share