Updated: Mar 10
Many women throughout the world are afflicted by polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a prevalent hormonal condition.
Acne is among the most typical signs of polycystic ovarian syndrome and can be both upsetting and unpleasant.
It is challenging to treat polycystic ovarian syndrome acne since it frequently manifests in a more severe and chronic manner than other forms of acne.
To treat their acne and enhance the health of their skin, PCOS-afflicted ladies can take certain steps.
We'll look into the factors that contribute to PCOs acne in this blog post, along with some helpful treatments.
What are PCOS symptoms?
Women of reproductive age are susceptible to the hormonal disorder known as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Many symptoms, including as irregular periods, weight gain, excessive hair growth, and acne, are associated with it.
Over 25% of women with PCOS experience acne, which is a frequent symptom of the illness.
Although the precise process underlying PCOS acne is not entirely known, it is thought to be connected to the body's elevated amounts of androgen hormones.
Androgens are male hormones that are, to a lesser extent, present in females.
The sebaceous glands in the skin can create more oil than usual when PCOS is present because the ovaries produce greater than usual quantities of androgens.
This extra oil can block pores and cause breakouts, blackheads, and other skin problems depending on the skin type.
PCOS acne can be inflammatory or non-inflammatory and commonly develops on the face, chest, and back.
Papules, pustules, and cysts are signs of inflammatory acne, whereas blackheads and whiteheads are signs of non-inflammatory acne.
Moreover, compared to other types of acne, PCOS acne may be more severe, chronic, and treatment-resistant.
Is Acne a Symptom of PCOS?
Acne is often related to PCOS because the skin is a window that reflects what's going on inside the body.
Acne is related to testosterone and estrogen levels, as well as the gut microbiome and level of inflammation.
In the case of PCOS, androgen hormones cause the skin gland to create sebum which is the main cause of acne.
Sebum is created in the sebaceous glands, it resembles oil.
You might start thinking that sebum is a bad thing we need to get rid of but that is not the case.
Its job is to moisturize and protect your skin from the environment, lack of sebum could cause your skin to be overly dry and crack.
Not only on your skin that is the thing that makes your hair feel oily which may not always feel like a good thing and can make you feel like your hair is dirty.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome acne can also be seen on the various parts of your body including your face, neck, shoulders, and back.
The acne that is not on the face is harder to get rid of since it is easier to apply products on your face.
Other than acne PCOS can cause other issues such as type 2 diabetes, depression, obesity, and cardiovascular problems it also plays a big number in infertility issues.
Ovaries producing access androgen is called hyperandrogenism and this is also connected with acne as well as hair loss and another type of hair problem where it grows in places that it shouldn’t.
So, women with PCOS have other major problems on top of the acne issues, here is where we come in to help you take that load off your shoulders.
There are two types of ways you can treat polycystic ovarian syndrome acne: lifestyle changes and medication.
Everyone’s body works differently so one thing that is a solution for you may not work for someone else with PCOS.
What Not to Do If You Have PCOs?
After receiving a PCOS diagnosis, it's critical to take action to control your symptoms and lower your risk of problems.
If you have PCOS, there are some activities you should stay away from.
Secondly, avoiding a sedentary lifestyle is crucial since it can exacerbate insulin resistance, which is frequently linked to PCOS.
Third, stay away from processed and high-sugar foods because these might cause insulin resistance and exacerbate your symptoms.
Last but not least, refrain from missing meals as this can exacerbate insulin resistance and result in weight gain, both of which can exacerbate your symptoms.
To effectively treat your PCOS symptoms, instead concentrate on adopting healthy lifestyle changes like consistent exercise, eating a balanced diet, and controlling stress.
What Vitamins Should You Take for PCOs?
While there is no known treatment for PCOS, several vitamins may be able to help with some of the symptoms.
First and foremost, vitamin D is essential for PCOS-afflicted women because it regulates insulin and may lessen insulin resistance.
Infertility and metabolic syndrome, both of which are common in women with PCOS, have been associated to vitamin D insufficiency as well.
The B-complex vitamins, which include vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, and B12, may also be advantageous for PCOS-afflicted women.
These vitamins assist healthy skin, hair, and nails, good neuron function, and metabolism regulation.
Particularly vitamin B6 may help treat PCOS symptoms by regulating hormones and enhancing insulin sensitivity.
Finally, antioxidants like vitamin E and C can help lower oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which are connected to PCOS.
While vitamin C is necessary for immunological function and aids in the body's absorption of iron, vitamin E is also crucial for keeping healthy skin.
While vitamins might be beneficial, a healthy, balanced diet should still come first, it is vital to remember this.
Before beginning any new supplement regimen, PCOS-afflicted women should speak with their doctor to make sure the supplement is secure and suitable for their particular requirements.
Want to know what vitamins are good for your breast health? Click here!
How to treat polycystic acne with lifestyle changes?
A typical PCOS symptom that can be challenging to treat is polycystic acne.
Even though there are various therapies available, polycystic acne can be effectively managed with lifestyle adjustments.
Changing your way of living can help you manage PCOS acne. Several of the underlying reasons of PCOS, such as insulin resistance and hormone imbalances, can be addressed with lifestyle changes.
Also, leading a healthy lifestyle can assist to lower inflammation and enhance general skin health.
Determine If You Have PCOs Acne, Diagnosis is Key
Here is an interesting suggestion for you. Ask yourself this question: Is your acne really caused by polycystic ovary syndrome? If not, maybe you should seek other ways of treatment.
The first step in properly treating PCOS acne is to identify whether you have it.
Severe, chronic acne that frequently develops on the back, chest, and face is a hallmark of PCOS acne.
There may also be additional PCOS symptoms such irregular periods, weight gain, and excessive hair growth.
It's crucial to speak with a healthcare specialist to find out if you have PCOS acne.
In order to ascertain whether PCOS might be the underlying cause of your acne, your doctor might do a physical examination and obtain a medical history.
Blood tests can be used to measure androgen levels as well as other hormones.
Poor sleep has many negative side effects one of which is acne problems. Not having a good night’s sleep can increase levels of inflammation and stress hormones, which lead to more acne.
Getting a good stretch of sleep is also essential for overall health and happiness, both mentally and physically.
Acute stress can eventually lead to an increase in inflammatory markers, which can cause acne to flare up.
Another thing you should keep in mind is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to mitigating stress, so find what works best for you.
If you want to increase your sleep quality you can try not looking at your phone one hour before you go to bed, not eating dinner after 7 pm also no sugar before you sleep.
Sleep is essential for good health and wellbeing, and it can be helpful in controlling PCOS acne.
Hormonal imbalances brought on by sleep deprivation or poor quality might worsen it.
Also the hormones that support the regulation of our metabolism, immune system, and reproductive function are produced by our bodies when we sleep.
The delicate balance of these hormones can be upset by insufficient sleep, which raises levels of androgens, which are frequently raised in PCOS patients.
Adults should aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night and create a regular sleep schedule to encourage consistent sleep patterns.
Try a PCOS Diet to Treat PCOS Acne
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help to keep acne at bay and one of the ways to do so is a polycystic ovary syndrome diet.
A PCOS diet is a well-balanced eating regimen that emphasizes full, nutrient-dense foods and tries to lower insulin resistance and inflammatory markers.
Lean protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and a lot of fruits and vegetables make up the usual diet.
Avoiding processed and refined foods, which can aggravate insulin resistance and induce inflammation, is a crucial part of a PCOS diet.
Foods heavy in sugar, saturated fats, and trans fats are included in this.
Instead, it is advised to select fiber-rich, whole, unprocessed foods including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Choosing lean protein sources, such as chicken, fish, tofu, and beans, as part of a PCOS diet is another crucial step.
Acne severity may be lessened by protein's ability to lower blood sugar and increase insulin sensitivity.
Inflammation can be decreased and insulin sensitivity increased by eating healthy fats such those in nuts, seeds, and avocado.
Monitoring portion sizes and aiming for regular meal times may be beneficial in addition to these dietary modifications.
Overeating can also be avoided and blood sugar levels can be controlled.
It is crucial to remember that a PCOS diet should be tailored to each person's unique needs and tastes.
The diet seeks to lower inflammation and insulin resistance by concentrating on complete, nutrient-dense meals.
Avoiding processed and refined foods, emphasizing lean protein and healthy fats, and keeping an eye on portion sizes are important aspects of the diet.
A specialized eating plan that is both efficient and sustainable can be developed with the assistance of a healthcare professional or registered dietitian.
Exercise is a crucial component of treating PCOS acne.
Insulin resistance, a disorder in which the body does not respond to insulin as it should, causes high blood sugar levels and is frequently linked to PCOS acne.
Enhancing insulin sensitivity through exercise can lessen the severity of acne.
Regular exercise can also aid in reducing bodily inflammation, which can lead to acne formation.
Other advantages of exercise include improved general health and wellbeing, which might indirectly lessen the appearance of acne.
Exercise can also assist improve skin health by lowering stress levels, boosting cardiovascular health, and encouraging weight loss.
In order to control PCOS acne, it can be helpful to exercise regularly for at least 30 minutes each day, five days per week.
This can involve any moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking, cycling, swimming, or any other activity.
Picking an activity that you can actually maintain on a regular basis and that you enjoy is crucial.
Makeup and Skincare
Many women experience the hormonal condition known as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
In treating acne caused by PCOS, makeup and skincare can be quite helpful.
The key to treating polycystic ovarian syndrome acne is to wash your face with warm water and a mild facial cleanser twice a day, use moisturizer regularly, choose makeup and skin-care products that are gentle, and avoid touching your face.
It's crucial to choose non-comedogenic cosmetics and skincare items to avoid clogging pores or aggravating acne.
Try to find items that are hypoallergenic, oil-free, and fragrance-free. For women with PCOS acne, cleansing is an additional vital part in skincare regimen.
It is advised to use a gentle cleanser that does not remove the skin's natural oils.
Exfoliation is essential for getting rid of dead skin cells that can clog pores and cause acne.
Using non-comedogenic foundation and concealer when applying makeup can assist to hide acne without making it worse.
Because mineral-based foundations are less likely to clog pores, they are frequently a wise choice.
In conclusion, choosing non-comedogenic cosmetics and gentle skincare products can assist to treat acne caused by PCOS.
Acne is a response to stress and can be caused by various external factors, you could be stressed about work, school, relationships, things that are going on in your life and so much more reasons.
Stress is an inevitable part of our lives but keeping it under control is the best thing we could do for our bodies.
There are many ways to do stress management, breathing exercises, journaling and meditation can be some of them.
Of course, a good night’s sleep is also an important factor.
If your acne breakouts happen during the times you are stressed maybe it is time for you to find a good way to manage stress.
It has been demonstrated that stress makes acne worse by producing more of the hormones that cause inflammation and breakouts.
In order to effectively treat acne caused by PCOS, stress management is crucial.
Yoga, deep breathing exercises, mindfulness meditation, and regular exercise are all effective stress-reduction strategies that can help lower hormone levels, lower stress levels, and improve acne symptoms.
As a result, people with PCOS can live healthier lives with more energy, better moods, and better overall health thanks to stress management.
Thus, it is critical for people with PCOS-related acne to include stress management strategies in their treatment plan in order to enhance their physical and mental health.
You can also check out our blog to learn about different ways that'll help you care about yourself!
How to treat PCOS acne with medication?
We can’t give you the name of a medication that guarantees to fix your acne but maybe there is one out there that is just the medicine you need.
It is best to consult with a doctor or dermatologist for the best treatment option for you.
Since it is caused by hormones your doctor may prescribe you something that will balance your hormones such as birth control pills, but they can prescribe you retinol as well.
Retinol medication dries your skin and reduces the sebum that causes your acne.
Also a typical topical remedy for acne, particularly polycystic ovarian syndrome acne, is benzoyl peroxide.
It functions by eradicating the acne-causing bacteria and aiding in pore clearing, which can lessen the severity and frequency of acne breakouts.
There are several strengths of benzoyl peroxide, ranging from 2.5% to 10%.
Although larger concentrations might be more efficient, they might also irritate the skin more, therefore it's crucial to start with a lower concentration and gradually raise as necessary.
Also, it's critical to follow the manufacturer's instructions when taking benzoyl peroxide and to refrain from combining it with other acne medications without first seeking medical advice.
Hormonal Imbalances and PCOs Acne
Hormonal imbalance is often a significant factor in the development of acne in individuals with PCOS.
While there are various acne treatments available, addressing the underlying hormonal imbalance through medications, lifestyle changes, or a combination of both may be necessary for long-term management of PCOS-related acne.
Consulting with a healthcare professional can help individuals determine the best course of action for their unique situation.
What's the most effective PCOS acne treatment?
We don’t have an answer to this question because it can change from person to person.
While one person can find lifestyle changes beneficial another person may not find any one of them useful.
Lifestyle changes are usually based on reducing stress, balancing sebum levels, reducing inflammation, and balancing hormones through a diet.
If those are not the root of the acne problem those treatments will not do anything. Not everyone’s hormones can be balanced through a diet.
Medication can be the only solution in some cases. Either way, the path you should follow should be what your doctor suggests.
What is the Difference Between Hormonal Acne and PCOS Acne?
Two types of acne that are brought on by hormonal abnormalities in the body are hormonal acne and acne associated with PCOS.
Although it can affect both men and women, it is most frequently linked to adolescent girls and women who are going through their menstrual cycle.
Increases in androgen hormones, such as testosterone, which induce the skin's sebaceous glands to generate more oil, are the cause of this condition.
This extra oil has the potential to block pores and cause acne. The chin, jawline, and lower cheeks are the common sites for hormonal acne to emerge.
On the other hand, PCOS acne is directly linked to PCOS, a hormonal condition that affects women.
High levels of androgens in women with PCOS can contribute to acne as well as other symptoms like irregular periods, weight gain, and hair growth.
In comparison to hormonal acne, PCOS acne is frequently more severe and broad and can affect the face, neck, chest, and back.
It might also be harder to cure with conventional acne medications.
It can be difficult to treat hormonal acne and PCOS acne, and frequently a combination of dietary adjustments, topical medicines, and lifestyle modifications is needed.
Women with PCOS may benefit from hormonal therapies like birth control pills or anti-androgen medicines in addition to conventional acne treatments.
The ideal course of action can be chosen for each patient with the assistance of an endocrinologist or dermatologist.
What is there to conclude?
In conclusion, PCOS acne can be a difficult condition to treat, but with the appropriate strategy, it is possible to do so while also enhancing your skin's appearance.
Understanding the underlying reasons of PCOS acne and making lifestyle adjustments that can help to balance hormones and reduce inflammation are the first steps to take.
Your diet, exercise routine, and stress-reduction strategies might need to change as a result.
A dermatologist or endocrinologist should be consulted to establish the best course of treatment for your particular needs as topical treatments and medicines can also be helpful in managing acne problems.
You can successfully treat your PCOS acne and feel good about your skin if you are patient, persistent, and dedicated to taking care of yourself.
Keep in mind that you are not on this path alone, and that there are plenty of tools available to help you in your attempts to obtain clear, healthy skin.
Don't believe us? Here is an example.
Want to learn more about women's health? Check our other blogs!