Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS is one of the most common issues affecting women around the world. It is a complex hormonal and reproductive disorder. In addition to its effect on a woman’s reproductive health, it also causes varied hormonal side effects.
Women with PCOS can experience ovarian cysts, weight gain, irregular menstrual cycles, excessive hair growth on the face, chest and other parts of the body, and even infertility. One of the common side effects that hasn’t been talked about much, is acne.
Dr Ruchi Srivastava, senior gynaecologist, Sharda Hospital, said, “Evidences have shown that around 30 per cent of females with PCOS suffer from acne. The site of acne in these females appears where a male would have a beard — like cheeks, chin, upper neck, jawline and upper back as it has a hormonal correlation.”
Dr Srivastava listed two reasons for the appearance of hormonal acne.
1. Hyperandrogenism which is an increase in male hormone.
2. Increase in generalised inflammation.
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“Though PCOS is a lifetime problem, it can be treated with lifestyle modifications like regular exercises and healthy eating habits,” Dr Srivastava said, suggesting some ways to prevent and cure acne.
* Around 4 to 5 kg reduction in weight improves 50 per cent of problems related to PCOS.
* Acne due to PCOS can be improved with specific birth control pills, regular cleaning of skin and removal of make-up with an oil-free cleanser; avoid squeezing and pricking the acne spots as this can aggravate the situation.
* It is preferred to use oil-free or water-based makeup that is called “non-comedogenic” (should not cause blackheads or whiteheads) or “non-acnegenic” (should not cause acne).
* Some foods which are naturally anti-inflammatory can be taken: berries and cherries, fatty fish, fruits and vegetables like broccoli avocados, tomatoes and spinach, green tea, almonds and walnuts, turmeric, extra virgin olive oil, dark chocolate and cocoa.
* Some foods have been linked to the increase in the levels of inflammation — like junk foods, refined carbohydrates, fried foods, sugar-sweetened beverages, processed meat and trans fats. Avoid them.
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