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By Alex Allan on 19/08/23 | Symptoms

Untangling the Connection: Acne and PCOS

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a multifaceted condition that impacts the lives of countless women, characterized by a range of frustrating and distressing symptoms. Among these, acne often takes centre stage, causing not just physical discomfort but also affecting self-esteem and confidence. 

Here are some tell-tale signs that PCOS and acne may be intertwined:

  • Hormonal Breakouts: Acne that worsens before or during menstruation may indicate the influence of hormonal imbalances, a hallmark of PCOS.
  • Persistent Acne: Acne that lingers beyond the teenage years and continues into adulthood may be linked to underlying hormonal disruptions.
  • Androgen-Related Acne: Acne that is characterized by deep, cystic lesions on the chin, jawline, and upper neck may be associated with elevated androgens seen in PCOS.

How PCOS Triggers Acne

A combination of hormonal and metabolic factors can be factors in the severity of acne in women with PCOS, such as:

  • Androgen Overload: PCOS often leads to elevated androgen levels, which can stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce excess oil, clogging pores and leading to acne.
  • Insulin Resistance: Insulin resistance, a hallmark of PCOS, can trigger the release of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), which further stimulates oil production and contributes to acne.
  • Inflammation: Chronic inflammation, common in PCOS, can exacerbate skin inflammation and contribute to the development of acne.
  • Hormonal Fluctuations: The hormonal imbalances inherent in PCOS can lead to irregular menstrual cycles and fluctuating hormone levels, which can influence the onset of acne.

Managing Acne in PCOS

Strategies aimed at addressing the underlying hormonal imbalances and supporting skin health can make a huge difference in alleviating acne symptoms:

  • Hormone-Friendly Diet: Opt for a balanced diet rich in antioxidants, whole foods, and anti-inflammatory nutrients to support hormonal balance and skin health.
  • Skincare Routine: Establish a consistent skincare routine that includes gentle cleansing, exfoliation, and non-comedogenic products to manage acne-prone skin.
  • Stress Reduction: Practice stress-reduction techniques like mindfulness, meditation, and yoga to mitigate stress-related hormonal fluctuations.
  • Professional Guidance: Talk to one of our team of Registered Nutritional Therapists who are experienced in treating PCOS-related acne for personalized recommendations.

By addressing hormonal imbalances through dietary choices, skincare practices, stress reduction, and seeking professional guidance, individuals with PCOS can navigate the challenges of acne more effectively. Remember, managing acne isn't solely about achieving clear skin – it's about fostering overall health, enhancing self-confidence, and taking proactive steps toward feeling your best inside and out. 

Would you like to know more? Why not book a free call with one of our team – just click here to book.

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