Skin and Hair Care with PCOS

PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a common hormonal disorder that affects 1 in 15 women. It can cause complicated health issues , including common frustrations related to skin and hair. These could be acne, unwanted hair-growth on your body, hair loss, etc. 

If you’ve been diagnosed with PCOS, chances are that you have already started with your hormonal treatment. But you may go the extra mile to manage some of the outward manifestations of this disorder. 

Here are some common recommendations on how to care for your hair and skin.

What's Inside?

Acne and Oily Skin

Hormonal disorders caused by excess androgens often cause acne and oily skin. Products containing 2.5% to 5% benzoyl peroxide and 2% salicylic acid (BHA) are the golden standard for treating acne – suitable for those with PCOS.

Unwanted Hair-growth or Hirsutism

Another manifestation of excess androgens in the body – hirsutism may be managed via cosmetic options and home therapies such as waxing, depilatories, tweezing and shaving quite effectively. One of the most successful ways to stop unwanted hair-growth is laser hair removal. Although this treatment is quite expensive, it is often considered the most effective – especially alongside medications that your physician may have prescribed.

Hair Loss

Alopecia or hair loss induced by excess androgens is often manifested in the form of female pattern hair loss. It may be managed using medications such as Minoxidil.

Skin Darkening

PCOS can cause brown skin discolorations. They often appear as darkened, velvety swaths of dark brown skin – and may appear on the back of the neck, armpits, inner thighs, or under the breasts. Some recommendations to tackle these issues could be daily exfoliation with an AHA or BHA leave-on exfoliant (not a scrub), application of sunscreen, and use of a topical skincare product with 2% hydroquinone. For stronger cases, you may use a prescription-strength skin lightener.

You may also make some lifestyle changes in diet and exercise for long term effects.