Living with PCOS can sometimes be an unnerving task. Many of the side effects caused by the disease such as adult acne, infertility, weight gain, and excessive facial or body hair can be difficult to bring under control.
The physical issues can have huge knock-on effects on your emotional state too, especially when presenting ones self to the public when facing such challenges.
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a common hormonal disorder that affects women of reproductive age. Like all syndromes, PCOS is a collection of problems that are found together. Not all women with PCOS have all the same symptoms. To be diagnosed with PCOS, a woman must have 2 of 3 possible issues: abnormal menstruation, excessive male hormones, and ovaries that have multiple small cysts.
PCOS creates a vicious cycle of hormone imbalances, which has ripple effects throughout the rest of your body. The problem often starts with the ovaries, which are unable to produce the hormones they should, and in the correct proportions. Women with PCOS very often have difficulties with blood sugar levels, which can cause weight gain and the excess insulin can stimulate your ovaries to produce yet more testosterone (the male hormone). Half of all women with PCOS do not have any problems with their weight, yet they can still have higher insulin levels than normal.
PCOS and Skin
PCOS has a few manifestations in everyday life - infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods, excess hair growth, acne, darkened skin in certain parts and obesity can all occur in women with this syndrome.
As mentioned above, many women who suffer from PCOS also suffer from acne. Their acne can be very bad with many papules and pustules and can be hard to control because of the excessive androgen in the body. While using anti-acne ingredients such as salicylic acid and retinol can help pores from becoming excessively clogged with dead skin cells and excess oil, there are a few other solutions to tackling this internally and externally.
Dietary regulations: The key is to balance your hormones in order to control the hormonal breakouts from the inside out. There is now overwhelming evidence to suggest that diet plays a significant role in helping with PCOS. Aim to eat little and often to keep your blood sugar under control and follow a low GI (glycemic index) diet, with little sugar of any kind, including fruit and fruit juices as well as the more obvious cakes, biscuits, etc.
Zinc: Zinc is a trace mineral essential to all forms of life because of its fundamental role in cell growth and cell replication. And it’s especially important for clear skin and for PCOS in general. If you are suffering from acne, an extra zinc supplement (15mg) in addition to the zinc in your multivitamin capsule can make a difference. Take the extra zinc last thing at night on an empty stomach.
Probiotic: Probiotics are the naturally occurring “good” bacteria that live in your gut and play a significant role in your total wellness. Make sure you are taking a good probiotic as 70 per cent of your immune function is in your gut. This means that these beneficial bacteria in your digestive system can help to control not only inflammation but also negative bacteria and yeasts. So, if you are looking to clear up your skin, you have to start with your gut.
Tea Tree Oil: This essential oil has both anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties so can be very helpful for acne. Use it on the skin in a diluted form. A 5 per cent solution of tea tree oil has been shown to be effective; however, take longer to work.
Aloe vera: Aloe vera can be used on your skin to help with acne. Choose an aloe vera gel that contains few preservatives and has high aloe vera content so you can benefit from its anti-inflammatory and potent skin healing properties.
PCOS is a complicated condition but making lifestyle and dietary changes and under the care of the right doctor can go a long way in helping you achieve clearer skin and keep your PCOS in check. There are many treatments for acne and other skin conditions that can be more effective, once you goto your expert dermatologist for consultation!
Stay fit and enjoy clear skin!