How To Get Rid Of PCOS Acne?
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disorder that can cause many hormonal changes in women that can lead to acne breakouts. This syndrome greatly impacts fertility and can increase the risk of other health conditions like insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, obesity and so on. Women with PCOS exhibit a spectrum of symptoms that can vary in severity:
- - Irregular menstruation
- - Hair growth on the face, chest and back (hirsutism)
- - Acne
- - Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
- - Patches of dark skin around the neck
While the other symptoms can be managed, treated, or even hidden, acne can impact your personality and confidence badly. PCOS-induced acne (also known as hormonal acne) is slightly different from puberty acne. It is caused by a special type of hormonal imbalance known as hyperandrogenism, which causes an increase in the male hormone called testosterone. Testosterone causes an increase in the natural oils in our hair follicles called sebum.
This increase in the sebum along with bacteria (that gets trapped beneath the hair follicles) causes comedones and cystic-like lesions. They generally appear on the face, near the jawline, chin, upper back and chest. These under-the-skin cysts are often very painful, inflamed and can leave behind scarring.
As PCOS acne is caused by a hormonal imbalance, you need to do more than simply following usual skincare practices like applying anti-acne serums or creams. Here is a list of things that will help you treat PCOS acne:
Our body and skin showcase what we feed it with. Since PCOS is a health and lifestyle condition, one of the most important things that you need to pay attention to is your diet. Have a balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables. While it will not directly impact the acne, but will help with PCOS by reducing the inflammation in the body.
Ensure that you include the following nutrients and minerals in your diet:
- - Vit A: Sweet potato, spinach, carrots, and tomatoes
- - Vit C: Citrus, cantaloupe, and red and green peppers
- - Vit D: Oily fish, fortified foods, and dairy products
- - Zinc: Lean beef, crab meat, chicken, cashews, and fortified cereals
- - Omega 3: Walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, edamame
- - Calcium: Low-fat milk, cheese, broccoli, kale, fortified orange juice, low-fat Greek yoghurt, and fortified non-dairy milk
Limiting our carbohydrates and increasing our protein consumption can level out the insulin in our body and reduce metabolic symptoms of PCOS.
You can even go for PCOS supplements as they are full of all the essential nutrients and minerals that will help in restoring hormonal balance.
Skincare - pamper your skin right
Stick to a routine and maintain healthy skincare practices. It doesn’t matter how tempted you feel to pick those pesky pimples, keep your hands away from them. Avoid touching them and wash your face twice with a gentle face wash. You can use an anti acne serum that is suitable for your skin and never forget to top it up with a moisturizer. Never sleep with your makeup on and avoid stepping into direct sunlight. If you have to go out then cover your face using an umbrella or a hat and slather your face with enough sunscreen.
Exercise - move it
It doesn’t matter how many PCOS drinks you consume or eat a balanced diet, if you are not exercising enough, it won’t help you a lot.
Our sedentary and hectic lifestyle keeps us hooked to our laptops. We often forget to drink water, leave aside moving around. This is not at all healthy for the body. Especially with women with PCOS, it is really important to keep a check on your weight. A weight reduction of 5% can improve problems such as insulin resistance and high levels of androgens in people with PCOS.
Destress - Keep it light
Stress is not right for your mind and your body - we all know it. Especially when it comes to lifestyle and hormonal disorders like PCOS, it is important to indulge in destressing and calming activities. This is not only good for your mind but also allows your body to fight back better. Do yoga, take breaks and practice meditative breathing - all of this will improve your overall well-being and eventually help you deal with acne.
The bottom line is that the key to managing PCOS acne lies in managing PCOS as a holistic problem. You cannot fix acne alone by ignoring the factors that cause PCOS. Hence, follow a healthy lifestyle and take care of your skin.