One of the most prevalent hormonal disorders, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disorder that affects approximately 1 in 10 women. Acne and PCOS often go hand in hand for many. Acne is a very common skin condition and PCOS treatment and management should include ways to combat it.
PCOS has a high impact on health and can cause acne, weight gain, insulin resistance, hormones that don’t respond well to medications, etc. If you believe you may be suffering from PCOS, talk to your doctor for diagnosis and treatment options. Many women with PCOS also suffer from acne due to hormonal fluctuations which can affect sebum production.
What Causes Acne?
Acne is caused by an excess of oil on the skin, clogged pores, bacteria, and inflammation. When hair follicles on the skin become clogged with oil secretions from glands within the skin, they result in acne. While there are many ways to go about getting rid of it, one of the most effective methods involves keeping your pores unclogged.
These are some common triggers that cause acne:
- -Hormonal changes
- -Improper skin care
Though Acne is caused by a variety of factors, one among them is also hormones. Hormones are controlled by the brain and the ovaries. When a person has PCOS, they may have hyperactive or under-active ovaries. There is good chance acne will be a side effect of a disrupted hormone flow in a woman with PCOS.
How to Get Rid of Acne
Though acne is very common in people with PCOS it can be controlled and managed with treatment. The first step is to make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. If these three steps don’t work, your doctor will prescribe medication like antibiotics to help keep breakouts at bay. However getting to the root cause of acne, which can be PCOS, and then managing it makes more sense than just treating acne superficially.
Treating Acne with Diet
The typical diet is typically high in sugar, caffeine, processed foods, dairy, salt, refined carbohydrates, and vegetable oils. All of these are triggers for acne breakouts. A diet that is high in protein and low in sugar can help to reduce acne. It’s also important to avoid dairy, refined grains, and alcoholic drinks because they all increase your insulin levels.
Does focusing on blood sugar help with acne and PCOS symptoms?
Though some studies say that there is no correlation between PCOS and acne because of dietary concerns, eating habits may play a role in the development of PCOS and acne. Every time you eat, you are either balancing your blood sugar level or triggering it with a rollercoaster cycle.
Sugar consumption could be to blame-when you eat sugary and highly refined foods, your body responds by increasing insulin to store the excess energy away. But over time, this contributes to both insulin resistance and high testosterone levels, leading to many other problems.
Choose foods, macronutrients, and micronutrients that balance blood sugar. Cutting your exposure to high glycemic foods will help keep your blood sugar up. It not only reduces mood swings and fatigue, but the low glycemic diet reduces breakouts as well!
The best diet for acne includes foods that are high in good fats, such as nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil, and coconut oil.
However, many people with PCOS have diets full of processed foods and sugar without any veggies or fruit. They wonder why they have acne and if the extra hormones caused the flare-up.
When you put in more plant foods, your body can heal itself and support its hormones to make various skin conditions better. This also helps in PCOS treatment and management.
Eat more organic fruit and vegetables, and include the right nuts and seeds in your diet. Avoid processed foods as they have been found to increase symptoms of PCOS. It is important to maintain a healthy diet that includes a variety of foods to achieve clearer skin, and eliminating meat from your diet is a great way to achieve this!
Hydration is key in PCOS treatment and management
Clear, healthy skin is important in PCOS, and hydration is key. Water can help maintain a strong skin barrier which can protect against damage and infection. Water will also help the body process and excrete toxins that contribute to hormone disruption. These toxins can include hormone-disrupting chemicals that are found in everyday items such as deodorant and shampoo and excess hormones caused by a lack of reproductive organs like ovaries.
BUT, if you want to supercharge your hydration to offer countless more benefits, consider drinking medicinal herbal teas on a daily basis. Spearmint tea helps with PCOS, acne, and high testosterone levels. Give Celyon true cinnamon a try. These all-natural products have properties that help regular blood sugar levels and insulin resistance.
Alternative Solutions for Acne
Another way is to use a topical treatment that contains benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. You can rub it on once or twice a day and wash it off after 20 minutes. Popular products for acne-prone skin can actually flare your symptoms and worsen PCOS. It’s possible that cosmetics and over-the-counter products may irritate acne and therefore you should avoid them or opt for non-toxic personal care alternatives.
Instead invest in cleanser, toner, moisturizer, gentle exfoliation/hydrating mask – these types of treatments should be a staple in your regimen depending on your skin’s needs.
Another method doctors approach is anti-androgen medication as these reduce the level of testosterone in your body. Although PCOS is an alternate cause for acne, there are many more. It’s important to find the root of your acne based on your symptoms and it is always better to consult an expert before resorting to any medication.
PCOS doesn’t prevent you from wearing makeup; there are great vegan and cruelty-free brands out there that don’t cause acne but still offer coverage.