Fitness experts reveal the effects of PCOS on skin and hair health | Health

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common endocrine disorders in women of reproductive age that affects at least 1 in 10 women in India and its symptoms include missed, irregular, infrequent or prolonged periods and an excess of androgens that cause acne and side effects. body and facial hair in girls. It increases the risk of other health problems like diabetes and high blood pressure, dark skin or excess skin on the neck or in the armpits, mood swings, pelvic pain and/or taking weight, but not all women with PCOS can have cysts on their ovaries.


In an interview with HT Lifestyle, nutritionist Nikita Oswal said, “Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a complex condition that affects a woman’s hormone levels. It causes a woman’s body to produce higher than normal amounts of male hormones compared to female hormones. This hormonal imbalance causes their body to skip periods and it becomes more difficult for them to get pregnant and even causes early menopause. Many women miss their period or worry about having a late period due to sudden changes in their lifestyle, such as their eating habits, too much stress, anxiety, night work or lack of of physical exercise in daily life, which contributes to PCOS. »

She added: “PCOS is one of the most common hormonal disorders affecting women around the world. While obese or overweight women are at higher risk for PCOS, some women with normal weight can also be affected by hormonal status. PCOS not only affects a woman’s hormonal levels, but can also impact her appearance. The abnormal flow of your hormones can also affect your skin and hair.


Dr B Gowthami, Consultant in Reproductive Medicine at Milann Fertility and Birth Hospital in Kumarapark, Bangalore, revealed, “PCOS is the most common hormonal disorder that not only manifests as menstrual irregularities and infertility, but also affects skin and hair health in the form of acne, excess facial hair, thinning hair, etc. The main trigger of PCOS is thought to be insulin resistance, which means that the body does not respond normally to insulin and therefore insulin secretion from the pancreas, which again triggers inflammation and weight gain. This elevated insulin causes anovulation and also promotes testosterone secretion from the ovaries.

Effects of PCOS on the skin:

Highlighting that women with PCOS often face unique challenges with their skin that lead to depression and lack of confidence in women, nutritionist Nikita Oswal shared some extremely distressing skin issues:

1. Acne-: Acne-prone PCOS usually appears on the lower part of the face, including the jawline, cheeks, chin, and upper neck. There are some diet related tips, try to include foods such as tomatoes, green leafy vegetables, nuts, salmon, olive oil, berries and turmeric which contain antioxidant properties. -inflammatory and antioxidant. Women who have had acne since adolescence or for the first time after age 25 should get tested for PCOS.

2. Acanthosis nigricans-: It is a skin condition characterized by a dark brown color, with excess skin showing a prominent green firmness. It affects the skin folds of the armpits, groin and neck. Insulin resistance and obesity are two contributing factors that lead to this skin condition. Also in PCOS, the body normally does not respond to insulin, thus increasing insulin secretion from the pancreas.


3. Hirsutism-: It is the result of excessive release of male hormones, also called unwanted facial hair, which is very common in PCOS patients. The skin condition mainly affects the chin, chest, thighs and sides.

4. Seborrheic dermatitis-: A common skin condition, seborrheic dermatitis, can cause a scaly rash with shiny spaces. It affects oily areas of the skin like around the nose, between the eyebrows and behind the ears. It can also cause oily skin and dandruff.

Echoing the same, Dr B Gowthami, said: “Acanthosis nigricans is a skin condition characterized by black patches on the back of the neck, armpits and other skin folds. It is due to insulin resistance and obesity. So, patients with PCOS may have this type of skin patches. With weight loss, a low-glucose diet and regular training, we can decrease insulin resistance and therefore its manifestations.


He added: “The most common skin problems in PCOS are acne and pimples. The causes are also due to high levels of androgens which stimulate the sebaceous glands in the skin to secrete more sebum, causing clogging, inflammation and thus acne breakouts. Acne in PCOS is generally resistant to standard acne treatment and may require intensive treatment for at least 3 months. Other problems are seborrheic dermatitis, dandruff, hair loss in women, etc.

Effects of PCOS on hair:

According to nutritionist Nikita Oswal, when a woman’s body begins to produce more androgens during PCOS, it can promote the growth of unwanted hair and can also lead to hair loss or thinning, mostly found in the crown. and the frontal area but which are often ignored until most of the scalp becomes visible but is a very common symptom of PCOS. She listed the most common areas of excessive hair growth, including:


• On the lips

• The location of the beard (the jaw)

• Boobs

• Lower abdomen

• Inner thighs

• Lower back

Dr B Gowthami said: “Unwanted facial hair is the annoying cosmetic problem in PCOS patients. It is also known as hirsutism and results from excess secretion of male hormones. For this also weight reduction works by controlling serum sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) in turn to control male hormones. In uncontrollable cases, androgen-reducing drugs are available.

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