What is PCOS, Effects of PCOS on skin and body and how to prevent them

By Skin & Hair Academy | February 04, 2016
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Isha Agrawal

Skin & Hair Care Consultant

  • pcos-hairPolycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) affects 4 to 12 % of women in their reproductive age. This is a health condition that has a major impact on the patient’s hormone levels, ovulation, and periods. Due to changes in hormones, the woman may start developing changes in hair growth patterns, and may even have hair growth on her chin, upper lip, upper abdomen, chest, and back areas. Women suffering from this condition may also develop acne, even if they have passed their adolescence. So, you should become alert if you have started developing any of these symptoms in your adulthood. Although exact factors that contribute to the development of PCOS are still unknown, excess insulin in your body may increase your chances. [1]
  • Effects of PCOS on skin and hair

    hair-problemUnderstand that PCOS is a hormonal disorder that can cause serious health and cosmetic problems. You may develop unwanted hair growth, acne, skin darkening, and even balding due to this worrisome condition. PCOS is caused due to dramatic shifts in your hormonal levels, due to which you develop more male hormones, and thus your skin and hair tend to become like them. So, if you have missed periods, very heavy periods, voice tone deepening, increase in face and body hair, underarm skin becoming very dark, thinning of head hair, acne, or thicker skin with rough texture, there are chances you have PCOS. [2]

  • Handling PCOS [3]

    Now that you suspect you have PCOS, how do you go about getting it treated? Treatment should be planned as per the woman’s reproductive interests, specific goals, and symptoms developed. Depending on the severity of the condition, PCOS can be treated with medical means or through mechanical means. Medical process includes blocking or decreasing the hormone action, and mechanical processes include shaving and other such methods.

  • Medical means:

    Medical-meansDecreasing the production of testosterone by giving oral contraceptives to the patient, improving their insulin sensitivity, and lowering weight

    Decreasing action of testosterone by giving anti-androgens to the patient, sometimes in combination with oral contraceptives

    Asking the patient to lose weight, so that SHBG can increase and insulin sensitivity can be improved.

  • Mechanical means:

    • You may pluck unwanted hair, but only if it is very scarce. Plucking can sometimes result in scarring and folliculitis. So, it should be avoided

    • Shaving is a cheap and simple way of removing unwanted hair

    • Electrolysis, in which hair follicles are electro-coagulated may or may not give permanent results

    • Laser therapy, which may sometimes result in thermal damage to the hair follicles

    • Topical application of eflornithine hydrochloride 13.9% cream, which is quite effective in slowing down growth of unwanted hair.

  • By getting PCOS treated, you will not only get rid of hormonal imbalances and ovulation problems, but you will also get back to your beautiful self. So, identify your symptoms, and get them treated most effectively.


[1]. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: Diagnosis and Management. 2016.Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: Diagnosis and Management. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1069067/. [Accessed 19 January 2016].

[2]. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): Women’s Skincare: Skincare Advice: Cosmetics Cop Expert Advice . 2016.Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): Women’s Skincare: Skincare Advice: Cosmetics Cop Expert Advice [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.paulaschoice.com/expert-advice/womens-skincare/_/polycystic-ovary-syndrome.. [Accessed 19 January 2016].

[3]. PubMed Central, Table 5: Clin Med Res. 2004 Feb; 2(1): 13–27. 2016.PubMed Central, Table 5: Clin Med Res. 2004 Feb; 2(1): 13–27. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1069067/table/t5/. [Accessed 19 January 2016].

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